Editor’s Letter: Why Old Las Vegas is MIA

I once asked Wayne Newton, Mr. Las Vegas, to give me a tour of the most historic parts of his adopted hometown. Who better...

Editor’s Letter: Work It! in Our September Issue

My father toiled 43 years for U.S. Steel, back when many of this country’s biggest corporations had a now-unthinkable compact with workers: employee fealty...

Editor’s Letter: The Best of Orange County 2015

But the biggest question, of course, is: Why should you trust our recommendations? Here’s my simple answer: Because we do the research. Our discerning staff and contributors distill an entire year’s worth of great experiences into this annual feature. Whether we simply stumble across something extraordinary, or chase down rumors and legends to find remarkable things to eat, drink, buy, and do, we put all that collected wisdom into our pages so you can enjoy our discoveries as much as we did.

Editor’s Letter: Eight Great Places to Escape the Madding Crowd

Each time I visit Soka University, I ask the front-entrance security guard: “You’re sure it’s OK to just go in and roam around?” The...

Editor’s Letter: Beach-Town Getaways

My father and his father built a beach cottage way back in 1940. Our family owns it still, and that unglamorous little structure remains...

Editor’s Letter: Handmade in O.C.

I greet Gary Mathis of Gary’s Custom Saddlery in Fullerton, and my hand disappears into his like a car entering a tunnel. His grip is as epic as his handlebar mustache. Still, I watched those same hands move like hummingbirds around the various workbench projects in his garage, where for decades he has handcrafted custom saddles, exotic-leather belts, and the kind of elaborate silver buckles prized by Texas ranchers and country music legends.

Editor’s Letter: The Coyote Compromise

A coyote sauntered past the front bumper of my car as I was pulling into traffic—not unheard of, perhaps, but at the time I...

Mayberry vs. Orange County

All of us are shaped by childhood moments, good and bad, that eventually make us who we are. But when asked, most of us...

Is ‘Blue Velvet’ madness obscured by Orange County’s terrific landscaping?

I spent my first week in O.C. on a friend’s couch in an apartment on Santa Ana’s 17th Street. It was October 1985. That...

Editor’s Letter: Destiny’s Crapshoot

The opening and closing scenes of the 1994 Robert Zemekis film “Forrest Gump” revolve around a single white feather—OK, a computer-generated feather—drifting on currents of...