Friday, April 27, 2007

Pomona Hit Job

I had business to attend to in Pomona, so I decided to infiltrate the historically fabled city to see all it had to offer.
I heard from Wayne that heathens came from there and still reside, that it’s as dangerous as ever, havoc being wreaked on any path chosen within the city limits.
Cruising through the Pomona outskirts was like going through row after row of filthy fly-infested trailer parks, something I probably needed to become accustomed to before the Conejo Valley Days Regional Chili Cook-Off this Sunday.
Jessica Alba was born in Pomona, as was Tom Waits and ‘roid ragin’ Mark McGwire. The home page for the City of Pomona advertises “A rich heritage, a bright future.”
It’s also a city where a museum can be conveniently located next to a pawn shop.
The trailer parks are savagely strewn throughout Pomona, a common occurrence I've closely associated with my first encounter.
I was careful creeping through the trailer parks, my awareness heightened, and I struggled making eye-contact with unshowered and toothless welfare recipients. I began to panic for my well-being, imagining the elevated possibility of a shotgun wielding wife-beater chasing after my car.
Best Trailer Park of the Day goes to Hillview Mobile Home Park.
This trailer park came furnished with a view of beautiful mountains mutilated by a deadly smog layer.
Knowing what you’re breathing in Los Angeles can horrify, and it adds bitterness when you know your lungs are being decimated daily by deadly pollution and other unidentifiable stenches.
Another common factor that easily distinguishes Pomona is that every building and home outside the reach of the centralized police station has local artists flexing their skill at graffiti.
Trailer park signs aren’t spared by the constant neighborhood thuggery.
In 1999, Pomona ranked 3rd for highest murder rate in California, caught in a close race with Compton and Richmond respectively. That was 25th in the country. Local government and law enforcement has been consistently putting word out that the streets are getting cleaned.
The reputation for crime in Pomona isn’t surprising from what I saw. I’m sure this place has an ample supply of body bags, hospital beds and jail cells. Social services are definitely busy.
Then I came to a sudden halt at a railroad crossing.
It was the longest train ever created in the history of humanity, delaying my advancement for far too long, leaving me with nothing but frenzied thought.
I began looking at my mirrors intermittently, attempting to be aware of any carjackers or murderers.
Then I was able to pass.
I crossed the tracks, knowing things could go awry at any moment. I embraced the fear as a thrill.
From the beginning, my sincere hope during the tour was avoiding any shotguns or blades, although I carry one on my driver’s side door for personal protection.
Anyone try to carjack me, they gettin’ cut. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see if they had metal detectors over at Pomona High School.
Security doesn’t sweat the students; I couldn’t see any with my naked eye or enhanced digital zoom. I did find an eatery called The Hat right outside the Pomona city limit, near the local high school.
The Hat's in Upland, and my new goal is to not hang out in Diamond Bar or Chino Hills. Their pastrami dip was out of control good.
The Hat was stoked on the photos.
In jest he asked me, “What exactly is Pomona?” Pomona means the Roman Goddess of Fruit. They held a wide-ranging farmer’s market on Wednesday to prove it.
The “farmer’s market” was a dismal collection of a couple vegetables, arts, crafts, and a lone drummer.
It was located right at the entryway to Antique Row, which I prayed wasn’t a doppelganger of Skid Row.
There weren’t any transients, there wasn’t anybody.
The place was dead as Dillinger, quietly foreboding, the empty streets eerie enough to shade my emotions in a blanket of nervous paranoia.
I sought refuge at the Pomona government buildings, a place where pimps have front row parking at City Hall.
This is Mayor Norma J. Torres, the unequivocal leader of Pomona, a highly esteemed position to hold.
She does her political dealings in downtown Pomona, a hub of harrowing mediocrity. She has the smile of someone on the take.
In 2006 she became Mayor of Pomona by garnering a hefty 1651 votes. Not bad for a city populated by 164,815 apathetic losers. She can claim fame with the fact she’s the first female Guatemalan mayor.
Right next to the Council Chambers is the police station and superior court.
I also realized the best place for lawyers and bail bondsmen to set up shop is right across from arraignments.
You know riffraff runs rampant when the police presence squeezes the essence of any city life off the streets. I’d seen a few episodes of Cops from Pomona, and they weren't pretty.
One plus is that Metrolink stops at the downtown Pomona station, but a big minus occurs if you get off the train.
Food wise, Pomona caters to people who enjoy Mexican food, Church’s Chicken, Popeyes, KFC, and Wienerschnitzel.
Admittedly, I love Church’s Chicken, although all locations in L.A. seem surrounded by poverty stricken hardship. This was no different, and no less saddening. I continued my search for the soul of Pomona.
The winner for Best Church of the Day was a true marvel in architecture.
Safe to say it was my favorite building in Pomona, a church I’d surely attend if I were local, which will never happen.
It also proved that I was indeed in Lance’s dreaded “909.” The following photo represents the most striking view of Pomona I had.
And this is the award winner for Best Rapist Van of the Day.
I didn’t see any ice cream trucks or Mr. Whoopee.
If you’d like to avoid getting stared down or intimidated by ferociously illiterate gang members, I suggest not wearing red. I had five Hispanic males whistle at me and ask where I was from. I laughed, momentarily thinking of taking their picture and running into a nearby antique store. This is the stretch where it happened.
I could’ve hidden in the Washington Mutual or La Bomba.
Then I realized I’d be loitering.
Coffee is for closers, so I settled on taking a break and kicking back while caffeinating. I could cool off, and I had ample cover in case a drive-by was in the works.
So I’m sitting at Starbucks, minding my own business, when absolutely nothing happens at all, save for a biker a minute tearing by on some modified beast of wheeler.
I just enjoyed my grande mocha frappuccino with whip cream under the umbrella, shielded from the 84 degree weather baking the stale air. I perused the fish wrap, and the first item to grab notice was a definite destination.
Steve Lopez wrote a good article for the Inland Empire version of the Los Angeles Times about Jury Duty Case of the Year.
The L.A. television show rankings were interesting to say the least.
After reading something weird about smuggling Chinese girls through Claremont, it was time to take care of business at The Glass House.
The reason for being in Pomona was to see Blonde Redhead, and I found out fast that they didn’t serve beer or cocktails, something utterly unfathomable to a relentless Basher.
Blonde Redhead is described in some circles as Art Rock, which was easy to see due to the lack of lighting variations. This was what it looked like when they performed with a bored drummer.
Kazu Makino rocked out. She was by the far most entertaining of the three. All and all, what brought down the performance was the Pomona locale and lack of alcohol, no doubt in my mind. I tried to make things more interesting, and I came up with strange camera effects.
Their new album 23 got rave reviews, will probably make my year end “Best of” list. The show was definitely not for all tastes. The Annuals opened for Blonde Redhead, and their lead singer was a legitimate flailer. I definitely needed some booze. I did fall in love with Anna Spence, their sultry female keyboardist, who carried the band along with the bassist.
If I had more dough I’d tour with them, be in the front row worshipping the Sexy Synth Goddess. She was on fire.
Questionable sound quality on the vocals caused a painful loudness on occasion, so towards the end of their set I went back to my car for a beer. To sum up the experience, I accidentally dropped my cell phone into my beer. It looks like this now:
I couldn’t think of a more perfect way to top off my day. Pomona is quite a town, one of the worst I’ve ever been in. I’d be grateful if someone could point to my error in thinking, but at this juncture, after little thought, I highly recommend never going to Pomona. Stay on your side of the tracks.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Your show on p town was great. I think you should do an inside report on all the cops who are using steriods and still carry a gun

