By OCinSite | July 19, 2012 11:53 AM
By Lisa Marie Hart
What elements make up the perfect summer day in Newport Beach? That depends on whom you ask. Newport Beach Magazine tracked down a half dozen locals to divulge their own personal rundown of an ideal summer day. If they suddenly found themselves with an unexpected day off to do as they please, for example, do they sun on the beach, hit the waves, mingle with the tourists, or sneak off to their favorite hidden gems? Sometimes, we found out, it’s a little of everything.
Wing and Kelly Lam, photo by Sean Armenta
Owner, Wahoo’s Fish Tacos
An ideal summer day for Wing Lam looks like many of his others throughout the summer. It begins with a beach run, yoga class with his wife, Kelly, or surfing. Wing favors the swells at 36th Street, a middle ground where the surfers are not too old, not too young, he says. Once they exercise, they set out on a low-key pub-crawl that mingles food and friends along the way. “If we have our fancy pants friends with us, the Balboa Bay Club is phenomenal for a three-hour brunch,” Wing says. “If we’re feeling more casual, we’ll head to Newport Landing or Woody’s. Either way, we can eat, drink and be happy.”
Most days, Wing and his wife hop on their bikes in shorts and flip flops to burn a few calories, forget any parking hassles and cruise through the peninsula. “We like local places that have been in business a long time where everyone knows everyone. It’s very social but without a set agenda,” he says. “If I don’t want to go too far from home to watch sports in a loud, obnoxious atmosphere, Mutt Lynch’s is the beginning or end of a fun day. We might hit Original Pizza by the pier or Cassidy’s to play pool. If we’re meeting my parents, we bike all the way to Balboa and ride the ferry to Shanghai Pine Garden.” Some sunny afternoons even bring a spontaneous standup paddleboarding session. “After a few drinks, you can’t surf—but you can still stand up and have fun in the bay.”
As he pedals between stops, look for Wing on a rusted out girl’s bike that was left at the couple’s house after a rousing Fourth of July party. “It takes a real man to ride a pink bike,” Wing says. “I never have to worry about anyone stealing it, and I don’t feel bad about riding it with my surfboard and getting saltwater on it.”
Photo by Atiba Jefferson
Owner, Sole Technology
Even a big shot action sports footwear and apparel entrepreneur like Pierre-André Senizergues enjoys simple summertime pleasures that speak to his core. On his ideal summer day, he’ll be skating down on the boardwalk and behind the elementary school, he says. “It’s a perfect spot to hang out.” Coming from a former pro skateboarder and one of the world’s premier freestyle skateboarders of the 1980s, that says a lot.
“I am always at Alta Coffee or Haute Cakes for croissants in the mornings,” he says. “In between skating and surfing, you’ll find me at the playground with my kids. I also love dropping into The Cannery around 5 p.m. for a mojito.”
The truth is, though, that to keep on top of his game, his ideal summer day mixes business with pleasure. “Since I own several footwear brands, I love going shopping to check out how our most popular brand, Etnies, looks in the stores. Fashion Island is a great location for that. I’d also spend time playing with my kids and riding with them. Then I would end the day having drinks with friends.”
If the very busy Pierre suddenly had a summer day off? “I would wake up in the morning and surf, skate in the afternoon, then hit the Back Bay to kayak around and explore.”
Photo by Ernie Sloane
Owner, Prepmasters.com; President, Orange County Hiking Club; and Founder, Kids in Need of Nature program
It’s no mystery where you’ll find OC Hiking Club President Suki Reed on a glorious Newport afternoon. Connecting people of all ages with nature, she heads up a booming organization that’s more than 9,000 members strong. “I’m not short on people to hike with,” she laughs. “It keeps me hopping.” Or, hiking, actually. This Newport native’s ideal day centers around tackling plenty of hills on an inland hike through Crystal Cove State Park. “The park offers long and short hikes, depending on which trails you take, so it’s a perfect choice for almost any day.” When short on time, she opts for a loop by the nature center in the Back Bay with her two greyhounds in tow. “I love to set out just before sunset,” she says. “It’s that special in-between time.”
After traversing the Crystal Cove backcountry, Suki craves wholesome, delicious fare, such as omelets from Pacific Whey Café. Over in the Back Bay, she favors the lobster bisque at Back Bay Bistro, where her hike-happy pups can join her on the patio. Other favorite summer activities might include a bike ride along the boardwalk, kayaking out of Newport Beach Aquatic Center or a pier-to-pier beach walk ending with smoked fish at The Crab Cooker. “After any local hike, I also love to sit outside and nibble on a selection of tarts and desserts at Pascal Epicerie on Bristol Street—yum!”
