EXCLUSIVE! Inside The Queen Mary

In our Summer issue, SEARCH will be highlighting The Queen Mary in our #OceanLife Faceoff as one of the best ocean-themed places to visit. As a teaser, we were offered a chance to tour The Queen Mary and it’s newly-opened “most haunted” room, B340. Below, our correspondent, Linda Whitaker, shares her experience on the ship.

 The Queen Mary
by Linda Whitaker

I was led down a steel walkway suspended over deep darkness, lit only by the faint glimmer of a flashlight and the occasional glow of a cell phone, into the musty depths of the Queen Mary’s boiler room. Our guide, paranormal explorer Matthew Schulz, narrated the experiences of previous adventurers in this hotspot of paranormal activity; tugs on clothing, touches on skin, with no apparent source for these sensations.  Hearing the stories is chilling and a series of goosebumps ran down my arms.  At length, Matthew paused our walk at the ironically signposted “Safe Room”.  Inside, an arcane array of electrical equipment to record communications from the other world was arranged on the table.  Our group entered the darkened room, the door was closed and the spirits were called.  Matthew’s invitation to those spirits, and their responses, was recorded.   Listening to the playback left me uncertain, but it just might have been “Mary” I heard in response to his posed question, “Can you tell me what ship we are on?  What Queen are we on?”  We pelted our guide with questions: “Is this real?  Are those spirits talking?”  With a shrug of the shoulders, Matthew ended our tour with a philosophical, “we’ll never really know” and handed our group off to the Commodore, a thirty-seven-year veteran of the ship.

A brisk walk along B Deck led us to the infamous Room B340 where the stage was set, complete with crystal ball, tarot deck, and Ouija board.  The Commodore’s tales of B340 were eerie and its reputation was such that the room, until recently, has been unoccupied and out of use for years.   But new guests are in luck!  The newly renovated space is now available to the public and you can book your own stay in the haunted B340.  During its earlier years of occupancy, sleeping guests awakened to find the covers flown back and figures of people standing alongside the bed.  Housekeeping reports include making up the room, only to return moments later to tousled spreads and sheets and everything in disarray.   Our group, while exploring the dimly lit room, complained of vertigo and headaches and the stalwart Commodore confessed his own extreme discomfort. “I would never spend a night in this cabin,” he added.

Our last adventure that evening led us to a glimpse of the gorgeous art deco 1st class passenger swimming pool, where wet footprints abruptly ending have been reported, in spite of the pool having been drained for decades. A few steps away, we stopped in front of polished elevator doors where the reflection of an elegant “Woman In White” has been seen by some.   Strolling down a long walkway resplendent in bird’s-eye maple paneling and carpet reminiscent of a more elegant era, we are told of an image, seen by many, of a 7-8 year old girl nicknamed “Jackie”, her arms outstretched, reaching up as if asking to be lifted and comforted.  As our tour concluded, I believe we were all looking for a bit of comfort!

The history of this ship is fascinating.  Walking up to the Queen Mary one is immediately struck by the immensity, its dominance in the harbor.  It is so PRESENT!  How does something like that even float – let alone remain seaworthy after 82 years?  Although I can’t begin to understand the engineering feat, I did, after stepping into its beautifully preserved entry and touring her decks, understand her allure.  The ship beckons you to explore. Yes, you can feel her.

 Commissioned in 1936, the Queen Mary was a state-of-the-art luxury cruising vessel, one of the grandest ocean liners ever built.  During World War II, with resources being scarce, she was retrofitted as a troop ship, nicknamed the “Grey Ghost”, and began service to the allied forces.  After her return to civilian life, in the late 1940’s, she again spent a number of years in the luxury liner industry, but travel was a changing landscape and more and more people took to the air.  The Queen Mary was tired, weathered, and no longer in demand.  In 1967, finding a resting place in Long Beach, California, she’s become an iconic landmark that everyone should attempt to see.

Fortunately, not only is the Queen Mary still with us, and perhaps still hosting a number of passengers from the past, but she also offers a myriad of experiences for Los Angeles visitors and locals alike.  There are so many ways to experience the Queen Mary.  You must give one a try!  Oh, and if you see the little girl in the hallway?  Give her a hug from me.

