Feature Stories

My Big Fat Greek Gala Recap

My-big-fat-greek-gala-showroom-south-bay-by-jackieRichstone Family Center’s 20 Annual Affair of the Heart event, My Big Fat Greek Gala, took place at Audi Pacific on Saturday, March 21 and attracted a well-heeled crowd of individuals including local philanthropists, socialites and celebrities.

Proceeds from the event are critical in enabling Richstone to provide much needed services to vulnerable at-risk and abused children and families in our local communities. (Read More)

Trina Turk Private Shopping Event Recap

P1020718 - sbbjTrina Turk boutique in Manhattan Beach hosted a Private Shopping Event featuring the Spring 2015 Collection on a balmy Wednesday night, March 25.

A portion of the sales proceeds from the event will benefit the Go Red for Women campaign. Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s movement to wipe out heart disease.

(Read More)

Bettolino Kitchen Opens March 25, 2015

bettolino-kitchen-south-bay-by-jackieBettolino Kitchen, a family-owned modern Italian restaurant nestled just a few steps from Riviera Village in Redondo Beach, officially opens its doors on Wednesday, March 25.

(Read More)

Del Amo Fashion Center Update

Del Amo renovation 2 - sbbjHead-turning fashion retailers such as H & M, Zara, and Victoria’s Secret will be a big part of the explosive new retail lineup at Del Amo Fashion Center.

It’s all part of the ongoing transformation of South Bay’s premier retail destination, which is slated for a grand re-opening this October, when Nordstrom makes its debut at the center.

Foodies won’t be disappointed either as Del Amo Fashion Center is sweetening its dining scene with Great Maple, FRIDA and a relocated Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que.
(Read More)

Special Olympics Beach Cities Host Towns Announcment

special-olympics-south-bay-by-jackieTHE WORLD IS COMING TO LA!

The World Games Special Olympics are coming to LA in July of this summer. LA2015 is the largest event to come to LA since the 1984 Olympics.

Several South Bay cities are Host Towns. This means they have the special privilege of receiving and hosting 100 delegates each, consisting of athletes and coaches, for three days before the opening ceremonies. (Read More)

King Harbor Brewery’s Pi(e) Day Recap

Pi-day-south-bay-by-jackieKing Harbor Brewery’s Pi(e) Day took place Saturday, March 14 attracting a well-heeled crowd of individuals including beer influencers, local socialites, pie fans, beer industry VIPS and of course, beer lovers.

Pi Bake Shop supplied six Chocolate Mouse Pies made with King Harbors’ ‘The Swirly’, a Abel Brown Ale brewed with Coca Nibs for contestants to get sloppy with, and they did!

(Read More)

Skechers’ Friendship Walk Check Presentation

P1020641 - sbbjShade Hotel in Manhattan Beach hosted the Skechers’ Friendship Walk Check Presentation on Thursday, March 12.

The event brought together more than 150 people including corporate sponsors, city leaders, Walk participants, celebrities, school officials and education foundation representatives.

(Read More)

Walk With Sally Bowl-A-Thon Recap

bowl-a-thon-south-bay-by-jackieThe Eighth Annual Bowl-A-Thon, presented by Walk With Sally, rolled its way into Torrance and came out a big winner.
(Read More)

South Bay Business Leaders’ Summit Recap

south-bay-business-leaders-summit-south-bay-by-jackieJoe Terry and I had the honor of sitting at the Chevron Sponsor table at the South Bay Business Leaders’ Summit with Event Chair, Jill Brunkhardt, on Friday, March 6.

Sponsored by the Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce, the Summit was held at the Manhattan Beach Marriot.

(Read More)

Strand & Pier Hotel Update

Strand-and-Pier-south-bay-by-jackie 2Bolour Associates, a leading developer of innovative, high profile real estate properties throughout Southern California, has selected Redondo Beach-based firm Nelson & Gilmore to manage branding and marketing efforts for Strand & Pier, the company’s new oceanfront boutique hotel on The Strand in Hermosa Beach.
(Read More)

Redondo Beach Chamber Joins The South Bay Show Line Up

redondo -beach-chamber-south-bay-by-jackie 2Members of the business community and the general public can now learn about what’s happening at the Redondo Beach Chamber and in the community through the Redondo Beach Chamber’s upcoming internet radio show, The South Bay Show: Redondo Beach – More to Sea!

