November 13, 2017 I VOL. 46 I #46
S N O IC
N A H T 8 3
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W O D F O
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THE VOICE OF DOWNTOWN L.A. SINCE 1972
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NOVEMBER 13, 2017
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CO N T E N TS
NOVEMBER 13, 2017
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ICONS OF DOWNTOWN
Park at the Center of It All 3 APershing Square Has a Long History and a Packed Lineup of Events Experience 4 AOUESky-High Skyspace Offers Breathtaking Views, Interactive Exhibits and the World’s First Skyslide Beauty of a Neighborhood 4 The SP-DTLA Is Helping the City Curate a Slice of Urban Life the New Hotel on the Bloc 5 Unveiling The Sheraton Grand Los Angeles Beckons With a Stunning Remodel and Is an Exciting Destination
6 Nabih Youssef Structural Engineers Has a Wealth of Experience and a Worldwide Track Record Keeping Buildings, and Cities, Safe
the $25 Million Man 8 Meet Michael Banner Works to Bring New Dollars to California Main Street Businesses Downtown Icon Turns 60 9 APilgrim School Students Learn Who They Are, What They Love and Where They Belong and Iconic 10 Elegant The Famed Westin Bonaventure Hotel Makes Its Mark on the Downtown L.A. Skyline an Industry Upside-down 11 Flipping An Immigrant Entrepreneur Leads DDC Group Inc. and ViceVerseLa.com
A Community of Icons The Downtown Revival Marches On, With More Excitement and Energy Than Ever
owntown Los Angeles is enjoying an unprecedented boom period. Cranes are everywhere and the residential population is soaring. Top chefs are flocking to the community. There are more shopping opportunities than ever before. Old buildings are getting new uses. The energy is palpable. The onetime 9-5 neighborhood is now a nearly 24hour community. Whereas after-dark options were once limited mostly to the Music Center, today neighborhoods such as the Historic Core, the Financial District, the Arts District, Little Tokyo and South Park are buzzing until the wee hours of
the morning. The Downtown revival is the result of the work of hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Over the years a special group of individuals, organizations and businesses have had a larger-than-life presence. In the process, these entities, as well as several high-profile landmarks, have emerged as Downtown Icons. Icons 2017, an advertising supplement, highlights several of the iconic institutions that have helped lay the groundwork for Downtown’s comeback, and also celebrates the newcomers who will continue to play key roles as the area gets bigger, better and even more vibrant.
Make It Yours 12 DTLA: The Downtown Center BID Continues to Lead the Evolution of DTLA Champion for Downtown 12 AMartha Saucedo Has Been a Driving Force at the Central City Association Shalt Not Kill” 13 “Thou A Letter from St. John’s Cathedral Letter to Downtown 14 AFirstLove United Methodist Church Has Served the Community Since 1863
A PARK AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL
Pershing Square Has a Long History and a Packed Lineup of Events
FROM PERSHING SQUARE ocated in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles at 532 S. Olive St., historic Pershing Square is operated by the Department of Recreation and Parks. Dedicated in 1866 and originally named La Plaza Abaja (the Lower Plaza), the “Square” underwent its first renovation in 1911 to reflect the social and economic growth of the city. During World War I, the park was used for receptions for the militia and provided a public forum much like London’s Hyde Park Corner. In 1918, the park’s name was formally changed to Pershing Square in honor of the World War I general. The Department of Recreation and Parks, the Pershing Square Property Association and the Community Redevelopment Agency joined to renovate the park once again in 1989. Various artists, including Ricardo Legorreta, Laurie Olin and Barbara McCarren, helped design the modern Persh-
ing Square. Today, it features an open and elevated Mayanstyle amphitheater and a grove of orange trees that pays tribute to Los Angeles’ agricultural roots. At the south end of the park is a new and improved circular platform that can be transformed from an outdoor picnic area during the day to a dance floor and lounge area at night. Pershing Square hosts a variety of community events. The Pershing Square Downtown Stage consists of numerous happenings, including a six-week free summer concert and film series. Artists who have performed on the Downtown Stage include The Wallflowers, The B-52s, Los Lonely Boys, Toad the Wet Sprocket, and X. The summer line-up also includes a weekend Salsa Festival, Friday Night Flicks, lunchtime concerts and the two-day DTLA Proud Fest in August. Pershing Square also hosts a variety of events through the fall season, including the Paella & Wine Festival, a two-day Oktoberfest, and the Dessert Festival. A popular ice skating
rink is hosted by Pershing Square from November through January, including a two-day Winter Holiday Festival. Free yoga classes take place in the new community room, while a new chess area is available for chess clubs, tournaments and casual players. Park visitors enjoy the children’s playgrounds, pet area and hanging wall garden. Pershing Square runs a Mobile Youth Program that provides free arts and crafts, sports, games, and summer and winter day camps for hundreds of children. A Wednesday farmers market and Food Truck Friday are held weekly in the park. Annual events include art shows by the Art Squared City Scape Outdoor Gallery, the St. Patrick’s Day free concert celebration and the Spring Extravaganza. The venue also serves as a major location for television shows, films and private parties. For more information about the Department of Recreation and Parks and events at Pershing Square, Outdoor Concert and Event Center, activities, services, programs and facilities, visit laparks.org/pershingsquare or call (213) 847-4970.
