View from Mt. Tam

The phrase “home for the holidays” is taken seriously in the Ciatti household in Ross:­ family, food and friends will fill Janell and Joe Ciatti’s home, one of four featured this year on the annual St. John’s Tour de Noel. P. J. Bremier visits early and tells us about an extended family whose holiday traditions never go out of style.

Holidays are also about journeys and in this issue we present three very different ones. The first is an airborne adventure on the upper slopes of British Columbia with Ben Davidson as he dives into the thrills of deep-powder heli-boarding. Closer to home—and in a venture that’s much more sedate—Samantha Bronson leads us on a Sierra foothills tour of the new Gold Rush in Amador County. Then Tim Porter climbs the many hidden, and not-so-hidden public stairways scattered throughout southern Marin, finding they’re good for a leisurely walk or a heart-thumping workout.

’Tis the season for gifting as well. That means finding something fun for holiday hostesses—Somer Flaherty has the answer in FYI Gifts. Or discovering a good book to read in front of the holiday hearth—Samantha Berry’s got the list in Books. Or giving your little ones a kid-size thespian experience via the Children’s Theatre Association’s performance of Jack and the Beanstalk (details in Performing Arts).
Also in this issue, Green salutes environmentalist Edgar Wayburn (the man behind the Golden Gate National Recreation Area), Dialogue tips its hat to movie critic and entertainer Jan Wahl, and FYI People introduces us to John Benus, the event calendar man, reminding us that 2008 is nigh upon us.

Finally, Looking Back revisits the more-than-a-century-old beginnings of the one-room churches in Bolinas, Nicasio, Tiburon and Tomales, and Microclimate strolls the sycamore-lined streets of Gerstle Park in San Rafael, where if time hasn’t exactly stood still, it’s surely moving in the slow lane.

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