Old Monterey District Blog

Cooper-Molera Adobe Revitalization

Posted on April 2nd, 2015 by omba

The City of Monterey Historic Preservation Commission unanimously approved plans by the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Foothill Partners, Inc. to revitalize the historic Cooper-Molera Adobe property, located on a three-acre site in the heart of Old Monterey.

The proposal would allow the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the non-profit organization that owns the property, and Foothill Partners, Inc., a retail developer, to create a unique “shared use” historic site at Cooper-Molera. The public-private partnership will establish a creative funding model which will preserve this historic site. The historic adobe residences and gardens will function as a museum within the Monterey State Historic Park, while compatible commercial uses would open the site to new audiences and provide new sources of revenue to ensure its long term viability. Foothill Partners and the National Trust expect to invest approximately $6 million in the revitalization of the property.

Museum operations at the property, currently managed by California State Parks under agreement with the National Trust, will be carried out directly by the Trust in the future. The National Trust will continue and expand popular educational and interpretive uses such as for school programs, Christmas in the Adobes, and the July 4th Living History program in continuing collaboration with California State Parks, the Monterey State Historic Park Association, and other local partners. At the same time, the historic Spear Warehouse and its courtyard would become a new restaurant, with other new commercial retail programming to be introduced in adjacent structures along Polk Street.

The historic barn complex at the south end of the property—padlocked for years due to seismic concerns—will be seismically retrofitted and rehabilitated as an event center, allowing the property, after many years of inactivity, to again be used for weddings, public performances, dance recitals, and other active programming.

Cooper-Molera Adobe has been operated by California State Parks under an agreement with the National Trust since the 1980s. That agreement ends in 2016, and California State Parks has indicated that renewal of this arrangement is not likely given the fiscal challenges faced by the state parks department.

Cooper-Molera Adobe, built in the late 1820s, was the home of J.B.R. Cooper and his wife Encarnación Vallejo. J.B.R. Cooper was an immigrant American ship captain and trader who settled in Monterey; Encarnación Vallejo was a member of one of the most prominent and powerful families in Mexican California. She was the sister of General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, who helped shape the transition of Alta California from a province of Mexico to the U.S. State of California. The Coopers and their descendants (including Andrew Molera, who helped transform American agricultural practice) helped to lay the foundation for modern California....Read More

The Monterey Jazz Festival, in partnership with the Museum of Monterey, will exhibit historical material at the Museum of Monterey from March 20 through May 1, 2015. The exhibit will include historical photos, posters, clothing, and memorabilia from the Festival's 58-year history, including a drum set once owned by Shelly Manne.

Admission is free and all are welcome. The Museum of Monterey is open Wednesday-Saturday, 11am-5pm, and Sunday, 12pm-5pm.

In addition, on Thursday, April 9, 5pm-7pm, the Museum of Monterey will host a reception honoring the 58 years of the Monterey Jazz Festival. Admission is free and open to the public.

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Here at Old Capitol Books, we love National Poetry Month – I mean, what’s NOT to love? So, in celebration of this glorious time, we are offering 20% off all our used poetry books, April 1-30, 2015! Come get your fill of Milton, Dickinson, Maya Angelou, H.D., T.S. Eliot, and hundreds more. (Please note: new books are excluded from this offer.)

And don’t forget to check out our awesome National Poetry Month party with a poetry workshop and an open mic on Saturday, April 11.

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Bella's Studio: Summer Kids' Camps 2015

Posted on March 28th, 2015 by omba

Bella's Studio, Old Monterey's sewing, craft, and design studio, is presenting Summer Kids' Camps June 1 - August 7, 2015 for a variety of ages and skill levels. For a complete list of our summer camps, including descriptions, please click here. Be sure to sign up early because sessions fill up quickly.

