PEN America Virtual Gala

PEN America Virtual Gala

PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. PEN America champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Their mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Show your support by attending the PEN America Virtual Gala on Dec 8th and offering a donation. This promises to be a profound and power-packed event!

This year, the PEN America Gala will merge their annual New York Literary Gala and Los Angeles LitFest Gala into one national, virtual celebration on December 8. This digital program will be a crucial moment for the PEN community to stand together in recognition of the deserving honorees and to fortify PEN‘s mission at a time of extraordinary needs and demands. The fight for creative expression is so important, now more than ever and PEN hopes you can join for a unique, one-night-only event to toast to human rights and the power of words.

Featuring Patti Smith, Darnella Frazier, Marie Yovanovitch, Frank Bennack Jr., Spike Lee, Bono, Emma Thompson, Madeleine Albright, and JUST ANNOUNCED: former U.S. President Barack Obama. All registrants receive a free Audible credit.


Tuesday, December 8, 2020
6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT: VIP Virtual Reception
7:00pm–8:00pm ET / 4:00pm–5:00pm PT: Gala Livestream  

Register for the 2020 PEN America Virtual Gala

As part of this year’s virtual celebration, former U.S. President Barack Obama will receive PEN America’s Voice of Influence Award and sit down for an author-to-author interview with Ron Chernow.

100% of every dollar raised goes directly to support PEN America’s mission: to celebrate free expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
For more information, contact Caelan at


2020 Honorees

Barack Obama, Voice of Influence Award

Barack Obama, Voice of Influence Award

Obama served as the 44th president of the United States…

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Frank A. Bennack Jr., Corporate Honoree

Frank A. Bennack Jr., Corporate Honoree

Bennack Jr. is executive vice chairman of Hearst, one of the nation’s largest private companies. . .

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Patti Smith, PEN/Audible Literary Service Award

Patti Smith, PEN/Audible Literary Service Award

Smith is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary merging of poetry and rock. . .

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Xu Zhiyong, PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award

Xu Zhiyong, PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award

Xu, an established organizer and lawyer, has been an integral member of China’s most important civil rights movements over the last 20 years. . .

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Marie Yovanovitch, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Marie Yovanovitch, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Yovanovitch is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service. . .

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Darnella Frazier, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Darnella Frazier, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Frazier is the quick-thinking and dauntless young woman who filmed the murder of George Floyd.

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Madeleine Albright            Joan Baez

Madeleine Albright                                       Joan Baez

Bono           Ron Chernow

Bono                                                            Ron Chernow

Steven J. Corwin       Spike Lee

Steven J. Corwin                                        Spike Lee

Soledad O’Brien          Steve Swartz

Soledad O’Brien                                          Steve Swartz

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson


Franklin Leonard headshot

Franklin Leonard
Film executive, founder of The Black List, and PEN America Trustee


Hearst logoNew York-Presbyterian logoJamie Wolf

Penguin Random House • Frank A. Bennack Jr

Audible, Inc. • Pamela and Peter Barbey • Lawrence B. and Elyse Benenson

Roxanne Donovan and Tom Scarangello • Facebook • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger and Alix L.L. Ritchie • Margaret Munzer Loeb • The Muriel Pollia Foundation • Anya Salama and Albert I. Salama • Andrew Solomon and John Habich Solomon

Colette and Daniel Bennett • Kimberly Blank • Jill Braufman and Daniel Nir • Murat and Beth Bugdaycay • Bridget Colman • John Chao • Discovery, Inc. • Embrey Family Foundation • Sarah, Sheree, and Jerry Friedman • Google • Hachette Book Group • Holly Peterson Foundation • Tracy Higgins and James Leitner • Zachary Karabell • Sean and Mary Kelly • Sandra Leong • Alexandra Munroe • Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk • Arnold & Porter • Aidan Donnelley Rowley • Seedlings Foundation • Katrina vanden Heuvel • Suzy Wahba • Robie Harris • Marvin & Keri Putnam • Latham & Watkins

Mila Atmos • Ted and Helen Boustrous • Amanda Bennett • Leslie Belzberg • Abigail E. Disney • Jeanmarie and William Fenrich • Patricia Fili-Krushel • Miranda Heller • Elizabeth R. Koch • Macmillan Publishers • The Marc Haas Foundation • Evangeline Morphos • The New Yorker • Katia and Christian Oberbeck • ReaderLink • Chip Rosenbloom • Simon & Schuster • Sydney and Stanley S. Shuman • WarnerMedia • Waterman Interests, LLC

Tom Healy and Fred P. Hochberg • Nancy Rubin • Scholastic, Inc. • TIME Magazine

Gala Committee Co-Chairs
Markus Dohle • Roxanne Donovan • Sean Kelly • Anya Salama • Jamie Wolf

Gala Committee
Dennis Abboud • Mila Atmos • Pamela and Peter Barbey • Elyse and Lawrence B. Benenson • Colette and Daniel Bennett • Kimberly Morgan Blank • Jennifer Finney Boylan • Beth Bugdaycay • Bridget Colman • Aidan Donnelley Rowley • Patricia Duff • Jeanmarie Fenrich • Sheree and Jerry Friedman • Judith Greenberg • Miranda Heller • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger • Tracy Higgins • Zachary Karabell • Cindi Leive • Sandra Leong • Margaret Munzer Loeb • Yvonne Marsh • Jay McInerney • Alexandra Munroe •
Claire Paull • Holly Peterson • Michael Pietsch • Marvin Putnam • Theresa Rebeck • Alix L.L. Ritchie • Andrew Solomon • Katrina vanden Heuvel • Suzy Wahba • Jamie Wolf

Your 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Your 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Get in the Spirit

For many of us, it’s been hard to get what we really want out of life this year. Remember that list of New Year’s Resolutions you placed on an indefinite hold as the pandemic unfolded? Yeah. That’s why this holiday season should be about going all out.

