By Mike LAWLER
One of the many things I love about the Montrose Shopping Park is watching young love bloom. Montrose is a great date destination – safe, friendly, quiet enough for good conversation, yet with enough interesting sights to fill awkward silences. It’s common to see couples at dinner or strolling hand-in-hand, and I often fantasize that this is their first date, or that this is the date that will transform their relationship into a lifelong commitment.
One young couple who have spent much of their dating time in Montrose has decided to take that commitment to the next level, both for themselves and for Montrose. Young lovers Joycie Dungca and Steven Weatherby are arranging to get married in Montrose at the end of May. Their plan is to have a portion of the street blocked off, and have the ceremony and reception right there on Honolulu Avenue, with all their friends in attendance, and with Montrose businesses supplying all the necessary food, drink and music.
I called Joycie at the ad agency she works at to get the details. She told me they initially had planned their wedding for Palm Springs, but it just never felt right. They live in Montecito Park and spend so much of their time in Montrose at the various restaurants and stores that they finally realized that this was home, and this was where they wanted to take their vows. So they approached Glendale Councilman John Drayman, our new “Mr. Montrose.” He loved the idea and assured them he could work out the details for them.
Their focus on using Montrose businesses is really fantastic – it carries the ultimate “shop local” message. Some of their proposals so far for businesses to use are possibly Zeke’s Smokehouse and Gail’s Bistro for the catering duties, Home Bakery and Two Brothers Dessert Company for the cake and treats, maybe the Wine Cave for wine and champagne for the toast, and they might open a tab at Avignone’s for the hard alcohol. Joycie tells me they’d ideally like to have the ceremony right in front of Montrose Bowl, and then open the bowling alley for a reception party activity. And the music? Who else but the Gremoli Jazz Band, who, because of their constant presence at the weekly Harvest Markets, has become the “sound of Montrose.” They could even get Dale Dawson, owner of Mountain Rose Gifts and an ordained minister, to perform the ceremony.
While I’m on the subject of Montrose businesses, I want to say a couple things about some changes and some new faces in Montrose.
The change is that the Montrose Bowl will be opening up for public bowling every Monday evening starting on Jan. 25. Since the bowling alley up on Foothill Boulevard closed several years ago, we’ve had to go down to Glendale for public bowling. The Montrose Bowl hasn’t changed a bit since I was a kid!
New faces: The Montrose Candy Company just opened across from the bowling alley, and it offers multi-flavored saltwater taffy in bins, Jelly Bellys and gummy everything. They also carry a full line of candies from your childhood, such as Clark Bar, Big Cherry and wax lips.
A couple stores to the west is Paradis Ice Cream, which is actually a chain store in Denmark, with its first American location here in Montrose. Indeed, some young blond children of the Vikings have landed on our shores to rape and pillage our diets, and force us to eat some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had! They actually get up every morning before the sun and make fresh ice cream and the natural flavors to flavor them with. For instance, their strawberry ice cream is flavored with fresh strawberries cut up that day – amazing!
All this is a reminder that we have here in the Crescenta Valley one great main street in the Montrose Shopping Park, and that we should celebrate and support it by making sure those funky little mom-and-pop stores thrive.
Mike Lawler is the president of the Historical Society of the Crescenta Valley.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.