SLO LIFE Magazine Dec/Jan 2019

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LIFE

SLOmagazine

LOCAL

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DEC/JAN 2019

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DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 1


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8 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


A lot can happen in one night.

LORI LEE SILVAGGIO’S

the

DECEMBER 8-9

featuring OPERA SAN LUIS OBISPO GRAND ORCHESTRA

www.pacslo.org

PERFORMING ARTS CENTER SAN LUIS OBISPO

sponsored by

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 9


SLO LIFE

magazine

CONTENTS

Volume

9

Number 6

Dec/Jan 2019

42

KANNYN JANUARY

We stopped downtown for

a visit with this shopkeeper

to gain insight into our local

economy and the business

owners who drive it.

14

16

18

20

Publisher’s Message

Info

On the Cover

In Box

10 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019

28

30

34

Briefs

Check out the latest news highlight reel.

Timeline

We take a look at local events from the past two months.

View

It was a misty day in Cayucos with families wandering

along its sandy shores when PAMALA LINK captured this

picture-perfect moment.


DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 11


| CONTENTS

36

Q&A

With election season behind her,

ERICA A. STEWART is ready to jump in

with both feet as the newly elected

San Luis Obispo City Councilmember.

64

72

Real Estate

Look no further for insight into the local housing market

as we share the year-to-date statistics of home sales

for both the City and the County of San Luis Obispo.

Health

It seems there is always a new superfood making

headlines and Sea-Buckthorn, with benefits ranging from

heart health to weight loss, is making its way to the top

of the list.

38

40

52

54

Now Hear This

Self-taught musician BRENNETH STEVENS

is a popular regular on the Central Coast

music scene, who has played with over a

dozen well-known bands.

On the Rise

With an interest in philosophy and arts,

San Luis Obispo High School senior

ALEC WEST is making his way toward a

successful future.

Family

Looking for a unique way to tour San

Luis Obispo, PADEN HUGHES explores

downtown in fun-filled fashion.

Dwelling

With the San Luis Obispo city housing

crunch now in a state of crisis, MAYOR

HEIDI HARMON and GRACE SWANSON

open their home to share a possible

solution.

12 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019

78

86

88

92

96

Taste

Piping hot crust and cheesy toppings send JAIME LEWIS

out on the town to slice up some the Central Coast’s

favorite spots for pizza.

Kitchen

Just in time for the holidays, CHEF JESSIE RIVAS

shares his traditional pork chop recipe served with

apples and onions.

Wine Notes

Nothing beats a glass of bubbles and ANDRIA MCGHEE

discovers the Central Coast wine region has plenty of

sparkling options to enjoy.

Brew

Ready to savor a cold pint at the neighborhood bar,

BRANT MYERS dives into the local craft beer scene and

celebrates the industry’s growth.

Happenings

Looking for something to do? We’ve got you covered.

Check out the calendar to discover the best events

around the Central Coast in December and January.


DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 13


| PUBLISHER’S MESSAGE

Similar to most red-blooded American kids of my generation, it used to be a yearlong enterprise as I wrote

one draft after another seeking perfection in my letter to Santa. If I could ask in just the right way using just

the right words, I knew that he would squeeze down our chimney with everything on my list.

One year, I must have been around 9 years old, the same age my son, Harrison, is now, JCPenney mailed out

a supplement to their annual catalog just ahead of the holidays. It used to be that the only thing my sisters

and I had to guide us toward a successful Christmas was that old catalog, which was filled with everything

from underwear to jumper cables. Now, we had it all at our fingertips—toys and dolls—in one simple, concise

publication. Brilliance.

As I sat at the kitchen table waiting for my oatmeal to cool, I flipped open the dog-eared supplement yet

again. Although I had already committed it to memory, I found comfort in the predictability of its pages.

There, toward the front of the publication was a two-page spread from the toy company Fisher-Price. They

were advertising one of their perennial best sellers, a small, plastic version of the space shuttle complete with

three buttons, which made three distinct sounds: “roaring rockets,” “space signals,” and “danger alert.”

My mom leaned in over my shoulder to dust my breakfast with wheat germ—she was convinced that stuff

would keep us healthy through the flu season—and took note of the pages I was studying. “What do you think of that thing, Tommy?” she inquired. I

shrugged my shoulders with indifference as I was getting to the age when anything made by Fisher-Price was not considered cool. Plus, I just could not

get behind the name of the spacecraft: Alpha Probe. I mean, what exactly was it probing? And what was an alpha, anyway? If you are going to go into

space, you should at least have a great name, like the Millennium Falcon. But I already had one of those; Santa hand-delivered it to me the year before

and Han Solo and I spent the previous twelve months exploring our solar system. I was on to bigger and better things. This year, my letter requested a

Honda ATV, a three-wheeler. As I said, I was going big.

For the past twelve months, I continuously took measure of my naughty/nice ratio. I watched it in the same way a day trader tracks a stock bouncing

around on his computer screen. Despite my parents’ repeated attempts to shake me from my dream by pointing out the many dangers posed by 9-yearolds

piloting three-wheelers, I was convinced that Santa and his watchful elves would side with me. When the morning of the main event arrived, I

slipped out from under my electric blanket and found my two younger sisters huddled in the hallway. Together we walked toward the tree. Tension

gripped us as the finality of the moment had set in. This is what we had been working toward all year.

Craning my neck around the corner, I anticipated my Honda ATV radiating back with a bright red bow taped to the gas tank. Instead, I spied a

black, star-flecked box with the words “Alpha Probe” emblazoned across the front. My heart sunk as I began wrestling with the five stages of grief:

Denial (this cannot be happening to me); Anger (what a load of b.s.!); Bargaining (I wonder if he would consider a trade?); Depression (it’s so

horrible), and finally Acceptance.

My devastation was so thorough, so complete that I never bothered to send off another letter to the North Pole ever again, which did come with a bright

side: I no longer needed to worry about being naughty or nice—I had been nice all year long and the only thing it netted me was an Alpha Probe.

I’m not sure when it happened exactly, but I think it was after my grandparents arrived along with many carloads of cousins and aunties and uncles in

tow. Mom always let us kids sample a taste of the raspberry Christmas cordial she had been brewing since July as we gathered around the wagon train

of tables assembled for the occasion—our normal kitchen table, which was connected to one of Grandpa’s fold-out tables, which was pushed into the

Ping-Pong table—and said grace, one of three times we did so during the year. With my left hand holding Grandma’s right and my right hand in my

uncle Dave’s huge left, I peeked through my mostly closed eyes to see everyone hand-in-hand, heads bowed, standing over more food than we could eat

in a week. In that moment, I understood Christmas.

Now, I proudly display that old Alpha Probe in my office, sometimes pressing the buttons, sending “space signals” toward the North Pole. It serves as a

constant reminder for what is important—and what is not. Although I really wanted that three-wheeler, Santa knew exactly what it was that I needed.

I would like to take this opportunity to say “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. And to you and your family, my best wishes for a happy holiday season and a healthy

and prosperous 2019.

Live the SLO Life!

Alpha Probe

Tom Franciskovich

tom@slolifemagazine.com

Get the story within the story by going to GrowWithTom.com and

subscribing to Tom’s Bombs to receive the next installment.

14 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


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SLO LIFE

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CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Sheryl Disher

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Paden Hughes

Jaime Lewis

Andria McGhee

Brant Myers

Jessie Rivas

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CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS

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Clovis Iv

Kaur Kristjan

Pamela Link

Vanessa Plakias

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4251 S. Higuera Street, Suite 800

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

16 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 17


| ON THE COVER

A SNEAK PEEK

BEHIND the scenes

WITH KANNYN JANUARY

BY VANESSA PLAKIAS

When I arrived, I was greeted by Kannyn’s sweet

sales girl, Delaney. She opened the door and had

this big silver, glittery crown. I asked, “Oh, what’s

that for?” And she said, “It’s my 23rd birthday!”

A representative for one of the non-profits that

Kannyn recently raised money for, Degrees of

Skill, stopped by to have her sign one of those

huge, enormous, oversized checks, you know, like

the kind they give people who win the lottery.

Kannyn said, “It’s not just

what you see, it’s what you’re

doing.” She talked about the

human experience that goes

along with helping people.

She told the story of the

other day when a little girl

came in to find a dress for

her bat mitzvah, and then a

woman dropped by for some

new clothes after losing

weight. She talked about

how it is all the same thing,

helping people feel better

about themselves.

There were tourists with backpacks and cameras walking by, but it

seemed that every other person knew her and would stop to say,

“Hello.” One person after another would yell out, “Kannyn!”

SLO LIFE

18 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


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| IN BOX

Take us with you!

Hey, SLO LIFE readers: Send us your photos the next time you’re relaxing in town or traveling

far and away with your copy of the magazine. Email us at info@slolifemagazine.com

MOUNT HUTT, NEW ZEALAND

PEARL HARBOR, HAWAII

HUNTER, JEREMY, ANDREW,

PATRICK, and JOSH

TRAMORE, IRELAND

CHELSEA and ANTHONY

LEH PALACE, HIMALAYAS

RANDY and PAT HOSEGOOD MARTIN

SALLY and CAROL

20 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


SOUTH SAWYER GLACIER, ALASKA

ATHENS, GREECE

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

CINDY and PAT HILL

GARY and DARLENE TROWER

BARCELONA, SPAIN

DEAN and SUSIE

WINDSOR CASTLE, ENGLAND

JAN MARX in front of 4Gats (Cats) Barcelona, the

site of Picasso’s first public exhibition.

DANUBE RIVER

ED and BARBARA DAWSON

PATTI and JERRY HEMPENIUS

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 21


| IN BOX

You showed us!

BRYCE CANYON, UTAH

MARRAKECH, MOROCCO

CINDY JOHNSON, AXEL JOHNSON,

and DAVID FORSTER

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA

JOHN and JOSIE GRADY

LARRY, JAN CARSEL, GLORIA ROSE,

FRANCIE, LIZ, NAT SANTOS,

MARY WOOD, and NANCY WALTER

CAMBODIA

CAPE SPEAR, NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA

SHERIDAN GOVERS and JUDY MAY

We’re standing on the most eastern point of North

America where we saw the first sunrise on the continent!

ANN and STEVE HANSEN

22 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


LE MONT-SAINT-MICHEL, FRANCE

STEVE and JENNY MATHIS

COSTA RICA

SLO YOGA CENTER

ÉVORA UNIVERSITY, PORTUGAL

ROS MCQUADE and MARYLOU GOODEN

Thinking of Peggy who inspires us to carpe diem.

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 23


| IN BOX

SLO LIFE travels!

SAMARKAND, UZBEKISTAN

BEQUIA, ST. VINCENT, GRENADINES

Cutting mulberry bark to make silk paper in Koni Gil

village near Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

OKINAWA, JAPAN

MARILYN KINSEY

TERRY and STEPHANIE CONNER (right),

celebrating their 51st Wedding Anniversary,

were joined on a Carribbean Cruise to Bequia,

St. Vincent, Grenadines by newlyweds

ROBERTA and DAVE WARD.

BANDON, OREGON

DENNY and SYBIL WHEELER

PAULA FARRAR and NANCY KUNDE

At Washed Ashore inside the replica of a whale skeleton

made from plastic bottles picked up from the beaches.

24 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 25


| IN BOX

Trekking with you!

BALLYCARBERY CASTLE, IRELAND

BANGKOK, THAILAND

JOHN and FREDENE

MAULHARDT

RICHARD and CAROL

MORTENSEN

RIO MONTEZUMA, COSTA RICA

In the iconic lobby of the Mandarin Oriental on the

Chao Phraya River, on our way to Bhutan.

TOLEDO, SPAIN

NINA HANSEN relaxing with SLO LIFE after

hiking to the top of one of the falls.

RICHARD and LAURA VORIE in Toledo, Spain

Home to Marzipan (who knew?!), Manchego cheese,

and a magnificent Cathedral. In fact, so many

churches, it earned the sobriquet “Holy Toledo!”

26 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019

Please send your photos and comments to info@slolifemagazine.com

Follow SLO LIFE on Facebook: Visit facebook.com/slolifemagazine

Visit us online at slolifemagazine.com

Letters may be edited for content and clarity.

To be considered for publication your letter should include your name, city, state, phone number or email address (for authentication purposes).


DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 27


| BRIEFS

“I love that

SLO still

has a video

store. Great

place, friendly

and helpful

employees.”

Read a Yelp review from a year ago

commenting on Crossroads Video in San

Luis Obispo, the city’s last video rental

store, which announced its closure after

25 years in business.

727

The number of pounds the pumpkin

grown by Bill Quirk of Goleta weighed

in at the 13th Annual Great Pumpkin

and Scarecrow Contest held in San Luis

Obispo’s Mission Plaza, which worked

out to almost $1 per pound as Quirk took

home an equally giant $750 check.

“This won’t

be subtle.”

Elon Musk, founder of SpaceX,

commenting on Twitter about the sonic

boom expected from the launch at

Vandenberg Air Force Base to put the

SAOCOM-1A satellite into orbit. The

mission made history in that it included

the first-ever landing of a returning

rocket on California soil.

“We pray, God,

that your wisdom

and favor will be

on our president,

President Trump.”

Thom O’Leary, pastor at Mountain Brook

Church in San Luis Obispo, who delivered

a prayer with Donald Trump looking on for

the Future Farmers of America convention

where O’Leary’s son, Luke, was elected as

the FFA’s national president.

174

The number of years combined that

two Higuera Street jewelry stores had

been in business when they announced

their closures. Kevin Main Jewelers

had been operating for 45 years, while

Marshalls Jewelers had been a mainstay in

downtown San Luis Obispo for 129 years.

“I’m a finance major. I

was just looking at the

numbers and playing

the probability game.”

Dallan Borboa, a 23-year-old Cal Poly

graduate and San Luis Obispo resident, who

described his recent experience as a contestant

on “Wheel of Fortune,” a show he grew up

watching alongside his great-grandparents in

their Fresno living room.

$425,000

The asking price for the eccentric property

at 881 Hillcrest Drive in Cambria, which

is also known as “Nitt Witt Ridge,” and the

“anti-Hearst Castle.” An outgoing voice

recording at the home welcomes callers

to the “world famous Nitt Witt Ridge,

California State Landmark 939, one of the

most trashiest places on Earth.”

$70,000

The potential cost to SLO County if it is

to hold a special election to correct the

mistake by the County Clerk-Recorder’s

Office with a clerical error on the recent

ballot concerning the race for the Los

Osos Community Services Board of

Directors. The seat should have been voted

upon for a four-year term, instead of two

years, to which Clerk-Recorder Tommy

Gong accepted “full responsibly” for the

misclassification.

“For the sake

of all living

things, let’s see

to it that far more

of our planet is

protected by the

people, for the

people and for

all time.”

The last sentence of a recent Op-Ed in

The New York Times penned by Hansjörg

Wyss, the billionaire owner of Halter

Ranch Vinyard in Paso Robles, who

pledged a $1 billion donation to help

conservation efforts around the world.

17

The number of days that 26-year-old

prisoner David Gray Hall was on the run

after escaping from the California Men’s

Colony in a state-owned van. The fugitive,

who had been serving a five-year sentence

for second-degree robbery, was found in a

southwest Los Angeles park. SLO LIFE

28 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 29


| TIMELINE

Around the County

OCTOBER ’18

10/2

All American Pipeline, a Texasbased

oil company, moved forward

with a proposed project to reopen

its delivery pipeline—including 37

miles through San Luis Obispo

County—after it was found guilty

of several criminal counts in

connection to a pipeline break that

caused the oil spill near Refugio

State Beach in 2015. That spill,

which released 142,800 gallons of

heavy crude oil onto the Gaviota

coastline in Santa Barbara County,

was the result of a corroded onshore

pipe estimated to be nearly

30 years old. The proposed new

pipeline calls for a smaller 12 to

16-inch pipe to replace the old 24 to

30-inch pipe and will be outfitted with

up to 49 shutoff valves to mitigate the

impact of any future spills.

10/15

The Land Conservancy of San Luis Obispo County announced that it is inching its way toward

completion of the project known as the Pismo Preserve, but that it is still $3 million off its goal. In

order to open the 880-acre swath of coastal hillside land to the public, a series of construction projects

require completion, including a parking lot and entry road. Those improvements are budgeted for

$4.2 million, and with only $1.2 of it secured so far, The Land Conservancy began appealing to the

public for help in raising the additional funds. The project, initially forecasted to open in 2015, has

been plagued by a series of delays arising from unforeseen circumstances, such as the discovery of a

Chumash burial site in the area where the parking lot was designated to sit.

10/3

A new non-profit, City Farm

SLO, officially opened its farm

stand at 1221 Calle Joaquin to sell

veggies to locals on Wednesday

afternoons from 3 to 6 p.m. The

produce, grown by tenant farmers

and students from Pacific Beach

Continuation High School, is used

in school lunches for San Luis

Coastal Unified School District’s

cafeteria meals. Currently, the list

includes carrots, corn, beets, beans,

squash, as well as organic turmeric

and ginger. Under the supervision

of five growers—Teresa Lees, Corey

Richmond, Josh Carmichael, Javier

Magana, and Michael Huggins,

City Farm SLO is situated on a

19-acre parcel within the city’s Calle

Joaquin Agricultural Preserve and is

operating with a 20-year lease.

10/16

The contract with the Economic Vitality Corporation (EVC) of San Luis Obispo to study the economic

impact of Diablo Canyon’s closure was terminated by the board of supervisors, who claimed that certain

milestones within the agreement had not been met. Although the county claimed that fundraising for

the study had fallen short of the $120,000 required for the first phase of the project, EVC Executive

Director Mike Manchak said that was false, and that his organization had raised $253,000 to-date. A

previous study completed by Cal Poly in 2013 found that closing Diablo Canyon would result in the loss

of 1,500 head-of-household jobs and have approximately a $1 billion annual impact countywide. The

plant is on track to wind down its operations in 2025.

10/17

A motion was filed in SLO County Superior Court against District Attorney Dan Dow by defense

attorney Ilan Funke-Bilu on behalf of his client, Herbert Connor, a 72-year-old Cambria resident, who

was accused of assaulting a 67-year-old Cambria woman with the intent to rape her. The defense argued

that Dow’s decision to personally prosecute the case—an extremely rare occurrence, which has not

happened since 1996—amounted to political grandstanding and pandering to county voters just ahead

of the DA race in June. Judge Barry LaBarbera, who coincidentally was the DA in 1996 that took on

the prosecution of convicted murderer, Michael Whisenhunt, later ruled in favor of Dow.

30 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


NOVEMBER ’18

11/4

The City of San Luis Obispo made permits available for night

hikes up Cerro San Luis in a controversial new pilot program.

Normally open from dawn to dusk, the iconic morro will stay

open for up to 65 individual hikers and mountain bikers until

8:30 p.m. when it closes. In a closely watched vote, city council

members were split on the decision 3-2 in January with Andy

Pease and Carlyn Christianson dissenting. Opponents argued

that the nighttime activity would be disruptive and stressful

to nocturnal animals inhabiting the areas near the trail, while

those in favor reasoned that many people who came home

after work would still have the opportunity to hike mid-week.

Currently, only Cerro San Luis is part of the city’s night

hiking pilot program.

11/6

Record turnout was noted in SLO County for the midterm

election. In San Luis Obispo, Mayor Heidi Harmon was reelected

to a second term, and incumbent city councilmember

Carlyn Christianson was given another four years, and

newcomer Erica Stewart was elected to her first term. In Arroyo

Grande, voters selected a new mayor, choosing Caren Ray

over incumbent Jim Hill and two new members were put on

the council, Jimmy Paulding and Keith Storton. Paso Robles

elected Maria Elena Garcia, its first woman to sit on their city

council in 34 years. Measure G, known as the fracking ban, was

defeated handily 56% to 44% and the attempt to repeal the

state’s gas tax known as Prop 6 was defeated locally.

11/7

News surfaced indicating that the U.S. Department of Justice

(DOJ) will begin investigating medical and mental health care

of inmates at the county jail following untimely deaths of those

in custody, as well as violations of their civil rights, particularly

those who are mentally and physically ill. The recently

launched DOJ investigation will run concurrently to the FBI

investigation, which is ongoing. Lawsuits at the jail continue

to mount and are in addition to the $5 million awarded the

Holland family, which filed suit for the wrongful death on

behalf of their son, Andrew Holland, who died last year after

being strapped to a restraint chair for 46 hours straight.

11/8

In the aftermath of the midterm election, it was determined that Big Oil—

Chevron, Shell, and ExxonMobil—which came out against Measure G,

otherwise known as the fracking ban, had spent $8 million to sink the effort,

while those who supported it spent just $240,000 (with half of that amount in

the form of donated professional services). In the end, the continual onslaught

of advertisements bearing what the No on Measure G campaign described as

“trusted messengers”—credible locals—ranging from a barbershop owner to a

retired teacher, who recited the same talking points over and over again on the

Central Coast airwaves making claims, such as “Measure G will result in the

shutdown of existing energy production,” an assertion that was false.

11/15

SLOPD Chief of Police, Deanna Cantrell, announced at a news conference

that her department had partnered with Transitions Mental Health to bring

on board a full-time mental health clinician to embed with the Community

Action Team (CAT), which is the unit tasked with servicing the city’s homeless

population. The initiative was two years in the making and was made possible

due to a grant by the board of supervisors, which sponsored the $60,000 per

year position that will be used to hire John Klevins, who was most recently

employed at the Atascadero State Hospital as part of its psychiatric unit. SLO LIFE

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 31


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| SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


DISTINCTIVE COLLECTION

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DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 33


| VIEW

CAYUCOS

Pamela Link vowed to herself that it would be the last Alaskan winter.

By 2009, she had squirreled away just enough for a little motorhome of

her own, which she then immediately pointed south down the Alcan

Highway toward the lower forty-eight.

She made it as far as Morro Bay. That’s where she fell in love.

As a photographer, the drama created by the fog-enshrouded rock was too

much to resist. After finding a microscopic garage-top apartment for rent,

she placed a “for sale” sign on the RV. Then she stopped in at the Gallery

at Marina Square. The answer was “Yes,” as in “Yes, we would love to sell

your photos.”

Such is the life of Pamela Link, who is guided by feeling and emotion

more than any particular strategy or master plan. And this sort of goingwith-the-flow

always seems to work out. Like that time in the early

1970s when she happened upon the iconic landscape photographer, Ansel

Adams.

“He was beside the road underneath his little drape taking a picture,” is

how Link remembers the encounter. “I was with a group of photography

students from Ventura College, and he invited us back to his studio for

the afternoon.” The experience marked a period of rapid growth in the

development of her art. Not more than a handful of years earlier, at the

age of 13, Link’s father passed down his old Kodak 35. The clunky metal

34 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


MIST

PHOTOGRAPHY BY PAMELA LINK

knobs and buttons clicked and twisted in her eager hands. It just felt

right. Familiar.

Each camera from that point on was treated in the same nurturing

manner of a ship captain looking after his vessel. And, similarly, her

cameras are female. One such contraption, Martha, had a long spell as

Link’s favorite, but she was run aground after a bottle of water balancing

precariously on the back seat of her car toppled. Vowing to correct her

clumsiness, the new Nikon D7000 was christened “Lady Grace,” as in

graceful. Grace and Link had a good run together. Including one morning

on the beach in Cayucos that may have caused Ansel Adams himself to

reconsider his commitment to the Yosemite Valley.

The weather report that morning called for trouble. Storms were

brewing out at sea and the waves would be pounding the rocks

sprouting from the sandy floor. Best of all, the winds would be

blowing onshore. This combination, Link knew, meant just one thing:

Mist. First scanning the scene from the pier as she faced north, the

photographer began walking, snapping shots every few feet. For a

while, before the storm touched down on the beachcombers, Cayucos

was enveloped by some other time and place—a different dimension.

If there were ever a time for black and white photography, this was it.

