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New Old Town Report

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ByShawn Spencer

I’mfairly certain that the entire world was ready to bid 2020 adieu. But why? Whatmagic will 2021 hold? We are still in the midst of a pandemic; our localbusinesses still shuttered.  Was 2020really that bad? It definitely had its challenges, but it did make us slowdown, spend time on ourselves and our loved ones. We relearned patience and howfun it is to stop and smell the roses; to take joy in simple things likefinding a painted rock or the beauty all around us. We got to binge watchunapologetically and take naps. There might even been a few mimosas amongstfriends to commiserate with each other over homeschooling. And let us notforget the Dodgers won the World Series!

OldTown Monrovia was a ghost town for New Years, although two local restaurants openedcompletely for business(my lips are sealed on who!).  Oh, how I missed the Myrtle party, with theball raising at midnight. Dancing with your neighbors; everyone filled withhope and New Year’s resolutions.  Willthis ever end? With a third round of shut downs (I’ve lost count), how manybusinesses can bounce back?  Chase andWells Fargo are still closed, with no date to re-open in sight.  Bank of America is remodeling, which is awonderful sign, but Pacific Premier Bank (formerly known as Opus), closed itsMonrovia location permanently. Moving into that location @ 515 S. Myrtle is HomeSmart Evergreen Real Estate.  I am sohappy to welcome them to Myrtle, as they move a few blocks north of theircurrent location.  On another sad note,  Studio Movie Grill filed bankruptcy in October.  They hope to use the bankruptcy process torenegotiate with their lenders, landlords and movie studios to survive thepandemic, but have no idea if they will ever re-open.  I imagine that the demand for their serviceswill remain very tenuous until theaters are able to return to full capacity andmajor motion pictures resume being released for first-run theater showings.

2020has been a year like no other. It is taking a toll on our businesses, mostcertainly on our youth and on us all.  Onething that we still have is community.  Iam so thankful for the generous, loving community we are lucky enough to callhome.  The 5th annual Christmas inMonrovia fundraiser raised $11,226.17, for local Monrovia children and theirfamilies.  The fundraiser was created bySteve Bray, founder of the immensely popular and always entertaining, MonroviaCalifornia FaceBook group. Steve started this fundraiser in 2015, when the bodyof LaJoya McCoy was found in the trunk of her car, leaving her two childrenwithout their mother.  Steve wanted to dosomething nice for them since their life was tragically changed forever.  This year, our community dug deep!  The fundraiser received donations rangingfrom a few dollars all the way up to $501, making this the most successful yearyet for Christmas in Monrovia!  100% ofthe money collected was distributed to families in need that were identified througheach school campus and hopefully brought some smiles to those families.  Way to go, Monrovia! And a huge thank you toSteve Bray for coordinating it every year. My heart is full.

So,on that immensely positive note, I will leave you, until next time, with aheartfelt Happy New Year.  May 2021 bringyou everything that you need, and I hope you always focus on the beauty!

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