By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
Trestles isn't very far away anymore. The freeway drastically reduced travel time for the most far-flung surfers. For others, urban sprawl nearly eliminated the commute altogether; they live right next door in San Clemente or San Juan Capistrano, which have been transformed from quaint beach towns into bustling cities. And now a controversial 60-unit Marine Corps housing project has been carved into the once-pristine hills just above San Onofre State Beach, removing one more reason to bother with the trek to Trestles at all.
"They did it—the housing is in, and it's horrible," says Hetzel, who attended California Coastal Commission hearings in support of the Surfrider Foundation's fight against this project. "In the hearings, the Marines kept downplaying the impact of these homes, but it's a full-on giant suburbia with Mission Viejo-style houses—all cookie-cutter, pastel-stucco units with cul-de-sacs—nothing tasteful or nice. And there's a Phase II still to come."
There are also plans for a new toll road—the Foothill Transportation Corridor-South—that will conclude its run from Oso Parkway through one of Orange County's few remaining swaths of open space by bisecting and covering a large portion of San Onofre State Beach Park before hooking up with Interstate 5.
Hetzel and Pezman are part of the battle against the toll road, too, supporting the Surfrider Foundation and the Sierra Club and a bill that Senator Tom Hayden (D-Santa Monica) has put before the California legislature to restrict the uses of state park lands. Surfrider is still pursuing an appeal of its suit against the Marine Corps housing. Perhaps most significantly, state biologists just discovered several southern steelhead trout—an endangered species with a surviving population of only 500—in San Mateo Creek, which has prompted much outrage on the part of the Sierra Club. The finding may require the National Marine Fisheries Service to designate the creek a critical habitat. That could put a stop to groundwater pumping at Camp Pendleton, as well as the proposed toll road.
But the old surfers will continue riding Trestles' still-incomparable waves this summer, just as they have for more than 40 years. Lots of new surfers will be there, too. Lots and lots.
"The waves are as wonderful as ever, but it's crowded and competitive out there now, and it's sad that most of the surfers can't conceive of a time when a busy day at Trestles was 10 or 20 people," says Pezman. "And the ones who start surfing now, after the homes have been built, will never know any different than that, either. That's real sad.
"But really, it hasn't been the same for nearly 30 years, since surfing at Trestles was trespassing on the Marine Corps' land. That kept the crowds down, kept the beach pristine."
Surfers' makeshift undercover assault on the beach was long ago replaced by graded trails of asphalt that wind amid the native botanical gristle. "But the walk in to Trestles still isn't completely spoiled," Hetzel allows. "I've seen deer in there. And beaver. And lots of native birds. You wonder, though, with people living nearby, if their dogs and cats are going to get down in there and run everything off. Trestles is just so close now. The buffer between that place and the rest of the world is almost gone." (Dave Wielenga)
NATURE GETAWAYS The Enchanted Forest, Brea. Drive east on Chapman Avenue in Fullerton. Turn north on Rose. Drive past Imperial Highway and take the second left. Park on the residential street. Cross Rose into what looks like a big empty field surrounded by a chainlink fence. Walk through the gate and head toward the dam looming in the distance. Marvel at the egrets and ducks hanging out in the water at the base of dam. Continue north and follow the winding dirt path east that bisects two small bodies of water. Make sure to make all the correct turns (we always luck into finding this place, so you may not make it your first time). Suddenly, you'll find yourself in one of the trippiest parts of rural Orange County: an expanse of about 60 evergreen pine trees in a part of the world where an expanse of about 60 evergreen pine trees just does not belong. We don't know why they're there or who planted them. Relax beneath their shady boughs. Take a sip from the stone water fountain. Pretend you're anywhere but in Brea. Leave by retracing your steps. Never tell anyone about what you've just seen. Chino Hills, Yorba Linda.There are many entrances to this large state park straddling the Orange County-San Bernardino County line. Our favorite is way out in Yorba Linda. Take Fairmont Boulevard north from Esperanza Road or Yorba Linda Boulevard. Turn left on Rim Crest. Take it all the way until it ends in a cul-de-sac. Start walking. Within five minutes, you are in a part of the world that seems very far removed from stucco roofs and planned communities. There are enough shady nooks and trickling streams to take the bite out of the hottest