“I’m mesmerized by the mist,” Link shares. “And the graduated effect

you get when everything becomes more muted in the distance—it’s

just one of those mood things.” SLO LIFE

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 35


| Q&A

BE THE CHANGE

Newly elected San Luis Obispo City Councilmember ERICA A. STEWART

drove over to our office in her little electric car, which she proudly noted her

family bought used at a great price, to talk about her life and career. By day,

she is employed by Cal Poly as their Associate Director of Personnel and

Marketing for Campus Health and Wellbeing. But, afterhours, she now—for the

first time in San Luis Obispo’s 247-year history—is the first African-American

to take a seat on its city council. Here is some of what she had to say…

Let’s start by talking about where you’re from

originally, Erica. Sure. Pretty much, I’m from

Sonoma County. I was born in Oakland, but lived in

Sonoma County for most of my life. My mom was

a single mom and she moved us there when I was in

the second grade. Being one of a few half African-

American people in that community was a little bit

challenging. She took my sister and me there to keep

us as safe as possible and to get us into good schools.

When we got to Santa Rosa, we lived in an area called

Rincon Valley, which was very much like Los Ranchos

here. People had a lot of money and we didn’t. It was

a great area to grow up. It was beautiful. It was safe.

It was a wonderful climate. But, if you didn’t have

the right money, you definitely weren’t in the right

group. So, I just tried to lay as low as possible because

I already kind of stuck out and was pretty shy. I was

smart, but not honors level smart, so I was in that

weird middle place always trying to find out where

I belonged. I ended up doing theatre in junior high.

Found my little group and just hung out with them.

One of my friends from that time describes us as the

“Island of the Misfit Toys.” [laughter]

And what about college? Weren’t you the student

body president? When I went off to college, I

expected to do the same thing, but someone grabbed

me by the hand and said, “Let’s go meet everyone

in the residence hall right now.” Everyone was so

different and nothing followed me from high school.

I was no longer the person who was defined by not

having money and not being popular. I could be

whoever I wanted to be at that point. I was able to

blossom as my own self. I’ll never forget the first time

I came back home and saw a bunch of my old high

school classmates somewhere and people were like,

“What happened to you? You used to be so quiet and

shy and now you’re president of your dorm? What?”

I just kept getting involved and signing myself up for

different things and finally ended up getting elected

as the president of the ASI [student body].

Okay, what came next for you? I got married in

’97 and we were in the San Rafael area, then the

Sunnyvale area, then we came here because I thought

I had a job at Cal Poly then they had a big hiring

freeze, but we decided to go ahead and move anyway.

My husband already had a job set up, so we did it.

Then, a couple years later, we moved down to LA to

work with a dot com start-up, but that didn’t work

out, so we came back again. I got a job working at

the courthouse as an HR analyst. We used to go

over to get coffee and scones and whatnot across

the street. So, I started talking to the owner and we

just kind of went from there. He was looking for

someone to bake the coffee shop goods and I was

looking to get involved with that sort of thing at

some point in time and make a little money on the

side. It started off slow, I did it just part-time, but at

some point I jumped in all the way. I did it for about

three years full-time and probably five years total.

Tell us about the bakery. It was called Erica’s Baked

Delights; it was a wholesale bakery. I sold to coffee

shops, restaurants, and caterers. I made wedding

cakes, too. We were living in Los Osos at the time

and I had to be there at 4:30 in the morning and

would sometimes work until 10:30 at night. We all

know that it can be tough to raise kids here and have

a family because jobs aren’t always easy to come by.

So, to grow as a young family can be a real challenge.

But, you do what you have to do. Sometimes you

work two jobs, or whatever it takes. We have two

boys, one is 19 and the other is 14, and two weeks

after our youngest was born, my husband was laid

off from his job. At that point we both had to start

looking for something a little more stable. The bakery

was a great experience. It taught me so much and it

was profitable, but it just wasn’t enough to support

the whole family.

Why run for city council? I just felt that it was

time. You’ve heard that statement, “Be the change

you wish to see in the world,” numerous times.

There is nothing new about it. But, I was listening

to Obama’s farewell speech and he said, “If you

don’t like something, you have to change it.” I was

talking to a friend of mine and I was telling her

that I wanted to do something to change things,

but I didn’t know what and she said, “Have you

heard of Emerge California?” Basically, they

prepare women to run for office; it’s a candidate

training. I looked into it, but I never wanted to

be a politician, so had no desire to join. Out of

curiosity I flipped through the application and I

realized that it was something I could do to make

a difference. So, I went forward with it and did

the program. As I got into it, I really started to get

excited. Not just being a candidate, because that

was not the appealing part, but I want to do the

work—I want to make a difference. SLO LIFE

36 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


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DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 37


| NOW HEAR THIS

THE MAN BEHIND

THE MUSIC

BY SHAWN STRONG

PHOTOGRAPHY BY CLOVIS IV

38 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


here is a renaissance happening in San Luis

Obispo County. Small businesses, breweries,

and start-ups seem to pop up daily, with

a surprising number of these going on to

establish themselves within one of the oldest

Tcities in California.

In a similar fashion, SLO has become an incubator for up-andcoming

artists and musicians. With a seemingly endless number of

unique venues and an ever-growing audience base to win over, the

local scene is alive and well. Within this vibrant community, there

is a tight-knit collection of musical groups and musicians that stand

out, having long ago demonstrated their ability and staying power.

Moving further into this group, there is one local talent whose name

can be found in line-ups spanning the entirety of SLO County and

as far away as Nashville and the Pacific Northwest. A man who

hails from the unassuming north county countryside, he can only be

described as a modern-day polymath.

Brenneth Stevens, who is a Cal-Poly graduate, is just as

comfortable behind a lab bench as he is behind the multitude of

string instruments he has spent his life mastering—playing for

the enjoyment of everyday music lovers and purists alike. Candle,

Jade Jackson, Creston Line, Dead Volts, Turkey Buzzards, Cody

St. James, Matt Woods, Joe Koenig, Tipsy Gypsies, Shawn Clark

Family Band, Hilary and Kate, Ragged Jubilee, Ryan Delmore,

Chris Beland, Arthur Watership, all artists who have enlisted the

undeniable abilities of Stevens, who has graced the stages of an

equally impressive number of events such as the recent Jackalope

Fest, Live Oak Music Festival, Whalerock Music and Arts Festival,

Wanderfest, and Side of the Mountain Fest, not to mention the

countless gigs at local bars and wineries that line the Central Coast.

Stevens’ upbringing was a colorful one, with a mother and twin

sister who both are accomplished painters and photographers. And

after a childhood focused on skating and sports, an old, dusty guitar

that had laid unattended in a spare room for years grabbed his

attention. In the years following, teenage Stevens went on to tackle

the piano, guitar, mandolin, banjo, and most recently, peddle steel, a

singularly unique and remarkably difficult instrument.

Entirely self-taught, Stevens began playing in bands as young as 12

years old, eventually moving from performing impromptu shows

for friends’ birthday parties to taking gigs with artists such as Kevin

Coons and new age country band Candle at the age of 16.

Throughout high school and college, the budding musician continued

gigging locally and abroad, as well as finding work as a session musician

in recording studios throughout California. Somehow, Stevens was

also simultaneously maintaining a strenuous university course load that

eventually culminated in a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry.

Ever cool and collected, the musician/scientist continued to fulfill both

rolls after school, working in laboratories all the way from Paso Robles

to Stanford whenever he wasn’t busy traveling for his art. In considering

these achievements, the words of Bernard Williams come to mind:

“Talent is a flame. Genius is a fire.” And in 26 years, Brenneth Stevens

has managed to embody this idea, stoking a creative intelligence that

glows brighter with every passing day.

As far as future plans, Stevens is no less ambitious now than he was

in the past. But having spent the last few years on a nearly non-stop

schedule, he’s come to value balance more than ever. Subsequently, he

has pulled back ever so slightly in his musical pursuits, a space to be

filled with even more arduous activities. As a current masters student at

Stanford University, and research assistant at an established biotechnology

company, he hopes to pursue further research projects and ultimately a

PhD in either biochemical engineering or neurochemistry. An endeavor

that would be daunting on its own without taking into account the

continued gigging and recording, which Stevens insists will always be a

presence in his life no matter where his other pursuits take him—ideally,

spaced out with a little more time for reading, backpacking and living.

Despite having his sights set on brighter

pastures, Stevens and I ended our discussion

with a commitment from the former: regardless

of where his passions place him in the future,

there will always be a connection to this long

stretch of coastline that formed his talents—a

fire that continues to burn, and one that casts

a warm glow from here to wherever the artist

finds himself. And while his absence would be

a loss for the city, his gifts would shine as an

example of the extraordinary life he’s made and a

perfect representation of the unbounded pool of

possibilities that is San Luis Obispo. If you have

the opportunity, make the effort to see one of the

many incredible artists that Stevens works with,

and witness a true, local virtuoso at work. SLO LIFE

Los Angeles born, SLO County

raised, SHAWN STRONG’s

passion for the local music

scene and artists that have

created it, fuels his writing and

drives his commitment to living

the SLO LIFE.

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 39


| ON THE RISE

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Alec West

Seventeen-year-old San Luis Obispo High School

senior ALEC WEST is ready to chart his own course

into an exciting future.

What sort of extracurricular activities are you involved in? I help teach Brazilian

Jiu Jitsu to kids at a studio in Los Osos called Team Moriera Los Osos. I play guitar

in my spare time. I currently am working on playing several jazz songs from the 50s

and 60s by greats like Charlie Parker, as well as more contemporary songs by bands

like Radiohead and artists like Stevie Ray Vaughan. I’ve started performing a little at

small venues. I also am involved in the REACH Club at SLO High.

What recognition have you received? I won a Golden Tiger in math, another in

honors English, and I received a third in AP US History.

What are your interests? I love movies, especially from the periods of 1920 to 1940.

I find so much charm and happiness in movies like “Philadelphia Story” or “The

Trouble With Harry” that many contemporary films don’t quite give me.

What’s going on with you now? I’ve recently taken up climbing and have been

working on applications to several colleges.

What career do you see yourself in someday? It’s hard to completely know what I

want to do. I like reading, writing, philosophy, music, and film so it’s really a matter

of how many of those interests I can synthesize into one dream job.

What has influenced you? I think my parents always have the biggest influence

on my life. It has been their support and encouragement that has helped foster my

interests and always put me in a good head space.

What is something that most people don’t know about you? I suppose something

many don’t know about me is how much I enjoy spending time teaching children at

the Jiu Jitsu studio. It can be difficult at times to help keep the class under control,

but the amount of genuine happiness and energy that they possess always keeps me

coming back.

What sort of things do you look forward to most? I look forward to the

moment when I discover something new and interesting to learn about, whether

it’s a guitar technique or a new way of analyzing a piece of art. It fills me with

genuine excitement.

If you could go back in history and meet anyone, who would it be? I’d love to meet

someone like Carry Grant, just because he’s always so entertaining in his movies.

He was definitely a big part of my childhood experience. Also, director Fritz Lang

because he has an interesting backstory, having directed films in post-WWI Germany

before fleeing the country when it fell to fascism. He had an almost 50-year career.

What schools are you considering for college? I am currently looking at Reed

College, Santa Clara, Cal Poly, UCSB, and UCSC, as possible options. SLO LIFE

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DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 41


| MEET YOUR NEIGHBOR

42 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


BRICK &

MORTAR

Now in her 15th year at the helm of Ambiance, a women’s clothing

boutique headquartered in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo,

KANNYN JANUARY knows what it means to be a brick-and-mortar

retailer living in a digital world. She bought the then struggling business

as a 22-year-old Cal Poly senior and has expanded its operations to

include four locations. With two young boys, a husband, and 40-plus

employees on any given day, she sat down with us to talk about the

hopes and dreams and struggles and realities that go along with being a

downtown merchant. Here is her story…

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 43


44 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


et’s start from the beginning, Kannyn,

where are you from? Well, I was born in

Hesperia, and then I moved to Lancaster,

and then I moved to California City,

which most people think is a truck

stop on the way to Vegas. My parents

were divorced, so I went to live with

my dad for a few years when I was in Lhigh school. I played basketball. Growing up in the desert, we had a pool,

because everybody did. We lived outdoors a lot, even though it was 108

degrees in the summer. We rode motorcycles and we rode horses. So that

kept us pretty busy. You ended up in your car a lot, too, because we didn’t

even have a grocery store really in town. There was one stoplight when I

was a kid. I think there’s a couple more now. There was a lot of military

with the Air Force base nearby.