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ICONS OF DOWNTOWN
A SKY-HIGH EXPERIENCE OUE Skyspace Offers Breathtaking Views, Interactive Exhibits and the World’s First Skyslide
From OUE Skyspace itting 1,000 feet above Downtown L.A., near the top of the US Bank Tower, OUE Skyspace LA offers picture-perfect, 360-degree views of Los Angeles, and for the more adventurous, the world’s first Skyslide, a 45foot glass slide. OUE Skyspace’s latest enhancements make the destination more than a photo op, elevating it to a uniquely L.A. multi-sensory experience. There’s plenty to do before even getting to the breathtaking view. After Mayor Eric Garcetti’s voice welcomes visitors in the elevator ride up to the 54th floor, friendly greeters take guests through a magical maze of hallways filled with interactive exhibits celebrating the culture of the city. The new Heard in LA, Scene in LA, Play in LA and Only in
LA installation features comedian and Los Angeles native George Lopez among other notable experts who serve as tour guides, taking guests through the city’s rich history, iconic film locations, vibrant music scene, beloved sports teams and quintessential L.A. moments. Also, don’t miss the Infinity Mirror, an LED-lit elevator shaft, and other digital attractions. The journey continues with additional multimedia enhancements on the 69th floor. New video installations will open your eyes to what’s in front of you from California’s tallest outdoor observation deck. Of course, the Skyslide continues to be a scene-stealer. The 45-foot all-glass slide extends from the 70th to 69th floor, and is a must-do for any thrill seeker. From the new multimedia, selfie stations, two outdoor observation decks, and of
course, the signature thrill experience of Skyslide, Skyspace LA offers something for all ages. Skyspace now offers complimentary City Highlights tours with every paid general admission ticket. Fall in love with L.A. by learning more about the city’s history, pop culture, art, film and architecture every day at 11 a.m., noon, 1 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tours last 35-40 minutes and depart from the north-facing side of the 69th floor. No reservations are necessary. You can also get your zen on and enhance your visit with the new Sunset Yoga series on the first and third Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Tickets sell out fast, so plan ahead and purchase them online. OUE Skyspace is at 633 W Fifth St., (213) 894-9000 or oue-skyspace.com.
