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holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

Santa Monica Daily Press

Santa Monica Daily Press

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holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007 A newspaper with issues 410 Broadway, SUITE B Santa Monica, CA 90401 OFFICE: (310) 458-PRESS (7737) FAX (310) 576-9913

Don’t forget your best friend

Visit us online at

Santa Monica Pet Project can make your dog feel like a million bucks for just a little scratch.

PUBLISHER Ross Furukawa

EDITOR Michael Tittinger




NOV. 26 - DEC. 30

Everything in Store on Sale!


Melody Hanatani


Shopping, anyone?


There are plenty of places to search for that special something in and around Santa Monica.

Brandon Wise



Safety first The holidays can be the most joyous time of year, but there are somethings that you need to keep an eye out for.

Julie Martinez

Liam Blume


Everybody has one Was it a bike? How about a favorite action figure? Locals recall the best gift they ever recieved.






Cynthia Vazquez





Just a thought Forget the ties and bubble bath, these gifts will really wow your loved ones.




One, two, three While you’re out shopping, consider giving yourself the gift of fitness this holiday season.




What about the rest of the wild kingdom? An expert helps you pick gifts for the critters in your life.

Keith Wyatt Osvaldo Paganini

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS David Futch Cynthia Vazquez



Yo, Santa! A panel of gift giving specialists dishes on picking safe toys to give to the little ones.

Gabrielle Harradine


15 16

Safe and sane There are a few things to keep in mind when picking playthings for kids. Remember, safety first.

The haps on the season We did all the hard work for you ... We’ve compiled a list of the holiday happenings in and around Santa Monica.

The Santa Monica Daily Press is published six days a week, Monday through Saturday. 19,000 daily circulation, 46,450 daily readership. Circulation is audited and verified by Circulation Verification Council, 2006. Serving the City of Santa Monica, and the communities of Venice Beach, Brentwood, West LA. Members of CNPA, AFCP, CVC, Associated Press, IFPA, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. Published by Newlon Rouge, LLC © 2006 Newlon Rouge, LLC, all rights reserved.

SINCE 1972 TWO LOCATIONS TO SERVE YOU 10862 Washington Blvd. Culver City (at Girard St.) 310-202-6874

1901 Santa Monica Blvd. Santa Monica (at 19th St.) 310-453-1928


Santa Monica Daily Press


g n i p shop

Santa Monica

Our city by the sea offers plenty of options for eager shoppers BY DAILY PRESS STAFF

OR MANY, Santa Monica is a shopper’s paradise. From high-end specialty stores and posh boutiques to reliable retail chains and restaurants that cater to all tastes and budgets, the city by the sea has just about everything for just about everybody. With a public transportation system and a downtown shuttle service that is a step above most others in the region, shoppers can bounce from one business district to another with ease and comfort, leaving the car and the hassles that come with it at home. It makes no difference if you are the seasonal window shopper, veteran bargain hunter or a casualty of procrastination looking for that last-minute gift, Santa Monica can serve you well. “It’s really a one-stop shopping destination,” said Maria


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Losch, a public relations representative for the Santa Monica Convention and Visitors Bureau. “You really don’t have to go anywhere else,” Losch added. “There is not only a mix of retail, but also a mix of places to eat. It just makes shopping pleasant. With all of the decorations and the atmosphere created, Santa Monica really puts people in the Christmas spirit.”

MAIN STREET Shoppers can take a leisurely stroll along Main Street and check out the many different holiday parties presented by shops along this funky, bohemian-friendly district, which includes some chains like Blue Planet and American Apparel, as well as specialty stores catering to the

Santa Monica Daily Press


holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

eco-friendly like Natural High, which sells clothes made completely of hemp. More than 30 businesses specializing in apparel, art, cosmetics and healthy living will offer a wide array of holiday beverages, snacks, sweets, door prizes and more during the holiday bash. Shoppers will be asked to choose the best window display, and those who do will be entered into a raffle and have a chance to win more prizes. “One thing about Main Street shopping is that you don’t feel like you’re in an enclosed environment, and you don’t feel like everything’s uniform,” Gordon said. “We’ve got high-end, we’ve got mom-and-pop, we’ve got designer clothes. I’d say it’s the headquarters of gift potential.” While shopping on Main Street, there are several restaurants, cafes and coffee houses to stop in for a quick bite to eat, from authentic Indian food at Dhaba Cuisine, to grilled cheese sandwiches at Joe’s Main Street Diner or gourmet hamburgers and freshly brewed beer at Library Alehouse. Those looking for a different flavor can check out Euphoria Loves RAWvolution, one of L.A.’s finest raw cafes, or grab some seafood at The Enterprise Fish Company. There are also plenty of bars and nightclubs for those who want to keep the party going well into the early morning hours. “We have a lot of nightlife happening on this street,” Gordon said. “We have places like Finn McCool’s, so you can sort of make it your one-stop shopping, dining and partying location.”

MONTANA AVENUE A favorite destination of the rich and famous, Montana Avenue is the place to be for those looking for high-quality merchandise and looking to match. The area has been compared to Carmel at Christmas, featuring more than 150 boutiques within just 10 short blocks. “With the malling of America, these individual shops and areas like Montana are disappearing,” said Jane Walker, manager of sweater outlet Three Bags Full. “We’re one of the few left. We have a great, eclectic mix that caters to all ages, from toddlers to 90-year-old women. “The same thing goes for the men. We have stores for you too.” Those looking for vintage home accessories can hop over to Baldwin & Company, while women in the need

of the hottest fashions can hit up Citron, which sells outfits made from natural fibers with different washing and distressing techniques to set shoppers apart from the rest of the pack. There are toys, too. JennyBec’s is a popular destination for those looking for the perfect gift for those under 12. The retailer specializes in newborn gift baskets and custom furniture. Like other districts, there also are plenty of bistros and bakeries that offer patio dining when shoppers need to take a break from bargain hunting.

DOWNTOWN AND THE PROMENADE Often referred to as the city’s living room, downtown Santa Monica is a place where visitors from all walks of life mingle with long-time locals. The mix of cultures, coupled with zany street performers, popular clothing stores like Gap, J Crew, and Urban Outfitters, scores of restaurants and a view of the sunset that is unmatched, downtown Santa Monica is one of the most entertaining places to shop for the holidays. Aside from the famous Third Street Promenade, shoppers can venture into the Santa Monica Place mall or hit dozens of specialty stores along Second and Fourth streets or Wilshire Boulevard. For health-conscious visitors and residents, the area has the highest concentration of yoga studios, spas and gyms in the city. If exercising is that last thing on a shopper’s mind, there’s always the club. Downtown has several venues for those looking to dance the night away, including Gotham Hall, Club 217, Locanda del Lago or Voda. “People love that fact that the Promenade is pedestrian oriented and that we have a mix of shops, from independents and big box, big name stores,” said Marivi Valcourt, the marketing manager for Bayside District Corp., which manages downtown along with City Hall. “Customers like to have a lot of choices right in front of them. It saves them from having to run all over town to find the perfect gift.” The Big Blue Bus is providing holiday shuttle service from downtown to Main Street. The shuttles will run every 15 minutes and hit all of the downtown parking structures and the new Main Library on Santa Monica Boulevard, providing shoppers a convenient mode of transportation so they can avoid the stresses of driving.