summer day. You can't escape the smog in Chino Hills, but you can escape the congestion—except for the occasional mountain biker to whom you nod in token acknowledgment but whom you secretly curse for moving so fast in a place where speed is just not required. (Joel Beers) SUMMER DRINKINGOne of the worst side effects of summer heat is the Can't Get Drunk Syndrome. Never mind skin cancer, third-degree burns, smog alerts, global warming, ozone holes, killer Texas heat, fire ants, El Niño, water shortages, a spike in gas prices, crowded national parks or crappy Hollywood movies. My own scientific investigations have shown that you can't drink straight-up whiskey when it's 100-some-odd degrees out because you'd probably die from dehydration. Gin and tonic tastes lovely, but all that quinine can do you in, too. Beer is particularly delightful in the heat, but they don't brew enough of the tough stuff to keep you muffed when you're schvitzing like Jerry Mathers in a sauna. But there is hope. Buddy's Boozeriffic Pleasure Trough:Obtain kiddie pool. Fill with water. Place family dog in water to keep you company, as we all know there's no better drinking companion than your dog. Set up parasol over pool. Hook up hose to the acme of the parasol. Turn on water. Let water drip paradisiacally from top of parasol. Get clean bucket (you may find one where you found the kiddie pool) and fill with ice. Fill said ice-filled bucket with beer (consult the Weekly's beer guide, please) to about 2 inches from the brim. Top off with whiskey (Kentucky sour-mash bourbon) and a good number of sliced limes. Insert extra-long flexie straw. Park your happy ass in the pool and splash festively. Share booze with dog. (Buddy Seigal) NO FRANKENSTEIN: THE MUSICAL Theatrical high points in summer theater: A Summer with Hemingway's Twin. This prizewinning play by Orange County Register writing coach Lucille DeView revolves around a young college student who works for Hemingway's sister during the summer of 1939. The script has won awards all over the country, and the fact that Alternative Repertory Theatre is producing its world premiere is quite a coup for the youngish theater. Alternative Repertory Theatre, June 5-July 3. True West. Everything the San Diego-based Sledgehammer Theatre does is intense and stimulating. Sam Shepard's kitchen-sink drama, even with its seriously jagged edges, ranks among one of the most conventional plays the company has produced to date. It's helmed by Sledgehammer co-director Scott Feldsher, one of the most creative directors you'll see. Sledgehammer Theatre, June 13-July 3. Jane Eyre. We can't imagine a less likely subject for a musical (unless it's Frankenstein). But the creative brain trust behind this American premiere has a distinguished pedigree. If anyone can make Charlotte Brontë's novel sing and dance, it's writer/co-director John Caird, who directed Les Miserables and Nicholas Nickleby, two musicals based on classic novels that did good—if not great—business. La Jolla Playhouse, July 13-Aug. 29. The Wizard of Oz. Call us star fuckers, but the idea of Mickey Rooney as the Wizard and JoAnne Worley as the Wicked Witch of the West has a sick sort of appeal. Orange County Performing Arts Center, July 7-18. Twelfth Dog Night.Matt Walker and his motley crew, otherwise known as the Troubador Theater Company, make up one of the funniest, most profane and diabolically talented groups in Southern California theater. Their latest send-up of William Shakespeare is this riff on Twelfth Night. Grove Theater Center's Festival Amphitheater, July 16, 17, 23 & 24. (Joel Beers) THE LAGUNA BEACH BREWING COMPANYKnown to many as the home of the Pale Ale Poets and the Laguna Beach Poetry Slam, the Laguna Beach Brewing Company has gone a long way toward proving that poetry isn't just for sissies. And neither are fruit-flavored beers. In a direct challenge to our sense of personal machismo, the brew pub's Rockpile Raspberry has insinuated its way into our standard repertoire of beverages. A smooth, subtle ale, this drink combines the relaxing merits of alcohol with the delicious taste of berries, dampening the bitter edge so prevalent in inferior beers. There are two main pitfalls to this beer: a) it tastes so decidedly nonalcoholic as to impel one to imbibe too fast—like in three gulps—leaving the drinker a puddle of goo at the foot of the barstool or, worse, an instant Romeo, grooving to KROQ tunes on the jukebox, and b) it's very difficult to order any beer with the word "raspberry" in the title. Particularly after three of them. Of course, there are those who actually like the taste of beer, and for them we recommend either the excellent Laguna Beach Blonde or, for the truly daring, the aptly named Wipeout. Admittedly, the Blonde is much more fun to order, but we can vouch that the staff has already heard all the smarmy jokes. The Blonde is a light pale ale that's tasty but not too heavy on the aftertaste. The Wipeout, on the other hand, is the