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 →

Life

The artist behind the 16 year old shopping cart tree

Anthony Schmitt creates a shopping cart tree every year at the Edgemar Center for the Arts. (Paul Alvarez Jr. editor@smdp.com) EDGEMAR CENTER — Just like a living tree, the Edgemar shopping cart tree is growing and spawning seedlings. At 35 feet, this year’s tree is the tallest ever, said the creator, Santa Monica artist Anthony... Read more →

Life

Speed on the roads, danger on the bluffs 100 years ago

The Palisades Bluffs can be a dangerous place. (File photo) IN THE HISTORY BOOKS — Next time you bottom out on Colorado Avenue, think back with sympathy to your 1913 predecessors. One hundred years ago this month, four passengers were thrown from a Hupmobile when they hit a “chuck hole” caused by rail construction on Santa Monica... Read more →

Food

East meets Westside

My plan was to write one article about Japanese restaurants, one about Korean, one about Chinese, and one about mixed-Asian restaurants.  So I asked my Korean golf partner, Mr. Kim, “What’s the best Korean restaurant on the Westside?” He hesitated, like he does before each putt. He continued to think for a while. Then he replied,... Read more →

Entertainment

Who in the dickens is Dickens?

Because we in America are so fixated on Mark Twain, our “premier storyteller,” we sometimes tend to conflate his personal history with that of England’s “premier storyteller,” Charles Dickens. As writers, public storytellers, and lecturers, they had much in common, especially when it came to humor, satire and impatience with social... Read more →

Culture Watch

Antidotes to holiday blues

If you like your holiday entertainment laugh-filled, but still wondrous while serving a great purpose, make your next stop the Actors’ Gang Theatre in Culver City. The annual “Queen Family’s Very Special Holiday Special” is a romp! Check out a variety of live performers during The Actors' Gang production of 'Queen Family's Very... Read more →

Columns

How to keep a holiday party from getting awkward

Dear Life Matters, I am hosting a rather large holiday dinner with both friends and family invited. This is a tradition and it has always been very nice and a lot of fun. But this year is a little different because one of my husband’s sisters has had a very bad marital situation this past year. Her husband left her and it turned out... Read more →

Food

Fat-free gifts for foodies

What am I going to give so-and-so for the holidays? That is the universal question this time of year. Whether it’s for your assistant the java junkie, your friend the baker, or your brother-in-law the grill master, there are plenty of food-related gift ideas guaranteed not to be re-gifted. Chocolates, snack mixes, tubs of popcorn are... Read more →

Health

Kids getting prepared

MAIN LIBRARY — City Hall’s Office of Emergency Management has completed an emergency preparedness activity guide for kids as a fun way for them and their families to be prepared for emergencies like an earthquake or fire. Included in the activity guide are tips, fun games and activities, and steps to create a family emergency plan and... Read more →

Life

Santa Monican takes in 68 dogs after hoarder busted

PALS: Tawny with her friend Blessing.  Blessing is a golden retriever rescued wandering in the Palm Springs desert two years ago. (Photo courtesy Carole Hart) MONTANA AVE  — “Can you take six dogs?” Jean McCoy’s friend asked her in October. Animal Control officers had just busted a family of dog hoarders in Westlake and a few... Read more →