Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Bicknell Park, Montebello, CA: Review

Enter the park from Garfield Avenue and turn in at the golf course. On the right is a pond with two fountains and a family of ducks who are begging for some crackers. Drive up the hill and park anywhere on the left. The park is surrounded by a parking lot on all sides.

There is no sign stating that you have arrived at Bicknell Park, but it’s a grassy area with a tall monument in the center remembering the victims of the Armenian Genocide. At the monument you’ll get a great view of the San Gabriel Mountains and the local hills. It’s a nice place for a picnic, there are plenty of trees to set a blanket under or you can find seating inside the monument.

There is a nice paved path that cuts through the park in a north/south direction but it doesn’t go anywhere. It begins and ends in a parking space. There is no handicap ramp at either end. The monument has a wheelchair ramp. It’s located on the southeast side adjacent to a steep hill. There is no walkway leading up to the ramp.

The monument from a distance is very beautiful. If you stop to read the monument inscription, head's up, birds nest at the top. There is a water fountain at the monument but it looks like it doesn’t get much use, let it run a good minute before taking a first gulp. There is no trash can at the monument. The monument is surrounded by a lot of low walls perfect for kids to climb on, but keep a watchful eye; it’s a long way to the bottom if they fall the wrong way.

If you have to go to the bathroom walk west across the parking lot into the golf course area and you’ll find some beautiful restrooms adjacent to the golf pro shop. The Quiet Cannon restaurant is located just past the restrooms. It's a bar/cafe/restaurant combination and is a really nice place to have a meal. An average meal is less than $10. There are nine giant flat screen televisions throughout; most are concentrated in the bar area.

To the southeast of the park is a driving range. Prices start at $2.75 for a bucket. Sometimes the balls get past the netting and fence and make it into the parking lot, so take a look around and you may get lucky and get a free souvenier of your visit. In the same park area is the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel, it's easy to access via the golf course, but an unshaded walk through the parking lot. My mother-in-law stayed there once and she had no complaints. About me, of course, but the hotel, no.

901 Via San Clemente
Montebello, CA 90640

Monday, August 23, 2010

Parkapalooza: Montebello

I'm going to take my kids on an adventure around Montebello. With a little more than a week before school starts we will visit every park in Montebello. Each day we'll hit one or more parks and share what we think. Nine parks, eight days, let Parkapalooza begin!


1700 W. Victoria Ave.
Montebello, CA 90640


2700 W. Beverly Blvd.
Montebello, CA 90640


901 Via San Clemente
Montebello, CA 90640


1300 W. Whittier Blvd.
Montebello, CA 90640


600 N. Rea Drive
Montebello, CA 90640


1060 S. Greenwood Ave.
Montebello, CA 90640


8051 Arroyo Dr.
Montebello, CA 90640


200 W. Mines Ave.
Montebello, CA 90640


946 Adobe Ave.
Montebello, CA 90640

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Lets go Dodgers! Free Dodger Tickets

Thanks to the Union 76 Promotion we scored a set of four Dodger tickets to a Sunday game. The kids had only been to minor league games and I wasn't sure how they'd handle the huge stadium and crowds. Our seats were in the lower reserve section in right field. They weren't too bad except that we were in full sun. I slathered the kids with sunscreen but they were complaining that they were getting hot by the 4th inning. The stadium had lots of empty seats so we moved to a shaded area and they were so happy to be in the shade they were great the rest of the game.

During the game the kids were happy to watch the action on the big screen, enjoyed the music, and looking through binoculars at people. After the game kids were allowed to run the bases on the field. This is something new for me and the kids had a blast, even the baby! The line was really long but it went really fast, there are pictures online but I haven't checked them out yet.

I don't know Dodger policy on bringing food into the stadium but the signs at the entrances said, "No glass containers, alcohol, and coolers." I had popcorn, candy, go-gurt, and other snacks in my purse and I was passed through security. We bought 3 drinks at $5 a piece and paid $15(!) for parking. The game started at 1pm and we were in the car at 5:00.

I noticed a park outside the stadium and the cheapskate in me thinks I'll try to arrive early and park in the street next time. But my husband noticed an MTA ad in the Dodgers Playbill magazine that says FREE round-trip bus service to the stadium is offered to/from Union Station. You just have to show your ticket to get on the bus. The last time I was at Union Station parking was about $7. I also noticed that the MTA bus stop was a heck of a lot closer to the stadium than my parked car was.

At the game there were advertisements for discounted kid tickets. The day of the game you can purchse two children's tickets for $5 each with a paid adult ticket in any section of the stadium. What a bargain!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Telephone Survey re: Montebello

This afternoon I'm in the yard watering when my son brings me the phone, it was a survey company asking questions about Montebello. They ask me what are the 3 biggest concerns I have as a resident of Montebello. I said, graffiti, crime, and the Montebello Hills. They asked what I would do to help Montebello get better, my response was to have some kind of incentive for business to come to Montebello. I must have my finger on the pulse of Montebello because the question were about all those things.

I think the city council paid for the survey (or the development company of the Montebello Hills) and when given the opportunity to add my own comments I suggested that the next time there is to be a survey they should think about hiring residents to conduct the survey instead of hiring an outside company. The woman conducting the survey said the company is based in Utah and she works out of a call center in Kansas. Some of the questions were poorly written and even she said she didn't understand them. Maybe the city should contract with me instead.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

YMCA Montebello: Family Fitness for All

We are members of the Montebello/Commerce YMCA. I've often wondered if the monthly cost is worth the membership. We signed on to pay $59 a month for a family membership which includes full use of the facilities and a discount on classes with fees. For a while I thought a membership wasn't worth the monthly payment, now that I've been going regularly I think it's a bargain!

The YMCA is very family friendly. Here are a few things that are offered for families:
  • There is babysitting for kids 12 and under in the KidZone for up to 2 hours a day!
  • Kids 12 and older can use any of the YMCA's facilities including the exercise rooms!
  • There are lots of classes for kids that include exercise, dance, swimming, and karate. More classes are offered during the summer when school is out.
  • During school breaks a full time camp environment is available for older kids.
  • The kids can also join baseball and basketball teams and compete against other YMCA kids.
  • There is a good sized pool with aerobics classes throughout the week and times set aside for adult swim and recreational family swim.
  • In the mornings it's a great place for older adults to socialize! There are lots of senior citizens that attend the late morning classes.
  • Besides the full gym, there is a smaller workout room for newer or shy members who don't like everyone staring at their butt.
  • Easy access to personal trainers are included with membership.
  • There is a nice big parking lot
  • YMCA is a non-profit organization, hosts events for the community and offers payment assistance for anyone in need.
The babysitting alone is one of the main reasons we are members YMCA, the caretakers at KidZone make my kids feel comfortable and loved and I get to exercise and watch my favorite tv shows at the same time!