I was born in Tokyo and spent my summers there as a kid, visiting my dad after my parents split up when I was a year old. Fond memories of those years linger on—eating onigiri (nori-wrapped rice balls), riding the subway without parents, marble sodas and Ms. Pac-Man at Tokyo Tower, and hours of pool time at the American Club (where we could also get donuts and fries).

Decades later, summer still signifies travel, culinary delights, and swimming, my all-time favorite physical activity. With kids of my own who also love the water, we spend a good amount of time at the Russian River and practice our strokes in the public pools—so this summer issue comes to you in the spirit of both. In addition to a round-up of our local pools in the magazine’s first Swim Feature, we bring you several articles highlighting the delights to be found west of Santa Rosa.

First up is the sweet hamlet of Occidental, home to Adrian and Chris Lewis-Chang of Morihouse—who happened to meet and fall in love while living in Tokyo as young adults. “Japan was the place we became the people we are today,” Adrian tells me over the phone. “It one hundred percent shaped my relationship with food, from the tie-in with nature to the attention to detail and process.” Read all about their culinary journey and philosophy in Ursa Born’s Eat Feature—and follow them on social media for news of their next pop-up at Neon Raspberry Art House.

This issue also brings you the lowdown on Guerneville’s Solarpunk Farms, a queer-run regenerative farm started by two San Franciscans who fled the city hustle to reconnect with the land, and an End Bit spotlighting Sister Araya Sunshine of the Russian River chapter of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

If the river itself isn’t enough to lure you out west, perhaps the promise of a return to childhood will. In the Make Short, read about the welcoming vibes of the hula hooping tribe who meet weekly in Guerneville’s plaza. And for the ultimate Sunday drive, follow the lead of Eat Short writer Mark Fernquest: take River Road to its end, hang a right on Highway One, and stop at Café Aquatica in Jenner for thoughtfully curated food, drink, and art.

Though I am teaching a summer school class for the first time ever, I plan on devoting my free time to unwinding from the tyrannical clock, delighting my taste buds, and practicing my butterfly stroke every chance I get. Whether nostalgic or new, near or far, may summer take you somewhere you’ve been wanting to go.

Jess D. Taylor editor



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July/August 2023 Online Edition

Story by Jess D. Taylor

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