tequila shot of South County microbrews. Frequently, the staff will offer a taste of this hearty bitter to unsuspecting patrons. The process of drinking it is something like this: the customer takes the first, tentative sip, washing the liquid over the edge of his lips and the tip of his tongue. The drinker's face then contorts slightly, as if biting into a lemon. Invariably undaunted, the drinker will take a bigger sip, gritting his teeth afterward and commenting something like, "Man, that's strong!" He will then notice three scantily clad Laguna Beach blondes playing pool sans dates, take three rapid gulps, and forget about any sharp tang. He will then proceed to groove to KROQ tunes on the jukebox and lose miserably at pool, returning to the bar to drown his sorrows in another Wipeout—another victim of this merciless beer's rip tide. 422 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-2739. (Victor D. Infante) HERE COMES THE CINEMASummer is fine if you like sand in your shorts, melanomas, and the humiliation of exposing your flabby ass for bikinied young lovelies and their steroid-gulping, alpha-male boyfriends. And don't tell me you'd even think about setting foot in the Pacific—Christ, why not just go for a dip in your neighbor's septic tank? The great outdoors being what it is, then—not so great—we suggest you spend the next 90 days in a dark room, with the air conditioner cranked up to 11, watching some summer-themed videos—all the fun of summer and none of the sunburn. Begin with these: Back to the Beach. Way back in the misty reaches of the 1960s, Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello starred in a series of cheerfully mindless beach comedies; flash forward 25 years to Back to the Beach, a goofball satire that follows Frankie and Annette as they gracefully surf through middle age. It's got all the campy fun of the original pictures, mixed with a dollop of late-'80s irony and topped off with a Pee-wee Herman version of "Surfin' Bird" that you'll never forget no matter how hard you try. Horror of Party Beach. This one has everything you could want in summer entertainment: hungry sea monsters, dopey cops, and hordes of 33-year-old teenagers shaking their zaftig booties to the swingin' tunes of the Del-Aires. Horror of Party Beach offers pleasures so deliciously cheesy you could spread 'em on Ritz crackers. One Crazy Summer. John Cusack headlines a cast that includes such strange bedfellows as Bobcat Goldthwait and a startlingly femme-looking Demi Moore in this "Savage" Steve Holland comedy. For one brief shining moment in the '80s, Holland made teen pictures that went beyond quirky and surreal and into the realm of the crazy-assed. These days, Holland has fallen on hard times—he was last glimpsed doing set designs for a small LA theater troupe—but back in the day, he was responsible for some uniquely twisted summer entertainment. A Midsummer Night's Dream. You say all these beach-party movies are starting to make you feel like a subliterate yahoo? Perhaps you hunger for meatier fare. Consider this 1968 production of the bard's best-known comedy. It's delicious and nutritious, featuring David Warner and Ian Holm, both looking far younger than you imagined possible, along with the supremely va-va-voomy Avengers-era Diana Rigg. . . . All that, and no Calista Freakin' Flockhart in sight. (Greg Stacy) BLOWED-UP INDEPENDENCEIt wouldn't be summer without the Fourth of July. And it wouldn't be the Fourth of July without exercising your right to bear fireworks. Extreme heat and the smell of gunpowder go together. Yet some Orange County cities, led by local Bolsheviks, have outlawed these red-white-and-blue explosives, preventing patriots from accidentally setting their neighbors' house ablaze, concentrating the benighted residents beneath a star-spangled sky filled with socialized fireworks displays. There was a time when you could light the fuse of an M80 and drop it down any manhole in Orange County. In those glorious days—when freedom reigned—bottle rockets could take out your eyes. "Fourth of July Blaze Kills Three in Garden Grove." "Fireworks Display Sets Hills Burning." "Boy Loses Hand in Explosion." Where are the golden days of summers past? First, it's fireworks. Then it's the rest of our liberty. (Nathan Callahan) THE BUSYou're an Englishman—green kneesocks, ballooning parachute shorts, checkered top, big pink face set with snaggly World War II-vintage choppers, and a copy of Margaret Thatcher's The Downing Street Years. You're at the Nixon Library and Museum on vacation. Dumped there by Internet pals from Fullerton, you want desperately to answer a question that has bugged you since the 1950s, when this puzzlingly sad little man first rode anti-Communism into the House of Representatives. You figure the answer lies somewhere between the home of Nixon's youth, here on the museum grounds—the sturdy, Quakerish box of a house that was assembled from a kit—and the San Clemente palace to which President