Saturday, June 27, 2009

In Praise of: Porto's Ciabatta

I might as well just praise everything at Porto's, because everything there is great, but the 65 cent ciabatta is one of the better pieces of bread I've ever had and has become staple for me lately. They only stock it on the long-line bakery side but if you ask nicely on the cafe side they will bring a few rolls over to you at the register. Pair with chimichurri sauce from El Morfi as an appetizer, or slather with Nutella for desert. Yum.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Monterey Road Community Garden Grand Opening, Saturday July 18th

The Monterey Road Community Garden will be opening at 10am on Saturday, July 18th. If you would be interested in joining a group bike ride to the opening, please e-mail me.

From the Coalition For a Green Glendale:
Dear Friends,

The Coalition for a Green Glendale is proud to present to you the Monterey Rd. Eco-Community Garden. Our Grand Opening is scheduled for July 18, 2009 with further details in the attached invitation.

For over a year the Coalition has dedicated countless hours to this one-of-a-kind project in Glendale; it could not have been done without the support of our volunteers, sponsors, city employees and countless community members. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of Glendale while promoting sustainable living through education. Its finally time for our supporters to visit the garden, receive a tour, enjoy live entertainment & food, and simply have a good time.

This ceremony will not only pave the way for more environmental projects in Glendale, but also will engage the community in open dialogue for solutions towards sustainable living in Glendale. We hope that you will join us in building this foundation for a greener Glendale.
Here's the flyer:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

In Praise of: Community Thrift Shop

Update: Sadly, The Community Thrift Shop is out of business. Thrift Alley at the Assistance League of Glendale is a nice substitute.

Since the Salvation Army Thrift Store closed at Brand and Wilson, I haven't had a good local spot to browse through on a regular basis. This week I noticed the Community Thrift Shop at Broadway and Everett, just a block east of Glendale Avenue. On my first brief visit, I scored a really nice lightweight shell jacket ($5), this kick-ass painting of an F-86 shooting down a North Korean transport plane ($20), and a set of mod coffee cups (50 cents a piece). At a glance the clothing seemed to be very nice and everything was very well-priced. Worth a visit!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Chris Nichols' Wicked Fun 1885 Glendale Party

This Saturday Los Angeles Magazine Associate Editor and LA Conservancy modcom guru Chris Nichols held one of his legendary birthday parties at Glendale's historic Ard Eevin (PDF) estate. The era evoked was trackside at the Kentucky Derby -- circa 1885. Guests sipped mint juleps and dined on southern fried chicken, succotash, potato salad, cole slaw, salty ham and corn bread while gents in the backyard cranked ice cream by hand. An impressively bearded pianist played period songs on the piano, while steampunk ghostbusters tracked glowing Victorian ghost-ladies-in-mourning through the backyard. A horse drawn carriage pulled into the backyard and gave anyone brave enough a ride around the private driveway circling the house.

My personal highlight was the carriage ride - pulling in front of the beautifully lit house as women in 3 foot tall hats mingled and piano music drifted through the front door made me forget where I was. I ran into quite a few friends, all of them enthusiastic about something. Which makes sense when you realize that Chris is enthusiastic about EVERYTHING. Life is good when you're hanging with enthusiasts. Bravo to Chris, Charlene and Sally for hosting an awesome event. Here are a few snapshots.

Chris being presented with the key to the City of Louisville.
Chris helps his bride into the carriage.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"Save one place for me in the silent halls of memory."

A few scans from Harriet J. Ringstrom's class autograph book; Glendale Academy, 1923-1924. (which I was supposed to scan months ago for an exhibit at the Doctor's House.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

In Praise Of: Porto's Cortadito

Espresso with a splash of milk and foam. The perfect complement to an afternoon of spectacular people watching. The espresso drinks at Porto's are generally very, very good. The cortadito is my favorite.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bob's Big Boy, 1940's

Councilman John Drayman sent me this very cool photo of the original Bob's Big Boy in 1940's. It certainly looks like the place to be!