What did your parents do for a living? They were both in the mortgage

business, and they worked a lot. I have four half-sisters, a stepsister, and

three stepbrothers. But, they were all much older than me, so they were

already out of the house when I was growing up. I spent a lot of time

alone and was home a lot when I was younger, and probably watched

way too much television. It was my babysitter growing up. I also played a

lot of Legos. I thought I wanted to grow up to become a lawyer, then it

was a doctor. I was always trying to prove myself and ended up being a

straight-A student, Valedictorian. For college, I applied to just two schools:

San Francisco State and Cal Poly. I remember racing up to Mojave at 11:15

at night to the UPS hub to hand them my applications at the deadline. I

had to pound on the doors because they had already closed. If that guy did

not open up, I probably would not have ended up in San Luis Obispo.

What did you do once you were here? I majored in biochemistry at Cal

Poly and worked as a receptionist at a local law firm, which is when I

knew for sure that I did not want to be an attorney. One day, I walked

into a boutique downtown and one of the girls working there told me I

should apply for a sales associate position that had opened up. So, I did.

And, since my mom always told me that anything worth doing is worth

doing well, I’d stay late, I would cover shifts, and always go the extra mile.

I worked with a super, great bunch of girls and we all became really good

friends and spent a lot of time together, even outside of work. It felt like

a family. I loved my job. Then, I got promoted to Assistant Manager and

I started helping with the buying. I have always been really good at math,

so I also took on the bookkeeping. The business was really a mess, though,

and I was always trying to mitigate problems with the vendors who were

frustrated that they weren’t getting paid. The owner’s solution to every

problem was to buy more inventory and, as things spiraled downward, she

quit coming to the store. In the middle of all this, I became the Manager

and it started getting really bad. We were pulling cash from the till to

cover bounced paychecks for the employees.

Ouch… Finally, the owner had a full meltdown and said she was done,

didn’t want to do it anymore. And I said, “Well, why don’t I buy it from

you?” I was still a student, 22 years old at the time. I thought that I could

do it for a couple of years, take my MCATs and sell the store to make the

money to pay for medical school. I remember calling my dad and saying,

“I want to get an SBA loan; I want to do this.” I think I paid her $110,000

for the store, but I didn’t know how to negotiate, so all that I got was an

old computer system and some cheap hangers and racks. I basically bought

her out of debt, so that I could continue business with some of these

vendors. I started remodeling the store before the loan came through, so I

financed the construction with my credit cards and my student loans. My

mom would come visit and she would take me to Costco and buy me hot

dogs, and beans, and tortillas. I lived off that for a very long time.

Okay, when exactly was this happening? So, this was back in 2004 and

the previous year Ambiance did one million in sales. In my first year as

the owner, I did $220,000. I learned the hard way that you should never

buy a business then change everything to make it your own, which I did.

We painted the store gray and said, “Oh, let’s make it more Euro,” so

we brought in all this modern Danish. After that hard lesson, I painted

the walls pink and made it more feminine and we climbed back up to

$550,000 in sales that next year. We were all doing high-fives. And

somewhere around that time my husband and I had a baby. So, although

we weren’t losing money anymore at this point, we still were not making

any either. I called my dad and cried a lot, then I fired everyone and ran

the store by myself. I had two friends that would help me do stuff for

clothes, but I had no employees. It was a tough time, but I committed

myself to watching five minutes of “The Secret” each morning before

going to work. I know it sounds cheesy, but on my way there, I would

tell myself over and over, “I just gotta make this work.” My husband,

Colby, was still in school at the time at Cal Poly and was working

nights at Big Sky. I worked with all my vendors and called the utility

companies to ask them, “What’s the very least I can pay this month and

still keep the lights on?”

How did you turn the corner? We slowly dug our way out. I cut my

inventory way back, while still maintaining whatever volume we were

doing at the time, something like $40,000 per month back then. But it

was a massive amount of work. I steamed all the clothes, tagged all the

merchandise, did the sales and service. Then, when Colby went to work

he would drop off our son, Hayden, and he would be with me for three

or four hours in the store. He would just run around with me. He had a

little playpen, but he liked to crawl around and then, when he could walk,

I’d chase him around the racks. He loved to take the garment roll and

unroll it and slide on it. We spent a lot of time together at that point out

of necessity. It was challenging, but I kept reminding myself that we’re not

living in poverty somewhere in India. My child is healthy. I’m healthy. My

husband is healthy. We have a roof over our heads. We can put food on the

table. Really, life is great. I just kept saying that out loud until I believed it.

And it became true.

When did things really start to click? It was one day when a girl was

shopping in my store. She was just super charismatic. She could have

started a cult, if she wanted to. Beautiful. And super positive. I asked

her if she was looking for a job and she said she was actually going to be

moving to town in a couple of months. When she came on board, she and

I worked together and we nearly doubled the business that year doing

almost $900,000 in sales, which was a huge jump. It was a challenge just

to buy enough merchandise for the racks. She ended up leaving for New

York and then marrying someone from Montecito. When she settled back

in that area, she ran my Montecito store for a while but has since moved

on. That is the number one challenge: finding great employees. It’s just so

hard to hire right now.

Why is that? I don’t know where everybody is. I don’t know if people are

just not needing to work, or if there are too many businesses in the area

hiring that the remaining pool is very, very shallow; but it’s crazy, I have

never had that issue here in SLO. In Mill Valley, yes, where people are

making a half-million dollars working at Google, but not here in SLO. >>

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 45


This is something new. In the last five years, I have had so many no-shows

for interviews. They’ll send their resume over and then we’ll set up a time

to meet and they don’t even bother to show up. It used to be that you had

to dress up, pound the pavement going from one business to the next,

ask if they were hiring and fill out an application, then sit down for an

interview. Now, they just fill out a form online and press a button. There’s

no commitment and very little effort. We’re losing something with all this

convenience. It drives me crazy.

Other than hiring, what are the other challenges? Right now, it’s foot

traffic. You’ve got to have great employees for when people come into the

store, but first they have to come into the store. If they are not coming

in, it does not matter how great your employees are. And, of course, the

Internet’s always been a big competitor for those of us in brick-andmortar

businesses. It used to be that the holidays were always retail’s

busiest time of the year, to the point where people would save that money

and it would get them through the next six months of business. It’s not

that way anymore. Christmas is not our busiest time. It’s because people

have slowly started shopping more online. I think downtown SLO,

specifically, I think the parking situation is becoming a nightmare. Did

you hear what they started doing? They’re putting in new machines that

are taking a picture of your license plate each hour. So, after two hours,

even if you put money in the meter, you will still be ticketed. It’s a $50

ticket. It’s a huge cash grab for the city. There’s been really no mention of

it in the news. I’ve had several customers come in pretty pissed. They’re

like, “This is why I don’t go downtown anymore.” We saw that the summer

months this year were soft in terms of foot traffic, and there was a big

drop off last month for the first time in a long time.

Okay, so what is the formula for success in retail? You need to work on

hitting your goals, and having growth. You need to know what your break

even is, because there’s a break even number for every business. You need

to understand your costs, your overhead. And in retail, it comes down

to inventory. Too much inventory and your cash is tied up and you’re in

trouble, too little and you are missing your opportunity for additional

sales. You’ve got to turn that inventory over at least six times a year. The

challenge for us is that we have to buy eight or nine months in advance,

so you have to forecast what the fashions will be and what the economy

will be like into the future. But, none of that matters if, like I said before,

you don’t also have great employees and strong foot traffic. And, of course,

there is scale. You can always scale it out by adding more stores.

What does the future hold for you? I never thought I would do this

forever, but then I got better at doing it. Then I opened a second store,

then a third, and a fourth. I don’t think there will be a fifth, but you never

know. I mean, I’m an entrepreneur, and if the right opportunity presented >>

46 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019



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itself it would be really hard to walk away. Ultimately, though, I started

doing this because of the people I worked with, then it became about

helping women look good and feel better about themselves. But, I do feel

like we’re over consuming as a country, as a whole. It’s a moral dilemma

for me in many ways. I’m here asking myself, “How do we sell more

units and at higher average dollar sales?” while at the same time I worry

about being part of an unhealthy culture that puts so much emphasis on

consumer spending. I certainly don’t think that materialism is the answer,

but I also see how much of a difference a beautiful new outfit can make

for someone who just lost 20 pounds or beat cancer or got a promotion. It

can be very empowering for women, and that’s really what drives me more

than anything else.

And, how about outside of business? As I get older, I think more and

more that I just want to be with my family. Bake cookies and help with

the school carnival and coach basketball and not have to worry about

getting sued by a disgruntled employee. At the same time, I want to be

able to pay for my kids to go to college. And I want for us to take a family

vacation. Again, it comes back to quality employees, which is something

that I worry about, quite frankly. What you are getting with applicants

today is not even what you would have gotten ten or even five years ago. I

don’t know what happened with this generation of kids, but they just do

not have the work ethic and they don’t have the ability to solve problems

on their own. I mean, I have had employees that don’t even know how to

address an envelope, that don’t know how to clean a bathroom, or how to

sweep or mop. I feel like their parents have certainly meant well, but have

done a tremendous disservice. That’s why I won’t let my own kids have

smart phones. I read an article in The New York Times that talked about all

these high-powered Silicon Valley executives who don’t allow their kids

near any of these electronics they are creating. So why should I? It must

drive my kids’ teachers crazy, but I always insist they get actual books for

their homework, not computer assignments. I’ve seen too much downside

that has come with all things digital. I feel like they are distracting us from

what is important, and stimulating us like a drug.

>>

48 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


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What about you—don’t you ever go online? I do actually, I go on

YouTube and watch fly-fishing instructional videos. [laughter] I grew up

around horses and wide-open spaces and I sometimes daydream about

selling it all and buying a ranch in Montana, maybe opening a little coffee

shop there. I don’t think I would ever do it, but I need to figure out how

to reduce my stress level right now. If I were a pot of water I would be

boiling constantly. I think I need to just go learn to fly-fish; it just looks

so Zen. The other thing that helps is playing Nerf gun wars with my boys.

Sometimes that will be the best 20 minutes of my day. I’ll laugh, and let

go. I won’t think about anything else. Other than that, I’m always working.

Whether it is working at being a better mom, or a better business owner,

or a better wife, it’s difficult to do all three at the same time. Someone

once asked me, “Do any of them suffer?” I had to think about it for a

minute, because it was a tough question, and I said, “Yes, but never at the

same time.” It’s a hard thing for me to admit because I put a lot of pressure

on myself, but it is true.

What else are you thinking about these days? No matter what, I really

focus on staying positive. I tell my kids all the time, “What we think about

we bring about.” I think my gift is that I like to learn. I can see other

people’s talents, and I just want to learn from them. I think that a lot of

business owners struggle with that. Instead, they struggle by themselves

trying to carry the entire load on their own shoulders. I’m always telling

people, “Tell me what you know.” I want to learn from everyone’s mistakes

and successes. I believe that’s why we’re all here, to support each other. We

die in isolation. We really do need community. SLO LIFE

50 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


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DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 51


| FAMILY

ROLL ON

DOWNTOWN

BY PADEN HUGHES

I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy.

Busy doing the same stuff over and over again.

That’s why sometimes you just have to shake it

up a bit. Turn things upside down. Inside out.

And do it different. Play.

Enter Big SLO Bike.

Let me back up for a minute and put the emphasis on

“big,” because I am about to share the story of a really

big bike. Really big. As in 15-people big. And that, in a

nutshell, is what Big SLO Bike is, a super humongous

bike riding around downtown San Luis Obispo. You may

have spotted it already and wondered, “What is that?”

While it looks more like a tiny school bus without an

engine and without side panels, plus everyone faces

in toward one another, the passengers actually power

the vehicle by peddling along. At the front, behind a

steering wheel is a driver, who also serves as the tour

guide depending on where you want to go and what you

want to do. Currently, the company offers three different

options: microbreweries, wine and bites, and something

they call just cruisin’. Each one of them lasts for about

two-and-half-hours. And, for me, it was exactly the twoand-a-half

hours that I needed.