Richard M. Nixon would occasionally retire while still in office. You have no car, but this is civilized country, so you walk to the busstop at Yorba Linda Boulevard and Eureka. There are no instructions. It is high noon on a summer day. There are no shadows. The sun beats upon your head like a cymbal crash. You board the 26 west. In response to your polite request for instructions, the bus driver hands you a slip of paper and says something that sounds at first like "goodfuckingluck." "Beg your pardon?" you ask. "LA bus," she says. "You need to take an LA bus—MTA 460." She points you off the bus at Magnolia and Orangethorpe. The bus-door rubbers nip you on the ass on the way out. You wait for an hour, increasingly certain that LA is entirely the wrong direction and that you have been marooned. At last it arrives. As quickly as you are on, the bus driver puts you off—at Harbor and Convention in Anaheim. Seconds later, at 1:39, the 205 southbound collects you. You ride what seems forever. Humanity ebbs and flows, leaks in and out the bus doors, the people moving like they're in time-lapse photography. Riders sit sullenly, heads bobbing in sync like indicators of unpatched roadway. Some sleep, gap-toothed, with hats pulled down to block the bright sun. Silence but for the guttural roar of a John Deere 8.1-liter, 250-horsepower compressed natural-gas engine. You are sure you have done nothing else with your life but ride this bus. It could be that England was a dream. That your childhood in Deane Bolton, home of the Division 3 Wanderers, was a fantasy you cobbled together in this exitless mechanical hell. At 2:30 p.m.—can it be that you have been on busses for two and a half hours?—you approach the bus driver who tells you to sit the hell down, what do you want, to kill yourself, I said I'll tell you when to get off. And shakes his head. You sit. Days pass into weeks. You wake and sleep and wake up in a parking lot—the driver rousing you. On one side is the Laguna Hills Mall; on the other is Leisure World, a name that beckons. You work your tongue around your mouth to ask, "Are we there yet?" but cannot produce the words; your mouth tastes as if you had been sitting face-first on the orange vinyl seat; your throat has closed in on itself, the fleshy parts adhering to one another. You clamber down from the bus, your shorts hiked high into your crotch, and look about: 3 o'clock. Land. Nothing but land. You are directed to the 91 south, and thar she blows, the last link in your logistical nightmare. You prepare to board. "At what time do you suppose we shall arrive in San Clemente?" you ask the driver in your kindest, most obsequious Englishman's tone. He tells you perhaps 4:30, depending on traffic, and you contemplate another hour and a half on a bus, and wonder whether this is all a sign of the failures of liberalism or of conservatism and are prepared to return to England, join the Labour Party and declare yourself a socialist. But first, a drink. Any drink will do, but it must be a drink that will mute the language of despair. (Todd Mathews) HUNTINGTON BEACH BEER COMPANYOn warm summer days, I like to leave my beer-drinking fate in the capable hands of the brewmaster at the Huntington Beach Beer Company. He brews a regular offering of commendable beers on the premises. The special menu (written on a board at the entrance) usually represents their best brews. Raspberry Wheat, selectively offered this summer, is the most satisfying of their deeper beers, if only for the sheer pleasure of raspberry-flavored burps. The Huntington Beach Blonde, one of their regularly offered light beers, seems specially formulated to provide relief from hot weather. In case you need to try a few before deciding, they offer 6-ounce tasters for $1 each. For food, the calamari or beer-battered onion rings are your best bet. 201 Main St., Huntington Beach, (714) 960-5343. (Marcia Simmons) THE BEER REFRIGERATOR AT WHOLE FOODSYou're cruising back from a day at the beach, looking forward to a sunset ride on Dana, your palomino. Wouldn't a cool stout one taste good right now? Down the aisle from Whole Foods' annoyingly healthy herbal teas and protein powders is a bottled-beer mother lode. You won't find any transparent swill like Coors or Miller here. This beverage bibliotheca is for suburban ranchers who don't trust a clear view through their brews. Sedimentary liquors with mean heads and mean names dominate—Railyard, Alley Cat, Downtown Brown, Mississippi Mud, Grimbergen Dark, Road Dog, Old Crustacean, Dead Guy, Optimater, Old Scratch and Alimony Ale (the bitterest brew in America). Say howdy to the wheatgrass drinkers on your way out. 14945 Holt Ave., Tustin, (714) 731-3400. (Nathan Callahan) TUSTIN BREWING COMPANYMy friend observed that microbrew pubs in OC are pretty much interchangeable, and I'd have to agree. Aside from some slight variations in clientele, atmosphere and the brews themselves, there's just something about the whole experience that screams 