SLO LIFE Magazine Aug/Sep 2022

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LIFE SLO magazine

BEH THE SCENE

SAN LUIS OBI REAL ESTATE

SEASONA FAVORIT

DOWNTOW WINERIES TAKING IN THE VIEW

MODERN PERSPEC AUG/SEP 2022 SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM

LOCAL FLAVOR

EXPLORE THE TRAILS

TRAL COAST HAPPENINGS TIMELINE REVIEW

BACK ROAD ADVENTURE

NEWS BRIEF

MEET

EMMA SAPERSTEIN AUG/SEP 2022

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Your Local Communications Partner for

75 YEARS DESIGN | PRINT | MAIL | APPAREL | WEB | PROMO 805.543.6844 | 2226 Beebee Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 | www.prpco.com

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M O D E R N • C L A S S I C • J E W E L R Y

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G A R D E N

S T R E E T

S A N

L U I S

O B I S P O

W W W . B A X T E R M O E R M A N . C O M

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To the drivers who show a continued dedication to providing essential transportation for our community.

To the riders who promote the health and wellness of our community by continuing to follow healthy guidelines.

SLO TRANSIT

THANKS YOU.

Thank you for supporting one another during this unprecedented time. We’re here for you now, and always. 4

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Did you know there is a brand-new neighborhood coming to town? A place designed to celebrate everything that you already know and love about San Luis Obispo.

PHASE ONE IS SELLING NOW! Introducing Avila Ranch, nestled amongst the vineyards just south of downtown and promising to deliver the idyllic sun-drenched lifestyle.

A vibrant new neighborhood with new homes, parks, trails, and lots of fun-focused amenities made for you

Avila Ranch Delivers The SLO Life Our on-site sales office is coming soon! In the meantime, please call or email us to get pre-qualified and reserve your home site.

805.960.5307 | JILLP@WCHOMES.COM Visit our website to join our VIP Interest List AVILARANCHSLO.COM Follow our progress on social:

/avilaranchSLO

Images are representational only and may differ from homes as constructed. Square footages are approximate. Seller makes no representations or warranties that the view from the property will remain the same. Future development changes to and growth of landscaping and the like may impact any current views from the property. Homes are constructed and marketed by WCP Developers LLC (CA Contractor License #1035148) and real estate sales brokered by WCP Real Estate, Inc. (CA DRE License #02055906), on behalf of Avila Ranch Developers, Inc., a California corporation. ©2022 Wathen Castanos Homes. All rights reserved. Equal Housing Opportunity. AUG/SEP 2022 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE

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SLO LIVING Since 2014, TEN OVER STUDIO has provided architectural, landscape, and interior design services with thoughtful advice and an emphasis on environmentally sensitive design.

ARC H I T E C T U R E L A N D S C AP E I N T E R I OR S ME D I A

Central Coast living is all about celebrating the outdoors. Our Landscape Architecture team walks their talk by designing outdoor spaces that are just as important as the buildings they connect.

Owen, Heidi, Julianna, and Jared visit their latest project at the SLO Public Market. 6

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T E NO V ERMAGAZINE S TUD IO.COM SLO LIFE | AUG/SEP 2022


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At Hearing Aid Specialists of The Central Coast, we have developed a solution that brings your old hearing aids back to life. The practice owner, Peter Lucier, has over 22 years of experience. He has repaired and restored just about every brand of hearing aid. Peter has an All Make Repair Lab at both offices in San Luis Obispo and Atascadero.

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Board-Certified Emergency Doctors for Your Care 24/7 When an emergency happens, our goal is to help get you in and out of the hospital quickly and efficiently. One of the ways we can do this is to make sure that a board-certified ER doctor sees you. An ER doctor visit, shorter waiting times, convenient online check-in and an integrated system of care throughout the Central Coast add up to make us your first choice for emergency care.

Check in online at

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CONTENTS 28 Timeline 30 Briefs 32 View 34 Q&A

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NOW HEAR THIS

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PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE 16 Info 18 Sneak Peek 20 Inbox 26 Contributors

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Volume 13 Number 4 Aug/Sep 2022

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MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR


Concerts in the Plaza Gets a New Showcase New this summer, the Central Coast’s largest free concert series in Downtown SLO’s Mission Plaza features a new Songwriter set each week. Showcasing up-and-coming talent from throughout California, this new series, sponsored by The San Luis Obispo Collection promises to make friday afternoons at the Plaza something you won’t want to miss. San Luis Obispo Mission Plaza 4:30pm Fridays thru August 26 FREE Schedule at DowntownSLO.com

Singer-Songwriters

take the big stage

Los Osos standout Miss Leo brings her signature brand of Folky Soul-Grass to Mission Plaza on August 5, opening for Dan Curcio’s crowd-pleasing combo Moonshiner Collective.

A Proud Sponsor of Downtown SLO Events for more than 10 years Cour t S tre e t • Mon te re y S tre e t • Dow ntow n Ce nt re AUG/SEP 2022

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dwelling

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Real Estate

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Health

80 TASTE

48 ARTIST

50 Author

WINE NOTES

52 Explore

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54 On the Rise

92 brew

56 pet collective

96 Happenings

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| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE

School Days The other day, I was at Target when I spotted a young family doing their back-to-school shopping while I loaded my basket with office supplies. Back-to-school shopping for my sisters and me always triggered conflicting emotions. On the one hand, it signaled the waning of summer. No more unending football games on Myrtle Street—tube socks tucked into our waistbands for flags—no more Wiffleball on the front lawn, no more riding BMX bikes until the bats started flying overhead, and no more hosing off before bedtime to cool down. But there was a sliver of hope, or anticipation, or some other thing. It wasn’t until back-to-school shopping rolled around, sometime in August, that I became aware of the calendar again. And the clock. In June and July, I never had any idea what time it was, no clue about the date. I kept time by the San Francisco Giants schedule. And, if they were in a three-game series with the Dodgers, then there was no keeping track of anything except runs, hits, and errors—and Will Clark’s batting average. Then, one day, Mom would snap us out of our collective summertime trance with a fateful proclamation: “We’re going back-to-school shopping tomorrow.” I always sensed that she was just as conflicted about the whole thing as we were, since she was also a teacher. We piled into the VW van and putted over to Kmart where Toughskins were on sale, then Gottschalks to pick out dresses for my sisters and a collared shirt for me, which I would wear exactly three times—the first day of school, picture day, and the one Sunday each year we went to church when Grandma Fran was in town. Next up was Gemco, where they had pencils, erasers, backpacks, and the most important back-to-school accessory of all: lunch pails. We would spend hours studying the inventory, turning the metal boxes over in our hands, inspecting the Thermoses, and making our selections. My sisters contemplated Hello Kitty, Wonder Woman, and Care Bears, while I pondered my three finalists: The Incredible Hulk, Indiana Jones, and The Dukes of Hazzard. With the full ensemble complete, we would “lay out” our new clothes for the fateful day. Early the next morning, mom would pack our lunches while we continued sleeping as if summer would never end. But it did. Every year, right on cue, we were awakened by the record player blaring a scratchy old tune from the living room: School days, school days / Dear old golden rule days / Readin’ writin’ and ‘rythmetic / Taught to the tune of a hick’ry stick. Man, I hated that song. I shuffled barefooted into the kitchen for some breakfast. My gaze faraway, like a prisoner being transferred to a new cell block, as I struggled to reconcile churned-up feelings over my lost freedom—“just be home by dark”—with my readiness for something new, something different. School was here. There was no getting around it, no matter how many times I pushed my scrambled eggs from one side of my rainbow-colored plate to the other, I was heading back to Veva Blunt Elementary. Outside, a mob was gathering in front of our post-war, stucco-slathered bungalow. Boys in stiff blue jeans—one of them forgot to remove the tags— and girls tugging at ill-fitting wildflower print sundresses. We all walked the mile-and-a-half together to school, so they waited as Mom lined us up in front of that old juniper tree, exactly as we did each year this time, impatiently anticipating the camera’s click. The old photos are all the same. Only our height and hairstyles changed. We are squinting, eyes half-closed, looking directly into the hard Valley sun with our new backpacks slung over shoulder as we proudly displayed our lunch pails, Bo and Luke Duke smiling right along with us. A new school year. The end of one thing, and the beginning of another. Sadness and sweetness, dread and hope. I settled into my seat as the bell rang. The teacher started talking and I thought about the Giants, wondering if they could still make the playoffs. I studied the long hand on the clock centered above the blackboard and began the countdown to recess. Thank you to everyone who has had a hand in producing this issue of SLO LIFE Magazine and, most of all, to our advertisers and subscribers—we couldn’t do it without you. Live the SLO Life!

Tom Franciskovich tom@slolifemagazine.com 14

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LIFE SLO magazine

4251 S. HIGUERA STREET, SUITE 800, SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA SLOLIFEMAGAZINE.COM info@slolifemagazine.com (805) 543-8600 • (805) 456-1677 fax PUBLISHER Tom Franciskovich

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CREATIVE DIRECTOR Sheryl Franciskovich CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Charlotte Alexander Jeff Al-Mashat Dan Fredman Paden Hughes Zara Khan Jaime Lewis Brant Myers Joe Payne Brian Schwartz Tim Townley CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Mariah Dingman David Lalush Jess Lerner Todd Meaney Mark Nakamura Zachary Scott CONTRIBUTIONS Have some comments or feedback about something you’ve read here? Or, do you have something on your mind that you think everyone should know about? Submit your story ideas, events, recipes, and announcements by visiting us online at slolifemagazine.com and clicking “Share Your Story” or emailing us at info@slolifemagazine.com. Be sure to include your full name and city for verification purposes. Contributions chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations. ADVERTISING If you would like to advertise, please contact Tom Franciskovich by phone at (805) 543-8600 or by email at tom@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com/advertise and we will send you a complete media kit along with testimonials from happy advertisers.

Nicole Pazdan, CSA,

SUBSCRIPTIONS Ready to live the SLO Life all year long? It’s quick and easy! Just log on to slolifemagazine.com/subscribe. It’s just $24.95 for the year. And don’t forget to set your friends and family up with a subscription, too. It’s the gift that keeps on giving! NOTE The opinions expressed within these pages do not necessarily reflect those of SLO LIFE Magazine. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher.

Contact us today for FREE placement assistance.

CIRCULATION, COVERAGE, AND ADVERTISING RATES Complete details regarding circulation, coverage, and advertising rates, space, sizes and similar information are available to prospective advertisers. Please call or email for a media kit. Closing date is 30 days before date of issue.

(805) 546-8777

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR info@slolifemagazine.com 4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

elderplacementprofessionals.com

Letters chosen for publication may be edited for clarity and space limitations.

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“American Riviera wants the Paso community to succeed — they are literally investing in it.” – ADAM PELTIER

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Renee Howard Fifteen years of banking on the Central Coast

This is True Community Banking Marissa and Adam Peltier of Peltier Glassworks with Renee Howard, SBA Business Development Officer

Combining our expertise with yours to find solutions for your unique needs.

Visit us at AmericanRiviera.Bank • 805.965.5942 AUG/SEP 2022

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| SNEAK PEEK

O N T H E C O V E R WI TH E MMA SA PE R STE I N

behind the scenes PHOTOGRAPHY BY ZACHARY SCOTT

I met Emma at SLOMA downtown. She was joined by a close friend Nicholas DePaoli, who lives near the museum and works as a kelp cultivator in Cayucos. Nicholas was a great help and even assisted me as we hauled gear and even held my bounce reflector . He had the ability throughout the shoot to make Emma smile—it isn’t easy being the subject of a photoshoot. Good company can go a long way.

