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Archive for February, 2011

Love is in the air, and it is lingering.

With Valentine’s Day on a Monday this year, activities for you and your special someone are spread out over the entire weekend, some starting even earlier. Here’s a rundown on what’s happening.

The AVIA Hotel is celebrating Valentine’s Day all month with a special package for twosomes at $189 per night, which includes two glasses of Champagne and chocolate-dipped strawberries and a $50 dining credit at the AVIA Kitchen and Lounge. They’ll also have a Valentine’s Dinner on Feb. 11 and 12. For dining or room reservations, call (800) 644-2842 or visit The AVIA is at 285 Bay St. in the Pike.

Les Jolis Tresors will help celebrate Valentine’s Day with the opening reception for the exhibit “Amour De Printemps” from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, 3226 E. Broadway.

The LGB2Network will host a gay and lesbian Valentine Mix and Match speed dating event 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, at Café Ambrosia, 1923 E. Broadway. It’s $15, which includes one free drink. For details, go to

Gladstone’s is offering a “Week of Love” for romantic couples, Feb. 11-19, with “Aphrodisiac Inspired Cuisine, cocktails and meals for lovers to share.” Fore more information, call 432-8588 or visit Gladstone’s is at 300 S. Pine Ave. in the Pike.

SeaPort Marina Hotel has two special packages available for Valentine’s weekend, starting Friday, Feb. 11. The first package includes a Gondola Getaway ride through the Naples canal, accommodations and late check-in, ranges in price from $188.48 through $228.48. The second package is a one-night stay and complimentary admission to the Shore Ultra Lounge, and more, for $89 a couple. The SeaPort Marina Hotel is at 6400 E. PCH. Call 240-8469 or 434-8451, ext. 435

Alegria will feature Flamenco entertainment and a special four-course meal Friday, Feb. 11 through Monday, Feb. 14. The special dinner is $65, although diners can order from a special a la carte menu. Flamenco dancers will perform on the weekend and La Luna Latin will be in the house on Valentine’s Day. For reservations, call 436-3388. Alegria is at 115 Pine Ave.

Live opera and other musical performances will be part of dinner at L’Opera, Friday, Feb. 11 through Monday, Feb. 14. The four-course dinner is $70. Call 491-0066 for reservations. L’Opera is at 101 Pine Ave.

Buster’s Beach House has a cruise and dine special along with a Valentine’s dinner. The cruise and dine package ($150) is available Feb. 11-14 and includes a one-hour harbor cruise, appetizers during the cruise and dinner with a Champagne toast. Take the cruise Feb. 11-Feb. 14. The four-course Valentine’s dinner with entrée choices of Bacon Wrapped Filet Mignon, Fresh Herb Crusted Salmon or Chicken Dijon, is $39.95 Feb. 11-13 and $49.95 on Valentine’s Day. For reservations, call 598-9431. Buster’s Beach House is at 598-9431.

A four-course prix-fix meal with entrée choices of South African White Fish or Filet Mignon will be served Friday through Monday at La Traviata, 301 Cedar Ave. Live music by Sheryl Smith will be offered during most of the weekend. The cost is $59 per person. Call 432-8022 for reservations.

It’s “My Funny Valentine” at the Laugh Factory Valentine’s Weekend. They have some Valentine’s packages as well as regular admission. Call 495-2844 or visit The Laugh Factory is at 151 S. Pine Ave. in the Pike.

Sevilla, 140 Pine Ave., has a variety of choices for Friday through Monday, with prices from $32.50 to $69. Events include an Art of Flamenco dinner, a brunch, dining at the Tapas Bar and more. Call 495-1111.

The Sky Room offers special menus Friday through Monday. There are two seatings on Valentine’s Day for a five-course menu that features entrée choices of Filet Mignon, Lamb Loin, Game Hen or John Dory. The 5 p.m. seating ($129) includes live music from the Dave Williams Jazz Quartet. The Majic Bullet Theory Jazz Orchestra provides the music for the 9 p.m. seating, which also is $129. For reservations, call 983-2703. The Sky Room is at 40 S. Locust St. atop the Historic Breakers Hotel.

Recreation Park will serve Valentine’s Brunch for $15.99 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at 4900 E. Seventh St. Golfers with proof of play can get $2 off. For reservations, call 494-5000, ext. 222.

A Valentine’s Day evening of soulful jazz begins at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, in the Terrace Theater, 300 E. Ocean Blvd. Featured performers are

Kirk Whalum, Gerard Albright, Peter White, Jeff Golub and Michael Franks. Tickets are $50-$125, with a VIP dinner package available. Tickets may be purchased at the box office, by calling (800) 745-3000 or online at

Fuego at the Hotel Maya has a special Valentine’s Brunch ($39) 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13, and a four-course prix-fix dinner ($95) from 5 to 10 p.m. Valentine’s Day. In addition, any couple getting engaged at Fuego during the weekend and holding their wedding reception there this year will get a free wedding cake and a complimentary one-year anniversary stay at the hotel. For reservations and more information, call 435-7676 or visit

Khoury’s will be serving a five-course Valentine’s dinner from 3 to 10 p.m. Sunday and Monday with entrée choices of boiled lobster, Prime Rib or Chicken Stuffed Artichoke. The price of $35.95 includes a glass of house wine or Champagne. Call 598-6800 or go to Khoury’s is at 110 Marina Dr.

