Alhambra’s archway: A gateway to architectural discussion

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A weekend Star-News story by Brian Charles includes some clarifying details from Alhambra city officials on the architectural inspiration behind a new 26-foot tall, 20-foot wide archway at Fremont Avenue and Valley Boulevard.

“Our original concept was to do something like the Arc de Triomphe,” (Deputy City Manager Mary) Swink said.
The stucco archway has been mistaken for the French iconic structure, but Alhambra is no French city.
So the designers deferred to the Alhambra, the castle built by the Moors during their occupation of Spain. The archway is a replica of one of the gates of the castle, Swink added.
The archway, which cost around $300,000 to build, has been taking a virtual beating over in the comments section at Curbed LA.
(Photo by Keith Birmingham / Staff)

Photos: Get the scoop — or two — on area’s best frozen sweets

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From our summer dining issue, here’s a round-up by Emma Gallegos of the area’s best chilly treats — now with extra photographic goodness:
  • BULGARINI GELATO
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Leo Bulgarini ships the high-quality ingredients for his gelatos all the way from Italy if he has to, but it’s all made on site in Altadena and offered up with these irresistible words: “Try this, I just made it this morning.” Some of the flavors are straight-up delicious — fruit sorbets and granita flavored with the real melon, citrus and pineapples, a hazelnut gelato that’s more nutty than nutella. Some of the flavors are strangely delicious, like the goat cheese with chocolate nibs: creamy, slightly sweet and then there are these little flecks of hardened goat cheese and bitter chocolate. How about yogurt with celtic salt or olive oil? It’s just pazzo enough to work. 749 East Altadena Drive, Altadena, (626) 791-6174, bulgarinigelato.com

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Focusing on fashion illustration at Gallery Nucleus in Alhambra


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Sunday’s Star-News carried a story on the Gallery Nucleus fashion illustration exhibition we recommended recently in our weekend guide.
Caroline An reports:
Twenty-five artists from Europe, South America, Asia and Pasadena are represented in the exhibit … Just as varied as the artists’ backgrounds and experiences are the different media hung on the walls — from paint to watercolor to ink to textiles.
The artists have worked with top fashion designers, including Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs. Their works have been published in high-end publications such as Vogue, Elle and Nylon.
“We wanted to get a basic consensus of where contemporary fashion illustration is currently at,” (Nucleus’ director Wade) Buchanan said.
More photos and exhibit details, after the jump.

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You and a zombie, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G

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Love. Zombies. They’re both infectious, and they’re both the subject of Gallery Nucleus’ Valentine’s art happening “Zombies in Love.”
It’s much ado about something dead. (Has the Jane Austen/zombie love affair already jumped the shark?)
Gallery organizers advise bringing your beloved to the exhibit, because true love doesn’t die — or un-die.
The opening reception will feature a volunteer zombie walk; arrive in your finest undead state for the sake of art. The zombified also are spared the $2 cover charge.
Paintings, sculptures and live performances will be showcased in the gallery, and zombie professionals from film and publishing will be signing their work, including Chris Lane, the Oakland illustrator who collaborated on “Zombies: A Record of the Year of Infection.”
Opening Feb. 6, 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Zombie walk at 6:20 p.m., starts at corner of Atlantic and Main St. Exhibit runs through Feb. 22. Gallery Nucleus, 210 E. Main St., Alhambra. 626-458-7477. gallerynucleus.com
(Photo via Gallery Nucleus)

Pasadena area real-estate roundup

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Related: The Smith brothers, Bob and Gregg, opened up about the economic realities of the restaurant biz in Rose Magazine’s summer issue. (PDF)

  • Construction is ongoing on the Atlantic Times Square project in Monterey Park. There’s no predicting when the 210-unit condo and mixed-use project off the I-10 will be complete. (via CurbedLA)
  • Cue The Bangles theme music, and live in your very own pyramid in the hills of Sierra Madre. You can lease for $3,500 a month, or buy for a cool $1.098 million. Photo gallery worth a peek. (via CurbedLA)

Residential real-estate highlights via BlockShopper Los Angeles:

  • President of Lucky Strike Entertainment LLC and his wife have listed a five-bedroom, three-bath home at 577 Woodland Road in Pasadena for $1.75 million.

  • Outdoor music festival producer and San Marino realtor have listed a four-bedroom, four-bath home at 920 S. Oak Knoll Ave. in Pasadena for $2.15 million.

  • Land developer has listed a five-bedroom, seven-bath home built in 1913 at 585 Bellefontaine St. in Pasadena for $3.99 million.

Nightlife: Bringing the soul of Cuba alive in Alhambra

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THE PLACE: At the gateway to the San Gabriel Valley — the city of Alhambra — you’ll also find a gateway to Cuba. Cuban Bistro off Main Street offers a taste of Cuban culinary delights as well as live salsa music that brings the soul of Cuba alive. Helping guests to delve deeper to find their inner Ricky Ricardo, live salsa music is offered on Friday nights starting at 9 p.m. and jazz on Thursdays from 7 to 9 p.m.

THE PRICE: There is no cover charge to take in the live music. Drinks start at $6. I decided to try the tequila mojito while my partner tried the house mojito.

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The simple syrup in my drink was much sweeter than I am used to; I almost couldn’t stand to finish it. But I had a sip of the house mojito and it wasn’t as sugary. I tried the house sangria as well. It came with a nice heap of fresh-cut apples and oranges on top. This is now my favorite sangria; it was not too sweet or overwhelming but still had plenty of flavors of fruit and wine, which is what a sangria is meant to be. Appetizers ranged from $5.50 to $17.50 for a house sampler.

THE SOUNDS: You couldn’t help but swing your hips to the lively music in the room next to the bar. In the bar area, it is possible to hold a light conversation, but next door, you can barely hear anything above the beat of the drums. But most people in there didn’t want to talk, anyway.
I love dancing and I am not usually shy about it, but the skills of many dancing couples on the floor did make me feel a bit intimidated.

THE FOOD: To my dismay, I was not able to try any of the dinner platters or even appetizers the Friday evening I visited the bistro. My partner and I sat in the bar area and were handed menus by our waitress at about 10:15 p.m. and when we were ready to order, she said the kitchen closed at 10:30 p.m. I looked at my cell phone for the time: it was 10:31 p.m. I think she could have mentioned that when she handed us the menus and took our first drink order.

AGE GROUP: The restaurant is open to all groups and ages, but they card you in the bar area after dinner. The age of the crowd on Friday night varied from mid-20s, all the way up to 60s and 70s.

BEWARE: The bar gets a little busy after 10:30 p.m., and it might be tough to find parking. There is free parking in the structure behind the restaurant with the entrance off Second Street. The bar also closes at midnight — even on the weekends.

THE VIBE: There was a fun, carefree feeling in the air. Groups of friends gathered at the bar and in the dance room together. Couples canoodled in the corner while others took to the floor. If you are not the shy type, don’t be surprised if you are asked to the dance floor by another patron — male or female.

GO: Cuban Bistro is located at 28 W. Main St. in Alhambra. It’s open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tues.-Thurs.; 11:30 a.m. to 12 a.m. Fri.; noon to midnight Sat.; noon to 10 p.m. Sun. and closed Mon. Happy Hour is 3 to 7 p.m. Tues. through Fri. For more information, call (626) 308-3350 or visit www.cubanbistro.com

MY RATING: 4 With the music, this place gets pretty hot.

claudia.palma@sgvn.com

RATINGS: 5: Really, really hot; 4: Hot; 3: Fun, loose, low pressure; 2: Cool; 1: Just OK.

(Photos by William Hallstrom / Correspondent)