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Aga Popęda here, a new staff writer at the Weekly covering arts and culture. As a newcomer to Monterey County (and to the Weekly), I would like to introduce myself and share my excitement about this place—I still can’t believe I get to hang out with the ocean on a daily basis.

One of my first assignments is to cover the second annual we.Art mural festival now underway in Sand City. Something seems to be happening there (and I mean something besides the best almond croissants at Sweet Elena’s Bakery—those croissants are filled to think they are cream puffs, but taste too good to even raise the matter with them. Or with Elena, for that matter. And speaking of the best: Today is the last day to make nominations for your favorite sweets in Monterey County Weekly’s annual Best Of Readers’ Poll.)

Sand City has a reputation for being a city of artists and artistic endeavors, but it’s also home to a couple of very big shopping centers. That’s the kind of oddity that stands out to someone new here. 

I’m also arriving as things are changing, and businesses and festivals and events old and new are reopening and popping up. As I’m exploring cultural institutions old and new, I’m going to rely on all of you, our readers, to help guide me to the interesting and exciting makers and doers in the realm of arts & culture. If you have a tip, please reach out. 

Nice to meet you virtually for now, and I look forward to seeing you at concerts, readings and in bakery lines. Please stay in touch!

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