Daniel Merriam and his six siblings grew up in Naples, Maine, a rural town in the southwestern part of the state. The Merriam home was filled with a variety of musical instruments and Daniel’s mother was fond of throwing open the windows while she sang, thereby serenading the neighborhood. He deeply admired his father, Fremont, a structural engineer, noting he was “so methodical and efficient.” “My father always enjoyed showing me and my siblings very strange and unique things he had discovered.” Some of these things would end up in the basement of their summer cottage on Mousam Lake. “Our cellar was filled with aquariums filled with pollywogs, sea monkeys and turtles collected from a nearby cranberry bog.” It was about this time that Daniel discovered the joy of art for himself, spending blissful hours alone in his room, until “I had soon drawn enough fanciful images to wallpaper my entire room.”
However, when it comes to a place that fills the “gastro” (i.e. fantastic, carefully crafted food) and the “pub” (a welcoming place where you can grab a beer and bite and be yourself) requirements, Tuning Fork is the real deal.What you see is what you get at Tuning Fork, in front of and behind the house. A simple layout with picnic-like tables and an uncluttered bar with a carefully curated selection of California craft beer and sustainable and sustainably produced wines set the stage—whether one comes for lunch, dinner or a show. Besides a talented lineup of musicians, the menu of Chef J’s seasonal comfort food is the star.
Casting your eyes upon The Garden Spa’T from bustling Colorado Boulevard, you would never imagine the organic sanctuary that greets you upon entry, much less the fact that it was created in the mind of a cellular and molecular biologist working for the world’s largest chemical company. Years ago, that was the reality of founder, Tanis Rhines. It was a workday just like any other, but while pipetting at the lab bench, she began pondering how our world had shifted from natural remedies to a world based on synthetic chemicals. In the beauty industry, herbs, flowers and natural oils had been replaced with petrochemicals that we couldn’t even pronounce. Cleopatra’s milk baths and ancient Ayurvedic treatments from India had been replaced with products that contain ingredients that could cause more harm than good.
Founded by Adrian Kalvinskas in 1989, Pasadena’s Distant Lands grew out of his love for travel. From an early age, Adrian followed his mother Louanne on her adventures around the globe, from Morocco to Australia, and to many places in-between. Today, Distant Lands still serves the needs of travelers, whether they are bound for a trekking expedition in Tibet or a relaxing weekend in Santa Barbara. Hailed as a “wanderlust’s dream”, they continue to provide you with the tools you’ll need for traveling anywhere in the world by providing supplies such as maps, clothing, specialty gear, luggage, travel accessories and one of the best travel book libraries this side of the Mississippi. Be sure to check their website for upcoming programs and events.