By Pam Fitzpatrick
Lots of folks wandering in and about Old Town these last few days, cameras in hand, checking out parking lots, backs of buildings, taking pictures of some of the oddest things – well, that’s the production crew from Radical Media. Tourists take pictures of the front of buildings, artists and location managers take pictures of the back of buildings.
My friend, Rich Kee, has that kind of eye. He has a new FB page called “Our Town Monrovia”, and he’s adding new photos every week of things we usually take for granted. Check out his page, and you’ll see what I mean. Rich has an eye for art over perfection and makes a real case for historic preservation vs. historic restoration. I have always looked at cracks in walls and discolorations on old tile and seen pictures – like Rorschach images – and now I know I’m not alone….
And, yes, there is – or was – depending on when you’re reading this, a Starbucks commercial being shot in Old Town today (Thursday). Very interesting locations, most of them chosen clearly because of the artistic value of old brick and age-stained walls. Most any kind of filming, whether it be commercials, TV shows or major films, is a win-win for our little town. These days, camera crews draw customers to a location: they think they are advertising their product – we think they are advertising us!
The Star News likes us, too: in fact, they once again named us “Favorite, Friendly Old Town.” Thank you, City of Monrovia, for footing the bill for a photo and short description of our historic district. (We did chuckle a bit when, at our Merchant meeting this morning, one of our long-time merchants pointed out that the photo they used was over 10 years old, and we have sure changed since them…) One of the things that has definitely changed is the issues we’re having with the homeless and transient population. Captain Alan Sanvictores gave a thorough presentation this morning about the law as well as efforts to help those who want help, and upcoming enhancements to Library Park’s infrastructure.
Speaking of Library Park, it’s almost time for the Traditional Music Gathering on Saturday, June 24th from 7-9 p.m. This will be the first of 3 free, family friendly concerts up at the park, and this one will feature Kattywompus String Band and Windy Ridge. You may remember, this event used to be the 400 block Lemon Courtyard, but was moved last year. If you miss it on the June 24th, we’ll see you on July 29th and August 26th, same time same place. Also at Library Park, our free Summer Concerts are scheduled for Sundays July 9th through August 27th from 7-8:30 p.m. Pack a dinner, or get take out from an Old Town restaurant, and just relax. Summer is a great time in Old Town!
None of our several new businesses have removed the brown paper from their windows, and still no signs of life in any of them. Sigh. But I keep hoping that any day now we’ll have 3 or 4 grand openings. I did see a sneak peak of the Jake’s Roadhouse expansion via Facebook the other day, and it’s looking gorgeous. Any day now…. And, regarding new businesses (and existing ones as well), we had a brief presentation this morning at our meeting by Krystina Contreras and Craig Jimenez from our Community Development Department regarding the ongoing questions about the “absolutely no A-frames” ordinance in our City Municipal Code. Short answer to all questions was, no A-frame signs ANYWHERE in Monrovia due to aesthetics as well as encroachment issues. The MOTAB board asked our alternate City Liaison, Councilmember Larry Spicer (in the absence of Councilmember Blackburn), to present this matter to the Council for further consideration.
And that’s all ‘til next week…