The Marriott Long Beach has a three-course dinner Feb. 11, 12 and 14, for $60 per person. And they have the Valentine’s Package for $199 per couple, which includes dinner and an overnight guestroom. Call 425-5210 or visit The Long Beach Marriott is at 4700 Airport Plaza Dr.

The Valentine’s Menu will be available Feb. 11, 12 and 14 at Utopia. The four-course meal offers entrée choices of pan sautéed sea bass, lobster ravioli, grilled lamb chops or roasted duck breast. There will be live music by Joseph Zamberian on Valentine’s Day. It’s $50 ($45 if reserved online). Call 432-6888 or visit

“Cupid’s Speakeasy,” a fundraiser for the Alive Theatre, starts at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 13, at the Hellada Gallery, 117 Linden Ave. The evening includes food, drinks (a cash bar) and a roast of Cupid. Tickets are $10 online or at the door, but $5 if you are on the guest list. Send an e-mail to

Valentine’s Day at the Long Beach Senior Center is a free event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with crafts and cookies and punch. There will be live entertainment from the Have-A-Hearts. The Long Beach Senior Center is at 1150 E. Fourth St.

The Valentine’s menu at Michael’s on Naples is a five-course prix fixe meal with entrée choices of Pan-Seared Dive Scallops with uni, Oven-Roasted Petrole Soul or Grilled Prime New York Strip Steak. The price is $60 per person. For reservations, call 439-7080. Michael’s is at 5620 E. Second St.

The Pizza Place will offer parties of two or more complimentary Champagne split and a dessert with a meal purchase. The Pizza Place and Garden Café is at 1431 E. Broadway. Call 432-6000.

There will be two seatings (6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.) for Valentine’s Day at the Aquarium of the Pacific. They’re serving a four-course gourmet dinner along with the opportunity to explore the exhibits after-hours. The price is $42 for adults and $32 for ages 3-11, with discounts for members. Call 590-3100 or visit The aquarium is at 100 Aquarium Way.

Valentine’s Day will be celebrated Monday with “The Art of Love,” by Gregorio Luke, a lecture that explores the connection between sex, eroticism and love. In addition to presentations of great romantic art, Luke will read examples of the poetry of love. The evening includes hors d’oeuvres, wine, music and dancing. The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. and is $45 per person or $89 per couple. To purchase tickets, call 494-1014, option 1, or visit The Long Beach Playhouse is at 5021 E. Anaheim St.

Ways To Celebrate Valentine’s With Your Sweetie By Kurt A. Eichsteadt
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The Junior Olympic movement is run under the auspices of the venerable Amateur Athletic Union (AAU). Since 1967, the AAU has sponsored Junior Olympic Games each year to give gifted young athletes a chance to compete on a national scale. Each year, more than 15,000 athletes in 20 sports compete in the national finals.

Again this summer, the best young athletes in the country will gather, this time in New Orleans, to compete in the 2011 AAU Junior Olympic Games. Swimming will be one of the sports to be contested, at the University of New Orleans Aquatics Center in early August. And for Southern California hopefuls, the road to New Orleans starts right here in Long Beach.

Two local swim clubs, Rose Bowl Aquatics and Swim Torrance, in conjunction with Southern California Swimming (SCS), the regional body that oversees non-academic competitive swimming around here, will combine to run two back-to-back Junior Olympic swim meets at the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool in early February.

This week will see the 2011 Short Course Younger Junior Olympic Championships come to the Plaza Pool. As the title indicates, this is for the younger set: swimmers 12 years old and younger will be here starting tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 4, and running through Sunday, Feb. 6.

These kids will swim all the traditional Olympic events — butterfly, breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle — but generally at shorter distances. Only two individual events will go longer than 100 yards and the rest will be either 50 yards or 100 yards. Only the relays will run longer distances.

Then next week, the same trio of organizers will run the 2011 Short Course Older Junior Olympic Championships. Just as in this week’s event, where the swimmers are broken into two age groups — 10 and younger and 11- and 12-year-olds — the older group will compete in two groups, 13- and 14-year-olds and kids 15 to 18, but at generally greater distances. Competitors are also divided by gender.

Details on both these meets meet can be found on the Southern California Swimming website, You’ll find links for both events right on the homepage under the Upcoming Meets tab. You can also call the Belmont Plaza Olympic Pool at 570-1806 for information.

There And Back Again

“There and Back Again” was the name of a fictional book-within-a-book, the one written by Frodo Baggins, the Hobbit whose adventures were recorded in a book of that name started off the adventures in the “Lord of the Rings” saga. It is also the name of the first regatta of the year hosted by the Shoreline Yacht Club, our neighbors in the downtown Shoreline Marina, that will occur this weekend.

It is a two-day regatta with two races — one from Long Beach to Avalon on Santa Catalina Island on Saturday, Feb. 5 is the “there” part. The second is from Avalon to Long Beach on Sunday, Feb. 6 — the “back again” part. It is restricted to members of Shoreline Yacht Club and their invited skippers, and is to be sailed among boats that compete under the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) handicap system for offshore-capable mono-hull sailboats.

For details, see the SYC website, Find the link entitled “SYC Calendar, NORs and Results.” Or, call the club at 435-4093.