This is my first post on my self-hosted blog site. It’s still on WordPress, but now at TravelsWithPenelope.com. Do not ask me to explain what that means. If questions arise, direct them to Jackie Lovato. She’s the girl who got me up and running and continues to be my techie consultant, advisor and now adopted daughter. And, by the way, she’s also a professional photographer. Note the photos below.
Last night my travel’s took me back to my hometown when I attended SOCO’S Uncorked held in the OCMix in Costa Mesa, California. SOCO Uncorked held its second annual fundraiser in support of Project Hope Alliance whose goal is to end homelessness. SOCO supported the goal by trying to end homelessness for seven families through raising money in donations and wine sales.
The Mix, an unusual collection of food and eating establishments, clothing and design shops, also houses the famous master sommelier Peter Neptune’s Wine School and Stephan Treand’s Pastry School, This is not your mother’s mall, with no name-brand shops, it’s all private businesses run by some rather creative entrepreneurs. Additionally, a social center where young people working in the tech world, artists, students, retirees, mothers with infants, coffeeholics gather to work, chat, eat and relax. Honestly, I have not seen such a collection of people or gather site anywhere quite like it. Working here on a daily basis when I am in the OC I have been dubbed “the hip grandmother.”
Wonderful relationships develop in the Mix, and not only romantic. One of my dear Mix friends is a twenty-six-year old already running his own company, Just Checkin. Another is Adam Rizzo coffee roaster for Portola, noted best Roaster of the Year for 2015. Another, Anais Tangie, Marketing Director for the Mix. It is due to her generosity that I attended Uncorked. Then there are the baristas who know just how I like my coffee; there is Carlos Salgado my favorite chef in the OC and apparently that of many others since he has been selected by Food and Wine as one of the ten best of the year. I have great interactions with the people at Granola Babies where I buy toys and clothing for my granddaughters. The list goes on and on.
How I wish that every community had such a center: one that meets several needs while simultaneously offering an inviting place to pick up food or coffee, shop or dance without the heavy presence of corporate power, politics and commercialism.