Enjoy our helpful Holiday Guide, where you’ll find the innovative, the useful, the fun, and some of our favorite brands and products of 2020. Treat yourself, and your loved ones who probably haven’t seen you in months, or won’t be seeing you for the holidays. From mom and dad, to the kids and grandparents, there’s a little something for everyone in this handy guide!

Health & Wellness


Give the gift of foundational health this holiday season with Ritual, the cult-favorite vitamin brand designed like no other before it, delivering key nutrients and fill any gaps in your diet. Unlike most other multivitamins that contain 20+ ingredients that you already get enough of from food, Ritual is made with 9 essential ingredients including Omega-3, Folate, Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin B12 and more.

Their team of scientists has done extensive research to create a vitamin that only includes what you need, in bioavailable forms your body can actually use. Additionally, their products all have a no-nausea capsule design and are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO and made without colorants or synthetic fillers.

Shop for the whole family with their Essential Men, Women, Teens, and NEW Kids collections!



Spore, a new consumer wellness supplement company that is transforming health with functional mushrooms, will help people regain control of their health from the inside, out with their breakthrough line of science-based nutritional supplements. Spore’s supplements effectively improve immunity, increase energy, balance blood sugar, lower cholesterol, and improve sleep. Spore is ideal for individuals who want to gain lasting control over their overall quality of life.


Better & Better

Delightfully designed, innovative and earth-friendly toothpaste system. The white, squeezable so toothpaste pouch shell, high-shine chrome plated cap, and base—eliminate the crumpled, rumpled, gunk-ied tubes oen hidden away from view. And the elegant 2-minute hourglass helps achieve a better brushing routine.


  • 1 Toothpaste Shell: White and with a transparent rear window—it’s satisfying to squeeze and reduces toothpaste waste.

  • 1 Cap: Polished to a high-shine, the chrome plated cap adds a touch of elegance. It secures the toothpaste pouch inside the shell and the shell inside the base.

  • 1 Base: Designed to display your toothpaste upright and seal the cap.

  • 1 2-minute Hourglass with base: Filled with black sand—it keeps your brushing routine on track for the dentist-recommended 2 minutes.


Founded by Chris Hemsworth, holistic health app, Centr, provides access to Chris’s team of world-class health and fitness experts on demand — anytime, anywhere. In one easy to use app, users are able to train, live, and eat better through Centr’s:

  • Personalized Training Planner: consisting of over 230 workouts including Boxing, Yoga, Functional Training, Pilates and more for all fitness levels.

  • Daily Meal Plan: Composed of 500+ unique recipes created by dieticians and world-class celebrity chefs with options for all dietary preferences from no limitations to vegan.

  • Time To Breathe: Compiles hundreds of new meditations and sleep visualizations, including the latest kid’s meditations narrated by Chris Hemsworth & Taika Waititi.


  • 12 month subscription – $10/month

J.R. Watkins

Treat yourself to peace, restoration, and relaxation. J.R. Watkins product line includes sets available in three different categories: AWAKEN, DETOX, and SLEEP.


Each line includes four incredible products made with a powerful blend of natural extracts to serve a different purpose:

  • AWAKEN: designed to stimulate and awaken the senses

  • DETOX: clears the mind and the body and washes away impurities
  • SLEEP: crafted to calm the mind, relax the body, and encourage a restful night’s sleep

Each line features a Bath Elixir, Creamy Body Wash, Aromatherapy In-Shower Mist and Sugar Body Polish:

      • Bath Elixir: A naturally derived, liquid bath soak made with a proprietary blend of relaxing natural extracts for a luxurious alternative to salt soaks and bath bombs.

      • Creamy Body Wash: Gently cleanses the skin and is made with a proprietary blend of soothing calendula and relaxing natural extracts to cleanse skin without stripping it of protective surface oils.

      • Aromatherapy In-Shower Mist: A naturally derived, in-shower spa mist crafted to transform your shower experience.

      • Sugar Body Polish: Made with fine sugar crystals to gently exfoliate skin, the Sugar Body Polish is skin-softening lathers into a foaming cleanser that ensures no oily residue is left behind. 


Natreve is a fresh, modern approach to premium wellness that offers sustainably sourced products that are backed by science and packed with purpose. Natreve’s selection of protein powders include highly efficacious non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, and probiotic ingredients to fit every lifestyle.

Their Whey Series, Vegan Series, and Keto Collagen Series, come in both neutral and decadent flavors such as strawberry shortcake, french vanilla, fudge brownie and more. The newest addition to the Natreve family, the Wellness Series, is perfect for wellbeing on-the-go and can be added to your favorite smoothie, breakfast snack or hot beverage for an immune-boost, stress relief, or sleep support.

Natreve cultivates a community rooted in diversity, equality and acceptance, and they champion a passion towards better health and a better planet – they are the world’s first plastic and carbon neutral wellness company.

