Orange Coast Magazine
 
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Author Martin J. Smith

  • Martin J. Smith

    Editor-in-Chief

    Smith is a veteran journalist and magazine editor who has won more than 40 newspaper and magazine writing awards. He became Orange Coast’s top editor in 2007 after nearly eight years at the grandly ambitious but ultimately doomed Los Angeles Times Magazine. He also spent nine years as a reporter and columnist for The Orange County Register. In addition to his 30-plus years as a journalist, he is the author of three crime novels (including the Edgar Award-nominated “Straw Men”) and two nonfiction books. Still, he’s most proud of his ongoing series of crank letters to inept service vendors and the makers of faulty home appliances. He considers “Re: Cuisinart Toaster Model CBW-177” to be his masterpiece.

 

Five Reasons for the Asian Crime Wave

One of the great things about my side job as a crime novelist is the chance to commune and commiserate with others who are struggling along the same difficult path to publication. That's why I urge all aspiring mystery writers to attend the annual joint meeting of two local mystery-writing organizations — O.C. Sisters in Crime, and SoCal Mystery Writers of America — in Irvine on Sunday, August 24. Read more...

From Surf to 70mm to the South Pacific, Orange County Legend Featured at Newport Beach Film Fest

Locals will get the rare chance to celebrate an Orange County film legend this month when the Newport Beach Film Festival spotlights the work of Laguna Beach's Greg MacGillivray and MacGillivray-Freeman Films, one of the world’s foremost independent producers and distributors of giant-screen 70mm films with 37 films for IMAX and other giant-screen theatres to its credit. Throughout the company’s 50-year history, its bigger-than-life films have won numerous international awards, including two Academy Award nominations, and had three of its films inducted into the IMAX Hall of Fame. Read more...

The Thinking Person's Vacation

Not that you asked, but some of the smartest people in America have chosen their favorites from among the nation's 58 national parks. Read more...

Solve This Mystery: "Ladies of Intrigue" Isn't Just For the Ladies

Which is why anyone who aspires to writing crime novels, male or female, should plan to be at the Hotel Huntington Beach (near Bella Terra) on Saturday, March 29, for "Ladies of Intrigue," a day-long conference featuring L.A. and O.C. writers such as the internationally popular creator of the Molly Murphy and Her Royal Spyness series, Rhys Bowen, shown, Death on Demand series bestselling author Carolyn Hart, and a dozen others. They'll reveal how they come up with murderous plots, villainous killers, and brilliant sleuths in panels such as “Down a Dark Alley: How Setting Shapes Story,” “Tough Cookies: Strong Female Protagonists,” and “Passport Required: Mystery Goes International.” Read more...

The Wild Duck Chase Continues

From the day in 2009 that I began work on a story for Orange Coast about the strange and wonderful Federal Duck Stamp Program, I've believed that the story someday should be told as a documentary film. First, I wrote it as a piece for the magazine, "The Wild Duck Chase." Then I wrote it as a book which is now available in both paperback and digital formats. (Here's the Amazon link.) Read more...

Pier Nostalgia

We’re always prowling for art by locals that speaks to something elemental about Orange County. So we were thrilled when long-time friend Lynne Cox, the cold-water marathon swimmer who trains off Seal Beach, mentioned during lunch on Sept. 16 that a local postal worker/artist was building some wonderful coffee tables, benches, and other furniture out of timber salvaged from the Seal Beach Pier. The artist is Gino Dominic Nardo, and you can at least see some of his creations (now, alas, mostly sold) at artbygino.com. Read more...

TEDx Orange County

Among the speakers scheduled for the TEDx Orange County event (Sept. 20-21 at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts) are a couple of local standouts, Nobel Prize-winning chemist Kary Mullis of Corona del Mar and UC Irvine’s groundbreaking memory researcher Elizabeth Loftus. Read more...

Mountain Bike! Orange County

For you mountain bikers out there, David Womack of Laguna Beach has written what surely is the definitive guide to off-road biking in Orange County. I’m familiar with a few of the dozens of rides he recommends, mostly in Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, and his distance and elevation estimates, tips, and trail descriptions are spot-on, even six years after its original publication. Order “Mountain Bike! Orange County” through online retailers, or at Two Wheels One Planet bike shops in Lake Forest and Costa Mesa. Read more...

OC Guides

Guides

OC Guides
  • O.C.’s Best: Tiki Drinks

    Though some regard them as overly cloying concoctions, tiki cocktails such as mai tais and zombies are enjoying a resurgence in Orange County. Craft bartenders layer the rum-based drinks with multiple spirits and spices to create beguiling and complex potions. Here are five great places to get your tiki on. Read More
  • Neighborhood: Dana Point

    Perched above Pacific Coast Highway, Monarch Bay Plaza reflects the relaxed sophistication of its Dana Point neighborhood. In the Spanish-style mall with red tile roofs, ocean breezes blow through white stucco archways, and upscale-yet-casual boutiques and restaurants attract locals and tourists. Read More
  • O.C.’s Best: Vegan Breakfasts

    Veg-heads don’t just mow down bowls of granola and slam wheatgrass shots at the break of dawn. Most want to enjoy brunching on Sunday-Funday with everyone else. And because it can be hard to find tofu scrambles and dairy-free waffles, we’ve rounded up five local eateries that provide tasty vegan options to start the morning right. Read More
  • Best of 2014: Nutty Brûlée

    No one can resist breaking into the sugary crust of crème brûlée, and this one packs an extra surprise with its abundance of silky-smooth chocolate-hazelnut custard below—thanks to the addition of Nutella. This sinful dessert is incredibly rich and best shared with a friend. $8
    704 E. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach, 949‑673‑7173, theslidingdoorcafe.com

    Read More
  • Best of 2014: Honey Bee Chicken

    You’ll fall in lust with the chicken pieces at BBQ Chicken at Diamond Jamboree in Irvine. Fried in olive oil for a crunchy exterior, they’re tossed in a sweet honey sauce making them all the more delicious. $11 to $21

    Read More

Style Stuff

  • Hot Shop: Betting the Farm

    “There’s not a guy in America who wants to go to the mall,” says John Anderson, left, co-owner, with his brother Mike, of Tankfarm in Seal Beach. Read More
  • It's a Charmed Life!

    Fashion Island's go-to beauty lounge, Blushington, is teaming up with jeweler Kendra Scott to launch her new Charm Bar Collection featuring a variety of charms, letters, symbols, and stones, on Friday, August 8 from 5:30-7:00 p.m. Read More
  • Hot Shop: Popping With Petals

    Petals and Pop would be at home in a Paris street scene. Blooms and foliage spill onto the sidewalk from old aluminum buckets and vintage German pickling jars. Inside, a floor-to-ceiling library ladder slides along the shelves of this flower and home goods store, providing access to vases, table linens, garden and kitchen tools, specialty chocolates, and cookbooks. Read More
  • Ruffle Some Feathers this Fourth of July!

    We're all familiar with the food truck craze, but now there's a new kind of truck to get excited about. Pekok Within Boutique is Orange County's first fashion truck to hit the streets. The peculiar name is intended to encourage customers to embrace the idea of peacocking, or "Pekoking": using fashion as a means to attract attention and distinguish oneself. The new business is taking part in the Fourth of July event at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort and Marina July 4th from noon to 10 p.m. and July 5th from 1 to 10 p.m. Read More
  • Here Come the Brides!

    Looking for wedding inspiration — something that will set you apart from the crowd? Then keep from 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 3, open. That's when Something Lovely Wedding returns to Orange County, with an impressive collection of more than 30 high-end wedding resources here in SoCal. Read More
 
 
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