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The Biltmore Turns 90 | 11 A South African Celebration | 17

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013 I VOL. 42 I #39

THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE PHIL Vijay Gupta, 26, Takes Classical Music Out of the Concert Hall and Into Jails and Skid Row

Photo by Gary Leonard

SEE STORY PAGE 8

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AROUND TOWN

Rents Rising, Vacancy Dwindling in Downtown

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partment hunters who think that it is getting more expensive to live in Downtown now know it’s not their imagination: Central City rents rose 4.8% between the second quarter of 2012 and the same time in 2013, according to the new USC Casden Forecast/2013 Multifamily Report. The report, released on Tuesday, Sept. 24, found that the hike was the second-highest increase in the 37 submarkets it examined in Los Angeles County. The average rent in Downtown, according to the report, is now $1,862. The price hikes correspond to a tighter market, with a 9.7% vacancy rate in Downtown in early 2009 tumbling to 4.4% by the second quarter of this year. The Downtown numbers largely mirrored trends across Southern California, according to the study. The report also predicts that current conditions will continue, with apartment vacancy rates falling 10% across Los Angeles County over the next year, and rents ticking upwards by 1.8% through 2014 and climbing another 3.8% the following year. The report comes in the wake of the Downtown Demographic Study conducted by the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. That report, which noted that 71% of Downtowners rent, also said that more than 5,000 housing units are under construction in the Central City.

September 30, 2013

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS

CicLAvia Rolls Back To Downtown

TAKE MY PICTURE GARY LEONARD

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he bicycle bacchanalia CicLAvia has won massive support from Angelenos over the past three years, with tens of thousands of cyclists, along with a lesser number of skateboarders and folks on foot, enjoying car-free recreational gatherings held on the streets of Los Angeles. CicLAvia is back this week, and once again, it is taking advantage of Downtown. The Sunday, Oct. 6, happening sports a “Heart of L.A.” theme and will take place on shuttered streets in Downtown, with legs to Boyle Heights and MacArthur Park. The closures, including Spring Street, Seventh Street and Broadway, will occur between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., during which time there will also be retail vendors, food, activities and more. It’s not the only good CicLAvia news: The Wasserman Foundation on Sept. 24 announced a $500,000 grant for future events. CicLAvia is paid for through a combination of public funding and private contributions, with each event running between $300,000 and $450,000. The Wasserman contribution bodes well for the future, as CicLAvia organizers hope to stage four events in 2014, with a new route potentially running through the San Fernando Valley.

The Ins and Outs of Downtown’s Industrial Future

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ack before the recession, the concept of manufacturing businesses in the Arts District being displaced by housing was a hot topic. That faded during the economic downturn, but the subject is being broached

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again this week, with a five-hour colloquium and walking tour. On Saturday, Oct. 5, the Los Angeles Region Planning History Group will explore issues related to employment and the future of land zoned for industrial use as the demand for housing increases. The event, dubbed “The Evolution of Industrial and Mixed Use in Downtown Los Angeles,” starts with a 9 a.m. breakfast at the Southern California Institute of Architecture at 350 Merrick St. In addition to a panel discussion, there will be a walking tour of the area. Ken Bernstein, the manager of the city’s Office of Historic Resources, will moderate the talk. Panelists and tour guides will include

September 24, 2013

Greg Fischer, a historian and former deputy to Councilwoman Jan Perry (Fischer also contributes to Downtown News), Arts District developer Yuval Bar-Zemer and former CRA Deputy Administrator Don Spivack. Seating is limited to 110 attendees and entrance is $50 ($35 for students). Registration and additional information is at larphg.org.

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hose turned off by the high prices of first-run films or bothered by the add-on “premium” Continued on page 24

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EDITORIALS

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS

September 30, 2013

Urban Scrawl by Doug Davis

A Museum’s Grand Vision

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ven now, two weeks after businessman and philanthropist Eli Broad’s stunning announcement, it’s still hard to believe that admission to his coming Downtown art museum will be free. After all, in this day and age we’re accustomed to the adage “you get what you pay for.” That’s why Broad’s revelation is still worth celebrating, and it will merit even more attention and applause when the $140 million institution opens (currently scheduled for late 2014, though there have already been several construction delays). While The Broad won’t be a game changer for Bunker Hill — the debut of Walt Disney Concert Hall a decade ago did that — it will be a serious game enhancer. The gratis admission makes it far more accessible; expect very big crowds for at least the first six months. Los Angeles Downtown News last week reported on the in-progress arts institution. The more the building advances, the more good news there is for future visitors. The initially planned 35,000 square feet of exhibition space has been boosted by 15,000 square feet. The museum is also slated to include a restaurant powered by Bill Chait, the entrepreneur who helped open Downtown’s Rivera and Bestia. It’s a fitting project for Broad, who in addition to founding two Fortune 500 companies (home builder Kaufman & Broad and retirement planning firm SunAmerica) has been a longtime champion of Downtown Los Angeles and, in particular, Grand Avenue. Broad was the founding chair of MOCA 34 years ago and, in the late 1990s, he joined with Mayor Richard Riordan to revive the stalled Walt Disney Concert Hall. The two donated their own money and then twisted the arms of local business leaders to kick in either personally or through their companies. The result is that the landmark got built. It could have easily died. Is there a legacy component to Broad’s current project? Almost certainly, yes. Over the course of history the wealthy have built landmarks that would carry on their name and vision. Broad is just the latest figure to do this, and while some sniff, the reality is that Los Angeles will benefit from this project. If the critics want to harp, let them, but we think most people would rather have a free museum than an empty parking lot. As The Broad continues to take shape, we hope that its namesake and the New York architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro will continue to meet another promise that, though less attention-grabbing than free admission, is even more important to Downtown: that the museum has a lively public plaza and that it stimulates street life. This is no small matter. The Broad will stand between Disney Hall and a 19-story apartment tower and across the street from MOCA and the Colburn School. Grand Avenue is being remade and this project is in the center of everything. We look forward to its continued progress and eventual debut.

A True Blue Turnaround

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his week, Los Angeles Dodgers fans will enjoy something that has not happened for four long years: playoff baseball. The National League West champions — the first time the Dodgers have captured the division since 2009 — open the postseason on Thursday, Oct. 3, against an opponent that had not been determined at press time. There is a lot to be excited about, and while much of it centers around the possibility of seeing the first World Series championship in Los Angeles in a quarter century, the energy and accomplishments go much further. In the space of less than 18 months, the team, the stadium, the in-game atmosphere and the overall perception of the Dodgers as a brand have been vastly improved. While not everything is perfect, Angelenos have seen a fundamental turnaround from opening day of the 2012 season, when the franchise was owned by Frank McCourt. All credit goes to Guggenheim Baseball Management, which shocked the baseball world last year when it paid more than $2 billion for the Dodgers, the stadium and other team holdings. Despite initial promises that change was coming, many observers were skeptical. A combination of the seven dreary, penny-pinching years under the McCourts (including the ugly, public split of Frank and his then-wife Jamie) and the acquisition price conspired to dim hopes — few thought the new owners would be able to spend big on players after what they shelled out for the team. It turns out, they have had more than enough cash, as under chairman and controlling owner Mark Walter the proverbial purse strings have been drastically loosened. Initial player chemistry issues were resolved and some key injuries healed, and in June the Dodgers began the historic run that has resulted in playoff baseball. While anything can happen in a five- or seven-game series, the reconstructed roster has championship potential, which hasn’t been true here for a long time. While the turnaround on the field sparks the fevered fandom, it is not the only achievement worth noting. In April 2012, after the sale was announced but before it closed (the purchase became final in May), Los Angeles Downtown News laid out seven suggestions for improving the visitor experience, none of which had to do with upgrading the roster. Now, many of the changes we suggested have come to pass, and while we don’t take credit for spurring action, we are among those who enjoy its results.

The suggestions were: Lower the Parking Price: This was a no-brainer, as the $15 that McCourt had been charging felt like Stadium Way robbery. During the news conference introducing the new owners, Magic Johnson announced that parking would be rolled back to $10. It has stayed there, and should not increase. Spruce Up the Common Areas, Fast: This marks the new owners’ biggest non-roster success. They spent $100 million on stadium improvements in the off-season and added and upgraded restrooms (particularly for women), widened concourses and even created children’s play areas. Wi-fi access is better and there are places to stand and have a drink while watching the game. Dodger Stadium is more than a half-century old, but it feels refreshed. Lower Beer Costs: The suggestion was based on Arte Moreno’s initial attention-grabbing move after he acquired the Angels. Beer prices didn’t drop in Dodger Stadium, though there are more food options. Speed Up Concession Service: Wasting two innings waiting in line for a hot dog was among the worst things about game day. The new owners added more cash registers, and though service can still lag when the house is packed, things in general are speedier. Reduce the Advertising Onslaught: Fans today are buffeted by as many attacks on their wallets as in the McCourt era. It’s annoying, but it seems less so when the team is winning. Interesting how that works. Be Public, Be Responsive and Be Proactive: The owners have seemed to accept public input and have improved relations with the fan base. Walk the Stadium and Be Accessible: It’s unclear how often the owners are out and about and approachable to those who pay for tickets. We suggested that all the owners frequently walk the concourses before games, and that they wear nametags or other identifiers so they could get unfiltered feedback from fans. We still think they should do that, no matter how the team fares. Overall, the new regime has done a lot of the things we and others suggested to make a Dodger game a more enjoyable experience. The biggest negative is that many tickets are now fairly expensive, with the result that bringing a family of four to a game is bordering on being cost-prohibitive. That’s the kind of thing that some fans will overlook if the team keeps winning. Hopefully, the winning will continue this month.


September 30, 2013

Downtown News 5

DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM

Seven Columns I Never Wrote So Many City Hall Mishaps, Opportunities and Personalities, So Little Time By Jon Regardie ere’s the thing about work: It’s really busy. It’s especially busy in Downtown Los Angeles, where you never know when the next supermarket will be announced

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THE REGARDIE REPORT or the next politician will get in trouble because he (it’s always he) is caught canoodling (it’s always fun to call it canoodling) with someone who is not his wife. It’s so busy that, over the years, I have missed the opportunity to write a bunch of columns. Sometimes deadlines got me, and on other occasions I was busy putting out fires (not literally). However, like Socrates, I subscribe to the philosophy that the unexamined City Hall column is not worth forgetting (I may be paraphrasing here). Thus, I’ve gone back to look again at some of the topics I wished I had written about before. Curiously, many of these involve former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. Political Trades: One of my favorite parts of the basketball season is the trade deadline, when teams reconfigure their lineups and often ship out some big names. That got me thinking: Why can’t we trade mayors and other up-and-coming or past-their-prime politicians? After all, we the people elect and pay them, and if we think another leader could do better here or that someone just needs a change of scenery, then why can’t the owner of Los

Angeles (it was Tim Leiweke before he quit AEG) work out a deal? This would have allowed L.A. to trade up with Villaraigosa, who was more adored by the national media than local leaders. Back in early 2007, for example, could we have traded him straight up to New York for Michael Bloomberg? Would we have had to throw in another politician like Wendy Greuel to entice them, or maybe take back an unappealing product such as Rep. Anthony Weiner (he hadn’t morphed into Carlos Danger yet, but still)? Or, in late 2009, could we have convinced San Antonio to take on Villaraigosa and give back the untested Mayor Julian Castro? The possibilities are endless. Even though it’s super early, would we consider trading Eric Garcetti for New Jersey’s senator-to-be Cory Booker? Should we send out five male members of the City Council for Houston Mayor Annise Parker in an effort to make up for L.A.’s baffling inability to elect women? Would we flip a package of Controller Ron Galperin and the double Mitches (Englander and O’Farrell) for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie simply for the entertainment value of having Christie in L.A.? Political Anagrams: Is it possible to pull 1,200 words from the idea of re-arranging the letters in politicians’ names? Yes! I’ve wasted hours at wordsmith.org/anagrams coming up with kooky creations. For example, “Eric Garcetti” can become Tragic Recite, Tiger Cat Rice and Art Critic Gee. “Carmen Trutanich” twists into Crime

