May-June 2004, Volume 6 Issue 3
SHOOTING THE BREEZE . . . . . .Carolyn Carr
This month I spent a lot of time on Marine Avenue interviewing various business owners and managers. First, Paige Matthews of Bambu, the new Apothecary and Nail Spa; next, an update on June’s Fine Art Gallery which features gorgeous original paintings by famous artist S. Sam Park and finally an intriguing look at Jacqueline Sidman’s “Sidman Solution”. Jacqueline has an unique new book on sale at Martha’s Bookstore—Instant Inner Peace.
Closer to my heart, however is Agate Avenue, which I have fondly dubbed “the Street of Services”. We have always been the “stepchild” business wise on the Island, but in the past few years there have been some wonderful additions to our business district, which make a trip to Agate more than worthwhile.
Most of the businesses are service businesses. Starting at 128 Agate our favorite neighborhood barber, Ali, at Oh La La Salon will give you men a great haircut for a reasonable price. Al has been an island fixture for as long as I can remember. Next door Island Chiropractic offers both chiropractic adjustments and massage to ease your aches and pains. Owner Christie Collier is there for you daily Monday through Saturday—Call 949.723.0702 for an appointment.
Island Dental at 122 Agate guarantees you will save 20% or more on all your dental treatments and services. Dr Richard Sprague is a USC graduate and had a cosmetic and dental practice in Beverly Hills before relocating here on Balboa Island. Call 949.675.3636 for an appointment
Next, is my own store Island Flooring at 118 Agate followed by my own personal favorite boutique Let’s Go Shopping. While it is not a true service business, owners Jody Carr and Colleen Greene have done the island a service by creating this trendy boutique. From shoes to purses, floral shirts to pants, sundresses to tops—there is something for everyone. And many gift items too—I am always ducking in there to pick up a candle for a gift.
Speaking of gifts, In Bloom, a floral boutique, is right next door at 114 Agate. Owner Missy Harris is a genius at making fabulous floral arrangements for holidays, weddings and any occasion. We use her for thank you bouquets to our favorite clients. Don’t forget to call her for your birthday bouquets for your favorite girl at 949.675.9484.
Next month we will continue our walk down Agate—stay tuned.
And remember May is Bicycle Safety Month and Mental Health Month—so don’t fall off your bicycle and hit your head!!
WHAT’s NEW IN THE VILLAGE
BAMBU . . . . . PAIGE MATTHEWS
What a wonderful treat getting my nails done at Paige Matthews’ new Apothecary and Nail Salon, Bambu was. It was not just a manicure and pedicure it was a spa experience. I have never felt more pampered.
Bambu manicurists use six products during the manicures—botanical pollens in the water, lathering gel with exflolient, buffing grains, quenching cream, massage oil, and finally the soothing sorbet. Lisa, my manicurist, wrapped both my hands and feet in hot towels while I enjoyed the wonderful smell of lavender permeating the shop. They change the fragrance daily—so far I have smelled the lavender and mint and they are both wonderful!!!
Paige originally worked in the floral industry and was helping downstairs at Blossoms when she found the rental upstairs. Paige wanted to create an intimate spa experience as well as sell spa products and she fell in love with the small apartment above 5 Seas and Blossoms and dreamed of turning it into a salon. Her husband, Alex, surprised her by signing the lease and Paige was in business.
Besides the manicures and pedicures Paige offers many wonderful spa products. I left with a huge bar of lavender soap and the same Lavender Bath Bloomers Massage and Body Oil that they used during my treatment. It makes my skin feel so soft without leaving a greasy film.
I also picked up a bottle of Belle de Provence Olive and Mint Leave Soap. This liquid soap is made in the same tradition as the famous “Savon de Marseille”. It infuses the finest cold pressed olive oil to gently cleanse and stimulate the skin. I keep this in the bathroom next to the sink instead of a bar of soap.
Finally, last, and best is AlgaScrub Guam. This is a scrub for the body that exfoliates, moisturizes, nourishes, elaticizes, strengthens, tones, and revitalizes the skin. I use a little scrub in the shower every morning instead of soap and leave with smooth, tingling skin. This product comes from seaweed in Guam and is one of several products made by Lacote Study and Research. Paige told me they also have a mud for cellulite that they tell you to measure your legs before and after you use it—sounds wonderful to me!
Bambu is open 9-5 Tuesday—Sunday at 224 Marine, Upstairs, 949.723.1778. Paige is there every day—often with her beautiful 4 month old son Maximus as company so stop in and say Hi!!
Balboa Candy has something special this summer. Books for rent. Lots of summer reading at half off the cover price—both hardcover and paperback—hot off the press and not so new. When you bring them back you can get $5-$10 in candy for returning the book. What a sweet deal!!!
BALBOA ISLAND HISTORY. . .Jim Jennings THE COW ON LITTLE BALBOA ISLAND
In the early 1960s I made friends with an older gentleman by the name of Herb Vandenburg. Herb had a home on the Little Island, at 118 Abalone, that had been built to resemble a barn on the inside. Not only did it resemble a barn inside, it had a full size plastic cow outside in the front yard. I am sure all of the old timers on the Island have seen it.
Herb and I were close friends and even partners on a house on the Colorado River in Baja California, Mexico. But we didn’t build it to look like a barn. When Herb died a few years later he left the barn house to his daughter who left the big cow in the front yard. A few years later she sold the house to a lady that owned it up to recently and she also left the big cow in the front yard and had the interior of the house furnished to match the barn look all the of the years that she owned it.
But this year I saw a “For Sale” sign on the house and the big cow is gone. So at this point in time I do not know if it is permanently gone or just temporarily gone, but time will tell.