The Beauty of a Neighborhood SP-DTLA Is Helping the City Curate a Slice of Urban Life From SP-DTLA he Historic Core: There is no neighborhood in Los Angeles that is as rich with history, as racially and economically diverse, as rife with homelessness and yet, so full of magical possibilities. We define the neighborhood by the landmarks we love, those beauties that drew us here in the first place: from the Bradbury Building and Grand Central Market on the north, to the Ace Hotel on the south; from the Biltmore and Pershing Square on the west, to the Old Bank District on the east. Our sometimes derelict, oftentimes majestic slice of urban life needs the passion of those who live, work and play here. The Society for the Preservation of Downtown Los Angeles is an organization created to help the city curate this slice of urban life, pushing the city to implement its own Historic Core guidelines. More than that, we push for the potential of these unique city blocks. We want more street cleaning, more parks, more attention to safety, and more attention to beauty. High-density development is not the enemy of a historic neighborhood like ours. SP-DT-
LA celebrates companies that understand and bring vibrancy to the neighborhood, including Rising Realty Partners, Gilmore Associates, Sydell Group and the many others that find ways to make healthy profits while bringing back our luster. Modern structures have a place too. Curating beauty is not monolithic, but neither is it dogmatic. Somewhere in between, elegance thrives. Join us. One day, we will look back and be proud of the great city center we helped preserve and create. This is, after all, the heart of Los Angeles, where the future is made by those who care the most. For more information, visit sp-dtla.org.
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ICONS OF DOWNTOWN
Unveiling the New Hotel on the Bloc The Sheraton Grand Los Angeles Beckons With a Stunning Remodel and Is an Exciting Destination
FROM SHERATON GRAND LOS ANGELES elcoming guests and locals alike with signature Sheraton warmth, this stunning Downtown hotel has been completely revitalized through a $75 million redesign. The entire hotel has been activated — from the marble-clad lobby to the 26th floor
Club Lounge to the farm-to-table restaurant The District — with clean, modern lines accented with references to silver screen glamour. Experience the sophisticated design and state-of-the-art comfort inside the newly renovated guest rooms. Each of the 485 rooms has been remodeled to feature crisp,
modern bathrooms, casual contemporary décor and technology upgrades including Quadriga tech platforms that make each room a standalone hotspot to easily support your devices. Refurbished from top to bottom, all of the spaces, from the guest rooms to the lobby, were designed to make guests feel completely welcome, comfortable and engaged. The completely transformed public spaces are powered by high-tech upgrades both indoors and out, enabling guests to share photos from luxe cabanas on the deck overlooking the plaza or check emails over a drink at The District. The 26,000 square feet of meeting space is flexible and can offer a space as small as 600 square feet or as large as 10,000 square feet. The professional staff will make it easy
to plan the perfect event and are accustomed to helping new planners as well as multi-year veterans. The soul of the hotel experience is the passionate staff, who make every guest feel that they are right where they belong. The Sheraton’s location inside The Bloc allows guests to experience L.A. the way they like, with fantastic shopping, restaurants and entertainment venues just steps away. The newly created Metro stop just outside the hotel door puts all of L.A. — and beyond — within easy reach. But why leave? Downtown L.A. has never been more vibrant. The prime location puts you close to a variety of things to do in Downtown Los Angeles. For more information, call (213) 488-3500 or visit sheratonlosangelesdowntown.com.
Marriott Hotel of The Year, Classic Premium Tier 2016
You Stay, Your L.A. Sheraton Grand Los Angeles is in the heart of the new pulse of downtown LA: The Bloc. Welcoming guests and locals alike with signature warmth, our hotel has been completely revitalized through a $75 million redesign. The entire hotel has been activated – from our marble-clad lobby up to our 26th floor Club Lounge – with clean modern lines accented with reference to silver screen glamour. Find out more at sheratongrandlosangeles.com or call 213 488 3500
©2016 Marriott International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Starpoints, SPG, Preferred Guest, Sheraton and their respective logos are the trademarks of Marriott International, Inc., or its affiliates.
