Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Road Trip Report

As far as "road trip" goes, it wasn't much of a trip - 50 miles one way, but we did have plenty of roads.  The 105 Freeway east to the 605 north to the 10 east and then several surface roads in Claremont.  It was 55 minutes going and by using the 210 to the 605 south, we shaved off another five minutes on the way home.

Claremont is a pretty little town with avenues of elm trees.  Point-of-fact, Claremont's trees have never been exposed to Dutch elm disese which has killed most of the rest of the elms in California.

Despite the number of higher learning institutions found here, the population in 2010 was only 34,926.  Many of the residents are professors at the various schools and/or retired from teaching. 

Claremont is called "The City of Trees and PhDs."  Forbes named it one of the five best places to live in the United States not long ago.  Usually air quality in northeast Los Angeles is poor due to the fact that the mountains ringing the city hold in the pollution and smog, but apparently Claremont has so many trees that it's not a problem here. 

Most of the buildings are short, not more than two stories tall.  Many of the houses are clearly old with Victorians and 1905-style bungalows.  Wood shingles are a popular house covering as are '30s style big front porchs. 

Teaching and big retirement facilities are the main industries.  One of the senior housing projects, Claremont Manor, employs 230 people.  Because Bob and Pat live there, they know the details.  Tipping is strictly forbidden.  Instead, residents pay $1 a day for the days they were in residence for the year.  A full year would equal $365.  This money is pooled and then divided among the employees based on the length of their services there.  The old-times get more than the new hires which is a good way to motivate new employees to stay and to keep the ones already on hand.

We took a tour of the Village (bank and post office) and I noticed that passers-by on the sidewalks always smiled and many of them said, "Hello."  Pat says even the children are polite.  She takes little walks and said that the kids always stop, smile and say hello and that it is charming.

Claremont does have a charm of its own; the Village has iconic little shops, very little traffic and, of course, all of those tree-lined streets and broad avenues.

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