Kathleen Rawson, executive director Bayside, said downtown is the place to go this year. “It’s an entertainment district, so the entire family can enjoy an outing in the district,” she said. “Not only is there top-notch shopping, but there’s entertainment and movies and restaurants, so that everyone in the family can have something to do.”

ABBOT KINNEY This is where Santa Monica and Venice collide, creating an artistic, bohemian atmosphere that is unique and ultimately attractive to younger couples and former hippies still hooked on free love, but have since refined their tastes to include expensive artwork and designer threads. Despite pressures from development, Abbot Kinney has successfully retained its charm, sophistication and independence. Recently garnering attention from major travel and design magazines, Abbot Kinney — between Venice Boulevard and Main Street — has become a hot spot for shopping. Strolling down the historic and trendy avenue for just 10 minutes reveals the cream of the crop in home furnishings, clothing, antiques, collectibles and plenty of vintage items representing Southern California’s laid-back lifestyle.

ELSEWHERE IN SANTA MONICA Wilshire Boulevard — the busiest street in Los Angeles — offers just about everything a shopper needs. There are plenty of places to dine, as well as shopping for clothes, cameras, kitchen accessories, beachwear, computers and sports equipment. Bergamot Station is one of Santa Monica’s undiscovered gems. Hidden behind the City Yards on the eastern edge of town, the converted trolley station boasts more than 30 galleries specializing in modern art. The complex, which includes free parking, is also home to the Santa Monica Museum of Art, a cafe and 10 shops. Many galleries hold openings on the first Saturday of each month. Ocean Park and Pico boulevards, both located southwest of Interstate 10, are also eclectic strips shoppers should check out. Take a detour and discover a wide variety of specialty shops operated by local business owners who offer friendly service and a touch of old-school charm. There are bars, bookstores, a Trader Joe’s, fine dining, art galleries and more.

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331 Wilshire Blvd. Santa Monica 310.451.1349


Santa Monica Daily Press

holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

staying safe


E HAVE WRITTEN about holiday safety every year for more than two decades. When you do something that often, year in, year out, you start to question its importance. Then we asked ourselves, “How many times have the Rolling Stones sung ‘Start Me Up’?” And, “How many times did Frank Sinatra sing ‘My Way’?” So let us “start you up” for the holidays, with a little help from the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors and the National Fire Protection Agency.



■ Use caution with holiday decorations. Whenever possible, choose those made with flame-resistant, flame-retardant or noncombustible materials. ■ Keep candles away from decorations and other combustible materials, and do not use candles to decorate Christmas trees. Always use nonflammable holders, and place candles where they will not be knocked down. ■ Choose artificial icicles made of plastic or nonleaded metals, and avoid sharp or breakable ornaments in homes with small children. ■ Keep trimmings with small removable parts out of reach of children. Avoid trimmings that resemble candy or food that may tempt a young child to eat them. ■ Place older ornaments and decorations that might be painted with lead paint out of the reach of small children and pets.

TREES When purchasing an artificial tree, look for the label “Fire Resistant.” ■ When purchasing a live tree, check for freshness. A fresh tree is green, its needles are hard to pull from branches and when bent between your fingers, needles do not break. ■ When setting up a tree at home, place it away from



fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters. Place the tree out of the way of traffic and do not block doorways. ■ Cut a few inches off the trunk of your tree to expose the fresh wood. This allows for better water absorption and will help to keep your tree from drying out and becoming a fire hazard. ■ Be sure to keep the stand filled with water, because heated rooms can dry live trees out rapidly. ■ Make sure the base is steady so the tree won’t tip over easily.


■ Never use electric lights on a metallic tree. The tree can become charged with electricity from faulty lights, and a person touching a branch could be electrocuted. ■ Before using lights outdoors, check labels to be sure they have been certified for outdoor use. ■ To hold lights in place, string them through plastic hooks, not nails or tacks. Never pull or tug lights to remove them. ■ Make sure all the bulbs work and that there are no frayed wires, broken sockets or loose connections. ■ Plug all outdoor electric decorations into circuits with ground fault circuit interrupters to avoid potential shocks. ■ New inexpensive remote controls can be used to safely turn off exterior decorations during a rain or snowstorm.

■ Turn off all lights when you go to bed or leave the house. The lights could short out and start a fire. ■ Use heavy gage extension cords (the lower the gagenumber the better the extension cord). For example: 12 gage is better than 14 gage is better than 16 gage.


■ Unattended cooking is the leading cause of home fires in the United States. When cooking for holiday visitors, remember to keep an eye on the range. ■ When cooking, make sure you wear clothes that fit tightly at the wrists or roll up sleeves. Tuck in ties, bows, or other pieces of clothing that could come in contact with a hot stove. Wearing a bib-type apron will also help. ■ Turn pot handle in when cooking on the stove and be sure to set timers when you must leave the kitchen. ■ When finished with electric heating appliances, unplug them from the outlet. Keep dangling cords to the back of countertops so young children cannot reach up and pull on them. ■ When kids are in the kitchen, provide them with something to do away from cooking areas. ■ Test all food prepared in a Microwave oven before serving to ensure it’s not too hot. ■ When cooking on the stovetop always have a lid that will fit the pan handy. If the food or grease catches fire, simply slide the lid over the pan and turn off the heat. ■ Test your smoke alarms, and let guests know what your fire escape plan is.


■ Plan ahead and have your chimney, flues, or stove cleaned by a professional. ■ Before lighting any fire, remove all greens, boughs, papers, and other decorations from the firebox area. Do not burn wrapping papers. A flash fire may result as wrappings ignite suddenly and burn intensely. ■ Use care with “fire salts,” which produce colored flames when thrown on wood fires. They contain heavy metals that can cause intense gastrointestinal irritation and vomiting if eaten. ■ Make sure you burn only clean, dry firewood. ■ Check the damper to ensure it is open before lighting the fire and keep all combustibles at least 36” away from fireplaces and wood stoves. ■ Have a sturdy fireplace screen on the fireplace and do not allow children near wood stoves where they might fall or be tempted to touch the hot surface. ■ When cleaning the ashes from wood-burning devices, remember that ashes can stay hot for up to 48 hours. Always dispose of ashes into a metal container with a lid and place outside at least 15 feet from any structure.


■ Poinsettias are known to be poisonous to humans and animals, so keep them well out of reach, or avoid them. ■ Keep decorations at least 6 inches above a child’s reach. ■ Avoid using tinsel. It can fall on the floor and a curious child or pet may eat it. This can cause anything from mild distress to death.

Santa Monica Daily Press

holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007



holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

Santa Monica Daily Press




HE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT I ever got was one I couldn’t flush down the toilet. Growing up a pasty city kid in an apartment, my family wasn’t allowed to own pets, so we worked our way around the ban by bringing home an endless chain of carnie fish. Those sad, tiny goldfish won in a fierce battle with ping pong balls as my weapon always wound up meeting the pearly rim of the toilet bowl within weeks. Still my disappointment with the fish wasn’t just that they died listlessly and quickly – I couldn’t play with them – they didn’t lick my face or wag a tail. I wanted a puppy. Once I got my own place, I thought I’d finally become a dog owner, but it turned out that my significant other, a friend in


most other ways, was pup-blocking me. “I don’t want a dog,” was what he uttered to my utter disbelief. I begged, cajoled, and threatened for months, but all to no avail. As Christmas rolled around, we were locked in a stalemate – both of us encamped in our trenches, no one daring to enter No Man’s Land, also known as a compromise. It was Christmas Eve and as much as I’d hoped there would be a moving box with air holes under the Christmas tree, instead I was handed a very large, very heavy white flag in the form of a dog gate. And so much like the Christmas Truce of 1914 between German and British soldiers, there was peace again — sans whiskey, jam, cigarettes and chocolate. Now I have an 11-month-old Boston terrier who could make a fool out of Cesar Milan, but I finally know the joy of a lick on the face and a wagging tail.

