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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Fountain To The Falls Sign

The "Fountain To The Falls" signs, a project by Jeffrey Ramos as his Eagle Scout Project, have been placed along the route from the Library Park fountain to the waterfall in Monrovia Canyon Park.  The sign above (blue sign, far left) is at the trail head in Monrovia Canyon Park.

The walking/jogging/hiking route can be done anytime, but it will be used for a fun run event to be part of the 2011 Monrovia Day celebration in May.  It's about 3.5 miles one way.  Start training now.

The Monrovia fun run might also be good preparation for the longer (8.6 miles round trip) Mt. Wilson Trail Race that will take place about a week later on May 23rd.

More info:

Monrovia Patch article:  Eagle Scout Candidate Maps Out "Fountain To Falls" Route.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Painted Utility Box - Olive

Another of the painted utility boxes that can be found around downtown Monrovia.  This one is located, not surprisingly, at the corner of Myrtle and Olive Avenues outside J B Burgers.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Nikki C's Coming To Old Town Monrovia

Update:  Looks like they aren't opening here after all, at least not at this location.  Another restaurant is now planning to open here.

Another restaurant and bar coming to town on Myrtle Ave.  Nikki C's is currently located at 407 S. Rosemead Blvd. in Pasadena and they are opening a new location in Monrovia.

Their website is

Friday, November 26, 2010

Candy Connection

In my personal opinion, a candy store is a great addition to Old Town Monrovia.  Moving into the southern half of the space formerly occupied by Twinkle Twinkle Little Store.

Thanks for the tip from a recent comment on this new store.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

Photo of the window display at the Bellisima Salon and Day Spa - 501 S. Myrtle Ave. in downtown Monrovia.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Max's Mexican Cuisine - Coming Soon

Max's Mexican Cuisine, successful in Azusa, is expanding into Monrovia at 1101 E. Huntington Drive.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Myrtle Avenue Decorations

A little difficult to see in this photo, but a lot of holiday decorations are up on Myrtle Avenue.  There are the toy soldiers standing guard at either side of the intersection, the garland and wreath overhead, candy canes lining the entire length of the street on both sides and globe lights in the trees.  How many can you spot in the photo?  Any that I missed?

Click the photo for a larger view.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Road Trip - Knott's Berry Farm

In honor of the 50th birthday of the Calico Mine Ride at Knott's Berry Farm tomorrow (November 22nd), this seemed like a great time to take another road trip.  We'll start here at the main entrance where the sign proudly proclaims that this is America's 1st Theme Park.

Now that we're inside, let's take a look around.  Those of you that may have gone to Knott's years ago but haven't been back in a while may be surprised to see that the "theme" part of the theme park has taken a bit of a hit.

You can see above that the illusion of the old west is broken by the roller coaster in the background.  The lack of available space to expand leaves Knott's with few options.  Thrill rides sell tickets but the ghost town is the heart and soul of the park.  That's where it all started and the people at Knott's have shown a lot of care in maintaining the ghost town area recently.

Here are a couple images from the Ghost Town section:

Deserted street in ghost town.

Overlooking Calico square.

Now, as I said, tomorrow is the 50th birthday of the great Calico Mine Ride.

Calico Mine Ride

Black Widow's Cavern

Calico Mine Train Engine.

Mine Train Ride

The top photo is a partial view of the mine ride.  The second photo shows the ride decorated for Halloween Haunt.  The third photo is of one of the Calico Mining engines.  The fourth photo is a panoramic view of the front of the Mine Train ride.

*Bonus points if anyone can identify the gentleman in the red jacket in the top photo.

Knott's has many other rides both classic and modern:

The other great, classic ride at Knott's is the log ride.  Opened in July 1969.

One of the more modern rides at the park is the Xcelerator roller coaster.

Calico Railroad - careful you don't get robbed!

Two of the more popular times of year at the park are Halloween and Christmas.  At Halloween, the park is transformed at night into Knott's Scary Farm with monsters, mazes, shows and scary additions to theming and select rides.

Bride and groom.

For Christmas, decorations and holiday lighting are added along with new shows and a Christmas Crafts Fair.

Crafts Fair in Ghost Town.

Christmas time also brings shows to the seldom used Bird Cage Theatre.  

Bird Cage Theatre.