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Keeping Buildings, and Cities, Safe Nabih Youssef Structural Engineers Has a Wealth of Experience and a Worldwide Track Record
From Nabih Youssef Structural Engineers abih Youssef Structural Engineers, which started as a small engineering firm in Downtown Los Angeles in 1989, has matured into a world leader in the field of earthquake engineering. With a practice focused on providing elegant structural solutions, the firm has garnered the attention of world-renowned architects and worked with them on a wide range of projects locally and beyond. Prior to starting the firm, Nabih Youssef managed structural engineering groups within the architectural firms Welton Becket and A.C. Martin Architects and Engineers. This background helped shape the firm’s philosophy of developing elegant structural systems that are woven into the architectural fabric. Through the use of advanced analytical techniques, the structural systems are optimized for both aesthetics and performance. Core to the firm’s practice is Performance Based Engineering. Youssef previously chaired the Vision 2000 Committee, which led to the increased use of Performance Based Engineering in California and ultimately throughout the world. A natural progression of Performance Based Engineering was the use of advanced seismic systems, such as seismic isolation and seismic dampers. The firm has been a pioneer in these systems, which provide for more resilient structures and communities. Resiliency results in a more robust built environment allowing cities to rebound quicker from devastating earthquakes. In addition to designing buildings to withstand earthquakes, the firm has expertise in seismic retrofit work, which is oftentimes more complicated than new construction. The inherent attributes of the existing structure need to be accurately captured analytically, while new seismic-resisting elements need to be delicately woven into the existing building fabric to holistically improve the resiliency of the building. The firm also has been engaged to serve as an expert seismic peer reviewer for dozens of projects up and down the West Coast. Additionally, the firm performs Loss Estimates for real estate investment firms and insurers to better understand their risk exposure. The firm has developed post-earthquake response and recovery plans for individual buildings and large portfolios to facilitate re-occupancy. Through the use of software developed by the U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS), the individual buildings are overlaid with ground shaking intensity maps from the USGS, within seconds of a major earthquake. The system will allow the firm to prioritize buildings based on those that experience the largest ground shaking, are the most vulnerable structurally, and/or the most important to the client; structural engineers from the firm will then immediately be sent to these priority buildings. With offices in Southern California and Northern California, engineers from across the state are poised to respond after a major seismic event. The firm has made its mark locally, with high-profile projects such as the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, the L.A. Live Convention Center hotel tower, the retrofit and expansion of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the renovation of Dodger Stadium, the seismic retrofit of Los Angeles City Hall, the Los Angeles Police Department headquarters, the renovation and major expansion of the J. Paul Getty Museum and Villa, the Skirball Cultural Center, The Broad museum, Beverly Hills Waldorf Hotel, Long Beach Civic Center, Berggruen Institute, the new USC Village and dozens of projects on the UCLA campus. Los Angeles City Hall, retrofitted in the early 1990s with A.C. Martin Architects and Engineers, remains the tallest base-isolated building in the world. Nabih Youssef Structural Engineers is currently designing a number of towers that will transform the Los Angeles skyline in the coming years, including Park Fifth, the Lizard Hotel and others. Additionally, the firm has been a leader in the adaptive reuse trend, having been involved with seismically retrofitting and repositioning dozens of buildings in Downtown Los Angeles, including the Ace Hotel, The Roosevelt, the Herald Examiner, 433 S. Spring St., the Hellman Building and the Eastern Columbia Building. In the early 1990s the firm expanded into San Francisco to collaborate with clients that had major projects planned in Northern California. The San Francisco office has since completed such monumental works as the Westfield San Francisco Centre, the base-isolated New Stanford Hospital, Genentech Headquarters buildings, multiple labs at UCSF, the seismic retrofit of the historic 50 United Nations Plaza building in downtown San Francisco and the redevelopment of the massive Pier 70 site south of Mission Bay in San Francisco. Currently, in
Cupertino, Calif., the firm is involved with the new Apple Park project and The Hills at Vallco, an eight million-square-foot mixed-use development with a 30-acre, seismically isolated contiguous green roof, reportedly the largest in the world. The firm has amassed dozens of local, state and national awards for its engineering ingenuity, including the Applied Technology Council and Engineering News Record’s award for the Top Seismic Project of the 20th Century for its work on the base-isolated Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. The firm also received the National Council of Structural Engineers Association’s Building of the Year Award for the base-isolated UCSF Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building. Additionally, the firm has received a number of top honors from the Structural Engineers Association of California for a wide range of projects. Despite the growth, the firm led by its four Principals (Nabih Youssef, Ryan Wilkerson, Michael Gemmill and Owen Hata) has maintained client satisfaction and collaboration as core values. The collaborative and open office environment inspires the approximately 50 engineers to thoughtfully tailor responses to their clients’ needs, while advancing the state of practice of seismic engineering. The Principals mentor the up-and-coming young talent to continue the legacy of developing creative concepts for each challenge while ensuring comprehensive delivery through construction. The firm also sponsors a group of talented young engineers at various engineering firms to attend the annual Structural Engineers Association of California convention. By sponsoring these young engineers, the firm is able to recognize and celebrate the emerging talents that help push the field of structural engineering forward. Internally, the firm holds an annual twoday Technical Excellence Forum where the entire office gathers to discuss the firm’s latest exciting projects, best practices and emerging technologies. Through client satisfaction and engaging in a diverse set of projects, including healthcare, higher education, K-12 schools, office, high-rise, residential, laboratory, institutional and government projects, the firm has been fortunate to ride the ups and downs of the economy. The firm is poised to continue advancing the state of practice, while remaining true to their core values for the next generation.
