Tim Boxer

Nina Boxer

[ Surf & Sand Laguna Beach ] [ Nuremberg ] [ Berlin ]

Luxuriating In Laguna Beach

LONG the southern coast of California’s Orange County lies the sparkling Laguna Beach. The local Indians called the freshwater canyon lakes in the area lagonas (lake).

In 1917 this scenic location became a magnet for artists who painted the surrounding coastline and hillsides in a style that found fame as California Impressionism.

Galleries and shops fill up the downtown area known as the Village. Visit the Laguna Art Museum for California creations. Don’t miss a production at the Laguna Playhouse where Harrison Ford is said to have been discovered.

Laguna Beach has long been a Hollywood favorite. Among the stars who lived here are Charlie Chaplin, Rudolph Valentino, Bette Davis, Judy Garland, Bette Davis and Mickey Rooney.

Best place to make yourself at home here is the Surf & Sand Resort and Spa. Opened in 1948, it attracted such A-list customers as Joe Namath and Peter Ustinov who loved to dine in its outstanding Splashes restaurant.

You get an ocean view from every one of the 165 luxurious guestrooms and suites in nine buildings connected by garden walkways and patios. Rooms run $335-$535; 13 suites are $525-$800; 3 penthouses for $550-$1200. A separate conference and ballroom accommodate business meetings and corporate retreats.

Surf & Sand, 1555 South Coast Highway, Laguna Beach, CA 92651; (949) 497-4477; (800) 5524-8621.


[ Back to Top ]

Soccer spirit

Germans Are Killing Again
This Time With Kindness

By Ivor Davis

ORE than six decades ago the Germans were trying to kill me. Every evening during the Blitz my family would stand in our garden in London and listen to the buzz bombs approaching.

Many were shot down but many more pierced the defensive guns and when those pilotless bombs – designed by Werner Von Braun – ran out of fuel they fell to earth, destroying houses, killing neighbors and turning streets into rubble.

They whined and then they were suddenly silent. It was that terrible silence that indicated they were about to drop.

Now some sixty years later I had finally plucked up enough courage to visit Germany for the first time. Once again they tried to kill me. This time with kindness.

I must admit that in countless trips to Europe, I had carefully avoided visiting Germany, having no desire to see the fatherland that had left me with such dark memories.

But this summer, as a football (soccer to you) devotee, I headed to Germany to cover the World Cup for a Southern California radio station.

Everything at the airport was ultramodern, well lit, clean, efficient—"like a giant Ikea," one of my companions quipped.

I’m a dual citizen, with US and British nationalities, so when I travel in Europe I use my Euro-British passport. Less complicated.

I headed into the medieval city of Nuremberg whose name carries such freight for anyone who was around in World War II, and for Jews so much more so. Anti-Semitism goes back a long way in Bavaria. In the 13th century hundreds of Jews were massacred. In the 20th century Nuremberg gave its name to laws that marked the end of the life and liberty Jews had enjoyed for so long.

In the thirties it was the place where Hitler displayed his might to the world, the scene of his most fervent rallies—the Nazi national shrine where film maker Leni Riefenstahl captured the frenzied Fuhrer in her l934 propaganda movie, Triumph of the Will.

It was in Nuremberg where from l945-l949 the most heinous war criminals had their day in court. Where the "I was following orders" henchmen—Hess, Ribbentrop, Goring— tried to defend their bestial behavior.

Now it has risen from the ashes to act as one of the host cities for the World Cup.

Ivor in front of a mural in downtown Nuremberg

We were in a downtown area known as "The Fan Zone"—and on a gorgeous summer afternoon thousands of young Americans strolled happily through the streets, their faces painted red, white and blue, wearing the Stars and Stripes as a cloak, with some dressed as Captain America, George Washington, and a handful sporting Nixon and Elvis masks.

It was as if I had walked into a bizarre fancy dress party—an unreal carnival as the fans marched through the streets chanting "USA…USA" before the American team took on Ghana. (And lost, in case you didn’t hear.)

It was hard to realize that seventy years ago these streets were filled with strutting, swastika-clad Germans in a preamble to what turned out to be the bloodiest chapter of a bloody century.