Beauty & Fashion


Glamnetic is an LA-based beauty brand that is committed to providing the highest quality products and experience to customers and finding ways to continually make your beauty routine easier! Glamnetic believes that their magnetic lashes and liners are going to be a game-changing experience, which will allow all women (and men) to finally be able to put on the lashes that they’ve always struggled with but dreamed of. Their goal is to share this with the world and build a community that shares a common passion for transformation and putting their baddest self out there, so that all women (and men) may feel their best everyday.


The Clear Cut

DTC NY-based company that specializes in all things engagement rings and fine jewelry. They create timeless pieces and have go-to styles that make the perfect gift that will last a lifetime.


Cult Gaia

Created in 2012 by Jasmin Larian, Cult Gaia designs beautiful heirloom pieces that will live in your closet forever. The cornerstone of Cult Gaia’s DNA has been forged with the ideal of creating Objets d’ Art that make you look twice. Since its inception, the company has grown from accessories into a full-fledged lifestyle brand, selling everything from ready-to-wear to shoes, a world of Gaia. Cult Gaia is inspired by nature and women. This is where the brand’s name comes from. Great brands are cult-like, uniting like-minded people in their aesthetic ideals. Gaia is the goddess of Mother Earth and the daughter of chaos, the most creative force there is.



Flare was built on the story of #survivors. Technology enabled safety jewelry that comes in multiple styles, Flare is a discreet, easy to use and stylish product that empowers wearers to get out of uncomfortable situations at the push of a button. With Flare you can take control, get help, or exit situations before they become dangerous. A hidden button on the jewelry connected to your phone through an iOS app provides three options for you to discreetly take action and control the outcome.


Kids, Family & Home


These transforming stuffed animal to jacket lovables, are the perfect gift for kids this holiday season. A one-of-a-kind travel buddy, Cubcoats encourages kids to unfold their adventures as they sport their plush friend.

Featuring renowned characters from Paw Patrol, Winnie The Pooh, Star Wars, Marvel Super Heroes, Minnie & Mickey Mouse and the brand’s own cuddly critters, there is a perfect style for every cub. Protect any little one with their range of masks from standard, to transforming and reversible — and explore their new head-to-toe character outfits!

PRICE: $35-50
SIZE: 2T – 10T

PAIR Eyewear

PAIR Eyewear, the first direct-to-consumer, customizable children’s eyewear brand reimagining the consumer experience for kids with glasses, allows children to quickly and easily customize the look of their glasses anytime, anywhere. PAIR delivers their glasses to families with an engaging digital experience for just $60.00 per pair – well below the $300.00 average price point for a pair of kids’ prescription glasses. 

The brand’s large and expanding selection of over 300 combinations of base frames and customizable tops includes limited edition monthly drops and licensed designs for optical glasses, sunglasses, and blue light glasses, all available in both prescription and non-prescription forms. Since launching in October 2018, PAIR has helped provide over 5,000 children in need with vision care through their PAIR for a PAIR donation program with The EYELLIANCE. To learn more about PAIR, visit:


  • Holiday Toppers

  • Harry Potter Toppers



JIGGY is a female-founded puzzle company that’s reinventing the humble jigsaw puzzle. Featuring art by emerging female artists, sustainable and elevated packaging, and specially formulated puzzle glue, JIGGY puzzles are art – in pieces.


The Citizenry

The Citizenry is an ethically-crafted, hand-made home design company – specializing in a combination of smart design, premium quality, and true international style from around the world. Every collection from The Citizenry is made in different countries with limited quantities. The Citizenry products create fair wages and sustainable economic growth for artisans around the world, consciously crafted with the environment in mind.



Influenced by the beauty around us. Wakeheart’s passion for fragrances is driven by the people, places, and memorable moments that we experience daily. As we wander through life, we often fail to pause and appreciate the beauty around us. At Wakeheart, our goal is to discover, capture, and then convey this beauty through distinguished scents that encourage the confidence to be free.


  • Clarity Crystal Candle – Amethyst clears your mind and removes cloudy perception. This crystal will help you focus, minimize indecisiveness, clear confusion, and allow you to have clarity and inner peace in your life. Notes: Beach air, jasmine, and salted cedarwood.

  • Self Love Crystal Candle – The Rose Quartz crystal inspires us to find love within, and guides us to accept and be true to ourselves. This crystal is warm, nurturing and loving. Notes: Rose, peony petals, and pears.

  • Positivity Crystal Candle – The Citrine crystal resembles sunlight, bringing you positivity and happiness. It helps you remain optimistic in difficult times, and see the light at the end of the tunnel. Notes: Fresh strawberries, vanilla, and crystallized sugar.

  • Courage Crystal Candle – The Tiger’s Eye crystal brings you the courage to achieve anything you set your mind to. It gives you strength and determination to go after your dreams. Notes: Sandalwood, iris, and cedar.

  • Relax Crystal Candle – The Amazonite crystal is warm and comforting — Pure bliss. In times of stress, this crystal helps you decompress, relax and find balance. Notes: Lavender, chamomile, and apple blossoms.

  • Healing Crystal Candle – The Clear Quartz crystal is known for being the universal healer. This crystal protects against any negativity and helps you restart, re-energize, and seize the day. Notes: Lush evergreens, iced citrus, and mountain air.



FUNBOY is a California-based luxury purveyor of original summer essentials. Founded in 2015 by a family creative design house, FUNBOY launched with an exclusive collection of fancy floats for adults who refuse to grow-up. Since then, FUNBOY’s limited edition floats and forward design have garnered a global following of like-minded individuals, taste-makers and adventurers who collectively live life FUNBOY.

