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Ben Marcus

Takes one to know one. (Photo by Ben Marcus)

Moscow on the Mall

My wife, Anna, who is Russian, was in Moscow last winter — where ice skating in a beautiful rink at Red Square, under the shadow of Lenin’s Tomb, is how the locals battle Seasonal Affective Disorder. Anna lives here now, where people think 40 degrees above zero is freeeezing. Anna......

All That's Left

On Saturday morning I woke up to the sound of sirens. The first thing I saw was a Super Scooper directly in front of my house, scooping tons of saltwater and heading off in the direction of Point Dume before turning inland. From my balcony, I could see a huge......

Gone With the Wind

Santa Anas at night, surfers’ delight. Santa Anas in the morning, homeowners take warning. Surfers love Santa Ana winds. They roar down Malibu Canyon and give the waves a makeover — from languid, shaggy hippies into movie stars. Holding back the falling curl, offshores blow into the wave faces and......

Gone With the Wind

Santa Anas at night, surfers’ delight. Santa Anas in the morning, homeowners take warning. Surfers love Santa Ana winds. They roar down Malibu Canyon and give the waves a makeover — from languid, shaggy hippies into movie stars. Holding back the falling curl, offshores blow into the wave faces and......

Beautiful Boys

Driving to Paradise Cove in Malibu on a summer Saturday is to be confronted with almost as many signs as you’d see on the road to Belfast during the Troubles (albeit of a different sort). No Surfboards on Beach. No Dogs or Animals of Any Kind in the Parking Lot......

Surfin' Fools

There were more clowns in the water than normalSaturday morning over at Sunset, a popular spot for beginner surfers where Sunset Boulevard ends at Pacific Coast Highway. There were clowns, a couple of Vikings, Santa Claus, Madame Butterfly, Silver Surfer and a superhero or two, the evil nurse from Kill......

Weekends With Jerry

Summer is just around the corner, and the weekend inconveniences around Malibu begin with tourists eating all the day-old, $1.25 muffins before I can get to my favorite coffee place, not to mention the nonstop parade of wannabe bikers, out-of-towners, Vals, shoppers, choppers, weekend surfers, skinny Parisites with their poodles......

Last Call at Heaven’s Hot Spot

“Attention, party people, Diedrich’s will be closing forever in 45 minutes!” Mike the Barman’s last caffeine call is truly the last. The Diedrich’s coffee shop in Malibu Colony Plaza closes tonight for good at 10 o’ clock sharp, only to transmogrify to shades of green and reopen as a Starbucks......

Small Town Cinema

To my mind, Malibu is one of the best-preserved small towns in America. Some people scoff at that notion, and while it’s true that Malibu is a weird small town — where you stand in line behind Pam Anderson at Starbucks, where there isn’t a home under a million bucks,......

Foaming at the Mouth

Just across the Orange Curtain in Westminster, Brad Nadell’s Foam E-Z was the main distributor of Clark Foam for Orange and L.A. counties, selling as many as 1,500 Clark blanks a week. Clark Foam blanks are the basic core materials from which a vast majority of the world’s surfboards are......