I chose to shoot Emma in the museum among the projects she commissioned. As I walked in, I also noticed a blue wall in the museum that was the same color as Emma’s eyes. I decided to start there, against the blue wall with a round of tighter portraits. We then moved on to the Gray Wing Gallery which houses a show Emma commissioned by Camille Hoffman called “See and Missed.” I could tell Emma loved being there, surrounded by that work. Her energy level went up as she interacted in that space. As the sun began to set, we decided to chase the light outside and shoot in the adjacent park, and again in front of the murals she commissioned that adorn the museum by artist Erin LeAnn Mitchell, “Calafia was Here.” The works of art are inspired by the legend of Calafia, who is described as the fictional queen of California. They served as beautiful backdrops for our shoot giving Emma a rooted sense of place. I believe that level of comfort came through in the photos. This is her home. This is her world. SLO LIFE

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2006 CHORRO ST, SLO offered at: $1,965,000

777 MUTSUHITO AVE, SLO offered at: $798,000

5952 BIRKDALE LN, SLO offered at: $1,995,000

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IN-HOUSE MARKETING

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| INBOX

TAKE US WITH YOU

Send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com DINGLE PENINSULA, IRELAND

MT. RIGI, SWITZERLAND

SHEILA COCHRAN and LAURA HENDERSON

LOS OLIVOS

NELLY CAMINADA and IVAN SIMON

KAUAI, HAWAII

MARCIA BESS

BEND, OREGON

MORGAN FAMILY, AMBROSE FAMILY and J. TAYLOR 20

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SAUL and CAROL GOLDBERG with PAUL and ROBIN


PERHENTIAN ISLANDS, MALAYSIA

PARRITA, COSTA RICA

LESLIE MONACO with SYED, AZRI, AZWAN, SIMON, and YAAKUB

ALBA, PIEDMONT, ITALY

HARRISON, GENEVA, and DONOVAN

SANTORINI, GREECE

TOM NELSON and CURT TYNER

IAO VALLEY, MAUI, HAWAII

MIKE and MARY ALLWEIN

SEYÐISFJÖRÐUR, ICELAND

KADEN and MAX GEARHART

RANDY and KIP DETTMER AUG/SEP 2022

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| INBOX

SLO LIFE TRAVELS

Send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com ROATAN ISLAND, HONDURAS

STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN

GEORGE and BONI STURGES

PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO MARKUS UHLIRSCH and CLAIRE BUSH

LJIG, SERBIA

ED and BARBARA DAWSON

LYNDEN, WASHINGTON

RICHARD and CAROL MORTENSEN visiting former SLO High School exchange students ALEKSANDRA and MARKO SAJIC with friends METSTOIKA and STANKO.

ANDY CHESTNUT 22

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TIMELESS CLASSICS FOR THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

LOS OLIVOS

2920 Grand Ave. 805.697.7377

ORCUTT

3388 Orcutt Rd. 805.922.9195

FOLLOW US:

PISMO BEACH 890 Price St. 805.773.1055

PASO ROBLES

SAN LUIS OBISPO

1236 Park St. 805.226.5088

874 Monterey St. 805.543.3200

wildflowerwomenboutique.com AUG/SEP 2022

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TREKKING THE GLOBE Send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com or visit us online at slolifemagazine.com TORRE SALSA, SICILY, ITALY

MYKONOS, GREECE

JOHN COLBERT and CAROL ANN STEVENS with LISA and RALPH HACKETT

AVILA BEACH

CHRISTINA STAMFORD

COEUR D’ALENE, IDAHO

LAURA HEIDEN

MAL PAIS, COSTA RICA

STEVENS and LOUNSBURY FAMILIES 24

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MIKE, GRACE, and HANNAH VAN DOREN


Wilson + Co. Real Estate NEW LOOK, same trusted name. Rooted in an attention to detail, unparalleled access, and more than 30 years of experience, Wilson + Co. specializes in luxury single and multi-family homes, expansive estates, ranches, buildable land, and commercial spaces in California’s iconic Central Coast region. Under our new logo, we remain a nationally recognized full service real estate brokerage highly attuned to the unique needs and requirements of each client and property. We believe you deserve no less than an elevated + highly curated experience.

Linda Wilson Owner/Broker #01045160

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Broker/REALTOR® #01208534

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Aimee Edsall

Bradley Wilson

Ana Davis REALTOR® #02094856

REALTOR® #017533405

REALTOR® #01983603

Ingrid Marcellino JoAnne Bruner REALTOR® #01886133

AUG/SEP 2022

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REALTOR® #00465256

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| CONTRIBUTORS

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1. CHARLOTTE ALEXANDER is an awardwinning writer and editor with more than twenty years experience in nonprofit organizations, higher education, and media.

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2. JEFF AL-MASHAT is a writer and visual artist with an MFA in painting from Georgia State University. He lives in Grover Beach.

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3. MARIAH DINGMAN has a background in neuroscience and is an active photographer, artist, musician, and outdoor enthusiast. 4. DAN FREDMAN is a SLO native immersed in the wine realm. He prefers LPs to streaming, Mac to PC, Fender over Gibson, and has nothing against screwcaps.

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5. PADEN HUGHES is co-owner of Gymnazo and enjoys exploring the Central Coast. 6. In addition to being an interior designer, ZARA KHAN is also a shoe aficionado and horror movie enthusiast.

2. 12.

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7. DAVID LALUSH is an architectural photographer here in San Luis Obispo. 8. JESS LERNER is a photographer based in SLO who loves the outdoors. You can check out her coastal photography at jesslerner.com or @jesslernerphotography.

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9. JAIME LEWIS writes about food, drink, and the good life from her home in San Luis Obispo. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @jaimeclewis.

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10. TODD MEANEY is a landscape, product, and lifestyle photographer living the SLO Life with his brewery-loving Great Dane. You can follow him @anthrohopology.

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11. BRANT MYERS is a the founder at slobiiig.com, a hospitality consulting firm, and Toddler Timber, where he makes wooden children’s toys. 12. MARK NAKAMURA pursues his passion in landscape photography, as well as capturing the joys of weddings, families, events, and sports around the Central Coast. Find him on Instagram @nakamuraphoto.

9.

5. 14.

13. ZACHARY SCOTT is a photographer known for his humorous and highly stylized work that has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, as well as GQ, Time Magazine, Wired, and New York Magazine. 14. BRIAN SCHWARTZ is a publishing consultant and advocate for local authors. He can be reached at brian@selfpublish.org.

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A summertime tradition

MadonnaInn.com 805.543.3000 AUG/SEP 2022

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| TIMELINE

LOCAL june 22

SLO County Library Foundation president Juliane McAdam presents $100,000 to SLO County Public Library director Chris Barnickel as part of a large bequest from the estate of Susan B. Silverstein, who had no heirs but loved books and owned thousands of them. The bequest of approximately $2.6 million allows the Foundation to provide funds now and in coming years for new library materials.

june 11 City officials unveil a new, immersive public sculpture on SLO Museum of Art’s downtown lawn exploring the first-documented Filipino landing in US history, which took place in Morro Bay in 1587. To create the piece, award-winning contemporary artist Camille Hoffman developed relationships with local Filipino groups, including the Filipino American National Historical Society’s Central Coast chapter and Cal Poly’s Filipino Cultural Exchange.

june 21 The SLO County Board of Supervisors recognizes the retirement of environmental specialist and PG&E communications representative John Lindsey for “joyfully” delivering the marine and weather forecast to thousands of residents along the Central Coast for more than thirty years. During his long career, Lindsey reported weather conditions to radio listeners and newspaper readers, hosted tours of Diablo Canyon for more than 25,000 people from throughout the world, and shared information with community organizations, schools, service clubs, nonprofits, and all branches of the military. 28

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june 22

Competing with more than 3,000 dogs in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, a Great Pyrenees from Arroyo Grande wins “Select Dog” and comes home with a ribbon, medallion, and championship points. It’s twoyear-old EJ’s first time at the famed dog show, as it is for his owner and handler Terrie Strom.

june 30

Governor Gavin Newsom signs a $308 billion state budget for the 2022-23 fiscal year, including $8 million for four San Luis Obispo County projects. Funds are slated to help with needed renovations at the aging Cayucos Veterans Memorial Building ($1 million); the Cayucos Land Conservancy’s purchase of 2,250 acres of land between Cayucos and Morro Bay for hiking and other recreation ($1.5 million); the preservation of the 32,000-acre Camatta Ranch in Santa Margarita by The Land Conservancy of SLO County ($2.5 million); and safety and streetscape enhancements along Creston Road for the City of Paso Robles ($3 million).


REVIEW july 5

The SLO City Council passes a resolution in support of reproductive freedom following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and end the constitutional right to abortion. Members of the council unanimously approved the resolution, which says the city will “continue to uphold everyone’s right to equality and liberty by protecting their reproductive freedoms and their access to health services.” It also declares that the city welcomes anyone “to fully exercise their full reproductive rights.” The action follows a resolution the City Council of Morro Bay passed in January affirming abortion rights.

july 7

The Clerk-Recorder’s Office certifies the June 7 Statewide Direct Primary Election results for SLO County, with just two of the three Supervisor races clearly decided. In the race for District 2, incumbent Bruce Gibson failed to gain the fifty percent he needed to avoid a runoff in November, and he faces challenger Bruce Jones in the General Election. Dawn Ortiz-Legg kept her District 3 seat by a landslide, while Jimmy Paulding defeated District 4 incumbent Lynn Compton with over fifty-one percent of the votes.

july 13

SLO County Supervisors approve pay raises for 519 non-union county employees totaling $5.2 million in 2022-23 and another $9.8 million in 2023-24. The wage hike is critical for retaining and recruiting workers, according to county staff, and is comprised of two types: an equity increase, adjusting each wage to match how competing employers pay employees doing the same work, and an across-the-board increase, boosting paychecks to keep up with inflation. Departments will absorb as much of the increase as possible, with the remaining coming from the General Fund.

july 14

A coalition of news gatherers including ABC News and the Associated Press, files a motion to unseal all records filed on or after April 20—and allow online access to them—in the Kristin Smart murder case. The Tribune reports that between April 20, when the trial of Paul and Ruben Flores was moved to Salinas, and July 5, only about twelve percent of 189 court filings have been made available to the public, and in addition, sealing requests and orders in the case have been sealed, so there is no way to know what documents actually exist. The motion argues this lack of access is inconsistent with other criminal murder trials and with US and California law, and cites the California Rules of Court requiring public notice to seal a written filing, accompanied with reasons to justify sealing.

july 18

The Kristin Smart murder trial begins in Monterey County Superior Court. Paul Flores, who is the last person known to have seen Smart after an off-campus party, is accused of murdering the Cal Poly student more than twenty-five years ago, and his father Ruben Flores is charged as an accessory after the fact for allegedly hiding her body. The trial was moved to Salinas after SLO County Superior Court Judge Craig van Rooyen ruled that because of pretrial publicity, it’s likely the two men may not receive a fair trial locally.

july 19

The SLO City Council, responding to concerns ranging from climate change to earthquakes, passes an ordinance requiring all-electric new buildings and prohibiting the installation of new national gas infrastructure beginning January 1, 2023. The ordinance applies only to new construction and mandates that all home appliances—water heaters, furnaces, stoves—be electric. Some exemptions will be allowed. SLO LIFE AUG/SEP 2022

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| BRIEFS

$3.9 million The amount of a challenge grant the City of San Luis Obispo has awarded SLO Repertory Theatre to build its new liveperformance theatre downtown. Supporting the City’s Downtown Concept Plan, the venue will foster a new cultural corridor around the Mission, and when fully operational, could generate an economic impact of more than $3,000,000 annually.

“Never a dull day.” That’s what CHP San Luis Obispo tweeted one Sunday morning in July along with a photo of a casket on the shoulder of Highway 101 near the Santa Rosa exit in SLO. Officers investigated after receiving multiple 911 calls and were happy to report that the casket was empty.

