Old Monterey District Blog

Monterey Public Library Friends and Foundation presents A Novel Afternoon with Alka Joshi, author of The Henna Artist, on Saturday, December 5 at 2pm. This event will be held online on Zoom. Tickets are $25 - proceeds will benefit the Monterey Public Library. Please register in advance here.

Born in Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India, Alka Joshi has lived in the U.S. since the age of nine. She graduated from Stanford University and worked in the fields of advertising and PR before starting her own marketing consultancy. In 2011, she obtained her MFA in Creative Writing from the California College of Arts in San Francisco. The Henna Artist is her first novel.

Mira Books will release the sequel to The Henna Artist - The Secret Keeper of Jaipur - in July, 2021. Alka is currently working on the third book in the trilogy, which Mira Books will publish in 2022. She is also serving as an Executive Producer on the upcoming TV series of The Henna Artist in development by Miramax TV.

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Not sure what to do for the office holiday party this year? How about a private Paint & Sip Party via Zoom! Hosted by Sovino Wine Bar and Merchant and featuring everyone's favorite art teacher, Bunny Paivine, you'll receive an easy-to-follow painting class online and create a lovely image to keep. It's a lot of fun to do, and the online class is perfect for our physically-distanced time.

Please e-mail Sovino for pricing and further details. Price includes all necessary supplies and delivery to locations in the Monterey area. Owner-operated Sovino Wine Bar is located at 241 Alvarado Street in Downtown Old Monterey.

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Cibo Ristorante Italiano invites you to join us outdoors on our heated patio for our Winter Happy Hour! Beginning Tuesday, December 1, we'll be celebrating Happy Hour Sunday - Thursday, 5pm-7pm, with $5 well drinks, beer, and house wines. Our dinner menu with appetizers, pizzas, and entrees will be available, too. (Please note: alcohol can only be served with food at this time.) Visit us at 301 Alvarado Street in Downtown Old Monterey.

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Give the gift of fitness this holiday season! During Fleet Feet Monterey's She Trains 8-week virtual training program (January 18 - March 14, 2021), each participant will prepare and train virtually for the 11th Annual She Is Beautiful 5K/10K, March 15-21, with the support and camaraderie of our Fleet Feet running community. Fee is $70 (does not include race registration fee). Register online here.

All trainees will get an effective and well organized training experience with a certified coach, written training schedule, weekly emails with instructional information, virtual educational clinics, access to your virtual coach via email or Facebook, membership to the She Trains group Facebook page, and accountability!

Your training schedule will include daily workouts, recovery, and rest days. Because it's virtual, you can adjust your schedule as needed. We do recommend that you follow the schedule as proper progression is key for staying injury-free on race day. Absolutely ALL abilities of runners and walkers are welcome.

This program will be held virtually. Fleet Feet Monterey is located at 472 Alvarado Street.

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Before a team of devious marketing executives unleashed pumpkin spice on the masses, America once enjoyed a wide range of winter flavors in its holiday glasses, cups, and mugs. From mulled wine and hot cider to boozy eggnog and velvety hot chocolate, holiday drinks told a story and comforted us with warm memories.

This season, Montrio Bistro is unveiling a new winter drink menu starting with bold flavors and tales from the past! The offerings begin with a nod to "The Piña Colada Song,” with If You’re Not Into Yoga, a cocktail which combines Hamilton Demerara rum, Fernet Branca, Elemakule Tiki bitters, pineapple, lemongrass, Noosa coconut yogurt, Fassionola syrup, coconut water, and fresh orange.

Or you can try In Spain In The Membrane, a cocktail which includes Maré Spanish gin, Italicus Rosolio Di Bergamotto, Don Ciccio and Figli Finocchieto, Suze Saveur d’autrefois, Bitter Truth celery bitters, rosemary-infused olive oil, and green Chartreuse dust.

Montrio Bistro is located at 414 Calle Principal in Downtown Old Monterey and is now open for outdoor dining and take-out.

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Cult Taco Is Closed for the Winter

Posted on November 30th, 2020 by Cult Taco

Following service on Sunday, November 29, Cult Taco, located at 481 Alvarado Street in Downtown Old Monterey, will be taking a pause this winter. As with so many downtown Monterey businesses, we've been crippled by the impacts of Covid-19. We look forward to a day when we can once again gather and celebrate on Alvarado Street.

We don’t know what the future has in store, but we remain hopeful to bring a re-imagined dining experience to Monterey in 2021. Until then, we hope you will join us at Cultura Comida y Bebida in Carmel - where some of your Cult Taco favorites will be made available in the interim.