Santa Monica Daily Press

Whether it was a bike or a talking doll, everyone has had “an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and ‘this thing’ which tells time” moment and so we decided to ask some of our local notables and Daily Press columnists, “What was the best gift you ever received for the holidays?” The best gift I ever received as a child was a new bicycle from my grandparents. I was 10 years old and only had an old hand-medown bike until then. It was so special and unexpected because my family did not have a lot of money. I had to wait until April to ride it though since I grew up in New Hampshire, due to snow.”

The best gift(s) I ever received were a Millennium Falcon on Christmas followed by Han Solo and Chewbacca action figures on my birthday.”

“ “ “ – Timothy Jackman, SMPD Chief


holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

Kenny Mack, Daily Press columnist, whose birthday is three days after Christmas

I had opened several presents when my boyfriend announced there was a special gift upstairs. As I approached the top step, a loud, “Chirp” emanated from the corner – startling me, prompting a shrill shriek of my own. Closer examination revealed a cage, draped with a towel and a sweet lovebird inside. The boyfriend’s long gone but the lovebird endures.” - Taylor Van Arsdale, Daily Press movie critic

I loved my “Chatty Cathy” doll. She talked! It was magic. I must have been about 4 or 5 years old. Santa left it for me. I still remember it was wrapped in red paper with a big white bow. She was named after me and that made her very special.”

- Kathleen Rawson, Executive Director of Bayside District

I was 4 years old. The two Christmas gifts that I BEGGED for were an anatomically correct baby doll, and a porcelain tea set like the one owned by a character (a badger named Frances) in a children’s book.”

“ “

- Mariel Howsepian, Daily Press fashion writer

Optimus Prime when I was 7 years old ... the legendary Transformers icon. His integrity and heroism sustain me to this day.” Seth Barnes, Daily Press columnist



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Santa Monica Daily Press

holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

Gifts for family, friends BY DAVID FUTCH SPECIAL TO THE DAILY PRESS O MORE TIES for boyfriends or husbands. No more bubble bath for the lady in your life. No more gifting requiring re-gifting. There are countless places in Santa Monica where the gift of health and beauty is a present worth giving and receiving. Offbeat toys and model airplanes as well as functional art and personalized stationery can be found in some Santa Monica stores. In keeping with the popularity of Dancing With the Stars, dance classes are a good way to get couples back on track while getting healthy at the same time. Ballroom dancing has gone from stodgy to cool. Go see John Cassese, owner of The Dance Doctor studio in Santa Monica, and cha-cha away the pounds while getting closer literally and figuratively to your partner. There are huge wooden floors, stateof-the-art sound and top-shelf instructors. The Dance Doctor is located at 1440 Fourth St. just south of Santa Monica Boulevard. Telephone (310) 459-2264 or e-mail Cassese at for more information. Need to relax but tired of the same old massage? Go to the head, then. Santa Monica hairstylist Sho Nakahara is a cut above, offering the best shampoo you ever had. More than one client has fallen asleep during one of Sho’s scrubbing, massaging and conditioning sessions. Sho’s executive private studio is at 145 Bay St., #9. Call for an appointment (310) 622-2997 or visit Santa Monica Power Yoga is one place to


limber up while shaping up. Unlike many pricey yoga centers, Power Yoga asks only for a donation from each attendee. Owner Bryan Kest also gives people a new way to think about getting in shape. According to Kest on his Web site, “Power Yoga is about working hard sensitively. It’s about feeling good, not just looking good. The tone and shapeliness you attain from this work is a byproduct. The focus here is balance and healing.” Kest has two studios. One is Power Yoga Studio-West at 1410 Second St., first floor, Santa Monica. Telephone is (310) 458-9510 or e-mail for workshops and retreats at for what you need to center yourself. There’s also a Power Yoga Studio-East at 522 Santa Monica Blvd. Nail It. Everyone knows that every manicure salon in Santa Monica offers gift certificates. This time, though, splurge! Don’t just give the mani-pedi. Throw in a 10minute foot or hand massage. Princess Nails at 1622 Wilshire Blvd. offers critical cuticle attention. There are shiatsu loungers with magic fingers where you can feel like a million bucks and a nap for under $20 for a mani plus spa pedi. Others to consider are Suzanne and Brittany at Daidon Salon at 11911 San Vicente Blvd. Suite 130. Phone (310) 8016261 or Peponi Nails and Skin Care Lounge at 853 Lincoln Blvd. in Venice, phone (310) 450-7195. Learn to speak another language. It’s a good idea for multi-lingual L.A. and Spanish is becoming a must to get along. There’s Language Door which is a great place to learn or refresh your knowledge of

and you

Spanish or a number of other languages. They’re at 11870 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 202 between Barrington Avenue and Bundy Drive. Phone (310) 826-4140 or visit their Web site There’s an online site that can prove helpful to the time-conscious and the vehicle challenged. It’s called Speak Shop and for a flat monthly fee of $9.99 the service gives you the ability to connect with a tutor through text chat, audio and videoconferencing. Create a study plan based on your

goals, time schedule and current fluency. Phone is (971) 244-8813 or go to for more information. *Paying a cleaning service to do an interior scrub of a stressed-out friend’s place is a gift everyone appreciates. Give a call to A Woman’s Touch Cleaning and Maintenance in Santa Monica at (310) 3942577 or Amaidzing at (310) 550-1938 or email If you don’t have the cash, offer to do the cleanup yourself.

Just a few ideas ... • Now for something completely different. Lois Lambert owns the Gallery of Functional Art and Lois Lambert Gallery at Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., E3 in Santa Monica. Lambert installs or hangs super exotic art that’s more than just something to enjoy with the eye. Some of it you can play with or use while the visual effects do their work. There’s a chair made of wine corks or Chris Mason’s piece called “Rewired” — aluminum strands woven into climbers, some as small as your hand. And they actually climb. Carmen Spera and her houses of cards made of glass, enamel and gold leaf were popular items at a recent exhibition. Lambert can be reached at (310) 829-6990 or e-mail for a closer look. • Sugar Paper Girls can put a special touch on the holidays or any occasion with their unique cards, invitations and personal stationery created especially for you or a loved one. They even offer something called Letter Press where instead of raised letters on paper, a press “impresses” the letters into the paper for a different way of looking at things. Reese Witherspoon loves the Sugar Paper Girls so much,

she had them do her personal stationery. Call Chelsea Shukov or Jamie Grobecker at (310) 277-7804 or go to and they’re located in Brentwood Country Mart, 225 26th St., Santa Monica and across the street from the Century City Mall at 1749 Ensley Ave. in Los Angeles. • Want to spend more time with your children? Get involved with a model airplane, ship or car from Evetts Model Shop at 1636 Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica. The shop’s been there for 49 years and Evett said he’s “built everything and anything that can be built with balsa.” • If it’s unusual toys you’re looking for, try Imagine That at 927 Montana Ave., phone (310) 395-9553. Another good toy store is Palisades Playthings at 1041 Swarthmore Ave., in Pacific Palisades. It’s just off W. Sunset Boulevard. Phone (310) 454-8648.