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ICONS OF DOWNTOWN
California Preservation Award
HISTORIC LANDMARK I 50 UN PLAZA
CONCRETE TOWER I LONG BEACH CIVIC CENTER
SPORTS VENUE I L.A. MEMORIAL COLISEUM
MIXED USE I BROAD MUSEUM
HEALTH I STANFORD HOSPITAL ATRIUM
HOTEL I BEVERLY HILTON WALDORF ASTORIA
NABIH YOUSSEF STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS
Los Angeles 213. 362. 0707 San Francisco 415. 397. 5213 RESIDENTIAL CONCRETE TOWER WILSHIRE GAYLEY
UNIVERSITY I USC VILLAGE
RESIDENTIAL CONCRETE TOWER I PARK 5TH TOWER
MIXED USE I OLYMPIC TOWER
RESIDENTIAL/ENTERTAINMENT MIXED USE I VALLCO
Irvine 949. 263. 9920
ADAPTIVE REUSE I ACE HOTEL
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Meet the $25 Million Man Michael Banner Works to Bring New Dollars to California Main Street Businesses
FROM LOS ANGELES LDC orget Iron Man, Spiderman and Superman. Instead, meet the $25 Million Man who promotes Engage Borrow Invest. Michael Banner, a mild-mannered African American banker-turned-mission driven lender, is the new superhero. He proposes to transform the Main Street small business landscape to the tune of $100 million. Banner is president and CEO of the Los Angeles LDC, a community development financial advisory firm located in Downtown Los Angeles and known for its pioneering lending in the Old Bank District. His goal
is to use his market knowledge and finance skills to bring at least $100 million in new small business investments to many of California’s urban corridors. Banner, a nationally recognized expert in leveraging public and private capital to help save jobs, revitalize low-income neighborhoods and expand small businesses, has a good shot at meeting his ambitious goal. His specialty is structuring complex financial transactions, often with reluctant bankers, that pay off for the businesses he helps and the communities those businesses serve. With this new goal, Banner will use a corporate merger with the Southern California Business Development Corporation (SCBDC), a bank-owned, CRA-designated investment entity originally designed to encourage $10 million in private lending to businesses in the low-income community of South Los Angeles. The SCBDC was launched in 1993, with $4 million of equity, and sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The SCBDC was formed
before the creation of the U.S. Department of Treasury Community Development Financial Institution Fund. Under the Engage Borrow Invest recapitalization plan, SCBDC shareholders must approve a debt-for-equity swap to receive a 47% minority ownership stake in the newly formed Main Street BIDCO Capital, which is under formation, to operate as a State of California Business and Industrial Development Corporation (BIDCO). The BIDCO is a for-profit subsidiary of the Los Angeles LDC, a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt corporation. The primary mission of the Main Street BIDCO will mirror the “community development finance” mission of the Los Angeles LDC. Main Street BIDCO will use its capital, acquired primarily from regulated financial institutions, in its recapitalization to provide loans and other investments to small businesses and non-residential real estate ventures. “A BIDCO has few limitations and is allowed to invest in its own businesses, develop commercial real estate, provide financial advisory ser-
vices and purchase loans made by other mission-driven lenders,” says Banner. “I have been a leader in bringing capital into low-income and communities of color while leveraging our capital by at least 4X. The LDC has a successful track record with both big and small banks. Most recently, my advisory services team placed a $3.1 million community development loan for a minority-led social enterprise in the Crenshaw corridor with City National Bank. With a proven track record of success, I believe our $25 million target and 4:1 leveraging to $100 million is a ‘good bet,’” said Banner. Banner is an experienced commercial banker who is well known for his ability to put together successful deals that make a difference while benefiting Main Street businesses, non-profit corporations and real estate projects, and also generate market-rate returns for any community development-minded impact investor. Michael Banner may be contacted for further details at (213) 362-9111.