Can Hurt Ant and, amazingly, Anarchic Term Nut. “Paul Koretz” is Opera Klutz, “Paul Krekorian” works out to Karaoke Lip Run and “Charlie Beck” evolves into Bail Checker. I could go on and on and on. For what it’s worth, altering the letters in “Antonio Villaraigosa” results in HAHAHA, the Guy Now Works for Herbalife. OK, it doesn’t really. Three DWP Contract Allegories: Here’s the thing about the contract city leaders recently worked out with the union representing DWP employees: Only about 27 people in L.A. really understand the nuances of the deal and know whether it’s actually good for ratepayers. Thus, I’d write three allegories to make the contract quasi-comprehensible for plebes like me. I’d work around the super-confusing parts by making jokes and offering references to films such as Tank Girl. I’d also repeatedly reference Councilman Gil Cedillo’s wacky early warning about department workers going on strike. In Story 1, the contract negotiations would be a baseball game, and the DWP team would hit 9 home runs in a row while the city would keep dropping the baseball, but somehow no one could figure out how to keep score. Before each pitch, Cedillo would warn, “A strike’s coming!” Story 2 would take place at a bowling alley, with the DWP and city teams sometimes ignoring the pins and chucking 14-pound balls at reporters and each other. The DWP team would have cool shoes, though no one could explain where they came from, why they are so much nicer than everyone else’s shoes or how much

photo by Gary Leonard

Los Angeles is a less entertaining place for City Hall watchers without former City Attorney Carmen Trutanich. Plus, you could anagram his name into the phrase Anarchic Term Nut.

they cost. Before every roll down the lane, Cedillo would announce, “A strike is coming!” Story 3 would involve an interstellar attack, with DWP alien aircraft shooting water, power and beefcake posters of union boss Brian D’Arcy while L.A. tossed back Some Pretty Impressive Numbers! Ultimately, no one could figure out who got hit and at some point they’d say “Fudge it” and all go out for $600 million worth of ice cream, for which they’d charge ratepayers $1.2 billion. Early Continued on page 12

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6 Downtown News

September 30, 2013

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS

Developer Shomof Buys Alexandria Renovation and New Businesses Planned By Eddie Kim eveloper Izek Shomof has an extensive track record of taking timeworn buildings in Downtown Los Angeles and transforming them into hubs of business and housing. Now, he has purchased one more historic property: the 107-year-old Alexandria Hotel. Shomof said last week that he has closed escrow on the property and plans to upgrade the building on the southwest corner of Fifth and Spring streets. He would not reveal a purchase price. Shomof, whose Downtown transformations range from four buildings on the 600 block of South Spring Street to the lowincome Baltimore and King Edward hotels on the edge of Skid Row, said the Alexandria will continue to serve low-income tenants, who fill most of the hotel’s residences. Improvements will come in the form of aesthetic renovations such as fresh

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photo by Gary Leonard

Upgrades are coming to the Historic Core’s Alexandria Hotel following a purchase by Downtown developer Izek Shomof. The property will remain as housing for low-income tenants.

paint, revamped air conditioning and new fixtures, including in the building’s Palm Court and King Edward ballrooms. “That’s why we bought it — because we want to preserve it,” Shomof said. “We’re not changing what makes it historic.” Shomof, who also plans to build a residential high-rise at Fourth Street and Broadway, does not yet have a budget for the Alexandria renovation but expects it to be “easily in the millions.” Although the ground floor holds the popular sports bar the Down and Out and “Top Chef” contestant Ilan Hall’s restaurant The Gorbals, Shomof hopes to bring together tenants and other Downtown residents with what he termed “a better environment” that features more amenities — he suggests additional restaurants, a coffee shop or a convenience store as possibilities. The eight-story Alexandria was built in 1906 as a luxury hotel and hosted individuals including a young Winston Churchill, President Theodore Roosevelt and movie star Rudolph Valentino. The 1923 arrival of nearby competitor the Biltmore Hotel and the onset of the Great Depression shuttered the hotel in 1934. Though the Alexandria was purchased three years later by movie producer Phil Goldstein and reopened in 1938, it has had an up-and-down history since then, with city officials even calling it L.A.’s worst drug trafficking spot in 1988, according to the Los Angeles Times. More recently, the hotel was the subject of a 2007 lawsuit between tenants and then-owner Ruben Islas, his development company Amerland Group, the city and the Community Redeve­ lopment Agency. The plaintiffs alleged that the city and the deve­ lopers “evicted or harassed” about 100 low-income tenants in an effort to replace them with “non-elderly, non-disabled and nonAfrican American tenants.” A federal judge ruled in 2008 that the city and CRA had to find and assist the displaced tenants. A 2009 settlement ended with the defendants paying nearly $1 million to tenants. eddie@downtownnews.com


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8 Downtown News

September 30, 2013

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS

The Most Interesting Man in the Phil How Vijay Gupta, a 26-Year-Old Former Med Student, Found Himself and Brought Classical Music to Skid Row By Donna Evans n a sweltering day in late August, Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Vijay Gupta steps in front of a crowd and bows his head to polite applause. He glances at the audience and surveys the cellist and violist to his left. He takes a breath, lifts his 2003 Krutz violin and tucks it under his chin. Once it’s settled, he slowly pulls the bow across the strings. As the first strains of the “Passacaglia” by George Frideric Handel and Johann Halvorsen usher forth, the murmurs of the crowd go mute. While the scene is one that audiences at Walt Disney Concert Hall pay up to $266 a ticket to take in, no one here has spent a cent. In fact, many in the packed room at Skid Row’s Midnight Mission know little about classical music and even less about the men playing in front of them. Still, the approximately 100 people, many of whom sleep on the streets at night, sit rapt on their blue plastic chairs. They remain largely quiet — if not as silent as Disney Hall crowds — during the 45-minute performance. When it ends, the crowd busts into raucous applause. Screams of “Encore!” are heard. One man, sitting amidst plastic bags of his belongings, belts out a curious request for Ice Cube. Gupta and his fellow musicians, Jacob Braun and Ben Ullery, smile widely and bow. Skid Row may seem an unlikely place for a classical concert. In fact, it was, prior to Street Symphony, a nonprofit organization founded by Gupta in 2011. The New York native was just 24 at the time, though he had already been a member of the Phil for five years. He was the youngest player in the orchestra when he joined at the

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photo by Gary Leonard

Los Angeles Philharmonic violinist Vijay Gupta joined the orchestra when he was 19 and, at 26, is still the youngest member of the Phil.

age of 19, and at 26 today, he’s still the youngest. Street Symphony is an ensemble of socially conscious musicians dedicated to bringing live, classical music to the mentally ill, imprisoned, homeless and the otherwise marginalized members of society. Gupta founded the group with Adrian Hong, a human rights activist and the managing director of consultancy Pegasus Strategies, and Adam Crane, the former director of public relations for the L.A. Phil who now serves as vice president of external affairs for the St. Louis Symphony. The path that brought Gupta to Skid Row is as twisting as it is unlikely, and though he has now played the Mission three times, it’s clear that it’s a visceral experience for the man who suffered his own mental abuse while growing up. The normally loquacious violinist is prone to becoming overwhelmed with emotion when discussing the physical, psychological and spiritual struggles of his non-Disney Hall audience. “I’m this privileged musician,” he said recently. “Who the hell am I to think that I could help anybody?” Chasing Zubin Mehta Gupta will be front and center this week when the Phil kicks off the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Walt Disney Concert Hall. Along with the 105 other members of the orchestra, he’ll spend much of the next nine months in formal clothes and playing in front of affluent crowds. In addition to the Downtown dates that start on Monday, Sept. 30, the Phil this season will tour domestically, including stints in Washington, D.C. and New York. Vijay Gupta was born in 1987 in Walden, N.Y., in the Mid-Hudson Valley to Vivek, a travel agent, and

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Chandana, a bank teller; the couple immigrated to the United States from India. His musical inclination was clear from an early age — he continually sang and danced around the house — and when he was 4 his parents took him to a music teacher. He was soon given the choice of piano or violin. While Gupta’s younger brother, Akshar, later opted for the piano (Akshar, now 23, is a classically trained pianist who just finished a PhD in chemistry), Vijay took one look at that stationary behemoth of an instrument and started bawling. “I just wanted to dance with my fiddle,” he said, laughing. Daily practices led to an audition at the Juilliard School’s pre-college program when Vijay was just 6. To the shock of his parents, the boy nailed the audition. In the following years his parents poured a considerable amount of time, money and energy into supporting their son’s music. Vivek was so sure of Vijay’s talent that he semistalked Zubin Mehta, the director for life of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra (and the former music director of the L.A. Phil), flying Gupta to Tel Aviv and Germany — wherever the maestro was conducting — trying to get him to hear Gupta play. The effort eventually paid off: Vijay made his solo debut at age 11 with the Israel Philharmonic in Tel Aviv. The school district was less forgiving than his parents, and administrators failed him in sixth grade for missing so many classes. It didn’t matter that Vijay was doing his homework in the car during the 90-minute drive back and forth to Juilliard (which Akshar was also attending). Eventually, Chandana quit her job and made transporting Vijay to international music festi-

vals and other gigs her full-time pursuit. The time constraints never eased and, finally fed up with battling the school system, Vijay’s parents yanked him out of middle school. After he passed a high school equivalency exam, Vijay enrolled at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburg, N.Y. He was 14. There was a caveat: His parents said he still had to study science. Music was a lovely hobby for doctors, they told him, but it would never be his life. Vijay felt differently, and recalls needing to play music the way people need to breathe oxygen. Thus, he signed on for a second undergraduate program at the Manhattan School of Music. Torching the Candle Gupta and his parents fought frequently over music versus medicine. A decade later, he clearly recalls the harsh words and “emotional manipulation” that he said cloaked him in selfdoubt. On several occasions, the earliest occurring when he was 9, the vicious arguments led to his parents ordering him out of the house. He remembers sobbing in the yard, watching his breath form a cloud in the cold night air. To them, he said, it was discipline. Still, his parents continued to support his musical pursuits, to a degree. His mother traversed New York during the week, waiting for 12 hours some days while Gupta slogged through his studies. Between both schools he was carrying 32 credits (18 is considered a full load for a college student). Just as Vivek and Chandana compromised, so did Vijay. At 16, and enthralled by biology, he accepted a research assistant position at Hunter College. He studied spinal cord repair. However fatigued Vijay was from torching

photo by Donna Evans

Gupta, who grew up in New York with a brother and immigrant parents, is an enthusiastic and frequent hugger. Here he embraces a member of the Midnight Mission audience.

Still, Gupta couldn’t escape music’s pull. Unbeknownst to his parents, he applied to a master’s program at Yale University. He was accepted and given a full scholarship. He believed it would be his last opportunity to play music consistently. As he begrudgingly accepted that medicine would be his life, he played every gig he could, as many as 10 concerts a week, all while taking classes, working as the head of the school’s philharmonic library Continued on page 10

the candle at each end, his mother’s health bore the brunt: She collapsed from fibroid tumors just after he turned 17. The effect on his schedule was immediate: He left Mount Saint Mary and Manhattan School of Music and transferred to Marist College, where he graduated with a pre-med biology degree at 17. Music was pushed to the back burner as Gupta accepted a research position at Harvard University, where he studied Parkinson’s disease and the effects of pollution on the brain.

