...For San Fernando Road in Glendale, this will require an aggressive and magnetic dedication of all that the city’s redevelopment staff can power up. All the freeway ramp “fly overs,” at-grade rail crossing upgrades, widened streets and baby trees in hardscape are fine and good, but they serve only as backdrops for commuting Disney and DreamWorks employees, and other pass-through visitors.Read the rest here.
Leadership, flexibility and imagination are needed now so that the area will benefit from the preferences and revenues, even while waiting out an economic downturn, that both commuters and regional residents represent, and attract them to San Fernando Road with arts-related commerce. Now is the time for redevelopment plans for the next big steps needed to attract those businesses with incentives, publicity and the full bag of tricks required — including on a regional, federal, even philanthropic Eli Broad-type level.
Monday, December 29, 2008
The biggest story in Glendale (and pretty everywhere else) has been the ghastly murders committed in Covina by local resident Bruce Pardo. He lived in Montrose at 4004 Sunset Avenue. Additionally, last night his second rental car was found in Glendale. His first rental car was booby trapped, so the discovery of the second prompted Glendale PD to evacuate a number of local residents along Glenoaks Blvd near Scholl Canyon while the LA County Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad did their thing. No explosives were found.
Here are items about Pardo in the News-Press from a local perspective:
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Drug and Cash Seizure – Monday, December 8, 2008:I'd imagine they don't seize the better part of a million dollars in cash very often...perhaps they can afford bring back the Citizen's Academy this year?
Vice-Narcotics Detail seized approximately $865,000 in U.S. currency and several pounds of marijuana originating from a Glendale case. Four arrests were made.
Friday, December 19, 2008
...Currently in Glendale, the Arts and Culture Commission operates under the purview of the Parks and Recreation Department. This is a missed opportunity. As a city, we need a paradigm change. Instead of considering arts and culture nonessential extracurricular activities — services facilitated by the city — we should consider them a genre of industry to be lured to Glendale.Read the rest of it here.
We must view the arts as a way to draw people and businesses to the area. Cultivation of arts-related businesses capitalizes on our geographical proximity to the entertainment industry, develops economic opportunities for residents and revenue sources for the city, and at the same time, can revitalize overlooked areas.
Related: In Defense Of Glendale
Thursday, December 18, 2008
The initial scope of the projects being considered at the moment is quite modest, but ultimately the city needs to update the 1995 Bikeway Master Plan and actually IMPLEMENT IT.
The 1995 Bikeway Master Plan was put online in PDF form recently, and I've read it in its entirety. It's a good plan! But the only bit of it that was ever implemented is the baffling three block stretch of bike lane on Riverdale, and, very recently, the new bike lane on Glenoaks. There is currently no meaningful network of bicycle infrastructure that links up in a logical fashion or even attempts to feed the downtown area.
As I was about to bike home tonight (dark, cold, rainy), I walked my bike down the sidewalk to the curb and waited for a gap in traffic.
A Lexus stopped for me.
I waved for the lady not to wait for me.
She waved to let me enter the road.
I DOUBLE waved for her to continue through.
She rolled down her window and yelled, "I promise I won't run you over!"
An offer I couldn't refuse! I biked onto the road.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
After walking through the stinking carcass of Mervyn's going out of business sale (Christmas carols blasting, of course) at the Galleria, I took this snapshot.
Reasons this image disturbs me:
- hot dog (dressed like Santa) suicidally squirting himself with ketchup conjures up images of a monk (dressed like Santa) dousing himself with gasoline
- small plastic Christmas tree neatly juxtaposed over words "Chili Dog Factory"
- "Christmas Special" items just regular items with no plausible Christmas theme
- mysteriously open employee door. WHY?
- no employees or customers in sight, as if a neutron bomb went off
Side note: while at Trader Joes today, I weirded out the checker by wearing a neon orange jacket (I bike at night!) and only buying entirely orange products- Super Orange Flavor Emergen-C, tangerine juice, etc. It wasn't intentional!
Are you depressed yet? I haven't even shown you the Ben Franklin bench. Poor Ben literally had THE U.S. CONSTITUTION stolen from under his nose and sold for scrap!
