South Bay News

Survios Virtual Reality Arcade – An Out of this World Experience!

July 23, 2018

_4318aI was recently invited to stop in and experience the Survios Virtually Reality Arcade located in Del Amo Fashion Center. Survios is an American virtual reality game developer and software publisher and recently opened its first virtual reality arcade right here in the South Bay! We’ve been hearing for several years how virtual reality (VR) will be the next big thing in the gaming arena. Well, it’s here – and it’s going to be bigger than anyone imagined.

There are six elements to what is called Active VR:
IMMERSION – Being surrounded by images, sound and other stimuli that create a believable environment.
PRESENCE – Feeling or sense of actually existing within an environment.
EMBODIMENT – Having a virtual body or avatar that interacts naturally with the environment.
FREE MOVEMENT – Being completely unbounded from physical restrictions in the outside world.
SHARED SPACE – Playing and interacting with others in shared digital space.
DYNAMIC SPECTATING – Being able to view and interact with people playing in VR from the outside world.

Dave & Buster’s Opens in Del Amo Fashion Center

June 12, 2018

DSC00180Last week I attended a media preview at the new Dave & Buster’s in Del Amo Fashion Center.

Full disclosure: I’ve never been to a Dave & Buster’s and was startled by the raucous reception we received upon entering. A dozen delighted employees greeted us with cheers, horns, and smiling faces.

As we were checking in, a member of the marketing team offered to take us on a tour of the 35,000 square foot facility – you read that right – 35, 000 square feet of wall to wall fun. We were given a couple of drink coupons and a card loaded with $20 for game play.

Dave & Buster’s offers New American food, an array of fun, innovative beverages, and the biggest and best arcade games, including several proprietary games, under one roof…. one HUGE roof.

Dine Around LA – South Bay Edition

May 30, 2018

Dine-Around-LA-LogoLast week I was invited to attend a Dine Around LA event taking place here in the South Bay. I received a call Tuesday morning asking if I would like to join the group after one of the attendees had to cancel at the last minute – and once I heard what it entailed, I shuffled my schedule around to make it happen.

Dine Around LA is designed exclusively for hotel concierges from the greater LA area as an opportunity for them to learn more about local restaurants to better serve their clientele. There are half a dozen events each year in different areas of Los Angeles, and Dine Around LA works directly with restauranteurs to schedule these outings.

Our group consisted of concierges representing about 25 different hotels from the greater South Bay area and a couple of Los Angeles Concierge Association members who report back to the greater LACA membership. This event would showcase seven restaurants in Redondo and Hermosa Beach.

Chef Michael Shafer Named Small Business Advocate of the Year

May 25, 2018

Chef-ShaferMichael Shafer, owner of the Depot Restaurant, has been named Small Business Advocate of the Year by the California Chamber of Commerce at its annual Legislative Summit.

Each year since 1996, the CalChamber has recognized several small business owners who have done an exceptional job with their local, state and national advocacy efforts on behalf of small business.

The criterion used in the selection process include taking leadership roles in or working on federal, state or local ballot measures, testifying before state Legislature and representing a local Chamber of Commerce before government.

Chef Shafer has continually mentored business owners who make up the Downtown Torrance business community, he constantly rallies behind businesses throughout the City to become active and vocal in respect to job creation and he has repeatedly encouraged business owners to go before legislative bodies in support of other businesses or key issues facing business.

The Mesko Restaurant Group to open SERVE on 2nd in Hermosa

May 15, 2018

Serve-on-2nd-5Jon Mesko, Restaurateur and Founder of Mesko Restaurant Group, announced today that he is set to unveil his newest restaurant concept, SERVE on 2nd, in South Hermosa Beach at the end of May.

From the very beginning, the 13-year Professional Volleyball Player’s mission and dream with Serve on 2nd was to not just re-imagine a neighborhood restaurant but create something that became a cornerstone of the community — a community that he lives, works, and plays in year-round with his 11-year-old son Logan.

Hermosa Beach Launches Responsible Pet Owner Program

May 4, 2018

Hermosa-Responsible-Pet-OwnerThe City of Hermosa Beach is launching a Responsible Pet Owner Program to highlight the importance of proper pet waste disposal and to encourage residents and visitors to clean up after their pets to help protect the environment, reduce health hazards, keep streets and sidewalks clean and avoid a $25 fine.

