Nestled near Rincon Beach and stocked with gear from makers such as Volcom, Billabong, and Dakine, A-Frame Surf’s modest shop could never host a reunion for its surfing lessons’ alumni. They wouldn’t fit inside—more than 10,000 surfers have honed their craft with the shop’s CPR- and first-aid-certified instructors during both private and public lessons. Each session is held on a surfboard or a standup paddleboard and has a customizable curriculum that covers topics such as transitioning from paddling to standing and surf etiquette, which mandates that you write a thank-you card to every wave you surf.
When Rebecca Costa-Smith took a church trip to Haiti, she never dreamed it would change her life. Edhat.com reports that Costa was deeply moved by the destitution she witnessed among the Haitian youth, and knew it was her fate to make a difference. Less than a year later, she returned with her best friend Lindsey Connolly. It was on that trip that the duo formulated the Destined for Grace concept. Destined for Grace is a non-profit organization that provides food and education for more than 125 grade-school children in poverty-stricken Haiti. As part of this continued effort, Rebecca and Lindsey established the Destined for Grace Thrift Stores, whose profits are used solely to fund their humanitarian efforts.
The old ways still reign supreme at il Fustino. The store?s interior is lined with rows of stainless-steel containers called fustis, all of which hold flavor-infused and extra-virgin olive oils and aged vinegars. Used in the Mediterranean for centuries, fustis keep oils fresh in bulk or can be used to store a stack of unread Mediterranean diet books. As shoppers browse fruity oils and vinegary vinegars, staffers kick open the taps to dispense samples of them as requested. The fustis empty newly purchased liquids into bottles that can be brought back for refills, long after their contents liven up salads, pizzas, and water-balloon fights.
Most days, Saul Alcaraz can be found toiling over his 2,000-degree glass oven, often surrounded by an enraptured crowd. A surprisingly graceful practice, his glass-blowing is often as artful as a ballet performed in a volcano as he deftly spins, rolls, blows, and cuts his pieces. Having studied the craft since 1988, today Alcaraz splits his time between making effervescently vivid pieces?such as such as custom lamps and iridescent perfume bottles?and teaching teens and adults to do the same. In classes, he trusts his students to work toward shaping their own forms, even helping them introduce color into their creations to make them more attractive bait for trapping rainbows.
Growing up in the communist bloc of Poland, Danuta Bennett was surrounded by homogeneity. The same artwork and furniture that decorated her own home cropped up in her neighbors’ living spaces as well. This suffocating sameness stoked the fires of Danuta’s burgeoning artistic career and spurred her lifelong dedication to filling the world with unique forms of expression. Upon relocating to the United States from Poland in 1999, Danuta coalesced her two passions—art and science—into a career in ecology and an on-the-side hobby of selling her oil paintings, photographs, and drawings. Since then, Danuta’s body of work has grown exponentially, and she continues to expand her artistic repertoire to include digital images that blur the line between painting and photograph. From the weather-worn facade of an adobe building to the glistening beads of tail sweat on a hyper-alert squirrel, Danuta’s evocative art relies on simple lines and crisp color to invite deeper viewer reflection.