Garrett Sawyer said...

Don't bother coming to Pomona if you have nothing positive to write about it, seriously. That is one, not the worst of, but one of the problems with Pomona. It's people like you that come here and write poor reviews or speak badly of it as if you were tossing Pomona out of your window on the freeway like a peace of garbage once you're done with it. We get enough sad people like you here whining about the quality of the city, Pomona isn't here for you, it's here for people that are figuratively thrown out the window by society. Hence the reason why there are more medical, welfare, social services, as well as trailor parks and things of the like here. It's because there are many people that actually care about the "losers". You're the fucking loser! Sitting at Starbucks, probably by yourself. You write as if you're some great guy and you must think your city or whereever you live is the shit, well if it's the fucking shit then why do you even feel the need to leave it? A lot of the things you expressed about Pomona are true but not as exadurated as you put them. And please, the next time you write or talk about Pomona, which I hope will be never again, compare it to where you live and don't use old-ass statistics from 99! lol. If you wonder why Pomona has a "high" murder rate, it's because to many shit talkers like yourself live here.

Anonymous said...

Stay home & blow yourself.

Anonymous said...

As a nearby resident, there are some additional redeming things about Pomona. The Lincoln Park neighborhood has a large number for nicely restored craftsman...a really beautiful neighborhood. Also, there are regular Art Walks monthly on Saturday nights...then you would see people in the Antiques district.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, what Anonymous said! And also Anonymous, Anonymous, and Garrett Sawyer (but not that dude who said the cops were on 'roids, cause he's whack to even think YOU could do an inside report on anything....

Anonymous said...

Pomona definitely blows, good inside report. Glad I don't live there anymore.

mijahu said...

GREAT review. I've lived here all my life and have been dying to get out. The only reason my mom and I still live here is because of my grandmother, who won't move because she's lived here since it was nice in the late 50's, early 60s.

I really and truly don't understand any pride or the faithfulness that generally comes with living in "the 909."