Saturday, December 27, 2008

My New Favorite Juice Bar: Lady Fresa

Tonight Lisa and I drove by Lady Fresa on the NW corner of Garey and Grand. Lisa had been wanting to go for some frozen yogurt and I wanted some Rite-Aid(Thrifty) Ice Cream. Instead we decided to stop where we saw a sign that said "Donuts and Ice Cream" mind you this isn't where we went. When we parked Lisa (as she does) immediately began walking into Lady Fresa. I Think this place was recently erected because I only noticed it about a week ago. There is a sign above the store that says "Raspados Bionicos" Raspados is a snow cone with fresh fruit and Bionocos is sort of like a parfait

We walked in and the decor was quite nice, similar in style to Pittsburgh Broasted with three large photos os Marilyn Monroe on the wall. Apparently "fresa" means strawberry and is also a slang term for preppy unfortunately for us the nice lady who worked there didn't speak much english, but Lisa speaks some spanish plus it added to the excitement! We weren't sure what we were getting, but for $3.50 there is no way we could complain! We ordered the Mangorrico drink and the Chemise with guava pulp, mango chunks, vanilla ice cream and chocolate sprinkles. FREAKING DELICIOUS. The Mangorrico is like those mangos with chile powder in a blended drink with mango chunks. The Chemise is really thick so a spoon was needed while a spoon was only required to get the mango chunks out of the mangorrico.

The drinks are cheap and delicious and they also serve sandwiches, salands and blended cappucinos. We'll be going back to this place every weekend at least until we've tried everything on the menu.

I Highly recommend this place to everyone for some healthy drinking. Support Pomona's economy!

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Second Hand Fur Coat: Vintage shopping in Pomona, Claremont etc...

So my GF and I ventured out to Claremont today. (boo traitors I know) but we had to visit a couple of yarn stores, and 2 Old Divas on Garey has been closed the last three afternoons we tried to stop by. So we finally decided to go to Phebies in Claremont. It ended up being a good trip, we met a Peruvian woman named Edda who worked there and we spoke for quite a bit about Peru she organizes trips out there and I'll also be heading out there in July with Green Empowerment to help some farmers in the Andes out with their sub-watershed. So we exchanged information and it was a good trip to the yarn shop.

I digress...

Afterwards, my GF and I stopped by downstairs to Replay for some vintage clothing window shopping. It turns out that they are owned by the same people as La Bomba on second street in Pomona, which we visit every so often. There is also a La Bomba in Long Beach and another store by a different name in Silverlake (I think that one may be a "replay" as well).

Let me tell you. These stores are some of the better vintage clothing stores, They have a great variety and the prices aren't too bad. The woman I spoke with at Replay in Claremont says that the La Bomba stores are more 60's to 80's clothing, the Store in Claremont is mostly 40's - 80's and the store in Silverlake has more 20's to 50's clothing. So if you're looking for decently priced clothes, try these stores out.

This brings me to my next point...
Reuse vs. Recycle
The glory of vintage clothing is that when you buy it and wear it you are almost always reusing it. This cuts out the process of, well, reprocessing. The only energy input into vintage clothing is the transport of the clothing. Recycling requires energy to reprocess and it almost always loses some of the material from the original piece. So when you buy bottled water, try to find a way to reuse them before you recycle them. same should go for clothing, donate your clothing, and buy used clothing. It's the sustainable thing to do!

That also brings me to another point.
Carbon Storage.
Simple and easy. Clothing, specifically clothing made of natural/organic materials (not synthetic) store carbon. think of it like this. All life is carbon based, trees store carbon, so when you built a house out of wood that carbon is stored until the house is torn down and the wood decomposes. Paper stores carbon but it is thrown away a lot, that's why when printing I always use the back side of other things I have printed on(reuse), and whenever possible I use recycled paper. I want to store the carbon as long as I can.

Another Point.
Reduction of Waste.
Reused clothing reduces waste, we. are. running. out. of. landfills!

One more thing before my last point.
Second hand stores are cheap (at least they should be or you're doing it wrong) In this economy these places are like heaven!

Now this brings me to my last point.
The Second Hand Fur Coat.
I've been fascinated with this idea of the second hand fur coat. The folks at PETA and all my "fur is murder!" friends would cringe at the thought of fur coats. HOWEVER, fur coats at second hand stores had already been purchased. they are often decades old, the proceeds do not go to the creator of the coat. Instead the purchasing of a second hand fur coat would provide income for a local business or a non-profit business like Salvation Army or Goodwill. The second hand fur coat would not be wasteful, less trash is a good thing. Second hand fur coats help to store carbon longer (especially good for the global warming generation we are in) and for some people it mitigates the purchasing of a new fur coat that may cause the death of another animal. The fur coats are already out there. No need to buy a new one. No need to even make more.