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CELEBRATING 40 YEARS

September 30, 2013

Gupta, 9 and being a TA for two music theory courses. Still, every few days his parents called: You’re wasting your time, they told him. There’s no point. Why are you doing this? Gupta graduated at 19 and, on a lark, applied for one of two violin positions advertised by the Los Angeles Philharmonic. The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra also had an opening, but he needed his parents to buy the airfare, and they chose Los Angeles. His parents reasoned they could “visit our cousins when you don’t win the job,” he said. It was his first-ever orchestral audition. Just like when he was 6 at Juilliard, Gupta nailed it. This time, however, he beat out hundreds of applicants with years, and sometimes decades more experience. Once he got the job, he began winning over the members of the orchestra. “He’s probably one of the most talented people who’s ever auditioned for the Phil,” said Daniel Rothmuller, who retired in 2012 after 42 years with the Philharmonic. Rothmuller, 70, who played the violoncello, said he was impressed by Gupta’s musical maturity and sophistication, and quickly befriended the then-teenager. He described Gupta as “hungry” for a deeper understanding of music. “We adopted each other,” he said. “I had the experience and knowledge he was looking for so we latched onto each other. He made it quite clear he had respect for what I knew, and I 100% enthusiastically enjoyed playing with him.” The friendship continued outside the confines of the Phil, as Rothmuller has played with Gupta during Street Symphony concerts at the Twin Towers jail and the Midnight Mission. Though he may not have grasped the magnitude of scoring a seat in the Philharmonic orchestra at such a young age, Gupta today doesn’t take it for granted. “If I didn’t get that, I’d very possibly not be here,” he said. “I’m so grateful — I’m making a living doing what I love. It’s my dream job.” Skid Row Journey While Gupta enjoyed the accolades and companionship of the Philharmonic, he was only in his early 20s and still finding himself. Then, in 2008, he met Steve Lopez, the Los Angeles Times columnist who had been writing a series of articles about Nathaniel Ayers, a onetime Juilliard student whose longtime battle with schizophrenia had landed him on the streets of Skid Row. Lopez’s columns would lead to the book and movie The Soloist. Gupta first met Ayers at a birthday party. It was there that Ayers asked Gupta to give him a proper violin lesson. The first time they played together, Gupta recalled, “I got a real taste of his illness. It is really gut-wrenchingly terrifying to see someone so talented in the midst of such suffering.” Soon after, Gupta learned about the Midnight Mission’s monthly concert series in which bands, often the rock or pop variety, perform in the Skid Row facility’s multipurpose room. Gupta called Georgia Berkovich, who

photo by Donna Evans

Gupta with his 2003 Krutz violin during an August performance of his side project, Street Symphony, at Skid Row’s Midnight Mission. Street Symphony, which Gupta founded in 2011, also regularly plays at jails.

runs the Music With a Mission series, and asked if he could bring Street Symphony to Skid Row. Berkovich was overjoyed and the group made its first appearance in January 2012. Street Symphony has come back two more times. After the August performance, Berkovich reflected not just on the music and the repeat appearances, but at how Gupta strives to relate to those in the room. “He didn’t simply play music, which would have been wonderful anyway,” Berkovich said. “He talked about the composers and their lives and he answered questions from the floor. It was truly an interactive experience.” It’s the kind of experience that Chris Ayzoukian, vice president of production for the Philharmonic, said he finds inspiring. Gupta, whom Ayzoukian called a “unique talent,” is in a class of young musicians who are using their gifts to promote social causes. “He made the conscious decision to follow the music track, luckily, for all of us,” said Ayzoukian. “He brings great purpose to his work and is a valued member of our violin section.” Street Symphony isn’t bound to Skid Row. In the past 18 months, Gupta and his colleagues have played 40 concerts at Southern California jails through the Maximizing Education Reaching Individual Transformation (MERIT) program, which is run by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Judge Rand Rubin, who works out of the Criminal Courts Building in Downtown and frequently addresses inmates in the MERIT program, approached Gupta, whom he’d met at a party, with the idea of bringing Street Symphony to jails. Gupta signed on immediately. The first event was for 200 inmates at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic. Bringing classical music to a place where men live behind bars has a humanizing effect, Rubin said. He notes that when the concerts end, the inmates, some of them crying, routinely jump to their feet in thunderous applause. Still, his highest praise is reserved for Gupta the person as opposed to Gupta

the musician. The judge is struck by the violinist’s humility. “He’s as impressed to meet you as you are to meet him,” Rubin said. “Whoever you are.” Inner Comfort This is a heady time for Gupta. In addition to his individual achievements and his role at the Phil, he has a new sense of inner comfort. On May 26 he married Samantha Lynne Wilson, who is studying for her master’s in divinity from Claremont College. Gupta is quick to say that his best friend and life partner keeps him grounded and reminds him that he’s good enough just being him, regardless of all the attention. He calls her his “highest blessing.” Still, it was music and the audience that occupied Gupta’s mind during the August performance at the mission. In addition to the Handel-Halvorsen work, the group performed pieces by Mozart and Ernö Dohnanyi before entertaining questions from the spectators. Street Symphony always includes a Q&A in addition to the concert. The musicians soon played “Happy Birthday” for Ryan Navales, who was one day shy of two years sober. It was a big moment for Navales, a former client of the Mission who now works as its public affairs coordinator. The scene quickly moved beyond music and Gupta listened intently as Navales told the room that his drugging days started at age 10, and that he hopes the healed punctures in his arm will stay healed. But that choice is up to him, he said. For every hand that rose during the Q&A, a smile stretched across Gupta’s face. It was clear that, just a few miles but worlds removed from the gleaming steel of Disney Hall, he was in his element, even if he never expected it to be his element. One audience member, a gray-haired man leaning on a wooden cane, asked what Gupta and the group hoped to get out of playing these kinds of concerts. The answer was easy. Gripping his violin, Gupta leaned forward, his brown eyes laser-focused on the man. He said, “I hope to meet you.” donna@downtownnews.com


September 30, 2013

Downtown News 11

DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM

Nifty at 90 The Biltmore, Also Known as the Grand Dame of Downtown Hotels, Hits a Milestone By Donna Evans hances are, even if you’ve never walked into the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, you’ve caught a glimpse of it on TV or in the movies. Drenched in history, the historical monu­ ment at Fifth Street and Grand Avenue is celeb­ rating its 90th anniversary on Tuesday, Oct. 1. It’s a milestone for the oldest continuously op­ erating upscale hotel in Downtown. Over the decades it has served presidents and celebri­ ties, while also figuring into a story of infamous Los Angeles noir. While the hotel features authentic gems such as an original 1923 astrological clock — it still keeps time today — the Biltmore also meets the needs of a modern clientele, said General Manager Wanda Chan, who took over in November. In addition to satisfying guests who stay in the 683 rooms, Chan points out a recent addition: the “War Room,” 3,040 square feet of office space outfitted with every gadget a business traveler or area professional may require, she said. Another new addition relates to wed­ dings, which is fitting considering that the hotel hosts 70­100 of them a year. Thus, the Biltmore launched a Wedding Lounge, the first of its kind in Downtown, Chan said. The space is the place for planning, and is outfit­ ted with gobs of decor possibilities for the big day.

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To mark the anniversary for the building known as the grande dame of Downtown hotels, the Biltmore is collecting stories from guests about their stays and experiences. A committee will select the best 90 stories and compile them in a book that will be placed in every guestroom, according to marketing man­ ager Kendra Walker. In an effort to drum up business, the hotel is offering what it terms the “Legendary 1923 Anniversary Package.” The $219 a night deal, which runs through Dec. 28, buys a room and breakfast for two in the hotel’s Smeraldi’s restaurant, along with some of the Biltmore’s touted macaroons and a keepsake featuring sketches from the 1920s. Walking into one of the most filmed and photographed sections of the hotel, the Rendezvous Court, with its three­story Moorish plaster ceiling, Italian travertine stone walls and bronze and crystal chandeliers imported from Italy in 1923, doesn’t get old for Chan. “I look around and think, ‘I get to work here,”’ she said during an interview last week. Tour Through History With a wide smile, banquet maître d’ Steve Eberhard more than shares his boss’ enthusiasm. Eberhard began running about the hotel’s polished marble floors when he was a kid, and would come to work with his dad, Peter, who served as the maître d’ for eight years. In the nearly two decades that Steve Eberhard

photo by Gary Leonard

Millennium Biltmore General Manager Wanda Chan readies her staff for the hotel’s 90th anniversary celebration this week.

has held the same position, he has become an unofficial hotel historian, able to discourse on a variety of topics, including architectural details. For example, he eagerly and effortlessly pointed out the Spanish Baroque touches throughout the hotel, while identifying the two figures in front of the stairwell in the Rendezvous Court as Ceres, the Roman god­

dess of agriculture, and a Spanish conquistador named Balboa. From there he jumped to Johnny Depp. “We had some teenage girls hanging out there once kissing the marble,” he recalled, with a head shake, of an encounter in the Rendezvous Court. “I finally had to ask. It was because that’s where Johnny Depp stood in Blow.”

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BILTMORE HOTEL, 11

Committee set up shop for the 1984 Summer Games in Los Angeles. Perhaps more interesting to Angelenos is the fact that in 1927, representatives of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided in the Crystal Ballroom that members should be rewarded for their work. Legend has it the Oscar statuette was sketched on a Biltmore napkin. Eberhard noted that a common misconception is that the first Academy Awards ceremony was held at the Biltmore. In fact, it was at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood. The first Oscars ceremony the Biltmore hosted was in 1931. It has hosted the awards nine times. The Los Angeles Conservancy hosts tours of the hotel every Sunday at 2 p.m. donna@downtownnews.com

Other notable film and TV appearances include Bridesmaids, Wedding Crashers, The Dark Knight Rises, “Mad Men” and “The Newsroom.” It hasn’t all been glitz and gleam, however. The Biltmore also gained notoriety as being the last place that aspiring actress Elizabeth Short was seen alive. She left the hotel one evening in 1947, and her ravaged body was found a few days later near the Coliseum. The case of The Black Dahlia remains unsolved. The hotel has also been the headquarters of many notable events. President John F. Kennedy used it as his campaign headquarters for the 1960 Democratic National Convention. It is also where the International Olympic

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NEVER WRITTEN, 5 in the proceedings Cedillo would declare, “A strike from afar is coming!” Mourning Our Losses: This column would have looked at the May election results and their impact on Los Angeles. Not the political impact, but the entertainment one. While the civic-minded Angeleno in me believes that Garcetti and City Attorney Mike Feuer are a big upgrade over Villaraigosa and Trutanich, the columnist in me is weeping like I just watched Kramer vs. Kramer, The Notebook and the first 10 minutes of Up back to back to back. I can’t help feeling that I’ve lost 75% of my material, and I’m not sure how to fill this gaping void. Villaraigosa was never more than a trip to Cabo away from trouble, and the dizzying, filter-less Trutanich was the gift that kept on giving. I could do 4,000 words on his missteps alone. Now there’s Garcetti and Feuer, who do crazy things like think before they talk. Plus, we’ve also lost the enigma wrapped in a riddle known as former Councilman Dennis Zine. Sigh. When Herb Wesson Met Tony Soprano and Friends: I started planning my Pulitzer acceptance speech about 90 seconds after coming up with the concept of a fictional steak dinner meeting with City Council President Herb Wesson and the patriarch of “The Sopranos,” Stringer Bell from “The Wire,” John Gotti and Whitey Bulger. There were so many avenues to explore. Who’d get the biggest steak? Who’d get to order first? Who’d end up sleeping with the fishes? Then I realized that putting the president of the city council in the company of

some of the biggest gangsters ever is pushing it, even for me. Good thing I never mentioned this column to anyone. City Hall Limericks!: Having once pulled off a column based on Dr. Seuss’ book “Oh the Places You’ll Go” (2008’s “Antoni-Oh! The Places You’ll Go”), I reasoned that I could do a St. Patrick’s Day column with limericks about a dozen City Hall denizens. It was easy at first with rhymes riffing off Jan Perry (dairy, carry, etc.) and Bernard Parks (barks, sparks), but things fell apart when I had to work with Joe Buscaino (El Niño?) and Tom LaBonge (a French-tinted “orange”?). Plus, I kept wanting to find rhymes for the word Nantucket. The Ghosts of José Huizar: Reading the recent Daily Beast story that described how an LAPD ghost expert removed evil spirits from one of José Huizar’s field offices gave me the kind of inspiration that Yasiel Puig felt when he first picked up a baseball bat. I could easily blow through 16 paragraphs on the ghosts and demons Huizar might want to exorcise. Would he eradicate all haunting memory of Francine Godoy, the former top deputy who filed a claim alleging some retaliatory behavior by the Downtown councilman? Would the ghostbuster erase thoughts of when the Downtown streetcar was only supposed to cost $125 million? When asked for his thoughts, did Huizar musically respond, “I ain’t afraid of no ghost!” The possibilities are endless. Too bad I ran out of time for this one. Wait, this just happened! I can still do this column! Who needs Villaraigosa and Trutanich? regardie@downtonnews.com.