FUNBOY has changed the game when it comes to pool parties and with their latest winter collection, they’re taking winter sports and FUN to the next level. A retro-inspired, apres chic collection of essential snow accessories, the line is the perfect supplement to any winter get-away. Launching in October 2020, the collection includes:

  • The world’s best inflatable snowmobile – made for two & can hold up to 250 lbs!

  • An inflatable shotski you can (and should) take everywhere – 4 shot glasses included!

  • Alpine Winter Sleigh – made for two with dual handles for easy downhill grip

  • Oversized snow tubes – two designs, in both snowflake and retro plaid

  • The ultimate inflatable toboggans – designed for up to 1 adult and 1 child, 2 SKUs in winter bloom and retro plaid

Cannabis & Spirits

Off Hours

Off Hours is authentically crafted for today’s modern bourbon drinker. It’s made for the moments in between. Crafted with aromas of creamy vanilla, hints of nutmeg and a silky finish of lingering honey, Off Hours bourbon is meant to engage our senses and change perceptions. This is bourbon for creating memories, for celebrating each other, and for building real-life connections. It’s not about preconceived notions of artisanal cocktails and dimly lit bars. It’s for everyone, everywhere. Founded by Jake Ireland and launched in 2020, Off Hours is aged in American white oak barrels for over four years at MGP Distillery in Lawrenceburg, IN.


  • Off Hours Bourbon: Smooth and balanced with aromas of creamy vanilla, hints of nutmeg and toasted pecans, rich notes of cinnamon and a silky finish of lingering honey.

  • The Off Hours Trio: 3 bottles of Off Hours Bourbon bundled together for 10% off

  • The Perfect Gift: The Off Hours YETI Lowball and Two Bottles of Off Hours Bourbon


Juneshine grew out of a frustration by the lack of honest transparent alcohol brands catering to a healthy, active lifestyle so they decided to start their own. They created a team of adventurers, artists, and creatives who share their passion and wanted to leave a positive impact on the environment. They fell in love with the refreshingly smooth taste of jun kombucha and made it their mission to brew the highest quality and healthiest jun kombucha. Their initial brew of organic green tea, honey, and JuneShine’s symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY) produces an unbelievably smooth and delicate kombucha, and after many interesting test batches they found the perfect recipe to elevate the alcohol.

They introduce organic cane sugar and brewers yeast for a secondary fermentation. Once complete, they add organic juices, spices, and cane sugar to taste, creating unique and refreshingly smooth flavors without the junk found in other mass produced alcoholic beverages. No artificial coloring, GMOs, pesticides, or processed corn or rice syrup. This makes JuneShine less toxic for both your body and the environment. Juneshine kombucha contains probiotics, antioxidants, vitamins, and of course, a good time for an alcohol you can feel good about drinking.


Sweet Reason

Evening Blend, a collection of high dose CBD sparkling beverages created for the nights when you need to take the edge off naturally.

Sweet Reason’s Evening Blend is a powerful blend of calming herbs including ashwagandha, ginseng, l-theanine, chamomile, sceletium, lemon balm and limonene, all in effective, therapeutic dosages, adaptogens + 30mg of broad spectrum hemp extract, making it one of the highest dosed CBD beverages on the market.

Evening Blend is available in three flavors – Plum Blush, Peach Jasmine and Citrus Spice.


PRICE: $45.99 per 6-pack, or $7.50 per bottle, also available in 12- and 24-packs. Same day delivery is available in Manhattan, Brooklyn and LA


    Cann is a Los Angeles-based purveyor of CBD and THC-infused intoxicants founded by two former Bain consultants. They are the latest to take on the growing market for non-alcoholic intoxicants that use a combination of chemicals traditionally found in the marijuana plant to make their drinks.

    The beverages come with a 2 milligram dose of THC and 5 milligrams of CBD per can. Unlike other brands that are going for more fruity flavored beverages, they chose more herbaceous and floral flavors for their drinks – grapefruit & rosemary, lemon & lavender, and blood orange & cardamom.


    • Grapefruit & Rosemary

    • Pineapple Jalapeno

    • Lemon & Lavender

    • Blood Orange & Cardamom

    Kiva Confections

    Kiva Confections creates cannabis infused confections and is one of the most recognized cannabis companies in California. The company was born out of a need for an edible product that was potent, consistent, and enjoyable to consume. In early 2010 the cannabis edible market was desperately underserved; the products available were untested, unlabeled, and inconsistent in potency. Kiva’s gummies pair custom combinations of THC, CBD, and a range of carefully curated terpenes to produce a tailored cannabis experience like no other, and transport you to a “California State of Mind.


        • CBN Midnight Blueberry Camino Gummy

        • Pineapple Habanero Camino Gummy

        • Churro Milk Chocolate Bar

        • Espresso Dark Chocolate Terra Bites

    Fleur Marché

    Fleur Marché is for everyone out there who is curious about cannabis, but not sure where to start. The Sephora of cannabis, Fleur Marche is a beautifully-designed e-commerce platform that curates only the most premium CBD products and provides an experience that is intuitive, delightful, and easy for beginners.

    Created by former goop directors who have a history of building wellness experiences for women both on and offline, Fleur Marché is the intersection of exceptional CBD products, education, and community in one trusted space.


