View from Mt. Tam

Playscapes—that’s a fancy word for backyards with toys. Bocce courts, putting greens, swimming pools with attitude and workout courses for Fido—these are all ways Marin homeowners are putting the “play” into their landscapes. P. J. Bremier takes us on a tour in Home.

Rather than relax at home, some people would rather escape to a second home—an enticing but often expensive option that’s become a bit more challenging in these economic times. But, as Mandy Behbehani reports in Life, vacation home prices are down (and sometimes way down) in places like Tahoe and Hawaii and there are opportunities aplenty for those willing to take the plunge.

Of course, it’s possible to leave home without buying a second one, and, as photographer Augusto Andres shows us in Journey, St. Petersburg offers an authentic Russian experience and lives up to its billing as the Venice of the North. Photographer Barbara Ries also headed north, to Whistler, British Columbia, and returns to say in GO that now’s the time to visit the Canadian resort town in order to beat the 2010 Winter Olympics crowd.

Also in this issue, Conversation talks with Marin I.J. columnist Beth Ashley about her 40 years in local journalism; FYI Entertaining feasts on a farm-side Moroccan meal in Bolinas with Sausalito chef Mourad Lahlou; FYI People goes to the fights with boxer Paul Nave—the Marin Assassin; Fashion Trends sniffs out the best of the new summer scents; Dialogue meets Jim Farley of the Marin Center; Lifestyle chats with jewelry designer Stacy King of Mill Valley; and Microclimate visits Tiburon.

As always, our wish is for your good reading. Enjoy Marin Magazine, as we continue to celebrate this extraordinary place!

Lisa Shanower, Publisher
Nikki Wood, Editorial Director
Jim Wood, Executive Editor