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HEART HEALTH September 30, 2013

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Downtown News 13

DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM

HEALTHY LIVING

Diet and Exercise Choices Can Go a Long Way

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or millions of Americans, the battle against heart disease and other cardiovascular conditions goes on year round. Approximately 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, making heart disease the leading cause of death for both men and women. Despite the grim realities of heart disease, the steps to achieve better heart health can be simple. Experts agree that heart disease is both preventable and controllable with the appropriate lifestyle changes. Registered dietician Elizabeth Somer, author of Eat Your Way to Sexy, believes there are clear steps a person can take to turn around his or her heart health. “Many people with heart disease may be able to improve their heart health by making a few changes to what they eat, how much they move and their lifestyle,” Somer says. “There are four key things to think about for heart health: keep your blood fat levels down, keep your blood pressure in check, promote healthy blood flow and circulation, and keep inflammation down.” Here are five simple steps you can take to reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and improve your overall health. 1) Take control of cholesterol with oat fiber: Numerous studies spanning a decade or more of research support the claim that dietary fiber from whole grains, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. The fiber in oats is a soluble fiber called beta glucan and works by flushing cholesterol out of the system. Additionally, fiber-rich foods such as whole grains help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories and so may help with weight management.

2) Better your blood pressure: Nearly onethird of all American adults have high blood pressure and more than half of them don’t have it under control, according to the CDC. The risks that accompany uncontrolled high blood pressure are serious. However, taking easy steps will lower that risk. Exercising and maintaining a healthy body weight, in addition to eating a low-sodium diet, can all contribute to a healthier blood pressure. Also, if you smoke a pack of cigarettes a day, you have more than twice the risk of a heart attack than people who have never smoked. 3) Keep your blood flowing: Products are now available that provide a natural way to promote healthy blood flow by supporting normal platelet function. A tomato-based concentrate made from Mediterranean tomatoes

called Fruitflow is a natural, healthy and safe ingredient that has been proven through clinical research to keep platelets smooth, thereby promoting healthy blood flow. Try products with this ingredient such as Langers Tomato Juice Plus or L&A Tomato Juice with Fruitflow as healthy daily beverage choices. 4) Decrease inflammation: Research suggests that omega-3 fatty acids such as DHA and EPA may help reduce inflammation and may also help lower risks of chronic diseases such as heart disease. Load up on heart-healthy foods including colorful fruits and vegetables,

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Simple Steps to a Healthier Heart

IC VO HE

salmon, mackerel, nuts and foods fortified with EPA/DHA Omega-3 fatty acids such as certain milks, snacks and even cooking oils. 5) Shed the layers: It’s nothing new. We know that being overweight puts us at risk for numerous health problems, including an increased risk of both heart disease and stroke. The change in seasons can serve as the perfect springboard into a new exercise routine. Take advantage of extended daylight hours by sneaking a sweat session into your evening routine and take control of your diet, making sure to cut back on foods with saturated and trans fats.

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September 30, 2013

HEALTHY LIVING

Quality and Caring

A Portal to Your Heart

St. Vincent Medical Center Opens the Cardiac Care Institute

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t. Vincent Medical Center recently opened the Cardiac Care Institute to provide comprehensive, integrated cardiovascular services all in one location. The Institute brings together a diverse group of cardiac specialists including interventional

FROM OUR ADVERTISERS cardiologists, cardiac electrophysiologists and cardiac thoracic surgeons to provide the best care for their patients in a center of excellence. With the team approach at the Institute, there is no need for patients to go to multiple places for testing. At the Cardiac Care Institute, physicians along with a caring staff are able to run all the necessary diagnostic tests including echocardiography, treadmill testing, peripheral vascular disease assessment and ambulatory monitoring. Together with a state-ofthe-art hospital facility, the doctors can help improve a patient’s cardiovascular health. St. Vincent Medical Center offers a range of procedures including cardiac catheterization, coronary and peripheral arterial stenting, catheter ablation for cardiac arrhythmias as well as open heart procedures. Physicians choose to practice at St. Vincent Cardiac Care Institute to be a part of a quality team of physicians

Poor Oral Health Linked to Serious Health Problems

who are driven to provide the highest quality care for patients. The physicians are proactive with their patients, educating them about healthy behaviors and measuring their progress. With education, provided by physicians and staff, plus access to an online education station in the Institute, patients learn about the cardiovascular system and how to take better care of themselves. “The philosophy of St. Vincent Cardiac Care Institute is simple. We provide state-of-the-art comprehensive cardiac care for our patients and do everything possible to keep them well,” said Dr. Marc Girsky, medical director of St. Vincent Cardiac Care Institute. To learn more about the Cardiac Care Institute, visit StVincentHeart.com.

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he practices recommended for healthy teeth and gums extend benefits into every area of life. Just as oral bacteria can lead to cavities and gum disease, there is ample research to show a link between oral health and systemic health. Namely, gum disease and cardiovascular disease. In the mouth are hundreds of types of bacteria, some which cause damage to teeth, and others that are invasive and aggressive enough to damage

FROM OUR ADVERTISERS bone tissue in the jaw. These gram-negative anaerobes, which live on tiny bits of debris left over after meals, have a powerful effect not only in the mouth, but also in the entire body. Dating back as far as the 1920s, oral bacteria have been fingered as a trigger for a host of potentially serious health conditions. Since that time, research has been ongoing to determine the extent of damage that can come from these aggressive microorganisms that live in dental plaque. Although some studies have found certain bacteria in both atherosclerotic aortas and infected gum tissue, the main link actually seems to be the widespread inflammation that stems from chronic infection. An excerpt from one study reads, “Periodontal disease needs to be viewed more broadly in terms of systemic inflammation, either as a consequence of an underlying hyper-inflammatory trait or as a factor contributing to systemic inflammation.” In a 2012 joint workshop between the American Academy of Periodontology and the European Federation of Periodontology, more than 70 experts convened to intensely review available data linking gum disease to other systemic diseases. In their work, researchers confirmed the connection, especially between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease. An Ounce of Prevention Advances in the field of dentistry are enabling people to better determine risk factors for gum disease and, thus, gain more control over their health.

Trust Was The First Step In My Treatment I was a personal financial manager for more than 30 years. I know how important trust is in a relationship. It was the same when choosing my doctor. I trusted Dr. Faye Lee at the Los Angeles Center For Women's Health because she really knows about heart disease and women’s health issues. Dr. Lee told me I had a type of heart disease that happens more often in women. Dr. Lee treated my condition, and showed me how to keep my heart healthy while enjoying my life! Be proactive about your health! Please schedule a heart risk assessment at the Los Angeles Center for Women's Health to make sure your heart is healthy. I am sure glad I did! Call today 213.742.6400. We accept most insurance plans.

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HEALTHY LIVING

How to Eat Your Heart Out and Lower Your Heart Disease Risk A Choice of Foods, Including Some Surprising Options, Can Help Keep You Healthy

E While dentists recommend brushing and flossing teeth twice a day, more can be done to protect oral health from aggressive bacteria. Modern technology such as oral DNA testing, performed by many dentists, finds the specific forms of bacteria present in a patient’s mouth, and enables the dentist to prescribe specific treatment plans for the elimination of such bacteria. In the past, periodontal disease was typically treated with root planing and scaling, performed by a dental hygienist. Today, advanced treatment may include localized treatment with antibiotics or antimicrobial rinses, designed precisely with resistant bacteria in mind. One Downtown dentist, Dr. Don Mungcal, uses both antibiotic and antimicrobial solutions in his oral health wellness program, as well as advanced laser treatments, which have proven successful in not only annihilating harmful bacteria, but healing damaged gum tissue. “Never before have we had such powerful solutions for gum disease,” Mungcal said. “As we learn more from research, we will continue to advance in our fight against this dangerous oral condition.” Downtown Dental is located at 255 S. Grand Ave., Suite 204. For more information call (213) 620-5777 or visit downtowndentalla.com.

very day your heart makes enough energy to drive a truck 20 miles. To do this, however, your heart needs a little help from you. Just like a well-running automobile, your heart needs fuel to keep it chugging along. The good news is the fuel your heart needs isn’t necessarily boring or tasteless. The key is to select foods that taste great and reduce major heart disease risk factors. You can lower your risk simply by fueling your heart with foods that keep your blood pressure and cholesterol at healthy levels. By choosing nutritious foods that not only lower your heart disease risk but are delicious, you can eat your heart out and enjoy every minute of it. Here are some of the yummy snacks the experts at Life Line Screening, a preventative health organization, recommend. Sushi: Fish is a fantastic source of heart-healthy omega-3s, and sushi is loaded with them. Plus, if you skip the tempura and spicy mayo, sushi is a tasty, low-calorie choice for your heart. Eggs: Eggs have gotten a pretty bad reputation over the years for their cholesterol. However, they also contain a great deal of health-boosting nutrients such as protein, vitamins B12 and D and folate. With so many options for preparing eggs, you can enjoy the variety that comes with this food. Healthy Ravioli: It’s true that basic ravioli might not be the best food for your heart. Whole-grain ravioli, on the other hand, is a great substitute. Top the ravioli with ingredients such as olive oil, artichokes and tomatoes and you

have a nutrient-packed meal that’s great for your heart. Pizza: This one may be hard to believe, but depending on which toppings you choose, pizza can be good for your heart. Instead of ordering or making one piled high with extra cheese and pepperoni, select toppings such as artichokes, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers or tomatoes. These cholesterol-reducing, low-calorie extras are the perfect alternative. Strawberries: This sweet, juicy fruit is a great source of vitamin C, a nutrient that is beneficial to your health. These red berries are considered a superfood and have been linked to improved memory and heart health. They can even reduce blood pressure, one of the major risk factors for heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control state that almost half of all Americans have one of the top three risk factors for heart disease: high blood pressure, high LDL (bad) cholesterol and smoking. Reducing two out of three of these risk factors is simple because both can be influenced by your diet. Identifying other risks of heart disease is another smart way to keep your heart at its peak of health. Health screenings are a great option for this if you’re looking for proactive ways to stay on top of your health. When keeping all of these things in mind, the opportunity for a strong heart isn’t farfetched. Pile your plate with heart-strengthening foods like those listed above and your heart can keep pumping energy through your body for years to come.

