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.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Jim's Original Famous 1/4 LB Burgers

I haven't been here in years, but my friends and I used to go all the time for the soft serve ice cream cones.  From the reviews I've read, it's still a popular place, and they still have the ice cream cones.  I'll have to go back again sometime soon.

Info and menu.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Burning Through The June Gloom

It takes a little while, but by the afternoon it's hot with mostly clear skies.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sena On Myrtle Sign Is Up

07/01/2010 Update:  Got an anonymous tip that they will open this Saturday, July 2nd.  I'm unable to verify, so we'll see.  Could be open for business for the 4th of July weekend.

Getting closer to opening.  Not much info out there yet but they do have a Facebook page and an unfinished website.

The food will be Spanish/Basque. They'll have a full bar and what sounds like a very nice patio area out back.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

New Chase Bank Branch

Looks like construction is about to start on the new Chase Bank in the Huntington Oaks shopping center.  The new building will be on the corner of Monterey Avenue and Huntington Drive on the spot where Spires restaurant used to be before being torn down.

It finally happened.  A new business coming to Monrovia that, not only am I not looking forward to them, I have nothing good to say about them.

This will be their third branch in town.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

2011 Summer Art Waks

This Saturday (June 25th) is the first of three Summer Art Walks presented by the Monrovia Association of Fine Arts (MAFA).  The three Art Walks are held the last Saturday of each month through August from 7 pm to 10 pm in downtown (Old Town) Monrovia.

For more info, visit the MAFA website at

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Upton Sinclair House

Looks like the house has sold, the next chapter starts now.

The Upton Sinclair house was home to the author of "The Jungle" from 1942 to 1966.  The home was built in 1923 in the Spanish Colonial Revival style by California Architect Frederick H. Wallis.

The home faced demolition after being damaged in the Sierra Madre earthquake, but was repaired and saved to remain an important part of Monrovia's history.

Upton Sinclair - Wikipedia

Upton Sinclair House - Property listing

Monday, June 20, 2011


I may have posted a version of this photo before.  If I did, sorry about repeating myself.  While I'm not sure if I posted it before, I do remember working on it.  I remember not being happy with the way the image was coming out and that I was also considering an overextended attempt at some social commentary.

I like this version better.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Gem City Images - 4 Year Anniversary

Another year complete.  This was only supposed to last one year, but here we are 4 years later.  The biggest event for me this year was breaking my consecutive daily photo streak at about 3.5 years.  That was long enough.  It's much more enjoyable with that monkey off my back.

What will year five bring?  We'll find out together...

Congratulations also to all the daily photobloggers in this area.  Some of you had recent anniversaries, some are soon to come.  We have a large number of daily photobloggers around here that have been doing this for an atypically long time.  You'd think we like it here or something.  I'm not a bit surprised by all of your successes.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Cold Stone Creamery

The days are heating up, school is out and the first day of summer is less than a week away.  Perfect time to think about ice cream.  You can catch a movie at the Krikorian Theatre next door, then stop for some ice cream after.  Or get the ice cream first, it's good either way.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

International Space Station

That white streak in the photo is the International Space Station flying overhead last night.  This is a 2 second exposure with a 200mm lens.  The Space Station was easily visible with the naked eye, it looked like the brightest star moving steadily across the sky from the south to the northeast.

I've seen this 3 times recently, you can find out when it will be visible in your area by following @twisst on Twitter.  I learned about @twisst by following the always informative @jhjones on Twitter.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Happy Ending

There was a command center set up at Monrovia Canyon Park yesterday morning to look for two missing hikers.  Luckily, the hikers were just taking longer to get back than expected and were found before noon safe and walking back on their own.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monrovia High School Work In Progress Update

This is from the corner of Colorado and Madison.  The fencing has been changed on the west side so that it is both low and see through.  The temporary buildings have been removed and you can get a clear view across the front of the school.

Hopefully this will all be completed over the summer so Monrovia High will have some nice new curb appeal to start the school year.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Aztec Hotel - Detail

If you haven't had the chance to see the Aztec Hotel in person, you might not realize the detail that's all over this historic building.  Look close at the above photo (or click for a larger version) and you can see not just the patterns but the figures, creatures and symbols readily visible after all these years.

Hopefully the Aztec will get the care it needs and find its best days are yet to come.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Sunset - A Reinterpretation

I posted the original version of this sunset back on December 30, 2010. Not crazy about the original so I decided to redo the photo and make it more colorful.  I like this version better.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

2011 Monrovia Relay For Life

Click for larger image.

Going on now through 11:00 am tomorrow at Recreation Park.

Event details here.
Donation page here.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Myrtle Avenue At Library Park

This is facing north with the library on the left and the San Gabriel Mountains in the distance.  In black and white.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

2011 Monrovia Relay For Life

The 2011 Monrovia Relay For Life is this weekend (June 4th and 5th) at Recreation Park.  The event starts at 11:00 am on Saturday and goes until 11:00 am Sunday.

For more event and donation information, see the Monrovia Relay For Life website and Facebook page.

Recreation Park is located at 620 S. Shamrock Ave.  Monrovia 91016.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

June 2011 City Daily Photo Theme Day: Under Construction

The most obvious "Under Construction" around town is the street resurfacing project on both Huntington Drive and Duarte Road, two of the three major east / west streets through town.  This is Huntington Drive above, which is down to one lane in sections in either direction with some left turn lanes also shut down.  Plan ahead and allow lots of extra time.

Click the link below to see how other City Daily Photobloggers from around the world interpret the theme in their town:

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants

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