Sunday, April 29, 2012

Visioning Altadena

As you've most likely heard, Altadena is embroiled in the monumental task of deciding its future.  We have a chance to rewrite our outdated Community Standards and we have attended the two visioning meetings held thus far.  Our local newsblogs have covered the meetings nicely, and have open threads to discuss and present ideas, which are coming in thick and fast.

Altadena Town And Country Club - Prospect Park Publishers

The purpose of this post is not to argue which of the ideas are better than the other.  It's not to even set forth my own ideas, although you can reference many of them in my prior posts.  What I'd like to do is point out that what most people want are sustainable, viable business areas in Altadena.  What I don't see much of are people pointing out what is already good and available to us here, right now.  Just along upper North Lake Avenue, you have two businesses offering printing services, a photographer, two different clothing and accessory shops, salons, chiropractic services, a dance studio, an exercise studio, a martial arts center, two sit-down restaurants, two fast food eateries, two pharmacies, a deli, two liquor stores, a bar, a smoke shop, a grocery store, a health food/organic produce/vitamin store, two thrift stores, two bakeries, and us.

Pine Street Products Natural Soaps
Are people even aware what these businesses offer?  Speaking with Sean Manning, of Manning's Press, I learned that they've been losing a large share of business to internet printers.  Their prices are competitive with internet printers, but where is the business?  Printing is not the only thing these good folks do, they also do vinyl lettering for business and clothing, like t-shirts.  Do people know that Walt's Photography can help restore vintage and antique photos, or take passport photos?  How many people know they can take a thumb drive to Ms. Dragon printing and get copies made?  How many of you local people know that the place for fashion is Winsome's Pretty Woman (shoes, too!) and Ritzy Rags? 

Earl's Gone Wild Barbeque Sauce

It makes me wonder how many people in town are aware of what WFS is and does.  Do they know that we offer products from many Altadena Urban Farmer's Market vendors?  That we represent and carry over 50 area artists' products, ranging from books, artwork both original and printed, holistic medicinal and body products, natural soaps and gourmet food mixes and sauces?  That we carry fair trade fashion accessories, leather goods and decor?  Did you know that we host monthly wine tastings, highlighting seasonal varietals with food from area restaurants?  How about Fancy Food Truck Fridays, or our soon to be continued Social Media For Business seminars?
Jabberwocky Smooth Jerk

HomeBody Botanicals

For all those folks on the blogs who ask for more relevant businesses in Altadena, I can answer that we are striving to meet your needs.  I'd love to talk with you more about what we can do together to build this community.  I'll be at the next visioning meeting, working hard with our neighbors to figure this all out - come find me and we'll talk!

Have a great week!

Lori and Scott

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Rain, Wine and Trouble In Altadena

April showers may bring May flowers, but they also brought disappointment last Friday night, as the torrential downpour forecast for that day resulted in the cancellation of Altadena's first Food Truck Friday of the season.  Not to worry, though, as the trucks will be back next month, and we've got our monthly wine pairing event scheduled for this Saturday.  Not just a wine pairing - although Mike Holland and Anne Bannon of sure make them enjoyable - but a reception for local artist Fei Liu, too!  Be sure to mark your calendar so you won't miss this fun evening of great wine, food and art!

Starting at 4:00 pm, we'll be tasting some fine Italian white wines with goodies prepared by local restaurant Amy's Patio Cafe.  Anne and Mike will run down the basics and the not-so-basics on the varietals we'll be trying, while we all indulge in Caprese skewers and stuffed mushrooms caps.  Stay for the reception for Fei and admire her whimsically beautiful creations - we'll even pour some Italian bubbly for the occasion.  The store will be staying open until 7:30 pm Saturday night so this will be an easy starter to your weekend festivities....don't miss it!

In other news, there's been some scary stuff happening in Altadena during the past few days.  Gun shots, robberies and now a burning body found on the sidewalk of Windsor Drive - what are we all to think?  Happening at a time when Altadena is coming together to discuss major quality of life issues, I'm hoping that these incidents bring us closer together as a community.  Know that our hearts go out to all of our friends who live in the neighborhood, whose serenity was so harshly impacted.  Our prayers go out to the unnamed man whose life was so horribly cut short, and to his family, whomever they are.  Things like that shouldn't happen anywhere, let alone in Altadena - it's not what we're about and it's not what we want to be known for.  Let's all work toward making our town safe and prosperous for all by attending the Altadena Visioning Meetings, the next of which is on Wednesday, April 25th at Loma Alta Park's gymnasium.

Enjoy your week, friends, and we'll talk again in two weeks (we're taking an end of tax week no blogging holiday)!

Lori and Scott

Sunday, April 1, 2012

April in Altadena

"In April, we cannot see sunflowers in France, so we might say the sunflowers do not exist. But the local farmers have already planted thousands of seeds, and when they look at the bare hills, they may be able to see the sunflowers already. The sunflowers are there. They lack only the conditions of sun, heat, rain and July. Just because we cannot see them does not mean that they do not exist."
-  Thich Nhat Hanh

Poppies05 By Fei Liu
2012's spring season is in full swing now - you can smell it in the air and feel it in the sunlight on your face.  Ah, warmth, even if only for a fleeting moment or two, the feeling is there and it is welcome!  When we speak of spring, thoughts of renewal come to mind - renewal of the earth and of ourselves.  With Easter and Passover just days away, I also want to remind you local readers to think also of the renewal of our town.

On April 4th, the Altadena Visioning meetings commence at Loma Alta Park.  If you haven't heard about these meetings, or seen the flyers, or received the postcard mailed to everyone, click here to learn about it.  Please make it a point to come because this is our chance to help improve the standard of living in Altadena - join us and be heard!

Mr. Bunny Brings WFS Cheer!
Spring also means the return of Fancy Food Truck Friday, which is scheduled for April 13th.  We'll be celebrating at WFS on that day by having our annual Spring Open House!  We'll be announcing the winners of our Spring Coloring Raffle - be sure to come by the store to pick up a coloring page for your kids to complete. Turn the pages in before Friday the 13th of April and your child's artwork will help decorate the store, and they'll be eligible to win one of three exciting prizes!  WFS is also hosting a reception that evening for local artist Fei Liu and her wonderful creations.  Fei's whimsically beautiful watercolors evoke pleasure and smiles, you must come and see her work for yourself, and what better time than at our gourmet food truck event?  Rumor has it that those fantabulous folks at Jabberwocky Jerk Sauce might be present, too, handing out samples of their most divine marinade & sauce (we'll update you next week)!

The Shops At Webster's Hugely Popular Fancy Food Truck Fridays

As always, have a great week, my friends!

Lori and Scott