The South Bay Show is an internet radio program hosted by Joe Terry and Jackie Balestra on Blog Talk Radio.

(Read More)

South Bay Ramble

IMG_2544 - sbbjMy best friend Julie has been visiting from the frigid East Coast the last few days.

I love it when my far-flung family and friends come to town and I particularly enjoy sharing with them my favorite South Bay attractions. It’s also a great opportunity to discover new ones during our travels.

While our weather isn’t anywhere near as awful as it is in other parts of the country, it didn’t cooperate enough for us to take a Strand cruise – every time we geared up, it looked like it was about to pour! – but that didn’t stop us from having a rockin’ good time!

(Read More)

Briefing Re: ExxonMobil Refinery Explosion: February 24, 2015

Refinery units are heavily damaged after an explosion at the Exxon-Mobil refinery in TorranceThe City of Torrance will conduct a briefing regarding the recent ExxonMobil Refinery Explosion on Tuesday, February 24 at the beginning of the regularly scheduled City Council meeting.

Staff will present a review of the incident based on the most current information available from ExxonMobil, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) better known as Cal/OHSA, South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), and City operations. (Read More)

ExxonMobil Town Hall Meeting set for February 20, 2015

Refinery units are heavily damaged after an explosion at the Exxon-Mobil refinery in TorranceAn ExxonMobil Town Hall Meeting is scheduled for Friday, February 20 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Toyota Meeting Hall to discuss the February 18 incident at the ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery.

The ExxonMobil Torrance Refinery has established a claims hotline for anyone who may have been affected by the incident. The claims hotline is 844-631-2539.

(Read More)

South Bay High Schools headed to the CIF Playoffs!

CIF-SS-championship-logoPairings for the 2014-15 CIF Southern Section-Ford Championship Playoffs, presented by Farmers in the winter sports of boys and girls soccer, were announced February 16.

Congratulations are in order for several local South Bay high school soccer teams that have made it into the playoffs!

(Read More)

Sweetheart’s Stroll in the Garden

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAYou can live in the South Bay your entire life and still be completely unaware of some very special places located right under your nose.

My husband grew up on the Palos Verdes Peninsula and had never been to the South Coast Botanic Garden, the Jewel of the Peninsula. I thought, for sure, he must have visited during a school field trip, but no. I’ve lived here for 25+ years and hadn’t been there either.

We rectified this glaring omission over the weekend when we attended the Sweetheart’s Stroll in the Garden on Valentine’s Day.
(Read More)

Simon Youth Foundation Announces Scholarship Program

Simon-Youth-Scholarships-south-bay-by-jackieFor the sixteenth straight year, Simon Youth Foundation, a national nonprofit that provides educational opportunities for at-risk high school students, is proud to support deserving students in the Los Angeles and Ventura County communities through the Simon Youth Scholarship Program.

This May, one student from every community that is home to a Simon property is eligible to receive a one-time scholarship award up to $1,500.
(Read More)

King Harbor Boating Foundation partners with Los Angeles Maritime Institute for STEM Waterfront Education

KHBF-STEM-Topsail-south-bay-by-jackieKing Harbor Boating Foundation’s Waterfront Education (WE) is an engaging and interactive form of education which fosters discovery learning utilizing local waters as nature’s classroom.

Los Angeles Maritime Institute’s TopSail Youth Program uses hands-on experiences at sea to provide an array of social, education and leadership development opportunities to middle school and high school students throughout the greater Los Angeles area aboard the tall ships, Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson.

(Read More)

Hey 19 Public House – Media Preview Dinner

hey 19 2Demi Stevens of Ortega 120 opened the doors of her new establishment, Hey 19 Public House, a few months ago sans the fanfare that would normally surround such a successful restaurantuer.

She and her team have been busy and have spent the time since putting finishing touches on the space, fine-tuning the menu, circulating a petition and applying for a live entertainment permit.

Serving lunch and dinner daily, Hey 19 is located off the beaten path in a residential neighborhood at the crossroads of Anza and Calle Mayor.
(Read More)

Lou’s on the Hill Opens for Business

Lou's-on-the-hill-south-bay-by-jackieLou’s on the Hill, located on Hawthorne Boulevard where Torrance meets Rolling Hills Estates at the base of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, attracted capacity crowds last Thursday evening for the Grand Opening.
(Read More)

Destination: Art

destination art - sbbjLocated in historic Downtown Torrance, Destination: Art is a studio/gallery where everyone is invited to experience art in person, in progress, in community.