Kids' Summer Camps 2015
June 1-5: For the Young Ones (ages 6-8)
June 8-12 (a.m.): Boys Can Sew (ages 7-9)
June 8-12 (p.m.): Sew Green Fashionista #1 (ages 8-16)
June 15-19: All Dolled Up #1 (ages 7-13)
June 22-26: Sew Green Fashionista #2 (ages 8-16)
June 29-July 3: Soft & Cuddly (ages 7-13)
July 13-17: Totes, Pouches & Pillows (ages 7-13)
July 20-24: All Dolled Up #2 (ages 7-13)
July 27-31: Quilt & Stitch (ages 7-13)
Aug 3-7: Sew Green Fashionista #3 (ages 8-16)

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Alvarado Street Brewer's Log, March 2015

Posted on March 17th, 2015 by omba

I think it’s time to discuss one of my personal favorite elements of the beer realm for this month’s post, HOPS. It doesn’t matter if you’re a light beer drinker, are into darker styles, or one who can’t stand IPA’s, one cannot underestimate the importance of hops in beer and their role in growing the industry into what it is today. I can’t tell you how many people I meet that aren’t a fan of IPA’s or hop forward beers and then try the one that stimulates their olfactory senses to the point of completely reversing their opinion only seconds prior. It makes sense, the average beer drinker probably doesn’t realize that the aroma of a beer exists, let alone one of the best parts of the drinking experience. The rise of experimental hops, International varieties, and a fundamental shift from high alpha acid cultivation (hops used primarily for bitterness) to predominately aromatic varieties has had a direct impact on the public’s perception of hops. In the wine world, the aroma is arguably one of the most important elements of the drink – for beer, the same rule applies. And often, hops are setting the stage. Here’s a look a different varieties from around the world, and how they impact a beer.

Let’s cover the basics. The four main reasons why hops are added to beer is as follows:

1. Add bitterness to achieve balance with the malty, sweet wort derived from the mash (where malted barley and water are mixed).
2. Provide unique flavors and aromas.
3. Enhance foam quality.
4. Protect beer from microbial contamination, i.e. – hops will assist preserving beer from infection.

So there you have it – hops augment the appearance (by aiding the beautiful, pillowy-white lacing that catches the sides of the glass), aroma, flavor, provide balance, and even act as a preservative in beer. It’s no wonder that hops are truly an indispensable proponent that make modern beer what it is.


The Pacific Northwest
It’s no secret that the United States is leading the charge of the craft beer revolution. Much of the reason for that are the unique American hop varieties being cultivated in the Yakima Valley of Eastern Washington. It started with the Cascade variety in 1971. The floral, grapefruity character of these hops were noticed by early pioneers like Sierra Nevada, whose use of the hop in their pale ale changed the industry forever. Other varieties soon followed like Columbus, Centennial, and Chinook – mostly known for their pine-like, resinous, and citrusy qualities. Then a whole slew of experimental, aromatic varieties started pouring out – the infamous Simcoe (Pliny the Elder, anyone?), tropical Amarillo, and relatively newer varieties like Citra, Mosaic, and Equinox – prized for their stone fruit heavy, “dank” aromatic profiles. In the coming years, as craft brewers’ insatiable demand...Read More

Family Picnic Adventure at Portola Hotel and Spa

Posted on March 3rd, 2015 by omba

The Monterey Bay is filled with endless open space. From white sand beaches to whimsical gardens, parks and lush forests, there is no shortage of family-friendly places to picnic and explore. Portola Hotel’s Family Picnic Adventure package includes an overnight stay in a nautically-inspired guest room, a box lunch from Jacks Restaurant for a family of four, and the help of our concierge to find the perfect location where your picnic adventure will begin!

Lunch orders will be placed at check in and delivered to your room the following day at your requested time, 8am-3pm. For more information and to book your package online, please click here. Offer is available March 1, 2015 through July 31, 2015.

Please note: terms and conditions apply to all Monterey Bay hotel deals. Based on availability. Blackout dates apply. Subject to change without notice....Read More

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Sweet Dreams Sale at Coastal Home Furniture Gallery

Posted on February 27th, 2015 by omba

Coastal Home Furniture Gallery announces our Sweet Dreams Sale, February 27 - March 17, 2015. We're offering up to 20% off bedroom furniture, mattresses, and bedding (excludes Tempur Pedic and iComfort). We're also offering innerspring, visco/gel and latex mattresses from $299 (for queen). Visit us at 458 Alvarado Street in Monterey.