2.1% SLO County recorded the lowest unemployment rate ever in May, less than half of the 4.3% state figure. That’s quite a turnaround from the 12.7% recorded the same month in 2020. The Employment Development Department says some residents may have moved away because of poor job prospects two years ago and the high cost of living. 30

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#2

Outside magazine has picked “the charming Central California coastal town” of Cambria as the second best beach town in the nation, outranked only by Paia, Maui. The criteria was “under-the-radar spots with sprawling, empty stretches of shoreline, low-key lodging, and I-wannabe-here-now vibe.” The magazine touts the tide pools on Moonstone Beach as well as the town’s proximity to Hearst Castle and Cayucos.

“This is not just the quirkiest, most colorful, most chaotic hotel in California, but almost certainly in the entire country.” When naming the “coolest” hotel in every state, the website Thrillist recently chose the “ultra-eclectic” Madonna Inn to represent California and, it would seem, the whole nation. Citing its variety of suites—there are 110 of them—the website also called out the men’s restroom with its infamous waterfall.

Gold 0.81% x2

Cuesta College student Bella Otter, in her first compound archery competition representing the USA on the world stage, won not one but two gold medals at the 2022 Youth and Masters Pan American Championships in June. The nineteen-yearold Atascadero resident won individual compound female gold and mixed team gold in the “Under 21” category in the exhibition match.

$155,000

The recent sale price for Cambria’s famous Nitt Witt Ridge—well below the $425,000 asking price. The home, a California State Landmark for more than fifty years, is a popular tourist attraction. No word yet on who purchased the two-story, two-bedroom, one-bath property.

The City of San Luis Obispo’s average annual population growth rate per year since 2015, according to the City’s 2021 General Plan Annual Report. That figure is in compliance with the one percent maximum average annual growth rate specified in the goals and objectives of the City’s blueprint for meeting its long-term vision for the future.

988 The new three-digit code that routes callers and texters to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline if they are having thoughts of suicide, mental health, or substance use crises, or any other kind of emotional distress. The City of SLO’s Mobile Crisis Unit also urges people worried about a loved one who may need crisis support to call or text 9-8-8. SLO LIFE


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| VIEW

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THE PAC BY MARK NAKAMURA

When you think of landscape photography, do you think of some scenic overlook from one of the vistas in San Luis Obispo, or an ocean scene with an epic sunset? Architectural photography also contains many of the ingredients that make for a memorable photograph—lighting, composition, timing, subject, lines, shapes, patterns, framing, texture, and color. Or black and white. As I was walking by on a recent visit to the Performing Arts Center, also knows as the PAC, I was drawn to the lines, shapes, and patterns of Harold Miossi Hall. I took out my Sony A7r IV camera with the 24-70mm f2.8 lens, composed and framed the photograph, and took this shot in “P” mode, where the camera sets the aperture and shutter speed. Through a partnership formed in 1986 between the City of San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly, and private fundraising through the Foundation for the Performing Arts Center, the PAC opened in September of 1996. During the ten-year span that existed between concept and completion, local community members donated $12.5 million of the $30 million needed to build the venue, which is comprised of Harold Miossi Hall, Alex & Faye Spanos Theatre, Philips Hall, and the Pavilion. Formerly known as Sidney Harman Hall, the 1,286-seat venue was renamed after a $1.5 million award, the largest cash gift ever received in the Foundation’s history, given by the Harold J. Miossi Charitable Trust. Now called Harold Miossi Hall, large crowds are drawn to local and international events alike. History aside, whether you are shooting a landscape, a seascape, or a building, many of the same elements play into making a pleasing shot. Following these elements of design will ensure an eye-catching image. SLO LIFE

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| Q&A

JIMMY PAULDING Okay, Jimmy, let’s talk about where you’re from. I’m from Arroyo Grande. Grew up in the same house where my parents still live. I’ve been in South County my whole life. The only time I moved out of town was when I attended Cal Poly. That’s what brought my parents here originally, to attend Cal Poly. Their dream was to become forest rangers, but my dad ended up becoming a police officer, first in Grover Beach then with SLOPD. My mom did the child rearing and later became a teacher at Coastal Christian School. I also have a sister, four years older than me, she’s a professor at Cal Poly, so we’re all still here. What were you like as a kid? I always got really good grades, but I would, at times, be disciplined for being too rowdy in class. I got my first job at Burger King in Grover Beach when I turned fifteen and was super excited to get my driver’s license. As a kid, I did a lot of boogie boarding, motorcycle riding, played soccer, played football in high school. As a high school senior, I was really thinking seriously about pursuing a career in music, but my parents encouraged me to apply to Cal Poly and get a degree in city regional planning, which I did. Any regrets? No, not at all. If I hadn’t gone to Cal Poly, I wouldn’t have met my wife. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a huge passion for music, but I do it on the side as a hobby instead of a career. I play guitar, acoustic and electric, and I’ve been learning the drums. It’s a great way to unwind, and I do it as much as I can, but not as much as I’d like. There are some guys that I jam with whenever we can all get together. So, yes, music is a big passion of mine. The other thing is hot sauce. I love hot sauce. I’m a bit of a hot sauce junkie. The hotter the better. Bring it on. 34

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We caught up recently with JIMMY PAULDING following his election victory in June to represent District 4 on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. Here are a few of the highlights from our wide-ranging conversation . . .

Let’s hear about how you met your wife. It was at a mutual friend’s party back in 2007. I was taken right away. It was her smile. Just this big, beaming presence from across the room. I don’t know if I’d call it love at first sight, or what, but I was immediately attracted to her. I went over and had a great conversation. Two years later, we were married. Kendra is the love of my life. Now, we work together in our law firm. When I mentioned that I was thinking about running [for office], she was very supportive of the idea. The more I studied constitutional law, the more I observed the current threat to democracy that we saw with the former president, and the more politically motivated I became. She was with me all the way in that. You lost in 2018 by just 60 votes but won this time by a significant margin. What was the difference? Well, we had the opportunity to start earlier, and we capitalized on that, fourteen months to run a campaign as opposed to nine. And, then, adding to that, the fact that I had a track record on the city council and had some solid endorsements from people of all different political stripes. The community just stepped up to back my campaign. And the number of volunteers we had probably were double or triple this time. We were able to raise the funds necessary to get the message out. All those things, plus the lessons we learned from the 2018 campaign all played a role. But, I’ll say, the number one thing, Kendra was the campaign manager this time around. SLO LIFE


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| NOW HEAR THIS

Chasing a feeling

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BY JOE PAYNE


The life of a musician is often punctuated in early years by a formative

concert experience, and singer songwriter Carmine Terracciano is no different. Growing up in northern Idaho with a classic rock-loving drummer for a father, Terracciano remembers vividly the Ben Harper show he attended as a teenager and the electrifying feeling that accompanied the performance. “It just kind of blew my mind, watching him play guitar and sing.” he explains, “I think that’s the moment I realized that I wanted to learn to sing and play guitar.” The first song Terracciano ever learned was a Harper song, but he didn’t stop there. Artists like Elliot Smith, The Beatles, and others guided his fingers across the fretboard. Terracciano made his way to the Central Coast not long after, cutting his teeth performing late night cover sessions in bars or at open mic nights, feeling that same electric charge from strumming and singing on stage. Now, he has three full albums and a handful of singles to his name available on Spotify and other streaming services. His latest album, titled “Heart of Stone” and released in late 2021, signals a maturity of sound and concept that only a seasoned songwriter could convey. “I did work with my vocals to give it this kind of dark and ethereal sound,” Terracciano shares. “The picture on the cover is dark, and I feel like a lot of the songs are kind of heavy to me, and personal.” Terracciano usually only writes songs when compelled by emotional experience or need, some of which are difficult and raw and come through in the music. The instrumentation, with brooding chords and haunting pedal steel guitar chords, creates a landscape of the innermost, betraying hope and heartache in bittersweet combination. Inspired by artists like Elliott Smith, who famously wrote their pains into haunting music, Terracciano said that he’s found songwriting therapeutic. “It’s kind of a blessing and a curse of your songs being kind of like a diary,” he intimates “For me, and it seems like for a lot of other musicians and songwriters, sometimes writing about the more difficult times comes easier to people, and I definitely feel that way. Putting into words your struggle is good for people to relate to. People go through things, and being able to express those difficult times in a song is kind of a way for the musician to put that serious time to rest, but also for the listener to have therapy, in my opinion.” Whether performing live locally or in recording his albums, Terracciano relies on a loose coalition of local instrumentalists to help fill out his sound. He said that overall, the music scene in SLO and the Central Coast is a welcoming and supportive one, whether it’s the listeners or fellow performers. “I feel like the musicians here really help each other,” he shares. “It’s a really open community of musicians who are open to playing with other bands and supporting each other. It’s a pretty cool thing.” SLO LIFE

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| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

pro file PHOTOGRAPHY BY ZACHARY SCOTT

When it comes to the arts, San Luis Obispo punches far above its weight. And it’s all thanks to a plucky, determined, and whip-smart group of movers-andshakers who have invested their time and energy into a small town they describe as being on the cusp of big things. In this installment, we sit down with one of those on the front lines of the booming local art scene, Chief Curator and Director of Education at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art, EMMA SAPERSTEIN. She recounted for us her unlikely path from Pakistan to Morro Bay, overcoming tragedy along the way, finding redemption, and then love. Here is her story . . .

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et’s take it from the top, Emma, where are you from? I was born in Columbus, Ohio. But I spent the majority of my childhood, up until age sixteen, traveling in Central Asia. My dad was a Fulbright Scholar for the first couple of years of our time there. We were in Pakistan, right on the border of Afghanistan, in a city called Quetta, and then he got into humanitarian aid work. We were there until I was eight, and we’d come back to the States from time to time so he could defend his dissertation. Then, we were in Uzbekistan until I was sixteen. I thought I would live there forever, but we left in 2006 because there was some political tension between the US and Uzbekistan. My dad took a job at Yale, so we were in Connecticut for my last two years of high school, which was just this huge change. How so? Well, education overseas can be tricky. A lot of people send their kids to boarding school with other ex-pats, but my parents said, “No, this is an important experience for you.” So, I went to an Uzbek school, learned to speak the language, which is Uzbek, and really was immersed in the culture and the community, the whole thing. My sister—I have three siblings, two sisters and a brother— she went to a Russian school instead and learned a language which is probably a little bit more useful. [laughter] But, when we came back to the US, it was, honestly, it was awful. I was, of course, a really angsty teenager and never lived for any length of time here. I had been in these small, quiet Uzbek schools then I’m dropped into this big, huge, 2,200-student public high school in New Haven, Connecticut. It was rough. At this point, were you wanting to head back to Central Asia? Yes, definitely. Uzbeks are very peaceful people. I think everyone should go to Uzbekistan. It’s a beautiful place. It’s on the Silk Road, so there’s a ton of history and architecture. Honestly, I don’t remember much about Pakistan other than it’s a very strict Muslim country. I was too young to have to cover my head, but it was something women had to do there. They also have to sit separately from the men. Most Uzbeks are also practicing Muslims, but it’s not nearly as devout. The languages are different, too. That’s what brought us there in the first place. My dad has his PhD in onomatopoeia, which is the study of words that sound the same as their meaning, like “splat,” for example. He also translated books. He started a book translating office in Uzbekistan. And my mom studied ethnomusicology. Ethno what? [laughter] I know, they’re a couple of nerds! Ethnomusicology is the study of music in its social context. But she got really into helping refugees resettle, and also ESL. My parents are both back in Ohio now. We’ve always had ties to the Midwest, particularly Chicago, which is where I went to college. After that, I went to the New York Center for Art and Media Studies before returning to sell cheese at farmers’ markets. Chicago has a very cool art scene. It’s accessible, all of it. I actually started out working for an artist there who had become very famous for his work. He told me, “You’re so administratively skilled—don’t ignore that,” which I thought was interesting. So, then, I found my way into the curatorial field. I moved to Dallas to work at a gallery there. I don’t think I >> AUG/SEP 2022

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ever wanted to be an artist; well, maybe briefly, but I knew that I wanted to be around it somehow. Curation of art seemed to fit. And, really, it was that time in Dallas that brought me here.

parents, to sort of regroup. The phone rang and I saw the 805 area code pop up. I answered and they said, “You have the job.” I was like, What do I do? What do I do?

