March 13, 2017: Since I started Gem City Images way back in 2007, the photos posted here have been (almost) exclusively of Monrovia. All my other photos have been posted to various social media sites like Flickr, Instagram and Facebook.

While that seemed like a good idea, in reality it led to a lack of consistency that was frustrating for me and made it hard to follow along with the latest photos.

So, starting now, Gem City Images will no longer be exclusively Monrovia. If you still want to see Monrovia only, you can always click the "Monrovia" label on the right side but hopefully you'll follow along for the whole experience.

Even though Gem City Images refers to Monrovia, I decided to keep that as the blog name. No matter where I go, The Gem City is where it all started.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween 2008!

The above home is the Best Of Halloween award winner in the Monrovia Community Services Halloween Home Decorating contest. There were 24 homes participating this year with winners in 9 different categories.

Congratulations to all the participants and winners this year. It's easy to see that a lot of time and effort went into these decorations and they look great!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Homecoming 08 Window

Another example of the painted windows of the businesses in Monrovia for Homecoming '08.

If you look closely, this is the same window taken from both ends and then put together in the middle.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Through The Looking Glass And Back Again

The text on the window says "Go Big Green".  Students from the high school have painted many of the storefronts in Monrovia to build enthusiasm for Homecoming 2008.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

500th Post!

The city graciously put up barricades, supplied a band and held a huge party in downtown Monrovia in celebration of Gem City Images 500th post!

The truth is, this is the band playing at the 2008 Hot Rod and Custom Car Show last Saturday afternoon. 

500 days, 500 photo's.  Can ya believe it?
The real 500th post celebration will be on a much smaller scale.

Monday, October 27, 2008

90 Minute Parking

Except for hot rods and custom cars.  From the 2008 Hot Rod and Custom Car show last Saturday.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cars, Theatre, Ornament

From the 2008 Hot Rod and Custom Car Show in Old Town Monrovia on Saturday.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Accident At The Haunted Hike

This is one of the props used in this years Haunted Hikes in Monrovia Canyon Park.  This is no store bought hearse either, this was built by Ed Cunningham, one of the park volunteers.  Our go to guy for the seemingly impossible.

The hikes were a sellout, got overwhelmingly positive reviews from those that bought tickets, and now they are done for another year.

Here's a look at what the hearse looked like with lights ready for the hikes to start.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Snow Crystals

Professor Kenneth G. Libbrecht (above) is a physics professor, chairman of the physics department at Caltech and husband to Rachel, one of the Canyon Park staff.

Professor Libbrecht was the guest speaker at last nights Monrovia Canyon Park volunteer meeting.  In the photo he is answering questions about the science of snow crystals and snow crystal photography.

He shared some fascinating information on his research into snow crystals and some absolutely AMAZING photographs.  No one else is taking photo's like these.

Be sure to visit his website at for more info.  His books are also available at

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Restaurant Ratings

This isn't necessarily Monrovia specific but you can find these letter grades on the restaurants, markets and pretty much any businesses that have food for sale.  They reflect the results of periodic inspections by health inspectors from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.  The "A" grade, of course, being best.

The inspections are required and so is the posting of the grades.  The department has a website that allows you to search many different ways (business name, city, etc.) to find not only the score of any businesses you're interested in but also any problems that may have been found.

For Monrovia, out of 179 businesses listed, 164 had an "A" rating and only 1 had a rating below a "B".  Great job!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vroman's Bookstore, Please Come To Monrovia!

A new, good bookstore is always high on the list of new businesses that residents would like to see come to town.  According to the city website and the city managers report, the above building may become home to not just a good bookstore, but the Bookseller of the Year for 2008.

It seems that Vroman's wants to open a store in Monrovia and Monrovia wants Vroman's.  Let's hope this becomes a done deal soon.  The building above even looks like a bookstore.

I've bought many books at their Pasadena stores and gone to many booksignings at their main Pasadena store.  I would definitely shop at Vroman's Monrovia.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

New Facade Unveiled

The morning sun working its way down the new building facade.

Most recently this building was The Tax Doctor. I'll always think of it as Kustner's Pharmacy.

Looking through the upper windows, with the brick interior walls and all that nice early morning light, I could easily see the upper floor as the new headquarters, studio and workspace for Gem City Images. Sponsorship opportunities anyone?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

California Wild Grape Over Oak Tree

This California wild grape has covered to the point you can hardly tell there's an oak tree underneath.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Slides And Pony Rides

Ponies and inflatable slides are also at the local pumpkin patch on Huntington Drive because just selling the pumpkins above isn't enough.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Favorite Homes #6 - The Oaks

I doubt there's a home more integral to the history of Monrovia than this one.  It's known as "The Oaks" and was built in 1885.  The home was built for William Monroe, one of the city's founders and the man the city was named after.

You may not be able to read the sign in the front yard from this angle but the house is available for lease.  That the home of a city founder in a city with pride in its historic homes could be tenant occupied seems unusual to me. 

Lease info here.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Blue Star Banners

A few of the recently replaced Blue Star banners along Huntington Drive honoring Monrovians currently serving in the armed forces.  The old banners had become noticeably weathered.  These banners line all the main thoroughfares in the city.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Topiary Trimmings

Laurie at Glimpses of South Pasadena posted a response to my hedge trimming post that showed not just precision trimming but actual topiary. I've been on the lookout ever since for some local topiary, Monrovia style, that could hold its own against her photo. I think I may have found it. I especially like the trees with the rings.

This one's also unique in that it isn't even on the property but out in the parkway.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Saturday Morning Tree Trimming

All of downtown Monrovia was blocked off early this morning to get the trimming done at one time.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Clouds Building Over Mountains

When I see clouds like this it usually means 2 things:  It's going to be hot and it's going to be humid.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

City Daily Photo Theme Day - Lines

Converging lines of a bridge leading to a picnic area / campground.

To see how participating City Daily Photoblogs from all over the world approach today's theme, be sure to click on the link below:

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

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