“The universe operates through dynamic exchange… giving and receiving are different aspects of the flow of energy in the universe and in our willingness to give that which we seek, we keep the abundance of the universe circulating in our lives.” –Deepak Chopra
Over the holidays, the Indy focused on the past—fond memories of holidays past and the parts of Laguna we miss as we entered a new year. As I read some remarkable stories, it made me think about the present and the new additions to our town that give more than they take.
Laguna Beach is known for being a wealthy community, and I don’t primarily mean financially. Living in a place of such amazing natural beauty should generate an abundant attitude and positive energy.
A dynamic exchange of the things we love with those around us creates true wealth and good karma. The more we put out, the more joy, light and love comes back to us and vice versa.
The list of things I love about Laguna wouldn’t fit in this column, but there are some stand-out new additions to our town this year that deserve mention.
One building on Coast Highway holds two of the best new adds: The Wine Gallery and FM radio station KX 93.5.
Chris Olsen, who lives in Laguna and also co-owns the Wine Gallery in Corona Del Mar, expanded the brand to 1833 S. Coast Highway last year. They have the perfect supper menu that’s paired well with the carefully selected vino on hand and a woodfire pizza oven that makes the lightest, crispy pizzas. If you haven’t been yet, get in there. You’ll be glad you did.
On the second floor, is Laguna’s new FM radio station. KX 93.5 reminds me of the best of college and public radio in one place. They refuse to play Top 40 dreck. Describing their format as “generational alternative rock,” the DJs play tunes which you may have never heard from the ‘60s to today. The station is member supported (join now, please) and non-commercial, which seems like a perfect fit for our artist and neighborhood vibe.
Speaking of non-commercial, the newest non-profit in Laguna is James Pribram’s Eco-Warrior Foundation. “Jamo” as he’s known, has been traveling the world to put a spotlight on environmental issues. He also has been working with the Montage and Boys and Girls Club, developing essay contests and beach clean ups in Laguna.
The foundation, whose nonprofit status is pending, will expand more beach clean ups and youth essay contests as well as create multi-media educational tools for environmental programs. It’s exciting to see the ways that Eco Warrior has captured kids’ imaginations and engaged their enthusiasm for cleaner beaches and oceans.
The best new art project in town has to be the Waterman’s Wall on the Hobie building at Beach and Forest Avenue. A lot of people came together to make it happen, but it wouldn’t exist without Randy Morgan, Clay Berryhill and Mark Christy.
Randy is the artist who developed the bronze-like relief sculpture, Clay helped organize and finance the project and Mark made his private building’s wall available for the installation.
The wall depicts a day on the beach with a wide variety of legends from Laguna—lifeguards, surfers, skim boarders, film makers and stand up paddlers among them. The names of the watermen (and women) depicted are less important than the essence that Randy was trying to represent, the variety of ways that Lagunans embrace the beach and ocean.
When the Waterman’s Wall was installed, the group who created the project made it clear that it was a private gift on private property to the people of Laguna Beach.
No tax dollars were involved.
There are a lot of artists in Laguna with a wide variety of talents. Their choice of content and execution is always open to criticism, but the wall was widely celebrated when it was unveiled by local legends, city officials and lots of people who enjoy our coast.
It is a great contribution to the heritage of Laguna Beach.
These new additions dramatically enhance the positive energy quotient in town giving joy, life and light.
David Vanderveen is a Laguna Beach resident, husband, father and energy drink entrepreneur. His email is [email protected]