The Queen Mary offers:

  • Historical Tours – For the history buffs.
  • Haunted Encounter Tours – This tour highlights stories of famous hauntings.
  • Ghosts & Legends Tours – Special effect enhance this tour experience.
  • 4-D Special Effects Theater – Sight, sound, aroma and wind to enhance your experience.
  • Paranormal Ship Walk – Be prepared, I’m told if the activity is hot, you may spend hours at this experience.
  • Dining with the Spirits – Dining, followed by the Paranormal Ship Walk.
  • Dark Harbor – Annual Halloween Event where spooky mazes of horror are staged onboard and in areas immediately adjacent to the ship. The event runs from late September through the end of October.  A sneak peek at the “Kitchen of Horror” maze leads me to believe a return visit is in order.
  • More information on events here: http://www.queenmary.com
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SEARCH: Ruth Bancroft Garden

Ruth Bancroft Garden is a tranquil garden in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Walnut Creek. Nestled behind a fence line, it’s an oasis full of succulents. The garden is a place where you can view exotic and endangered plant life year around, meditate in nature, or view local artist sculptures at one of the many annual events they host each year. Most residents of Contra Costa County have never heard of Ruth Bancroft Garden or what she accomplished with her collection of exotic succulents. Bancroft is not just a street tying Concord, Walnut Creek, and Pleasant Hill together. It’s a landmark dedicated to a great woman who was fascinated by succulents.

Ruth had a passion for plants even as a child living in Berkeley. She explored the undeveloped hills of Berkeley, examining wildflowers and digging up small plants to replant in her own yard. Her early garden included a collection of irises, which she received from Sydney B. Mitchell, the founder of the American Iris Association, and Carl Salbach, an iris breeder.

Graduating from UC Berkeley with a teaching degree, she taught at a school in Merced for a few years before meeting her husband, Philip Bancroft, Jr. and moving to the family farm in Walnut Creek. Her plant enthusiasm only flourished when surrounded by the 400-acre walnut and pear farm, but she was most fascinated with water-conserving plants and collected hundreds of potted succulents, all kept in greenhouses. When Ruth was given approximately 3.5 acres of the farm to plant a new garden, she enlisted the help of Lester Hawkins, co-founder of Western Hills Nursery, to help create the pathways and beds where she transplanted her potted succulent species collection which counted…READ MORE. Get your copy today!

 

Spring 2018, Editor Letter

I was not always a gardener. I’d lived in dorms, apartments, and rented a house without ever noticing the plants around me. Once I owned my own house, I became excited at the possibilities for the sad, weed-riddled plots circling my yard. I wanted my kids outdoors, riding bicycles and playing tag. A neighbor kindly took me under her wing, perhaps inspired by the view of my yard through her front window, and opened my eyes to the many annuals, perennials, herbs, and evergreens. I found every plant interesting and soon brought home dozens of plants with every kind of foliage and flower.

Since then, my landscaping has calmed down. I’ve learned to arrange the same plants in groupings so they’re more noticeable and easier to maintain, and to appreciate the strength of a good shrub instead of spending money on perennials that flower for a week and do nothing the rest of the year. My gardening fever has calmed, but the joy of seeing new life never ends.

This spring, we welcome you to enter the garden with us. Whether you have a green thumb or prefer to admire plant life from the path, we’ve got you covered. In this issue, you’ll find tips on making things with the herbs you grow and on attracting birds to your garden. Celebrate the refreshing beauty of our local Ruth Bancroft Garden and Philadelphia’s Bartram’s Garden. Get your copy today!

Heather Roulo
Operations Director

 

 

 

SEARCH: Spring 2018 Issue

Get your copy today!