Santa Monica Daily Press

holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

, t i f t e g you deserve it Give yourself the gift of fitness for the holidays BY DAVID FUTCH SPECIAL TO THE DAILY PRESS FTER SPENDING endless weekends and evenings searching out that special something for each and every one of your loved ones, the next item on the list should be a gift to yourself. When deciding what to indulge on, give getting in shape some serious thought. It sounds easy enough, right? You could just go into any 24 Fitness or some place like it and sign up for a year’s membership. But then what do you do? It’s hard self-motivating yourself to head down to the gym everyday. Sometimes it’s just easier to have a trainer put you through the paces instead, because you might find that getting fit involves more than just exercise. Steven Kates calls his cozy training studio Hyperspace 7, But it’s hyper only in results — not in atmosphere. The small, one-story brick cottage with a tiny address is tucked away on Montana Avenue across the street from Pinkberry behind Citron. Once inside, you see that Kates is the antithesis of his Hyperspace studio’s name. Calm, with an easy smile as he encourages his clients in one-on-one sessions. Kates is unlike most trainers. He doesn’t teach a gospel of rigid regimen — pain, sweat, more pain and no chocolate — to get into shape. Kates only asks his clients to do a whole body workout while losing weight through a system of two, one-hour sessions a week and by following the eating plan he has developed called LifeSize. You couldn’t get this kind of one-on-one treatment at the average fitness center. “I’m one of the only trainers in L.A. who says it’s all about the food,” Kates said. “My basic philosophy on nutrition is that it’s not about what you eat but how much you eat. It’s all about the portion. “Thin people never gorge, binge or eat too much of one thing,” he said. “They never overeat. I tell people to eat what they want but get them to embrace getting it in the right portion.” Because of cell phones and Blackberries, Kates said he even has clients call him from


restaurants so he can critique what they are eating and how much. For more than 20 years, Kates — who still has the same rippled and six-pack body he did at 25 — has been a trainer to some of Hollywood’s most glamorous glitterati, jump starting his career getting Bo Derek in shape for “10” and later adding Tori Spelling, Lisa Rinna, Brook Shields and too many rock stars to name to his client list. He’s been featured in more than a dozen magazines including Vogue, People, Los Angeles magazine and the Los Angeles Times. Each twice-a-week workout consists of one-half hour of weightlifting and one-half hour of cardio on one of Kates’ bikes or cross-country ski machines or ladder climbers. “People have gotten so busy — way too busy — that working out two times a week coincides with my philosophy,” he said. “I can get people thin on two hours a week. If someone works out two hours vigorously every other day but they’re eating too much, I can’t get them thin.” And while you’re sweating through the cardio portion, there’s a sort of Pavlov’s incentive for continuing on even when you want to quit. In front of the machines are cabinets containing flat-screen televisions and DVD players where Kates offers patrons the choice of TiVoing their favorite program or watching one of hundreds of movies from the Hyperspace library, featuring classics and new releases. But even when it comes to movie selection, Kates says your choice can affect your fitness. He urges people to watch the most horrific, disturbing movies because it makes the cardio workout go fast and people complete what they started because they want to find out the end game. “Some of my clients want to go on and I stop them and tell them they have to come back to finish the movie.” Kates charges $60 for a one-hour session and offers gift certificates for the turkey-dressing-and-gravy dependent in your family, including yourself. He can be reached at (310) 863-3031 or e-mail at



Santa Monica Daily Press

holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

A little something

for Fido

Santa Monica Pet Project gets every tail wagging BY DAVID FUTCH SPECIAL TO THE DAILY PRESS

“Best kept secret in Los Angeles”

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VENICE, CA. 90291




Santa Monica Pet Project is a cut above most dog grooming destinations. It’s not because Pet Project offers the latest in cutting edge bathing. It has more to do with the dog lovers who treat your four-pawed children as if they were canine royalty. Co-owned and operated by Jeff Goodman and Sioux Polo, SaMo Pet Project is on the other end of the spectrum from big-chain groomers. Goodman and Polo are as interested in your dog as you are. Dedicated pet owners who live in Santa Monica, Goodman and Polo like to think of themselves as “neighbors and compadres in spirit and that sets the tone” when it comes to people’s pets. After gaining a following by working as a groomer in national chains’ Santa Monica stores, in 2007, Goodman joined Polo to create a more personal, family-style dog care center. Grooming is more than just bathing and styling a dog. (Most of their business involves dogs, though they do have a cat specialist who comes in upon request.) “We play with the dogs and have a couch for them, pillows and soothing new-age music,” Polo said. “This is a family operation. It’s a place where your dog gets to visit Uncle Jeff and Auntie Sioux.” If your critter is in need of some manipulation, Polo offers shiatsu massages for dogtired dogs. Key to Pet Project’s operation involves a relaxing hydro-massage. Think a really good Water Pik with an intense stream of water mixed with veterinarian-approved shampoo. The hydro-massage cleans the dog from the skin out rather than just a lather and rinse. “The hydro-massage features a combing-action spray removing dirt, dander and dead skin,” Polo said. “It’s a healthier way to clean your dog and he gets a water massage while getting the coat cleaner, making the skin healthier and detangling fur or hair.” Pet Project offers all veterinarian lines of shampoo and medicated shampoos making it unnecessary to visit a vet. Inner ear cleaning is a cinch at Pet Project with a solution that cleans and dries to prevent infection. For Goodman, the hydro-massage wash is the highlight of a dog’s trip to Pet Project. “Dogs are like butter when they leave here,” he said. “That’s the spirit we bring. So many places are assembly-line (operations) and dogs pick up on who’s having fun with them and who’s not.” Santa Monica Pet Project does not offer boarding, although Goodman and Polo can recommend several local dogsitters. Appointments are preferred and walk-ins are welcome but are on a “can-do” basis. Nail, tear stain removal and gland expression services do not require an appointment. Santa Monica Pet Project is located at 1844 14th St. between Pico and Olympic boulevards with plenty of parking in front. Telephone Polo or Goodman at (310) 4502090 or e-mail for appointment.