Conceived by local artist, Margaret Lindsey, Destination: Art is a venue for South Bay artists to create artwork in a collaborative environment, hold lectures, workshops and demonstrations and interface with the public in an ongoing conversation about art.

(Read More)

Shade Hotel Jumpstarts the New Year with Healthy-Living Incentives

Shade-south-bay-by-jackieShade Hotel in Manhattan Beach, the area’s only luxury boutique hotel, is starting off the New Year with a healthy boost.

Highly dedicated to wellness and exercise, the hotel will offer a variety of wellness-inspired packages and events throughout 2015 – from complimentary yoga on its rooftop Skydeck, to beach cruisers available at no additional cost for guests who want to cruise down The Strand, Shade offers a wide variety of activities to choose from.

“With the holidays just behind us, we want to offer guests a fresh way to kick start the New Year,” said Shade Hotel’s General Manager, Shaunna McKelvey.
(Read More)

Riviera Village News & Updates

riviera-village-south-bay-by-jackieI recently spent the afternoon walking all over Riviera Village handing out flyers for the Dancing with the South Bay Stars IV performance to shop owners to post in their windows. (I’m sure you’ve all heard that I’m competing in the event this year and I’m trying to drum up votes. BTW, you can vote for me here: http://www.torrancearts.org/dancing-with-the-south-bay-stars-iv/.)

Along the way, I took note of several changes in the Village this New Year.
(Read More)

ULI Final Report Presentation to the City of Manhattan Beach

DTMB before-after - sbbjDuring the week of January 12 to January 16, 2015, the City of Manhattan Beach, in collaboration with the Urban Land Institute (ULI), held a five-day Advisory Panel comprised of various land use experts to engage community stakeholders and evaluate the Downtown area.

The purpose of the engagement process was to ensure the Downtown area maintains and enhances its unique, quaint character and encourages business success.
(Read More)

Dancing with the South Bay Stars IV

dancing-with-the-south-bay-stars-south-bay-by-jackieI’ve been invited to participate in Dancing with the South Bay Stars IV competition.

It’s an annual event hosted by the Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation (TCAF) to raises funds for a variety of non-profit groups.

Here’s how it works:

The TCAF invites local ‘celebrities’ to participate in a dance competition for their charity of choice.

It’s a one-night-only event held at the James Armstrong Theater.
(Read More)

Harmony Works Closes its Doors

Harmony-Works-south-bay-by-jackieHarmony Works, an iconic gift shop and gallery located in Riviera Village for over 20 years, is closing its doors.

Michael Morales, co-owner with his wife Royce, suffered a massive stroke on November 24 and is unable to work.

“It was a tough decision to make,” explains Royce Morales, “but I feel strongly that I need to devote my time to take care of my husband who needs 24 hour supervision. He’s slowly getting better, but it’s a long road ahead.” (Read More)

Latest News from Del Amo Fashion Center

Del Amo renovation 2 - sbbjAs the year comes to a close, Del Amo Fashion Center is celebrating a season of change and preparing for exciting new retailers as part of the ongoing transformation of South Bay’s premier retail destination.

With 2014, Del Amo Fashion Center welcomed the construction of a brand new Patio Cafes garden-inspired dining pavilion in the heart of the shopping center, relocated stores from the north section of the center to make way for the creation of a new state of the art two-level mall and a new Nordstrom, welcomed new retailers and prototype stores, and began construction on a four-level parking deck along Fashion Way. Macy’s also consolidated three locations at Del Amo Fashion Center into two stores to make for a more convenient trip for Macy’s loyal shoppers.
(Read More)

The Redondo Beach Hotel Opens After $13 Million Renovation & Rebranding

RB Hotel - sbbjPacifica Hotels, the largest owner and operator of boutique hotels along the Pacific Coast, announced today the opening of The Redondo Beach Hotel in Redondo Beach, CA after completing a $13 million renovation. The hotel, previously named Sunrise Hotel, closed at the beginning of 2014.

(Read More)

Darren’s voted one of Zagat’s Top 50 Restaurants in LA

darrens - sbbjA South Bay favorite, Darren’s Restaurant, was recently voted among Zagat’s “Top 50 Best Restaurants in Los Angeles” coming in at #25,

“We are very proud of our restaurant and the kudos that we are receiving since we reopened with an all new look and menu,” said Darren Weiss, chef/owner of Darren’s Restaurant.