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16 Downtown News

September 30, 2013

HEALTHY LIVING

Fact From Fiction What Every Woman Needs to Know About Heart Disease by Dr. Faye Lee oday, we are constantly bombarded with information — radio, TV, smartphones, email, the Internet and social me­ dia. This unprecedented access to information sometimes is a good thing. However, when it comes to your health, physi­

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FROM OUR ADVERTISERS cians are still the best place to turn for health­related questions or concerns. This is particularly true with women’s heart health. Online information about heart disease in women often is misleading, misguided and incorrect. Among the most common myths: n Women are more likely to die of breast cancer than heart disease. Not true. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for women, with nearly five times as many women (200,000) dying annually from heart disease than breast cancer. In the U.S., a woman dies from heart disease almost every minute. n Heart attack symptoms are the same in men and women. Not necessarily. While men and women can experience many of the same symptoms, such as severe chest pain and cold sweats, women’s symptoms often are less recognizable — nausea, shortness of breath, abdominal pain and achiness in the jaw or back. Moreover, many women experience a sudden onset of ex­ treme weakness before a heart attack that feels like the flu. Half of women experience no chest pain at all and often regrettably ignore their symptoms. What does this mean to you? The old cliché is true: Your best defense is a good offense. Every woman needs to know her risk factors and make the necessary changes to stop — and even reverse — the progression of heart disease. These steps include

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quitting smoking, lowering cholesterol, control­ ling high blood pressure and diabetes, exercis­ ing and maintaining a healthy weight. The good news is, most heart disease is preventable. You don’t have to become one of those statistics. Lee is director of Women’s Cardiology at the Los

Angeles Center for Women’s Health at California Hospital Medical Center. She specializes in both noninvasive and invasive cardiology, with a particular interest in women’s heart disease. To make an appointment with Dr. Lee, call (213) 742-6400.

At the Heart of Oral Care Research Shows Dental Hygiene Is Linked to Heart Health

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an regular flossing, brushing and dental cleanings maintain a sparkling white smile, as well as a healthy heart? Two leading medical organizations, The American Academy of Periodontology and The American

FROM OUR ADVERTISERS Heart Association, say yes. That’s why MKD Dentistry informs its pa­ tients of the association between gum disease and heart health. “We provide routine oral hygiene and dental hygiene services to prevent periodontal dis­ ease, which is gum disease — inflamed gums that become infected,” says Dr. Dennis De Mesa, a partner at MKD Dentistry. “Gum disease is infection of the gum tissue. Poor oral hygiene, not brushing or flossing your teeth, basically not maintaining regular dental exams, and a person’s genetics, play a role in acquiring peri­ odontal disease.” American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) research shows that inflammation, a major sym­ ptom of gum disease and tooth decay, is also a contributing factor to heart disease. Decreasing inflammation in one area can also prevent in­ flammation in the other, the study suggests. “Scientists have identified biologic factors, such as chronic inflammation, that indepen­ dently link periodontal disease to the develop­ ment or progression of cardiovascular disease in some patients,” according to a statement from the American Heart Association (AHA). Diseases that attack the gums destroy tooth structure, and diseases that clog a person’s cardiovascular system are developed over time. Often they are due to neglect of proper oral care in the case of periodontal disease, in addi­ tion to genetic predisposition. Both the AAP and AHA concede that the link between periodontal disease and heart disease is still being studied. The groups also caution that even though a direct causal relationship has not been identified, there is enough evi­

dence of a relationship to alarm patients and healthcare providers. “It is not as simple as telling a patient that brushing and flossing will ward off a heart at­ tack,” the AHA statement notes. “[But] patients should be aware that by maintaining periodontal health, they are helping to reduce harmful in­ flammation in the body, which has been shown to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.” That is why MKD dentistry provides patients with a comprehensive periodontal evaluation at least once a year. MKD patients receive a detailed teeth and gum examination includ­ ing oral cancer exams and soft tissue evalua­ tions, assessments of other risk factors for gum disease, such as smoking, and their age, in addition to an assessment of a patient’s overall health status. It is all an effort to provide MKD patients with dental care that not only improves their oral health status, but also reduces systemic inflam­ mation that can be detrimental to their heart. “We like to help people and that’s why we became dentists,” De Mesa says. MKD Dentistry is at 523 W. Sixth St., Suite 515. For more information call (213) 550-2697 or visit mkddentistry.com.

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September 30, 2013

Downtown News 17

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Celebration of South African Music and Movies Comes to Bunker Hill and L.A. Live

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Africa. “It’s what we enjoyed hearing. Music was an escape.” Morbee understands that many people continue to see African culture through the usual stereotypes of tribes and wilderness. He’s excited that the Downtown festival will show off how cosmopolitan South African culture has become. “During apartheid, everything and everyone was put into their little boxes and separated. Now it’s getting unpacked. I’ve seen it,” he said. “Slowly but surely, with sports and film and music, South African artists have been growing in confidence.” Even Hollywood has begun supporting South African artists, most notably filmmaker Neill Blomkamp and actor Sharlto Copley (District 9, Elysium) and filmmaker Gavin Hood (who won the foreign language film Oscar for Tsotsi). Though Babu laments the lack of black African filmmakers in the mainstream, he says the arrival of South African narratives and talent is a sign that a renaissance is on the horizon. The festival, Babu says, offers a deeper look into a rich culture that has long lingered out of the spotlight. “It’s an opportunity to see South Africa in a way you can’t through news stories,” Babu said. “It’s why you live in a big city like L.A., right? For enrichment, to know what’s going on in the world.” The South African Arts Fest is Friday-Sunday, Oct. 4-6, at California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave., and the L.A. Live Regal Cinemas, 800 W. Olympic Blvd. A full schedule and additional information are at sa-artsfest.org. eddie@downtownnews.com photo courtesy The Parlotones

photo courtesy Brett Rubin

country’s efforts to spur economic growth, with Grand Performances leveraging its infrastructure and the California Plaza Watercourt, according to Grand Performances Director of Programming Leigh Ann Hahn. The partnership came after a bidding process in which several By Eddie Kim ost Americans only understand South Los Angeles arts organizations competed. “People are coming from across the country Africa through the contextual lens to attend this festival, and it’s got a level of leof apartheid, the segregation policy gitimacy that was initially surprising,” Hahn said. that defined the country in the world’s eye for That legitimacy stems from the star-studded nearly four decades. Even today, the very menmusical lineup, which will be on display Sattion of South Africa conjures up memories of urday from 3:30-10 p.m. at the Cal Plaza WaNelson Mandela, P.W. Botha and enduring ecotercourt. It includes jazz trumpet icon Hugh nomic sanctions. Masekela, multi-platinum rock band The ParStill, behind the protests, trade embargoes lotones and innovative a cappella group The and racial struggles, an intensely diverse and Soil. The day also holds a celebration of South sometimes volatile art scene developed. As the African food. country continues to grow in the post-apartSouth African films comprise the other half heid era, a group of musicians and other artists of the event. On Sunday, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m., are becoming an international force. six films will be screened at L.A. Live. This week, that cultural evolution will be on They range from bitterly dramatic to sweetfull display in Downtown Los Angeles. The inaugural South African Arts Fest will be held Oct. hearted. Otello Burning, which screens at 10 a.m., follows a young man from a township 4-6. The majority of the events take place on who finds freedom from violence and upheaval Saturday and Sunday. through surfing — despite an all-consuming The festival, presented by Bunker Hill arts initial fear of water. Playing at noon is Felix, an purveyor Grand Performances and South uplifting tale of a 13-year-old boy who dreams Africa’s Department of Arts and Culture, is a of playing jazz saxophone like his late father, celebration of South African music and film on MOBILE 55678* much to the chagrin of his traditional mother. IE toAlthough OVseen. a scaleCLU that U.S. have B fewTe DTNM xt cities At 7 p.m., the festival returns to Cal Plaza Grand Performances has won praise for putting DTNMOVIE to 55678 to Join withOur a freeMovie outdoorClub screening of Khumba, an on a variedText slate of free performances in Downanimated tale of a half-striped zebra born into town over the pastand 26 years, including celebrabe Entered to Win Movie Tickets! a herd obsessed with stripes. tions of African music, marks the first time *Carrier msg &this data rates apply. Reply HELP for help. STOP to quit. 4 msgs/month max. Showcasing the diversity of South African the organization has set up a festival of this arts is the primary goal of the festival. But Pan scope with so much outside collaboration. African Film Festival Executive Director Ayuko South Africa’s Department of Arts and CulBabu, who helped put together the film lineup, ture is fully funding the event as part of the

notes that the music and movies speak to issues that face Angelenos and South Africans alike. “There are universal themes in the world, but what’s interesting is that everyone has a different perspective on those themes,” Babu said. “It’s the nuance in perspective that enriches other people and cultures.” Hahn echoed the sentiment, noting that Angelenos have something to learn from South African arts given the city’s difficult history with race and culture. “The racial issues in L.A. are never-ending, especially with growing diversity in ethnicities as the city grows,” Hahn said. “The arts help us understand and deal with those issues through a human lens.” Universal Themes Though many South African artists define their work through themes of political and social struggle, others look outward to focus on broader human concerns that all people share. The Parlotones’ lead singer Kahn Morbee grew up in the apartheid era, a time when it was “very difficult” to get music from around the world because of trade sanctions. He nonetheless collected international records and was compelled by music’s portrayal of “the human journey” more than by literal commentary on politics. “We sing about universal themes and issues because that’s what inspired us when we were younger,” Morbee said by phone from South

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18 Downtown News

September 30, 2013

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS

Classic Opera Gets a Dose of Sexy Intelligence ‘Carmen’ Sings and Zings When Patricia Bardon Takes the Stage By Marc Porter Zasada h, Carmen: It’s the perfect mix of realism and the exotic, with a heroine audiences both love and fear. Yet for all the sets, costumes, dancers, toreadors and hummable melodies, everything depends on finding a mezzo-soprano with the right stuff. Overplay Carmen as an iconic seductress and the whole thing becomes a cartoon. Underplay the hormones and the show is a mere cautionary tale about avoiding gypsy women. Fortunately, L.A. Opera has the right fit in Patricia Bardon, who plays the title role in the show that opened Sept. 21 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Downtown. It continues through Oct. 6, with performances this week on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Bardon’s Carmen is no floozy. Instead, she’s a mysterious and commanding force of nature, the embodiment of freedom and the exotic with a hefty dose of sexy intelligence. The story in Frenchman Georges Bizet’s 1875 work is simple. Carmen is a free-spirited gypsy who brings on the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier who deserts both the military and his sweet fiancée, Micaëla. Carmen so loves freedom that she briefly abandons the city of Seville for a smuggler’s life in the mountains, dragging the half-willing Don José along, only to dump him for a dashing toreador. On opening night the overture and first act were a tad uncertain: The proceedings on the set from Teatro Real of Madrid were a trifle stiff, and the famous precision of the L.A. Opera chorus seemed to have gone a bit astray. Ten minutes in, one felt that perhaps the orchestra hadn’t had enough rehearsal time with the busy Plàcido Domingo, who at 72 is remaking his career from legendary tenor to guest conductor (L.A. Master Chorale Music Director Grant Gershon conducts three

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beautiful and compelling, if perhaps insufficiently wild. Valentin Anikin was a perfectly capable Zuniga, Don José’s commanding officer who is also, of course, smitten with Carmen. The reliable Hae Ji Chang was a serviceable Frasquita. But as with all the men on stage, they’re destined to stand in the shadow of Bardon’s Carmen. Carmen runs through Oct. 6 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8001 or laopera.com.