Let’s hear the story. Okay, well, it actually had nothing to do with my career, it’s more of a personal story. A difficult one. How do I start? . . . I had a boyfriend there who was in a major car accident in Dallas. He experienced a traumatic brain injury, and he needed long term care. Turns out, his mother had retired to Morro Bay. It was a very difficult situation to navigate, as I was doing my best to help support him at the same time my career was starting to take off. I was getting offers to do some really interesting work in some really interesting areas. But, I had just been through this super intense experience and was hurting. We all were. It was just horrible. At some point, I was in Morro Bay just sort of sitting there at the beach by myself gazing out at the ocean, and I felt this peace come over me. I don’t even remember much of that time, it’s all a hazy blur, but I must have applied for a job at Cuesta College because they called me when I went back to interview at a museum in Ohio to be near my

What did you do? I took a leap of faith. I accepted the job and rented a little house in Morro Bay. And, then, I went out to the ocean and learned to surf. I did what I could to help out with my boyfriend. He has since made as full a recovery as can be expected. We’re not super close anymore, but I stay in touch with his family. It was a long, slow process of recovery for all of us; but, for me, surfing was my therapy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m now six years into it and still not very good, but I have to be in the water. I crave it. Honestly, I think surfing changed my life. It really did. Not to sound so dramatic here, but it saved me. And I had never lived near the ocean before. This was all new to me. An entirely new experience. But I know now that when you’re working through stuff, hard things—there are no words for it—being in the ocean just takes care of it, washes it away.

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How’d you learn to surf ? I mentioned to my dad that I wanted to learn, >>


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and he said, “Oh, you should talk to Rob. He used to surf in high school.” Rob is one of my dad’s former colleagues from Yale. So, I called Rob and he said, “Yeah, you can have all my old boards. They’re at my parents’ house in Santa Cruz.” Anyway, I came back here with all these vintage surfboards, got myself a wetsuit, and plopped in the water. At this point, I had no idea what I was doing; couldn’t even balance myself to sit on the board, let alone stand up on it. But I kept doing it until I met a cool local guy out there who sort of became my surf guru. He could see I was clueless, so he’d paddle over and surf with me, give me some pointers, and keep an eye on me in the water. Then, somebody gave me an old long board. It was huge and super heavy, an old-school board. It gave me three concussions, but that’s the one I really learned on, the one where I kind of started to figure things out. And during that time, you were also throwing yourself into your work … Yes, that’s very true. I was working at Cuesta but taking on a bunch of freelance projects doing exhibition tour management, mostly. Just anything to take my mind off things and fully immerse myself in something. Also, I enrolled in grad school, an advanced degree in curatorial studies at the University of Aarhus in Denmark. The plan was to be there in person two or three times each semester, that was until the shutdown hit. So, I ended up doing that mostly remotely. I’m finishing up my thesis currently and am almost done. And, of course, now I’m with SLOMA [San Luis Obispo Museum of Art] and couldn’t be more 44

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excited about the things we’re doing. There are some really amazing things going on. Which one of those amazing things are you most excited about? Hmm … I’d have to say public art. It’s essentially a collaboration with the City of SLO, where they collect a fee from developers to fund public art. The city has these funds, but needed someone to manage them, so they contracted with SLOMA to administer the program. So, the Fremont Theater mural was a big priority. The city really wanted to get that wall painted. There’s the installation on the museum’s lawn, the sculpture, that was something that was also funded by the city. And, right now, we’re really focused on the upcoming roundabouts. It’s my job to dialogue with the community, all these brilliant people, and to select appropriate artwork for these public installations. It’s incredibly rewarding to see them go in, and to see how the city has embraced the projects. So, between this, finishing my thesis, and getting married, life has been busy. Wait, what? Married? Yes, it just happened. Well, that’s not quite true. It’s a long story that I guess goes back about seven years now, back when we were still in Dallas. That’s when I met Scott. He asked me out, but I was, of course, in a relationship, and was like, No, no, no. Through a weird twist of fate, he ended up working as a consultant for my ex-boyfriend— he and his brother owned a bar there—and Scott came in to help change their mixology program. When my ex’s accident happened, Scott was >>


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a sweet angel of a brother. He jumped in and sort of handled things for them at the bar during this family crisis, he kept things going. It turns out that his sister had experienced a brain injury that was very similar, so he had some experience with what we were going through. Anyway, he helped me pack up our apartment when we moved out here and he was just a stand-up dude, who saw the family was hurting, and really stepped up to support all of us during that time. Okay, so then you started dating? No, actually, we kind of lost touch. I would see him sometimes if I was traveling. He was born and raised in Boston and had since moved back there. So, if I was ever in Boston, we’d meet up for a drink just to catch up and say hello. Then, at the beginning of the pandemic, I found myself all alone, living in my little house in Morro Bay with my pit bull. That’s when Scott and I reconnected on Instagram. Of course, there was nothing going on, nothing else to do, so we started talking on the phone and we started FaceTiming. Then, he wrote me a letter that said, “I’ve loved you since the moment I saw you.” I was like, What? So, he came out to visit and we went off for a 46

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three- or four-week road trip. That’s a great way to get to know somebody. We basically camped in the backyards of everybody each of us knew across the United States. Along the way, we saw my parents who were in Wyoming at the time. Then, when we got to his apartment in Boston, I said, “Maybe we should get your stuff.” So, we loaded up the car and headed back to Morro Bay and we’ve been together ever since. So, this is home now? Yes, definitely. There’s something about this area that really draws people in. And, as beautiful as it is, I think it’s the people here. I mean, we have an amazing group of friends, and amazing community. It still blows me away that I landed in this corner of the world, with no real previous connection to this area, and feel so connected the way I do. I mean, I don’t have family here, but over the course of a short time since arriving, say a year, or a year-and-a-half, I met my best friends. There’s nothing else, nowhere else, like it. And, so, now, there’s always this moment when I return after traveling somewhere, I have this moment where I feel this thing and I say to myself, “Oh, yeah—it’s so satisfying to be home.” SLO LIFE


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| ARTIST

Heather Cruce BY JEFF AL-MASHAT PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARIAH DINGMAN

C

eramic artist Heather Cruce makes incredible sculptures. They are unusual shapes that offer great surprises as you take them in from every angle to appreciate all that is happening around the next corner. Wherever you start, there is something to explore. It is virtually impossible not to keep looking because you are never quite sure what is going on through an opening, or as you view a piece from a different vantage point. The remarkable experience about her work is that the end piece really conveys the complexity that goes into her artistic process. Cruce is a problem solver. Most artists are, but the journey she takes the viewer on truly elicits questions of how she achieved her forms and what led to the placement of markings and objects hidden in the pieces. “A lot of times, I am battling with decisions that need to be made about a piece, and I find that my mind keeps working on the problem even though I don’t know that it is,” says Cruce. “Sometimes I will wake up the following day and have a solution. I realize that my brain worked on it for me.” Cruce, who grew up on the Central Coast and then left for places like Northern California and New York, built an impressive art career during her time away. Now back, living in Los Osos and teaching ceramics at SLO’s MakerSpace, she clearly loves to help people understand the opportunities and complexities of working with ceramics. She explains her approach: “Ceramic work is not something that happens in one day. I am really interested in the automatic drawings of surrealist Hans Arp, and feel I am doing something similar with ceramics.” The pieces around her studio show a progression of ideas. But while many artists seem to think about carrying ideas and concepts to their next end product, Cruce is thinking about how to replicate and build upon her process. Her artistic mind seems to live in the making rather than the piece itself. SLO LIFE

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| AUTHOR

Tree Hugger BY BRIAN SCHWARTZ

B

estselling award-winning author Matt Ritter, PhD is a distinguished biology professor at Cal Poly. With five titles to his name, he has recently released the newly revised edition of “A Californian’s Guide to the Trees Among Us.” It is both a natural history and widely considered to be “the Bible” of reference guides (with over 30,000 copies sold) to urban planners and arborists throughout California. Ritter likes to think of his work as ‘the gateway drug’ to caring for trees.

For eight years, Ritter led the Tree Committee of San Luis Obispo. Today, more than 20,000 trees exist in SLO and they continue to be a key ingredient to our quality of life. And, as the drought worsens, knowledge matters. Which trees to plant when, where they will grow, consideration for insects and disease, and ultimately avoiding contact with power lines can literally be a matter of life or death.

connected when he wrote “Something Wonderful,” the award-winning children’s book published in 2021 illustrated by Nayl Gonzalez, a former Cal Poly student. Ritter spends his summers working on grants and running the #1 tree selection website in the world (with over two million page views per year). Sponsored by the US Forest Service and Cal Fire, SelecTree (selectree.calpoly.edu) draws from a database of over 3,000 species to guide the visitor on what to plant where based on parameters set by the user. There are real-world implications more visible in other areas of the country. Poorer communities tend to have fewer trees and more crime. It turns out that trees may do far more than add curb appeal, they bring beauty into the world, and, as the theory goes, with more beauty comes more love and less hate.

If you’ve ever wondered why you are drawn to certain parts of a city, take notice of the density of the trees. It’s not a coincidence. More desirable cities have more trees. City planners know this as do savvy real estate investors.

Trees also play a key role in reducing carbon, so for the sake of our warming planet and quality of life, trees are the local answer to a global problem. It makes financial sense, too, plant more trees in an impoverished part of town and watch property values go up and crime go down.

Ritter’s purpose is to bring greater awareness and appreciation to the abundance found in our natural world. It was also his goal to plant a seed—pardon the pun—in the minds of children that everything’s

Don’t just hug a tree, plant one! But do a little research up front and you’ll be rewarded for years to come (and you’ll make the world a better place too). SLO LIFE

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䌀甀猀琀漀洀 䌀爀攀愀琀椀漀渀 ☀ 䄀渀琀椀焀甀攀 刀攀猀琀漀爀愀琀椀漀渀 ㄀㄀㄀㐀 ☀ ㄀㄀㄀㠀 䜀愀爀搀攀渀 匀琀⸀ 䐀漀眀渀琀漀眀渀 匀䰀伀 㠀 㔀⸀㔀㐀㌀⸀㠀㄀㠀㘀 ⴀ 眀眀眀⸀䜀愀爀搀攀渀匀琀爀攀攀琀䜀漀氀搀猀洀椀琀栀猀⸀挀漀洀

timeless education small class sizes where families matter now enrolling preschool through high school (+ infant/toddler care)!

apply now at sloclassical.org AUG/SEP 2022

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| EXPLORE

D

Into the sunset BY PADEN HUGHES

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espite the outrageous vet bills, the requirement to shovel manure, and the time investment involved around horse ownership, I can’t help it: I love horses. I don’t even have a future vision of my life without horses (yes, plural) in it. And, now, thanks to the movie “Spirit,” which is about a young girl and her love for her horse, my daughter, Kennedy, shares the dream, too. We can’t pass by a buckskin horse without her yelling, “Spirit, I love you!” And we may or may not sneak up the road to feed carrots to the beloved buckskin she believes is the real Spirit. So, when I heard that Central Coast Trail Rides had expanded their riding experience to include private tours of Santa Margarita Ranch, I signed up for a session with my daughter. Just a fifteen-minute drive from San Luis Obispo to the ranch is all it took to go back in time and feel like we were in the Wild West. Brian Hallett, one of the

TIP! Central Coast Trail Rides offers year round private ranch rides, custom tours, as well as twilight rides where you can take in the setting sun. Cost ranges from $115 to $165 per person depending on length of the ride. Be sure to check out their website for specifics at cctrailrides.com where you can also book your experience online.