After some quick instructions, which essentially boiled

down to something like, “Hold on, pedal, have fun,” we

found ourselves gliding into a parking spot in front of the

Barrelhouse Brewing Speakeasy on Chorro Street. After

passing by the barber chair at street level we headed

downstairs for a pint of IPA, which hit the spot after

the short burst of activity on the big bike. Many of us in

our group talked about the unique perspective offered by

pedaling around downtown. None of us had ever seen

Higuera quite the same way, and I doubt we will again—

at least until our next night out with Big SLO Bike.

Brought to life by the local trio of Wes Zimmerman,

Johnny May, and Jay Winter, their new business is as

unique as it is invigorating. There is just something about

pushing those pedals in unison that brings everyone

together. And what they are doing, even if it is on a

very small scale, should be commended—our carbon

footprint that night was microscopic. It inspired some

of us in my group to think about how we could expand

upon it, perhaps reaching for our own bicycles more

often than we do now. And that’s where things usually

start, with a conversation.

The next stop was Libertine. On the way there I was

struck by the number of people walking along the

sidewalks who stopped to watch us sail through—28

pistons pumping as one, propelling us forward. With

each turn of the crank, I felt a little more stress release.

Another frosty pint and we hopped back on the bus

and pedaled our way down Higuera toward Old San

Luis BBQ Co. for dinner. Tri-tip sandwiches are

quintessential SLO, and these did not disappoint the

hungry crowd.

Although my daughter is too young, right now, too

little to reach the pedals, I would absolutely recommend

Big SLO Bike as a family outing. And since there

are 14 seats on the bus, it would mean either a very

large family or perhaps a small family reunion in some

cases, and most likely some combination of family and

friends. But, the thing I love about it is that it fits all

shapes and sizes, all ages and abilities. There is nothing

to it. Just as the tour guide instructed, you really just

hold on, pedal, and have

fun. As long as you can

reach the pedals, it only

requires a very minimal

level of fitness to join in.

An 8-year-old could very

comfortably sit next to an

80-year old, granddaughter

and grandfather, and have

a blast enjoying downtown

San Luis Obispo together;

slowing down and seeing

things—and one another—

PADEN HUGHES is

co-owner of Gymnazo

in a whole new light.

and enjoys exploring

Which is the entire point

the Central Coast.

of Big SLO Bike. SLO LIFE

52 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


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DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 53


| DWELLING

54 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


Living

with Grace

Did a tiny San Luis Obispo non-profit just find

an answer to the housing crisis?

BY TOM FRANCISKOVICH

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 55


he unmistakable smell of marijuana guides

me to the mayor’s front door.

As I make my way through the stone

path leading up to the courtyard gate, I

quickly pass by the lending library first

and then three dozen or so assorted Tgarden ornaments ranging from placards inscribed with New Age

affirmations to various forms of Catholic iconography.

I was running a few minutes late to the interview and, with the

camera bouncing on my hip, I leaned over the fence to spy Heidi

Harmon sitting there with her omnipresent red rose clipped to

her blouse flanked on her left by an older woman whom I did not

recognize. She had the most magnificent head of hair I have seen

in my life so far. Seated on either side of the chair waiting for me

were two executives from the non-profit HomeShare SLO which

is attempting to solve San Luis Obispo’s housing crisis one room

at a time.

After saying, “Hello,” I clicked my voice recorder to the “On”

position. Harmon, who was then embroiled in a bitter re-election

campaign, was drained. The race was taking a toll. I could sense the

tension rising along with the pacing of her speech when I asked her about

how things were going. That’s when Grace grabbed her hand. And, for the

hour we visited, she did not let go.

Grace Swanson, who is 89 years old, rents a room to Harmon in the

Laguna Lake Mobile Home Estates, which is just off of Los Osos Valley

Road on the north end of town. The term “mobile home” is a bit of a

misnomer in this case, because it feels more like a well kept mountain

cabin retreat than it does something with wheels attached to it. It would

look perfectly natural had it sat somewhere on the slopes overlooking Big

Sur, which, as it turns out, makes perfect sense.

Although one of six of her siblings who lived through the Great

Depression, Swanson soon found herself married to a successful

businessman and living in a 27-room mansion in Pennsylvania. One

day, as she tells the story, she looked around the empty expanse and said

to herself, “Is this all that there is?” One thing led to another and she

ended up at the Esalen Institute teaching yoga on the cliffs above the

mighty Pacific. There she met Bob Swanson, an athlete visiting from San

Luis Obispo. After first living in a hollowed-out tree trunk, the couple

made their way back to the Central Coast where they began remaking >>

56 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


www.idlershome.com

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 57


the doublewide into something that felt more

appropriate for 1960s-era nature-loving hippies.

Life became a series of experimentation.

Vegetarianism. Veganism. Fasting (Swanson once

fasted for 42 days, an experience she recalls as “pure

rapture”). Sun gazing (she describes it as “my food

and my medicine”). Mountain running. And, of

course, marijuana.

Harmon is quick to cite the new city statutes as it

pertains to personal cultivation of marijuana plants,

“You can legally grow up six plants on your own

property.” And, Swanson interjects noting that she

would tear out her allotment immediately if it put the

mayor in any sort of political jeopardy. And, most of

the time, you would not know the difference, but on

that afternoon the breeze was wafting through just as

they were reaching full bloom.

The shift in Harmon’s demeanor and her posture

were visible after her housemate clasped her

hand. The subject was housing and the mayor was

describing the rancor over the two new massive

housing projects planned for the south end of town

known as San Luis Ranch and Avila Ranch. “We

need to do that,” she said as if on the campaign

stump, “but there is also this way, too.” By “this way,”

she was referring to how she and Swanson are doing

it: home sharing.

The concept is as simple as it is innovative.

Someone, generally an older resident, lives in a

home with an extra room or two. Another person,

often younger and with a lower income, needs a

place to live. You put them together and—presto!—

that is where the magic happens.

When Stephanie Teaford worked at Cal Poly as

a Community Liaison, this concept became a

no-brainer. Her eyes were opened to the power of

this combination and she could not let the idea go,

which is why she joined the team at HomeShare

SLO. Their mission is simple: Find more people like

Heidi and Grace and put them together. Building

massive new, sprawling suburban neighborhoods is

the old way of doing business. Home sharing is the >>

58 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 59


new way. Except it’s not new—they have been doing

this in Europe for generations, particularly when

it comes to university students, which makes it all

the more intriguing in a college town such as San

Luis Obispo. Teaford leans forward in her seat as

she ticks off the many problems her agency solves,

primarily that it “helps people stay in their homes

as they age while bringing in extra income, as well.”

But, it may be the intangible effects where the

previously referred to magic comes in to play.

Although the organization pairs candidates and

available rooms—they refer to the parties as “seekers”

and “providers,” respectively—through an extensive

vetting and training process, complete with an exit

plan and mediation in the event things do not work

out, it is those everyday human interactions where

the magic is found. Harmon describes coming home

late feeling bruised and bloodied after a particularly

contentious city council meeting to find a note from

her housemate, which read: “I love you and adore you.

Have a great day, Grace.”

It was not long after Harmon started her first term

as mayor that she received a perplexing voicemail

message. She reckoned that it was the voice of

an older woman, and she was amazed to learn

that she slept outdoors, under the stars. The caller

complained that the jets flying overhead were

polluting the environment, and could you please do

something in your position as mayor to put an end

to it? Harmon hung up, shook her head, and asked

herself, “Am I also in charge of the air traffic over

the city?” Those first few months at city hall were

akin to drinking water from a fire hose, and it would

not have surprised her had she been responsible

for those airliners, too. She called the woman back

and the two had a pleasant conversation, but, in

the end, the mayor only wields so much power and

her jurisdiction, she explained, did not include the

stratosphere.

That woman, who she then affectionately referred

to as “Jet Lady,” was Swanson. And she still sleeps

outside across the yard from her half-dozen

marijuana plants. A year or so later after that first

phone call, by chance, Harmon bumped into Jet >>

Lady at a gathering hosted by Linnaea Phillips,

60 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


181 TANK FARM ROAD . SUITE 140 . SAN LUIS OBISPO . CA . 805-543-7600

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 61


who previously owned Linnaea’s Café on Garden And the bond, as it turns out, runs both ways. Harmon talks of her adventures in fasting,

Street in downtown San Luis Obispo. Those “She got me to do it for three days, nothing but water. Usually, I only fast for about 15

gatherings have become legendary among the minutes.” And Swanson describes her newfound fascination with the political process.

older, local intellectual set, who referred to them as “I’m not a politician, but I’m learning something that is really essential from Heidi. I just

Linnaea’s Salons. It was at one of those salons that think that she is so courageous to do this work.” That last comment lingers in the air for a

the mayor found herself under the spell of Jet Lady, long pause before I ask one final question of the pair, the seeker and the provider, “What

and the two began forming the beginnings of a is the best part about doing a home share?” Without hesitation, Swanson offers the

bond which appears to deepen with each day. answer: “We take care of each other.” SLO LIFE

62 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


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DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 63


| SLO CITY

REAL ESTATE

BY THE NUMBERS

laguna

lake

tank

farm

cal poly

area

country

club

down

town

foothill

blvd

johnson

ave

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

Total Homes Sold

Average Asking Price

Average Selling Price

Sales Price as a % of Asking Price

Average # of Days on the Market

2017

56

$700,977

$691,977

98.72%

28

2017

21

$810,942

$802,233

98.93%

23

2017

28

$793,596

$784,964

98.91%

29

2017

13

$1,259,466

$1,213,719

96.37%

53

2017

75

$763,982

$759,129

99.36%

45

2017

46

$770,223

$756,495

98.22%

27

2017

46

$780,270

$776,033

99.46%

32

2018

51

$850,955

$837,179

98.38%

36

2018

19

$883,516

$875,590

99.34%

40

2018

31

$1,033,591

$996,653

96.43%

31

2018

18

$1,224,938

$1,181,888

96.49%

79

2018

45

$903,642

$893,827

98.91%

54

2018

38

$892,397

$878,261

98.42%

29

2018

53

$884,187

$867,789

98.15%

45

+/-

-8.93%

21.40%

20.98%

-0.34%

28.57%

+/-

-9.52%

8.95%

9.14%

0.41%

73.91%

+/-

10.71%

30.24%

26.97%

-2.48%

6.90%

+/-

38.46%

-2.74%

-2.62%

0.12%

49.06%

+/-

-40.00%

18.28%

17.74%

-0.45%

20.00%

+/-

-17.39%

15.86%

16.10%

0.20%

7.41%

+/-

15.22%

13.32%

11.82%

-1.31%

40.63%

*Comparing 01/01/17 - 11/20/17 to 01/01/18 - 11/20/18

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE

64 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


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| SLO COUNTY

REAL ESTATE

REGION

Arroyo Grande

BY THE NUMBERS

NUMBER OF

HOMES SOLD

2017

290

2018

286

AVERAGE DAYS

ON MARKET

2017

58

2018

50

MEDIAN SELLING

PRICE

2017

$782,542

2018

$764,369

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Atascadero

362

321

55

47

$556,648

$573,611

Avila Beach

15

14

79

73

$1,064,667

$1,211,691

Cambria/San Simeon

141

148

83

76

$710,141

$754,678

Cayucos

54

48

114

86

$1,089,833 $1,091,115

Creston

13

10

71

153

$787,000

$949,100

Grover Beach

151

119

43

44

$523,150

$534,509

Ben Lerner

Mortgage Advisor

NMLS 395723

805.441.9486

blerner@opesadvisors.com

1212 Marsh St., Suite 1

San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

Los Osos

Morro Bay

Nipomo

Oceano

118

132

233

46

147

132

267

43

35

61

60

52

37

62

51

50

$614,737

$688,047

$632,327

$448,413

$650,300

$737,531

$674,884

$511,098

Pismo Beach

132

131

55

79

$1,060,773

$975,314

Paso (Inside City Limits)

413

357

42

35

$484,536

$499,626

Paso (North 46 - East 101)

44

54

49

48

$489,906

$509,770

Paso (North 46 - West 101)

85

102

98

92

$515,143

$691,213

Paso (South 46 - East 101)

53

50

71

59

$698,495

$702,730

© 2018 Opes Advisors, A Division of Flagstar Bank

Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

San Luis Obispo

315

294

34

43

$791,921

$933,953

* Borrower must open a checking or savings account with Flagstar to participate. Eligible borrowers

include: a Medical Resident (with educational license), Doctor of Medicine (MD), Doctor of

Dental Surgery (DDS), Doctor of Dental Medicine or Surgeon (DMD), Doctor of Optometry (OD),

Doctor of Ophthalmology (MD), Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Doctor of Podiatric Medicine

(DPM), Nurse Anesthetist, Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Attorney, Certified

Public Accountant (CPA), Veterinarian, and ATP (Airline Transport Pilot). With an adjustable-rate

mortgage (ARM), your 5/1 loan will have an initial fixed-rate period of 60 months and your 7/1

loan will have an initial fixed-rate period of 84 months.