He writes:
This photo was the first one shown in the ongoing “Glendale History Challenge” I conduct at each council meeting during Council Comments portion of the meeting. The idea is that we display a historic photograph of Glendale and ask viewers to call in or email in at the end of the council meeting to identify the photograph. The winner receives a $25 gift certificate to a Glendale restaurant.
A little more history from a post I found in a chowhound thread on Bob's by Mr. LA, Chris Nichols:

In 1936, Bob Wian (who would go on to become mayor of Glendale) opened a tiny lunch counter at 900 E. Colorado in Glendale called "Bob's Pantry." This site would later become a full fledged drive-in and then a coffee shop, coming down in the late 1980's. A Blockbuster Video now occupies the site.
Here's an interesting post on Bob's from the "History, Los Angeles County" blog.

More recently, Glendale's newer Bob's Big Boy, on Glenoaks Blvd., has closed and now reopened as the "Glenoaks Cafe". From the News-Press.
Bob’s Big Boy representatives had visited the Glenoaks location and determined that the operations were “substandard,” she said.

“Any time one of our restaurants closes, it’s disappointing, obviously,” she said. “And we are sensitive to the fact that this was the [city where the first store was located], but when we come across a situation like this, we really don’t have any options.”
Bob’s Big Boy has no plans to add a new location in Glendale, although the company would consider inquiries from parties interested in opening local franchises, Bourgoian said.
One of the worst meals I've had in recent memory was at the Bob's Big Boy in Barstow (and I LIKE diner food), so I shudder to think at what "substandard" means in Bob's Big Boy corporate parlance. Is the Burbank Bob's any good?

Wanted Man Caught In My Boss's Backyard

From an e-mail sent by my boss:
Our neighbor across the street called XXXXX this morning to tell her our street was blocked off yesterday from 5 PM to 10PM and crawling with cops. Apparently, there was an escaped convict who climbed down from the 2 freeway into our neigborhood. For the first two hours, there was no info given to the residents. They finally found the guy in OUR backyard using dogs around 10 PM. I guess we picked a good day to be out of town. Can't find the story anywhere.
Another co-worker was kept out of his neighborhood for several hours while his wife and kids were locked down inside the perimeter.

From the News-Press:
Vasquez said the man, wanted for assault with a deadly weapon, jumped out of the car and ran down a nearby hillside. Glendale Sgt. Tom Lorenz said LAPD officials asked Glendale for help in the search until more of their own officers could arrive.

“We were able to get there quicker and locked down the area,” Lorenz said.

Vasquez said LAPD officers, aided by police dogs, began to search the area.

The search quickly expanded to nearby neighborhoods for several hours until officers apprehended the man in the 1800 block of Verdugo Road.

“Neighbors were told to stay inside,” Vasquez said. “The suspect was found about 11 p.m. in the [wash] behind a home.”
Glendale PD's APB e-mail alert, sent out while the search was still going on:

LAPD, with the assistance of Glendale PD, is currently searching for a suspect in the area of Verdugo Rd and Hillside Dr. It is unknown if he is armed, but residents should remain in their homes, lock their doors, and call the police about any suspicious persons or activities in the area. Though a complete description is not available, the suspect is a male Hispanic, 5’9”, and approximately 160 pounds. He has black hair, though his head may be shaved.

Please forward this information to your neighbors, and encourage them to sign up for APB Glendale

Suicide At Firing Line - Again

Another person shot themselves in the head at the Firing Line shooting range in Burbank, nearly a year after a similar suicide at the same facility. Rather creepily, I actually went shooting at Firing Line last night, just before the suicide. From the Burbank News-Leader:
Burbank police officers found the man dead with what appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head upon arriving at the scene.

Officers closed the site at 1060 N. Lake St. to the public as they investigated whether the shooting was an accident or suicide, Burbank Police Sgt. Thor Merich said.

The man, a regular at the Burbank shooting range, reportedly used his own handgun and ammunition, authorities said. The investigation is ongoing, with an official cause of death still to be determined.

More Scenes From the LA River

An occasional series.
A family crosses the river just below Glendale Blvd.

An encampment near Long Beach.

An idyllic bike path.