Cast of "A Christmas Carol" - 2010.

I've seen both shows shown on the sign above and they were really very good.  Makes me wish shows were a regular, year round attraction in the theatre.  Steve Martin performed here very early in his career.

Knott's even provides an impressive free attraction across the street - an exact replica of Independence Hall, complete with Liberty Bell.

Exact replica of Independence Hall.

Replica of the Liberty Bell.

For more on the history of the park, I highly recommend the book Knott's Preserved: From Boysenberry to Theme Park, the History of Knott's Berry Farmby Christopher Merritt and J. Eric Lynxwiler.  There is also a companion website.  

Road trip details:

Mileage from Monrovia, Ca:  About 34 miles.
Travel time:  About 45 minutes, depending on traffic.
3 hours of free parking is available for dining, shopping or a short visit into the park.
Season passes are available for the remainder of this year and all of 2011 for $59.99.  Parking extra.
Knott's Berry Farm group on Flickr - lots of current and historical photos of the park.  I started the group and am a moderator.  Stop by and have a look.  Better yet, join the group and share your photos and comments.

Update:  Knott's legend Bud Hurlbut passes away January 5th, 2011.  Here's an excellent remembrance of a great man written by Chris Jepsen on his blog O.C. History Roundup.

Update 10/18/2011:  Added panoramic photo of Mine Train ride and cast photo of "A Christmas Carol".

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Yellow Pages

While the residential (white pages) are being discontinued in more and more places around the country, the yellow pages continue.  Personally, I don't remember the last time I used one of these books.

Despite the city name on these books, this photo was taken in Monrovia.  Maybe there isn't a Monrovia edition.

Friday, November 19, 2010

What's the title of that book?

In case you've ever wondered (like me), what book is Samuel Clemens reading out there in Library Park every day?  The answer:  Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows - Midnight* At The Krikorian

*Well, 12:01am to be precise.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows opens around the country tonight with midnight showings across the country, including our own Krikorian Theatre here in Monrovia.  There are very few movies worthy of having a midnight showing and driving by I saw these fine folks making sure the kids could go to school and have a prime spot for the fun.  That's what being a cool mom is all about.

I suspect there will be a lot of excitement in Old Town Monrovia tonight, stop by and join the fun!

It looks like there will be multiple showings at Midnight (12:01am).  Here's the link to the theatre website:  Monrovia Krikorian Theatre

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Holiday Tree Trimming

The tree in Library Park getting its annual makeover of lights and a star on top in preparation for the upcoming holiday season.  The tree lighting ceremony will be held at the corner of Myrtle and Palm at 6pm on Thursday, December 2nd with the holiday parade to follow at 7pm.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Nice Day

We've had some great weather lately.  This is facing north on Mountain Avenue with the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Stop Signs

New stops signs have just been installed at the intersection of Mayflower Ave. and Court St.

Adjacent to the school where I attended kindergarten many years ago.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Business?

Some work being done on the corner of Myrtle Ave and Olive Ave. in the former Crossroads Music store.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Holiday Poem

Palm trees,
90 degrees,
no breeze.
Al I want for Christmas are some...

Thursday, November 4, 2010


Watched this Navteq vehicle drive a bit erratically around town the other day.  Maybe they just missed a few spots the first time.

Monday, November 1, 2010

November 2010 City Daily Photo Theme Day: Public Transportation

Well, the future of public transportation through Monrovia anyway.  These are the train tracks that will be part of the Metro Gold Line Extension east to Azusa at first, then out to Montclair in a subsequent phase.  This all sits on land that is part of the proposed Station Square project.

The depot above will remain and be restored but it will not be used as the Metro station.  The role of the depot in the future is still undetermined.

Click the link below to see how photographers from around the world interpreted the theme of Public Transportation:

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

But wait, there's more...

Lucky for me, I was a little late in getting this post ready to go today.  That gave me a chance to look around and see what the other local City Daily Photo bloggers were posting for today's theme day.

I want to take this opportunity to point you to Petrea at Pasadena Daily Photo and her post on the artwork of the amazing Pasadena Adjacent aka Elizabeth Garrison. It's interesting, informative and an all around great post. Pas Adj and her partner Victor Henderson are incredibly talented artists.  Go take a look!

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