After the fixed rate period, your interest rate will adjust up or down according to market rates at

the time of the reset. Rate is variable after the fixed-rate period and subject to change once every

year for the remaining life of the loan.

This is not a commitment to lend. Programs available to qualified borrowers. Subject to credit

approval, underwriting approval and lender terms and conditions. Programs subject to change

without 66 notice. | Primary SLO residence LIFE only. MAGAZINE Restrictions may apply. | DEC/JAN 2019

Santa Margarita

Templeton

Countywide

16

104

2,656

15

108

2,518

*Comparing 01/01/17 - 11/20/17 to 01/01/18 - 11/20/18

33 95 $412,988 $424,600

67 79 $714,771 $819,052

54 53 $649,892 $698,084

SOURCE: San Luis Obispo Association of REALTORS ®

SLO LIFE


At Semmes & Co. Builders,

we are guided by environment.

As pioneering green builders on California’s Central Coast,

we believe in building responsible, healthy and inspiring

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805-440-4593

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 67


SPONSORED

GARDEN STREET is nestled in the HEART of San Luis Obispo—a beautiful

historic street recently reimagined and redesigned. Only locally owned businesses line our

beautiful street, a unique detail. We invite you to spend a little time strolling our relaxing new

street and see what our Garden Street businesses can offer you and yours this holiday season!

FANTASTICO!!!

Argentinian designer, Rocio G, created this amazing handbag

with its western/southwestern vibe. Individually handcrafted, no

two are alike. Only the finest leathers and select materials as

well as hand stitching are used when creating these amazing

works of art. Rocio G can be purchased in Montecito or if you’re

lucky, this one at Finders Keepers!

VEGAN DESSERTS AT LINNAEA’S CAFE

All it takes is a phone call to place an order for crowdpleasing

holiday desserts. Pies, cakes and cupcakes are

all available in classic, vegan and gluten free options.

Prices Vary // Linnaea’s Cafe

1110 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo

(805) 541-5888 // linnaeas.com

This one of the many fabulous treasures that can be found at

Finders Keepers. Boots, cashmeres and the latest designer

jeans are just a few of the things you can look forward to in this

luxury, ever changing, consignment boutique.

Contact for Pricing // Finders Keepers Consignment Boutique

1124 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo

(805) 545-9879 // slofinderskeepers@gmail.com

GARDEN STREET - The Heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo

68 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


SPONSORED

CLEAN LINES AND REFRESHING DESIGNS

Baxter Moerman is a boutique manufacturer of handcrafted fine

jewelry. Offering a full showroom of refreshing creations made

with recycled gold and platinum, created one-by-one in our

Garden Street studio. Modern classic jewelry. Made fresh daily.

Prices Vary // Baxter Moerman // 1128 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo

(805) 801-9117 // baxtermoerman.com

RELAXATION & REJUVENATION

AT SPA SERRA

Introducing Michele Mignone, a Central Coast native excited

about her return to SLO County to join the Hotel Serra team

as Spa Manager. Michele’s passion for creating relaxing and

rejuvenating experiences will be more than fulfilled with the

opening of SLO’s first Downtown luxury spa. Drawing inspiration

from the vast kelp forests, the Quiet Room at the 4,000-square-foot

Spa Serra features mesmerizing, semi-transparent bubbling walls.

More info can be found at HotelSerra.com

Hotel Serra Coming 2019

1125 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo

hotelserra.com

CURLY GIFTS

Don’t forget those with curly hair on your naughty and

nice list! Salon62 with its DevaCurl-trained stylists is the

place for the place curly ringlets.

A GIFT OF COMFORT AND LIGHT

This holiday season, give the timeless gift of

comforting aroma with certified organic ginger and

ginger lily and other pure flower and plant essences.

$42 // Salon62

1112 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo

(805) 543-2060 // salon62.com

GARDEN STREET - The Heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 69


SPONSORED

COME ONE! COME ALL!

Hotel Serra has just begun accepting bookings for Fall 2019!

Visit HotelSerra.com to book your stay in one of our luxurious rooms

and be one of the first to experience this long-awaited oasis on the

most charming street in the heart of Downtown SLO.

Hotel Serra Coming 2019

1125 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo

hotelserra.com

MODERN AND ELEGANT

Straight from Spain, velvety gold to rough diamond.

Distinguished styles starting at $99.

FROM ICE TO FIRE!

Gem collectors love the refreshing cool color of the

Tanzanian Merelani Mint Garnet. Don’t forget to ask about

its “party trick.” We’ll show you how to make it blush! Prices

vary depending on piece.

Garden Street Goldsmiths & Estate Jewelry

(805) 543-8186

1114 & 1118 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo

GardenStreetGoldsmiths.com

WINTER IS COMING TO LA LOCANDA!

Expect classical favorites like our Osso Bucco Milanese and

rotating Italian varietals by the glass to ward off the chill.

Not ready to let summer go just quite yet? We understand!

And will have our Roasted Vegetariana Pizza waiting for

you, regardless of the forecast. Holiday booking available for

parties! Please call ahead for hours and details.

Prices vary // La Locanda

1137 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo

(805) 548-1750 // lalocandaslo.com

GARDEN STREET - The Heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo

70 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


SPONSORED

FROM TRADITIONAL

TO CONTEMPORARY

Marshalls Jewelers has been

proud to present the very

best in Fine Jewelry to San

Luis Obispo since 1889. This

Holiday Season we will have

the largest selection in our

history. Be sure to stop by and

find that perfect something for

someone special!

Contact for Pricing

Marshalls Jewelers

751 Higuera Street

San Luis Obispo

(805) 543-3431

marshalls1889.com

LET THERE BE LIGHT

San Luis Traditions has two very unique lamps

in stock that will guarantee your holiday to be

merry and bright: Santa Barbara Lamp, which

has a blue and white pattern of that is Spanish

inspired and gives any room a worldly and

well-traveled impression. It’s just perfect for

the Central Coast. And, there’s the Steampunk

Lamp, which is part of their Gun Metal Collection

and makes a statement by combining interior

design and steam punk fantasy. Each work

of art embraces dark and light finishes, mixed

with a whimsical shape—an excellent industrial

accent for your home.

Inquire for pricing // San Luis Traditions

748 Marsh Street, San Luis Obispo

(805) 541-8500 // sanluistradtions.com

JOURNEY FOR THE SENSES

Fromagerie Sophie is a European-inspired cheese shop with a fabulous selection

of cheese from all over the world; as well as artisanal charcuterie, pâtés, and

specialty accoutrement. The little shop on Garden Street takes great pleasure in

helping people discover the unexpectedly complex and wondrous world of cheese,

as visitors are transported on a sensory journey all within their four walls.

Prices vary // Fromagerie Sophie

1129 Garden Street, San Luis Obispo

(805) 503-0805 // fromageriesophie.com

GARDEN STREET - The Heart of Downtown San Luis Obispo

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 71


Sea-

Buck

thorn

| HEALTH

The

Ancient

Berry for

Health

and

Beauty

By now, we are used to it—desensitized. One by one, we

learn of the new miracle cure, the gotta-have-it thing

growing in some exotic rainforest somewhere, the fruit or

berry or nut or grain that they—whomever “they” happen

to be—tell us we must be eating now. Everything from açaí

berries to wheatgrass to almonds to sardines has taken a

turn as a superfood. And, as it turns out, they were right—

they are all super. Nature has a way of being perfect. It does not require someone

in a white lab coat looking through the viewfinder of a microscope to tell us so. All

around us, particularly in the cornucopia that is the Central Coast, we are surrounded

by superfoods. It’s only when we mess with it, process it, interject some sort of

industrial technique that it loses its “super-ness.”

Many thousands of years ago, those living in the shadows of the mighty Himalayas

learned something about a humble little berry growing in bushes at 12,000 feet that

seemed impervious to the altitude and the unrelenting pounding of the weather. First

recorded in the Tibetan book of healing arts called “Sibu Yi Dian,” going back 13

centuries from now, that little berry, known as Sea-Buckthorn, consumed one-third of

its pages. Hailed for its medicinal uses, and revered as a

holy fruit, it was thought to rejuvenate and restore those

who were nurtured by its oil.

Through the march of time, Sea-Buckthorn made its

way to the Ancient Greeks, whose legendary soldiers

took the berries to sustain themselves in combat and to

more quickly recover from their wounds. Later, none

other Genghis Khan himself force-fed his massive fleet

of warhorses by mixing the oil into their hay. Those

animals became immortalized in the annals of history

for their “brilliant luster.” Soon, the newly conquered

populations framing the Caspian Sea were introduced to

the “miracle berries” that had been consumed with great

enthusiasm by the visiting marauders. It was not long

before women living in the sun-drenched region noted,

not only the undeniable health benefits, but also a few

unexpected side effects.>>

72 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 73


#2

THE FORGOTTEN

FATTY ACID: OMEGA 7

We have been told about Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty

acids, but did you know there is an Omega 7, too?

Actually, it may surprise you to know that there are

11 essential fatty acids in all. And, just why do we use

that word “essential” when referring to this family of

compounds? There are two reasons: We’ve got to have

them and our bodies do not produce them—they have

to come from somewhere else. We know now that

Omega 6s are everywhere in our modern diet, coming

mostly from grains. Omega 3s are a little harder to

come by, which is why so many of us take fish oil

supplements. Omega 7s, also known as Palmitoleic

Acid, are rarer still, but it is found in abundance in, you

guessed it, Sea-Buckthorn.

#1

IT’S ALL ABOUT

INFLAMMATION

It is becoming more and more clear that most diseases come as a

result of high inflammation. So, it would seem logical that if you

can find a way to reduce inflammation, you will also reduce the

incidence of disease. Sea-Buckthorn is brilliant at doing just that.

Calming the body’s immune response, in other words, inflammation,

is top of the list for the little miracle berry, but it is not entirely clear

as to why that is the case. With a total of 190 known compounds, it

may be that it is the combination of them working together more so

than any single ingredient that we always seem to be searching for in

an effort to isolate and manufacture it into a pill.

#3

YOUR HEART WILL

THANK YOU

Again, it’s that Palmitoleic Acid, or Omega

7, that steps up to do its thing for our

blood vessels and heart, and all those things

working together—ba bump, ba bump—day

in and day out keep us going. Two results, in

particular, have been documented by people

supplementing with Sea-Buckthorn: 1) a

reduction in the so-called “bad cholesterol”

and 2) an overall improvement of vessel

quality, meaning they become more smooth

and supple. Both things, of course, lead to a

more efficient system, which allows the heart

to not have to work nearly as hard because it

is not having to push all that blood through a

network of vessels resisting it with every beat.

74 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


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1238 MONTEREY ST SUITE 110 | SAN LUIS OBISPO | (805) 542-9500 | WWW.EASTWELLBEING.COM

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 75


#4

REGENERATION AND REJUVENATION

ATTENTION

While the Ancient Greeks were drinking the oil to recover from their latest battle, their

wives were sneaking swigs of the magic elixir themselves. In both cases, the properties of Sea-

Buckthorn were allowing cells to restore and rebuild. Not only were the bruises disappearing

more quickly, so too were the little wrinkles and sun-damaged skin. Hair, just like the manes

on Genghis Khan’s warhorses, became more lustrous as fingernails were elongated and

strengthened. In addition to drinking the oil, it did not take long before it was discovered

that slathering it directly onto to skin healed sunburns more quickly and also served as an

effective moisturizer.

