Dodging raindrops, anticipating Marquee

As I write this, the rain pours down outside El Morfi's Grill on Brand Boulevard. I'm eating some very good soup at the Glendale café, warming me from my poor decision to leave my umbrella in the office.

Frankly, the rains in Southern California always get me down a bit, as they so often foretell the beginning of winter.

Nothing really brings that home, though, more than the beginning of daylight saving time, one of the world's stranger rituals. Sure, I will admit that having the light stream into my bedroom at 7 a.m. instead of 8 a.m. does make it a tad easier to get up. But I really do so dislike coming home after dark. Though we truly do give so many of our best hours to our workplaces, leaving after dark does tend to put an exclamation point on that reality.

Some people love the winter, the green that it brings to our brown hills, the coming holidays, the parties and the overeating. Hey, I like those things too, but give me the summer. I grew up in San Diego, after all, and a few years on the East Coast convinced me quickly that I need to live in a place where snow is a thing you drive to, not shovel from the driveway.

I know I'm not alone here. So in an attempt to perk things up a bit, to give you all a reason to do something after work, and to use those precious weekend hours for fun instead of grumbling about the mud and leaves on your carpet, we're launching an expanded Marquee section a week from this Sunday.

On a monthly basis, the Marquee section will bloom to two or three times its normal size and will focus on a particular theme. In addition, the expanded Marquee will start at the beginning of the B section, meaning our Sunday sports coverage on those days will be housed behind the news in the A section.

The November theme will be on dining and food. It will be full of reviews and features, showcasing what makes this region such a unique and special place. December's theme will be music, and January's focus will be on the local theater scene.

The expanded section will debut on Nov. 13 and publish on the first Sunday of each month after that point. During the off weeks, the Marquee section will continue to appear in its normal place — behind the news in the A section — and at its normal size — between two and three pages.

I also want to introduce the primary force behind this idea, our new Features Editor Steve Appleford. Steve has a wealth of experience behind him, having worked as the editor of the late, great Los Angeles CityBeat and as a freelance writer for the Los Angeles Times' Calendar section for many years. We at the paper are very fortunate to have him on the team, and I'm very much looking forward to seeing where he takes the section.

Steve has also convinced an incredible film writer, Andy Klein, to write his engaging prose for Marquee. Andy, who worked with Steve at CityBeat, and with me at Brand X, is experienced, engaging and well-regarded. His work will focus on the films that our area is justifiably famed for, the offbeat and the overlooked. Andy won't ignore mainstream films, but I expect his reviews will draw you to shows you would not have considered otherwise.

I'm very much looking forward to what Steve will give us, and I hope you find its content compelling, interesting and useful. And as always, thanks for reading.

DAN EVANS is the editor. When he's not dodging raindrops, he can be reached at (818) 637-3234 or dan.evans@latimes.com.

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