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Patricia Bardon plays the title character and Brandon Jovanovich is Don José in L.A. Opera’s season opening Carmen. It runs through Oct. 6 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

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FRIDAY, OCTOBER 11, 2013 6–10 PM Enjoy a free evening of art, music and entertainment as Pasadena’s most prominent arts and cultural institutions swing open their doors. PARTICIPATING INSTITUTIONS Alliance Française de Pasadena / ARC Pasadena / Armory Center for the Arts / Art Center College of Design / artWORKS Teen Center / Boston Court Performing Arts / Kidspace Children’s Museum / Lineage Performing Arts Center / MUSE/IQUE / Norton Simon Museum / Offramp Gallery / One Colorado / Pacific Asia Museum / Pasadena City College / Pasadena Museum of California Art / Pasadena Museum of History / Pasadena Central Library / Side Street Projects FREE SHUTTLES Free shuttles, running 6–10 p.m., will loop throughout the evening with stops at each venue. ARTS BUS Pasadena ARTS Route 10 runs along Colorado and Green Street until 8 p.m. cityofpasadena.net/artsbus. METRO GOLD LINE Take Gold Line to Memorial Park Station in Pasadena. More info at metro.net. ARTNIGHT BICYCLE TOURS For more information, visit cicle.org. artnightpasadena.org facebook.com/artnightpasadena For information on ArtNight, please call the ArtNight Pasadena Hotline at 626.744.7887 or visit artnightpasadena.org. For information on accessibility and/or to request written materials in alternative formats, please call the City of Pasadena at 626.744.7062. Para más información en español, visite nuestra página del internet: artnightpasadena.org.

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performances during the run). Carmen kicked into gear when Bardon strode on stage. Alas, the gypsy did not have a worthy adversary in Brandon Jovanovich’s Don José. Jovanovich has a fine, clear tenor, but was too milquetoast to believe that Carmen would have any interest in him, or find any devilry in him to inspire. His performance finally picked up steam in the cataclysmic fourth act when the torture of his soul became compelling, but until that point he was a bit too much Carmen’s fool. Thiago Arancam, who is building a global reputation as Don José, takes over for the Oct 1 and 4 performances. Handsome bass-baritone Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, who thrilled as Don Giovanni last season, is usually a reliable and potent source of testosterone onstage, but on opening night he seemed a bit off his game as Escamillo, the strutting toreador who, like everyone she meets, falls instantly in love with Carmen. D’Arcangelo has plenty of power and finesse, however, and will likely find his mojo in later performances. Carmen has two great Act I arias, “L’amour est un oiseau rebelle,” a habanera on the untamable soul of love; and the seguidilla, in which she sings of dance and passion in a gypsy tavern. Although the works have been undertaken by every great mezzo, and each has applied her particular talents, Bardon managed to find something fresh and compelling. Her voice was ably accented here by the work of Domingo, who found his passion. Still, the musical highlight came in Act III when soprano Pretty Yende, playing Micaëla, sang “Je dis que rien ne m’epouvante.” She rendered the great aria with an exquisite mix of strength and tenderness. The young soprano, who won Domingo’s international Operalia contest in 2011, possesses an artistic sincerity that shines through. She is clearly one to watch. The gypsy dancers, as choreographed by Nuria Catejón, were


September 30, 2013

Downtown News 19

DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM

Circus Maximus In Humor Abuse, now at the Mark Taper Forum, Lorenzo Pisoni recounts how he was immersed in his family’s circus. When he was just 6, he signed a contract with his father to be a permanent performer in the show.

One-Man Taper Show Explores Fathers, Sons and Clowning Around

photo by Craig Schwartz

Although his teen years and his relationship with Larry after he finished college are barely explored, and although his sister and mother are mostly missing as well, there is enough in the script to reach a satisfying conclusion. The set is simple, with a faded canvas backdrop and a few hidden surprises that add laughs. Small colored lights strung throughout the theater highlight the circus atmosphere. Pisoni and Schmidt are keenly aware of pacing. Nothing seems rushed, nor do any sections feel too long. Still, anyone who flat out hates clowns, mimes, acrobats and physical humor may have issues. Also, those with coulrophobia may want to steer clear. Even if Larry’s parental behavior invokes fear, Lorenzo displays a sense of calm and warmth. He’s a clown that is hard not to love, as is Humor Abuse. Humor Abuse runs through Nov. 3 at the Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-4444 or centertheatregroup.com.

gives permission to laugh because he enjoyed much of his childhood, and he has forgiven his dad for his transgressions. The story, unusual as it is, wouldn’t have the impact it does without some serious clowning. From the opening battle with a follow-spot to a carefully constructed routine with dropping sandbags, Pisoni is a masterful clown. So, it appears, was Larry. There are three showstoppers, starting with a re-creation of Larry’s falling down the stairs act and his balloon bit, which includes an audience member. Best of all is Lorenzo’s first original routine. Created when he was about 12 and on the road with the circus — without his parents — Lorenzo developed an act where he portrays a high diver in flippers preparing to jump from the top of a ladder into a tiny bucket. Now a veteran stage actor and reformed circus performer, Pisoni delivers a solid monologue, never pushing too hard for sentimentality.

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during intermission, and people stayed in their seats to watch the toddler performer — his dad put the boy in the show. This involved placing him in a hot, locked steamer trunk with a few air holes and a handful of helium balloons. Often Lorenzo was dressed as a gorilla. By the time he was 6, Lorenzo had literally signed a contract with his dad, which meant he was not allowed to miss any shows for any reason. He had officially become a partner in the circus without understanding exactly what that meant or what impact it would have on his childhood. Pisoni, who declares at the outset that he’s a straight man and not a comic, details behavior from his dad that would be grounds for removal of a child. In the circus, however, it’s par for the course. In fact, when he was 2, Lorenzo ran away from the troupe, only to be returned and made to wear a pin that read in part, “I belong to the circus.” That might seem a farfetched claim, but an old photo projected on part of the set shows it is not just the stuff of fiction. The vintage family pictures from the 1970s and ’80s continue throughout the play, offering crucial evidence that the stories are to be believed. The show, directed by Erica Schmidt, has several uncomfortably funny moments, such as the story about Lorenzo’s dad knocking him over on stage when his son refused to fall like a ventriloquist’s dummy. It’s the performer who

AL VA R

By Jeff Favre t’s easy to understand why some people, usually children, suffer from coulrophobia — fear of clowns. Strangers in baggy pants and wildly colored makeup spritzing seltzer could creep out anyone. Lorenzo Pisoni, on the other hand, offers an even better reason for coulrophobia: his dad. These ideas come together in Pisoni’s oneman show Humor Abuse, which just opened and runs through Nov. 3 at the Mark Taper Forum in Downtown Los Angeles. Part homage to his excessively dedicated clown father and part examination of a highly dysfunctional family, the 90-minute, intermission-less work, which premiered in 2009 in New York, is wholly original and charming. There is no shortage of stories, in all mediums, about fathers and sons and their complicated relationships. There are even plenty of solo shows that share the general topic of a boy’s life consumed by his dad’s obsessions. Still, nothing has the specifics of Humor Abuse, and certainly none includes juggling, pratfalls and acrobatics. Pisoni became a clown at the age of 2, beginning with an impromptu performance during the intermission of the Pickle Family Circus, co-founded by his dad and mom, Larry Pisoni and Peggy Snider. Rather than let little Lorenzo interfere with crucial concession sales — he initially came out

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Surrender to Cheap Trick, Welcome the Sunshine and a Couple Big Parties

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ello there ladies and gents, are you ready to rock? If so, then head to the Grammy Museum, where ’70s rock outfit Cheap Trick are getting the royal treatment in the new exhibit appropriately entitled I Want You to Want Me. Upon arriving at the floor-sized display of memorabilia and ephemera, younger children of Cheap Trick fans will notice that mommy’s all right and daddy’s all right, they just seem a little weird. Just surrender to Robin Zander’s slick vocals as they’re piped into the room and try to savor highlights including the 1952 vintage axe that guitarist Rick Nielsen strummed at the band’s all-important 1978 show at Japan’s Budokan Stadium. The exhibit runs through next June at 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or grammymuseum.org.

photo by Gary Leonard

Wednesday, OctOber 2 Margaret Atwood at Aloud Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or lfla.org. 7:15 p.m.: Novelist Margaret Atwood, whose newest work is the apocalyptically comic fiction MaddAddam, does the Downtown thing. She’ll be in conversation with Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum. Which Way, L.A.? at Disney Hall Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., (213) 972-0777 or musiccenter.org. 7 p.m.: The incisive and insightful radio program takes the show to Disney Hall to discuss the structure’s construction and 10-year anniversary with KCRW’s Frances Anderton and L.A. Phil President & CEO Deborah Borda. Also on the bill is the building’s renowned architect, Frank Gehry. thursday, OctOber 3 Moby Dick at Aloud Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or lfla.org. 7:15 p.m.: As a follow-up to last week’s multimedia remix of Herman Melville’s classic, Princeton historian D. Graham Burnett and biological anthropologist Dr. Amy Parish chronicle the world’s changing perspectives on the behemoths of the deep.

ROCK, POP & JAZZ Blue Whale 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., (213) 620-0908 or bluewhalemusic.com. Oct. 1: Jam Session. Oct. 2: The Nick Mancini Residency. He’s not living here, just playing here. Oct. 3: Miro Sprague Trio. Oct. 4: Joshua White Quartet with Josh Johnson, Hamilton Price and Damion Reid. Yep, that makes 4. Oct. 5: Kevin Yokota Quintet. Oct. 6: Jesse Harris.

On Saturday, Oct. 5, at 10:30 a.m., you and all your friends are invited to come out and celebrate the 10th birthday of Downtown’s most precocious performing arts venue. Frank Gehry’s shiny Walt Disney Concert Hall will get the party started with 12 free dance clinics highlighting the rousing two steps and swings native to Tex-Mex culture. Next, Texas rock and folk jazz outfit Los Texmaniacs drop two sets on the crowds at the Keck Amphitheatre (part of the World City series) while other visitors will indulge in a hands-on art lesson featuring a range of options, from pop-up cards to ceramics. Later in the day there’s a DJ-driven dance party and celebratory cupcakes. It’s all free! Even the cupcakes (though one per person, please). On Grand Avenue at Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., (213) 972-0777 or musiccenter.org.

photo by Gary Leonard

sunday, OctOber 6 Bennett Simpson at MOCA MOCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., (213) 626-6222 or moca.org. 3 p.m.: Bennett Simpson, one of the few remaining MOCA curators, walks guests through the museum’s Room to Live collection, which features selections from the permanent collection. CicLAvia Throughout Downtown, (213) 355-8500 or ciclavia.org. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: We hope you weren’t planning on driving anywhere today. This month’s selection of closed streets focuses on the “Heart of L.A.”

1

2

Friday, OctOber 4 League of Legends World Championship Staples Center, 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 742-7100 or staplescenter.com. 8 p.m.: For those unaware, League of Legends is an online roleplaying game. This event is a gathering of the best LoL players in the world. Yeah laugh it up furball, because this event sold out in just over an hour. saturday, OctOber 5 IOX: The Party at Disney Hall On Grand Avenue at Disney Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., (213) 972-0777 or musiccenter.org. 10:30 a.m.: Ten years of Disney Hall deserves a bit of communal frolicking, so the fine folks up on Bunker Hill will be featuring a spate of Tex-Mex dance lessons and live rock along with arts and crafts for the whole family. The fun continues throughout the day. South African Arts Festival California Plaza, 350 S. Grand Ave. and Regal Cinemas, 800 W. Olympic Blvd. or sa-artsfest.org. Oct. 5-6: The South Africans are taking over with a two-day music and film festival highlighting the nation’s arts community. The event will be split between California Plaza and L.A. Live with film panels at the Omni Hotel.