City Spotlight

Berkeley, California

Books

Five Gardening Favorites

Author Spotlight

Tim Reynolds

Tech

Top Five Music Apps

Health

Benefits of Culinary Herbs

Travel

Bartram’s House and Garden

Music

Harp in the Garden

Food

Angel Hair with Garlic, Ricotta, and Fava Beans

Do it Yourself

Brewing Kombucha

Garden

Attracting Birds to Your Garden

Autism / Parenting

Ambiguous Loss

Humor

Trees, Sir

Events

Event pictures

Attraction

Hand Fan Museum

Favorites

Picks from the marketplace

Activity

Garden Bingo

Get your copy today!

Winter 2017, Editor Letter

The word cozy conjures up images of comforters and warm socks by the fire with a good book. Cozy can mean cuddling up with your favorite person and a movie. Cozy means comfortable, safe, and comfy.

A cozy memory for me is when I was a child sitting by my grandmother as she crocheted a new lap rug, with one of her very own creations covering our laps as we watched TV. Gram was a woman who couldn’t sit still and do nothing. She had an antsy “do-er” bug that inspired her to make dolls, tissue boxes, afghans, you name it. If it required yarn and a needle or hook, it was destined to become her project, but she didn’t just make these things for herself and her family. Every year, she crocheted a thousand afghans to give away at nursing homes. Her gift of crocheting spread coziness throughout the care facilities of Colorado Springs. It’s a gene she passed on to me. I’ve decided I will continue her tradition of selflessness this year by donating some of my crocheted items to those who need a piece of cozy to get through the winter. It might not be a thousand pieces like Gram, but hopefully it will bring cozy to a few people who really need it.

What are your favorite cozy activities? This issue of SEARCH will help you stay inside and keep cozy as we explore cozy books, music, and food. For you who like going out in the cold, we’ll add in some fun adventures away from home, like touring the Galindo house in Concord or shopping at SCRAP. Read more about cozy in our Winter 2017 Issue.

Emerian Rich
Editorial Director

 

 

 

 

SEARCH Magazine Winter Issue 2017

SEARCH Magazine Winter 2017

Galindo House,
A giant part of Concord and Contra Costa history. We go inside the house built by Don Francisco Galindo and his wife Maria Dolores Pacheco.

City Spotlight
Rodeo, California
Books
Five Books to Achieve Cozy
Tech
Stay Cozy Inside with Tech
Health
Post-Partum Congestive Heart Failure
Travel
Iceland: The Land of Fire & Ice
Music
Ella Fitzgerald, 100 Years
Food
Braised Tri-Tip with Sherry-Mushroom Gravy
Do it Yourself
Hot Cozy Drink Ideas
Business
Believe in Your Worth
Autism / Parenting
Frustration Station
Humor
Prince Goofball and the Search for Cozy
Events
Event pictures from around the Bay.
Bay Area Attraction
SCRAP, San Francisco
Cozy Quizzes
Something to do While You Coze

READ NOW!

Fall 2017, Editor Letter

fallcoverAlthough I love entertaining, I’m not the greatest cook. Not that I can’t cook. I just despise doing it. My family is not the easiest one to cook for either, since we all have different food allergies. For me, recipes need to be simple, quickly assembled, and easily substitutable. My favorite go-to meal when guests show up unexpectedly is chicken salad, which I’ve shared below.

Entertaining is more than just setting out some bags of chips and turning on the TV. It’s a way to show those you care about, how much you care by spending actual time with them. I know, a novel concept in this busy, text-driven world. Putting away the phones and spending time face-to-face is the best gift you can give to those you care about.

In this issue, we’ll be exploring cooking and entertaining in many different ways. For quick and easy entertaining ideas, check out the contributors suggestions throughout this issue. For you cooking pros, we have the Dake’s stunning Chorizo Tamale Pie. Whatever kind of party you’re panning, we’d like to hear your experiences. Read more about entertaining in our Fall 2017 Issue.

Emerian Rich
Editorial Director

Emerian’s Quick Chicken Salad
1 can white meat chicken, shredded
2 heaping tablespoons mayo
1 granny smith apple, diced
Pepper

*Mix chicken, mayo, and diced apples in a bowl.
*Sprinkle pepper over to taste.
*Spread on croissants, wrap in tortilla, or eat with crackers.
If serving in a buffet, you can have extra apple slices or chips to scoop and enjoy.