There are a few bright spots on the block that seem to be doing fairly well: Angela's, Urartu Coffee, Tofu Village, Starbucks, Sansai, Fortune Inn and the recently remodeled Zono Sushi. But something needs to be done to prevent this stretch of mid-Brand from turning into Detroit.
Monday, December 15, 2008
The concert is from 12:10-12:40 at the First Baptist Church at the corner of Wilson and Louise in downtown Glendale. Please come over on Wednesday and check it out. I attended the concert on December 3rd with several co-workers and we really enjoyed ourselves.
Thriller on roller skates.
Some adorable junior skaters.
Taken during tonight's wonderful Charles Phoenix holiday extravaganza at the Moonlight Rollerway. Tune in tomorrow for video.
Saturday, December 13, 2008
From The Glendale Historical Society:
Escape the holiday crush and retreat back to a slower, less stressful time. Stroll through the Victorian Doctors House and enjoy the decorations, music, refreshments and unique gift items.The Doctors House is located in Brand Park. I volunteer at the Doctors House and will be working there tonight (12/13), probably while wearing an embarrassing bowtie...
Saturdays, December 13th and 20th from 6:30 to 8:30pm.
No Reservations needed. $1 per person admission.
contact them and make yourselves heard.
Here's my current reading list of Glendale-related blogs:
- Everything Glendale (new!)
- Franklin Avenue (Adams Hill based)
- Atwater Village Newbie (honorary!)
- Sunroom Desk (community issues)
- Book Talk (Glendale Public Library)
- Kendyl's Open House
- Northwest Glendale Real Estate
- LA Real Estate Blog (actually Glendale/La Crescenta)
If you know of any other Glendale blogs, please e-mail me or comment and I will update the list.
With the exception of the News-Press, the coverage of Glendale in major media is incredibly thin for a city of 207,000+ people. The only practical thing we as citizens can do to remedy this situation is to get out there and report what's going on in our own neighborhoods and share our local discoveries. If you'd like to start a neighborhood blog and don't know where to begin, please contact me and I would be glad to help you set one up.
Frequently when I mention that I live in Glendale to someone who lives far away, and the first thing out of their mouth is "wow, you must go to Porto's all the time, I love their potato balls!" or some such thing. I don't post about Porto's here very often because this is a site for people who live in Glendale, and posting about Porto's is just too obvious. Everyone loves Porto's, and I'm not going to tell you anything about Porto's that you don't already know. Or can I?
Here are my top secret Porto's tips:
- the plain cheese rolls are the best item in the pastry case (they don't look like much, but they are astonishing)
- if you ask nicely and know exactly what you want, in the afternoon you can order an item or two from the big pastry section on the north side via the shorter cafe line on the south side and an employee will run over and grab it for you
- when the cafe line is choked at lunch, the coffee line will take your sandwich order
- the side salad with balsamic vinegarette is excellent, and densely packed into a little bowl that expands to fill an entire plate
- if you ask really nicely when Betty or Raul aren't around, you can get a free refill on the already very reasonable and tasty coffee
- best sandwich, Glendale: Pastrami
- best sandwich, Burbank: Italian (better bread than Glendale location)
- best soup: corn chowder (Fridays)
- Burbank serves amazing mini round Italian rolls with their soup, while Glendale serves horrible flavorless cracker things with the soup. They bear a strong resemblance to communion wafers. At the Burbank location, if you ask very nicely and are good at negotiating (I used to sell cars, which helped), you can arrange to buy the special soup rolls by themselves, but they'll only let you buy around 7 of them, and that's if you're lucky
- potato balls are great for parties. they keep well and revive nicely after a few minutes in the oven
- when they tell you a cake is "the size of a sheet of typing paper", imagine that sheet of typing paper is 7 inches tall. and made of cake.
Any other Porto's tips? Leave them in the comments.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I took the picture below earlier tonight. Its not one of my more spectacular efforts at first glance.
...but it is actually a (very cruddy) picture of the International Space Station, which was visible tonight in the skies above Glendale from 5:21-5:27pm. I was unsure how visible it would be, but the dot of the space station was quite bright and I was able to easily track it as it swiftly moved across the sky, rising above Burbank and ultimately disappearing beyond Eagle Rock.