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owners of CC Trail Rides, was ready and waiting for us with our horses saddled. He’d already chosen the horses based on our experience and their temperament. Kennedy was allowed to ride her own horse, which was beyond thrilling for her. With safety in mind, Hallett took the lead, holding a rope attached to Kennedy’s horse, putting all our minds at ease. Minutes after arriving, we headed out on a newly cut trail, which took us directly into a beautiful sandy riverbed. For as dry as summer can be on the Central Coast, especially in a drought year, I was pleasantly surprised by how green many parts of the trail were. We rode through a lush creek bed, made our way to sprawling ranch lands dotted with oak trees, and climbed up and down hills overlooking Ancient Peaks’ vineyards, returning through a well-groomed forest trail. It was a landscape just about as diverse as you can get on the Central Coast. For an hour-and-a-half, we enjoyed a leisurely morning ride and witnessed a bald eagle nest while its baby bird waited for breakfast. We also saw cattle bones and signs of local wild boar along the trail. It was magical, relaxing, and an incredible feeling to escape the busy, demanding day-to-day grind. Being around nature, animals, and children always brings me back into balance—and this trail ride experience delivered it all. I would highly recommend the adventure for adults and children alike. SLO LIFE

Charmaine Petersen, CSA

Serving Central Coast Families

Since 1997

(805) 545-5901 AUG/SEP 2022 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53 SENIORLIVINGCONSULTANTS.COM


| ON THE RISE

S TUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Cooper Groshart With a Golden Tiger award under his belt for maintaining a 4.0+ GPA throughout his time at San Luis Obispo High School, this two-year golf team MVP is starting his senior year and ready to take his place on the course. How did you get so interested in hitting the links? I learned to golf when I was five, but I was probably thirteen when I really became interested in it. Since then I’ve just become more obsessed with getting better. I think the reason I love it so much is because when I’m on the course, I am able to forget about everything else and just focus on one thing. I have met a lot of my friends through golf as well, so that makes it even more fun. How do you like to spend your free time? I love to play the guitar and listen to music. I have a couple guitars in my room, so I can just pick one up and it feels like an hour goes by in no time. And, going to the movies is one of my favorite things to do with my friends. What is important to you outside of school? The most important things in my life are my family, friends, and golf. My friends and family are very supportive of me with whatever I choose to do in my life. I am so lucky to have them. Golf has given me so many opportunities and I have such a big passion for it—I don’t know what I would do without it. What is one of your favorite memories? Me and a couple of my friends went to Myrtle Beach in South Carolina for a couple weeks and golfed every day. We would wake up early every morning to go play and then hang out for the rest of the day. We got to play some of the best courses in the country, so that was really cool. Who has influenced you the most? I would say my coach, Tony Consolino. I met him about three years ago and he has changed the way I look at golf and life. He’s the best coach because he challenges me to figure things out for myself first, and then he’ll tell me if I’m right or completely wrong. What is something that people don’t know about you? Most people don’t know that I listen to Korean pop, or K-pop. People kind of laugh at me when I tell them, but I actually think it’s really good. And, how about the future? I’m looking forward to college and that whole experience. I have been talking with a lot of coaches to find a school where I can play golf. SLO LIFE Know a student On the Rise? Email us at info@slolifemagazine.com 54

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SEPT 9 THROUGH

smart, eclectic, art to live on

SEPT 25

Stampeding elephants! Raging typhoons! Runaway trains! Hold onto your seats for the original amazing race!

1599 Monterey Street | 805.544.5900 | sloconsignment.com (at the corner of Grove Street, across from Benny’s Pizza Palace and Social Club)

Open Tuesday - Saturday 10-5pm

tickets $20-$38

slorep.org

san luis obispo repertory theatre

(805) 786-2440

• 888 morro • downtown slo

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| PET COLLECTIVE

LUNA PHOTOGRAPHY BY ZACHARY SCOTT One of the flock, when Luna is not busy eating everything in sight, this Navajo-Churro lamb spends its days lounging around the Lonely Palm Ranch in Arroyo Grande. SLO LIFE

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ERIC PFLEEGER OF LONELY PALM RANCH


| DWELLING

Ranch Vista BY ZARA KHAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVID LALUSH

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W

With several remodel projects under their belts, Jeanne and Bruce Rizzoli decided they were ready to build a home from the ground up. They came across a lot located in the Margarita Farms neighborhood of Atascadero with a combination of privacy and views. Bruce, a third generation San Luis Obispo local, had friends he trusted in the industry and knew he could assemble a strong team and approach this project as an ownerbuilder. The Rizzolis also started where they had fifteen years before during their previous remodel, with a phone call to Ehron Baskin, the Senior Design Associate at Design Collaborative. In their last home project Baskin had saved the couple a lot of time and helped the Rizzolis create a space they loved for years. Jeanne appreciated that Baskin took the time to listen to her goals and always narrowed down the options to just a few. >>

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MODERN

Marvin Signature® Modern windows and doors bring exceptional design and performance to any home. Now available on the Central Coast with your local Marvin dealer and the certified installation experts at A-1 Glass.

705 Paso Robles Street, Paso Robles, CA 805-227-6697 • a1glasswindows.com

Visit our New Window and Door Experience Center in downtown Paso Robles! AUG/SEP 2022

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Design Collaborative also had great connections to the tradesman in the industry and stayed up with the latest when it came to materials. They were brought on to the project to help with construction finishes throughout the home, furniture specification, and accessories. Design Collaborative also helped the Rizzoli’s pull together their team along with architect Bill Isaman. Baskin is a firm believer that designers can dream, but plans need to be well executed by the installers in order for the design to truly come to life. The Rizzoli’s primary focus was to capture the views and their location offered enough privacy that they could readily use glass wherever they wanted. To that end, the amount of windows did make structural engineering tricky, but they made compromises where needed. In the kitchen, symmetry was important as it sits in the center of the space and needed to also function as a walkway. They decided to round the corners on the kitchen island to soften the space and make the area feel more inviting. Since the main focus was the views around the house, they chose to conceal the pantry behind the kitchen where a door to the left of the fridge leads into the walk-in storage, where the clutter can be >>

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contained. Santori Woodworks brought all the cabinetry throughout the home to life, while Pyramid MTM (marble, tile, and masonry) worked on all of the non-concrete countertops, including the natural stone found in the kitchen. When it came to the concrete sinks and countertops in the restrooms, Mike Wellman at Concast Studios, worked closely with Design Collaborative to design and execute the surfaces. They wanted a visually soft and natural material to fit it with the rest of the design selections. Wellman is a local artisan with an eye for design. On this project, they wanted the ability to create integrated sinks in custom sizes. Wellman has completed several projects with Design Collaborative and is able to use a sealer to keep staining to a minimum even with porous concrete. Throughout the home, the tile makes a statement. While it looks intentionally seamless, as it’s meant to, the installation was a challenge. Luckily, they had a skilled tile installer, Ed Peterson, who was able to find creative solutions, especially the way the dimensional tile was installed around a window. The team also had to get creative when it came to mounting the vanity mirror because they >>

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were not interested in drilling it into the tile, so instead they suspended it from the ceiling, which worked to create a unique visual. Another design obstacle that revealed itself was the fireplace. And while Jeanne could not be happier with the end result, pulling it together was a puzzle at the time. The combination of the tall ceiling and the large wall made it challenging to design a fireplace that didn’t feel heavy, but still filled the space. They decided to install limestone, which was also used in other parts of the home, but broke up the monolith with Venetian plaster in the center. Zeke Graf at ZG Plastering was tasked with the project. The end result amazed the Rizzolis—as the sunlight moves along the fireplace, the shade changes throughout the day and always looks beautiful. With remodel and new construction experience to their names, the Rizzolis have a few pieces of wisdom: First, keep an open mind and don’t immediately dismiss any design ideas. Spend some time with it and if you still haven’t come around to an idea, discuss which element is causing your hesitation. Remember, there is always a fix. Think through the options, but most important, find solutions that won’t look like a band aid. Finally, be active in your project and appreciative of the talent and care everyone on the team puts into helping bring your home to life. SLO LIFE

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# I N S P I R E D T O S E R V E

OUR GLORY IS NOT IN NEVER FALLING, BUT IN RISING EVERY TIME WE FALL. - CONFUCIUS

R A M S E YA S P H A LT. C O M

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| REAL ESTATE

WIDE COUNTY

STATISTICS

AVERAGE PRICE PER SQUARE FOOT

$562 UP FROM $482 LAST YEAR ACTIVE LISTINGS

600

AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET

twenty TWO DOWN FROM 28 LAST YEAR

PROPERTIES SOLD

1,202 DOWN FROM 1,769 LAST YEAR AVERAGE % OF ASKING PRICE

100.8% UP FROM 100.1% LAST YEAR

UP FROM 593 LAST YEAR MEDIAN SELLING PRICE

$869,000 UP FROM $730,000 ONE YEAR AGO

*Comparing June 2021 to June 2022 // San Luis Obispo Coastal Association of REALTORS ® SLO LIFE 70

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REA L E S TAT E

BY THE NUMBERS

| SLO CITY

laguna lake

2021 Total Homes Sold 48 Average Asking Price $766,331 Average Selling Price $775,944 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 101.25% Average # of Days on the Market 16

2022 30 $1,007,139 $1,078,677 107.10% 7

+/-37.50% 31.42% 39.01% 5.85% -55.56%

tank farm

2021 39 Total Homes Sold $938,909 Average Asking Price $935,061 Average Selling Price Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 99.59% 35 Average # of Days on the Market

2022 20 $1,143,123 $1,209,612 105.82% 9

+/-48.72% 21.75% 29.36% 6.23% -74.29%

cal poly area

2021 Total Homes Sold 29 Average Asking Price $1,154,572 Average Selling Price $1,136,564 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 98.44% Average # of Days on the Market 31

2022 14 $1,251,214 $1,313,650 104.99% 15

+/-51.72% 8.37% 15.58% 6.55% -51.61%

country club

2021 Total Homes Sold 15 Average Asking Price $1,357,933 Average Selling Price $1,366,624 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 100.64% Average # of Days on the Market 13

2022 12 $1,819,917 $1,927,750 105.93% 7

+/-20.00% 34.02% 41.06% 5.29% -46.15%

down town

2021 Total Homes Sold 53 Average Asking Price $946,851 Average Selling Price $954,052 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 100.76% Average # of Days on the Market 40

2022 29 $1,194,262 $1,257,064 105.26% 17

+/-45.28% 26.13% 31.76% 4.50% -57.50%

foothill boulevard

2021 Total Homes Sold 20 Average Asking Price $925,415 Average Selling Price $935,075 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 101.04% Average # of Days on the Market 39

2022 14 $1,315,071 $1,353,714 102.94% 21

+/-30.00% 42.11% 44.77% 1.90% -46.15%

johnson avenue

2021 Total Homes Sold 35 Average Asking Price $1,079,671 Average Selling Price $1,119,955 Sales Price as a % of Asking Price 103.73% Average # of Days on the Market 21

2022 22 $1,076,495 $1,191,966 110.73% 14

+/-37.14% -0.29% 6.43% 7.00% -33.33%

*Comparing 01/01/21 - 07/20/21 to 01/01/22 - 07/20/22

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Coastal Association of REALTORS ® SLO LIFE

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CLOSE IN AS FAST AS 10 DAYS* Move Fast. Close Faster.