Barking up the right tree A gift for the real dog in your life can double as a gift to you. After all, when Fido is on a field trip to the local dog park, you can be catching up on a little rest and relaxation. Here’s a list to get you started: ■ Creature of Habit offers pet personal assistants for walking, feeding, watering, visits to Santa Monica dog parks and massages. Your best friend will love you for it. Overnight pet sitting available at your home which includes bringing in the mail and watering house plants. Contact Erin Long at 310-666-6587 or with pictures of satisfied customers. ■ Paint your pet if you really want to get nuts. Or you could let Peggy Krizak do it for you. Krizak paints original pet portraits in oil from photographs. She’s done more than 300 dogs, cats, horses, you name it from east coast to west coast. It’s not cheap. Krizak commands thousands for her work. Tel. (715) 472-4600 or e-mail ■ Santa Monica’s all-inclusive pet store Pets of Wilshire on Wilshire Boulevard between 20th and 21st streets brings a barnyard flavor to town. Everything from puppies to parrots, dog houses to bird cages and fancy lamb-and-chicken flavored pet sausage can be found at Pets of Wilshire. Phone (310) 453-7676. ■ There’s a new pup in town and it’s one of the best dog parks in Santa Monica. The entrance to Santa Monica Airport is the place to be if you’re looking to make new dog friends while your critter roams unfettered. Two other parks in town also are aimed at free-range dogs. There’s Joslyn Park at 7th and Kensington and Marine Park at 16th and Marine. Both are open from 6-9 a.m. and 610 p.m. Dogs to run unleashed must be licensed. ■ At Rover Kennels, it’s all about Gene Autry’s song “Don’t Fence Me In” where your pooch or kitty aren’t caged but have private rooms and even a presidential suite for overnight boarding. It’s in Culver City just off the 10 at Robertson. Tel. (310) 838-5599 ■ There are a couple of mobile grooming services. Michael L. Rogers Mobile Pet Services gussies up critters in Santa Monica and The Palisades. Tel. (310) 392-1510. Aussie Pet Mobile also makes house calls. Tel. (949) 234-0680 ■ Santa Monica Dog and Cat Hospital at 2010 Broadway goes out of the way to keep your pet healthy and you wealthy and wise. Doctors of Veterinary Medicine Lynn Nelson and Deborah Wallen attend to animal needs and the hospital can provide for overnight stays. Tel. (310) 453-5459 or e-mail — David Futch

Santa Monica Daily Press


holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

Holiday gifts for




A classic chew toy that Shojai says any dog owner should have is the Kong. Hard rubber Kongs stand up to hard chewing, and come in HERE’S NO NEED TO FEEL different sizes, all under $15. They now come embarrassed if you find yourself in different shapes as well as a special version tucking chew toys into stockings this for senior dogs. Christmas. Although Shojai says to rememWe asked some experts for help choosing ber that you should never buy someamong holiday gifts — and they provided one a pet as a gift — “people should comforting words along with their choices. choose their own furry loves” — if Cat expert Amy Shojai is a Certified you know a new puppy Animal Behavior Consultant and author owner, she recommends of 22 books about pets (including the the booklets in the gift book, “Chicken Soup for the Cat Ultimate Puppy Toolkit Lover’s Soul"). She says that many from Premier ($10) as ULTIMATE products “make the owner’s cat care “absolutely the best choice simpler, reduce behavior or health PUPPY TOOLKIT as a gift for new puppy owners.” problems, and often delight kitty in the process.” FOR SMALL ANIMALS Watching fish is supposed to lower your In fact, even toys aren’t frivolous purchases. They provide exercise, as well as mental blood pressure — unless, of course, your stimulation — important since many pet tank needs cleaning again. To make this behavior problems are the result of boredom. job easier, Greg Lipps of Delhi Pet Center Here are some choices that pets and their in Cincinnati, Ohio recommends the new Tetra Aquarium Cleaning System owners will appreciate: ($15.99). It’s a scraper to which you attach a disposable wipe that retards algae FOR CATS Automatic toys can entertain your cat growth. “My daughter calls it the Swiffer when you can’t. The new Ba-Da-Beam cat for an aquarium,” he says. Another new Tetra product, this time for toy ($15) is a battery powered laser light that cats chase. “With fat cats at an all time high, reptile cages, is sets of Interlocking Stones ($12 and up). You can feel like a kid again this potentially helps slim tubby tabplaying with blocks, while building exhibit bies,” Shojai says. furniture like a cozy cave for your reptile to Simpler automatic toys can also hide in. There’s also a matching interlockdo the same job, such as remote ing feeding dish. control battery powered mice. A gift that a reptile owner ought to And Shojai says not to forget have — but probably doesn’t — is a that crumpled up wads of BA-DA-BEAM CAT TOY temperature gun ($15 and up). This tool paper are a “cheap thrill” for allows you to know instantly exactly cats — so that holiday gift wrap doesn’t have to go to waste after it’s ripped what temperature it is in different parts of the cage, a crucial consideration for coldoff the packages. Other products can help solve behavior blooded animals. Lipps says that you probproblems like scratching. Sticky Paws, a ably won’t find these in a pet store, but that double-sided tape that comes in various they’re used by automotive hobbyists, so sizes to stick to furniture ($14-$24), “offers car stores may carry them, or try an excellent training tool for teaching cats Of course, everyone likes edible gifts. better claw manners.” The product also Lipps recommends Kaytee Timothy Tots, comes in a version to keep the cat timothy hay with a yogurt coating, for out of your houseplants. small mammals like hamsters. Birds get BULLY STICK Kaytee Yo-Dips, which come in mangoFOR DOGS papaya, blueberry-sunflower, and A great place to start is chew jalapeno-peanut flavors. The 8 in 1 treats and toys — something a dog, brand Birdie Burrito has a chewy outand therefore a dog owner, can side and seedy inside. never have enough of. Like cat toys, dog chew toys have multiple purposes, satisfying the dog’s need FOR OWNERS to chew, and keeping him from For both cat and dog owners, you can expressing that need on your furnigive the gift of less hair on the furniture ture or shoes. by buying them a grooming tool the realDogs can be opinionated about chew ly works. Shojai calls The Furminator treats, but there’s one that everyone “absolutely the best grooming tool I’ve should try. Generally called “bully sticks,” found” (from $25 for the cat size). you can buy one version online at www.sitFinally, the new Merck/Merial Manual ($4.20 small, 6.00 large). Victoria for Pet Health ($22.95) covers medical Schade, a dog trainer in Northern Virginia, information on everything from fish to horsenthusiastically calls these her “most-beloved es, each chapter written by experts in a pardog and puppy item.” These treats are very ticular area. Although the level of detail simple and natural — just a dried part of the varies considerably (dogs get more than 300 bull that’s not suitable for mention in a fami- pages, frogs only about 10), this may be the ly newspaper. They’re long-lasting, and many perfect gift for your friends who have more than one animal. dogs are crazy about them.

“Best kept secret in Los Angeles”





517 OCEAN FRONT WALK #18-19 VENICE, CA. 90291 (310) 392-7121


12513 VENICE BLVD. LOS ANGELES, CA. 90066 (310) 313-3011


Santa Monica Daily Press

holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

memo to Santa

Start with safe toy recommendations from our panel of gift giving specialists BY MEGAN SCOTT ASSOCIATED PRESS WRITER t the top of every parent’s list for Santa this year: safe toys. More than 21 million toys were recalled this year, ranging from miniature cars that contained lead paint to the popular Aqua Dots, an arts-and-crafts toy that contained a chemical that converts into the “date rape” drug when swallowed. Toy makers affected ranged from the giant Mattel Inc. to smaller companies, such as Kids II Inc., which recalled Baby Einstein Discover & Play Color Blocks. “It certainly is a scary time to be thinking about toy purchases,” said Keri Brown Kirschman, assistant professor of psychology at University of Dayton. “But parents have to remember while there have been a number of recalls, there are still some good, safe toys out there.” While there are no guarantees _ a toy deemed safe today could be found unsafe tomorrow _ we asked a panel of seven toy, kid and environmental experts to list some toys they feel comfortable recommending:


ART For a natural gift, go for sculpting clay, says Christine Kirk, director of the Outdoor Education Center in Orange County, Calif. (ages 3 and up). Kirk also likes Arnold Grummer’s paper making kits (age 6 and up, with parental supervision), which allow kids

to recycle scrap paper in their home. Sheliah Gilliland, spokeswoman for eToys, recommends Mega Brands SmART Easel (ages 48), a portable easel that comes with markers, a roll of a paper and a carrying case.