The City will kick off the campaign, entitled, “Here’s the Scoop: For Cleaner Feet, Streets and Water,” at the Third Annual Pets in the Park event at 10 a.m. on May 5 at Valley Park, 2521 Valley Drive, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. Pet owners attending the event can receive a gift for making a “Responsible Pet Owner” pledge to pick up pet waste and agreeing to follow the City of Hermosa Beach’s pet owner ordinances. Those making the pledge will also be entered into a drawing for a chance to win free dog license registration from the City for one year.

Pet owners who can’t attend the event can still take the Responsible Pet Owner pledge by going to the City’s website after May 5. They will also be entered into the prize drawing. In addition, the City will be distributing brochures and other information to residents about responsible pet ownership.

John Van Hamersveld Unveils Massive Mural in El Segundo

April 26, 2018

John-Van-Hamersveld-Mural-2Legendary artist John Van Hamersveld, known for creating the iconic The Endless Summer poster collected by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), will unveil this Saturday, a one-of-a-kind 510-foot round mural in a tribute to the city of El Segundo and local surf legends.

With sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the striking graphic-driven mural marks the completion of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) Scattergood tank renewal project.

HAVANA CUBANACÁN: Contemporary Opera, Dance, Art + Dining Tour

April 25, 2018

Havana-CubanacanA journey to Havana, Cuba is being coordinated by the Palos Verdes Art Center and the creators of the opera, CUBANACÁN: A REVOLUTION OF FORMS. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience Cuban music, art, dance, and culture in a fully-organized trip with upscale accommodations and fine Cuban dining.

At the centerpiece of ythe trip is a special concert presentation with excerpts from CUBANACÁN, the first new Cuban opera in over fifty years. Special concerts and talks arranged just for you, combined with a tour of ISA – the National Art Schools of Cuba – means an experience that will be richer and deeper than tourists could have on their own. The itinerary is as follows:

Los Angeles Times Moves to El Segundo

April 17, 2018

El-SegundoThe beachside city of El Segundo will be the new home of the award-winning Los Angeles Times. The announcement was made recently by Los Angeles Times’ soon-to-be owner, Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong in a meeting with Times staff.

“We are honored Dr. Soon-Shiong chose El Segundo as the new home for the Los Angeles Times. El Segundo is already home to the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Kings, Los Angeles Air Force Base and now, the Los Angeles Times,” noted El Segundo Mayor Suzanne Fuentes.

“El Segundo has a rich history of advancements in technology and innovation in aerospace and many other industries. Dr. Soon-Shiong has identified our city as a great place to do business, and we look forward to welcoming all the Los Angeles Times’ staff,” said El Segundo City Manager, Greg Carpenter.

Gabi James Opens in Redondo Beach

April 3, 2018

Gabi-James-FoodGabi James, the new restaurant from the Gabriele family (Love & Salt), opened quietly last night in their former Zazou space, on South Catalina Avenue in Redondo Beach.

Owned by Sara Gabriele and her husband Adam Aro, Gabi James continues the family’s history in the South Bay dining scene. Sara’s father, Guy Gabriele, set the tone for the family restaurants decades ago with Cafe Pierre (Manhattan Beach) and Zazou. By incorporating the timeless traditions of European restaurants, [Guy] Gabriele created restaurants in the South Bay where food and life are inextricably intertwined, and meals bring people together. For Gabi James, [Sara] Gabriele and Aro recapture this sentiment, and carry it into the restaurant design. Partnered with designer Ana Hinton, they have created a convivial and open gathering space, with a coastal vibe.

Executive Chef Chris Feldmeier’s (Osteria Mozza and Moruno) menu is inspired by Spanish and Coastal French cuisine, with notes of North Africa and Andalusia contributing to the flavors. A native of the South Bay, Feldmeier infuses the menu with ‘California soul’ and the rich history of the Gabriele family, borrowing several dishes from the family’s recipe book.

