Sweet tooth contractors

For the past nine years, the Fairmont Miramar Hotel has displayed a gingerbread replica of Santa Monica during the holidays. In addition to the bank with its gold coined roof, the post office, library, Fairmont hotel, school and church, this year’s city boasts surfers catching waves made of rock candy off a replica of the Santa Monica... Read more →

Mommie Brain

Christmas, oy vey!

Right near our house, on the corner across from Whole Foods and next to the car wash, there is an empty lot. My son and I pass this lot multiple times a day on our way to school in the car, running errands or just grabbing a bagel. Normally, this is not a big deal. Sometimes, though, it is a huge deal, like when they transformed the lot... Read more →

Community Profiles

Sister takes a stand against gun violence

MAIN STREET — What is it that decides our fate? Is it the people we meet? The choices we make? Or is it the things that happen to us, things beyond our control? For resident Suzanne Verge, a decade of passionate work can be traced back to one person and one defining moment that arrived when she was 15 years old. That moment came on... Read more →

Book Review

‘The Enclave’

Bethany House adds another exciting suspense tale to its line up. This one is set in a research facility where everything is not as it seems. Someone is trying to convince Lacey McHenry that she is having hallucinations. A new arrival at the lab, she is assigned to work in the frog lab. The action begins when she is attacked in the frog lab... Read more →


Nothing says love like homemade gifts

‘Tis the season for gift giving. No matter what religion or spiritual practice you subscribe to, the winter solstice is upon us and it demands that we exchange gifts with the people we love. There really is no way to avoid it; our children will be showered with brand new outfits and bright, shiny toys from relatives far and near and... Read more →

Community Profiles

Laughter on the go

The next time you hop on the bus to cruise down Ocean Avenue, you might experience more than just a cheap and convenient way to get from point A to point B. Thanks to the comedic talent of Santa Monica resident Chris Gehrt, you might also get some laughs. Gehrt, 32, is part of Transit TV Comedy, an effort by the Los Angeles Transit... Read more →


Be mindful, frugal with Thanksgiving leftovers

Now that you slaved in the kitchen for days on end to feed all your family and friends, the last thing you want to do is cook some more. You can either give away leftovers, eat them as is, or turn them into new, lighter fare to take you through the weekend, and even into Monday, as you begin your holiday shopping. I love finding creative ways... Read more →


Can’t you hear the lilacs?

To be an artist is to be an outsider. A loner. A person overwhelmed by his passions. And more than a little insane. That’s the premise of Stacy Sims’ play “As White As O,” now having its world premiere at the Road Theatre in North Hollywood. In sympathy and fascination we watch as a group of artists, swamped by their... Read more →


Don’t sweat the small stuff

Dear New Shrink, For the last few years, I have been suffering from chronic stomachaches, heartburn and acid reflux. My doctor says he believes these symptoms are all related to my stress level. I will admit I am somewhat of a worrier. There isn’t anything unbearable or tragic going on in my life right now but I do constantly find... Read more →


Fine night for a fine wine

One of the great marketing successes in the world has been the creation of anticipation of the Beaujolais nouveau each year for hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The past few vintages were not so great. But I just had the recent vintage at a special dinner offered at La Cachette, and this vintage was superb! This vintage had... Read more →


Efron comes of age in ‘Me and Orson Welles’

When I tell you the feel-good, comedic, coming of age flick for the holiday season takes place in New York during the 1930s you might incredulously think, “Yeah, right.” So brace yourself for this next revelation — it also involves William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” as envisioned by iconic American... Read more →

Mommie Brain

Creating a new tradition to be thankful for

It almost seems too easy to have this column be about Thanksgiving. But it also seems so appropriate, being that it is only two days away. Since Thanksgiving is a time to take stock and be thankful for those around you, and since motherhood is a daily experience of stock-taking, I figured I had no choice but to get a little sappy, perhaps... Read more →


Never too young to give back

We will be spending a lot of time this weekend stuffing ourselves with turkey and paying lipservice to the concept of “giving thanks.” This year we decided to find ways to really show how thankful we are to live in a place like Santa Monica. Just handing over a check to a charity doesn’t hold much meaning for a 4 year old.... Read more →

Community Profiles

Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader

ROSE BOWL — Geoffrey Strand looks forward, then back, then forward, holding up a sign directing the crowd when it’s time to scream. “Not yet,” the sign reads, Strand glances back quickly at the field. No movement yet. “Not yet.” Strand looks back again, sees the Arizona State Sun Devils prepare to line... Read more →