Claremont City Volunteer

Mexican Feather Grass happily grows in Claremont’s Climate Zone, so it has become part of many garden landscapes. An invasive species, it sends out tens of thousands of seeds creating volunteer plants everywhere.

Mexican Feather Grass Claremont

Mexican Feather Grass

One in an occasional series of Claremont City Symbols.


It’s Summer with Friday Nights Live!

The graduation at the colleges takes Claremont one step into the summer pool. The last day of CUSD puts us up to our waist in the warm waters of summer. We’ll know it’s really summer after the 4th of July and the Concerts in the Park start.

Friday was the first “school’s out” Friday Nights Live in the Village and people and dogs were out enjoying the musical offerings, the company of each other, and the delightful weather.


Music Box Stairs Walk

Regular weekday morning traffic from Claremont to Silver Lake (a Los Angeles neighborhood just west of Dodger Stadium) takes a little over an hour. AirBnB describes the neighborhood as trendy and artsy with nightlife and celebrity status. It is also home to the famous staircase in the 1932 Laurel and Hardy short film, the Music Box. The walking tour of this staircase and others found here gives one a workout.

Music Box Stairs sign top

The first staircase on this tour is a clean, well- maintained set of stairs, with a handrail and a pair of overhead streetlamps, that falls 66 steps through a pair of backyard gardens (one with an impressive collection of garden gnomes and tchotchkes).

Not terribly clean, but certainly with gnomes and tchotchkes.

During this walk one goes both up and down the Music Box Steps. Going up you can read the plaque commemorating the movie.

In that 1932 classic short film, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were obliged to deliver a piano to the top of a steep, barren hillside, up a series of concrete stairs. Today, the hillside is covered with apartment buildings, but the stairs remain—133 steps across multiple landings, with a handrail and some overhead lights, often littered with debris, and very ill maintained for such a landmark.

It could definitely stand a little maintenance.

Music Box Stairs trash

The top of the stairs looks nothing like it does in the movie. We were hoping to see the fountain where the piano (spoiler alert) took a swim. Not to be.

At the top, you land on Descanso Drive. Continue directly across the street and take the eight rickety wooden steps to the other side of Descanso. Admiring the giant carobs (street-wrecking trees whose roots have turned the asphalt into a rippled, undulating wave), turn right and walk downhill.

Those giant carobs are now giant stumps, and the street is still wrecked.


There are a few other staircases on this particular walk, the most notable is this one on Micheltorena Street which could also use some love and care.

Other painted sidewalks in Silver Lake will have to wait for another day.


Leslie Codina Totems

This one, tucked away in a corner of Claremont, begged to be photographed.

Codina Totem Lansbury

A sibling was observed on 12th St.

Totem 12th St Claremont

Fellow Claremont blogger was consulted. Who made these? Where are there more?

They were sold through a store called Colors which was next to Rio de Ojas. Colors is closed, so Ray and Terri at Rio de Ojas were consulted. “Oh, that artist has retired and moved to Hawai’i,” they said.

While trolling through old photos, Claremontography came across pictures from a previous visit to the gardens at the Sam Maloof Studio. Low and behold, more of these Totems appeared on the screen.

Totems Codina

The next question remains – where might more of these be found in Claremont?


Measure SC – Claremont PD Building

Claremont Police Dept

The Claremont Police Department building is in desperate need of a complete overhaul. Several years ago a bond measure to rebuild on a new location at a very high expense failed. This year pared-back Measure SC put to the voters failed again. Even with a majority of the electorate in favor of the bond, a super-majority of 67% was needed.

Will the third time be the charm?



Arbor: Unveiling the City Hall Sculpture

This recent sign promised New Public Art in front of the Claremont City Hall.

Claremont City Hall Sculpture

Then, shadows hinted at the size and shape of the sculpture.

Hidden Arbor

City dignitaries accompanied the artist, Sijia Chen, for the grand reveal.

Sijia Chen Claremont

The sculpture is titled Arbor and has the name of every species of tree found in Claremont inscribed on its branches.

Claremont City Hall


May 2018 Photo Round-Up

With the end of the college year, the public schools gearing down, May is always a busy month.

Harvey Mudd College hosted a panel discussion and preview of the PBS Show Nova Wonders. Talithia Williams, a HMC math prof is one of the show’s hosts.

The latest art exhibit in the Sumner Room at CUCC features art from the California Institution for Men in Chino.

Art by Channing Salazar is up at Some Crust.

At semester’s end the Walker Wall was very colorful. The Turrell Skyspace is closed for renovation.

A free all-you-can-shred event brought a long line of cars to the OLA Parking Lot.

One stuffed animal (Rocco at Trader Joe’s) and one live animal (baby possum at Vista).

And the 4th of July banners were up well before Memorial Day, as per usual.

Claremont banner