Friday, September 28, 2007


It's time to move.

Chepa Park

Just a few minutes away from the Santiago Street Lofts lies the small neighborhood park known as Logan Park. This weekend beginning at noon, the park will host its fourth annual celebration and honor the community activist "Chepa" Andrade for whom the park will later be renamed after.

More information available here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Water Tower

If you haven't noticed, the Santa Ana water tower is back, better than ever and just in time to celebrate its eightieth birthday next year.

Built in 1928, the water tower served as the primary source of water and pressure for the city of Santa Ana.

Standing tall at 153 feet, the tower can hold about a million gallons of water, but is only filled to about 80% due to recent regulations that came into effect with the retrofitting in 2000. This was also the time when the Tower became a historical landmark, but the exact date is still uncertain (to me that is).

The Santa Ana Water Tower is property of the School District, but the City holds a multi-year lease on the Tower that runs until 2016.

As you know, the tower recently received a face-lift with a price tag of just over a million dollars. The majority of the cost went towards tenting of the tower to prevent over-spray from falling down to the kiddies in the school right below it.

Monday, September 24, 2007

2005 Was A Violently Better Year

A Monday can't go by without an article in the OC Register about some kid getting shot over the weekend in Santa Ana. With very little to do in this town, it's no wonder that many kids get involved with gangs and Santa Ana becomes one of the most dangerous places to live in Orange County.

This article from the Register  highlights the FBI's 2006 report of Crime in Orange County. Sad to say, our town isn't making anyone proud. Police Chief Paul Walters is quoted saying that “We are on track to have an eight to ten percent decrease in violent crimes for 2007”; even though violent crimes were up about eight percent in 2006 from 2005.

So in other words, he is proud to maintain the status quo.
"The status quo? Ay karumba!"

GIC Makes His Debut

Sunday around noon, another one of Santa Ana's aspiring "artists" decided to make his way down Santa Ana Boulevard leaving his "artwork" for all to see. Luckily, this type of graffiti is the best type that can happen to our community for it is easily cleaned.

Immediate cleaning of graffiti is imperative being that taggers are like male dogs–Once they find another male dog's area, another is soon to cover it with their own markings.

As in every urban community, graffiti is ubiquitous. Unfortunately, the majority of graffiti in Santa Ana is garbage and broadcasts no messages other than screw you.

Other cities are lucky to host talented graffiti artists like Mear One, Banksy and of course Shepard Fairey. We get GIC's and Panik's.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


KidWorks is a great local program focused on restoring at-risk neighborhoods. If you are interested in volunteering, give them a ring.

Sexy Fire and Safety Training

Tuesday, October 2nd at 6:30PM, John and Betsy of 906 E. Santa Ana Blvd. as well as the Santa Ana Fire Department will be hosting a free Fire and Safety training customized for our unique build.

The sexy training is expected to last only an hour.

Please email Betsy at by September 30th if you plan to attend so the Fire Marshall can bring enough sexy handouts for everyone.

After the training, stay for drinks and appetizers. Please feel free to bring your favorite drinks and appetizers to share.

The above photo is just a taste of what could happen if we get the sexy Firemen really drunk.

"Hot stuff, coming through!"

No serious people, let's learn how to not to die.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

La Chiquita Mexican Restaurant

In a city with a taqueria on every corner, Mexican food is in abundance. But what if you don't feel like taking a gamble with the chances of getting "fire-rhea"?

Within walking distance of the lofts, hidden in the back streets of Santa Ana lies La Chiquita. Walking to the restaurant is suggested only that afterwards you will feel like you might need some exercise–Not that walking 0.3 miles will do very much for you.

La Chiquita has been a family-owned restaurant serving Santa Ana for the last fifty years. In 1994, Sammy Montoya purchased the restaurant and has since upheld the tradition of La Chiquita goodness.

The service is as friendly as their food is delicious. The restaurant seems more like eating at a family member's house with pictures of customers from years past proudly decorating the walls.

The portions are big and filling, with plenty of love jammed into every bite. Some of my more favorite dishes are the enchiladas and (wet) burritos (The Carnitas Special Burrito with Green Sauce below).

Also available is a fifteen-dollar, 5lb. burrito located at the top of the menu, letting you know right off the bat that they mean business.

You can call in to-go orders ahead of time at (714) 543-8787.
Hours of operation are from 11:30AM-8:00PM daily with the exception of Sundays when they're closed.

Here are directions from the lofts.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Crosby vs. The City

Here's a great article on the OC Weekly about the Trio launching The Crosby and their struggles with the City to open their restaurant/club/bar in Downtown Santa Ana.

Makes you wonder just how pro-business is Santa Ana?

Nonetheless, I'm excited that their doors are opening soon!
Click on the logo to visit their site.