(Read More)

BALEENkitchen Holiday & Winter Menu Showcase

_9130[1] - sbbj2BALEENkitchen, located at the Portofino Hotel & Marina, recently hosted a media showcase dinner featuring Chef Richard Crespin’s Holiday & Winter Menu.

The team at Baleen never rest on their laurels. They mix up dining options often enough to keep things fresh; from summer BBQs held on the lower level outdoor lounge and varied live entertainment, to Chef Crespin’s expert treatment of seasonal ingredients.

(Read More)

Riviera Village Announces Valet Parking

rivieravillage_logo - sbbjTo making holiday shopping more convenient for residents and visitors, the Riviera Village Business Improvement District will be offering valet parking for a limited time.

Riviera Village will begin valet services from noon to 9 p.m. every day from December 18 through December 23 and from noon to 5 p.m. on December 24.

The valet service will be located in front of the Soil kiosk on Catalina Avenue. The cost will be $5.

They are hoping to offer this service in the future as well.

Downtown Manhattan Beach Vision and Plan – ULI Study

DTMB before-after - sbbjDowntown Vision and Plan – ULI Study


As the heart of our Community, Downtown is a key component of what makes Manhattan Beach such a desirable place to live, visit and conduct business. The Downtown is a vibrant and charming destination for shopping, dining, and services. The City will be working with a consultant team, the community, and stakeholders to develop a Downtown Vision and Plan to maintain and enhance this quaint character, as well as encourage business success. (Read More)

South Bay Business Mavericks Recap

SB Business Mavericks - sbbjA couple of hundred local business owners attended the inaugural South Bay Business Mavericks event presented by ShopLocal.us on October 29 at the Toyota USA Museum located in Torrance.

The evening began with a networking session showcasing local business exhibitors, followed by a panel discussion and awards ceremony.

(Read More)

Doma Kitchen Introduces South Bay’s First Official Pop Up Dinner Series

Doma Kitchen - sbbjDoma Kitchen, a local favorite restaurant in the South Bay with menu items such as fresh baked pastries, signature Belgian waffles and European-inspired dishes including homemade Borscht, Lagman and Lamb Plov are teaming up with another local favorite, Two Guns Espresso.

The owners of both Doma Kitchen and Two Guns Espresso are introducing the South Bay to a Pop Up Dinner Series which will take place each Friday and Saturday evening throughout the month of November.

(Read More)

Pacifica Hotels adds Hotel Hermosa to its Portfolio

Lot’s of upgrades and redevelopment going on all over the South Bay…here’s another recent press release.

Hotel Hermosa 1 - sbbjPacifica Hotels, the largest owner and operator of boutique hotels on the Pacific Coast, announced today the full acquisition of Hotel Hermosa in Hermosa Beach, California.

The 81-room hotel is situated along the famous Pacific Coast Highway, and is located in one of America’s top beach towns, offering ocean views and convenient access to the esteemed South Bay.
(Read More)

Federal Realty Announces First Merchants to The Point

I just received this press release and want to share it with you. I’m particularly excited about the new restaurants!

The Point Rendering-2014  -sbbjFederal Realty Investment Trust, the developers of The Point, the South Bay’s newest shopping, dining and lifestyle destination announced today the first merchants who are preparing to open their doors.

The Point, located at the desirable crossroads of Rosecrans Avenue and Sepulveda Boulevard in El Segundo, will offer the South Bay a mix of popular eateries, in-demand retailers and an exclusive fitness studio.

(Read More)

White Light White Night 2014 Recap

WLWN 2014 - sbbjWalk With Sally, and the greater cancer community, has reason to celebrate – the eighth annual White Light White Night event was a raging success with record breaking numbers.

On Saturday, July 19, over 1,200 guests gathered in white couture to enjoy an evening of food, drinks, music and good times; however, the spirit of giving was the focus of the evening.

(Read More)

Darren’s 2.0

Darren's Exterior - sbbjIf you hadn’t heard, Darren’s Restaurant in Manhattan Beach had closed down for a few weeks in June to re-vamp and just recently re-opened.

To celebrate, Chef/Owner Darren Weiss hosted a Grand Re-Opening Benefit Dinner for No Limits for Deaf Children.