With the speed you’ll get from Guaranteed Rate’s FastTrack program, your loan will be cleared to closed in as fast as 24 hours.* This means you could close on your home in as fast as 10 days.**

Ask me how I can help you close in 10 days or less!* Donna Lewis

Maggie Koepsell

Mike Luna

O: (805) 335-8742 C: (805) 674-6653

O: (805) 456-5799 C: (805) 610-0105

maggie.koepsell@rate.com

mike.luna@rate.com

Ermina Karim

Matthew Janetski

Luana Geradis

O: (805) 329-4095 C: (805) 602-0248

O: (805) 329-4092 C: (619) 300-2651

O: (805) 329-4087 C: (707) 227-9582

ermina.karim@rate.com

matt.janetski@rate.com

luana.gerardis@rate.com

Eileen Mackenzie

Joe Hutson

Lisa Renelle

O: (805) 212-5204 C: (831) 566-9908

O: (831) 205-1582 C: (831) 212-4138

O: (805) 456-5344 C: (805) 674-2931

eileen.mackenzie@rate.com

joe.hutson@rate.com

lisa.renelle@rate.com

Branch Manager & SVP of Mortgage Lending

O: (805) 335-8743 C: (805) 235-0463

VP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

donna.lewis@rate.com

VP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

VP of Mortgage Lending

Rate.com/SanLuisObispo • 1065 Higuera St., Suite 100, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 (20220707-1493253) *The Guaranteed Rate FastTrack is available from 5/1/22 through 11:59 PM, 8/31/22 provides that eligible borrowers will receive a “Clear to Close Loan Commitment” (“CTC”) within twenty-four business hours from Guaranteed Rate’s receipt of all necessary borrower documentation. Guaranteed Rate, Inc. reserves the right to revoke this “CTC” at any time if there is a change in your financial condition or credit history which would impair your ability to repay this obligation and the offer could change at any time without notice. CTC is subject to certain underwriting conditions, including clear title and no loss of appraisal waiver, amongst others. Read and understand your Loan Commitment before waiving any mortgage contingencies. Borrower documentation and Intent to Proceed must be signed within twenty-four business hours of receipt. Not eligible for all loan types or residence types. Down payment restrictions may apply. Eligible for primary and second homes. Property must be eligible for an Appraisal Waiver and borrower must opt in to AccountChek for automated income and asset verification. Self-employed borrowers and Co-borrowers are not eligible. Not all borrowers will be approved. Borrower’s interest rate will depend upon the specific characteristics of borrower’s loan transaction, credit profile and other criteria. Offer not available from any d/b/a or operations that do not operate under the Guaranteed Rate name. $250 Closing Cost Credit applied at closing, no cash value and cannot be combined with any other offer. Not available in New York, West Virginia, Kentucky, or Texas refinances. Restrictions apply. Contact Guaranteed Rate for more information. **Guaranteed Rate cannot guarantee that an applicant will be approved or that a closing can occur within a specific timeframe. All dates are estimates and will vary based on all involved parties’ level of participation at any stage of the loan process. Contact Guaranteed Rate for more information. Donna Lewis NMLS #245945; CA - CA-DOC245945 | Maggie Koepsell NMLS #704130; CA - CA-DBO704130 | Ermina Karim NMLS #2005928; CA - CA-DFPI2005928 | Luana Gerardis NMLS #1324563; CA - CA-DBO1324563 | Eileen Mackenzie NMLS #282909; CA - CA-DOC282909 | Matthew Janetski NMLS #1002317; CA - CA-DBO1002317 | Joe Hutson NMLS #447536; CA - CA-DOC447536 | Lisa Renelle NMLS #269785; CA-DOC269785 | Mike Luna NMLS ID: 331073; CA - CA-DBO331073. Guaranteed Rate, Inc.; NMLS #2611; For licensing information visit nmlsconsumeraccess.org. • CA: Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act.

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Close on your new home in as few as 21 days with FastTrack Credit Approval! With FastTrack, you receive:

| SLO COUNTY

REAL ESTATE BY THE NUMBERS REGION Arroyo Grande

NUMBER OF HOME S SOLD

AVERAGE DAYS ON MARKET

AVERAGE SELLING PRICE

2021

2022

2021

2022

2021

2022

203

146

31

21

$972,675

$1,133,386

$687,053

$871,735

Fully underwritten credit approval before choosing the home you want to buy

Atascadero

211

179

13

14

• More purchasing power in a

Avila Beach

18

11

33

12

$2,095,383 $2,297,890

Cambria/San Simeon

97

76

40

33

$1,029,729 $1,327,772

Cayucos

34

34

36

89

$1,479,444 $1,938,368

Creston

7

5

35

74

$1,017,143 $1,101,500

Grover Beach

90

58

12

16

$701,657

$763,883

Los Osos

69

74

16

15

$829,842

$978,944

Morro Bay

88

66

40

25

Nipomo

157

129

26

18

$816,362

$992,187

Oceano

32

32

25

19

$625,755

$739,531

Pismo Beach

88

57

29

16

$1,242,516 $1,401,167

Paso (Inside City Limits)

248

180

19

15

$590,325

$724,845

Paso (North 46 - East 101)

28

23

27

19

$829,941

$798,391

Paso (North 46 - West 101)

67

48

45

55

$944,786 $1,280,660

Paso (South 46 - East 101)

38

28

32

19

$830,331

San Luis Obispo

283

162

30

13

$1,034,975 $1,302,194

Santa Margarita

19

6

44

35

$800,729 $662,500

Templeton

98

47

39

21

$1,055,495 $1,375,743

1,769

1,202

28

22

$883,744 $1,034,146

competitive market

• Peace of mind for everyone that you’re fully qualified

Contact me today to learn more!

Ben Lerner 805.441.9486 www.blerner.com ben.lerner@myccmortgage.com

895 Pismo Street, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Equal Housing Opportunity. All loans subject to underwriting approval. Certain restrictions apply. Call for details. NMLS3029 NMLS2131793 NMLS395723 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC. Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act. Refinancing may result in higher total finance charges over the life of the loan. CrossCountry Mortgage, LLC cannot guarantee that an applicant will be approved or that a closing can occur within a specific timeframe. Results will vary based on all involved parties’ level of participation at any stage of the loan process. 74 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | AUG/SEP 2022

Countywide

*Comparing 01/01/21 - 07/20/21 to 01/01/22 - 07/20/22

$1,042,297 $1,134,319

$915,002

San Luis Obispo Coastal Association of REALTORS ® SLO LIFE


License #940512

KITCHEN AND BATH SHOWROOM GENERAL CONTRACTOR & DESIGN STUDIO

Monday - Friday 10am to 4pm

111 South Street San Luis Obispo

slogreengoods.com (805) 543-9900

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| HEALTH

HRV

What it is and why you should care

T

he thing everyone is talking about these days— at least among the people who talk about such things—is Heart Rate Variability. Tune into a health-focused podcast or read the latest and greatest blog post from the latest and greatest health guru, and chances are good that they are taking a deep dive into the land of HRV.

Although a highly complex biorhythmic phenomenon, HRV is a relatively simple concept to understand. Essentially, it is a measure of the variation of time between heart beats. The “score,” which is taken while sound asleep, is then averaged and expressed in milliseconds. A zero HRV means that there is no difference in the time between heart beats. In other words, the heart beats—ba-bump, ba-bump—with exactly the same amount of time passing between those ba-bumps. Conversely, a high HRV score, typically associated with elite-level athletes may top 100. This, of course, means that there is a lot of variation in the time between ba-bumps.

What’s a good HRV score?

HRV scores are highly personal and subject to a multitude of genetic factors, which means there is no one-size-fits-all “good” score. What may be good for one, might be just so-so for another. Just for kicks, some of here at SLO LIFE measured our HRV’s and it seemed to come in between 20 and 40. In looking at various blogs on the subject, some would claim that we have one foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, while others would say that we’re perfectly healthy. The more we studied up on the subject, the more we learned that it’s important to establish a personal baseline and to pay attention if there is any significant deviation. For example, someone who gravitates to a 30 HRV might want to check in with the doctor if suddenly it’s bouncing between 10 and 15.

How do you get an HRV test?

That’s the fun part. It used to be that you would have to go in for an electrocardiogram, but now it’s as simple as slipping on an iWatch, or a Whoop Strap, or our favorite, an Oura Ring. We took turns wearing the thing to measure our sleep. The next morning, the app gives you the score. It’s super simple and also, according to the experts, very accurate. Over time, you can track your results and take steps toward improving your own HRV score. >>

Why does HRV matter?

Without going too deep into the weeds, the HRV score is a simple, yet effective way to identify imbalances in the autonomic nervous system. In essence, it tracks the never-ending tug-of-war between our sympathetic and parasympathic pathways. And, if you remember from Biology 101, these are the two components controlling our “fight or flight” and “rest and digest” responses. To make a long story short, a low HRV often means that our sympathetic nervous system is dominating and we are “stressed out” as a result, while a high HRV score generally indicates that we are relaxed. Keep in mind that it’s possible to not feel stressed, but on a micro level our bodies can be working overtime trying its best to keep us going due to a variety of factors, such as poor diet, undetected inflammation, or disease. 76

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DID YOU KNOW? Did you know that HRV scores have been used in some cutting-edge studies to predict outcomes of particular treatments for people with depression and anxiety by determining which patients could benefit by antidepressants or who would improve by other treatments? Did you know that professional athletes are tuning into their daily HRV scores rather than the calendar to make the decision about when to train hard and when to take it easy? More and more, rest is being recognized as a key to jump higher, run faster, and lift more—but it’s highly subjective. Now, it’s as simple as waking up and reading the number. When it’s high, go for it. When it’s not, lay low.


Transform Your Personal Nature www.GardensbyGabriel.com

805-215-0511

lic.# 887028 AUG/SEP 2022

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spin special

$100 FOR TWO MONTHS OF UNLIMITED CYCLING CLASSES

Okay, so how do you improve your HRV score? Get to bed.

Our bodies have evolved to function best if we’re in bed by ten and get a full eight hours of sleep. Although this isn’t always compatible with modern-day life, it’s a fact. Measure your HRV for a week and you will see for yourself why sleep is the #1 most important factor.

Mess around with macros.

Experiment with the ratios of macronutrients in your diet: fat, protein, and carbs. Everybody is different, so figure out what works for you. After a few days, assuming you keep the other factors constant, you will start to see a change in your HRV that tracks your change in diet.

Load up at Farmers’ Market.

We all get stuck eating the same thing over and over. Do what you can to eat fresh, seasonal fruits and vegetables, just as nature intended. While we live in a world where we can eat just about whatever we want whenever we want, it’s easy for us here on the Central Coast to find farm-fresh produce year-round.

Sip some rhodiola rosea.

This herbal tea is considered an adaptogen—that’s the stuff that helps balance out your adrenal glands—and has been shown in some to improve overall HRV. It’s worth a try and, although it’s an acquired taste, it certainly can’t hurt.

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Eliminate snacking and shorten the feeding window.

HRV can respond favorably to an intermittent fasting routine, which may include skipping breakfast and then eating two meals after midday. The most important component is not eating within three hours of bedtime. There was a night when one of us ate a big dinner about an hour before hitting the sack which resulted in a shocking decline in HRV the next morning.

Cut the alcohol.

We found this one interesting because alcohol, at least in our reading of the subject, seems to have a lasting effect on HRV. In the studies that have been done on this component, it generally takes about a week of abstaining before any change is seen in HRV, but the increase is significant and lasting once the score does improve.

Drink water.

Hydrating fully and throughout the day seems to help. Be careful to not drink too much water close to bedtime, however, as sleep disruption will mess with your HRV score. Better to focus on getting your water in during the first half of the day, if at all possible.

Exercise.