Portola Hotel and Spa's Green LEEDers

Posted on February 24th, 2015 by omba

Recycling, sustainable living and “going green” are a way of life, especially in California. As Central California’s first U.S. Environmental Green Building Council’s (USGBC) Certified Silver LEED-EB hotel, the Portola Hotel has always led from the front. But, recognizing the need for their employees to have a channel with which to bring their own green ideas to management, the Portola Green LEEDers program was started in January 2011.

Through the Green LEEDers program, Portola staff help to continue and maintain the green initiatives put in place and introduce new ideas, such as in the staff lunch room, where there are separate waste bins for trash, recyclables, and food waste. In 2012, the hotel adopted Monterey’s Del Monte beach in 2012, where Green LEEDers organize four beach cleanups a year through the local environmental non-profit organization Save our Shores.

With interactive programs that engage the hotel and its employees in green practices, as well as engaging in additional sustainability projects, the Portola Hotel & Spa and its restaurants, Jacks Restaurants & Lounge and Peter B’s Brewpub, have established themselves as true leaders in going green.

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Cha-ya Japanese Tea and Things is pleased to announce that we have acquired a gorgeous private collection of ceramics, Ikebana vases, baskets, scrolls, and much more. These unique pieces will be available for viewing and purchase for five days only, February 26 - March 2, during regular business hours: Mon-Fri, 10:30am-5:30pm; Sat-Sun, 10:30am-3:30pm.

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Alvarado Street Brewer's Log, February 2015

Posted on February 12th, 2015 by omba

As I’m writing this, San Francisco Beer Week is halfway over; tons of amazing events have taken place, and more are in the works. So where did the concept of a “Beer Week” come from, and why are more and more beer tourists flocking to these destinations to participate every year?

The answer to the latter part of the question is simple - if you’re a beer enthusiast, a “Beer Week” in any city lays out a plethora of events with local breweries. All the specialty batches, one-off’s, and collaborations you could imagine - highlighting the best of the local scene. Last weekend, I went up to the Rare Barrel in Berkeley, where they were serving three different dry hopped sour ales and several collaboration beers with fellow Bay Area brewer (and hop Gods), Cellarmaker, and the highly lauded Sante Adairius from Capitola. Needless to say, I was blown away by these offerings - the Rare Barrel is already coming out with some of the most progressive sour ales on the market, and collaborating with these two breweries made the event that much more special. The brewing community does everything in its power to create meaningful events geared towards their fans, and it pushes the industry forward in every way imaginable. Beer pairing dinners, “meet the brewer” events, tap takeovers, festivals, educational seminars, and charitable events all take place over the region in the name of beer.

A modern “Beer Week” is the product of the brewers in the local community, and is usually planned by the local Brewer’s Guild. The San Francisco Brewer’s Guild was founded in 2004, and since then, San Francisco Beer Week has grown to accommodate over 800 events in the span of nine days. Other prominent beer weeks throughout the state include Sacramento Beer Week February 27 - March 6, Los Angeles Beer Week September 20 - 28, and San Diego Beer Week November 6 - 15. Other beer weeks that are starting to gain momentum are Silicon Valley Beer Week in late July and early August, Santa Cruz County Beer Week in August, and OC Beer Week in late June. Honestly, there’s never been a better time to be craft beer enthusiast in this state than right now.

Yes, Monterey is jumping on the train with a beer week we can call our own! Endorsed by the Monterey County Fair Heritage Foundation, Monterey Beer Week will feature events from every restaurant, bar, brewery, homebrew store, and bottle shop throughout the county that supports craft beer. This will not only encourage the local beer industry to collaborate, but will also spawn interest in our local food, art, and culture. The culminating event of the week is the Monterey Beer Fest, happening on Saturday, June 15, 2015. We hope that our first beer week can offer a dynamic range of events, attracting locals and tourists alike in the effort to bring recognition to Monterey County as a destination...Read More