We want to thank our wonderful teammates, return guests, and community for all your love and support.

Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay hopeful,
Team Cult Taco

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City of Monterey staff have worked diligently to prepare the big tree on the lawn of Colton Hall for the holiday season with lights and other ornaments. While our customary tree lighting event won't happen this year because of the pandemic, there's still an opportunity to share in the spirit of the holidays and enjoy the outdoor decorations. Beginning December 1, the tree will be lit each night until the end of 2020. We hope you can stop by and enjoy the beautiful sight!

Colton Hall Lawn is located at 570 Pacific Street in Downtown Old Monterey.

Let's plan for sea level rise in Monterey! The City of Monterey is hosting a community meeting online to discuss the Transportation Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan on Monday, December 8 at 7pm during the regular Planning Commission Meeting. The program will include: a summary of previous sea level rise studies and outreach efforts, an introduction to the three adaptation strategies, and the gathering of community input.

Three strategies have already been identified to keep Monterey moving in the face of sea level rise:

1. Elevate the Recreation Trail into a sea wall or protect it behind a sea wall.

2. Elevate Del Monte Avenue into a viaduct with ocean water flowing underneath.

3. Move Recreation Trail and Del Monte Avenue traffic to Pearl and North Fremont Streets with enhancements made to these streets.

The draft of the Transportation Adaptation Plan is available for viewing here.

All Monterey residents are welcome at the meeting. To participate, please log in to the Zoom meeting (details on the second page of this press release) or you can view without participating on YouTube.

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The Cooper-Molera Museum is happy to announce that we now have rose compost for sale. Made in the Cooper-Molera Garden using organic materials, this is a special rose compost we are offering by the bag for $25. (How big is the bag? There are about four shovels in each one.)

To purchase rose compost or plants propagated from the Cooper-Molera Adobe Garden, please stop by the Cooper-Molera Adobe Museum entrance Wednesday - Sunday, 10am-4pm or call 831-332-0172 x7776. Face masks and social distancing are required. Payment by cash or check only. Proceeds go towards the Cooper-Molera Adobe and Gardens.

The Cooper-Molera Adobe Museum is located at 506 Munras Avenue in Downtown Old Monterey.

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Franklin Street Collaborative, located at 201 W. Franklin Street in Downtown Old Monterey, is proud to host a Women's Marketplace throughout the month of December, sharing the talent and work of 20 local women designers and artists. It's perfect for holiday shopping!

Our pop-up holiday marketplace features:
Aubrey Girl
Color and Paper Collective
Eclipse Creations Bath & Body
Happy Nest
Jaz Gandi Beauty
KH Craft
Let It Flow Maps
Lilac & Dahlia Skincare
Maican Bacon Jewelry
Monterey Bay Food Tours
Mountains to the Sea
One Trick Pony
Sugared Tumbleweed
Sweets of Eden
The Glowing Mommy
Valley Botanicals
Whimsy Pickins
Vitousek Illustration

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Virtual Food Drive: Food Bank for Monterey County

Posted on November 28th, 2020 by omba

Because of the pandemic, the Food Bank for Monterey County is holding a virtual food drive this holiday season. The need has never been greater: food donations have dropped by 56% while need has quadrupled. Instead of giving canned and non-perishable food, the Food Bank asks the community to please donate money which they can use to purchase necessary goods. No gift is too small! To donate, please visit their website.

Your monetary donations allow the food bank to make bulk purchases and leverage discounts so they can buy more food per dollar. One hundred percent of all donations to the Food Bank for Monterey County stays local to help our most at-risk communities through this emergency.

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Bella's Studio, a sewing, craft, and design studio, is offering handmade gifts this holiday season all wrapped and ready to put under the tree.

For the sewist in your life, we offer colorful totes full of sewing necessities, treasures, and inspiration; sewing themed notecards; adorable pincushon chickens handmade by Bella; and the Eversewn Sewing Starter Kit. For the cooks on your list, we have vintage-inspired aprons and matching dish towels handmade by Bella. Gift certificates are always available.

Bella's Studio is located at 140 W. Franklin Street, Suite 309 in Downtown Old Monterey. To purchase any of these items, please e-mail Bella or call 831-920-2272 to arrange for curbside pick-up or one-on-one shopping at the studio. Cash and checks only.

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The Old Monterey Gift Ideas Gallery

Posted on November 23rd, 2020 by omba

Start your holiday shopping with Old Monterey's Gift Ideas Gallery! It's chock full of unique gifts available at small businesses in Downtown Old Monterey in all price ranges. We'll continue to add new items throughout the holiday season.

