2016 Features Archive Stories

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  • A Dream Home Realized By: Jenny Peters | photography by McIntosh Architectural and Cindy YamanakaDesign
    In 2010, when C.C. and Chris Knowles finally were in a financial position to raze their Corona del Mar house and build their dream home, they thought it would be easy. At least C.C. did. “When we moved in 12 years ago, it was a single-story house that had water damage; it had lots of issues,” she recalls. But at that point, w
    Fri Jan 29, 2016
  • Sea to Table By: Terence Loose
    Stephanie Mutz holds a master’s degree in marine ecology. But unlike most of her peers, Mutz does not spend her days working for nonprofits, conducting research or teaching marine preservation. As California’s only female urchin diver, she spends them underwater, gathering sea urchins, or uni. Not for study, but for food. A t
    Fri Jan 29, 2016
  • Spring Fashion By: Jenn Tanaka
    Romance is the word coming off the 2016 spring and resort runways. Couture fashions showcase lace, flowing swaths of silk and delicate floral patterns. Inspired by sultry soirees and bedroom rendezvous, this season’s styles transition to effortless cool when paired with casual accessories, such as sneakers and leather accented boots.
    Fri Jan 29, 2016
  • The Coast 50: They Influence and Inspire By: Coast Staff
    Let’s just get this out of the way, in case you’re wondering how we did it: It wasn’t easy, picking the 50 with clout. Across every field of endeavor, so many of the people who choose to live here are the kind of people who make things happen. Philanthropic. Artistic. Athletic. Entrepreneurial. Political. Environmental. Bold. J
    Fri Jan 29, 2016
  • The Pacific Symphony By: Diane Haithman | Photography by Nick Koon
    A year ago, 29-year-old bass trombonist Kyle Mendiguchia would have jumped on a plane to audition for a respected midsize orchestra such as Kansas City Symphony. Unlike his current position with Orange County’s Pacific Symphony, the Kansas City, Missouri, orchestra is a  full-time job – the goal of most musicians aspiring to joi
    Fri Jan 29, 2016
  • 5 Exhilarating and innovative ways to get your exercise on By: Noelle Medina | Pedego photography by Nick Agro
    Wouldn’t it be great if the New Year’s song went, “Should old resolutions be forgot?” If you’re anything like the millions of other Americans, your resolutions probably involve maintaining a healthy lifestyle in 2016. Maybe you pledged the same thing in 2015 and 2014, and maybe you weren’t as successful as you
    Thu Dec 24, 2015
  • A Corona del Mar home pushes the concept of contemporary architecture to new heights By: Alexandria Abramian | Photography by Nick Koon
    For Catharina and Andrew Gerken, the idea of living in a contemporary home with some envelope-pushing design details was more inspiring than intimidating. “I’m from Sweden, where design is often a bit more contemporary and ahead,” Catharina says. “And both of us were especially ready because our last house was traditional
    Thu Dec 24, 2015
  • Destination Wellness Spas By: Rosemary McClure
    Cal-a-Vie, VistaThe soft amber glow of sunrise is beginning to color the sky as a dozen hikers crest a hill in northwestern San Diego County. Their view encompasses steep slopes terraced with grapes, a long green valley and distant homes and businesses. In the golden light of early morning, the scene is electric. But no one pauses l
    Thu Dec 24, 2015
  • Face it: Time for a Lift? By: Shelly Levitt
    Around the time that a Long Beach X-ray technician turned 50, she began seeing her dermatologist twice a year for strategic poking and plumping. A couple of dozen units of the neurotoxin Botox to reduce the furrows in her forehead and the crow’s feet around her eyes, a syringe or two of the filler Juvederm to pad the parentheses, or nasola
    Thu Dec 24, 2015
  • How long can we go? By: Courtney Perkes
    When the end comes, LaVerne Bugna, 96, will reunite with her beloved husband in a single plot at Pacific View Memorial Park, where she’s instructed their children to place her coffin facedown over his, as if poised for an eternal kiss. Bugna, a recently retired attorney who lives by herself in Newport Beach and still drives, has at
    Thu Dec 24, 2015
  • 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