    PRICE: $15-$180



      1906 is named for the year the Wiley Act (also known as the Pure Food and Drug Act) was voted in, effectively starting the era of cannabis prohibition.

      Their mission is to bring cannabis back to its pre-prohibition status as a mainstream, widely used medicine for the greater good (and the greater fun). They’ve created six highly functional formulations that combine socially-dosed cannabis with targeted plant medicines.

      Each experience is thoughtfully engineered to help you do all the life stuff better—whether that’s improving energy levels, relaxation, focus, mood, sex, or sleep.


        The Queen’s Gambit

        The Queen’s Gambit


        The Queen’s Gambit, a Netflix TV mini-series, is a fictional story (adapted from ​Walter Tevis’ 1983 novel of the same name) that follows Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy), as she strives to become the world’s greatest chess player. Set in the mid-1950s through the 1960s, we start our journey with Beth at an orphanage, where, with the help of the janitor (Bill Camp), she discovers and develops her astonishing talent for chess. As her chess skills flourish, so does a growing dependency on the tranquilizers that are provided by the state to sedate the children. As a young adult, haunted by personal demons and grief, while burdened with the gift of genius, Beth navigates her social awkwardness amongst peers and her overconfident ego behind a chessboard. Fueled by a cocktail of narcotics and obsession, she evolves into an impressively skilled and glamorous outcast, determined to conquer the traditional boundaries in the male-dominated world of competitive chess.

        The Queen’s Gambit  is the newest binge pleasure that has everyone shouting out praise.
        The  New Yorker : “The Queen’s Gambit” Is the Most Satisfying Show on Television.”
        USA Today: ‘One of the Best Shows of 2020’
        Indie Wire: ‘Beyond an Impeccable Anya Taylor-Joy, Netflix’s Tricky Ploy Pays Off’
        Chicago Tribune: Irresistible coming-of-age drama

        And it deserves all the accolades because The Queen’s Gambit is simply stunning: the set design, the costumes, the lighting, the superb acting, the masterful direction, the detail – all the thought and care that went into making this series culminates into a richly, layered, authentic tone that leaves us wanting more. As Nora Dominick from BuzzFeed wrote: “Basically, I wish there was some way for me to erase The Queen’s Gambit from my mind and watch it all again because I don’t want it to be over“. I one hundred percent agree. This series is a pleasure-thrill to watch. 

        The Queen’s Gambit explores not only addiction, unresolved grief, and emotional suffering but also gender parity and sexism. We’ve had woman-power movies before, but what is unusual here is that Beth Harmon is attractive to the audience for her brainpower. We’re not rooting for her because she’s hot, or because she is saving the world for us, no, we find ourselves mesmerized and impressed by her sharp-witted, super-charged, neuron-firing brain. Given how America is embracing this show, could it mean that audiences are hungry for more substantial stories? Are viewers growing weary of the dumbing-down of America? Could the response to The Queen’s Gambit be a sign that we want mainstream media to clever-up? Smart is sexy, always has been – let’s bring brainy back. I feel inspired. And quick side-note, chessboard sales have sky-rocketed since the debut of The Queen’s Gambit.



        The series is directed by Scott Frank, who also created the series with Allan Scott. And loud shout out to Gabriele Binder for costume design and Uli Hanisch for set production. Stunning work. The cast also features ​Thomas Brodie-Sangster, ​Moses Ingram, ​Harry Melling, ​Marielle Heller, ​Jacob Fortune-Lloyd, and​ Marcin Dorocinski​​.

        Cover Photo Credit: PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX © 2020










        MÍRAME Cooks Up Exclusive Thanksgiving Takeout for Los Angeles

        MÍRAME Cooks Up Exclusive Thanksgiving Takeout for Los Angeles

        Thanksgiving is nearly here and many of us are still scrambling to figure out exactly how the holiday should work this year. No matter what happens, there is one thing that remains mostly reliable: food delivery and takeout. As most of us have grown accustomed to, food takeout options have prevailed, and will likely be used more than ever for the upcoming holiday season.

        If you’re looking to count on reliability, as well as something a little different (and delicious!), MÍRAME, the new Mexican inspired restaurant in Beverly Hills has your holiday needs covered. 

        Created by Chef Josh Gil, MÍRAME, have prepared a Pre-Hispanic Thanksgiving Feast available for takeout only, just for Angelenos and their families to enjoy from the comfort of home. Priced at $375, the meal feeds 6-8 people, and can be ordered in advance via OpenTable or Tock.


        Additionally, meals can be picked up on Thanksgiving Day at the restaurant, located at:
        419 North Cañon Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90210 

        More information can be found on or by calling 310-230-5035.

        Highlights of the meal include: 
        • Organic heirloom pasture raised Diestel turkey with chile chilaca adobo 
        • Kamote – roasted sweet potato, hoja santa and brown butter 
        • Green Dent Corn Grits with butternut squash and pine nuts 
        • Pumpkin Pie with masa crust and toasted malva marshmallow 
        It’s not long until Thanksgiving is here, so get your orders in while you can — no matter what size your festivities.


        Well-Being through Hiking

        Well-Being through Hiking

        The Benefits 

        Without long summer days to enjoy in the backyard, pandemic restrictions can feel a bit more suffocating. Though the natural mood boost of all that sunlight won’t be back for a few months, shaking up your outdoor routine with a trip to the trail can help invigorate your physical and mental well-being.