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Yes, it’s on every list for maximizing health, and it’s certainly on this one. Fortunately, it doesn’t take much to make a difference. A twenty-minute walk, at least in our case, seemed to do the trick just as effectively as ninety minutes in the gym.

Moderate the caffeine intake.

When it’s deadline time around here, the coffee starts flowing. This is a tough one for us, but it does make an immediate impact on the HRV score. Try reducing the amount of caffeine you consume for a week and see how it changes things.

Learn to breathe.

As weird as it sounds, many of us aren’t doing ourselves any favors with how we breathe. Although this is something we could have improved upon ourselves, we definitely saw an increase in HRV when we spent a few minutes really focusing on breathing deeply. SLO LIFE


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| TASTE

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Kulture Shock If Kult were a novel, the opening chapters would have all of us hooked. BY JAIME LEWIS PHOTOGRAPHY BY JESS LERNER

T

he downtown SLO business was supposed to launch in March 2020—a fraught moment, to say the least—but didn’t open until fall of 2021. At the start of those twenty-one months, the building’s facade featured a phrase, painted in bright white letters: “NOT A RESTAURANT.” Several months later, that sentiment was painted over with: “LESS OF THE SAME.” Eventually, that gave way to its current iteration: “EATS // DRINKS // VIBES.”

Taken as a whole, these messages are as provocative a story as any Hollywood screenwriter could devise. Throughout Kult’s incubation, I, like so many people, pressed my face against its front window to see inside. If it’s not a restaurant, what is it? I thought, peeking at the bar, kitchen window, tables, and leather banquette seating. Less of what, exactly?

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Kult is owned by Nino and Cher Eng, who also own Nite Creamery, the liquid nitrogen-infused ice cream shop I’ve covered previously here. The first time I walked into Nite, I recall thinking how confident it was, how dialed-in the aesthetic, concept, service, and product were. That was four years ago. Today, as I sit down with the couple for a multi-course meal at Kult, I can see that for the Engs, their businesses aren’t businesses so much as they are embodied philosophies. “Kult stands for culture,” says Nino. He wears a green striped shirt and has an earnest, youthful face. Cher sits beside him with long dark hair and a kind, quiet authority. Music thumps from the overhead speakers. The bartender dances along while cleaning glasses. “Our main goal was to bring a flavorful cuisine that embodies all of our ethnicities—I’m Chinese and Cambodian, and Cher is Mexican and Vietnamese.” We order drinks, and I go for one of the sake cocktails called the Yuzu White, a drink made with Japanese citrus and foamy egg whites, plus thyme, and lavender salt. A platter of oysters arrives, their plump, shiny interiors reflecting the textured finishes of the dining room. Indeed, every dish, drink, and corner of Kult begs to be photographed. “Everything we do, we hope we do with a lot of intention,” Nino says, digging into the oysters. “We never want anything to be an Instagram trap. We want to make sure there’s substance behind the product. At the same time, we live in a world where social media is important. We want to make sure it tastes as good as it looks. We want you to come back.”

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Nino and Cher love food and drink, but they readily admit they are not chefs. When opening Kult, they knew the menu they wanted, but it took going through three chefs to get it. “I didn’t want to open the restaurant if I couldn’t get the menu I wanted,” says Nino. By now, we’re eating the “Cher Wraps”: light, colorful, and flavorful rice paper wraps filled with pork, veggies, and edible flowers, couched in a pool of housemade almond butter, hoisin, and sriracha. “I called my sister and told her I was having a tough time. She’s an extreme talent and can cook anything we ask. So she came here for three months and we curated everything together, and then we taught our chef everything.” He adds that many of Kult’s dishes are family recipes, including our next plates: tender Khmer beef skewers with sesame vinaigrette salad and prime sliced ribeye sitting in “God Sauce”—a spicy, funky condiment. I’m skeptical about the nomenclature until I take a bite. God Sauce tastes divine. >>

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I’ve heard about people getting memberships at Kult, so I ask Nino and Cher what that’s all about. “We have a saying here,” Nino says. “We treat all of our guests like VIPs, and all of our VIPs like family. The VIP membership is just an added program for people to enjoy the restaurant.” Perks include cocktail discounts, priority reservations, invitations to events, and the opportunity to try new dishes before they hit the menu—all for an annual fee. As we talk, another dish arrives. Called “Moneybags,” these are golden fried pouches of pork, shrimp, and local veggies. Through a mouthful of Moneybag, I ask about the inspiration for the membership program. “We’re trying to build a community around what we’re doing here,” he says. “Our goal with Kult was never to create a super bougie place where you can come in and be fancy. It’s an attempt to push food diversity in SLO. There’s a lot of the same out there. We hope we can encourage future entrepreneurs to bring something from their culture to SLO. It has a ton of potential.” ••• By the time the fluffy shave ice dessert arrives, with ice cream at its center and a topping of strawberry puree, I get the concept and the philosophy, at least in part. Kult isn’t more of the same. It’s a place that prizes diversity and risk-taking. It isn’t just a restaurant, it’s a tribe—and a tasty one at that. SLO LIFE

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| WINE NOTES

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BY DAN FREDMAN

o ahead, call me a wine geek. I’m one of those people who gets enthusiastically curious about wine made by a producer I’ve never heard of, or made from an unusual grape variety grown in some unlikely far-flung plot. For anyone else like me—and I know you’re out there—San Luis Obispo’s wine bar scene has recently turned into a great place to explore the wine world’s outer limits. And the best part of it is, most of these bars are also wine retailers, so once you discover something wonderful, you can grab a few bottles to take home.

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Each spot here goes the extra mile to source extraordinary wines that you’re not likely to find anywhere else. The people working behind the bar are oeno-evangelists, and sometimes winemakers themselves: They’re way into it and eager to share what they’re excited about. It’s also refreshing that over the course of my visits, no one tried to upsell the more expensive tastes, no one mentioned points or ratings from the critics, and no one belittled the mass-market wines sold elsewhere. Instead, there was an all-pervading spirit of discovery that made me eager to tell everyone about these wines and the great places that introduced them to me.


Wine Sneak

4468 Broad Street, Suite 120, San Luis Obispo Have you ever walked into a wine shop and the selection looked so good that you wanted to taste everything? Wine Sneak goes a long way toward turning that fantasy into reality. Owner Ash Mehta’s inspired idea is selling any wine by the glass that’s less than $30 a bottle on the shelf. With more than 1,600 wines on hand at any given time, you have at least a couple of hundred bottles as by-the-glass candidates. Wine Sneak also offers tastings that feature a winemaker, distributor, or importer pouring their lineup at a very reasonable price. Most of the time that means a generous taste of six or more bottles, and where else are you going to sip that many different wines for a tasting fee of $15 or $20? And if you find wine you want to take home, as I invariably do, you’ll get $10 off your purchase, making this probably the greatest wine deal on the Central Coast. Sign up for the Wine Sneak mailing list to find out about regular tastings plus wine dinners featuring local chefs. The last time I stopped by, Brennan Stover, the winemaker and owner of Quench + Temper, was pouring. And bingo! These wines had the detail and elegance I always hope for in weighty Paso reds (see also: Saxum and Ledge). Stover was a steelworker back east before heading to the Central Coast, where he’s now the Vineyard Manager at Turley Vineyards. He also organically farms Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and Graciano at his own Q+T vineyard, planted on a treacherously steep hillside next to a shale quarry—just the sort of site that gets wine aficionados salivating. Stover is inspired by some of the top producers in the Rhône Valley villages of Hermitage and Cornas, and his herculean efforts at his extremely difficult plot is repaid with grapes of great depth and dimension. The Quench + Temper La Cantera is an impressive blend of Syrah and Graciano with superstar charisma and complexity, showing dark berry fruit complementing the wine’s savoriness. It’ll cost you about $45 a bottle to blow the minds of your friends at your next barbecue. >> AUG/SEP 2022

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Park 1039

1039 Chorro street, San Luis Obispo At about 250 bottles, the Park 1039 wine list is smaller than the others, but it is filled with bottles I was astonished to find in San Luis Obispo. The refrigerated display cases containing some of the most intriguing and hard-to-find wines on the planet—more than one wine from Italy’s cult producer Emidio Pepe, a Domaine Brun Avril Chateauneuf-duPape blanc, 1997 Chateau Musar blanc from Lebanon. It’s kind of awe-inspiring, not a dull wine in sight. And in the year since the shop opened, the owners have lowered prices—an encouraging turn for us wine explorers. The eleven by-the-glass selections are the tip of the iceberg, but well represent the approach of the general manager and wine director, Roderick Daniels. “We have fun finding wine that people aren’t going to see anywhere else in the area,” he says, “whether we’re expanding the horizons of local winemakers or reminding someone of a wine they enjoyed on a trip they took to France or Italy. There’s a huge demand for international wines in San Luis Obispo and I like being the ambassador.” 88

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Daniels works to make people comfortable with unfamiliar wines and styles. He spotlights bottles that are stellar expressions of the grape variety and regional terroir, usually made by small, family-owned producers who farm organically. On my last visit, I tried a Hungarian white, Somlói Vândor 2019 Juhfark from Nagy-Somlói ($16). Juhfark, a native grape variety grown in the country’s smallest appellation, has a smoky, saline character that’s dry and crisp yet richly textured, with intriguing apple and citrus tones. It’s reminiscent of a Loire Chenin Blanc or Austrian Grüner Veltliner, making it an obvious pairing with the scallops on the menu or with the Park Board, a selection of cheese and charcuterie. I was also taken by the sensuous Arnaud Lambert 2020 Saumur-Champigny Les Terres Rouges, a Cabernet Franc grown in France’s Loire region. I happened to luck out on this one: Daniels had opened a bottle ($55 on the list, 20% off if you get it to go) and offered an impromptu pour. This is the anti-California style Cab Franc: Grown in a cool-climate region and aged in concrete tanks rather than oak, it’s medium bodied with earthy aromatics and plenty of red and black fruit sensations. It’s nice to drink on its own, but would come alive paired with Park 1039’s dry-aged New York strip steak. >>


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Region.

979 Morro Street, San Luis Obispo Region opened downtown earlier this year and functions as a tasting room for twenty-six wineries in San Luis Obispo County. The vibe is casual and high concept, with a serve-yourself wine wall fitted with a double row of WineStation dispensers. So, put together your own tasting theme, choose the size of the pour (1-ounce tasting, 2.5-ounce half-glass, or 5-ounce glass) or buy a bottle to share with friends. Region’s staff members have visited the wineries and walked the vineyards, and they make enthusiastic guides for all of the producers. The card-operated wine dispensers feature more than fifty wines made in the seventeen AVAs, American Viticultural Areas, within the county. Each week, a different winery serves as the host, often scheduling special tastings and events during their week. “We’re here to connect makers to drinkers,” says coowner Johan Eide, a Cal Poly-educated mechanical engineer who found himself working in patent law. “I was locked in a cubicle, writing the most drab documents imaginable, and I just couldn’t imagine doing that for the rest of my life.” His thoughts turned toward the wine business and he came up with an idea that lets Region partner with multiple local wineries, many of which don’t even have a tasting room. About a third of the wines on the wall right now are from the SLO Coast AVA, with the rest coming from Paso Robles. Rachel Martin from Oceano Wines was hosting the night I stopped by, and I put in a card and poured a glass of her 2018 Oceano Spanish Springs Chardonnay ($14.10). It’s a lively wine, with melon and lime fruit backed by the vibrant acidity—the result of the ultra-cool conditions of the Spanish Springs Vineyard, only one-and-a-half miles from the Pacific. More like a steely Chablis than a typically lush California Chardonnay, it’s an electrifying wine that’ll shake you out of your same-old, same-old routine. And you can get it to-go from Region at $42 a bottle. SLO LIFE