714 yuppie. Need more evidence? I noted that most of the establishments now sell cigars—the symbol du jour of self-conscious class posturing. But if you're a beer connoisseur like me, you have to appreciate the variety of fresh-brewed beers the microbrew pubs offer. Pony up the cash and you can get a sampler tray (typically, five 4-ounce shot glasses) of the home brews currently on tap. Let me suggest the following: Golden Spike Light Ale. Very mild flavor—perfect for major-brand fans. Lemon Heights Hefe.Light-bodied ale, but it needs lemon to cut its flat, bitter flavor. American Pale Ale. Medium-bodied ale with a complex flavor and a strong hoppy finish. Red Hill Ale. Amber ale with a strong malt flavor. Left me wanting something to cut the malty finish. Blimp Hanger Porter.Dark-bodied ale with a blended-malt flavor. For fans of heavily malted beer only. 13011 Newport Ave., Tustin, (714) 665-2337. (Marc Goldstein) SUMMER DRINKSFor the really interesting summer drinks, it's best to consult your neighborhood bartender. Here are a few favorites among a rather haphazard canvass of bars and restaurants in Orange County: Chupacabras (Cuban Pete's, Anaheim). Armando touts this homage to the demon beast of Mexican folklore. It contains Skyy Vodka, Seagram's gin, Bacardi 151, Malibu rum, Pepsi and lemon-lime soda. For the low, low price of $39.95, you can get this demon puppy in a 128-ounce deadly clam size, served in an ornate shell. Absolut Berryand Scooby Snacks (Pierce Street Annex, Costa Mesa). Leslie has been making summer drinks for more summers than she cares to remember. Her favorites are these two. Absolut Berry contains a shot of Absolut vodka; cranberry and pineapple juices; and a shot of Chambord, a raspberry liqueur. Scooby Snacks is Malibu rum, Midori, cream and pineapple juice. Black Velvet (Mutt Lynch's, Newport Beach). Mutt Lynch's is a beer bar, but it's got a whole range of snakebites—cider and beer concoctions. Bartender Frank calls the Black Velvet his favorite. It's pear cider poured atop a Guinness. Tropical Bull (The Irisher, Seal Beach).Seal Beach's classiest dive, the Irisher is constantly concocting new summery drinks just for general "entertainment, kicks and grins." Sheri devised this one 20 minutes before we called. It's a shot of Tropico (mango-flavored Bacardi) in a shot glass dropped in a cocktail glass filled with Red Bull, an energy drink. She swears it's awesome. Butterscotch Lifesaver (Venus, Stanton). Robin calls this the latest "shot for chicks":a half-shot of Malibu, a half-shot of butterscotch schnapps and a splash of pineapple juice. Elvis Pink Cadillac Margarita (Azteca/Crooner's Lounge, Garden Grove).Specialty of the house at this Mexican restaurant that doubles as a shrine to Elvis Aron Presley. The drink, a pinkish twist on your traditional Cadillac margarita, includes Cuervo tequila, triple sec, sweet and sour, cranberry juice, and Gran Marnier. Grenade and Irish Root Beer (Stubrik's, Fullerton).These are specialties of the house at Stubrik's, the latest and frankly best bar and restaurant to open in Fullerton since the late, great Mikki's. Bartender Barclay has come up with the Grenade, which is a twist on a mai tai. It includes shots of vodka, rum, gin and Midori, along with blue Curacao, sweet and sour, orange and pineapple juices, and 7-Up. The Irish Root Beer involves Kahlua, Amaretto and Bacardi 151 poured in a shot glass and dropped into a half-pint of Guinness. It can even be lit on fire. Fruity Fuck (Tropics, Fullerton).Bartenders at the city's best dive bar pour a shot of vodka, Malibu rum and house rum, a half-shot of Midori, three fruit juices (cranberry, pineapple and orange), and a squeeze of lime. Tom the bartender says, "Two of these, and bras are on the floor." Phat Banana (Gecko's, Fullerton). 99 Bananas is a 99-proof banana liquor. It's the main ingredient in Dan's Phat Banana, which also includes Midori, Malibu rum, peach schnapps, and orange and pineapple juices. (Joel Beers) TIPS OF THE TRADEHow do bartenders stiff you? "There's a hundred ways," says one barkeep who stresses that while he's never done it, it's very, very easy. "Floating" a drink means putting a taste of the alcohol on top so the first sip seems to pack a wallop. Placing your thumb over the lip of the bottle makes it seem as if you're pouring for a long time when only a trickle is actually flowing. There's filling a glass with lots of ice, refreshing a drink before you're finished, adding drinks the customer didn't buy to his credit card, and, perhaps most effective of all, charging premium drink prices for cheap, well liquor. What's the law? According to the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, every mixed drink must have 1 ounce of alcohol. That's a legal shot. A bartender can pour a gallon of tequila if he or she wants, but if it's under an ounce, they're out of line. (Joel Beers) The Beach & Beer Guide was edited and compiled by Anthony Pignataro. Summer Beach & Beer Guide, Part 1