        It’s National Hiking Day this November 17th, and in beautiful Southern California, venues for your vigorous stroll abound. Angeles National Forest, Mount Jacinto State Park, Chiquito Falls, and of course, the beautiful Pacific Crest Trail are all primed for your enjoyment, and these are but a few of the hiking destinations that can be enjoyed.

        Hiking makes for a great activity to share with the family, as there are trails for every ability level, and a little bit of safety gear is the only barrier to entry. Science has also shown that kids can have some pretty remarkable developmental improvements from hiking and spending time in outdoor spaces — their focus can improve 1, negative thought cycles can be broken 2, they learn to be better cooperators 3, and their mental health in adulthood may be better 4. This list of 43 benefits offers plenty of great reasons to get the whole family out for a hike.

        Safety on the Trail

        Whether hiking solo or bringing the family, a basic trail is essential. A full list of guidelines is provided here. These simple rules are intended to deliver the safest and most enjoyable hiking experience possible, and should always be followed.

        • Choose a trail you and your companions can handle, and carefully plan the time you spend to avoid low light and bad weather
        • Always pack enough food, water, safety supplies, and a way to contact someone in case of emergency
        • Dress appropriately for the weather, and always wear suitable shoes with high tread
        • Make sure someone knows where you’ll be and is expecting to hear from you after your hike

        For a list of hiking trails in Southern California, visit The Hiking Project.

        Cover Image by MaBraS from Pixabay

        1. Malibu Creek State Park (Crags Road Trail)

        • Location: Calabasas.
        • Length: 4.75 miles.
        • Difficulty: Easy.
        • Known For: Filming location for several TV shows and movies.
        • Dogs Allowed: Not on backcountry trails.
        • Possible Animal Sightings: Rare.

        2. Pacific Crest Trail (Vasquez Rocks)

        • Location: Agua Dulce.
        • GPS Coordinates: 34.4885° N, 118.3207° W.
        • Length: 2.6 miles.
        • Difficulty: Moderate.
        • Known For: Spanning from Mexico to Canada.
        • Dogs Allowed: Leashed.
        • Possible Animal Sightings: Yes, coyotes, lizards, snakes, quail.

        3. Santa Monica Mountains

        • Location: Woodland Hills.
        • GPS Coordinates: 34.1203° N, 118.9318° W.
        • Length: Varies by trail.
        • Difficulty: Easy to Difficult depending on the trail.
        • Known For: Mountain views and variety of trails.
        • Dogs Allowed: Depends on the trail.
        • Possible Animal Sightings: Yes.

        4. Topanga State Park Trails

        • Location: Topanga.
        • Length: Depends on the trail.
        • Difficulty: Moderate.
        • Known For: Variety of trails, grassland, and ocean views.
        • Dogs Allowed: No.
        • Possible Animal Sightings: Yes.

        5. Sandstone Peak

        • Location: Malibu.
        • GPS Coordinates: 34.1204° N, 118.9320° W.
        • Length: 6.25 miles.
        • Difficulty: Hard.
        • Known For: Views of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean.
        • Dogs Allowed: Leashed.
        • Possible Animal Sightings: Yes, lizards, quail, coyotes, rattlesnakes.

        6. Hollywood Sign Trails (Griffith Park)

        • Location: Los Angeles.
        • GPS Coordinates: 34.1341° N, 118.3215° W.
        • Length: Depends on the trail.
        • Difficulty: Depends on the trail.
        • Known For: Views of the LA cityscape.
        • Dogs Allowed: Yes.
        • Possible Animal Sightings: Yes, birds, butterflies, mountain lions.

        7. Bridge to Nowhere (via East Fork Trail)

        • Location: Azusa.
        • Length: 10 miles.
        • Difficulty: Hard.
        • Known For: Waterfall.
        • Dogs Allowed: Leashed.
        • Possible Animal Sightings: Yes, bighorn sheep.

        8. Wisdom Tree (Via Cahuenga and Burbank Peaks)

        • Location: Los Angeles.
        • Length: 3 miles.
        • Difficulty: Moderate.
        • Known For: Fun trail in Griffith Park.
        • Dogs Allowed: Leashed.
        • Possible Animal Sightings: Unknown.
        The Habit Burger Grill Gives Away 1 MILLION Charburgers

        The Habit Burger Grill Gives Away 1 MILLION Charburgers

        The Habit Burger Grill
        wants you (and everyone else you know, literally — everyone) to get a FREE Charburger with The Habit’s most exciting challenge to date, and how you tell your friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues is entirely up to you!


        The fan-favorite restaurant known as California’s best-kept-secret, wants to give back to its devoted fans, by giving away 1 MILLION Charburgers to each mobile app user. The only “catch” is that the mobile app must hit 1 million downloads by 12 pm PST on December 16, 2020. The good news? They’re already more than halfway there! 


        Additionally, beginning this Wednesday, November 18th, Habit Fans who download and register on the app now, will be able to get a free Charburger with purchase of a regular beverage INSTANTLY and then will be able to redeem another Charburger in December. It’s a win-win: you get a Charburger now, and one for later (if the 1 Million Downloads goal is reached)!

        In case you aren’t familiar, the mouth-watering Charburger is made with 100% fresh ground beef, chargrilled over an open flame, and topped with cheese, caramelized onions, pickles, fresh tomato slices, crisp lettuce and mayo served on a toasted bun.

        The Habit Mobile App is a virtual reflection of The Habit’s renown service and exceptional hospitality, with its user-friendly interface and unparalleled level of convenience.


