30 Jan

Pinewood Derby

Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby

One of the fun things about living in a small town is something like the annual Nevada City Cub Scout Pack 23 Pinewood Derby.  This year’s event included almost 60 cars, some racing for speed, others in the art category.  I loved seeing the enthusiasm on the kids’ faces as they watch the cars they’ve created from a block of wood race down the track.  Thank you to the Lions Club for their continued support for the pack, this year they sponsored 3 Best of Shows and 12 design awards.  In addition the boys with the top speeds also took home a trophy.

Jake Lawson
Braden McAlister
Christian Smith
Brian Forkner
Griffen Dresbach-Hill

Best in show:
Robert Maple
Ibe Shelton
Kaden Neketin

Congrats to all the Cub Scouts and their families who participated in this week’s Pinewood Derby.  If you’re not a Cub Scout and want to join the races, check out the annual Nevada City Soapbox Derby, signs up are happening right now for the June 13th event. Click here for more information.  Look for some soapbox derby cars at the upcoming Mardi Gras parade on Sunday, February 15th.  There’s always something happening in this little town, feel free to share a comment with your favorite small town event or organization.

Pinewood Derby, photos by Erin Thiem/ Outside Inn

© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, © Photos by Erin Thiem

28 Jan

The Second City Hits Home Comedy Show

Second City Comedy Show

Who’s looking for a night of laughter?  The Miners Foundry welcomes The Second City Hits Home comedy show Friday, February 6th and I’ve got 2 tickets to give away.  The show will feature hilarious sketches, songs, and improvisation about Nevada County as well as material from the famed Second City archives. This is a must see night of comedy featuring some of Chicago’s brightest comedy stars in a special one night only engagement.  Second City is the legendary improv group that everyone from Tina Fey, Stephen Colbert, and every Saturday Night Live person has gone through.  “It’s pretty much the comedy college for aspiring professional comedians,” explains Jesse Locks.  “Always topical, irreverent, and hilarious, Second City is renowned for taking comedy to the next level.  The Miners Foundry is thrilled to be welcoming Second City back to the Nevada City,” says Executive Director Gretchen Bond.  Tickets are available online, $40 in advance at BriarPatch Co-op or $45 when the doors open at 7:30pm.  What do you have to do to win a pair?  Post a comment on the local hot topic you think the comedians should poke fun at and I’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, February 4th.

 © 2015 InnSide Nevada City, © Photos by Kat Alves and Josh Henry and Second City

26 Jan

Tibetan Monks, St. Joseph’s Cultural Center

Tibetan Monks, St. Joseph's Cultural Center, Grass Valley, photos by Erin Thiem/ Outside Inn

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The Sacred Earth and Healing Arts of Tibet Tour with the monks of the Gaden Shartse Monastery have returned to St. Joseph’s Cultural Center in Grass Valley.  The Tibetan Monks have been working on an elaborate sand mandala, all visitors are welcome (10 am-6 pm Monday-Saturday) to come and watch the process.

“The sand mandala is an ancient Tibetan art form and is carefully constructed from colored sand particles (in old Tibet ground gems, herbs, minerals) forming an intricate diagram of the enlightened mind and the ideal world,” explains Sierra Friends of Tibet.

For a complete list of blessings, talks or events click here.  The closing ceremony is Saturday, January 31st.  There will be a blessing and the sand will be swept up and given as gifts to local communities members.  Thank you Sierra Friends of Tibet for providing our community an opportunity to witness and watch the Tibetan monks practice their ancient art.

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Tibetan Monks, St. Joseph' class=

© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, © Photos by Erin Thiem

23 Jan

Nevada County Restaurant Week

Matteo's Public, Nevada City, photo by Erin Thiem/ Outside Inn

Three Forks Bakery & Brewery, photo by Erin Thiem/ Outside Inn

Nevada County Restaurant week kicks off today.  The week-long event includes specials and discounts at various restaurants and cafe throughout Nevada County.  I stopped by a few downtown Nevada City to see what they were offering for the promotion.  Three Forks Bakery and Brewery is offering up a special wood fire pizza, their house salad with the amazing 7 minute egg and a pint of Three Forks craft beer.  Lefty’s Grill is continuing their happy hour special, half off all appetizers and drinks between 4-6pm (please note they’re now closed on Mondays and Tuesdays for the winter months).  Photographed here on the blog is their baked polenta dish and a glass of wine.  Matteo’s Public is offering two specials, Family Friendly Farms local rack of lamp or the jump sea scallops (pictured below).  Additional specials available  in Nevada City include  Old 5 Mile House, Bistro 221, Nevada City Classic Cafe, the Willo, The National, South Pine Cafe.  Check out the Go Nevada County website for information on the Grass Valley, Penn Valley, South County and Truckee dining specials.  Now who’s hungry?  For a list of other dining options in Nevada City, click here for the Outside Inn’s Eating Out page.  Feel free to leave a comment on your favorite go to place or local dish.


© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, © photos by Erin Thiem

21 Jan

Polly’s Paladar

Polly's Paladar Supper Club, photos by Erin Thiem/ Outside Inn

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Polly’s Paladar is a private supper club in the heart of downtown Nevada City.  Every month owner Megan Mccollam invites a different chef to create a unique menu.  This month guest chef Evan Coben hosted “Beacause Rainbows” and every course was a different color.  Guests feasted on steak tartare, curry roasted carrot soup with caramelized cashews, scallops over rice with popcorn, collard pappardelle pasta with braised kale and pork shoulder.  For the sweeter side the menu included burnt orange anise candy soda, pomegranate blackberry cassis curd, white coffee and jet black cookies with a final lavender and hibiscus vanilla cake.  Ursula Young’s artwork provided a colorful compliments to the room.  I’ve profiled the supper club on the blog before, click here, here and here for previous events.  Polly’s Paladar third anniversary event next month will be “Ci Mangiamo” food of Northern Italy with local chef Jes Taber.

When I asked Megan to think about over the last several years and name some of her favorite ones she replied, “My favorite paladars? I loved Sylvan Brackett’s Peko Peko Paladar, Dany Lamote’s dia de Los muertos Paladar, Eric Veldman Miller’s “the big easy” Paladar.  Our first year, I loved Samantha Hinrich’s Greek Easter Paladar.”

The Paladar has been profiled in Outside magazine and “started with a make shift back porch kitchen and thrift store tables and people lending me chairs for guests. It also started with members signing up on a torn up piece of paper and now with the help of many technologically literate family and friends, it’s all automatic and online.  I have chefs emailing their resumes to me and actually adding Pollys Paladar on their own resumes.  I have folks driving from the bay or Tahoe to attend dinners.  I have nearly 1000 members now and am floored by how this concept has taken off.  I genuinely do not believe that the supper club is mine. I feel that it belongs to all of us.  I hope that we continue to have the Paladar as a new type of gathering place and as a new way to interact with each other. The fact that Nevada City has embraced the supper club the way it has amazes me, ” says Megan Mccollam.  Post a comment and share your favorite Polly’s Paladar exerpience, if you’ve been.  If not, feel free to suggest to Megan future menu ideas or guest chefs.

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© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, © photos by Erin Thiem

18 Jan

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Wild & Scenic Film Festival, photo by Erin Thiem

Wild & Scenic Film Festival photos, Nevada City, photos by Erin Thiem

Wild & Scenic Film Festival photos, Nevada City, photos by Erin Thiem
The 2015 Wild & Scenic Film Festival makes a big impact on Nevada City, but also helps increase awareness of so many important causes, organizations and motivated individuals.  The mission of the SYRCL annual film festival is a call to action, whether its environmental, energy uses, adventures, feeding the homeless, saving the fish or inspiring children to get outside.  The 13th annual event’s theme was “A Wild Life” and included over 130 films.  In addition to the films the event included art showcase, music, activist workshops, wine tasting, book signings, parties and more.  There really is something for everyone at this event, whether it was pedaling a bike to power the musical act, rubbing shoulders with some of the environmental industry leaders or simply sitting and watching a film.  Thank you to SYRCL and the 600 volunteers that help put this event on.  The Outside Inn is a proud sponsor of the event, click here to see the 80 plus other businesses who have donated support to the event.

