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Author Archive for Randy Kraft

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Culture Karma: Another Small Town

Culture Karma: Another Small Town

Thirty-three years ago, when my first-born was a newborn, my husband and I, at that time living in New York City, were considering a move to suburban Connecticut. He had accepted a position in Bridgeport, on Long Island Sound, on the northeast corner of Fairfield County, so we mapped a radius of roughly 30 minutes […]

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Culture Karma: The Montage Divide

Culture Karma: The Montage Divide

When I relocated to Laguna Beach nearly seven years ago, the embers of battle between the various factions within the city’s populace and the developers of the Montage resort, were still smoldering. Having not lived through that war, I saw only the outcome: a stunning resort on a gorgeous beach with a lovely park where […]

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Culture Karma: Better to Stroll and Shop

Culture Karma: Better to Stroll and Shop

I took a stroll through Laguna this past Saturday, merely for the sake of enjoying the balmy day, and the pleasure of watching families together doing the same. A stroll is by definition without purpose and I had no mission, only window shopping, which is always fun in town. I’ve never done the black Friday […]

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Culture Karma: Few Degrees of Separation

Culture Karma: Few Degrees of Separation

This is a message to the many people in Laguna Beach who knew and cared about Danita Crivello and who mourn her passing. In the general culture of grief, only the immediate family – parents, children and grandchildren, spouses and siblings – are sanctioned as mourners. The second tier of friends and colleagues stand behind […]

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Culture Karma: Feeding a Literary Appetite

Culture Karma: Feeding a Literary Appetite

Laguna is known for the arts. Fine arts. We also have a lot of good music, compliments of Laguna Beach Live, and fabulous dance, via Laguna Dance Festival. But I’m a wordsmith and I find myself often in search of literary arts that are harder to find. Yes, there are hundreds of book groups. Yes, […]

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Culture Karma: Saline Solutions

Culture Karma: Saline Solutions

I ran into Michael Beanan the other day. Michael is one of the founders of the Laguna Bluebelt Coalition, a force behind the marine life protected area along Laguna’s shoreline, and one of the most animated, compassionate, committed environmentalist I’ve ever met. He reminded me that water represents 70% of our natural world. I checked. […]

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Culture Karma: See You in September

Culture Karma: See You in September

I was away a couple of weeks and returned just after Labor Day to discover that the season had changed even before the autumn equinox. Ah yes, I remember: off-season. Pageant and festival doors are closed and the throngs are gone. Back to school. Back to work. Back to wherever they came from. And the […]

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Culture Karma: Our High-Tech, Low-Touch Culture

Culture Karma: Our High-Tech, Low-Touch Culture

  I attended the “Pageant of the Masters” the other night. The best of the six I’ve seen. And the silence of the vast crowd in the midst of these stunning larger-than-life facsimiles and the soundtrack of a pitch-perfect orchestra once again struck me. Silent they were, but not still. Despite pre-show announcements and staff […]

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Culture Karma A Compassionate City?

Culture Karma A Compassionate City?

Daga Krackowizer wants Laguna Beach to be a compassionate city. She has been inspired by the International Campaign for Compassionate Cities, sponsored by the Fetzer Institute in Michigan. “The future of the planet may well depend on developing this transformative power of love and forgiveness,” says Rob Lehrman, Fetzer’s board chair. The compassionate cities project […]

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Culture Karma: Poetry Abounds

Culture Karma: Poetry Abounds

Poetry month came and went with typically little fanfare and all but true poetry lovers neglect this ancient literary form. More often we miss the poetry in our midst. After all, every breathtaking blue sky or the morning marine layer hugging the coastline like a low flying cloud, that too is poetry. Poetry is the […]

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M.F.K. Fisher: Finding Food and Love in Laguna

M.F.K. Fisher: Finding Food and Love in Laguna

Long before Julia Child and Alice Waters, Anthony Bourdain, Ruth Reichl, or the countless other food writers of the last 50 years, M. F. K. Fisher blazed the path and published 30 essay collections, memoirs or translations of French epicureans. Generally acknowledged as the progenitor of food writing, Fisher (born Mary Frances Kennedy) established the […]

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Culture Karma

Culture Karma

In Search of Space I’m thinking of starting a discussion group on the subject of creativity. I attended one at another arts community recently and believe that Laguna has the resources and interest, although finding a location is the challenge. At the onset, we might have only a small crowd. Galleries like DeBilzan and Peter […]

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Culture Karma

Culture Karma

Classics Meet Modernists I’m visiting a friend in North Carolina where the trees are tall and blindingly green and weekend gardeners scurry like ants to remove the last bits of mulch and signs of winter. Back in Laguna Beach, spring seems a foregone conclusion. Summer is what occupies the minds of most Lagunans as plans […]

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CULTURE KARMA

CULTURE KARMA

Talking About Art Part 2   At the Laguna Beach Arts Alliance Art Star awards ceremony, poet Dana Gioia treated the crowd to a compelling keynote speech about supporting the arts. Gioia, former head of the National Endowment for the Arts, who has published four award-winning poetry collections, currently serves as the Judge Whitney Professor […]

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Culture Karma

Culture Karma

Culture in a Coffee Cup   Writing is a solitary act so I often work at a café. I frequent several, taking comfort in the white noise of conversation and the familiarity of alternative living rooms. The café culture, perfected by Europeans and promulgated by Starbucks, is integral to social interaction. We chat with friends […]