The evening began with a stand-up routine by award-winning comedienne Kathy Buckley. I arrived late and missed her intro and while I knew it was a benefit for deaf children, I didn’t put two and two together. Seriously, I had no idea she was deaf….I assumed she was from New York! (Read More)

A Lesson in SUP

20140709_102913 - sbbjStand up paddle boarding – chances are, if you’ve spent any time near an ocean, lake, river, dock, marina, pier or beach in the last few years, you’ve caught a glimpse of people engaging in this relatively new water sport.

Always referred to as SUP, everyone I know has been raving about it and suggesting (insisting, really) that I give it a try. I’d added it to my list of ‘things to do’ several months ago but just haven’t had time to book a lesson.

In late June, I received an email from Jeremy at Olympus Board Shop in Torrance. I first met Jeremy at the King Harbor Boat Parade last year where he was involved in organizing the paddleboard segment of the parade. At the time, he invited me to take a lesson. Now he was following up and wanted to know when I would be available to get on the water. (Read More)

White Light White Night Kickoff Party

WLWN 2014 - sbbjWalk With Sally launched the summer season with the White Light White Night Kick-off Party on Thursday, June 26.

The eighth annual White Light White Night event will be held on the rooftop of The Plaza at Continental Park on July 19 and the Kickoff Party venue offered guests a preview of the big event.

The Kickoff was held on the roof top deck of 200 Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach and offered stunning vistas to go with the gorgeous weather.
(Read More)

Trina Turk Raises Funds for White Light White Night

_DSC9599[1] - sbbjI recently attended Nuit Blanche, an evening of shopping, cocktails and gourmet bites at the Trina Turk boutique in Manhattan Beach.

The event is one in a series of fundraisers happening throughout the South Bay to promote White Light White Night (WLWN), the annual gala fundraising event for Walk With Sally (WWS) taking place Saturday, July 19.

Walk With Sally is a locally based, non-profit foundation dedicated to providing mentoring support programs to children of parents or siblings with cancer. (Read More)

Zinc Lounge @ Shade Hotel – New Daily Brunch Menu

22 - sbbjZinc Lounge @ Shade Hotel in Manhattan Beach has a new daily Brunch Menu.

Yes, a DAILY brunch menu – which means you can now enjoy the most sumptuous meal of the week, every day of the week.

Imagine….having the daily option to savor those specialty dishes usually reserved for lazy Sundays. You know, the ones that make weekday breakfasts pale in comparison.

I recently attended a media preview for the new brunch menu – and, no surprises here – it didn’t disappoint.

(Read More)

Jackson’s Food + Drink

dining room - sbbjI recently went to a tasting dinner at Jackson’s Food & Drink in El Segundo.

I had dined at the former location in Hermosa Beach several years ago – a fabulous experience – but had yet to check out the new location on Rosecrans.

(Read More)

Lilly Pulitzer Exhibit @ The Norris Center

053 - sbbjThe newly refurbished Palos Verdes Art Center was the place to see and be seen Friday night!

Guest Curator, Jeff McKay, staged the ultimate West Palm Beach party featuring Keni Valenti’s collection of vintage Lilly Pulitzer.

The exhibit, Loving Lilly, paid homage to the irrepressible American designer with fashions spanning the 60s to the 80s.

(Read More)

White Light White Night 2013

WLWN 2013 - sbbjOver 1,000 guests attended Walk With Sally’s 7th Annual White Light White Night fundraising gala which, once again, wowed the South Bay.

The sold-out benefit was held Saturday, July 27 at the MBS Media Campus movie lot and sound stage in Manhattan Beach.

Walk With Sally Co-Founder, Nick Arquette, successfully brought together a cadre of enthusiastic volunteers, concerned community members, local businesses and generous sponsors to create an evening of light, love and laughter.
(Read More)

Rock & Brews Grand Opening

P1000883 - sbbjEarthquakes aren’t the only thing shaking up the Beach Cities!

The Grand Opening of Rock & Brews PCH in Torrance rocked the South Bay Wednesday night in spectacular fashion.

A ribbon cutting ceremony took place at noon on Wednesday followed by a private luncheon for more than 100 returning military veterans and members of the Wounded Warriors Project.

(Read More)

An Evening with Chef Michelangelo

P1000726 - sbbjBridges to Italy and the Academy of Foreign Languages host a series of mixers throughout the South Bay intended to bring together members of the local Italian community and Italophiles to share the many wonderful aspects of Italian culture such as language, food, fashion and design.

These monthly mixers are open to the general public but once in a rare while, they will host a limited, invitation-only event at a private home.