BABY TOYS Paul Nippes, owner of Kidding Around, a toy store with locations in New York and New Jersey, recommends a wooden rattle from Mossy Creek, a company that uses local hardwoods, such as cherry and walnut, and leaves them unstained. Stevanne Auerbach, a child development expert known as Dr. Toy, likes the Baby Tangle, colorful rattle links.

BLOCKS Sheri Gurock, a toy store owner in Boston, recommends natural wooden blocks from Melissa & Doug, Plan Toys or Beka (ages 0-6), foam blocks from Edushape (ages 1-3) and cardboard blocks from Imagiplay (ages 3-7). Deborah Barrow, founder of, likes Keva Planks, construction blocks that don’t use glue or connectors (ages 6 and up) because “it’s creative, visual and engaging and emphasizes knowledge and exploration.” Barrow also recommends Zome, a construction kit with pieces that fit together perfectly (ages 6 and up), and K’Nex 15th Anniversary Building Bricks (5 and up).

BOOKS Kirk likes “The Dangerous Book for Boys”



(ages 8-13) and “The Daring Book for Girls” (ages 8-13) because the books “encourage kids who may be too into television and video games to think about something besides what is going on in their electronic world.” She also likes “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein, “a touching book about the story of friendship between a tree and a kid.”

DOLLS Ed Schmults, CEO of FAO Scwharz, suggests Karito Kids, 21-inch dolls (6 and up) that represent different cultures. The dolls have no phthalates, a chemical used to soften plastics and often found in toys; California has banned toys with more than a trace amount of phthalates. Gurock likes Groozy dolls because the dolls are made out of fabric, which is safer than plastic, wear

clothes that are kid-oriented and don’t have proportions like a Barbie. Gilliland recommends My Twinn Personalized Doll (ages 3-12) from an eToys sister site.

GADGETS Gilliland recommends My Real Digital Camera (ages 3-9), because of its dual viewfinder, two handgrips and easy colorcoded buttons. Stephanie Oppenheim, cofounder of, likes the Kidizoom Digital Camera (ages 8 and up), which has similar features. Auerbach recommends Brian the Brain, an interactive robot (ages 8-12).

GAMES Oppenheim recommends “Candy Land Castle Game,” a matching and color-concept game (ages 3 and up).

Warmest Holiday Wishes from

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holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

Read up on shopping for BY MAE ANDERSON AP BUSINESS WRITER HIS HOLIDAY SEASON, after various large-scale recalls, parents may understandably be jittery about buying toys. But a little research and a large dose of common sense - rather than a boycott of toys from China can help shoppers make wise decisions, experts say. Current worries about lead paint shouldn’t obscure more perennial safety concerns, such as choking hazards, shoddy workmanship and the like, no matter where a toy is made. “There are a number of safety issues to look out for this season,” said Stephanie Oppenheim, publisher of Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, an independent guide. “Parents need to be their own consumer advocate for children.” Some tips for toy shoppers:


BE INFORMED News about toy recalls can be found at, the Web site of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal watchdog agency. Retailers’ and toy makers’ sites, including, also provide information. And Oppenheim publishes a list of toys they have tested and determined to be lead-free, at This year, more than 21 million toys made in China were recalled for lead paint, tiny magnets that could be swallowed, or other potentially serious problems. Toy makers ranged from giant Mattel Inc. to smaller companies such as Kids II Inc., which recalled Baby Einstein Discover & Play Color Blocks. The number of toy recalls was up: The Consumer Product Safety Commission conducted 61 toy recalls in 2007, 19 of which involved violations of the lead paint standard. The other recalls mainly involved magnets or other small parts that could fall off and become ingestion or choking hazards. In 2006, by comparison, the commission had 40 toy recalls, only 2 involving lead paint. Yet keep in mind that recalls have been done “continuously, forever,” many having nothing to do with China, noted Marianne M. Szymanski, publisher of Toy Tips, a

quarterly magazine and online guide, Avoiding toys made in China would be difficult anyhow, she said. “A billion toys in the country are from China. A lot of toys made in China are fine,” she said. In recent months, toy makers and retailers have stepped up safety measures. Mattel is testing every production run for lead paint, among other measures. Moves by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. include testing more toys in independent labs.

PAY ATTENTION TO BRANDS “Find products made by companies you can trust, and make sure you’ve checked the recall list,” said San Francisco-based Stevanne Auerbach, author of “Dr. Toy’s Smart Play/Smart Toys” (new paperback edition 2006, Educational Insights). Rather than looking for a toy’s country of origin, make sure it carries a manufacturer’s name, added Jim Silver, editor of Toy Wishes, an industry trade magazine. “Some products you often see, you can’t find manufacturers’ names,” he said. “Those I would be concerned about.” Then make sure the manufacturer is a member of the Toy Industry Association, which adheres to industry standards, Silver said.

SHOP AT FAMILIAR STORES “Most retailers are well informed and can be your best advocate for appropriately aged products,” Auerbach said. “Knowledge of your toy store also helps in cases like recalls because they can be your best information on exactly what product or products can have a problem.”

BE SKEPTICAL OF HOT TOY LISTS “Now is not the time to buy something on the sale rack or because your child says she has to have it,” said Szymanski. Parents should trust their own judgment.


safe toys

vigilant and stick with toys labeled for that age group, and no older, Silver said. “In terms of what parents should look for, what stands out are things kids put in their mouth,” he said. “One of the biggest problems facing the toy business is if you look at some of the kids hurt, it’s 2-year-olds playing with toys marked ‘6 and up."’

AVOID TOYS WITH SMALL PARTS Keep an eye out for strings, splinters, projectiles or fuzz, which could get stuck in toddlers’ throats. Also, toxicsmelling or too-loud toys “If it doesn’t look right, if it sounds too loud, trust your instinct,” said Oppenheim. She recommended that parents do an inventory of toys they already own and get rid of any that seem unsafe. Even fabric toys could pose a hazard if they are painted, she said. “People keep asking me, `What can we feel safe buying?’, but until manufacturers step up to the plate, there’s no guarantee what you’re buying is going to be lead-free,” Oppenheim said. “That’s the reality of the toy industry at the moment.”