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76 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019

#5

LESS WEIGHT, MORE ENERGY

In the same way that Sea-Buckthorn has been shown to improve the internal

walls of the blood vessels, it is also known to rebuild and repair the lining

of the small intestine. Increasingly, health researchers are zeroing in on the

importance of a healthy gut, and anything we can do to improve this area would

be considered a good thing. But wait, there’s more! Omega 7 signals the body to

stop storing fat and clinical studies show that this essential fatty acid, so often

deficient in modern humans, helps restore insulin sensitivity and restore and

regulate the hormonal imbalances that lead to metabolic syndrome. SLO LIFE


VARICOSE & SPIDER VEIN TREATMENT

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DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 77


| TASTE

SLICE, SLICE,

BABY

Pizza in SLO County runs the gamut of styles, but one thing’s for certain:

we take our pies pretty seriously here.

BY JAIME LEWIS

he comedian Aparna Nancherla once Tweeted: “Any

pizza can be a personal one if you cry while you eat it.”

TActually, I’ve found that pizza is always personal. Ask anyone about

their pizza preferences, and they’ll talk your ear off: thin crust, deep

dish, foldability, pineapple (yes or no?), toppings... and don’t even

get them started on pizza’s relationship to ranch dressing.

In my research for this column, I visited three restaurants with

a stake in the pizza game: Woodstock’s in San Luis Obispo, Tin

Canteen in Paso Robles, and Klondike Pizza in Arroyo Grande.

And yes, that means I missed several extremely good pizzerias,

some of them foundational to the Central Coast’s pizza story

78 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019

(e.g. Del’s Pizzeria in Pismo Beach, Marv’s

in Paso Robles), and some of them new and

crushing it (e.g. Flour House in SLO, which

I’ve already covered in this column before, and

Grover Beach Sourdough deep-dish pizza out

of Grover Beach, which is made only for popup

pizza nights).

My goal here is never to provide an exhaustive list

of our local culinary resources but, instead, to offer

three examples of different styles of cuisine. And

I’ve certainly found different styles in these three

pizzerias, no matter how you slice it. >>

JAIME LEWIS writes about

food, drink, and the good

life from her home in San

Luis Obispo. Find her on

Instagram/Twitter @jaimeclewis.


Drought-inspired landscapes that entertain.

visit gardensbygabriel.com -or- call 805.215.0511

An activity of Gardens by Gabriel, Inc. · License No. 887028

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 79


THE HANGOUT

Remember The Peach Pit from Beverly Hills 90210?

The Peach Pit is to Beverly Hills as Woodstock’s Pizza

is to SLO: the consummate student hangout, as much a

purveyor of tasty pies as it is of nostalgia. Just mention it to

a Cal Poly alum and watch his or her eyes mist over.

What makes Woodstock’s so popular? “We think we

make pretty good pizza,” said President and Co-Owner

Jeff Ambrose. Indeed, Woodstock’s excels at pizza with a

chewy, pillowy crust, tangy-sweet sauce and a wealth of

toppings. But with its recent extension into an adjoining

space called The Backyard, the downtown SLO icon is also

a group- and family-friendly spot to celebrate, hang, and

play, too, with multiple beers on tap and a newly expanded

menu of flavor combinations.

As for flavors, classic choices like Hawaiian and veggie

pizza are served alongside new options like All ‘Choked Up

(garlic sauce, spinach, mozzarella, roasted garlic, artichoke

hearts, parmesan and bacon) and Kickin’ Carnitas (chipotle

sauce, carnitas, bacon, red onions and cilantro)—a style

Ambrose is into lately, saying, “If you’ve eaten pizza as long

as I have, you like something different sometimes.” >>

80 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


We Are

Moving!

smart, eclectic, art to live on

3076 Duncane Lane . San Luis Obispo

805 549 0100

1599 Monterey Street | 805.544.5900 | sloconsignment.com

(at the corner of Grove Street, across from Pepe Delgados)

Open Monday - Saturday 10-6pm

Transform your space with a remodel customized to your needs.

Visit our kitchen

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In-House Designers

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Wine Cellars

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Contractor’s License 940512

111 South Street

San Luis Obispo

(805) 543-9900

slogreengoods.com

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 81


THE ITALIAN VACATION

Though the name doesn’t suggest it, Paso Robles’ new Tin

Canteen serves legit Italian cuisine prepared by chef Michele

Gargani, including pizzas fired in a double-chamber oven

shipped from Naples, pizza’s spiritual home.

“With an Italian chef, we wanted to play to his strengths,” says

owner, Bill Hales, a longtime restaurateur through his company,

ASH Management. “Michele is driving the concept, so we gave

him the tools he needs.”

The Acunto Napoli oven is a veritable showpiece, cooking

pies in a matter of mere minutes, crusts bubbling, puffed and

pleasantly charred. The rest of the restaurant’s surfaces gleam,

reminiscent of Italy, while concrete touches honor Tin City’s

industrial aesthetic. Broad accordion doors blur the line between

indoor and outdoor dining.

I share lunch on the patio with my friend Brian Terrizzi, whose

ETTO pasta shop sits next door and whose Italian-style winery

sits across the street—a veritable Little Italy inside Tin City. We

dine on Four Cheese pizza, rich with a white sauce and crispy,

herbaceous sage, and the Calabrese, with chili spread, mozzarella

and spicy sausage. The flavors of each sing atop that toothsome,

blistered crust. I vow to Terrizzi to make a point of visiting Tin

City much, much more often. >>

82 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 83


THE YUKON ORIGINAL

My first job in high school was waiting tables at Klondike Pizza;

the fact that I return says something about the uniqueness of their

business and of their product.

Owners Mike and Pam Dennis lived in Anchorage, Alaska for a time in

the 1980s. “We were there five years until the economy collapsed,” says Pam.

“We needed a new plan. And we needed a plan that didn’t involve snow.”

With her background in graphic communications and Mike’s

expertise in opening restaurants, the Dennises moved to the village

of Arroyo Grande to open a pizza cafe. The concept? Jovial, quirky,

and family- and community-friendly—a concept that hasn’t changed

for 30 years. The walls and ceiling are covered with mementos from

Alaska, including hockey jerseys, posters, and snow shoes. Colored

lights hang in every corner, while checked tablecloths hang on picnic

tables. An arcade beeps at one end of the restaurant, and a player

piano plunks at the other. Best of all: shells from complimentary

peanuts carpet the floor.

Unlike most pizzas, a Klondike pie boasts sauce, cheese and toppings

all the way to the edge, with a kiss of cheddar to finish. “We wanted

a nice and thick crust,” says Pam, “not like a cracker crust. And we

wanted a sauce that’s just the perfect amount of sweet.”

When I order, I opt for the Klondike signature pizza with garlic-herb

sauce, onions, peppers, and real reindeer sausage, sourced from (where

else?) Alaska. When the pie is ready, someone in the kitchen honks a

bicycle horn to alert wait staff that an order’s up, a sound that rockets

me backward 25 years. The pie arrives, and it brings me back, too,

with oozing cheese, spicy sausage, and a thick, yeasty crust.

“I never wanted to be trendy,” Pam says. “It’s impossible to keep up!

All I ever wanted was a friendly place that wouldn’t change.” I’m so

grateful it didn’t. SLO LIFE

84 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


Healing

Happens

FIRST CHURCH OF CHRIST, SCIENTISTS, SLO,

INVITES YOU TO JOIN OUR SERVICES.

At our Wednesday evening services, you will hear

testimonies of healing and ideas shared on how

Christian Science is applied to every challenge in the

daily lives of our members. The laws of harmony and

health revealed in the Bible apply today.

You will be inspired. Healing through prayer is possible.

Wednesday Testimony Meeting

7:00 p.m.

Sunday Church Services

10:00 a.m.

1326 Garden Street, SLO

prayerthatheals.org

christianscience.org

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 85


| KITCHEN

PORK CHOPS

Pork chops are a family dinner staple, and for good reason.

They’re fast, budget-friendly, and best of all, nobody but

nobody complains about pork chops for dinner. Serve

with roasted apples and watch the forks fly.

BY CHEF JESSIE RIVAS

86 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


JESSIE’S TIP:

Deglaze the pan with beer, wine or cider. Be

sure to scrape the bottom of the pan to infuse

those flavors. For a holiday season dish, add

3/4 cup fresh whole cranberries with the apples.

The tartness of the cranberries goes well with

!the sweetness of the apples and onions.

PORK CHOPS

6 bone-in thick pork loin or shoulder chops

2 Tbs vegetable oil

2 Tbs chopped rosemary

2 Tbs chopped thyme

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp salt

1 Tbs course ground pepper

1 large yellow onion (sliced in half circles)

4 Tbs butter

1 cup beer (may substitute white wine or cider)

3-4 apples sliced

2 Tbs brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Season pork chops with rosemary, thyme, garlic

powder, salt, and ground pepper. In preheated 12

inch fry pan, add enough oil to coat bottom of pan.

Sear pork chops on both sides until golden brown.

Remove from pan and set aside.

Add onions and butter to the pan and sweat onions

for 3-4 minutes on high heat. Stir in beer and

apples and bring to a simmer. Layer pork chops on

top of onion mixture and

set in 400° pre-heated

oven for 15 minutes.

JESSIE RIVAS is the owner

and chef of The Pairing Knife

food truck which serves the

Central Coast.

Remove pan from oven

and remove pork chops

from pan. Add brown

sugar to apples and onions

and stir until dissolved.

If sauce is too watery, put

on medium heat to reduce

and thicken.

Serve pork chops with

onion and apples. SLO LIFE

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 87


| WINE NOTES

Break out the Bubbly

While Champagne has rigid rules and a formal feel, the Central Coast is making its

own way along this sparkling path. Quite new to the scene relative to other parts of

the world, San Luis Obispo county sparkling winemakers are inspiring fans with their

pure grit, attention to detail, and audacity.

BY ANDRIA MCGHEE

TRADITION BY HAND

Jack Creek Cellars // 2013 Estate Cuvée // $60

Sparkling wine is made mostly in cooler climates where

Pinot Noir and/or Chardonnay grapes thrive. Though this

winery is in Paso Robles, its special far west location is

one of the coolest climates in North County. I was drawn

to the winery because they bottle their sparkling wine by

hand, in their cellars—no small feat.

Jack Creek uses the traditional Champagne Method. In

Champagne, wine is aged in barrels, bottled, and fermented

for about a year-and-a-half. For the second fermentation,

yeast is added, the bottle is topped with beer caps, and rests

for two to five years. Long aging like this is rarely seen

in California. Finally, the yeast is released by freezing the

neck, a tiny bit of sugar is added, and the bottle is corked.

It then becomes Champagne

(or sparkling wine if made

elsewhere in the world). And,

it’s a long time to wait, but the

reward is delicious.

The California version smells

slightly like nuts, toast, and

nectarines. The mix of Pinot

Noir and Chardonnay grapes

help the flavor explode with red

apple, light lemon, and brioche.

Its smooth bubbles have just

the right crispness for a nice

celebration. I would drink this

to toast an anniversary or a

special time with friends. >>

ANDRIA MCGHEE received

her advanced degree on

wines and spirits from

WSET in London and enjoys

travel, food, wine, and

exercise as a means to enjoy

those around her.

88 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


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DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 89


REFLECTION OF EDNA

Biddle Ranch // NV Extra Brut (non-vintage) // $50

This local Edna Valley Winery embodies the feel of Central

Coast wineries. It has been well plotted and maintained. The

wine reflects the same attention. Its high quality grapes are grown

almost entirely in eye sight of the tasting room. Tender care is

given to harvesting and winemaking. The méthode traditionelle,

also known as méthode champenoise, (the way Champagne is

produced) is used. Bottling takes place off site, where only 150

cases are made. It’s something special for visitors who enjoy

sparkling wine.

I enjoy this wine, made of purely Chardonnay, as a drink to start

my taste buds’ engines. Its light mouth feel and crisp taste are like

biting into a perfectly tart green apple. It also has a hint of lemon

and reminds you of toast being made in a room nearby, which is

typical with sparkling wine.

Sparkling wine labels can get tricky in regards to sweetness.

“Doux” will mean really sweet, “Dry” or “Sec” will mean sweet or

dryer than doux (tricky!), while “Brut” is the least sweet of them

all. No sweetness here. It was really dry, which in sparkling land,

is called Extra Brut.

You may also notice NV on this bottle. NV stands for Non

Vintage which will include wines from multiple years mixed for

an exact flavor. Sometimes a year is on a label whose wine will

include grapes harvested from that year. This NV is a nice blend

of 2015 and 2016. This little Biddle brings a lot of quality.

