“Montrose is kind of Steven Spielberg Americana.” That’s how local children’s bookseller Maureen Palacios describes the slice of suburbia along Honolulu Avenue. Officially known as Montrose Shopping Park, the Glendale nabe is lined with midcentury storefronts and hosts the folksy festivals you’d expect from any self-respecting small town. Surrounded by the Verdugo and San Gabriel Mountains, the street seems apart from it all.
A trio of shopkeepers share their favorite spots…
“Every Sunday we have a farmers’ market, and some places grill outdoors. I love Geo’s café. They make their own bread and croissants. Schreiner’s is number one for sausages. They have a great smoked pork loin. When I have visitors I take them to Blue Fish for the fresh sushi. At Paradis, a Danish-style ice cream shop, they make Ferrero Rocher candy into ice cream. It’s really good.”
“We’ve been here 52 years. We’re America’s oldest children’s bookstore. We stay out of the toy business because Tom’s Toys does it so well. They’ve been here for more than 50 years and have everything from baby dolls to Transformers. For books on pet training, we send people to Andersen’s Pet Shop, where we have taken kids on a field trip to see the snakes and birds. Run by the third generation, Grayson’s Tune Town is where you can get a guitar and also take lessons.”
“We wanted to provide the pleasure of cooking with family and learning about other nationalities through their spices. I get beautiful skirts and jewelry at Aram’s Boutique, and I like the good quality European shoes at Walk This Way. At La Cabañita they serve huge portions, and the decorative banners that hang from the ceiling make me so happy. The walnut bread at the bakery Berolina is great, especially with layers of honey and butter on it.”
A little bit of history…
Vintner George Le Mesnager built a stone barn for his grapes on the hillside above Montrose in 1915. Today it’s part of nearby Deukmejian Park.
Generations of women suffering mental illness, including Marilyn Monroe’s mother, were treated at Rockhaven, just up Honolulu near La Crescenta Avenue. There’s a proposal to convert the grounds into a park.
Assemblyman Roy Lanterman built his sprawling Craftsman mansion in 1915 in neighboring La Cañada Flintridge. Today the house, grounds, and research library are open for tours.
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