Interesting Cars Around Town

Here are some interesting cars I've taken snapshots of lately-

An all-electric Tesla Roadster in Atwater Village:

Lamborghini Murcielago LP-640 on Wilson:

and best of all, a BMW Isetta on Brand:

Busy Again

Ack, I've been gone again. Lately I've been incredibly busy and, with the exception of work, have just not been sitting in front of a computer screen much - which is a good thing. here are some of the fun things I've been up to in the last month or two:

camping on Santa Rosa Island

did the 70-mile LA River Ride from the Autry to Long Beach and back

biked from Glendale to Santa Monica and Venice

took a rock climbing class in Joshua Tree

hiked Mt. Baldy

I've also been doing lots of Glendale-oriented fun stuff too, I've just been too wiped out when I get home to blog about it. Have lots of ideas, though!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Suspect Sought In Shooting and Robbery at Pizza Hut on 05/31

*Update 11/18/10: Suspect has been arrested! Glendale PD tracked him down in Fresno using DNA evidence from the cap left at the scene. I wonder what took so long?

Did you see this man in southwest Glendale on Sunday May 31st, or perhaps in the neighborhood earlier? The resolution sucks, but his hairline seems fairly distinctive.

From the Glendale PD bulletin (which also contains video of the robbery):

On May 31, 2009 at approx. 1110 hours, officers responded to the Pizza Hut at 1261 S.
Central regarding an armed robbery. Approximately 30 minutes after the lone shift manager
opened the store, the suspect entered through the front door.

The suspect jumped the counter, confronted the manager in the back of the store and
demanded money from the safe at gunpoint. Upon obtaining the property, the suspect jumped
back over the counter, turned back and shot the victim. The suspect also left with the victim’s

No vehicle seen.

description: M, black, 20s - 30s, approx. 5’8”, short black hair,
medium to light complexion

wore: navy blue cap, sunglasses, white shirt, brown suit, black
gloves and carried a dark over the shoulder bag.

Please contact Det. Kmbikyan at (818) 548-3987 for questions or information.

Here's the navy blue cap:

From the e-mail sent out via the Glendale PD's new APB e-mail alert service:

The Glendale Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in the identification of a robbery suspect who shot an 18 year women upon completion of a robbery. The robbery occurred at a Pizza Hut this past Sunday, May 31, 2009 at 11:10 a.m. in the city of Glendale. The Detectives, through their investigation, believe that the suspect intended to kill the 18 year women upon completion of the robbery. The shooting occurred after he had obtained several hundred dollars in cash and the woman's purse. One shot was fired at close range. The clerk, who was the lone employee at the location, had just opened the doors for business, cooperated and provided no resistance. During the robbery she was able to activate the silent alarm.

The suspect is considered to be very dangerous and appears to have total disregard for life.

Please contact the Glendale Police Department at 818-548-4911, Robbery / Homicide Detectives 818-548-3987, or anonymously to Glendale Crime Stoppers and receive a reward at 818-507-STOP with any information that may lead to the identification or arrest of the suspect.

The location of the incident was 1261 S. Central, Glendale, CA . See the Glendale Police Department robbery bulletin for photos of the suspect, as well as surveillance video of the robbery.

Please forward this information to your neighbors, and encourage them to sign up for APB Glendale

and from the News-Press:

Employee shot in Pizza Hut robbery

GLENDALE — A 20-year-old woman was shot once in the shoulder shortly before noon Sunday during a robbery at a Glendale Pizza Hut.

Officers responded to reports of a shooting and found the wounded employee at 1261 S. Central Ave. She was taken to nearby Glendale Memorial Hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, authorities said.

The suspect, a black man wearing a business suit, escaped on foot with an undisclosed amount of cash, said Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz.

Shortly before noon, the gunman walked through the front door and demanded that the clerk open the safe, police said.

The employee was alone with the gunman when she managed to trigger an alarm before being shot once in the upper arm and shoulder area, authorities said.

No officers were available in the immediate area when police received the alarm call, Lorenz said.

The victim’s name is being withheld while police investigate.

Anyone with information on the robbery should call the Glendale Police Department robbery and homicide detail at (818) 548-3987.