Bikini Briefs

By Rhea Cortado

Without a plan and with the intention of “just looking,” I went to the Rose Bowl flea market in Pasadena. This is not a good idea. The Rose Bowl flea market is bigger than any flea market you have ever been to, multiplied by tens and a lot of it is redundant. If you get lost, there is no way someone can find you using descriptions like, “I’m by the booth with military duffle bags and leather moto jackets and Navajo rugs. Or look for piles of frayed Levi’s 501 shorts?”… Read More


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By Rhea Cortado

Every time I go home to Santa Cruz I have to get a raspberry napoleon at the locally famous Gayle’s Bakery . The crust is slim, airy and flakey and in just the right ratio proportions in relationship to the raspberry and whipped cream filling. Other napoleon’s will be an acceptable fix but will never be the same. I tried to take one home to L.A. in a cooler to share, but they never make the drive back. “All that butter in the crust, the melting whipped cream, it won’t keep right?… Read More


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by Rhea Cortado

For a personal side project, I’ve been on a cooking bender. Every other day I am in a grocery store, a specialty food depot or one of the local farmer’s markets. Last week I bought a purple cauliflower purely because it was pretty. It tastes the same as a normal cauliflower and I don’t even particularly like cauliflower (if I had the choice of any vegetable to eat for my last supper, cauliflower would not be on the plate) but I was stunned by the ombre gradient hue that was like a purple sunset.… Read More


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Underwater Art ~ Maaji

by  Rhea Cortado


There are prints that people are conditioned to seeing on bikinis and swimwear. Tropical flowers. Stripes. Geometric shapes. Whatever prints are trending in ready-to-wear, like the tribal fever going on now. When I first saw Maaji’s swimwear at Surf Expo in Florida, I was mad about the prints and style lines that were in another fairytale universe from everything else on the show floor. The designer from Columbia makes all the prints and then links the pattern pieces together like a delirious kaleidoscope quilt of sea creatures and beach accoutrements drawings.… Read More


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by Rhea Cortado

photo by Bielmann/SPL, via surf.transworld.net

December and January is North Shore season in Hawaii. Without getting too technical, it’s when winter storm swell collides into the north side of the Hawaiian islands, waves are famously huge and that’s when all the big surf contests happen. I’ve been following the flesh and glory on surfing blogs, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Fans and pundits may disagree on many things when it comes down to the contest rankings, but there is one point in which they all agree.… Read More


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Clear Cut ~ So De Mel

by Rhea Cortado

I was craving a new pair of spectacles, so I tried on like 10 pairs of tortoise shell frames that were some variation of Ray Ban Wayfarer glasses at the darling Gogosha Optique.  All in a row on the glass table, they looked nearly identical. But when one is actually on the face, the miniscule differences became deal breakers—too much scoop in the bottom, too straight across the brow, too thick of a frame, too gaping or too narrow. Owner Julia Gogosha empathized that when matching glasses onto a face, “Every millimeter makes a difference.”… Read More


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by Rhea Cortado
During the wintertime, Angelenos get cabin fever. We’re always surprised by when it’s all of sudden too chilly to wear sandals. I upgraded to my thicker neoprene wetsuit for surfing and keep hearing about friends going across hemispheres to where it’s summer. Because I’m not in possession of a vacation home in Cabo San Lucas, driving up the coast to Santa Barbara and visiting A Tropical Affair lingerie and swim shop is one of my favorite places to detox into a vacation state of mind when everyday responsibilities don’t allow for international border-crossing.… Read More


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