By Dan Johnson calendar@downtownnews.com photo courtesy Grammy Museum

The Don't Miss List

September 30, 2013

photo by Johan Persson

DT

CALENDAR LISTINGS

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS

FOUR

3

Deep within the Ahmanson Theatre, audiences this week will exude laughter by the barrelful as two titans of comedy rollick through a revival of Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys. The play finds two former Vaudevillian greats reunited for one last television episode. Art imitates life as the leads happen to be played by two former co-stars on TV’s “Taxi,” Danny DeVito and Judd Hirsch. Previews are already underway and opening night is Wednesday, Oct. 2. Performances are each Tuesday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 1 and 6:30 p.m. through Nov. 3. At 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 628-2772 or centertheatregroup.org.

Down on the 700 block of Kohler Street, the proboscis-oriented tale of Cyrano de Bergerac is being reimagined by director Peter J. Kuo, writer Michael Golamco and all the good folks at Inner-City Arts. Refocusing the tale of gallantry and whimsical honor to highlight disparities in American culture as they pertain to issues of racial diversity, Cowboy Versus Samurai pits rival heroes against each other in a fight to the finish. You can catch the play this Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5, at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 2 p.m. Cowboy Versus Samurai runs through Oct. 20. At 720 Kohler St. or artistastplayla.blogspot.com.

Not to engage in a bit of architectural one-upmanship, but if you’re into celebrating the anniversary of seminal Los Angeles structures, the Central Library will be throwing its own special shindig on Saturday, Oct. 5. The 2 p.m. event will commemorate the 20 years that have transpired since the bold biblio building reopened in 1993, completing the comeback from a devastating fire. Sorry folks, there won’t be any Tex-Mex revelry. Instead, you’ll be treated to a good old-fashioned discussion featuring members of the library’s staff moderated by USC architecture professor Kenneth Breisch. Reservations are not required for this free event in the library’s Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 2287500 or lfla.org.

photo by M Palma Photography

20 Downtown News

five

Send information and possible Don’t Miss List submissions to calendar@downtownnews.com.


September 30, 2013

Downtown News 21

DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM

Bootleg Bar 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or bootlegtheater.org. Sept. 30, 8 p.m.: Dear Boy will be ironing their finest silk shirts for one last night of their September residency. Oct. 1, 8 p.m.: Portland singer/songwriter Laura Veirs may or may not have a massive cache of Lisa Loeb albums at home. Oct. 2, 8 p.m.: Concert-goers are reminded that operating heavy machinery under the halcyon influence of Simone White is never a good idea. Oct. 3, 8 p.m.: The Cold and Lovely are the post-9/11 world’s answer to Luscious Jackson. Oct. 4, 8 p.m.: Loops, acoustic guitars, electro beats and an absurd twang. Bob Schneider must be from Austin. Oct. 5, 8 p.m.: Queen Kwong’s post-grunge solo efforts have just the right amount of lingering bitterness in them. Anyone writing a song telling off Ike Turner from Tina’s perspective is well worth a listen. Oct. 6, 8 p.m.: Pack some sage when you rally out to see all-female fuzz trio L.A. Witch. Club Nokia 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or clubnokia.com. Oct. 4, 8 p.m.: Here’s your chance to find out if Boys II Men’s “I’ll Make Love to You” sounds any less creepy 20 years later. Escondite 410 Boyd St., (213) 626-1800 or theescondite.com. Sept. 30, 10 p.m.: Monster Mondays sends September off with a bang. Oct. 1, 10 p.m.: Bunny West is exactly the sort of creature beauty companies would love to test their products on, but alas, Downtown’s Bunny West has too much dignity and too full a talent to let those shenanigans go down. Oct. 2, 10 p.m.: Blackwater Jukebox: not quite the Red Dead Redemption tribute band we hoped it would be, but enjoyable nonetheless. Oct. 3, 10 p.m.: Trip Rezac is a wonderful blues man whose name also happens to be an anagram for “pert zicar.” Oct. 4, 9 p.m.: For the Kings and Trevor Menear will be taking care of business. Oct. 5, 10 p.m.: It wouldn’t be Saturday in Downtown without a heart full of sorrow and the joyful blues love of cherished chap Charlie Chan and his SOBs. Oct. 6, 9 p.m.: Honky Tonk Sunday with RT N the 44s. Exchange LA 618 S. Spring St., (213) 627-8070 or exchangela.com. Oct. 4, 10 p.m.: Ummet Ozcan’s here to show L.A. how Turkey gets down! (Spoiler alert: It’s fairly similar to how Americans get down. There’ll be a large crowd ingesting synthetic love and basking in loud music and bright lights.) Oct. 5, 10 p.m.: Strict adherence to the buddy system is advised anytime an artist named Claude Vonstroke plays. Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or grammymuseum.org. Sept. 30, 8 p.m.: You can expect a night of rousing conversation regarding the practice of neo-blues with Gary Clark Jr. Nola’s 734 E. Third St, (213) 680-3003 or nolasla.com. Oct. 6, 8 p.m.: Enjoy Jacob Lusk while having some Creole cuisine. One-Eyed Gypsy 901 E. First St., (626) 340-3529 or one-eyedgypsy.com. Oct. 1, 9 p.m.: Hot Club Vignati. Redwood Bar and Grill 316 W. Second St., (213) 652-4444 or the redwoodbar.com. Sept. 30: Ingenue with Scary Cherry. Seven Grand 515 W. Seventh St., (213) 614-0737 or sevengrand.la. Sept. 30, 10 p.m.: Double bass stud Brandino drops his new album. Oct. 1, 10 p.m.: The Makers celebrate autumn with a set of improvised pumpkin spice jazz. Shrine Auditorium 649 W. Jefferson, (213) 748-5116 or shrineauditorium.com. Oct. 4, 9 p.m.: Good news to those going to see Afrojack at the Shrine. You can give your ultra-dilated pupils a rest and let the Metro Expo Line do the driving while you fixate on the remarkable textures within the light rail car. Staples Center 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 742-7326 or staplescenter.com. Oct. 2, 8 p.m.: Depeche Mode returns for one final night of electro pageantry. The Smell 247 S. Main St. in the alley between Spring and Main or thesmell.org. Oct. 4: 100 Onces, SNORLAX, ParallaxScroll and PlanesWalker. Oct. 5: Gestapo Khazi, The Beekeepers and Corners.

FILM Downtown Independent 251 S. Main St., (213) 617-1033 or downtownindependent.com. Oct. 4-6: Dario Argento presents the aptly titled Argento’s Dracula 3-D. Oct. 6, 7 p.m.: In the High Country tells the story of mountain runner Anton Krupicka as he goes on about the business of being in absurdly good shape. Krupicka and filmmaker Joel Wolpert will be on hand. Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or grammymuseum.org. Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m.: The Rolling Stones Charlie Is My Darling—Ireland 1975 chronicles the classic band on a short Irish jaunt in the month after “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” hit the charts. Continued on next page

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22 Downtown News

LAST WEEKS ANSWERS

Continued from previous page IMAX California Science Center, 700 State Drive, (213) 744-2019 or californiasciencecenter.org. Explore the remnants and wisdom of an ancient empire in Mysteries of Egypt. Ice and polar bear enthusiasts will likely dig To the Arctic 3D. Experience the gripping story full of hope, crushing disappointment and triumph in Hubble 3D. Regal Cinemas 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 763-6070 or lalive.com/ movies. Through October 3: Gravity 3D (10 p.m.); Runner, Runner (10 p.m.); Baggage Claim (11:30 a.m., 1:30, 2:10, 4:10, 4:50, 6:50, 7:30, 9:30 and 10:10 p.m.); Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (1:40, 7 and 9:40 p.m.); Cloudy with a Chance of

Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: DowntownNews.com • email: realpeople@downtownnews.com facebook: L.A. Downtown News

CROSSWORD

September 30, 2013

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS Meatballs 2 3D (11:40 a.m., 2:20, 4:20, 5, 7:40 and 10:30 p.m.); Don Jon (11:20 a.m., 2, 4:40, 7:20 and 10 p.m.); Rush (12:40, 3:50, 7:10 and 10:20 p.m.); Battle of the Year 3D (1, 3:40, 6:30 and 9:10 p.m.); Generation Iron (1:10 and 4 p.m.); Prisoners (12:30, 3:30, 7 and 9:50 p.m.); The Family (11:50 a.m., 2:30, 5:10, 8 and 10:50 p.m.); Insidious: Chapter 2 (12:40, 4:10, 7:10 and 10:40 p.m.); Instructions Not Included (11:20 a.m., 2:10, 5, 7:50 and 10:50 p.m.).

MORE LISTINGS Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris

GENErAl HundredsMANAGEr: of listings ofDawn fun andEastin interesting things to do in Down-

town Los Angeles canJon alsoRegardie be found online at ladowntownnews. ExEcutivE Editor: com/calendar: Rock, Pop &Evans, Jazz; Bars & Clubs; stAFF writErs: Donna Eddie Kim Farmers Markets; Events; Film; Sports; Art Spaces; Theater, Dance and Opera; ClassicoNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, cal Music; Museums; and Tours. Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins

twitter: DowntownNews

PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin

AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante

ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie stAFF writErs: Donna Evans, Eddie Kim coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield

AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez

Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins

circulAtioN: Danielle Salmon distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard

2

Easy ways to submit Your

Event Info

4 WEB: LADowntownNews.com/calendar/submit 4 EMAIL: Calendar@DowntownNews.com

Email: Send a brief description, street address and public phone number. Submissions must be received 10 days prior to publication date to be considered for print.

Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: DowntownNews.com email: realpeople@downtownnews.com facebook: L.A. Downtown News twitter: DowntownNews ©2013 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles. One copy per person.

AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Danielle Salmon distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie stAFF writErs: Donna Evans, Eddie Kim coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield

©2013 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

One copy per person.

Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Danielle Salmon distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin

Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: DowntownNews.com • email: realpeople@downtownnews.com facebook: L.A. Downtown News

twitter: DowntownNews

ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie stAFF writErs: Donna Evans, Eddie Kim coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante

Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: DowntownNews.com email: realpeople@downtownnews.com facebook: L.A. Downtown News twitter: DowntownNews ©2013 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

One copy per person.

AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Danielle Salmon distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla ©2013 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

One copy per person.


September 30, 2013

DT

CLASSIFIEDS REAL ESTATE RESIDENTIAL lofts for sale

AUTOS & RECREATIONAL pre-oWned

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Bill Cooper

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old Bank District The original Live/Work Lofts

To place a classified ad in the Downtown News please call 213-481-1448, or go to DowntownNews.com Deadline classified display and line ads are Thursday at 12pm. FORfor RENT All submissions are subject to federal and California fair housing laws, which make it illegal to indicate in any advertisement any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income or physical or mental disability. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.

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Downtown News 23

DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM

2009 CHEVY MALIBU HYBRID 4DR. Gray/Gray, Great Mileage, AC, Loaded F13074-1/ F131890 ONLY....$13,995 Call 888-3047039 www.felixchevrolet.com 2009 MERCEDES CLK350 AMG Certified, White Stone, 3.5L, low miles 5940C / F270087 ONLY....$25,991 Call 888-3198762. www.mbzla.com 2011 NISSAN SENTRA 2.0S SEDAN Certified, Red Brick Pearl/Silver, 30mpg, CU0827R / L651168 ONLY....$11,995 call 888-845-2267 www.carsonnissan.com

For a complete list of our pre-owned inventory, go to www.DTLAMOTORS.com

EMPLOYMENT General

U.S. GOVT JOBS NOW HIRING Civil Service / Postal Clerks No Experience. Job Security. $20-75 an hour and Benefits CALL NOw! (855) 631-0850

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY

leGal LYNCH & KELLY, LTD., a new professional law service, has opened at 520 South Grand Avenue, Suite 665 in downtown. We welcome your inquiries on personal and business legal concerns. (213) 293-6330

SERVICES cleaninG CONCEPTO’S CLEANING Crew. Professional, experienced, cleans apartments, homes, offices and restaurants. Call for a quote. 323-459-3067 or 818-409-9183.

