The Pali Life section starts off with a cover story. Here are 10 notable stories that graced the pages of the Palisadian-Post this year.
January 9 Setting Sail
“From the time we’re born until this minute, you and I have never really been alone. But when you go offshore alone, you are alone in a way that we never are,” said Palisadian Christian Williams, a 70-something-year-old sailor, author and social media influencer. “It’s an extraordinary thing to be out of touch; you can’t talk to anybody, they can’t talk to you and you learn about what it means to be you.”
One of the first Pali Life covers of the year delved into the Upper Alphabet Streets resident’s experience solo sailing from the Palisades to Hawaii—twice.
March 26 Cooking at Home
As Public Health orders went in place across the county, restricting restaurants to takeout and delivery for the first time, many Palisadians began to spend more and more time in the kitchen. In between supporting local restaurants with to-go orders, the Post offered a selection of recipes to try out—provided by members of the community.
The first batch included Cauliflower Tabbouleh with Toasted Nut Mix, Cheeseburger Casserole, Turkey or Beef Bolognese, and Frozen Blueberry Mocktail.
April 16 Palisadians Shift Their Focus to Making Masks
When masks were first suggested as a way to combat the spread of COVID-19, several entities with ties to the Palisades shifted their operations to manufacture masks, including City Threads, Traveler Surf Club and resident Natalie Tirrell.
Co-owners of Traveler Surf Club Julie Cox and Rel Lavizzo-Mourey—along with a pattern designed by the store manager, Palisadian Stacy Johnson—are donating and selling masks to help with the COVID-19 pandemic. By mid-April, the company had made more than 5,000 masks, of which they have donated about 2,500 to healthcare providers.
April 30 Travel Tales
Each year, the Palisadian-Post runs a selection of Travel Tales composed by Palisadians who have journeyed both near and far, writing about their experience to share with the community. Though travel has been largely on pause in 2020, the paper ran a selection of tales to take readers around the world from the comfort of their homes.
The first set, published in April, featured stories from travels that had taken place prior to COVID-19-related restrictions by Naomi and Dennis Flagg, Gisela Moriarty and Karen Murphy O’Brien.
May 21 Local Musicians Uplift the Community Through Live Performances
As the weather warmed up and social distancing measures remained in place, local musicians used their craft to cheer up neighbors and to thank essential employees for their commitment through the pandemic.
Palisadians Billy Tobenkin and Lydia Yun took to their Riviera lawn to serenade their neighbors. Tobenkin played cello while Yun played violin, and the duo would hold impromptu concerts a few times per week.
The two would normally be performing with their string quartet, Cattus Quartet, at corporate events or weddings—but the pandemic abruptly halted those plans.
“As musicians and performers, one of the big thrills is sharing your music with people and performing and having that connection, and we’ve been starved of that,” Tobenkin shared.
June 4 Honoring Our Graduates
With Safer at Home orders in place and graduations days shifting for the Class of 2020, the Post assembled a two-part special section for students who graduated from elementary, middle and high school, or college. Dozens of families sent in graduation messages that ran within the two parts in the paper.
July 2 ‘Behind the Front Porch’
Over summer, the Post partnered with Pacific Palisades Front Porch Project photographer Robin Aronson to share a look at how local families were coping with the pandemic, while Aronson raised funds for Westside Food Bank by capturing photos of local families on their front porch in exchange for donations to the organization.
“As I reviewed the photos, I noticed that all the families looked perfect,” Aronson wrote with the debut set. “But we all know that our lives have changed in some way, and that everything is not perfect. So, I went back to each family and asked them to write a small summary about their experience during this time.”
Throughout the series, the pieces offered honest glimpses of life “Behind the Front Porch,” providing additional context and meaning to Aronson’s series of
September 24 Coffee and Community at Canyon Square First came coffee—and community quickly followed.
Frank Langen, a longtime Palisadian Realtor who specializes in Santa Monica Canyon, had a decade-long dream of creating a nearby hub, complete with a coffee shop and place for local residents to gather.
Now, Canyon Square, located on West Channel Road, is home to a group of tenants who bring just that, with modifications as the center makes its way through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Frank’s idea behind it is to foster community in the way the Palisades used to be,” DeeDee Wright, who works closely with Langen on marketing and communication for all things Canyon Square, shared. “The way the old village used to be.”
November 12 A Cut Above
For 80 years now, the Palisades Barber Shop has been a fixture in the community—with a list of famous customers who have frequented 15322 Antioch Street over the last eight decades reading like a who’s who of entertainment, sports, business and politics.
The shop has stood the test of time largely because owner Joe Almaraz and his family have cultivated an atmosphere that welcomes both first-time and longtime patrons.
“It’s hard for some people to believe it opened in 1940,” said Thomas, 50, the youngest of Joe’s three children, who has worked at the shop for 29 years. “My dad applied for a job there in 1962 when he was 20 and eventually bought it from Bill Parker in 1984 … back in 1940 they charged $1.50, which was considered pricey.”
December 3 The Show Must Go On
Each year, Theatre Palisades caps off its season with an annual meeting and awards show, and 2020 was no exception—though, for the first time, the evening took place via Zoom and four shows were under consideration instead of the typical five, due to a season that was cut short following restrictions put in place in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
More than 60 attendees tuned into the Sunday night show, with people checking in from places like Pacific Palisades, Florida and Arizona.
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