On April 30, the group assembled in Redondo Beach for an Evening of Traditional Italian Cuisine prepared by Chef Michelangelo Glionna of Parma, Italy. (Read More)

The America’s Cup Trophy @ KHYC

P1000763 - sbbjWhen a country wins the ‘Oldest Trophy in Sports’ – The America’s Cup - it is taken around the victorious nation to celebrate the triumph.

Due to nefarious attempts over the years to abscond with this world-class prize, potential venues are not informed of its impending arrival until the last minute.

The King Harbor Yacht Club in Redondo Beach was contacted only two days ago of its forthcoming arrival.

(Read More)

Zinc@Shade New Lunch Menu

P1000404 - sbbjShade Hotel owner Michael Zislis and Executive Chef Chris Garasic recently debuted zinc@shade’s new breakfast, lunch and brunch menus.

Chef Garasic oversees menu development and execution for Shade Hotel’s popular zinc@shade craft kitchen & modern lounge, in addition to on-site meetings, weddings and special events. His focus is on fresh, ‘farm-to-table’ cuisine which is infused with his passion for Mexican, French and Italian cuisines.

(Read More)

Vintage Car Journey @ The ADM

I recently had the pleasure of touring the Automobile Driving Museum (ADM) in El Segundo.

Now, I’m not what you’d call a ‘car person’.

I’m not mechanically inclined and don’t know a thing about engines or how they work. I couldn’t tell a crankshaft from a muffler or a piston from a spark plug. My car has a turbo engine and I have no idea what that means…. but I’m pretty sure ABS is a good thing, right? (Read More)

Jack Witherspoon Dinner @ Chez Melange

Long recognized for impeccable service, incomparable cuisine and world class hospitality, Chez Melange has been at the forefront of the flourishing South Bay food scene for over a quarter century.

Always in the vanguard of emerging dining trends, co-owners Michael Franks and Robert Bell have established an affable environment for local chefs, growers and foodies to experiment and expand their gastronomic repertoire.

The latest chapter of their ‘Trust the Chef’ dinners featured 12 year-old, Redondo Beach native Jack Witherspoon. (Read More)

A Wine Tasting Adventure @ Total Wine & More

It has been said, “A bottle of wine begs to be shared.”

I couldn’t agree more, especially during the holidays! So you can imagine my delight when Total Wine & More chose me as their Local Favorite for the month of December.

Local Favorite is a promotion where a local media personality is invited to select a few wines which are then promoted throughout the month as that Local Favorite’s picks.

(Read More)

Classic American Comfort Foods 101 – Fried Chicken

My friend Dawn and I made plans to get together for dinner a few months ago to catch up with each other. We no longer workout together at the gym every morning because (drum roll, please) she’s pregnant. Pregnant and …..pink. Very, very pink. Evidently, pregnancy wasn’t enough of a life transformation. She colored her hair pink soon after discovering she was with child. Don’t ask me why.

She’s been a bit down lately. You would be too, having to go through the hot summer months feeling like an overstuffed dumpling. (Read More)

The Best Defense is a Good Offense

It all began with a desire to learn how to defend myself.

We’ve all experienced that terrifying sensation of helplessness in one situation or another. As a woman, I‘ve always felt particularly vulnerable since, physically speaking, I’m the equivalent of veal and when faced with a sketchy situation, the hair on the back of my neck stands up and a loop of, “DANGER, WILL ROBINSON! DANGER!” plays in my head. (Read More)

Shall We Dance?

Jackie taking dance lessonsWouldn’t we all love to dance like the Stars? Well, the good ones, at least.

My friend Dawn must have had stars in her eyes when she asked (ordered) me to enroll in a ballroom dance class with her.

She cajoled (threatened) her husband into taking dance lessons last year and when he declined (refused) to take part this time around, she requested (demanded) I join her – no doubt relying on my sense of noblesse oblige – and considering her indispensible support on my Bloody Mary expedition earlier this year, how could I say no? (Read More)

Cocktail Classics 101: The Bloody Mary

It cannot be sufficiently emphasized how vital it is to have a well-rounded cocktail repertoire.

Polite society demands an appropriate beverage for every occasion: sake with sushi, vino with Italian, champagne for celebrations, ice cold beer at picnics, assorted martinis at cocktail parties, gin and tonic on safari and one wouldn’t dream of drinking anything but a Mint Julep at the Kentucky Derby. (Read More)

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