        The clock is ticking! Download The Habit Mobile App today via Apple or Google Play, and don’t forget to Tweet, stand on the sidewalk with a megaphone, or rent an airplane banner to get everyone you know to enjoy chargrilled goodness for FREE.
        Santa Monica gets Festive!

        Santa Monica gets Festive!

        The holidays are happening in Santa Monica! Restaurants, retailers, and businesses are offering an array of festive, physically-distanced attractions and charitable food and clothing drives to give back to the community this season. From free holiday art installations at the iconic Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier, socially-distanced Santa Claus photos at Santa Monica Place and festive dining and shopping along holiday-trimmed streets like Main Street, Montana Avenue, and Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica continues to shine through the holidays while keeping the community safe and healthy.

        Self-guided holiday art installations will light up the Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Pier for the season in partnership with the City of Santa Monica’s Cultural Affairs Art of Recovery initiative. The program is dedicated to funding projects by local artists and highlighting the important role arts and culture play in recovery efforts as they strengthen and connect Santa Monica. Both installations are free and open to the public.

        Santa Monica Pier will welcome another LA icon, the Bob Baker Marionette Theater, and their precocious puppets for a one-of-a-kind retrospective. The “Windows of Wonderment” art installation will bring marionette magic to the historic merry go-round and celebrate the theater’s most memorable moments and charismatic characters in six puppet-packed windows from Wednesday, November 25 – Thursday, January 7. Visit for more details.
        Winterlit holiday art installations and festivities will light up Downtown Santa Monica all season long Friday, November 27 – Sunday, January 3. Third Street Promenade will glow under tens of thousands of lights illuminating festive outdoor retail and dining, as well as eleven different holiday-inspired storefront art installations created by a variety of Los Angeles-based artists. The official City of Santa Monica 24-foot-tall tree and festive garland will deck the Promenade and a new holiday-inspired augmented reality experience will allow guests to transform physical structures, spaces, and trees along the Promenade into holiday elements and decor. For more information, visit
        Miracle on Main Street returns this December with free festive tidings including two iconic holiday trees, roaming carolers and socially-distant visits from Santa with help from the Santa Monica Fire Department on select weekends in December. The world-famous 40-foot-tall Shopping Cart Tree featuring 84 shopping carts, 1,500 lightbulbs and held together with 4,000 tons of zip-ties will be lit up for the 26th-year in a row inside the Frank Gehry-designed Edgemar building and the beloved 13-foot tall Noble fir will stand tall over Main Street on the Heritage Museum lawn to welcome holiday shoppers and diners beginning December 5. For more details, visit
        Festive photo moments will be in full swing along the holiday-trimmed streets of Pico Boulevard and Montana Avenue. Shop, dine, and make a wish for the season at Pico Boulevard’s nine-foot-tall festively lit Wishing Tree on the corner of Virginia Avenue Park beginning Saturday, November 21 and the Pico Pop Up decked out in festive decor and a spectacular window display. On Montana Avenue, children can drop off a letter to the North Pole at one of Santa’s mailboxes along the street. For locations to submit a wishing card and more holiday experiences on Pico like free professional holiday ‘paw-traits’, visit For more details on Santa’s mailboxes, visit
        For those looking to send holiday cheer this year within the community, Santa Monica has a number of different ways to give back or get involved with volunteer opportunities including food banks, clothing and blanket drives and more. The City of Santa Monica has joined forces with Santa Monica College and its foundation on a goal to give 1,000 Santa Monica families and college students struggling with food insecurity free Thanksgiving groceries. The City is also working to bring a happy and healthy season to community members in need through its Virginia Avenue Park holiday food pantry and provide holiday meals and food boxes for families this December. For a full round up of how to donate or get involved, visit or
        Restaurants and retailers throughout Santa Monica have implemented a number of convenient amenities including curbside, in-store pickup and takeaway dining options to make holiday meals and shopping easier than ever. Santa Monica remains committed to the health and wellness of the community and is taking extra precautions to ensure the community feels welcome and safe this holiday season and beyond. Face masks are required in all businesses and outdoor public places. The public is strongly encouraged to celebrate the holidays with household members and maintain six feet physical distance from non-household members.  For a complete list of all of the holiday happenings in Santa Monica, visit

        Santa Monica Place will also offer an array of physically-distanced, festive activities for the whole family to enjoy. Santa Monica Place is dedicated to prioritizing visitor’s health and wellness and providing safe opportunities for shopping, dining and celebration.  Santa is coming to Santa Monica Place December 4 and taking residence in Center Plaza through December 24. Guests can enjoy a contactless visit with Santa, share a wish list, and take home a keepsake photo. Visit for reservations.

        Sing along to holiday classics and get in the holiday spirit with a House DJ mixing hip beats with traditional favorites for the perfect holiday vibe. Next, snap the perfect photo with Santa Monica Place’s iconic 50-foot tree returning to Center Plaza with thousands of sparkling lights and ornaments, along with candy cane stilt walkers, story book characters and the new 14-foot larger-than-life Snow Globe. Shop in-person and pick out meaningful gifts for loved ones this year. Take advantage of Shop Your Way amenities including curbside pickup, virtual queuing, in-store pickup and take-away dining options available from a variety of restaurants and retailers including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Coach, Nike, Gourmandise, Tiffany & Co., True Food Kitchen, The Curious Palate, Sonoma Wine Garden, The Cheesecake Factory, and more. Two convenient curbside pickup locations will make holiday shopping at Santa Monica Place easier than ever. Location 1 is on 2nd Street between Colorado and Broadway and location 2 is on Broadway at 3rd Street Promenade. Santa Monica Place Concierge is available on-demand, during mall hours, to answer questions, make reservations, assist with curbside pickup and provide general holiday shopping recommendations. Simply text (310) 499-2928 to chat with our helpful Concierge.

