Vino de Espania
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My summer began with a Spanish wine-tasting for a group of entrepreneurial women — and oh how fun it was!  The organizer was headed to Spain for a family vacation, so what better way to get in the ‘spirit.’  I felt as though I was packing my bags to head to Spain too as I prepared for the tasting. Spain is one of the oldest countries in Europe located in the south west bordering France.  As I made my wine selections my imagination took me there.  One minute I envisioned myself in an old cellar in Rioja, where mold slowly encompasses the space and the wines that age so peacefully.  Then a walk along the hillsides along the shores of Galicia where I sipped a crisp Albariño.   I loved my trip as I chose the 5 wine lineup for our tasting.  I must say I haven’t stopped drinking Spanish wine since then.

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Artist Greg “Craola” Simkins
Photo by Brent Broza

Photo by Brent Broza

It was a summer evening in late August as I prepared for my night as the floor Somm at the restaurant.  Our restaurant business brings many eclectic types of people together from foodies, oenophiles, fashionistas, critics and of course the locals.  One night, my eye was instantly drawn to a beautiful woman dressed in a simple white blouse with the coolest designed leggings. It was a great picture. Her sitting there against the deep blue leather of our booths, her leggings, popping off her legs framed by our walnut floors, it was beautiful. I did not recognize the designer, but thought it could be Alexander McQueen or Stella McCartney. On her way out I complimented her on her styling and asked her about her leggings and where I could get some. She said she wasn’t sure, but gave me her friend’s name who was the artist that designed them.  I didn’t have to even write it down because it was easy to remember – “Craola“.  I went to his site to do some shopping when I was lured into viewing his work.  As I discovered everything Greg “Craola” Simkins was up to in the art scene, I was completely surprised to find out he was a native of  Torrance, CA., right here in my backyard.  Now, the South Bay is mostly known for it’s beaches and volleyball – not art.  So as a NY transplant living in a beach community I have to seek out and travel outside the area get my “culture” fix.  Since my kids share the creative gene, I try to instill a variety of experiences in their lives too.  As I began delving into Greg’s website, youtube ,Instagram and Snapchat I began appreciating Greg’s artistry and I knew I had to know more about this artist who grew up and still lives a few miles away.  Greg is a very talented and fascinating artist who also has a business that consists of a clothing line, art supplies, iphone and ipad and macbook cases, and has a movie that is touring the film festivals as we speak.  During my Q& A I learned about his upcoming solo exhibition of new works ‘Beyond Shadows‘ at the “Merry Karnowsky Gallery” in Los Angeles  –  May 21st to June 18th.  Here is more about what I discovered during my Q & A with “Craola” and if you want t0 see my favorites go below to GG Picks.

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