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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 17, 2014 | By Dianne de Guzman
It would be easy to take the cynical route with this photo and wag our fingers at these boys. We could talk about how there's a drought in California (there is), how we shouldn't have lawns (we know) or how we shouldn't play with water hoses (double no-no), but ... this scene is still pure magic. Rachelle Mendez took her boys outdoors to take some photos of them during the  "golden hour" - that oh-so-magical time of day sacred to photographers who are fanatic about natural lighting - when, "next thing I know," Mendez wrote, "my 2-year-old son had the gardenhose and my 4-year-old son was happily running through it like it was the middle of summer.
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TRAVEL
February 15, 2014
On a recent girlfriends weekend, I had a wonderful experience at the chef's table at Root 246 in Solvang, Calif. For $88 each, we were treated to a multicourse chef-designed meal with wine (or beer) pairings. Chef Seth Nelson and his staff could not have been more welcoming. Dining in the kitchen was a fun first. The food and wine were excellent, and the experience was first rate. Root 246 , 420 Alisal Road, Solvang, Calif.; (805) 686-8681, http://www.root-246.com . Jane Kimball Ladera Ranch
NEWS
February 14, 2014 | By Armand Emamdjomeh
Some people think of watching a sunset on the beach as a romantic way to start an evening. When the wind is blowing, however, it becomes a slightly different experience. As Molly Fast said of this photo taken on Feb. 1 in Santa Monica, the weather was "so windy you could barely see in front of you. " Still, even a windy day at the beach is better than a polar vortex.  Follow Armand Emamdjomeh on Twitter or Google + . Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California submitted by readers.
SPORTS
February 14, 2014
Bill Plaschke's Feb. 13 article about disappointing Olympic performances should never have been printed. Has he ever competed for or received an Olympic medal? Our fabulous, hard-working athletes have spent their lives achieving a spot on the US Olympic Team. They deserve better than Plaschke's ridicule. After putting so much effort in their events, we know their hearts are broken, which happens by mere fractions of a second. They are our heroes and should be lauded as such! Joann Duray Playa del Rey :: I find it disgusting that Bill Plaschke called Shaun White "the biggest loser of all" in his Olympics rant.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 14, 2014 | By Hector Tobar
The routes American railroads follow were laid out almost exclusively in the 19th and 20th centuries, when trains were symbols of modernity and industrial power. And today, riding a train - especially in the United States - can feel like stepping into a time machine. Tom Zoellner enters this time machine again and again in his highly entertaining, lucid and perceptive travelogue "Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World - From the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief.
NEWS
February 13, 2014 | By Armand Emamdjomeh
Weather vanes and blurred anemometers indicate a windy day on the beach as they tower over Matt McKown in this photograph of an art installation in Tongva Park in Santa Monica on Oct. 28. Follow Armand Emamdjomeh on Twitter or Google + . Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California submitted by readers. Share your photos on our  Flickr page  or  reader submission gallery .  Follow us on Twitter  or visit  latimes.com/socalmoments  for more on this photo series.
NEWS
February 12, 2014 | By Armand Emamdjomeh
The 2nd Street tunnel is the latest flash point between drivers and bicyclists in downtown L.A. Both sides claim it as a key route into and out of downtown. With the addition of buffered bike lanes, drivers bemoan the loss of a driving lane and increased backups through the tunnel. You wouldn't know any of that, though, from this photo by Lizette Carrasco of a deserted tunnel on Friday night. Follow Armand Emamdjomeh on Twitter or Google + . Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California submitted by readers.
TRAVEL
February 8, 2014
Nopi in London is a wonderful restaurant run by two guys from Jerusalem, one Israeli and one Palestinian. It serves Middle Eastern food prepared with surprising spices and herbs. Nopi, 21-22 Warwick St.; 011-44-20-7494-9584, http://www.nopi-restaurant.com . Reservations recommended. Patricia L. Moore Los Angeles
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 7, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
Mark Scott shot this view of the Valley while taking a walk with his wife down the Mulholland Trail toward the Old  Nike Missile Site  "whereupon you might see the spectre of the Cold War of a dark evening, if you drink enough Pabst and sort of squint out of the corner of your eye," he wrote. He took the photo Sunday with a Nikon D5200, a gift from his wife. Follow Samantha Schaefer on Twitter . Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California submitted by readers.
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