Discovering a piece of Americana

As part of getting the paper out every week, I find that I have the chance to do some writing, much more than I did before as an editor. As an editor, I pretty much decided what stories needed to be covered, then found a writer to go and out and cover it. That’s not the case right now.

Being fiscally conservative coupled with the desire to know what’s going on in our community has urged me to go out and cover some stories myself. What I have discovered—or should I say rediscovered—is how exciting it can be to grab a notebook and camera and head off to get the details on something interesting happening close to home.

Case in point is the story on page 3 of the boutique winery right here in La Crescenta.

I had no idea that an enterprising contractor had turned gentleman farmer (or vintner) producing some wonderful wine basically in his own backyard.

And last Friday, Mary O’Keefe and I headed over to the Americana on Brand for the kick off (or should I say ‘splash off’) of the Kiwanis Incredible Duck Splash (KIDS).

I had never been to the Americana before and had just recently visited the Grove in Los Angelesfor the first time. Both were developed by Rick Caruso and the similarities were apparent.

Though not visiting the Americana before hadn’t been a conscious effort on my part, I must admit up front that I generally cringe when contemplating heading to downtown Glendale. The traffic and overall crowdedness usually keep me away. Plus we have some great restaurants up here, so I keep pretty close to home.

However, the visit to the Americana was really great.

The KIDS event was over around 1 p.m., so Mary and I grabbed a hot dog and sat outside in the courtyard area. Last Friday was hot—sticky hot—but the courtyard had fans that were blowing a fine mist to cool off customers. The whole atmosphere was relaxing. We sat near the big fountain area, talking and eating, when all of a sudden music started playing and the fountain water exploded in fluid, dancing columns timed to the beat. It was so much fun to see.
We sat for a little bit, then got up to leave. I put the trash in the can which had a copper top. A copper top. For trash.

Like at the Grove, a trolley traveled around delivering afternoon shoppers to their desired store.

I realize that we were there when the kids were still in school and I’ve heard that it gets busy after they’re out, but while we sitting near the fountain watching the dancing water I never would have guessed that I was smack dab in the middle of Glendale.

As most can imagine, and for those who have done it, launching a business can be rather daunting. It is easy to drown in the details. Find an office space. Sign the lease. Arrange for utilities. Hire help. Buy equipment. Don’t go bankrupt.


I thought that I’d keep ahead of the game by writing down little notes to keep on track. Problem is that I can’t find the notes. I write on too many pads and leave them everywhere—in my car, near the phones, on the kitchen table. And even if I remember where they are, I sometimes forget to look at them.

Thankfully, much of that will be resolved at the end of this week when we move into our new office.

Located at 3800 La Crescenta Ave. #101, this space promises to make life much easier for us. Luci, Mary, Ad Folks Extraordinaire Dave Devens and Lisa Yeghiayan, and I, along with assorted supporters, will be able to have one place to sit down and go over stories, ads, etc.

And I’m sure that Mary’s family will be pleased to have us off their kitchen table—finally.