On the net ■ Consumer Product Safety Commission ■ CPSC Toy Safety Shopping Tips pubs/grand/toy/toysafe .html ■ Mattel recalls ■ Dr. Toy

■ Toy Industry Association ■ Toy Tips ■ Oppenheim Toy Portfolio ■ Toy Wishes magazine

Parents of children under 3 need to be particularly

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Santa Monica

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Santa Monica Daily Press

holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

Holiday happenings

Nov. 12 – Dec. 20

Nov. 21, 2007 – Jan. 6, 2008 Dec. 17, 2007 - Jan. 6, 2008

WINTERLIT “BEST GIFT EVER” CHALLENGE FOR PAL Donate that fond memory gift for one of the kids at the local Santa Monica Police Activities League (PAL). Drop off an unwrapped gift for a lucky child (ages 6-17) this holiday season. Donations accepted at the Winterlit Gift Wrap Station (1300 block of Third Street Promenade), Santa Monica Place Guest Services and at 15 Starbucks locations. For information, visit

ICE AT SANTA MONICA Bring back childhood memories - or create new ones - as you slice through the ice in a festive atmosphere filled with holiday cheer and balmy ocean breezes. Admission is $10; including skate rental. 1324 Fifth Street, Santa Monica at Arizona Open daily. Mon-Thurs 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sat & all school holidays 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Sun 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Nov. 23 – Dec. 24 Nov. 21 – Dec. 30 GRIFFITH PARK LIGHT FESTIVAL Walk or drive through this annual festival, which turns the north side of Griffith Park into a monument of tacky, silly and downright impressive light displays created by Department of Water and Power employees. Local attractions like the Hollywood sign, the L.A. Zoo and Staples Center are celebrated, along with traditional seasonal imagery. Even the most jaded city dweller will be awestruck driving through the tunnel of a million twinkling lights. For more information, visit

MAKE A MERRY MEMORY AND TAKE PICTURES WITH SANTA CLAUS High quality digital photos, capable of sending to friends and family via internet, will be taken. Center Court, 1300 block of Third Street Promenade, 11a.m. – 5 p.m.

Dec. 7, 2007 – Jan. 6, 2008 SELECTIONS FROM THE PETER NORTON FAMILY CHRISTMAS PROJECTS Artworks commissioned for the Norton Christmas Projects are on view at the Main Library for the holidays. 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica

SANTA MONICA PLAYHOUSE HOLIDAY WORKSHOPS Winter Break Create-A-Play Workshops for kids ages 4 - 14. Discover the joy of participation, along with the business of making theatre: dance, make-up, costumes, props, lighting and sound, and of course, performance. Three sessions: Mon – Fri, Dec 17 – 21, 2007; Wed – Sun, Dec. 26 – 30, 2007; and Wed – Sun, Jan 2 – 6, 2008. Also Enchanted Lunchtime Holiday Theatre Workshop for youngsters age 3 – 5 on Dec. 19. Call for information: (310) 394-9779, ext. 673. 1211 Fourth Street, Santa Monica 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

NOVEMBER Nov. 30 LIGHTING OF SHOPPING CART TREE Annual phenomena lights up again with 83 carts stacked 33 feet high. Music, coffee and holiday treats. Actual lighting: 5.30pm Edgemar Center, 2437 Main Street, Santa Monica 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. MONTANA AVENUE HOLIDAY WALK A chance to get ahead with your seasonal

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Your purchase with this coupon. Applies to listed locations only. Cannot be combined with other offers. Expires 11/30/07 Puzzle Zoo 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica 1413 3rd Street Promenade Santa Monica CA 90401 (310) 393-9201

Puzzle Zoo The Village in Pacific Palisades 1041 Swarthmore Ave Pacific Palisades CA 90272 (310) 454-8648

Puzzle Zoo Main Street in Santa Monica 2910 Main Street Santa Monica CA 90405 (310) 396-4331

shopping at this festive annual holiday event - live music, tasty treats and refreshments. Montana Avenue, SM between 7th and 17th Streets 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. STAR OF WONDER Travel back over 2,000 years via our time machine (the Digistar II star projector) for an astronomer’s look at possible explanations for the Star of Bethlehem. SMC Planetarium, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica 8 p.m. HOLIDAY SEASON LIGHTING CEREMONY AT OLVERA STREET It’s the official start of the holiday season on historic Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles. See the illumination of the entire plaza and the Christmas tree. Enjoy complimentary refreshments and family entertainment. 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.

DECEMBER Dec. 1-10 CHRISTMAS TREE LANE ROUTE For more than 80 years, visitors traveling along Altadena’s Santa Rosa Avenue have marveled at the stunning light displays ringing the roadside trees. Christmas Tree Lane, as it is known during the holidays, is a grove of nearly 150 imported Italian Deodar cedars. Planted by John Woodbury in the 19th century, the trees were donated to the town in 1920. Since the ‘50s, the Christmas Tree Association has arranged the festive display every December. For more information, call (626) 403-1123. Santa Rosa Avenue and Altadena Drive, Altadena

moment music! Learn about rhythm while connecting and communicating with other participants. Two shows 12pm and 1pm. Free. 1200 block of Third Street Promenade SMC CONCERT CHORALE Dr. James Smith, Conductor. The annual “Christmas Celebration” concert brings together the SMC Concert Chorale, the Chancel Choir of the Santa Monica First United Methodist Church, and the Los Angeles Concert Orchestra in a joyful evening performance that includes the beautiful Magnificat by John Rutter and the ever-popular “Carols, etc.” featuring Peter Graves as guest narrator. Call (310) 3938258 for tickets. First United Methodist Church, 11th Street and Washington Avenue, Santa Monica 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 2 MONTANA AVENUE HOLIDAY WALK 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Live music, tasty treats and refreshments from Seventh to 17th streets. DRUM CIRCLE Children are welcome to participate in the drum circle and create exciting in-themoment music! Learn about rhythm while connecting and communicating with other participants. Two shows 12pm and 1pm. Free. 1200 block of Third Street Promenade

Dec. 1

MEET ME UNDER THE FIG TREE The Fairmont Miramar Hotel continues the tradition of hosting an annual community gathering under the magnificent Moreton Bay Fig Tree. The evening will feature a silent auction, festive decor, a 12’ x 1’ gingerbread city in the lobby and free holiday treats and beverages in the porte cochere area. For information, call (310)576-7777. Fairmont Miramar Hotel, 101 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.

DRUM CIRCLE Children are welcome to participate in the drum circle and create exciting in-the-

SMC CONCERT CHORALE Dr. James Smith, Conductor. The annual

Santa Monica Daily Press


holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

Dec. 8 Santa Monica Venice Christmas Run 10k at 7.30am, 5k at 9am, Kids Fun Run 10am. Fast, flat course starting in Santa Monica, winding through Venice neighborhoods and along the Venice boardwalk. There will be an expo at the finish line with food, drinks, and awards. Race proceeds benefit Harvest Home, a residential maternity home in Venice serving pregnant, homeless women and their babies. For race sponsor info and other instructions, visit: Fees are $27 through 12/1; $30 after; kids are $15. Ocean View Park, 2600 Barnard Way; parking lot just south of Ocean Park Blvd. 7:30 a.m. – 11 a.m. THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF LA HOLIDAY EVENT Enjoy an afternoon of holiday cheer! A performance by the renowned Readers Theatre Project, servings of hot cocoa and a holiday craft courtesy of the Art-To-Go Program. For information, visit Center Court, Santa Monica Place 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.



“Christmas Celebration” concert brings together the SMC Concert Chorale, the Chancel Choir of the Santa Monica First United Methodist Church, and the Los Angeles Concert Orchestra in a joyful evening performance that includes the beautiful Magnificat by John Rutter and the ever-popular “Carols, etc.” featuring Peter Graves as guest narrator. Call (310) 3938258 for tickets. First United Methodist Church, 11th Street and Washington Avenue, Santa Monica 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 3 HOLIDAY SCULPTURE WORKSHOP Ages 4 and up. Main Branch Library, 601 Santa Monica

Blvd., Santa Monica, 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Dec. 4-11 CHANUKAH Come celebrate and be part of the Menorah lighting ceremony every evening. For info: Free. 1300 Block of Third Street Promenade 4.45pm Sundown

Dec. 6 HOLIDAY CRAFT WORKSHOP Create a gift for the holidays, and then help the Main Library make a paper chain to decorate the branch. Ages 4 – 8. 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica 3:45 p.m.