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| BREW

taking the gold BY BRANT MYERS PHOTOGRAPHY BY TODD MEANEY

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W

hen you hear that a local brewery set a record with four gold medal wins in one competition, you have to go drink some beer. Our intrepid photographer, Todd Meaney, and I start making trail mix, stuffing our backpacks, and tightening the laces on our boots to make yet another trek up the treacherous grade to wild, wild North County. We arrive at Wild Fields Brewhouse on a packed Thursday night right at the tail end of the dinner rush. We instinctively zone in on two open bar stools and proceed to stare blankly at the beer board boasting a beastly twentyone brews. Where to start? Well, science dictates that you go from lighter to darker, maltier to hoppier, to preserve your palette. Experience dictates that there’s no one more qualified to guide you through a tasting than the brewer themself, so when I spot Ryan Fields during a lull while he’s helping take kitchen orders, I point him to our spot on the stools. We’re soon joined by Jacquelyn Fields, or “Jax,” as she prefers. Not only do the beers start pouring, but the stories and information pours from Jax faster than a pressurized Co2 system. We begin sipping on their only permanent tap handle, the easy drinking Atascadero Beach Mexican Lager. It is one of the gold medal winners from this year’s World Beer Cup. The competition is fierce as this is one of the most venerable beer judging competitions in the world. They entered under the Lager and Cream Ale category and as someone who enjoys

Mexican lagers, I can see why this won. It’s crisp and light without being malty or cloyingly sweet from corn adjuncts. Keep your limes out of this beer and enjoy the full flavor of an extremely fresh version of a popular style. I enjoy their option to order half-pints as I want to get through the beers on the board without having so much that I can’t see straight—it’s a great alternative to the standard four-ounce pours that manage to do little more than clean your palette by the time they’re already empty. Todd and I dig into the Pine Mountain Monolith Porter for our second offering. Yet another well-balanced beer that judges far more qualified than me agree is a gold medal winner. It’s malty and darker than most beers you see on the Central Coast but really easy to drink. The lager went down fast, so I’m cradling my porter as Jax starts giving me a history of the building that houses their two-and-a-half-year-old brewery. Located directly across from the Galaxy Theaters in Atascadero, Wild Fields Brewhouse sits in a massive 30,000-square-foot building that they share with only three other businesses. Going from the parking lot, lit by brilliant neon lights from the theater, it’s an easy transition to the bustling brewery clearly divided into a bar and booths on your left and a very family-friendly amusement area to the right, resplendent with arcade games, foosball, air hockey, crane games, and if you peek around a corner, there’s a twolane “bowling alley” in the rear. Jax explains that she learned of the building’s roots as a bowling alley only when Ryan >>

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casually mentioned that he used to bowl there as a kid. Her excitement still palpable while telling the story, you get a glimpse into what makes these owners/founders tick. It’s a classic combination I’ve seen quite a bit. The introverted brewer who thrives with their head in a kettle and their eyes on a hydrometer and their partner up front at the bar greeting everyone who walks in and chats with patrons placing orders. Running a brewery is an interesting business, as it requires both the skills of a scientist and the personality of a Maître d’. Ryan tells me that he got his first job working behind the scenes at the famed Lost Abbey Brewing, while he was finishing up his physics degree. Jax got her start in the industry she calls home at Beachwood BBQ, later evolving into the similarly renowned Beachwood Brewing. Jax is running beers back and forth to us, interjecting the conversation with tidbits about the building (it housed the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce for nine years after the rotunda was deemed unsafe), while Ryan opens up and gives us a behind the scenes tour of the brewery. Todd gets some great action shots of Ryan scooping out spent grain, since, although its 8pm, the brewing process never stops. We move deeper into the operations and Ryan really lights up as we get to his barrels. He has a clear penchant for sour ales, or wild/spontaneously fermented beer. He helped co-develop a yeast strain that his former employer let him keep and propagate in his new venture, a nice gesture not always seen in the industry. Reminiscent of a Belgian gueze,

he has this base beer in oak barrels and blends the fully inoculated mature beers into the younger barrels to keep a rotating supply of this tart standard. Later, we get to try his blend, this time with the addition of Viognier grapes from Castoro Cellars and Nelson Sauvignon hops, which impart a smooth bitterness to complement the sweetness of the grapes. The “Dream is Destiny” won’t strip your enamel, but make sure you have lots of creamy cheese and good friends to share it with. As we get closer to closing time, the four of us end the night with bowling matches, heated foosball games (watch out, Ryan is a ringer!), and the all-to-familiar clack-clack of air hockey pucks clanging off metal rails. I handily beat Jax 7-3 and make sure Meaney documents the win because, frankly, the Fields have not only won four gold medals, but have won at life by juggling a brewery, restaurant, and family all within a few years. As the temperatures rise in North County, I’m also warming up to the idea of getting out of SLO every once in a while, and seeing what A-town has to offer. They must have been thinking of me because on the brew deck is a new West Coast IPA aptly named “Afraid of the Grade.” So, don’t take it from me, listen to Jax when she says, “Challenging all those in South County to make the trek and head over The Grade to come in for a beer.” So, raise three-quarters of a half-pint to Wild Fields Brewhouse and say Cheers to their success! SLO LIFE

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| HAPPENINGS

Culture & Events SANCTUARY TOUR DAY STEEL MAGNOLIAS

At Truvy’s beauty salon you can always get the best hairdo—and the best gossip. SLO Repertory Theatre presents this classic about a tight-knit group of Louisiana women, who gather regularly to bond, dish, and offer advice on everything from motherhood and marriage to tragedy and loss. You’ll laugh out loud, cry in spite of yourself, and fall in love with these characters that are “as delicate as magnolias, but as tough as steel.” Through August 15 // slorep.org

HER SIDE OF THE STORY

A new museum exhibit at the Spooner Ranch House in Montaña de Oro State Park offers tales of women who made California home in the years just before and after statehood. The traveling exhibition, open seven days a week, features portraits of female pioneers and first-person accounts of the hardships, joys, and lives of those who traveled by land or sea to settle here during the mid-nineteenth century. Through October 9 // centralcoastparks.org 96

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Meet the rescued residents of Greener Pastures Farm Sanctuary up close and hear their stories of triumph from volunteers who work with them every day. During your visit to the five-acre farm in Arroyo Grande, play with the friendly goats and sheep, give the pigs a belly rub, brush the donkeys and miniature horses, and talk to the chickens, ducks, and turkeys. August 7 // greenerpasturessanctuary.org

UN APRÈS-MIDI À PARIS

No passport or plane ticket is required to be transported to Paris for an afternoon by the History Center of San Luis Obispo County. Enjoy a luncheon of fresh salmon salade niçoise, brie, bread, French wines and waters, as well as a serenade of French Gypsy music by Brynn Albanese, a silent auction, free caricatures, a sidewalk art show, and a fresh flower booth. August 13 // historycenterslo.org

RESONANCE PRESENTS: RETROSPECTIVE

Presenting the only 100% a cappella repertoire choral music on the Central Coast during the height of the summer season, Resonance embarks on its tenth year with a celebration concert at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa featuring favorite works from the past decade, a handful of new ones, and a special performance by a Resonance alumni choir. August 13 // resonanceslo.com

MAKERS MARKET

Shop straight from the source when Makeshift Muse hosts fifty local makers in the scenic and spacious courtyard at SLO Public Market. Find classy and crafty handmade items from jewelry to prints and paintings, clothes, soaps, leather goods, baskets, glass, ceramics, woodworking, textiles, and many other craft items August 13 // slopublicmarket.com


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Concerts in the Plaza THE TIPSY GYPSIES KIDICAL MASS

A free family “bike happening” for parents and children to learn how to ride safely. Hosted by Bike SLO County during Farmers’ Market, the ride begins at Mitchell Park Gazebo in downtown SLO, heads up the Bill Roalman Greenway and then back downtown, ending at Farmers’ Market Bike Valet. If you’ve ever wanted to ride your bike in a parade with kids of all ages, this is a blast for everyone. Costumes and bike decorations are encouraged. The theme is “Alien Invasion.” August 18 // bikeslocounty.org

Downtown SLO presents jazz, blues, and soul group The Tipsy Gypsies plus Devin Welsh in Mission Plaza. Part of the 2022 Concerts in the Plaza summer lineup every Friday night, the free, live, family-friendly event features free bike valet parking. Food and drink are available. August 19 // downtownslo.com

ALYSSA MONKS MOONLIGHT HOURS

The SLO Children’s Museum is a learnby-doing place for children and families to explore, discover, and experience hands-on exhibits, and programs. Jam-packed with fun for children ages one through ten, the museum’s unique educational exhibits on three floors and an outside playscape are available for free during the “Moonlight Hours” of 5pm to 7 pm the third Thursday of each month. August 18 & September 15 // slocm.org

Brooklyn-based artist Alyssa Monks layers spaces and moments in her paintings, flipping background and foreground using semi-transparent filters of glass, vinyl, steam, water, and foliage over shallow spaces. SLO Museum of Art’s exhibit features several pieces, many of which have been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions in the US and in Europe. Monks was named the sixteenth most influential women artist alive today by Graphic Design Degree Hub. August 28-November 13 // sloma.org

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POPS BY THE SEA

After a two-year hiatus, the San Luis Obispo Symphony brings back the popular Labor Day weekend concert at Avila Beach Golf Resort. Capping off its sixtieth anniversary season, the familyfriendly event is conducted by maestro Andrew Sewell and features music by John Williams, Aaron Copland, and John Phillip Sousa. September 3 // slosymphony.org

NOTABLE ENCOUNTER: SCHUMANN AND DVORAK

Festival Mozaic host Scott Yoo and musicians Maurycy Banaszek (viola), Robert deMaine (cello), and Orion Weiss (piano) present an informal, one-hour Notable Encounter about Schumann’s Fantasiestücke for viola and Dvorak’s Silent Woods for cello at Trinity United Methodist Church in Los Osos. They discuss the history of the pieces and the composers’ lives and musical style, and perform selections from the works. September 9 // festivalmozaic.org 98

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CALIFORNIA INTERNATIONAL GUITAR FESTIVAL AVOCADO & MARGARITA FESTIVAL

Enjoy the Central Coast’s premier gourmet chefs and mixologists in a showcase of the region’s unmatched locally farmed and locally raised ingredients. Featuring unique margaritas, a Friday movie night, stunning views of Morro Rock, and more during this first-ever three-day food and drink fest in Morro Bay. September 9-11 // avomargfest.com

A sweeping celebration showcasing the history of classical guitar as an artistic tool brings its beauty to all ears. Formerly known as “La Guitarra California,” the three-day festival at the Performing Arts Center includes a luthier marketplace, performances by legends Ana Vidovic and the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Guitar Quartet, and master classes for young and up-and-coming performers conducted by giants in the field. September 16-18 californiainternationalguitarfestival.com

“WEIRD AL” YANKOVIC

Cal Poly’s own “Weird Al” returns to the Central Coast with special guest Emo Philips for a revival of his highly-acclaimed Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour at Vina Robles Amphitheatre. His long-anticipated return to the concert stage draws from his catalog of fourteen studio albums, promising to deliver obscure pastiches and original songs that have largely escaped the pop culture radar but are adored by his long-time fans. September 15 // vinaroblesamphitheatre.com

AG HARVEST FESTIVAL

Arroyo Grande Valley’s eighty-third annual Harvest Festival and Parade celebrates the community spirit of the area’s agricultural heritage and features entertainment, food, scarecrow and baking contests, games for kids, and movie night. New this year: a costume dance and historical walking tours. September 23-24 // agharvestfestival.com


AUG/SEP 2022

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SLO LIFE MAGAZINE

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HAVEN PROPERTIES

To experience The Distinctive Life on the Central Coast by Haven Properties visit www.CentralCoastCollection.com

100

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SLO LIFE MAGAZINE

| AUG/SEP 2022