Cleaning Up After Your Water

I'm sure that most of you have noticed by now that the water hardness in Santa Ana sucks. According to The 2006 Santa Ana Water Quality Report, the total hardness (ppm) measured at 408.36 out of 469. The total hardness (grains per gallon) measured at 23.9 out of 27.4. Don't believe me? Check out the tip of your water spigot. Bet ya it's crusty!

So what should you use to get your sinks looking shiny and new again? Well, I'm going to pass on to you what has worked great for me, requiring little or no "elbow grease", giving me more time to do things that I love–like blogging!

After trying multiple products, these guys do the job for me.

  • CLR Spray can be purchased at Target for about $3.00.
  • Bar Keepers Friend can be found at Longs Drugs or Home Depot for about $3.50.
  • Stainless Steel Polish can be found at Cost Plus for about $3.00
  • The furniture polish was bought at Longs Drugs for about $1.50, but it's just a generic version of Pledge.
First Step: Start off with spraying the sink basin, on and around the faucet; including the faucet handles and spigot with the CLR. Now in a spray bottle form, CLR has never been easier to use.

With a non-abrasive sponge, wipe down the area clean of the CLR.

Second Step: Sprinkle a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend on a wet sponge, make a fist with the sponge, resulting in a smooth mashed paste. BKF is fantastic in that it wont scratch your shiny sinks and works well on other stainless appliances.

Rinse the sink clean and dry using a small terry cloth.

(You can stop here if you choose, but completing the next step will help your cleaning effort last a little longer than two days–like three.)

Third (Optional) Step: Lightly spray the (dry) sink basin with the Stainless Steel Polish (or furniture polish), then wipe clean with a paper towel or the small terry cloth used in step two. The polish creates a waxy coating that protects your basin from buildup, buying you a few more days until another cleaning is needed.

Now this method might sound like it takes a long time (or a little obsessive), but I was able to get my sink from nasty to classy in about 3 minutes (see below).

Another solution is to get a water softener; something I've been pondering ever since I realized I needed a method for cleaning the sinks. From what I hear, one or two of our residents have installed a softener–I'm very curious to see how that has worked out for them.

Here's a great article about iron in water.
The Santa Ana Public Works page on the City website.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Farmers' Market Wednesday

This Wednesday and every Wednesday, Downtown Santa Ana hosts the Farmers' Market.

Well within walking distance from the lofts, it's a great mid-week event.

Farmers' Market is held every Wednesday from 3-7PM, rain or shine, located on Bush St at 3rd St, Santa Ana, CA 92701

Friday, September 14, 2007

Memphis at the Santora

Hands down, Memphis at the Santora is one of the most delicious restaurants in Santa Ana.

Having opened in 2002, Memphis has been key in the rejuvenation of Downtown Santa Ana, attracting young couples and helping to spark a once dormant nightlife.

Their menu presents a variety dishes that consist of "blending traditional down-home Southern and contemporary American classics into flavorful renditions of comfort food".

Thursdays through Saturdays, Memphis features local musical talent that always compliments the cool and swanky vibe of this hip, (but not posh) restaurant.

Customer satisfaction is extremely important to General Manager David Hastie to the point where he actively participates in online discussions such as Yelp to ensure that every guest walks away happy and excited about their next visit.

Here are directions to the Santora from the lofts.
The first marker on the map indicates where to park. After 7pm, the parking structure on 3rd Avenue is free.

Outside patio seating is available where Fido is more than welcome to join. For hours, events, menus and more, check out their site.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Take the Poll

Is there a greater future for our City?
Or are we dreaming too big?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Carpet at a Great Price

Looking to recarpet a room or perhaps your stairs?

Marathon-Triad Carpet might have what you are looking for at a great price (You may have seen their sign coming South on the 5 Freeway).

Their warehouse is open Mon-Thurs from 7:30AM-5:30PM, Fridays they close at 4:30PM, Saturdays they close at 3PM, and Sundays they are open from 11AM-3PM.

Here are directions from the lofts to their warehouse.

Installation of new carpet and (thicker) padding on the stairs will run you about $200 (in addition to whatever carpet you choose).

Should you have any extra carpet from the installation, they also offer the service of binding the edges of loose carpet to make rugs.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Beware The Poo Lady

About once a month, a certain homeless person ventures into our community. At first glance, she looks likes the everyday commuter who rides the train or takes the bus. But don't let her appearance fool you.

She starts out by hanging out in the shaded areas or alleyways; eating whatever food she has with her while rearranging her luggage. When the times is right, she will slip into one of our alleys, "drop trow" and "squeeze out a deuce", wiping with whatever napkins she has available leaving the mess for one of our unlucky residents to clean up after her.

