City program puts families back on their feet

ANNENBERG BEACH HOUSE — Six years ago, Deborah Jackson left a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program with nothing going for her except a referral to St. Joseph Center in Venice. The 50-year-old Jackson had no place to live, hadn’t worked in 15 years and her son and daughter were staying with relatives. She saw her daughter every... Read more →


Power through the dog days

It’s so great to be back in Cali! As much as I loved going home to New York, seeing my boyfriend, I seriously missed Burn Fitness. The only problem is that since I returned to the warm wonder that is Santa Monica I’ve been experiencing a run of health related issues that include recurring migraine headaches and back problems. You... Read more →


Not enough time to enjoy life

Dear New Shrink, I have this issue with self-motivation. I am extremely busy with my work schedule, so when I have free time, I like to spend it with my friends, family, and my boyfriend since I am most often working. However, I constantly mope about wishing I took piano lessons, read more, took a photography class, etc. I also always say I... Read more →


After the black list

If a man commits a moral crime against his best friend and torments himself with that secret for more than 50 years, is it necessary — or even appropriate — for his children to sit in judgment and literally destroy him — and the lifetime friendship? That’s the dilemma posed by Allan Manings’ new play... Read more →


Santa Monica chef at the top of his game

OLYMPIC BLVD — Stefan’s at L.A. Farm screams aristocratic eatery with every detail of its composition, starting with the rampant bulls with smouldering red eyes at the street entrance and following through to the richly appointed tomes that sit adjacent to the host desk. And then there’s the Double Bubble. A huge bowl of... Read more →


Standing out among the career fair crowd

Dear New Shrink, I am about to graduate from college and am searching for my first job. My school is hosting a career fair that I am interested in attending, however, I have never been to an event like this before. I don't know what to talk about or what to do. Please let me know how I can prepare and put my best foot forward. Signed,... Read more →


French tapas bring back some of the flavor at La Cachette

When Jean Francois Meteigner, one of the great French chefs in town, moved his restaurant from Santa Monica Boulevard in Century City to Ocean Avenue in Santa Monica, many of his clients eagerly followed. We expected the same great food and wines in a more casual, perhaps a bit less expensive, locale. The new setting at the new location is... Read more →


With a friend like that, who needs enemies?

Dear New Shrink, I had what I thought was a very good friend for over 10 years. We hung out together and did social things either with small groups of other friends or just the two of us. We spoke frequently on the phone and shared personal information. Suddenly this friend stopped speaking to me and often asks friends of mine to do things... Read more →


‘Trio’ a 19th century passion play

If Jane Austen had written plays as well as novels and had lived later in the 19th century, she might have written “Trio.” This beautiful play has many of the ingredients of an Austen novel: a brilliant heroine, a narcissistic, self-destructive husband, and a delicate romance. The only thing missing is Colin Firth.... Read more →


Workplace bully doesn’t just take your lunch money

Dear New Shrink, I have been in my current job for a little over three months now. I have really enjoyed my work and I’m doing well at my job. However, there is another woman in my department who has been extremely negative toward me. She will challenge me in meetings and often criticizes me in front of others. On several occasions she... Read more →


La Scala lacks a personal touch

Groucho Marx used to say, “I’m a person of high principles, and if you don’t like them … I have others.” I too have high principles, including what kind of restaurant I like to go to. It’s not just about the food, it’s the experience. One of the most important parts of the experience is whether or... Read more →


Four mothers deal with the circle of life

“In Mother Words” is a series of 20 vignettes about motherhood written by 14 authors and performed by three superb actresses and one excellent actor. The sketches are funny, poignant, spirited, instructive, often predictable, and sometimes overly gooey. But the fly in the Desitin is that you’ve seen many of them — or... Read more →


Joe’s makes you feel at home

We’re so lucky in Santa Monica to have a number of extraordinary chefs trained in France by the greatest of the great. Michael McCarty has been around the longest I guess, and has maintained a top quality restaurant for years. Josiah Citrin at Melisse has raised the reputation of his restaurant so that it is now among the best in the... Read more →