Dec. 7 Dec. 5 HANUKKAH FAMILY PROGRAM Stories, games and treats to celebrate the holiday. Co-sponsored by Chabad on Montana. All age welcome. Main Branch Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica 3:45 p.m.

STAR OF WONDER Travel back over 2,000 years via our time machine (the Digistar II star projector) for an astronomer’s look at possible explanations for the Star of Bethlehem. SMC Planetarium, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica 8 p.m.

HOLIDAY FAMILY FLICK: “ELF” Kick off your holiday season with this laugh-filled comedy starring Will Ferrell. Main Branch Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica 3:45 p.m. MARINA DEL REY ‘HOLIDAY MAGIC’ BOAT PARADE Festively decorated boats illuminate the main channel in one of the Marina’s most visually exciting events. Actual show preceded by a short fireworks display in the Main Channel at 5:55 p.m. Best viewing is available at Burton Chace Park and Fisherman’s Village. For more information, call (310) 670-7130.

Dec. 9 SANTA MONICA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Admission is free. Santa Monica Symphony Association’s information line: (310) 395-6330. Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, 1855 Main Street, Santa Monica 7:30 p.m.

WESTCHESTER ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARADE Old-fashioned street parade with school children and local civic and youth groups. Starts at Loyola and Manchester Boulevard 2 p.m.

Dec. 10 L.A. MASTER CHORALE: MESSIAH SING-ALONG The Los Angeles Master Chorale will team up with some audience members for a resounding rendition of Handel’s “Messiah,” based on the Christian drama of redemption. The conductor will lead the impressive gathering of counter tenors, altos, basses, and tenors. For more information, call (323) 850-2000. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 11 HOLIDAY ART SALE Don’t miss this chance to buy some truly unique works of art – prints, ceramics, jewelry, and more – for yourself or to give as gifts this holiday season. SMC Bundy Campus 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. FROM REEL TO REAL – WE ALL HAVE ISSUES: ‘THE FAMILY STONE’ A monthly, issues-based film and discussion series. This month’s screening is the holiday-themed film, “The Family Stone,” starring Diane Keaton. Main Branch Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica Discussion at 6:30 p.m.; screening at 7 p.m.

Dec. 12 HOLIDAY ART SALE Don’t miss this chance to buy some truly unique works of art – prints, ceramics, jewelry, and more – for yourself or to give as gifts this holiday season. SMC Bundy Campus 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.



Santa Monica Daily Press

holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

all through the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the sights and sounds of L.A.’s diverse holiday celebrations were heard. Produced annually by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission, this free program features dozens of local dance, music and choral companies. Families from all over SoCal attend, making the show a city tradition since 1964. For information, call (213) 972-7211. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.

FROM LISTINGS PAGE 17 CONCERT: ‘GET THE SPIRIT WITH THE GOSPEL CHORUS!’ Authentic gospel music under the direction of William Bryant Jr. Main Branch Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica 1:30 p.m.

Dec. 14 STAR OF WONDER Travel back over 2,000 years via our time machine (the Digistar II star projector) for an astronomer’s look at possible explanations for the Star of Bethlehem. SMC Planetarium, 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica 8 p.m. HOLIDAY FOOD PACKAGING FOR NEEDY FAMILIES To volunteer, contact One Voice at (310) 458-9961. Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica

Dec.15 SNOW HILL Snow is coming to Santa Monica! Come frolic in real snow and participate in a Snowman Building Contest. For information, visit 1400 block of Third Street Promenade 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. HOLIDAY FOOD PACKAGING FOR NEEDY FAMILIES To volunteer, contact One Voice at (310) 458-9961. Barker Hangar, 3021 Airport Ave., Santa Monica

Dec. 16 LUMINARIAS Fun-filled evening with candles lit in sandfilled paper bags, creating a glow over the historic 1834 Centinela Adobe Complex. Music program, Christmas tree and ornamental display included. For more info: (310) 677-2067. Tours start at 6:30 p.m.

Dec. 27-29



L.A. MASTER CHORALE: SING-ALONG The Los Angeles Master Chorale will team up with some audience members for a resounding rendition of Handel’s “Messiah,” based on the Christian drama of redemption. The conductor will lead the impressive gathering of counter tenors, altos, basses, and tenors. For more information, call (323) 850-2000. Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 16-24

visit Tickets: Adults $12.50; Children $10.50. Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth Street

Dec. 17 GREETING CARD AND ORNAMENT WORKSHOP Ages 4 and up. Main Branch Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.

LAS POSADAS AT OLVERA STREET This beautiful presentation of the nineday journey of Mary and Joseph’s pilgrimage to Bethlehem is depicted each evening with singing and a candlelight procession. Free champurado, pan dulce, hot punch and candy. 5 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. December 1 – December 23

Dec. 20

“ALIAS SANTA CLAUS” A musical holiday tale set in the 1800s. Reserve in advance by calling (310) 3949779, ext. 1. Ages 6 & up. For information,

OPCC HOLIDAY PARTY Ocean Park Community Center telephone number: (310) 264.6646. Santa Monica Civic Auditorium,

FIESTA! Celebrate the season with Spanish stories, songs, and piñata. Ages 3 and up. Main Branch Library, 601 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica 7 p.m.

Dec. 21

1855 Main Street, Santa Monica Noon – 3 p.m.

Dec. 22 ‘THE NUTCRACKER’ Set to Tchaikovsky’s sprightly score, E.T.A. Hoffman’s fable narrates the Christmas adventures of young Clara and the nutcracker doll she adores. For more information, visit UCLA’s Royce Hall

Dec. 23 ‘THE NUTCRACKER’ Set to Tchaikovsky’s sprightly score, E.T.A. Hoffman’s fable narrates the Christmas adventures of young Clara and the nutcracker doll she adores. For more information, visit UCLA’s Royce Hall

Dec. 24 LOS ANGELES COUNTY HOLIDAY CELEBRATION “’Twas the night before Christmas... “ and

LULA WASHINGTON’S KWANZAA CONCERT The Lula Washington pre-Kwanzaa celebration features the choreographer’s signature blend of modern and African dance. Along with high-energy performances by members of the company, the community-based concert will also include recitals by local students, some of whom hail from Washington’s dance program for inner-city kids. Gospel choirs, poetry readings, jazz revues and a few Christmas selections round out the festivities. For more information, call (323) 292-5852. Lula Washington Dance Theatre, 3773 Crenshaw Blvd., Los Angeles

Dec. 31 NEW YEAR’S EVE FIREWORKS Fireworks shot from the south jetty light up the sky over Marina del Rey on New Year’s Eve. Beginning at 11:59 p.m. and 30 seconds, one firework will be shot into the air each second, counting down to midnight when a five-minute fireworks show will burst across the night sky. Fireworks can be seen from almost anywhere in the marina. This event is free. For more information, call (310) 305-9545.

Compiled by Cynthia Vazquez

Santa Monica Daily Press

holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007



holiday GIFT GUIDE 2007

Santa Monica Daily Press

Holiday Gift Guide 2007  

The ultimate Gift Guide for Santa Monica!

Holiday Gift Guide 2007  

The ultimate Gift Guide for Santa Monica!