A Pair of Holiday Cocktails to Celebrate Surviving 2020

Enough downer stuff has been written about the year 2020, so I’d like to accentuate the positive. For starters, it’s almost over. And if you’re reading this, congratulations, that means unlike hundreds of thousands of our loved ones, you survived it. This is cause for celebration.  And there is much to celebrate besides our continued existence, there’s the fact that a vaccine is on the … Continue reading A Pair of Holiday Cocktails to Celebrate Surviving 2020

Tiato Kitchen and Garden: Paradise’s Patio

As the pandemic rages on, I feel an urgency to help support our most cherished dining establishments. The chain restaurants and their parent companies may take a hit to their stock price, but they’ll weather the storm. In the meantime, local eateries are just trying to tread water amid the latest wave — the second or third depending on how you’re counting — finding new … Continue reading Tiato Kitchen and Garden: Paradise’s Patio

I Survived 2020: A Science-Believer’s Guide to a COVID-Free Getaway

I’ll admit it, I was hesitant to venture into the not-my-neighborhood and, daringly, stay multiple nights in not-my-house. I still am and probably will be for months — maybe year (ask me after Nov. 3, or hopefully soon thereafter) — but I do feel much better about the possibility of vacation travel in these unprecedented times.  So, ground rules: Everything below is dog-friendly, kid-friendly and … Continue reading I Survived 2020: A Science-Believer’s Guide to a COVID-Free Getaway

The Pandemic-Proof Office

It’s a new era we’re living in, one that’s going to take some getting used to. As the country relaxes the lockdown and people return to their workplaces, architects and designers are working on new concepts for the future of office space.  For years, the trend in office design had moved in the direction of open spaces in an effort to promote collaboration and camaraderie. … Continue reading The Pandemic-Proof Office

Italian Team Scores in Your Kitchen

Cooking Italian at home is such a unique and satisfying experience, it even has its own Spotify playlist. Few pleasures in life rival the heavenly aromas of a kitchen stove sauteeing traditional Italian ingredients like garlic, onion, and tomato. And if you’re like me, you consider artisanal sauces and pastas a form of currency, and a cupboard full of such items a virtual treasure chest. … Continue reading Italian Team Scores in Your Kitchen

Sanity in the Time of Coronavirus

Well, we’re a few weeks in and you’re probably beginning to feel like Jack Torrance well into his “novel” at the Overlook Hotel (and if you’ve never seen “The Shining,” you truly have no excuses now). But ol’ Jack might not have gone so stir crazy if he’d just taken a few quarantining tips from yours truly.  The first thing to remember is that we’re … Continue reading Sanity in the Time of Coronavirus

Lionel Richie Understands the Sweet Smell of Success

Lionel Richie just seems synonymous with seduction, doesn’t he? I’m reminded of the scene in “Election” in which Mr. Novotny sneaks young Tracy Flick into his house, gets her a can of root beer and what does he put on? You’re once… twice…  “Three Times a Lady.”  So, it’s only natural that someone who’s been so integral in engineering intimate encounters would branch out into … Continue reading Lionel Richie Understands the Sweet Smell of Success

A Paso Robles Weekender Primer

The cliché is that it’s what Napa used to be. But Paso Robles doesn’t seem to care for the comparisons with the long-established wine country to the north. Oh, they’re happy to provide fruit for those big “Napa Valley” Zins and Cabs, but appear happy to carve out their own distinct niche in the wine world. Less than four hours north on the 101 in … Continue reading A Paso Robles Weekender Primer

The Christmas Market in Cambria

It’s not L.A. — not the climate, not the urban sprawl, not the wealth disparity, not even the jerks — that makes celebrating Christmas here such a challenge. OK, maybe those factor in. But primarily, I find it’s difficult for many of us to get into the spirit of the season simply because we live here. The city is, for us, business as usual. And … Continue reading The Christmas Market in Cambria