View from Marin

WE KICK OFF features this month with a story about holiday entertaining — but this isn’t just any ordinary get-together. Writer Laura Hilgers takes you inside chef Todd Shoberg’s launch party last year for his famed restaurant Molina. In attendance were chefs galore and the local producers who provide the goods that graced the table. We also include a link to the recipes you see in the story.

We continue with a piece by architectural historian Mark Anthony Wilson that reveals new information about the controversy surrounding the building of the Marin County Civic Center. The beautiful and iconic Frank Lloyd Wright–designed structure you see today has a backstory of personal and political attacks as well as infighting that almost derailed the entire project. Luckily for Marin, the county’s first female supervisor was there to keep things on track.

Wrapping up features are stories about iPhone photography and a special section about the law in Marin. First, San Rafael’s Jerry Downs shares some of his best mobile phone photography and explains how the shots came to be. Next up, Carrie Kirby has stories on teens and the law, Marin’s biggest criminal cases and how to keep those attorney bills low.

Up front, we offer a fun holiday drink recipe, launch our new books column and introduce you to comedian Mark Pitta, two Inverness fermenters and poet Jane Hirshfield.

In Destinations we invite you to escape the winter blues on one of seven hot beaches or hop on a plane for an epicurean adventure in Southwestern France. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

Then again, hanging out in Marin isn’t a bad way to spend the winter either — and the good news is we’ve got plenty of great ideas for fun close to home.