This installment of Eric's Blog takes us to Rosemead. To vote for another Los Angeles neighborhood, vote here. To vote for a Los Angeles County Community, vote here. To vote for Orange County neighborhoods, vote here.
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of Rosemead
First, a bit of background on the City of Rosemead. As is proving to be true of everywhere I go in Southern California, the area which now makes up Rosemead was formerly inhabited by the Tongva for thousands of years before the Spanish came. I'm considering just saying in regards to my posts about Southern California, "Unless I say otherwise, this area was inhabited by the Tongva for thousands of years before the Spanish came." Anyway, the Spanish did come and built a mission there in what's now Whittier Narrows. Due to flooding, they relocated the mission to its current home over in San Gabriel in 1775.
BEGINNING OF AMERICAN ERA
After the land moved from Mexico to the U.S.A.'s hands, pioneers began moving to the area like John and Harriet Guess in 1852. Around that time, Leonard and Amanda Rose bought a tract of land where they bred horses and they named their ranch "Rosemeade."
In 1959 Rosemead became a city in name, although it was still pretty undeveloped compared to its neighbors. There were lots of vacant patches and even today there's not really a downtown or town center unless you count the Diamond Square Shopping Center on Garvey.
BANH MI DISTRICT
Also of note is the Bánh Mì District with the popular chain Lee's, Bánh Mì (&) Che Cali and, my personal favorite, Baguette Express. There's also Paris Sandwich, Ba Le and Saigon Sandwich. Bánh Mì, for those who don't know (If it weren't for Ngoc cung, I would've gone on for God knows how long ignorant of the joys of Bánh Mì and so much else) are the culinary silver lining in the cloud of French imperialism of Vietnam -- sandwiches made on wheat & rice flour baguettes with pickled carrots, daikon, gluten, roasted rice, meat (or mock meats), cilantro, chilis, pate, mayonnaise and other stuff. They're delicious and, best of all, nearly always about two dollars for a decent-sized one. There was a short lived Bánh Mì place in Silver Lake where they charged upwards of 6.50 a sandwich! In the world of sandwiches and Silver Lake, I suppose it was quite reasonable. In the competitive world of Bánh Mì it was suicidal and I felt guilty and lazy for eating there even once. For that price I could've gotten about seven sandwiches at Che Cali!
DEMOGRAPHICS OF ROSEMEAD
Pendersleigh & Sons' Official Map of the Far East Side
Today Rosemead is a mostly Asian (61%) city, largely comprised of immigrants from mainland China and Vietnam as well as a sizable Burmese population. 34% of the population is Latino (mostly Mexican) of any race.
The businesses largely reflect the populace, and Rosemead is home of many Chinese restaurants specializing in a variety of regional variations as well as the headquarters of Panda Express and Huy Fong Foods, the makers of Sriracha, a condiment found in all the best households.
CELEBRITIES FROM ROSEMEAD
Other supposedly notable residents include Taboo of the inedible Black Eyed Peas, Gerald Ford's "favorite Mexican dish" Vicki Carr, "Sultan of Sequins" Bob Mackie, and Rosemead natives Prima J.
DO NOT watch the Prima J video unless you're a nine-year-old girl or into Bratz and Myscene and you think unwarranted self-worship and obnoxiousness are charming.