Photo by Jody Tiongco
Loren Blackwood & Richard Moriarty
Owners and Operators, Newport Beach Vineyards and Winery
Tending a vineyard, wine cave and winery for more than a decade, Richard Moriarty and Loren Blackwood have cultivated many versions of what makes an ideal summer day. In the months before harvest on the vineyard, where more than 1,200 vines of the Bordeaux varietal flourish, the long lazy days of summer give them a chance to savor a fluid and relaxed lifestyle. While Loren wakes before sunrise to take landscape photos and write poetry before her yoga routine, Richard takes pleasure in handling outdoor projects across the 3.5-acre property. “He has created a Garden of Eden with a botanical garden, koi pond, bird aviary and vegetable garden,” Loren says. “We love that friends and visitors can stroll for hours through our oasis, interacting with the fish and turtles and stopping to enjoy the spectacular view of the upper Newport Bay.”
On a perfect summer day, Richard and Loren cook fresh-from-the-garden meals for lunch and dinner. “We grow 40 types of heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, broccoli, kale, celery, four types of oranges and two types of lemons and limes in addition to our fresh eggs and the large catfish we occasionally catch swimming among the koi,” Loren says.
To top off the evening, the couple might attend a performance, concert, art walk, charity event on their own property or just settle in at home. If Richard isn’t holed up with an action movie and Loren isn’t studying for her UCI art history classes or working on personal art projects, they’ll host one of their 12-person dinner parties. This summer, an ideal day will also include distributing fresh heirloom tomatoes and eggs from their newly acquired Goldenrod Six to friends, including local chefs at Il Barone, Pascal’s and Hamamori. The couple’s six new hens, known as the “Goldenrod Six,” were formerly kept as pet chickens in Corona del Mar until Loren and Richard invited them to re-coop in their hen house, due to zoning issues.
Keri Bretschger (third from left), Photo courtesy of joysailing.com
President and CEO, Integrated MarketingWorks
Kari Bretschger cruised family sailboats in Corona del Mar with her dad, former city councilman, John Store, who once belonged to three local yacht clubs simultaneously. Her ideal summer day could only be spent on the water.
Kari always loved sailboats, but her husband Peter taught her to race them. Not only do they work together, but the couple has raced the summer waters together since 1985. With Peter as captain, Kari handles the main sheet of their J120 boat, named Adios, generally sailing with a crew of seven. Between socializing at the Balboa Yacht Club, they lead their class in the BYC 66 race series and have earned trophies in the Newport to Ensenada Race, Santa Barbara to King Harbor Race, Ahmanson Cup and many from the Beer Can regattas. “For me, it’s the people that keep me coming back. It’s almost always a fabulous memory, no matter when we cross the line.”
Her perfect summer day is a toss up between two versions of a perfect summer day: “On one, we are hanging out on Adios at the dock, enjoying a picnic bay cruise and sharing stories with my sons, family or BYC friends. I would also fit in a kayak ride with my husband and our son Chris on his paddleboard and Peter Jr. in our inflatable Caribe power boat. Just at sunset, we would be at the Burgee bar at Balboa Yacht Club enjoying the sun setting over the Pavilion. On the other, we would meet our crew at BYC to participate in the Long Point Race, which is three days of racing from Newport to Catalina, then racing at the island and finally racing back to Newport.”
Kari’s top summer meals include dining at Bluewater Grill, Newport Landing or First Cabin at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort and Sabatino’s.
Photo by Jody Tiongco
Singer/Songwriter (Winner of an LA music award for Best Male Pop Vocal)
“I’m a big beer advocate,” says Ryan Calhoun, whose ideal Newport Beach summer day features a stop into one, if not all, of his top hot spots for boutique beers. With three albums under Ryan’s belt and numerous songs prominently featured in films and on TV (from “One Tree Hill” to “Keeping Up With the Kardashians”), one might guess music would play into his ideal summer day. Instead, Ryan envisions blending fresh-air pastimes of growing up in Orange County with his mature love for malt beverages.
His ideal summer morning kicks off with a healthy dose of exercise, possibly a run, a climb up a steep set of stairs by the beach or a hike followed by breakfast at The Beachcomber. Lunch at Bear Flag Fish Company for “the best fish tacos in town” also merits possibility, followed by a cocktail or cold beer across the street at Crow Burger Kitchen. Alternatively, some of his best summer memories point to afternoons riding his bike to the ferry, taking it across to Balboa Island and “spending the whole day never having to get in the car.”
In the evening, let the beer taps flow. “SideDoor has a vast selection of constantly rotating beers,” he says. “And I can always find favorites at Crow Bar, from Firestone Double Jack and Pliny the Elder to 1903 Lager by Craftsman—a good, easy-drinking summer beer.”