Council switches on smoking ban

CITY HALL ‚Ä The City Council did an about-face on a controversial smoking ban Tuesday night over unanswered questions regarding medical marijuana and a perceived lack of outreach to condominium owners. A 4-2 vote, with only Councilmembers Terry O‚ÄôDay and Bob Holbrook in favor of the ban, reversed a July 10 decision that... Read more →


A new take on Americana

SM PIER ‚Äî After three exciting performances, the Twilight Concert Series will continue Thursday with a highly anticipated performer whose impeccable musicianship belies his relative youth. He may only be 31 years old, but singer-songwriter Jackie Greene has come a long way from his beginnings playing music in local bars as a teenager... Read more →


Featured events

Thursday, July 26, 2012   Breakfast on us! Pacific Dining Car 2700 Wilshire Blvd., 7 a.m. ‚Äî 8:30¬† a.m. LeTip Networking Group is a professional organization of small business owners who utilize each others‚Äô services and send referrals to one another for possible business leads. In its weekly meetings, LeTip... Read more →


The haunting of Greystone Mansion

Two men in love with the same woman. And, according to some reports, with each other as well. All living together in a 55-room mansion in the hills. What could possibly go wrong? Everything, as Kathrine Bates‚Äô gripping drama "The Manor" so skillfully reveals. Set in Beverly Hills‚Äô majestic Greystone Mansion, where many of... Read more →


Capturing nature’s beauty

I recently toured the photo exhibit "SkyScapes" at Annenberg Community Beach House with curator Bruria Finkel. The photography is spectacular and inspiring, proving that nature often offers the most timeless art, even as it reminds us of time‚Äôs fleeting nature. The show includes photos of the California desert, Antarctica and the... Read more →


Challenging the forbidden food

Foie gras terrine with black truffles. (Photo courtesy Google Images) DOWNTOWN ‚Ä For chef Raphael Lunetta, foie gras was never just a delicious delicacy. It came with the rich flavor of culture and tradition. It brought him back to his upbringing, during which he travelled frequently to his mother‚Äôs homeland of France.... Read more →


No blues from this blue cheese

I absolutely love the taste of blue cheese, but I haven‚Äôt eaten it in ages because it just seems like one of those foods that provides so much fat (73 percent of its calories come from fat) that it‚Äôs difficult to justify eating it. But someone tempted me with the smell the other day. It‚Äôs a strong smell that you either... Read more →

City Council

Smoking ban may gasp final breath

A ban on smoking in multi-unit residences may not muster enough votes for passage. CITY HALL ‚Äî A controversial decision to ban smoking for new tenants and condominium owners in Santa Monica looks likely to be reversed today with two of its former supporters signaling a change of heart. Santa Monica Mayor Richard Bloom and... Read more →


A teen’s drive to get licensed

  DMV ‚Äî Being a teenager, the one milestone that somehow seems more important to me than the bat mitzvah or even high school graduation is the attainment of a driver‚Äôs license. It‚Äôs a symbol of independence. However, it‚Äôs also a complete hassle to obtain. A year ago, in the summer of 2011, I began the... Read more →


Mid-summer roundup

The big events around town include ¬ìWar Horse¬î at the Ahmanson Theatre and ¬ìThe Exorcist¬î at Geffen Playhouse. But much of note takes place in smaller venues. I hope you¬íll go out and discover one near you. How the devil do you turn ¬ìThe Exorcist¬î into a stage production? The Geffen¬ís answer attempts to render... Read more →


Pier Concert Series 2012

The temperatures are rising, the days are longer and the music has returned to the Santa Monica Bay. The Twilight Concert Series is back for its 28th year with as eclectic a lineup as ever before. When crowds flock to the historic Santa Monica Pier for this annual Westside tradition they will find a stage inhabited by a wideranging lineup... Read more →


Grief of a different sort

There¬ís no way to put this delicately: ¬ìThe Irish Curse¬î by Martin Casella, at West L.A.¬ís venerated Odyssey Theatre, is about grief over the size of a particular part of the male anatomy and its effect on men¬ís lives. It¬ís not typically the kind of thing that men talk about ¬ó their feelings, that is. Dubbed the ¬ìwee... Read more →


Bach, Cage back to back

If John Cage had not been born with his name, he would have had to invent it. It serves as a reminder of all the conventions he was trying to break free of in his music, his spirituality and his life. A Zen Buddhist, his open-mindedness allowed him to consider not just notes, harmonies, melodies, and rhythms but all sounds ¬ó traffic, jet... Read more →


Give them a hand

¬† You might think that a play hinging on the essential nature of language would pose a challenge for deaf artists.¬† But ¬ìCyrano,¬î a world premiere collaboration between The Fountain Theatre and Deaf West Theatre, has been extended twice, more than doubling the length of its initial run. In his classic 19th century romance... Read more →


Sexy sirens and comedic kings

When I was a UCLA undergrad studying literature in the 1970s, the feminist movement was in full flower across the cultural spectrum. Women protested at New York¬ís Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art about the lack of female artists in their collections. Bras were burned, Ms. Magazine was born, and women¬ís... Read more →