If you haven't been to the DWP Festival of Lights already, you are out of luck, as the event is now open to (hellish) vehicular traffic. I walked the festival last week with my parents, but after hiking tonight I thought it might be fun to drive through the festival with the top down on my Miata. After one look at the hundreds of cars waiting to enter the event at 9:30, I decided to save my sanity (and clutch) by heading home.
Friday, December 5, 2008
The online sign up form is here:
I'm also fortunate to live within very easy biking distance from my office. I still have my car for far flung errands, but I don't need it to live my life. If oil goes back up to $200 a barrel, I'm fine. If my car breaks down, I'm fine. It's a very liberating feeling.
Tonight I've been playing with an online gadget that looks up amenities within walking distance of an address and then grades that location on walkability. My home address in Tropico scored 88/100 - Very Walkable. And my office in downtown Glendale? 97/100 - Walkers' Paradise.
Look up your WalkScore here. This would be a great tool to use when apartment hunting.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Beyond dodgy timeshare schemes, Glendale has an appalling rate of fraud and identity theft, so be extremely wary of giving out your personal information and don't let your credit card out of your sight.
Over the last several years myself and many of my co-workers in Glendale have had our credit cards compromised. Frequently the method is for a restaurant server or sales clerk to discreetly swipe the credit card through a skimmer that stores credit card numbers. Those numbers are later reencoded onto the magnetic strips of other credit cards and used to make fraudulent purchases. Because of this, I avoid using plastic unless its a self swipe machine.
*Update: Here's a description of of a typical identity theft arrest from the Glendale PD activity log.
Identity Theft Arrest – Wednesday, November 26, 2008:
Officers conducted a probation search at the 400 block of West California. During the probation search, three bags of stolen mail, numerous credit cards, CDL’S credit profiles, a card skimmer, a computer and two stolen guns were located. One of the guns was stolen out of Azusa and the other was stolen out of LAPD Mission Area. The probationer was arrested.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
From the Charles Phoenix Events page:
Celebrate ALL the Holidays Like You Never Have Before!
- Charles’ live comedy retro holiday-themed slide show!
- A roller skating revue spectacular starring sixty champion skaters in a variety of costumed musical acts celebrating all the holidays- New Years Eve, Valentines Day, Cinco De Mayo, Easter, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas!
- Live Hammond Organ stylings by “The Worlds Greatest Roller Rink Organist,” Dominic Cangilosi!
- FREE snack bar treats!
- After Show All-Skate Party - FREE skate rental!
- FREE parking across the street at Home Depot!
- All this at Southern California’s last classic roller rink!
Tickets are $35
Just two performances…
Dec 13, 2008 - 8 pm
Dec 14, 2008 - 3pm
If you haven't seen his retro slideshows before I highly recommend attending. The Moonlight Rollerway is always worth a visit as well, and the show even includes skate rental and an all-skate session!
Coalition for a Green Glendale, on a 4-1 vote, got approval for its first community-run garden Tuesday, and without even asking for it, seeds were sown for a second site nearby on the Verdugo Wash.You can find out more at the Coalition For A Green Glendale site. I took the liberty of converting their community garden interest form from a pesky PDF to a JPEG. If you live nearby and are interested in a plot, please print out the flyer and send it in.
The garden site approved Tuesday will be at 870 Monterey Road, on a vacant city-owned, P-shaped lot near the corner with Cordova Avenue that can accommodate up to 40 raised plots for organic produce farming.
Unlike two other public gardening sites at Palmer and Verdugo parks, the 11,000-square-foot Monterey garden will be the first in Glendale to be independently run with bylaws and a lease agreement with gardeners, all under the administration of a local nonprofit, Coalition for a Green Glendale.
It will also include a drought-resistant demonstration garden and communal fruit trees.
Monday, December 1, 2008
212 W. Palmer. My neighborhood. Eleven days. One couch. One sleepy homeless guy. Four phone calls to the city.
Four times I was told "We'll try to get someone over to it today."
Subpar, City of Glendale, subpar.
*Update: Couch removed on day 12.
Click to view large. If you look very very closely, you can just make out downtown Glendale through the fog. Taken today amidst the ruins of the Mt. Lowe railway and the turn-of-the-century resort at Echo Mountain.