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Hello, friends. So this past week I published the second edition of West Oceanfront Magazine, a project I’m working on with some creative friends of mine to share stories from Newport Beach.

You can find the entire magazine here (or check out some of my favorite spreads below) but I wanted to republish my Letter from the Editor because it’s on a topic that often finds itself swirling inside my mind.


I decided weeks before this issue came together that the theme would be LOVE. We’d spell it just like that—with capital letters—to denote the grandness of it all. After the theme was set, the stories fell into place one by one, like puzzle pieces in a cookie jar shaped like a magazine called West Oceanfront.

The idea of LOVE interests me; it’s changeable as the tides. We can identify strands of its creation ad infinitum—the LOVE of art, of music, of another, of cheese, of self. Even then, when we think we understand one variety, we find millions of iterations on that and we’re left with the paradoxical mystery of this thing called LOVE once again.

To confess, this issue was a sociological excavation of the term, conducted right here in Newport Beach. I believe you’ll find in the tales we tell, there’s a little bit of LOVE sprinkled not just throughout the narratives but also on top of every word. It’s our way of figuring out how it works, by speaking with people who’ve found it (in some form or another) then dropping their LOVE-knowledge onto our pages for you to make of it what you will.

We may not be able to define LOVE and its boundless facets but as February rolls cold to the warms of March, we know it’s there. We experience the happy symptoms of LOVE like a really good craft beer or a feel-good charity event or the feel of someone’s hand inside our own. I’ve long thought the unknown is far more romantic than the expected, so here’s to loving LOVE, whatever the heck that means.

With LOVE,

Melissa Kandel (@melissakandel)


  • Sara Flammang says:

    come on, page 10, “sit, heel and namastay”? your quick wit slays me every time!! Look for the hidden gems people! 🙂 Love this magazine A LOT. Visually beautiful and interesting and love the articles! Awesome job.

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