Festival Winners:

Kid Films Winner: Lady B’s First Winter

Kid Films Honorable Mention: Elisha and the Cacao Trees

Roger Hicks Jury Award Best in Theme: Empyting the Skies

Special Recognition: Patagonia

Student Filmmaker award: Jason Jaacks and Steve Disher, Silent River

John DeGraf Award for Environmental Filmmaking: Denis Delestrac, Sand Wars

Honorable Mentions:

ML Lincoln, Wrenched

Maarten van Rouveroy van Nieuwaal, Tom Lowe, Elaine Hill, Black Ice

Denis Delestrac, Sand Wars

Best Short: Andy Maser, Jenny Nichols, Pride of Namibia

Jury Award: Travis Rummel, Ben Knight, Matt Stoecker, DamNation

Jeremy Collins, James Q Martin, Drawn

Most Inspiring Adventure Film: Valley Uprising

Spirit of Activism: Starfish Throwers

Best of Festival: Suzanne Crocker, All the Time in the World

Crowd Favorite: Water for Gold

Congrats to all the filmmakers.  Check out more photos online with #WSFF2015.  What was your favorite film?  Leave a comment and share.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival photos, Nevada City, photos by Erin Thiem

Nevada City Winery, Wild & Scenic Film Festival, photos by Erin Thiem

© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, © photos by Erin Thiem

16 Jan

Wild & Scenic Film Festival Art Showcase

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Grass Valley, Wild & Scenic Film Festial Art Showcase, Howard Levine

Wild & Scenic Film Festival Art

The 13th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival is happening this weekend and one of my favorite parts about the event is the annual art exhibition.  Over 60 artists have their works on display in 37 different locations in both downtown Nevada City and Grass Valley.  The event is organized in collaboration with Nevada County Arts and this is the fourth year the event has made an “effort to increase awareness of the intersection between arts and the environment,” says festival director Melinda Booth.  While I did not manage to capture all of the arts on display, click here for a full list of artists and venues, the ones showcased in today’s blog post include:

Karel Hendee, LeeAnn Brook, Linda Galusha,  Eileen Blodgett, Kathryn Wronksi, Jude Bischoff, Geolyn Carvin, John Daly, Jennifer Brown, Sandra DeLong, Jeff Litton, Jonathan Lyerly, Donald Naquin, Sheila Cameron, Roseanne Burke, Kathy Frey, Joe Meade, Moira McLaughlin, Caroline Courtwright, Denise Wey, David McKayNeighborhood Center for the Arts.

Thanks to Howard Levine for the fun fish prints throughout downtown Grass Valley, I caught him in the act the other day and he just looked at me and smiled.  Congrats to local artist Jude Bischoff for winning the poster contest, you can see his piece at Festival Headquarters.  Longtime Nevada City designer/fine artist LeeAnn Brook’s new book “Points of Inspiration: an Artist’s Journey with Painting and Photography” will be on sale with a book signing on Saturday from 4-6 p.m. at Luchessi Vineyards Tasting Room in Grass Valley, 50% of the proceeds will go to SYRCL.  DANK has opened a new space in the Miners Foundry and for those of you who can’t stop by this weekend follow their Facebook page for hours and upcoming exhibits. Some of the artists for the Wild & Scenic Art Showcase on display are visible in the shop windows, while others are better viewed from inside, so get out this weekend and celebrate the arts.  Photos from the Film Festival will be up on the InnSide Nevada City blog on Sunday, hope to see you out and about enjoying the festivities, feel free to leave a comment and share your favorite artists or exhibit.

2015 WSFF Art Exhibit Award Winners

2D Art:

First Place: Linda Galusha (at Lucchesi Winery)

Second Place: Christiane Raymond (at Mill Street Clothing)

Honorable Mention: LeeAnn Brook (at Lucchesi Winery)

3D Art:

First Place: Jan Nottingham (at Granucci Gallery, The Center for the Arts)

Second Place: Joe Meade (at Osborn Woods Gallery, Miners Foundry)


First Place: Nicole Dreon (at 151 Union Square)

Second Place: Eli Rush (at Kitkitdizzi)

Honorable Mention: Doug Baer (at 151 Union Square)

Student Work:

First Place: Megan Billingham (at Greater Grass Valley Visitors Center)

Second Place: Delphine Griffith (at Greater Grass Valley Visitors Center)

Best of Theme:

First Place: Jan Nottingham (at Granucci Gallery, The Center for the Arts)

Second Place: Gail Lipson (at ArtWorks Gallery)

Honorable Mention: Jeff Litton (at Matteo’s Public)

Jurors Awards:

First Place: Howard Levine (Stenciled Salmon throughout downtown Grass Valley)

Second Place: Debra Fike (at Smith Winery)

Honorable Mention: Kerstin Ronsiek (at at Granucci Gallery, The Center for the Arts)


© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, © photos by Erin Thiem

14 Jan

Blogging Meet Up

Blogging Meet Up

Blogging Meet Up, photo by Katie White Photography

Blogging Meet Up, photos by Katie White Photography

If you read this blog you know I’m super passionate about blogging.  I love taking photos and sharing our community with visitors and locals.  I also enjoy supporting and promoting local businesses and organizations.  But, as the new year rolled around I thought it would be fun to check in with other local bloggers and see what their goals and challenges were.  So, thanks to Nicole, I hosted our first Blogging Meet Up at Roots Reclaimed The Studio in Grass Valley.  Click here for my blog post on The Studio and the many services they offer.  Many thanks to Kris, Lenka, Katie, Georgette, Ed, Melissa, Jenny, Angela, Nicole, Cathy and Debbie for joining our fun round table discussion.  I’ve gotten a few messages about when the next one will be, so for those of you who are interested the next blogging meet up will be Monday, April 6th from 6-8pm.  The cost is $10 and you can reserve a spot by purchasing a ticket here.  Nibbles from BriarPatch Co-op and local wines will be served, the gourmet cheese platter from their deli section was delicious, so you should come for the cheese if nothing else.  Thanks to Katie White Photography and Ed Hensley Photography for capturing a few photos from the evening.

Ed Hensley Photography


12 Jan


Kitkitdizzi, Nevada City shop, photo by Erin Thiem/ Outside Inn

Kitkitdizzi, Nevada City shop, photos by Erin Thiem/ Outside Inn

Kitkitdizzi, Nevada City shop, photos by Erin Thiem/ Outside Inn

Have you been to visit Kitkitdizzi?  The retail shop at the top of Broad Street, 423 Broad Street next door to My Favorite Things,  is a treasure trove of goodies. They carry Juniper Ridge products, Gather Jewelry, greeting cards, Pickle Pottery, Aquarian Dawn St John’s Wort Oil, the Wild Unknown Tarot cards, books by Molly Fisk, Homestead Apothecary, Living Wild products, Bourbon Hill Bees honey, Fat and the Moon herbal body products and much, much more.  This month for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival art showcase Kitkitdizzi has a collection of Eli Rush’s platinum and palladium photos on display.  If you miss this weekend’s film festival fun, you can stop by for their artist reception later this month, Friday, January 23rd at 6pm.  So many great shops in downtown Nevada City, what’s your favorite?  And the winner of last week’s Ooh La La giveaway is Paul McGillicuddy.

Kitkitdizzi, Nevada City shop, photos by Erin Thiem/ Outside Inn

InnSide Nevada City, © photos by Erin Thiem

08 Jan

Get outside: skiing, hiking, biking and more

Spring Skiing at Alpine Meadows

Alpine Meadows, Lake Tahoe skiin

Hello January, I’ve been thinking of writing a blog post about places to go skiing, sledding, snow shoeing and all sorts of other fun winter outdoor fun, but we’re currently experiencing a spring fever.  So while we wait for Mother Nature to return here are a few fun ideas of outdoor activities to do while we wait for winter.    Go spring skiing at any one of the amazing ski resorts in Lake Tahoe, Sugar Bowl Ski Resort is only 45 minutes from Nevada City.  Other skiing options include BorealRoyal GorgeNorthstarSquaw Valley and Alpine Meadows (pictured above).  If skiing isn’t your sport, get outside locally and enjoy the warm temperatures.  There are lots of great local cycling trails, join BONC or Tour of Nevada City for a group ride.  The Outside Inn has a lot of local trail maps (hiking, mountain and road riding), but click here for a few more options online.  If you want to go hiking a popular hike at the moment is the new Deer Creek Tribute Trail suspension bridge or one of my favorites along the South Yuba river, it’s only a matter of time with these temperatures that the wildflowers will be out down at Buttermilk Bend at Bridgeport.  If you’re looking to connect with other folks and try something new try a Bear Yuba Land Trust Trek or if you need an Armchair Trek check out their calendar.  The BYLT has a lot of great maps online or you can stop by the Outside Inn and buy their laminated Trail Cards.  Maybe you want to do some tri-training (meet up January 29th at Trkac) or joining a running group?  For a list of other Outside Inn blog outdoor activities click here.  Enjoy the warmer weather, hopefully we’ll be skiing powder by the end of the month?

Outdoor adventures in Nevada City, photos by Erin Thiem/ Outside Inn
© 2015 InnSide Nevada City, © photos by Erin Thiem, Dieter King and Evans Phelps