        So that guests will enjoy their visit and shop with peace of mind, Santa Monica Place is committed to promoting public health in the era of COVID-19 and has implemented intensified operating standards to ensure an optimal retail environment. Some of these measures include enhanced cleaning & sanitizing, queuing & designated paths of travel, increased Security to require mask use & promote social distancing, and placing hand sanitizer stations throughout the property.

        For more information about holiday happenings, shopping and dining at Santa Monica Place, visit

        Cover Photo credit: Mathew Tucciarone

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        Gear Up for the Season

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        6 Benefits of PRP Therapy for Your Skin

        6 Benefits of PRP Therapy for Your Skin

        Ah, the vampire facial. You might have read all about the surprising technology and skincare developments that are helping all kinds of people get their Elizabeth Bathory kick — in a much safer setting, of course. Could PRP be right for you?

        PRP, also known as platelet-rich plasma, is a therapy that uses a component in your very own blood — plasma — that contains proteins and factors that support cell growth, which can promote healing throughout the skin, and even other parts of the body.

        By promoting healing and cell growth, PRP can help you achieve an array of skin benefits that don’t just impact the appearance of your skin — but also your skin’s health. Just like any medical procedure and technology, there are ways to find out if you’re a good candidate, and there are many methods of administering PRP.

        PRP is still a newer form of skincare technology, but it’s making its way to providing encouraging results for clients. You can look into all kinds of options and see which ones work best for you.

        How Does It Work?

        By using the plasma in your blood to generate cell growth, your skin can heal from damage at a faster and more efficient rate.

        Technically speaking, all kinds of “skin imperfections” you’d generally be looking to correct are various forms of damage. From aging and sun damage to breakouts or dryness, your skin is a vulnerable part of your body and often experiences different forms of damage. By using PRP to heal on a cellular level, you can treat both the symptom and the root cause.

        There’s a variety of methods for administering PRP therapy treatments. One of the most popular is the facial — often referred to as the blood facial — but there are plenty of other options depending upon your goals and preferences. You can go for microdermabrasion or microneedling, topical treatments or even injections for injury and pain healing benefits.

        No matter how you choose to go about your PRP therapy, there are so many benefits it can show for your skin. Here are just a few of them.

        1. Reduced Wrinkles and Aging

        One of the most common reasons why people go for the facial option of PRP therapy is to reduce visible signs of aging within the face.

        Due to the healing benefits and quick cellular regeneration that PRP therapy offers, it can be an amazing anti-aging option. Whether you’re looking to PRP as a precautionary measure for preventing aging or you’re looking to correct lines, wrinkles and sagging already present, going for a standard blood facial can work wonders in addition to your regular skincare routine.

        2. More Skin Elasticity

        Just like the cell regeneration benefits of PRP can result in a tightening of wrinkles and lines, they can also work to prevent sagging, drooping and other losses of elasticity in the skin.

        Often, PRP facials and microneedling treatments have a plumping effect on the face. That, combined with the collagen and elastin that are produced in the cellular regeneration process, can often result in a much tighter and resilient appearance.

        3. Transepidermal Water Loss Prevention

        Not everyone is worried about aging quite yet, but PRP isn’t just for holding onto youth. Transepidermal water loss is the process of your skin losing hydration, which causes it to dry out or overproduce oils. In order to prevent this, the best thing you can do is create a thicker moisture barrier in order to lock in hydration. This lets your skin know that it shouldn’t overproduce oil or simply dry out.

        While stripping products and skin damage can break down the moisture barriers, the reproduction of new cells can make it stronger than ever. That way, you can hold onto moisture and maintain more balanced skin.

        4. Smoother Skin Texture

        Poor skin texture — especially texture that comes from scarring, sun damage or stretch marks — is often a result of skin damage of some kind. By producing new cells and collagen to smooth out the skin, PRP can often reduce texture in the skin and create a much more even tone across the face. While this works on a case by case basis, it usually offers some visible healing.

        5. Fewer Breakouts

        Often, breakouts and acne come as a result of imbalances in the skin caused by excess dryness, overproduction of oil or a stripped moisture barrier. By repairing these issues in the skin, PRP can make you much less prone to the occasional breakout. Your skin will be stronger and much less susceptible to damage and harsh environments, which will make for less vulnerable skin overall

        6. Better Skin Hydration

        By strengthening the skin and aiding in a stronger moisture barrier, PRP can help you hold onto hydration much more efficiently. By preventing transepidermal water loss, your skin will absorb and retain moisturizer much better than it would with a weaker external barrier.

        Even if you’ve experienced sudden damage from a stripping product or treatment regimen you tried, PRP can help rebuild your skin’s water retention. That, combined with the collagen production, can help create a dewy, effortless look so many people crave.

        Get Your Glow on With PRP

        PRP can have so many benefits for all different skin types and goals. Whether you’re looking to correct dryness, damage or aging, the answers could be right inside you — flowing through your veins. While it might seem a bit unconventional, you might just find that there’s something there that makes you glow and shine.

        Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels