Brief: Pittsburgh ballet school looking for talent

As part of a nationwide tour, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School — the official training institution of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre — will hold auditions for its 2014 Intensive Summer Program at Westside School of Ballet, 1709 Stewart St., on Saturday, Jan. 11. Registration begins at 2 p.m. with the audition following at 2:30... Read more →


Plants wait out the darkest days

Houseplants’ problems are further compounded by windows, which cut sunlight by another 10 percent. No wonder these plants, if they are growing at all, stretch for light this time of year. (Daniel Archuleta Plants and people can’t help but feel a bit wan this time of year, but things are brightening up already. Every... Read more →



D.K.’s unveils new ube root donut

Before you swiftly dismiss the idea of donuts in the new year (especially after weeks of holiday excess) just hear me out. Heading east of Santa Monica’s iconic beaches, world famous Santa Monica Pier and touristy Third Street Promenade, down Santa Monica Boulevard, will bring you to the Mid-City neighborhood and to perhaps the greatest... Read more →


Play Time: Deciphering a domestic disturbance

STARRING ROLES: Tahar Rahim as Samir and Berenice Bejo as Marie in 'The Past.' (Photo courtesy Carole Bethuel/Sony Pictures Classics) Two years ago I had the pleasure of viewing and reviewing an Iranian film written and directed by Asghar Farhadi. The film, “A Separation,” went on to win 70 major awards around the world, including an... Read more →


Plentiful New Year’s Eve options in Santa Monica

CITYWIDE — Santa Monica has been a hot spot for New Year’s Eve parties since at least the 1890s. Back then the fire department held annual masquerade balls that were the talk of the Los Angeles area. In the early 1900s, Santa Monica casinos and the church groups alike held massive late-night feasts. On New Year’s Eve 1932, a... Read more →



SoCal cracks down on fraud at farmers markets

DOWNTOWN — Ever wonder if something’s rotten at your farmers market? Maybe those pricey “locally grown” mangos are actually commercial imports from South America. Southern California officials have cracked down this past year on vendors who violate state law by selling fruits and vegetables they don’t produce. Violators can be... Read more →


Hollywood struggles against new film meccas

LOS ANGELES — In the old days, filmmakers flocked to Hollywood for its abundant sunshine, beautiful people and sandy beaches. But today a new filmmaking diaspora is spreading across the globe to places like Vancouver, London and Wellington, New Zealand. Fueled by politicians doling out generous tax breaks, filmmaking talent is migrating... Read more →



Second helping of Santa Monica new eateries

Now that the year is all but over, an obligatory “best of” article seems fitting. Santa Monica certainly has had its fair share of notable restaurant openings, so here’s a brief rundown of my top new spots of 2013. The Sweet Mona at Pono Burger features fresh, organically-grown strawberries. Pono is Hawaiian for doing things the... Read more →

Culture Watch

Culture Watch: Different joys of singing

Santa Monica resident Ayana Haviv is a professional singer whose voice has appeared in several films. (Photo courtesy Ayana Haviv) Ayana Haviv has multiple musical personalities. The Grammy Award winner works as an ensemble singer and soloist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. But... Read more →