renaissance

OC BookBlog: “Nora Webster” by Colm Toibin

I rarely read reviews of new books before I pen my own, but I had to check out what the great Jennifer Egan had to say last weekend in the New York Times on the great Colm Toibin’s Nora Webster, and she got it right. The only thing she understated is that Colm Toibin deploys the...
Posted On 10 Oct 2014

Hold the Roast

By Randy Kraft, Special to the Independent By now, Laguna Beach residents would have been clamoring for tickets to the 23rd annual “Lagunatics,” the homespun production that delights audiences by skewering Laguna life and people using original lyrics matched to popular music....
Posted On 06 Oct 2014

What Next for Mozambique?

By Randy Kraft, Special to the Independent Mozambique’s restaurant main floor dining area, voluntarily closed last year in lieu of opening rooftop dining, will not reopen anytime soon. The Planning Commission last week unanimously denied such a proposal by Zambique Properties,...
Posted On 21 Sep 2014

Rooftop Bar Still on Ice

By Randy Kraft, Special to the Independent Local resident Sam Goldstein will require more patience to learn if his petition for a rooftop deck on the Heisler Building can proceed. Last week, the Planning Commission put off resolving the matter, granting a continuance until Sept....
Posted On 31 Jul 2014

Big Changes in Small Packages

By Randy Kraft, Special to the Independent A duo of innovations hit the downtown this month with the Planning Commission’s approval of a temporary use permit for a cottage foods storefront on Beach Street and the introduction of Forest Avenue’s first social robot....
Posted On 27 Jul 2014

Rewriting Life Stories

You might say Lagunan Kaira Rouda has spent a lifetime reinventing lives – her own as well as others. She moved around during childhood, from the mid-west to points south and west, and she has shifted jobs several times, although not careers. From journalist to copywriter...
Posted On 15 May 2014

The Show Goes On

Sam Goldstein might relax and enjoy the rewards of a long productive career. However, if you know him, you won’t be surprised to learn he has embarked on yet another venture, one that brackets his early days as a musician and award-winning television producer, before he...
Posted On 25 Apr 2014

The Truth Behind the Fiction

  When I was a girl, a police officer lived with his sweet wife and three fresh-faced children in the ground floor apartment. Think Norman Rockwell in the Bronx. Now and then, angry shouts and frightening sounds were heard behind their door. When I asked my mother about it,...
Posted On 13 Apr 2014

Mind Over Matter

Memoir has been a hot ticket in publishing for over 20 years now, more often preferable to autobiography because of the intimate perspective in the telling. Rossandra White has just published her first memoir, which, like many memoirs, starts in the present and moves back and...
Posted On 04 Apr 2014

Finding Home

There are over 100 registered non-profits in Laguna Beach. Nearly every one of them supports the needs and interests of locals, and every one of them is constantly on the quest for funding to fulfill their missions. Today, every day, and year after year, non-profit organizations...
Posted On 20 Mar 2014

The Thing About Twitter

I found a writers’ community at Twitter. Writers of all types. Editors. Publishers. Book reviewers. E-zines. Lit-zines. Indy book promoters. Strangers all, until the first reply, the retweet, the favorite. Suddenly, friendly acquaintances. Bonded by mutual interest. What I...
Posted On 13 Mar 2014

Folding Up Their Easels

It is said where one door closes, another opens. In the case of Laguna Beach commerce, gallery closings in recent years have opened storefronts to other types of merchants, so that the town is becoming less about art sales and more about, well, shopping. I had hoped to provide...
Posted On 21 Feb 2014

Paradigm Shift

  It is said where one door closes, another opens. In the case of Laguna Beach commerce, gallery closings in recent years have opened store fronts to other types of merchants, so that the town is less about arts and more about, well, shopping. I had hoped to provide...
Posted On 13 Feb 2014

Minding Our Business

Crafting a Culture Leanne Cairnes manufactures eco-friendly handbags as a cottage business, Belyn Designs. She works closely with fabric designers to evoke natural settings like tree branches and flowers, and last season scored a holiday order with retailer Anthropologie online....
Posted On 16 Jan 2014

Minding Our Business: Let There Be Juice

When I was a girl, my mother pressed oranges into juice by hand and I nibbled the mashed fruit remains. Tropicana OJ and Mott’s apple juice was what I poured my own children, never imagining how little nutritional value was left nor how much sugar was added, not to mention the...
Posted On 24 Oct 2013