2015 Features Archive Stories

Sort By: Date Headline Author/Byline Available Categories:
  • Francesca Lia Block: All the Light We See By: Francesca Lia Block
    As a writer I always thought I’d need to move to New York to be taken seriously, but I’ve been able to develop my career in my beloved California since 1989.  I’ve written more than 25 books, all set on the West Coast, and I’ve watched the literary scene grow richer every year. In August, Kevin Staniec, execu
    Mon Nov 30, 2015
  • Tea Time: 3 Great Spots for High Tea in OC By: Jenn Tanaka and Sam Dunn
    The first known cup of tea is thought to have been poured somewhere in China around the third century, and since then the world has joined in. Brews from the true tea plant, Camellia sinensis, didn’t reach the shores of Britain until the 1600s. Though they were late to the party, the British more than made up for it by weaving the taking o
    Fri Nov 27, 2015
  • On the Waterfront: Billy Whitford makes a difference By: Terence Loose
    I had heard a lot of stories about 57-year-old Billy Whitford, the founder and executive director of the Newport Aquatic Center in the Back Bay, whom everyone knows as just Billy. Stories as in:“Billy is the Steve Jobs of California paddling.” “Billy will drive a trailer full of canoes to Vegas for a race,
    Fri Nov 27, 2015
  • Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla finds her tempo as classical’s up-and-coming conductor By: Timothy Mangan
    Her name is Mirga GraĹžinyte-Tyla, weird diacritical marks and all, and so people are starting to call her just Mirga to keep things simpler and safer. Born in Vilnius, Lithuania, less than 30 years ago, she is slender, not particularly tall and, one could even say, girlish in appearance, not exactly the type one expects to find on the podium of
    Fri Nov 27, 2015
  • OC's Ballet Moment: ABT's ‘Nutcracker’ finds a home in Costa Mesa By: Jean Lenihan
    On a Saturday morning in a backstage rehearsal room at Segerstrom Hall, 16 toy soldiers are marching in backward formation, morphing from two parallel lines into two rotating pinwheels. Though the outside girls are scrambling to keep in formation, and a stack of toy rifles in the corner slides noisily to the ground, the hushed group does not bre
    Fri Nov 27, 2015
  • Celebrating Frank Sinatra's Centennial By: Christopher Smith
    Frank Sinatra was born 100 years ago on December 12; the run-up to that date is seeing hundreds if not thousands of performances across the country. Many, inevitably, will be at the level of piano bar singers belting out “My Way,” predictably aping an artist who actually did sing it his way for more than half a century. In Or
    Fri Oct 30, 2015
  • Gordon McAlpine's "Full Circle" Library Tale By: Gordon McAlpine | Illustration by Chris Morris
    For 20 years, novelists, journalists, scientists, historians and other public figures have delivered lectures at the Newport Beach Public Library. I learned of the series when I was invited to speak there in March 1997. That long-ago night, I read from my second novel, “The Persistence of Memory.” The room was filled with students, f
    Fri Oct 30, 2015
  • Making a Statement with Eye-Popping Jewelry By: Jenny Peters | Photography by Sabin Orr
    As fall and winter come to OC, the changes in our natural world are subtle. Most trees keep their leaves, the sun continues to shine and flowers keep blooming. In that setting, it’s a time for celebrations, galas and special occasions – perfect moments for wearing on-trend statement jewelry pieces. These striking pieces meld
    Fri Oct 30, 2015
  • Mauli Ola Foundation, A Breath of Fresh Air By: Terence Loose
    Hawaiian big-wave surfer Kala Alexander and former world champion surfer Sunny Garcia have some of the heaviest reputations in the sport. No one messes with these guys. Alexander, who has the words “WOLF PAK” tattooed on his knuckles along with shark-black eyes and a stare to back them up, built a reputation on “regulating&rdqu
    Fri Oct 30, 2015
  • Paul Musco's Heart of Gold By: David Ferrell | photography by Sheri Geoffreys and Chapman university
    Even as he prepares to turn 90, with nine stents and an artificial valve in his heart, white-haired Sebastian P. “Paul” Musco works full time and is still cracking one-liners. He has a favorite about his father, an immigrant from Sicily who raised 10 children during the Great Depression. Dad spent 35 years working in education, M
    Fri Oct 30, 2015
  • Shopping with a Conscience: 5 Stores to Check Out By: Nancie Clare
    Shopping has changed. In the post-great recession environment, more factors go into our choices than just getting what we want. These days the vast majority of us (more than 80 percent, according to a recent survey on corporate social responsibility by Cone Communications) want what we buy to be from stores and brands that demonstrate corporate
    Fri Oct 30, 2015
  • Twila True's Heart is in Two Worlds By: David Ferrell | Photography by Cindy Yamanaka and True Sioux Hope Foundation
    Twila True’s preferred way to reach Pine Ridge, the vast, impoverished Sioux territory in South Dakota, is by small chartered plane, enabling her to avoid the commercial airport in Rapid City 90 miles to the north. The approach takes her directly over beautiful rolling countryside. If she arrives in the evening, True enjoys a sense of spec
    Fri Oct 30, 2015
  • The Bank Robber and the Sea By: Joe Loya