Back to Herb Vandenburg. To keep himself busy in the early 1960s he sold real estate on Balboa Island. Herb sold me my present house in 1965 on the 100 block of marine Avenue. But before I signed the paperwork Herb tried to talk me out of buying it. He told me there was a house a few blocks down on South Bayfront that some day would prove to be a better investment for me. I asked Herb how much they wanted for the house and he said, “65,000.” I told him that no one would pay that much money for a house no matter where it was.
Well, now I wish he had talked a little harder and talked me into buying it, even at the ridiculously high price of sixty-five thousand dollars!
Jim Jennings book is called Old Balboa Island Stories—From 1907 to the Millennium and is available at various locations on Balboa Island including Sandpiper, Martha’s Bookstore and Island Flooring.
BIYC Signups will be Friday June 18, 2004, 6:30 pm at the Beek Center, 115 Agate Avenue.
BIYC will begin on Monday June 21, on South Bayfront between Topaz and Turquoise from
9 am until around 12 pm It will run for eight weeks for ages 4—16. Events include paddleboarding, rowing, swimming and diving. Sailing classes are also available.
This year’s Commodore is Reid Vitarelli. If you have any questions he can be contacted at 949.673.1778 or e-mailed at
BALBOA ISLAND BULLETIN BOARD
FOR RENT—LITTLE ISLAND BAYFRONT BACK UNIT—$2100. Two Bedrooms, One Bath.
Washer/Dryer Hookups Garage Door w/Opener
Pier w/room for Two Boats up to 15’ and Kayaks.
Newly Refurbished. Yearly
TIPS OF THE MONTH
Lately it seems that many call centers have been “outsourced” by large corporations. When you call for help it is next to impossible to understand the person who is helping you or to get them to understand your problem. I have solved my dilemma several times by asking first, “what country are you in?” and if they respond “India” or another foreign country I ask to be connected to someone in the United States—not only do I get an American operator—I usually get a supervisor who can solve my problem. If more of us do that, maybe jobs will return here to the United States.
Annoyed by tons of “junk mail”? My assistant learned that one way to get some of the larger corporations to stop bombarding you with copious amounts of stuff is to take all the information they send you and put it in their postage paid envelope and return it to them!!! You might want to write “VOID” across any credit card applications to prevent identify theft though. Just a thought!
VILLAGE UPDATE . . . .
JUNE’s FINE ART GALLERY . . . Mary Hergel
S. Sam Park was born in Seoul, Korea in 1949 and first showed an interest in art at 12 years old. He won his first art prize in the 1960s when one of his middle school teachers entered his work in an art contest organized by a university. Sam won first prize.
S. Sam Park left Korea in the 1980s and studied in Paris for a short time. Then he returned to Korea in 1984 to enter an art contest being held in connection with the 1988 Olympics. Park won the Gold Medal in the oil painting category with a picture entitled “Celebration of the Olympics”. He was awarded enough money to return to Paris to further his studies. He studied the paintings of the great masters in the Louvre. In Paris Park met an art dealer from Morocco and traveled through Morocco, Spain and Greece and the warm coast of France that is reflected in much of his work.
Park met his wife Jennifer in 1987 in Athens, Greece. Soon his son Se-June was born and the family settled in Provence, France—home of many of the French Impressionist painters. His experience there was a turning point in his career. He and his artist friends labeled their style “New Impressionism” because they were responding to the Impressionists, but moving in a new direction. His landscapes are bright and crisp. His colors jump off the canvas and are so realistic you feel you are in the scene he is painting. His paintings are filled with light and have feelings of happiness and beauty.
S. Sam Park decided to come to the United States. Sam and his family drove from Vancouver down the West Coast. He originally thought they would settle in La Jolla, which reminded him of the Mediterranean he so loved. But Sam ended up selling his art from a kiosk in Fashion Island and the management offered him space for a gallery on the third floor of the Atrium for a year where he was very successful. After the year Sam was looking in Laguna Beach for a gallery when one of his employees found the spot at 326 Marine Avenue in April of 1996.
In 1996, Sam was also in the New York Expo where he was pursued by several well known art publishers. After 18 months SOHO Editions convinced him they were the right ones for him. Sam paints 5 paintings per year for SOHO which they then reproduce as serigraphs. SOHO spends about 2.5 million dollars a year in advertising and has made Sam a household word. One of the conditions of their contract was that Sam’s wife Jennifer was to have a gallery—June’s Fine Art—where his other originals could also be sold.
SOHO first published Sam’s serigraphs in 1998. Several editions of 325 have sold out before they were published. Eight are now on “sold out” status and if you can find one, this “copy” of Sam’s work will cost you at least $6,000.
At least five artists a week come to June’s Fine Art Gallery to study Sam’s work. Mary says you can tell the students from the ordinary customers—they don’t just look at the work—they stand on top of it and try to study the brush strokes—only to find out there are no brush strokes. All Sam’s works are done with a palate knife. Famous artists showing in Laguna Beach also come here to see his work. Mary has looked up from her newspaper to see the face of a famous artist she was reading about more than once.
Because June’s Fine Art Gallery has paintings directly from the artist with no middle man they are 35-40% less expensive than if a commercial gallery was selling them. That is a substantial savings for an original by S. Sam Park.
Mary says Sam accepts commissions as well—and doesn’t charge extra for them. More than once Mary mentioned what kind and generous people Sam and his wife Jennifer were.
Please stop by and see all the wonderful paintings on display at June’s Fine Art Gallery, 326 Marine Avenue, 949.673.0939. Daily
9 am—5 pm or go to http://www.junesfineartgallery.com