I knew that she had recently been in our community after seeing her familiar "bread crumb" napkin trail. After walking around the complex, I saw her sitting on the sidewalk, eating a snack while littering napkins all around her.

"Can I help you?" I politely asked.
"No!" She shouted.

"Then may I ask what you are doing here."
"Waiting for the bus!" Shouting louder than before.

Knowing of her situation, I then asked her if she needed anything like the use of a phone, food or money.
"Just leave me the f*ck alone!"

With that said, I sternly advised her she needed to leave the property and to not come back anymore. I reminded her of the last time she was here and needed to be escorted off the premises by Santa Ana Police.

She packed up her items and was on her way, but not without shouting and swearing as she walked down Santa Ana Boulevard. She eventually found her way up to Civic Center Drive and set up camp in front of the unfinished lofts.

Within every city there is a homeless problem–Well, with the exception of Irvine. I think Irvine gives anyone who looks homeless a one-way bus ticket to Santa Ana. Some of the homeless are down on their luck, some have mental issues, and some just choose to live their lives on the streets. But when being asked for spare change by someone on the street, how can anyone really make the distinction of who truly needs help and who's juicing you for coins.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Pop's Cafe

Less than a mile away from the lofts lies another one of Santa Ana's delicious delights. Pop's Cafe has been around for the last fifteen years from what I've been told.

Pop's is a great dive being that it is within easy walking distance from our community. Should you decide to sit outside (which I recommend), dogs are welcome.

The vibe of the restaurant is quiet and quaint, similar to Ruby's but without the screaming kids or annoying birthday celebrations.

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and a great breakfast can definitely set the tone for the rest of your day. For about $22, you and a friend can eat a hearty meal like the one pictured below (second orange juice not pictured). Cash and Credit Card accepted.

Here are directions from the lofts.

Pop's Cafe is open Monday thru Friday from 6:30AM-2:30PM.
Saturday from 7AM-1:30PM and Sunday from 7:30AM-1:30PM.

Yeah, That's a Crack Meth Pipe

While jogging on Civic Center Drive Sunday morning, I came across this crack meth pipe.

Though this pipe has been discerned as a Crystal Meth pipe by my wonderful readers, I'm still keeping the original post intact.

Crack is a highly addictive and destructive drug that needs to be taken seriously. Crack eats away at the body, the mind and the wallet–And once the wallet runs dry, the user resorts to whatever it takes to get money for their next fix including prostitution and stealing.

If you come across any drug paraphernalia such as pipes or needles, please handle with care. Avoid picking them up with your bare hands and instead, call Santa Ana Police at (714) 834-4211.

By calling the Police, they will now have a record of drug activity in the neighborhood should something else happen down the road. The only way for the Police to be aware of what happens in your neighborhood is if someone picks up the phone and calls.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Ono Ono Hawaiian Barbecue

Located on Seventeenth Street near the Santa Ana/Tustin border, Ono Ono is by far one of the best local and authentic Hawaiian Restaurants in town. From Chicken Katsu to Kalua Pork, this restaurant delivers them all.

If you are only in the mood for a small bite, may I suggest the Poke Tuna or Poke Chips. This dish consists of raw tuna chunks mixed with scallions, cucumber shoots, drizzled in a light ponzu-soy sauce that makes this dish an authentic delight. The Poke Chips are the upgrade served over delicious and flaky fried won ton chips and topped with avocado slices. Poke Tuna also comes as a part of combination platters such as the Luau Platter (pictured above).

Dishes range in price from $6-$10. Traditional Hawaiian drinks are available and the staple fountain drinks are present with unlimited refills. Ordering a 2 0r 3-item combination platter is the best way to fill up on the cheap.

Ono Ono Hawaiian BBQ is open Monday - Saturday from 10:30AM to 9:00PM, and is closed all day Sundays.

One more thing, if you still have room,
try the shaved ice.

Click here for driving directions from the lofts.

Visit the Ono Ono website.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Santa Ana Planning Division

Empty lots and decrepit-looking houses got you down? Well, don't pop that Zoloft or put that "For Sale" sign up just yet. The Santa Ana Planning Division has just released their August Development Activity Report and let's just say that development activity around our lofts is starting to look a little better (not that it would take much anyways).

Read more about the Santa Ana Planning Division here.

Thanks goes out to Eric for this posting tip!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

09/08 David Imlay @ Neue Transit Studio

Saturday, September 8, from 7-11PM, Neue Transit Studio will feature the works of David Imlay. A highly skilled artist with a strong attention to details such as lighting and textures, David's showing is one not to be missed.

Private showings can be arranged by calling 714.580.2228.

Neue Transit Studio is located at
657 Poinsettia Street, Santa Ana.