The Germans were on their best behavior, acutely aware of the need to project the image of the New Germany—friendly, hospitable, open, tolerant—greeting all comers no matter their race or color, trying their best to demonstrate that at last Germany is a nation just like any other, normal at last.

A Jew can visit without that nasty feeling that a greater percentage of the population here wish him ill.

It was impossible not to share in the Germans’ new-found delight in their relaxed position in Europe and their new image in the world. Unlike their former ally Austria, who has somehow managed to sell the world on the idea that they too were victims of Nazism rather than enthusiastic participants, Germany has confessed their sins, made their mea culpas and paid their reparations to the victims and Israel.

While Germany didn’t win the World Cup they reached the semifinals—quite an achievement. But a far greater one was to run a World cup without serious scandal or unpleasantness and to show the world that Germans know how to have fun.

"We were so serious before," a German fan told me, "but now we’ve shown that we can party. And we’ve surprised the world."

Germany is a beautiful country with nice people. Go and enjoy.


[ Back to Top ]

Jewish Museum

Berlin Shows Its Jewish Face

By Ivor Davis

HAT should not to be missed is the Jewish Museum in Berlin at Lindenstrasse 9-14 (

Designed by American architect Daniel Libeskind, who was born in Poland as a child of Holocaust survivors, the museum offers a unique underground series of hallways that house the Axis of Death, the Axis of Exile and the Axis of Continuity chronicling the history of Jews in 20th century Germany.

It also offers rocking horses for kids, and an exhibition of household goods and personal family photos of pre-war Jewish families along with recordings of the voices of Max Reinhardt and Albert Einstein.

Back on the streets of Berlin you can wander everywhere, with a Jewish cultural map in hand, pinpointing other memorial sites, shuls and cemeteries. You can also be a normal tourist and partake of the goodies at Gabriel’s Heimisch Bakery and Cafe on Konstanzer Strasse, Bagels and Bialys on Rosenthaler, or the Kosher Beth Café on Potsdamer Platz Arkaden on Alte Potsdamer.


[ Back to Top ]

PET Prime Guidebooks:
Guide To Manhattan

By Tim Boxer

OHN TAURANAC, the Upper West Side’s distinguished resident, is making sure you don’t lose your bearings in the Capital of the World. A teacher of New York history and architecture at New York University, Tauranac has published a series of maps of outstanding maps to help you navigate Our Town from West Side to East Side and from the edge of the Bronx down 13 miles to the Bowery.

Manhattan Line by Line: A Subway & Bus Atlas (Tauranac, 176 pages, $12.95 Price: $10.36!) is a slim paperback you can slip into your pocket as you find your way around Fun City. Tauranac has even condensed the core information into a laminated subway and bus map that folds down to fit a credit card case ($2.95).

Manhattan Block by Block (176 pages, $14.95 Price: $10.17!) is an innovative street atlas that pinpoints not only addresses but also commercial buildings, hotels, theaters, police stations and historic sites.

The View From The 86th Floor (8 pages, $12.95 Price: $10.36!) is King Kong’s guide to New York. Looking out from the observatory of the Empire State Building, you gaze at the majestic skyscrapers of the Big Apple, but do you know what you’re looking at? Every page is a color photo of a magnificent piece of Manhattan landscape followed by a black-and-white rendition identifying each structure by name, year of construction, architect and other tidbits. Quite a magnificent guide book!

Improving Your People Pix

By Tim Boxer

HEN you first arrive at a destination, start shooting. "Fresh eyes see extraordinary things which after just a few days can start to seem ordinary," says Australian photographer Michael Coyne in People Photography (Lonely Planet, 159 pages, $16.99).

Besides clueing you in with technical details – cameras, zoom lenses, flash units – Coyne also delves in ethical issues. At times you ought to have your subject sign a model release if you expect to publish your snaps. Should you pay your subject for shooting a picture? Coyne discusses when it is appropriate.

In India he snapped a photo of two women in colorful saris sifting grain. He took up their time which they could have spent working so he compensated them a small amount of money which they happily accepted.

[ Back to Top ]


Copyright©1999 -
15 Minutes Magazine, Inc.

Site Designed, Developed and Maintained by
Internet Web Systems Internet Consultants - Web Site Design -  Website Hosting
Any questions or comments regarding this website, or if you would like one of your own,
please contact us at