How change has impacted the City of Trees

By Peter Weinberger |

This year’s COURIER Almanac publication date takes place at a time when Claremont—and Claremonters—continue to adjust to a different life after the pandemic. With COVID-19 spikes still on our radar, we remain at a crossroads in getting our lives fully back to in-person events once again.
This 2021-22 edition of the Almanac reflects on how Claremont is changing, but also focuses on the future—we have so much to appreciate and look forward to.
Reporter Andrew Alonzo interviewed three Claremont restaurant owners, using words and pictures to show how dining out has evolved to a new normal. Restaurants have been quite creative in their enhancements, impacting everything from how we are served, the type of food we eat, remodeling indoors and out and managing staffing and price increases. It’s clear eating out will never be the same and these adjustments will only improve the experience.
Which is why we include columns from John Neiuber and staff writer Mick Rhodes, who focus on where we go from here. They talk about what’s here for the long term—masks—and what’s gone for good—the American business model of 40 hours a week in an office. There’s no question that dining, events, corporate America and more, will never be the same.
COURIER reporter and photographer Steven Felschundneff interviewed residents who not only contracted COVID-19, but are now experiencing long term after effects of the virus. But they are also determined to do whatever it takes to get their lives back.
Even with the pandemic lurking, there are many good things to celebrate in Claremont right now. Our town is opening up quickly, but not completely. One great sign is the concerts at Memorial Park coming back in August, giving us a great opportunity to get outside for live music. The city has been slow in bringing back events in general—as evidenced by July Fourth—but so far has not put the brakes on Village Venture, our largest Chamber event of the year.
But with all Claremont schools opening in the fall, including the Claremont Colleges, the new normal will feel a lot like old times. The hustle and bustle of students in the Village, including the many events during the school year, will help bring life back to Claremont. So we take a look at Pomona College’s Marston Quad, the big swath of grass in front of Bridges Auditorium off College Avenue, which has served the college community in so many ways over the decades. Now all of Claremont can once again enjoy this mini-park as a gathering place for picnics, photo shoots, exercising, parties, weddings, or just a great place to walk in one of the most beautiful settings in the city.
I’m sure it will be obvious to our readers why this last story really hits home for the COURIER staff. I’d like to introduce all of you to Violet Zuker-Brunzell, an 11-year-old Sycamore student who has been reporting the news from her neighborhood for the past 10 months, as covered by Steven Felschundneff. The “News of the Street” is created on a vintage typewriter and is pasted up on letter-sized paper and photocopied to be distributed on foot to readers—all to help keep residents informed during difficult times.
More good news is that this year’s Almanac is larger than last year’s edition, which was published at the height of the pandemic. With increases in advertising come increases in content, with 16 open pages of stories and photos.
I also want to give a shout-out to Hannah Nelson, a University of San Francisco student in her second year majoring in politics, who called us wanting to get involved with the COURIER. We assigned her the task of updating the dozens of pages of organizations that appear in the second half of the Almanac.
There were literally hundreds of changes since last year, from telephone numbers and addresses, to new leadership, missions and contact information. Hannah called every one to confirm that our information was up to date. This list will also be published on our website and will be searchable, making it even easier to access Claremont nonprofits, churches, schools, clubs, the city, and a lot more.


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