The same would go for leather. I had been thinking about this second hand fur coat thing for about a year since discussing it with a classmate. I even asked some of my vegan friends who are very anti fur, leather, dairy and meat. They seemed to understand. However they are friends and of course they'd be a little forgiving. And sure, I may be just trying to justify my actions. (but the idea came before the action!) "Some may say but it's the principle!" And I say "I believe I'm doing the right thing. I'll never buy a new fur coat."

So I bought my girlfriend a second hand fur and leather coat. and for CHEAP. UNBELIEVABLY cheap! Cheaper than what I was planning on getting her for christmas! by a LOT! I mean... HOLY CRAP! And the lady gave me a christmas discount just because I asked for it!
We actually both did our shopping for each other at the same place, she bought me a wool coat, a knit scarf, and a new gatsby hat.
We decided to not wrap our gifts and just give them to each other in the car. We only buy things for each other once a year and we both already knew what we got so, forget it!

Everyone! Go check out those stores! Support Pomona's Local Economy, Save some money in this bad economy! Go toLa Bomba! Buy a second hand fur coat! Of all people I'll understand!

Now you should know, serious vintage clothing shoppers (like myself) usually never share their shopping locations, but it's Christmas, and I'm in the giving spirit! Don't spill the beans!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Graduate Schools

Well it's obvious I've been slowing down. There are a number of reasons why.
I just got a new computer (I've had two posts since then... more like 1 and a half)
Finals week was last week, finals week is always rough.
and Graduate School applications.

Graduate school means a lot of things though. I'm applying for UCSB and Cal Poly Pomona and Humboldt State

"oh no but if you leave you won't be "student in pomona" anymore!"

well. guess what. I plan on coming back. Pomona is one of the greatest cities and I realize why. It's because there is room for someone like me to in one way or another be involved in the cities community and with the amount of potential that Pomona has it's like having the reward of raising a child. Other cities like Pasadena, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Franetc... already have a lot of what I consider an ideal city so there is no opportunity for me to voice what kind of improvements I think can be made. Call me an opportunist but I like being in places where opportunities exist.

With that said. I've got to get back to my applications.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Idle workers taking over factories.

This morning I read this. Idle Workers Occupy Factory in Chicago It's an article about Chicago factory workers occupying a closed down factory demanding severance and vacation pay that is owed. They were not given 60 days notice as is required by law and owners of the factory did not show up for a meeting.

What's interesting are the parallels that happened in Argentina in 2001.

In the documentary "The Take" The same thing happens but they factory workers end up taking over the factory and begin producing. They actually start working as a co-operative in order to keep their jobs. With the Presidents and CEO's out of the way the workers can keep that extra money and use it in order to keep their business alive. They are many cases of this in Argentina this particular documentary just discusses one such group.

I wonder if the Chicago group will eventually do this. I highly doubt it, but it would be smart if they would. They've already begun cleaning the place. Why not get it up and running and just TAKE IT. At least they'll have jobs!

This post has little to do with Pomona (specifically) or the Landscape but I do find it important. If anyone knows any of those folks in Chicago show them this documentary.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Landscape Phenomenon: Autumn Leaves, Rain and Material

Oh yeah, And I'm BACK! I got a new computer. debt inducing... but nice!
So, amazingly the same day I lost my laptop I was able to see some amazing sights with some help from the same autumn season and rain that had destroyed my beloved computer. This photo was taken at the Center for Regenerative Studies at school. A common phenomenon of the landscape is the falling of deciduous leaves (like the flowering of flowers). This phenomenon however was accentuated by the rain and the material that it fell upon. The cedar wood panels under the leaves are usually a paler grey then they were this day. This added contrast increased the beauty that I was luckily able to witness. These leaves are california grapes and the hues of the deciduous fallen leaves of this grape are beautiful paler colors that look great on the background of darkened wet cedar.

Another phenomenon I witnessed at the center was the fallen deciduous leaves of a Jujube Tree (that's the asian date) laying on top of Urbanite (broken concrete) This Urbanite retaining wall would normally be a darker grey when wet but because the way the pieces are lain there are dry areas on the sides with Jujube leaves laying on the tops. The wet leaves add a glossy yellow brightness that normally wouldn't be seen without the rain.

And another, I'm sure by now you can figure out what I'm trying to communicate. I hope you see something beautiful and I hope now you know why.

What makes this great is that these phenomena are created. Sure the leaves are going to fall naturally, BUT, would they fall on these particular materials providing the level of contrast and mixture of colors that make them so vibrant? The materials which these leaves fall on was chosen by someone. Was it intentional that these particular leaves would fall on these particular materials on a particular day after a night of rain? Maybe, maybe not. But for Landscape Architects I think these kinds of phenomena are just one of the many but important things that we strive for. How to create phenomena? How to enhance existing phenomena in the built environment? Not just with leaves, but with angles of the sun in the sky, cloudy days, bright blue skies, the existence of Wildlife, The other day I say a flock of hundreds of birds flying in one pack and then splitting into two and converging again, it was amazing and it looked like mercury droplets converging and separating in slow motion. These things all happen in the landscape.

How can we harness these phenomena?