The Garbage Pickers Of Newport Beach

Throughout the day, people go through my trash cans. It’s a depressing sight. Among the streets of affluent Newport Beach are legions of trash pickers, pulling out cans, bottles and other recyclable material. Most are Latinos, recent immigrants or illegal immigrants, I would guess. Often they might be accompanied by one or two small children. […]

Bu-Tay: Orange County’s Own Vodka

Heh — I’m a vodka fan, so I got a kick out of learning this today. Orange County has its own homegrown vodka — Bu-Tay Vodka! I gather it’s made or distributed out of OC, and I got another fun surprise. It’s made with water from Bend, Oregon. Bend’s long been a hub of search […]

WTF Happened To The Los Angeles Times?

I was fortunate enough to have started my career in journalism during a real old fashioned newspaper war, one waged between the Los Angeles Times — its Orange County edition — and the Orange County Register. In 1989 and through the early 90s, the papers invested in people and newsprint to win the readership of […]

Newport Beach Bans Styrofoam Cups To Help Keep Beaches Clean

Just something interesting from our local paper. Newport Beach voted this week to ban foam cups from restaurants, in an effort to help keep its beaches clean. The law has an interesting background. Local high school students pushed for it, and the local restaurant association actually backed the ban rather than fight it. One reason […]

When Bar Marquees Go To War

I got a kick out of this. Malarky’s is the cross-town rival to Mutt Lynch’s, so Mutt Lynch had some fun with their marquee message this week: “Even when blank, our marquee is funnier than Malarkys.” Hmm — have to go see what Malarky’s is saying now.

Balboa Bids Tourists Adieu

It’s the best time of year in Balboa, with the summer over, the summer tourists gone but the summer weather continuing. The sign I saw on local bar landmark Mutt Lynchs, shown above, said it best. “The Nightmare Is Over. Welcome Back Locals.” The tourists aren’t really a nightmare. After all, they’re part of Newport […]

Sea Lions Sinking Boats In Newport Harbor

I went sailing around Newport Harbor recently and was surprised to see sea lions on boats so far inside the harbor. Usually, you’d only see them at the jetty entrance. Turns out, they’ve been finding the inner harbor a cool place to hang out recently. And a boat owner wasn’t so happy about it when […]

McFadden Square Monument Unveiled – Not What I Expected

I’ve been back in Newport Beach for just about two weeks now, and the city threw me a little welcoming ceremony shown above that was most kind. Ah, shucks. Heh. In seriousness, today was the unveiling of the long-anticipated McFadden Square Centennial Legacy Project. If you want to learn a bit more about Newport Beach, […]

Newportus Interruptus

Twelve years after leaving Newport Beach, I’m almost back to living here again. The past three weeks we’ve been on vacation in Newport, getting the boys used to coming back and making various arrangements. And as part of that return, I’ve had the strangest sense of a needle dropping back down on a record after […]

Newport Beach Scenes: Sophie Monk Filming “Hard Breakers,” World’s Most Expensive Baskeball Court & Black Cats

Only one more day left in Newport Beach before heading back to the UK, at least until the permanent move this summer. Below, a few random photos from beachside: the filming of Hard Breakers, the world’s most expensive basketball court, a freaky weird cat and the deal with that picture above. I’ll take the skywriting […]