A Visit to Villa Narcissa

March 29, 2018

IMG_7321There are several hidden gems located in the South Bay, but for the most part, they aren’t really hidden at all – people are simply unaware of them. For example, if you don’t live, walk or drive in the vicinity of the Manhattan Beach Badminton Club, you could live your entire life ignorant of its existence…. unless of course, you play badminton.

There is only one truly hidden gem in the South Bay – Villa Narcissa.

I’d heard of it over the years and knew it as the ancestral home of the Vanderlip family. Frank Vanderlip, a New York financier, bought 16,000 acres on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, some of which was later developed by the family. The first structure he built for the family is referred to as the Cottage. During the 1920s, several other buildings were constructed including a large guest house that came to be known as Villa Narcissa.

El Segundo Downtown Beautification Project

March 29, 2018

El-Segundo-Beautification-ProjectThe City of El Segundo has kicked off a series of downtown beautification projects to improve the look and feel of Main Street. The initiatives are being led by the city’s new downtown committee.

Main Street will take on an inviting and friendly new look in the evenings with new string lights at the intersections of Grand Avenue and Main Street, Holly Avenue and Main Street, and Mariposa Avenue and Main Street. The committee is recommending electrical lighting in the landscaping beds and up-lighting to trees to further enhance the ambiance along Main Street.

The city has prioritized a refresh and revival of the landscaping on downtown city blocks from El Segundo Boulevard to Mariposa Avenue. The new landscaping, recently installed, includes water conscious plants such as New Zealand flax, lantana, lilac, Mexican feather grass and salvia and larger, shade-providing trees will be coming soon. The downtown city sidewalks will be power washed to revive and freshen the main thoroughfare.

Rainy Day Family Fun at the Volunteer Center

March 27, 2018

VC Family Fun Fair 1_previewThe Volunteer Center didn’t let a little rain get in the way of their annual fundraiser, originally scheduled outside. Instead, everything was moved inside and under cover for the Heart of Helping Family Fun Fair on Saturday, March 10!

More than 300 members of the community joined in on an afternoon of rainy day fun, including an opportunity to teach kids about volunteering and kindness. Adults and children of all ages played games, won prizes, participated in crafts and service activities, had their faces painted, entered to win opportunity drawings and enjoyed delicious carnival food.

“Since volunteer opportunities are limited for children under 13, we are often asked how parents can find age-appropriate opportunities to teach younger children about community service,” said Sara Myers, President/CEO of the Volunteer Center. “Our Family Fun Fair serves as a way to raise funds and awareness, as well as provide a learning experience that families can use to fill that need, all while enjoying quality time together!”

BCHD Cited as Exemplar of Successful Health District

February 22, 2018

BCHD-LogoThe Little Hoover Commission, a non-partisan oversight agency that promotes economy and efficiency in California government, recently concluded a year-long examination of the state’s independent special districts. A portion of the Commission’s report focused on the state’s 79 healthcare districts, specifically citing Southern California’s Beach Cities Health District (BCHD) as an exemplar of how a health district can successfully operate.

BCHD, which provides community health services to Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach residents, shifted from disease-focused care (and managing a hospital) to preventive care in 1998.

“As a health district, BCHD exists to work for the public, with a mix of taxes and self-generated revenue funding vital local services,” says BCHD CEO Tom Bakaly.

The Accidental Sailor

February 13, 2018

I was going through some old files and came across this article which was originally published in Sail Magazine in February 2011 as Learning the Lines. Since then, I’ve continued my sailing education right here in the South Bay.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUntil recently, the extent of my sailing experience consisted of sipping cocktails and nibbling hors d’oeuvres while perched on a friend’s sailboat in a slip at the Balboa Yacht Club during the annual Open House. It’s an event I look forward to each year and I always think, “Wow, sailing! What a life!” What little did I know…?

Fast forward to the middle of August. The summer was flying by and I was desperate for a vacation. My husband had taken several trips with his buddies – fishing, hiking and such – while I remained home trying not to pull my hair out.

On a whim, I emailed a friend on the east coast and asked what he was up to. He promptly invited us to spend a week or two sailing with him on his 38’ sloop, Sheba. I accepted without hesitation – or, I must confess, consulting my husband, who was off on yet another trip.

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