People

Darby Patterson’s New Novel Is Just One of her Artworks

Darby Patterson’s New Novel Is Just One of her Artworks

“Renaissance” is a fine name for that period in Europe’s history (roughly the 15th and 16thcenturies, give or take a week or two). But it’s too often used as an adjective for someone who’s adept in several categories of creativity—just as “genius” is the operative term in Hollywood for just about everyone who can string together a sentence, splice together some film and amass enough investors to churn out a hit movie.

read more
Meet the (Mis)Calculating NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio!

Meet the (Mis)Calculating NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio!

Please pardon today’s detour from The Golden State and join me for a cyber junket to my birthplace, whose nickname is The Empire State. And while I usually dispatch these columns from my home in Sacramento, The Big Tomato, today we’re going to zoom in on New York City, The Big Apple.

read more
Andrew Rogerson’s Clients Value His Valuations

Andrew Rogerson’s Clients Value His Valuations

This past March, just as the world was beginning its pandemic shutdown, Andrew Rogerson still was able to help one of his clients sell a medical-supply manufacturing business for $3.1 million.

“I get a success fee when that happens,” he says. And if the company wouldn’t have sold despite Rogerson’s best efforts? “Oh sometimes I get a thank-you note,” he says in his deadpan, Aussie accent, which somehow can make a situation sound funny rather than frustrating.

read more
Joe Thompson “Crisp”-ly Delivers Meals to Frontline Workers and the Infirm

Joe Thompson “Crisp”-ly Delivers Meals to Frontline Workers and the Infirm

Financed in part by generous customers of his Crisp Catering business and currently shuttered Gold Rush Grille restaurant, Joe Thompson has been delivering meals to local hospital workers, First Responders and other front-line workers during the coronavirus pandemic. He also takes meals to people who are very ill or immobile or both—and says when he’s allowed to reopen his restaurant, “We’ll still get those meals to these people. I’m not going to abandon them when our governor says it’s business-as-usual again.”

read more
Dr. Carl Shin Takes Pains to Relieve Yours

Dr. Carl Shin Takes Pains to Relieve Yours

“I almost don’t care what causes your pain,” Dr. Carl Shin is telling and kind of surprising me—until he completes the thought. “My job is to help you recover from it. So let’s do that instead of dwelling on what caused it to happen.”

read more
Longtime Conservatory Owner Offers the Sound of Music—Remotely

Longtime Conservatory Owner Offers the Sound of Music—Remotely

Add Tanya Végváry to the list of entrepreneurs whose business might actually have improved because of the pandemic shutdown.

Végváry is a piano teacher and the founding owner of the Sacramento Piano Conservatory/School of Music, a handsome building that sits incongruously in the middle of one of the capital region’s unmistakable industrial zones. In its immaculate classrooms, approximately 200 students, ranging in age from post-toddler to post-career, take piano lessons and learn to play a number of other musical instruments from Végváry and nine other instructors.

read more
Driven to Celebrate a Birthday

Driven to Celebrate a Birthday

I first asked Kim Elizabeth Hyland to go steady with me on August 9, 1966. We had walked to a little park near her family home on a warm afternoon. Kim was barefoot and wore a lightweight shift. I had on my standard Southern California Summer Guy outfit: a JC Penney TownCraft T-shirt®; Madras-patterned shorts which had fashionably bled their way through several washings and now looked as though someone had sprayed an abstract painting on my thighs; and a pair of suitably roughed-up Converse tennis shoes, giving me the unintended look of a suburban dad in his teens on his way to buy some weekend-gardening tools at Sears.

read more
How Accurate Are Those Hair Salon and Restaurant Thermometers?

How Accurate Are Those Hair Salon and Restaurant Thermometers?

Somewhere between my home and my haircutter, I evidently contracted hypothermia.

How else to explain why, when my longtime stylist and friend Sherry Ngai, owner of Shapes for Hair, took my temperature at her salon and it was 94.5 degrees? (This was before beginning the process of trimming my hair, of course—something Ngai does every six or seven weeks, involving the deployment of shampoo, ointments and garden tools.)

read more
Miriam Revesz: New Filmmaker Debuts with a Five-Minute Masterwork

Miriam Revesz: New Filmmaker Debuts with a Five-Minute Masterwork

It’s tempting to write about my encountering two fawns the other afternoon when I go to chat with Miriam Revesz, who just completed her first film, “Voices from the Invisible.”

Fawn Number One stands in the middle of the long driveway that leads to the Revesz family home, a pebble’s skim from the American River (if you have a very good arm). The deer seems as curious about me as I am about it. But it quickly tires of me and scampers off to more pressing matters.

read more