    Somewhere around late 1988, I drove down to San Diego County from LA to rob banks. That morning I told myself not to return home until I had $50,000. At one point on the drive down the 5, I passed surfers at San Onofre living the Beach Boys’ “Surfin’ U.S.A.” life. I love that vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean on t
    Fri Sep 25, 2015
  • Don the Beachcomber celebrates the Aloha culture By: Jenn Tanaka | Photography Ralph Palumbo
    As in fashion and music, trends in dining and cocktails recycle with the times. Voracious mixologists, having already mastered those speakeasy-style cocktails made popular during the Prohibition era, are forever seeking the next hot trend. Take tiki, for example. Liquor snobs who once regarded these drinks for being too kitschy are now r
    Fri Sep 25, 2015
  • How Pelican Hill Resort reaches for its stars By: David Ferrell | Photography by Leonard Ortiz and courtesy of Pelican Hill
    Even at peak times, when more than 1,000 guests fill the Tuscan-style villas and bungalows strung across the undulating Newport Coast, the Resort at Pelican Hill seems to operate with tranquil, clock-like efficiency. Guests lounge poolside, overlooking the ocean, or chit-chat beside the hearth in the splendor of the Great Room, scarcely aware of
    Fri Sep 25, 2015
  • Notes on a Winery By: DAVID FERRELL | photography by mark rightmire
    Four hours’ drive from his dental practice in Newport Beach, Dr. Douglas Hauck moonlights living every wine-lover’s fantasy: He runs his own winery. He plunked down $2 million eight years ago to buy the rolling acreage on the prime western flank of Paso Robles. Grapes there, cooled by nightly sea breezes, are considered ideal for pro
    Fri Sep 25, 2015
  • How to Sail Off into the Sunset By: Terence Loose | Photography by Andy Turpin/Latitude 38; Suzanne Fults
    Years ago, I was researching a piece on the Orange Coast College School of Sailing & Seamanship and visited one of its beginning sailing classes. I met Brian, a guy whose plan was to sell everything he owned, buy a boat and sail around the world. Brian told me this as he mis-tied a bowline and failed to properly fold a sail. Brian said he pl
    Fri Sep 25, 2015
  • Check in here for Luxury By: Tom Berg
    The hospitality business in Orange County is back. Hotel occupancy and revenues are up. Spending is soaring. Industry watchers say 2015 is shaping up as the best year on record for hotels – better even than the boom year of 2000. That’s good news for local resorts, which have been on a spending spree lately in pursuit of that
    Mon Aug 31, 2015
  • Fall Arts Guide By: Lisa Fung
    THEATERCirque du SoleilOct. 15-Nov. 29Orange County Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa :: cirquedusoleil.com/kuriosNo matter how many Cirque du Soleil shows you have seen, you’ve und
    Wed Aug 26, 2015
  • Laguna artist Elizabeth McGhee finds beauty in the past. By: David Ferrell | Photography by Nick Agro
    Artist Elizabeth McGhee favors realism; her portraits and still lifes, while often fanciful, convey mood mainly through composition and detail. The white-haired woman in “Hecate,” a 2014 oil-on-panel work, regards the viewer with a hard, inscrutable look and is set against a backdrop of jagged shadow. An accompanying synopsis notes t
    Wed Aug 26, 2015
  • Inside Laguna's Pacific Marine Mammal Center By: Terence Loose | Photography by Mindy Schauer
    In many ways, 45-year-old Billy Long is your typical bachelor. He surfs a lot. He owns a small beachside restaurant, the Secret Spot in Huntington Beach, that’s frequented by fellow health-conscious surfers. He doesn’t stress. Where Long’s typical bachelor status goes a little sideways is on Tuesdays, when you’ll
    Wed Aug 26, 2015
  • Oscar Madison Saved My Marriage By: Jamie Rose | Illustration by Chris Morris
    It’s opening night of the Neil Simon classic “The Odd Couple” and I’m sitting fourth row center at the Laguna Playhouse, the theater packed with excited patrons.“The guy from ‘Grease 2’ is playing Felix!” an expensively coiffed woman in a tasteful black sheath dress seated next to me whispers
    Wed Aug 26, 2015
  • Substance meets Style at Sushi Roku Fashion Island By: Brad A. Johnson | Photography by Cindy Yamanaka
    “Irasshai!” shouts a hostess as she leads me to my table. The sushi chefs and waiters respond in kind. Most are cheerily enthusiastic, although I can’t help but notice one waiter rushing through the room with an armful of food who mumbles the greeting under his breath in a way that suggests the Japanese-to-English translation i
    Wed Aug 26, 2015
  • Peter Townend - The Original Surf Star By: Terence Loose | photography by: Cindy Yamanaka, Nick Agro, Peter Townend files
    When Huntington Beach’s Peter Townend, best known as PT, sees what professional surfing has become in the four decades since he became the sport’s first world champion, he is both stoked and amazed. Today, professional surfing’s champions are millionaire celebrities, flying first class, staying in beachfront manses and pampered
    Fri Jul 31, 2015
  • The Crab Cooker By: Lawrence Christon | Photography by Sandy Huffaker, ed crisostomo, Paul Rodriguez
    Nobody goes to the Crab Cooker for its eccentric charm. Not only, anyway. You go for the fresh fish, cooked on open rotating charcoal grills visible to anyone who wants to watch: oysters, Alaskan king crab, king crab killer claws, Maryland-style crab cakes, soft-shell crab, chilled cracked Dungeness crab, Australian lobster and Atlantic salmon f
    Fri Jul 31, 2015