Are you sheltering-in-place? Many shops welcome orders online or over the phone and offer curbside pick-up and shipping. Just look for a gift in the Gallery, click on the photo, and you'll be taken to the shop's online store or a page with their contact information.

When you shop locally you help keep small businesses open in tough economic times, reduce environmental impact, and always find the most creative, thoughtful gifts.

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Support MY Museum during this difficult time and enjoy some holiday fun for you and your family. Although MY Museum's Annual Gingerbread Extravaganza may look different this year, we have everything that you need for the perfect at-home gingerbread house decorating celebration. We are keeping with tradition and have two fun options: one is for kids (or kids at heart) and one is for ages 21 and over!

Gingerbread Extravaganza Kits will be available for pick-up on December 5, 10am-12:30 at MY Museum, 425 Washington Street in Downtown Old Monterey. Online reservations are required! Masks and social distancing will be enforced. We are thrilled to announce we will have 10 of the Monterey Peninsula Ballet Theater's past Nutcracker cast members lining the streets during pick-up times for everyone to enjoy their amazing costumes.

Kid Ticket (or Kid at Heart), $40: includes pre-built ready to decorate house with tons of embellishments and frosting, chef apron and hat, a large cookie from Layers Bakery, and a hands-on craft.

21 & Over Ticket, $50: includes pre-built ready to decorate house with tons of embellishments and frosting, sweet treats, and a bottle of wine.

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Union Yoga is excited to invite you to our Annual Thanksgiving Family-Style Yoga Class by Donation with proceeds going to the Food Bank for Monterey County. Class will be held outdoors in the beautiful gardens of Cooper-Molera Adobe on Thursday, November 26, 9:30am-10:45am, at 506 Munras Avenue in Downtown Old Monterey.

This is one of our most popular classes so sign up in advance online to reserve your spot as space is limited. Plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to class to allow for setup time. Bring a large towel or blanket to place under your yoga mat. No props or mats are provided. Masks are required until you are on your mat. Mats will be socially distanced unless people are in the same household/pod.

Donations can be made via venmo to @kelli-nairn, via check to Union Yoga or Monterey County Food Bank, or in cash on the day of the class. $20 minimum donation.⠀

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This holiday season, Cha-Ya Japanese Tea and Things is proud to offer beautiful gift items handmade by a local artist. Working with Japanese kimono fabric and obi (kimono sashes), Ruth creates distinctive hair scrunchies, hair clips, business card and credit card holders, clutch purses, and jackets. Photos of each of these items appear below.

We invite you to visit Cha-ya at 118 Webster Street in Downtown Old Monterey or call us at 831-646-5486 for more information or to purchase an item over the phone for curbside pick-up or shipping. Thank you for supporting our local, owner-operated business and local artists!

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Shelley Bennett Skincare is celebrating Small Business Saturday on November 28. Our retail shop will be open 12pm-2pm that day and offering 15% off your purchase of $50 or more - please visit us at 588 Houston Street in Downtown Old Monterey. Shelley, an experienced skincare professional, will be there to answer questions about the products.

In addition, on our online store, we're offering 15% off your entire order of $50 or more from Thursday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 29. Shop Small from the comfort of your home!

Now is the time to support local businesses more than ever - we rely on customers like you. We thank you for your support of our business throughout the year, and wish you a happy holidays.

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Casual Island Is Now The Feral Market

Posted on November 18th, 2020 by The Feral Market

Casual Island has undergone a name change: we're now The Feral Market! We're still the same family-run operation we've always been, but we've turned the business fully over to the next generation.

At The Feral Market you'll not only find comfortable, affordable women's fashion, you'll also find a great selection of fun gifts and novelty items that are perfect for holiday shopping. Visit us at 261 Alvarado Street in Downtown Old Monterey, or check out our online store for a taste of what we have in the shop.

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Small Business Saturday in Downtown Old Monterey, 2020

Posted on November 18th, 2020 by omba

This holiday season, Downtown Old Monterey invites you to Shop Small and support locally-owned businesses. Your gifts warm the hearts of loved ones near and far and those purchases help our community weather tough times, keeping small businesses open. Need inspiration? View the Old Monterey Holiday Gift Ideas Gallery.

The denizens of Old Monterey will be here with a warm heart, a great style tip, a delicious cookie. We're selling gifts in-store, online, and over the phone. Many spots offer curbside pick-up or shipping (for a list, see our Shelter-in-Place Mall).

Small Business Saturday is traditionally celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the weekend that's the start of the holiday shopping season. But for the remainder of this year, let's make every day Small. Small pleasures. Small triumphs. Small steps forward together. Shop Small in Downtown Old Monterey.

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