CHINA TREASURE BOX
For the Downtown Streetscape Project,artists were commissioned to transform traffic signal boxes along Main Street into artworks.
Artist Stefan Verstappen created his CHINA TREASURE BOX to pay homage to Ventura's rich multi cultural history. One of 5 painted utility boxes on Main Street, it sits on the corner of Figueroa Plaza just opposite China Alley.
Information courtesy of the website "City of Ventura Public Art Program" I was amazed at the rich colours the artist used to create his CHINA TREASURE BOX. I had no idea it was to cover up a signal box. What a marvelous idea!
FIGUEROA PLAZA MURAL
As we strolled along Figueroa Plaza, we came upon this amazing MURAL. It was so wonderfully painted with vivid colors. The Mural depicted the era when Chinese immigrants, who came to the Ventura area to work in the fields and they lived together in wooden shacks. The Mural shows the Chinese going about their daily business
My Favorite Cowboy Hero's on one wall.....wow!
As you know by now, I love murals. They to me, are so Americana. I just loved this one and it is on the wall of the Winchesters Restaurant at 632 E. Main Street.
There are a couple of more down by Figueroa Plaza, Figueroa and Santa Clara streets and, just off of Main Street across from the San Buenaventura Mission.
If you pay attention they are starting to pop up everywhere. In many of these wonderful historic cities in California. They represent a wonderful story of our past to enrich our future!
Coffee and Muffins
In the funky little village of Pierpont Bay is an amazing collection of restaurants, services and a great coffee house called, "Full of Beans." Open 7 days a week the shop offers all sorts of coffee combinations even for the most dicriminating tastes. They also offer a wide assortment of non-coffee beverages as well.
The pastries, muffins and cakes are all great and you can even purchase bagels, small fruit salads among the vast displays of tempting treats.
There is seating inside and out with a stack of magazines and newspaper to help you while away the hours. I had the hot chocolate on a very cool summer's evening it was just the thing. Paul had a mocha latte and we shared a piece of their carrot cake for dessert.
They also have a unique package for people who require multiple coffees, for $12.00 you are given a vacuum pack full of coffee, 8 cups with lids and heat sleeves (so you won't burn your hand), creamer, sugar and stirrers. What a great idea!!!
Right near the Peirano Grocery building is a Chinese gate marking the entrance to China Alley. There's really nothing to see down the alley, I suppose the gate serves as a historical reminder about the Chinese in Ventura.
The Chinese settled in Ventura in the 1860s working mostly as farmers, laborers and domestic help. Around 200 Chinese lived there until the 1920s in their own community, nothing of "Chinatown" exists there today. I'm not sure if the gate is original or a reproduction.
For an in depth look at the Chinese in California, take a look at this section of the National Park Service website.