Making funny at the grocery store

BROADWAY — What’s so funny about a grocery store? For most stores, nothing. There’s fresh produce, hopefully a few sale items and plenty of canned goods, but not much humor. At the Co-opportunity market on Broadway, one guy thinks there’s funny to be made in an unlikely place. Ben Wolfinsohn, the creator of... Read more →


Barcycle rolls into Santa Monica

MAIN STREET — Santa Monica encourages bicycles for commuting, daily errands and fitness. Why not barhopping? That was Frank Congine’s thought when he caught his first glimpse of what he would later call the Beach Barcycle rolling its way down the streets of Minneapolis. The contraption had a row of seats on three sides of what... Read more →


Boot camps may be banned at parks, beaches

CITY HALL — Boot camps may be getting the boot out of public parks and beaches. City officials will explore options to regulate commercial exercise groups on public property citing a steady stream of resident complaints and the toll such groups and their equipment take on the parks. The groups crowd the northern end of Palisades Park... Read more →


Engage, provoke and inspire

In an era when many arts groups have suffered a downturn in funding, Santa Monica’s 18th Street Arts Center has succeeded as an ever-evolving artist space for nearly 25 years. Given that its budget is a little over $1 million, this is nothing short of a miracle. It may just be that 18th Street’s resilience is due to one special... Read more →


Keeping in touch with business contacts

Dear Life Matters, Throughout my career I have focused on building a strong network. As a result, I have a number of professionals in my Rolodex in addition to online connections like Facebook and LinkedIn. Reaching out and meeting people is not my issue, but I struggle with how to stay in touch with someone after our initial meeting. I want... Read more →


Breaking into the beverage business

Amidst a down economy, it is refreshing to hear a success story, especially when that story began right here in Santa Monica and involves one of the most competitive and cutthroat industries around — the beverage business. “I don’t think we could have launched this if we didn’t live together because this was an... Read more →


The power of the grill sweetens spring asparagus

I have always loved asparagus. But the minute I tasted grilled asparagus, it went from a vegetable I liked to one that I was madly in love with. Every time I make it — seasoned with my basic grilling trilogy of olive oil, salt and pepper — people ask for the recipe. That’s because grilling transforms the asparagus so much... Read more →


1963 as a cruel musical

Those of us who voted for John Fitzgerald Kennedy in 1960 were fortunate enough to experience the exhilaration, the hope, and the joyful anticipation that his election brought to the nation. We watched with pride as this charismatic young man and his ethereally beautiful wife charmed the rest of the world as well. We thrilled to his plans to... Read more →


Relaxing in luxury at La Costa

I have always known La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif. to be the home of various renowned golf tournaments over the years, but not being a golfer I had no burning desire to visit it. However, since their recent $50 million makeover and remodel I thought I should give this iconic resort a try. Before embarking on our trip, I decided... Read more →


April is the coolest month

Spring has definitely sprung across the Southern California arts landscape. Here’s a roundup of upcoming and ongoing events that pique my interest. I’ll report on some of them later but I think all merit your consideration now. Ed Moses The William Turner Gallery at Bergamot Station took a birthday party and turned it into an... Read more →


Veggie Grill’s new menu delights

Having an opportunity to try the Veggie Grill’s new menu items was a real treat. Riding my bike up to their restaurant at The Grove on Fairfax Avenue and Third Street to do so was pretty exciting as well. Thankfully there is a closer location on 20th and Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica to meet the needs of most Westsiders. And... Read more →



MR. C doesn’t know its ABCs

It started with the water. When the waiter at the Mr. C restaurant in the new, fancy Mr. C hotel in Los Angeles asked me what I would like to drink, I replied “plain water, no ice.” Before I knew what was happening the bus boy was pouring water from a bottle with a label I’d never seen before. “Is that bottled... Read more →


‘The Seagull’ soars high

Medvedenko the schoolteacher is in love with Masha, the daughter of the manager of a country estate. Masha is in love with Konstantin, a would-be playwright. Konstantin is in love with Nina, a would-be actress. Nina is in love with Trigorin, a successful novelist. Trigorin is in love with Irina Arkadina, a prominent actress and the mother of... Read more →


Making sure meetings matter

Dear Life Matters, My company recently re-structured and I am now part of several cross-functional teams. While I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with additional staff members throughout the organization, I am a bit nervous about adjusting to the varying needs of each team. Given that I will be leading two new initiatives as a... Read more →


Finding Falkenstein

Claire Falkenstein (1908-1997), a female artist in her 50s, arrived in Los Angeles during the ‘60s when the mantra was “trust no one over 30” and when the art scene was dominated by hard-partying young men of the “cool school” who were creating their own new art and lifestyles. This may be one of the reasons... Read more →