A FRESH LOOK AT AN OLD STYLE

Sinor-LaVallee // Pet Nat // $26

Mike Sinor, a student-turned wine lover-turned winemaker, worked like

mad to learn from local experts. Now he’s able to play with some ideas

of his own from a vineyard patched in fog on the rolling hills of Avila.

When he learned of an ancient method of making wine called méthode

ancestrale, he was intrigued by its challenge. This method, used before

the process of making Champagne was even invented, is hard to control

because yeast and sugar is added to the wine barrel, the wine is bottled,

capped, and is left to ferment. There is no changing it at that point, so the

initial mix is important.

Mike’s pet project is called Pet Nat, which is short for pétillant (pādi ‘yän)

naturel. Added bonus: it’s a less labor-intensive process, because there is

no second fermentation, which results in a less pricey product.

This turns out to be approachable and fun. I want to drink this with my

friends. The crisp 2017 Pet Nat is made only of Pinot Noir grapes. It

tastes like peaches and strawberries. It’s similar to a rosé, except creamy.

You can smell the fermentation and see a slight cloudiness of yeast in

the bottle. This adds to the flavor. When you go to open it, there are no

corks in sight. Just a bottle opener to get the cap off. It reminds me of

the bottles laying down in the caves of Champagne. It’s a brilliant way to

have a bright crisp sparkling wine without the fuss of the second stage of

fermentation. It is clear that Mike has done well in finding a recipe that

highlights the grapes grown each year. Now, we can crack one open at a

barbecue without the pangs of financial regret. SLO LIFE

90 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


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DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 91


| BREW

PUBLIC

HOUSE

BY BRANT MYERS

As we prepare to wrap up yet another

year, it would be apt to reflect on

things to come, or as they say, figure

out what’s brewing. In our last article

we talked about the oldest breweries in

the county and how they have changed

locations, hands, and strategies over

the past three decades, but let’s

speculate what the future may hold for

our local burgeoning craft beer scene.

The past five years has seen a new brewery or taproom open on

average every four months. Four months! That’s an amazing

growth for a county that has less than 300,000 people living in

it with only two thirds of them being of drinking age. When I

started in the industry, I was a huge proponent of a European

model that saw a local brewery (or at least a public house) within walking distance

of every home in a neighborhood. A place where one could go that was a home

away from home, where you didn’t need to invite friends because they were likely

already there. I’m happy to say that it is nearly a reality, even if it may take a bike

or a rideshare car to get there and back safely. My anecdotal evidence from visiting

these watering holes is that it is indeed in full effect. I know who I am likely to

bump into at any given spot, and seeing a friend or acquaintance at another brewery

always causes a moment of confusion, like seeing your married friend on a date.

How dare they cheat on their local tasting room! So, how did we go from a strong

desire to explore every brewery and their entire line-up of beers just a few years ago,

to settling into our local spots where we know what’s on tap and celebrate a chair

that has our name on it?

At the beginning of our own Central Coast craft beer scene explosion, it was wildly

exciting to hear rumors of a new brewery starting up then the anticipation and

murmurings all leading up to the grand opening. Drinking a cold beer that you’ve >>

92 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


Serving the Central Coast since 1964

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CreekLands.org

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 93


never tasted before was a truly joyous moment of celebration.

What would they bring to your palette? Could they knock your

socks off right away or did they need to learn their recipes and

grow a little bit more? Would they bottle, can, or distribute so

you could share with your friends? I mean, the excitement was

extremely palpable and the buzz was tremendous. However,

with all things new, the enthusiasm wanes and the novelty drops

slightly with each announcement.

Today, we are spoiled with options of not just our local breweries

and their ever-expanding lineup, but even local distributors

have been overloading us with amazing beers from San Diego

to Denmark as our exploration and cravings expand outside

our region. Hunting out these local, specialty, or rare beers used

to see me driving direct to the brewery or poking around the

coolers in remote liquor stores. Now you can go to a corner gas

station and again be spoiled with choices. Gas stations with a

good craft beer selection! Additionally, most beer drinkers are

starting to find their palette groove and can identify beer styles

they like or dislike, or even just a particular go-to beer that they

know they can grab without wasting too much time wandering

the expansive aisles of new selections and obscure labels.

Combining these two factors of saturation and availability begs

the questions: Where does the beer scene go from here?

Insiders are telling me of a plateau in sales or even a decline.

That’s to be expected with any industry that has year after year

of double digit growth, but it’s not as worrying as some would

say. I interpret the analysis as a maturation of the market. We

can’t be kids forever, so at some point we’ll settle down and get

into a groove. Not what brewery owners want to hear. So, what

are they doing about it? Well, this is where it gets interesting,

to see business strategies expand beyond making and selling

beers. Follow any brewery on Facebook and you’ll start to see a

trend of a brewery being more than a beer manufacturer. They

are becoming social hotspots, cultural beacons for the arts, and

even stewards of the community. Bang the Drum sees so many

musical acts that it’s hard to keep up, 7 Sisters Brewing hosts

guest speakers for informative talks about environmental issues,

and Libertine Brewing sponsors beach cleanup days and surf

contests, just to name a few examples. And if you haven’t heard

of Boga yet, what are you doing with your life?!

So, is this jumping the shark and grabbing market share? It’s

hard to remember sometimes that making beers is still a business

in the end, but what I see is an evolution of the public house,

my dystopia of everyone walking to a

brewery. A public living room of sorts

that you can go to relax with friends

and make new ones, an outdoor office

for casual business meetings, or just a

place to play some board games where

you don’t have to clean the house after

your guests leave. Tasting rooms are

no longer bars to drink in, but a place

where communities gather to support

each other culturally and creatively. So,

let’s rethink what a brewery was and start

to form what they should be. A place to

raise a glass with friends and toast to this

wonderful place we live. Three beers for

San Luis Obispo! SLO LIFE

BRANT MYERS is a 13-year

veteran of the Central Coast

craft beer industry who

enjoys sharing his passion

with anyone who doesn’t

put an orange in their

hefeweiezen.

94 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


Ready. Set.

G

If your New Year’s Resolution has anything to do with

growing your business in 2019, call us. We can help.

Request your copy of the new media kit today!

R

LIFE

SLOmagazine

2019 Media Kit

O

SLO LIFE

Contact our Publisher, Tom Franciskovich, to receive your copy.

(805) 543-8600

tom@slolifemagazine.com

W

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 95


| HAPPENINGS

THE HOLIDAY EXTRAVAGANZA

No holiday season on the Central Coast is complete

without seeing The Holiday Extravaganza at the

Great American Melodrama. The annual production

features the timeless classic “A Christmas Carol,” a

hilarious fractured fairy tale, and a vaudeville revue

featuring the song, dance, and comedy of the season.

Whether you’ve been naughty or nice, The Holiday

Extravaganza is perfect for any holiday wish list.

November 15 – December 31 // americanmelodrama.com

A CHRISTMAS STORY

Jean Shepherd’s memoir of

growing up in the midwest in

the 1940s follows 9-year-old

Ralphie Parker in his quest

to get a genuine Red Ryder

BB gun under the tree for

Christmas. Ralphie pleads his

case before his mother, his

teacher, and even Santa Claus

himself, at Higbee’s Department

Store. The consistent response:

“You’ll shoot your eye out!”

Bring the whole family to

“A Christmas Story” for a

heartwarming, funny, nostalgic

holiday treat!

November 30 – December 23

slorep.org

DECEMBER

43RD ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARADE

A Very Vintage Holiday theme graces the downtown parade.

Stephen Patrick and Todd LeMay will serve as Parade Marshals

and lead the parade procession beginning at Chorro and Palm

and ending on Higuera and Nipomo.

December 7 // downtownslo.com

THE NUTCRACKER

It’s Christmas Eve and Clara is about to have the night

of her dreams. Marvel at the magic and wonder of this

spectacular, professional production brought to you by

the Civic Ballet and accompanied by the Opera San Luis

Obispo orchestra and the MBHS Women’s Choir.

December 8 - 9 // pacslo.org

96 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


SANTA LAND DIARIES

For four shows only, Kevin Harris will

star in a remarkable one-man show

based on the true chronicles of David

Sedaris’ experiences as Crumpet the

Elf in Macy’s Santaland display. This

cult classic riffs on a few of Sedaris’

truly odd encounters with his fellow

man during the height of the holiday

crunch. David Sedaris is a well-known

NPR humorist and a best-selling

author. His tongue-in-cheek style will

bring just the right amount of salty to

the sweetness of the holiday season.

December 8 - 15 // slorep.org

Dr. Arnie Horwitz

HEALTHY RELATIONSHIPS

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805-541-2752

www.doctorarnie.com

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YOU AND ME AND CHRISTMAS

Winner of two Grammys, three ACMs,

a CMA, 12 Billboard Music Awards,

and one American Music Award,

LeAnn Rimes brings her “You and Me

and Christmas” tour to the PAC this

December. Don’t miss this evening of

joy-filled holiday classics, soulful favorites,

and greatest hits.

December 18 // pacslo.org

AN IRISH CHRISTMAS

Take a journey through Christmas in Ireland

with superb dancing, singing and Irish

traditional music celebrating the international

spirit of the holiday season. An Irish Christmas

features an award-winning cast of Irish dancers

led by Caterina Coyne (Principal dancer

Riverdance), Tyler Schwartz (World champion

dancer), and Connor Reider (Principal dancer

Celtic Fyre, St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland,

The Chieftains), as well as members of the

Kerry Dance Troupe. They are joined by The

Kerry Voice Squad and the Kerry Traditional

Orchestra in a memorable night that sparkles

with the charm and magic that only this festive

time of year can bring.

December 15 // clarkcenter.org

NEW YEAR’S EVE 2018

Michael Nowak and Orchestra

Novo celebrate New Year’s Eve 2018

in grand style with daring aerial arts

and rich musical delights. Featuring

jazz chanteuse Inga Swearingen,

local songwriter Damon Castillo,

saxophonist Dave Becker, and

pianist Terry Spiller, the evening

opens with aerial silk acrobatics

from Levity Academy.

December 31 // pacslo.org

Tickets: $17-$25

Call (805) 786-2440

slorep.org

JAN 11

THROUGH

JAN 20

An ACT young performers’ production

designed for families with children.

SENIOR DISCOUNT . Mon & Tues 10 to 2 . $15

1351 Monterey Street . San Luis Obispo

(805)783-2887 . clippersbarber.com

DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 97


| HAPPENINGS

POLAR BEAR DIP

Kick off the New Year by jumping into

the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean off

Cayucos as part of the 39th Annual

Carlin Soulé Memorial Polar Bear

Dip. Most participants wear swimming

suits or come in costume, but be

warned, wetsuits are frowned upon. The

festivities begin at 9:30 a.m. with the

Polar Bear Dip at noon.

January 1 // cayucoschamber.com

RESTAURANT MONTH

Visitors and locals alike can

experience the region’s locallyinspired

cuisine throughout

January as participating restaurants

offer various special menus and

promotions, most featuring a

three-course prix fixe menu.

Reservations recommended. Prices

and offers vary by restaurant. Dine

out during this delicious month

celebrating some of the finest

cuisine on the Central Coast.

January 2 - 31

visitsanluisobispocounty.com

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LA CUESTA RANCH TRAIL RUN

The race will take place at the gorgeous La Cuesta Ranch, just outside of San Luis Obispo

on Loomis Road backing up to Poly Canyon and West Cuesta Ridge. The start/finish area

will be staged at the historic ranch barn. This event features dirt trails and ranch roads with

fantastic views of the West Cuesta Ridge.

January 5 // ultrasignup.com

JANUARY

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE

One of the most universally beloved

and admired English novels, “Pride

and Prejudice” was penned as popular

entertainment. But the consummate

artistry of Jane Austen transformed

this effervescent tale of rural romance

into a witty, shrewdly observed satire of

English country life in the 1800s.

January 11 - 20 // slorep.org

98 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019


DEC/JAN 2019 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | 99


HAVEN

PROPERTIES

To learn more about our Distinctive Collection listings visit

www.havenslo.com/distinctive

Serving San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Counties

100 | SLO LIFE MAGAZINE | DEC/JAN 2019

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