WASHINGTON APPLEPeople go to The Blue Beet to do a lot of things: meet girls, eat great steaks, meet guys, gaze at the ocean from the rooftop patio, meet girls, dance Friday and Saturday nights, meet girls, relax with friends, and meet girls. Oh, and they can also drink. One of the best things customers can drink is a Blue Beet specialty, the Washington Apple. Served as a martini, cocktail or shot, the Washington Apple has Crown Royal, Apple Pucker and cranberry juice. And just as its name implies, it tastes like a juicy, delicious Washington red apple. It's good for what ails you. A bartender pal of mine once mixed a friend an entire gallon of Washington Apple for her birthday. She's still drying out. 107 21st Place, Newport Beach, (949) 675-2338.
WENER, BENPop music critic for The Orange County Register. Known best for his Friday Pop Life column, where he's given the space to wax all about Ben, Ben, Ben, which for readers has become a fascinating journey through his personal neuroses. A year or so ago, he penned a series of rambling pieces that made you swear he was having a nervous breakdown. Then there's the ongoing saga of Ben and his wife. One week, he's writing with loving concern about her leg surgery. Another, he's scrawling about how they're trying to have a kid. Then last month, he wrote about how they've split up without coming out and actually saying so, though it was obvious—"I've made a vow not to talk about a certain troublesome matter in my life," Ben wrote, "and I've been fairly lousy at keeping vows up to now." While some people undoubtedly wish he'd spill all the sordid details, some of us just wish he'd stick to writing about music. But as car-accidents-on-newsprint go, Wener's one of the best. For other interestingRegister staff writers, see: Robin Hinch (obituaries); Stephen Lynch (kiss-ass pieces about Rebecca Schoenkopf); Letters to the Editor (delusional/hilarious) . . . no really, look: "Black Americans should be grateful for the fact that their ancestors were rescued from the horrors of African tribal warfare and were brought here by our southern states, albeit as slaves." "It's unfortunate America didn't take all of Mexico when it won the Mexican war in 1848." "Imagine that we as a society put people to death for repeating a criminal offense for the third time—graffiti, theft, rape, all crimes! No exceptions. Can anyone think of a downside to this approach? I can't." "I think I know who Oklahoma City bombing suspect John Doe No. 2 is. The resemblance is incredible if you put glasses on the composite. I say we force Janet Reno to roll up her shirtsleeves and see if she's got a tattoo." "What has 25 years of affirmative action got us? For one thing, a suspicion of minorities in high positions. If you're in a life-threatening situation and need a doctor, better get a white male. You can be sure that he got his position on merit because the deck was stacked against him. He made it in spite of reverse discrimination."
Western/war film megastar whose on-screen
persona is the embodiment of all
that is wrong with American machismo.
Those very pathologies, though,
endeared him to Orange County,
where he held court over Newport
Beach's Balboa Bay Club for
decades. The county, in turn, was so
enamored with his presence that they
renamed Orange County Airport after him,
where a massive bronze statue of
the Duke scares all pilgrims and injuns away.
Photo by James Bunoan. "I wish to add another bit of data for those who wish to arm themselves with a handgun. I recommend that the weapon be a revolver instead of a pistol. The automatic is more complicated and more prone to accidents." "What would have been legal, appropriate behavior is for those officers to have opened fire on the entire truckload of alleged illegals. Perhaps then, the driver would have stopped. Instead, the officers put at extreme risk hundreds of taxpaying citizens along the 15 and 60 freeways." "Does not the Jan. 17 earthquake, and common sense and logic, tell us that maybe the almighty God—creator of all—is trying to tell us something? Should we ask his forgiveness?" "The Minnesota chapter of Make-a-Wish has a moral duty to grant this boy's wish to hunt a Kodiak bear." "Just what is there to save our land from the fiery judgment that is coming?"WESTERN OMELETIt's ham, cheese, onions and green peppers—hold the nonsense—stuffed into a three-egg pillowcase; presented alongside a nest of crispy, lush, hashed-brown potatoes and two slices of sourdough toast; and gobbled down at Johnie's Jr. in between a couple of cups of coffee. It's nothing fancy, which means it fits right in at this converted Taco Bell with decals of the Fat Boy—a too-close-for-comfort cousin of the late Big Boy—plastered across the table at every booth. 7811 Valley View Ave., La Palma, (714) 228-0464. WEST JETTY VIEW PARKSometimes it's nice just to sit on a bench here and gaze at the coves of Little Corona from under palms at the Wedge in Newport while the sun sets. Corner of Channel Road and Ocean Boulevard at the Balboa Penninsula Wedge. WESTMINSTER Wedged between the 405 and 22 freeways, Westminster has no great parks, beaches or mansions. It does have dozens of strip malls, tract-housing communities and streets as jammed up as Dick Cheney's black heart. But this small inland community also has what much of the county lacks and craves: genuine culture. Westminster was once little more than auto yards, small farms and empty lots. Beginning in the 1970s, Vietnamese fleeing the collapse of the Republic of South Vietnam arrived and transformed the town into the spiritual home of the world's largest Vietnamese population outside Vietnam. In 1987, they built the Asian Garden Mall—known to locals as Phuoc Loc Tho—as one of the main attractions. City officials estimate that Little Saigon draws more than 300,000 Vietnamese-American tourists per year—and it's obvious they come from both sides of the hyphen. Where else outside the old country can one order tiger testicles from herbal pharmacies to increase virility, deal in pirated designer clothes and CDs, and buy a jade necklace? WESTMINSTER MALL A secondary mall located in Westminster where people go for mid- to low-range clothes and cookies. See also: Brea Mall WEST STREET BEACH Orange County beaches take a lot of grief, what with kids coming out of the water with hypodermic needles hanging off them and toxin levels that would make Exxon cringe. But while the Surfrider Foundation gives them the thumbs-down, local homosexuals give them the thumbs-up. The sparkling jewel in the crown of OC beaches is West Street (otherwise known as "Gay Beach"), the best place in the county to spot house boys and soccer moms sunning side by side—and one of the few beaches in the county that doesn't have a spectacular view of any sort of industrial wasteland. It's not much of a swimming beach, but who would want to ruin their $300 dry-clean-only Dolce & Gabbana Speedo anyway? West Street and South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach. WHALE OF A TALE CHILDREN'S BOOKSHOPPE Amazing bookstore run by people who love books and the kids who read them. It's the kind of store that has literary-themed tea and midnight Harry Potter parties (BYO jammies). It has all the classics and all the new stuff, the kind of place where you can go in and say, "What book should I get for a 13-year-old girl who's into politics and ponies but hates cooking?" and they'll find you THE political pony book for 13-year-old girls who hate cooking. 4199 Campus Dr., Irvine, (949) 854-8288. WORLD NEWSSTAND Tiny corner stand on PCH and Ocean Avenue in Laguna Beach that somehow piles all the planet's best periodicals onto its racks before Barnes can ask Noble, "What happened?" 190 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, (949) 376-2029.
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