RETAIL CLERK needed at Downtown LA pharmacy. Bilingual Spanish speakers please apply. Fax resume to 213-6225932.

KUR SPA Happy Hour from 2 to 7pm, Monday to Friday: Any full body massage or facial $40 (55 mnts) Manicure and Pedicure $25. $2.00 off any waxing. 412 W. 6th Street #1111 relaxatkur. com. adabatun@yahoo.com. 818-574-9882.

A Training, Retraining and/or Job Placement Initiative

Call 213.253.4777 LAloft.com

To qualify for this program you must: • Have been laid off from one of the listed employers* • Have a valid CA ID/License & Social Security Card, or a valid US Passport • If not a US Citizen, Right-to-Work documents/Permanent Residency Card/Green Card • Unemployment Insurance documents (EDD); Lay-off Notice (if applicable) • Be registered with available Selective Services (for males only)

SENIOR APARTMENTS 62 + Studio $873 1 Bedroom $929. Balcony, Full Kitchen, A/C, Clubhouse, BBQ, Resource room, Laundry, SEC 8 O.K. Visit GSL SAN LUCAS.com 213-6232010. dUplexes

City of Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department

the LOFT expert!

Casaloma L.A. Apartments Clean unfurnished bachelor rooms with shared bath at $550/mo. with private bath at $695/mo. sec. deposit special @$100 with Good credit Includes utilities, basic cable channels, laundry room on site. Gated building in a good area. 208 W. 14th St. at Hill St. Downtown LA

For English Call Pierre or Terri 213.744.9911 For Spanish Call Susana 213.749.0306

* Sodexo, Inc, Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles Unified School District, American Airlines, Solar Integrated Technology, Dunn Edwards (Compton, Los Angeles, Vernon) City of Los Angeles, Solar Integrated Technology, Compton Unified School District, Bank of America, Mattel Inc. (City of Industry) And More!!! For a complete list of employers please go to: http;//www.wiblacity.org/b2w/

Downtown since 2002

Downtown Worksource Center (213) 629-5800

Bill Cooper 213.598.7555 TheLoftExpertGroup.com

2 bedroom 1 bath for rent Alhambra/S.P. Adjacent $1250 monthly 213-2001885.

TM

Bill Cooper 213.598.7555

TheLoftExpertGroup.com BRE #01309009

DRE # 01309009

Voted BEST Downtown Residential Real Estate Agent!

Furnished single unit with kitchenette, bathroom. Excellent location. Downtown LA. Weekly rate $275 inc.

Monthly from $600 utilities paid. (213) 612-0348

Fully furnished with TV, telephone, microwave, refrigerator. Full bathroom. Excellent location. Downtown LA. Weekly maid service.

Monthly from $695 utilities paid. (213) 627-1151

laloftBlog.com 213.478.0499 DRE#01889449

pRoCUREmEnt mAnAGER ADmInIStRAtoR Administers procurement system across all business units resolving and routing issues, Under the general supervision of the Procurement & Planning Manager and requires the use of independent activities. Ensures the cost-optimized, timely utilities, and other indirect purchases to meet defined project or manufacturing requirements, needs and expectation regarding quality. Administer all policies and procedures as established fairly and consistently.(wolfchester65@outlook.com)

GaraGe sales EXERCISE/GYM EQUIPMENT: Weslo Cardioglide, Inversion Therapy unit, and Roman Chair. $100.00 for all three. Near 4th & Alameda. Call Jo @ (213) 500-1622.

We've got what you're searching for! DowntownNews.com

Move-inNOWNOW LEASING LEASING Specials

MONTH $675$675 PERPER MONTH 5TH LOS ANGELES 5TH & LOS&ANGELES

UTILITIES PAID! ALLALL UTILITIES PAID! 213-622-1437 213-622-1437 EmploymEnt Urth Caffé will be accepting applications for Back of the house positions only: prep cooks, food runner, line cooks & barista. We are looking for Energetic, Friendly and Hard-Working candidates with experience. Job fair will be held every Fridays and Mondays, 9am-12pm at our Pasadena location, 594 E. Colorado Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91101. Must apply in person.

Is your teen experiencing • School problems? • Conflict at home or with friends? adolescent support group now forming ages 13-17 low fee

Call marney stofflet, lcsW

Children’s Performing Group

Sunshine Generation Singing, dancing, performing and fun! For boys & girls ages 3 and up!

(323) 662-9797

4344 fountain ave. (at sunset), suite a los angeles, ca 90029

SunshineGenerationLA.com 909-861-4433

Do you have something to sell?

Ad Copy: _________________________________________

Ad Prices

________________________________________________

(Marketplace and Automotive Categories ONLY)

LUXURY LOFT SALES AND LEASING

WORKOUT WITHOUT taking your regular clothes off. 10mins = 1hr. workout in the gym. Our equipment is used by the Los Angeles Lakers and more! (213) 290-3409

Getting LA Back 2 Work

from $1,295 Cafes, Bars, Shops, Galleries, Parking adjacent. Pets no charge

apartments/UnfUrnished

WeiGht loss

ANNOUNCEMENTS

STUDIO APARTMENTS STUDIO APARTMENTS

health

help Wanted

SPECIALS! 4 Mani’s & Pedi’s for ONLY $99! 3 Facials or 3 Massages for Only $99. Buy our specials tomorrow but use them when you want! Enjoy yourself more than once! 818-574-9882 Downtown Los Angeles.

• Items under $300 • Items $301 to $500 • Items $501 to $1200 • Items $1201 to $2000 • Items $2001+…

Name: Address: City Phone: Cash $ Credit card #: Exp. Date:

FREE! $11.50 $14.00 $16.50 $19.00

12 words, 2 weeks 15 words 15 words 15 words 15 words

All ads run for 2 weeks. Ads may be renewed after two weeks for 50% off the original price of the ad.

With a circulation of State Check $

Zip Credit Card $

47,000,

our classifieds get results!

________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________ ________________________________________________

Restrictions: Offer good on private party ads only. Ads must be pre-paid by cash, check or credit card. Certain classifications excluded. Deadline: Thursday at noon for next issue.


24 Downtown News

September 30, 2013

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS

AROUND TOWN, 2

Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore! It’s our business to make you comfortable... at home, downtown. Corporate and long term residency Call Now Fo is accommodated in high style at the Towers Apartments. Contemporary singles, studio, one r bedroom and two bedroom apartment homes provide fortunate residents with a courteous full service lobby attendant, heated pool, spa, complete fitness center, sauna and recreation room Move-In Spec with kitchen. Beautiful views extend from the Towers’ lofty homes in the sky. Mountain vistas and ial slender skyscrapers provide an incredible back drop to complement your decor. Far below are a host of businesses s ready to support your pampered downtown lifestyle. With spectacular cultural events nearby, even the most demanding tastes are satisfied. Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore. Visit the Towers Apartments today.

Grand Tower

255 South Grand Avenue Leasing Information 213 229 9777 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dishwasher (most units) ~ Central Air Conditioning & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)

On-site: ~ Dry Cleaners / Dental Office / Restaurants

Promenade Towers

123 South Figueroa Street Leasing Information 213 617 3777 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Pool / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Covered Parking

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove & Dishwasher ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Solariums and/or Balconies

On-Site: ~ Convenience Store / Coffee House / Yogurt Shop / Beauty Salon

museum Tower

225 South Olive Street Leasing Information 213 626 1500 Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room

Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dish washer (most units) ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)

8 7 7 - 2 65 - 714 6

TOWERS T H E

A PA RT M E N T S

www.TowersApartmentsLA.com MAID SERVICE • FURNITURE • HOUSEWARES • CABLE • UTILITIES • PARKING

RESIDENCES: SINGLES • STUDIO • ONE BEDROOM • TWO BEDROOM

for 3D glasses now have a way to combat their complaints: Simply come Downtown on a Tuesday. Last week, officials with the Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14 announced that, for the rest of the year, entrance to any film at the theater will be just $7 every Tuesday. It includes traditional two-dimensional showings as well as 3D flicks (six of the venue’s 14 screens have 3D capability). General admission for the Regal 14 is $14.50, with a $4 surcharge for 3D. The $7 special is good any time of the day and extends to the L.A. Live complex’s 803-seat “Premiere House,” which has reserved seating and a 70-foot screen. The $7 entry had long been a special just on the first Tuesday of each month. Films being shown this week include Rush, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 (in 2D and 3D) and Prisoners. The theater is at 800 W. Olympic Blvd, Additional information at lalive.com.

Wholesaler Looks to Expand Sweet Treats

D

owntown candy lovers, rejoice! Jack’s Wholesale Candy and Toy, an Industrial District business near Eighth Street and Central Avenue, is getting ready to double its capacity, with plans to move to a nearby 40,000-square-foot warehouse in January 2014. The expansion has been a long time coming, said owner Minaz Ahamed. “We’ve been thinking of expanding for at least four or five years,” he noted. Ahamed also said the company, which opened in the 1930s, has been steadily gaining customers; surprisingly, Jack’s took on greater demand after the recession, which shuttered many of the wholesaler’s competitors. The new business will sit at 777 S. Central Ave., just north of the current location at 1244 E. Eighth St., and will offer a greater selection of American and Mexican treats in both bulk and unwrapped form; according to its website, offerings include everything from Hershey’s chocolates to Pop Rocks to the lollipops Chupa Chups. Although Jack’s serves many businesses it is also open to the public. Jack’s won the title of Best Candy Store from LA Weekly in 2012, and it looks like its dominance in the sweets trade isn’t about to fade anytime soon.

Music Center Handing Out Scholarship Cash to Talented Teens

I

t’s not “America’s Got Talent,” but for local arts-oriented teens, it may be the next best thing: a chance to earn scholarship money, and to get audition tips, simply by showing off their skills. The Downtown Music Center recently announced the opening of applications for its Spotlight program. The 26th annual competition will dispense prizes in performance and visual art categories; the former includes ballet, non-classical dance and other disciplines, while the latter envelops photography and two-dimensional art. The program is open to all high school students in Southern California and, according to the Music Center, every student who applies “will have the opportunity to learn through professional feedback and gain valuable knowledge to improve their art and audition skills.” There is no cost to enter, but performing arts applications must be received by Oct. 16, while visual art entries are due Dec. 1. Scholarships worth up to $5,000 will be handed out by the Music Center. Applications and additional information are at musicecenter. org/spotlight.

Man Dies in Spring Street Park

V

isitors to the Spring Street Park on the afternoon of Sept. 22 found the facility cordoned off, as police investigated the discovery of a dead body. The deceased has now been identified as Bryan Ellington, 47; the homeless man suffered a fatal seizure. Captain John Kades of the County Coroner’s Office said drug paraphernalia was found at the scene at 426 S. Spring St. A 911 call was made just before noon and emergency workers administered CPR to no avail, he said. The official cause of death is pending, as the deputy medical examiner has ordered additional tests. Witnesses in the park at the time of death told police the man appeared to be dying his hair. When authorities arrived, they found purple dye in Ellington’s hair, on the ground and on his body.

Profile for Los Angeles Downtown News

09-30-13  

Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper distributed in and around downtown Los Angeles.

09-30-13  

Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper distributed in and around downtown Los Angeles.

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