Make a Deal, Make a Difference! In 2000, our efforts in the Old Bank District ignited a $12 Billion wave of investment in DTLA. Now, we are focused on revitalizing corridors along the LA River and others, like Crenshaw Boulevard.
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ICONS OF DOWNTOWN
A Downtown Icon Turns 60 Pilgrim School Students Learn Who They Are, What They Love and Where They Belong From Pilgrim School n 2018, Pilgrim School will celebrate its 60th year as Downtown’s Independent School, and it’s the perfect time for new beginnings. New Head of School Paul I. Barsky is settling in and getting to know everyone. (He’s a new resident of Downtown and loves it.) The preschoolers love to sneak up and high five him, and he has already met individually with every senior to talk about their Pilgrim experience and their college plans. The Field of Dreams and a new underground parking structure are close to completion and the opening festivities are being planned. Soon it will be a new era for Pilgrim sports teams and there will be even more occasions for the Pilgrim family to show their school spirit at home games on the field. As Downtown’s Independent School, Pilgrim gives students easy access to the rich possibilities of Los Angeles. The diverse school community, which includes international students from the Mayflower House dormitory across the street, teaches inclusion and empathy organically. Pilgrim students are known for their
kindness, even on the sports field. Small classes, dedicated faculty and a warmly nurturing environment, combined with a rigorous, college-prep curric-
ulum in grades K-12, are the hallmarks of a Pilgrim education, and the heart of it all is the individual student. Pilgrim students learn who they are, what they love and
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where they belong. Technology is integrated into and across the curriculum beginning in Early Education, and Pilgrim students learn to balance computer screens, dedicated no-tech time and hands-on experimental techniques. The beautiful Brown Family Fine Arts Center and the Visiting Writers and Artists programs allow all students to participate in a truly immersive education in the fine arts. All students experience a wide range of curricular and extra-curricular possibilities, from Computer Programming to Art Portfolio Development, Environmental Sustainability to Aerospace Engineering, and AP Physics to Theater Arts. They have an extensive choice of sports teams and community service opportunities. Every Pilgrim student will find something new to explore, and many ways to be involved. A full 100% of Pilgrim graduates are carefully matched to the college or university that fits their individual profile, and they are equipped with the skills they will need to create their own unique life. As Head of School Barsky explains, “To me, the measure of our success is when an alumnus comes back at 40, 50 or 60 years old and tells us that they are living a joyful, fulfilling and meaningful life. That’s what a successful education looks like!” To learn more about Pilgrim School, call (213) 355-5211 or visit pilgrim-school.org.
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ICONS OF DOWNTOWN
DOWNTOWN AND DOWNTIME Whether you desire world-class cultural attractions, top-notch dining or a blissful night of sleep in our Heavenly® Bed, you’ll find it all here at The Westin Bonavenure Hotel and Suites. FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO MAKE A RESERVATION, VISIT WESTIN.COM/ BONAVENTURE OR CALL 213-624-1000
©2011–2013 Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Preferred Guest, SPG, Westin and their logos are the trademarks of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., or its affiliates. For full terms & conditions visit westin.com/bonaventure
Elegant and Iconic The Famed Westin Bonaventure Hotel Makes Its Mark on the Downtown L.A. Skyline From Westin Bonaventure Hotel legantly presiding over the City of Angels, The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites provides the ultimate urban oasis in the heart of the business district. An international symbol that has come to represent the beauty and sophistication of the city itself, the famous Westin Los Angeles hotel is one of the most photographed destinations in the world. Stroll through the atrium lobby and you’ll immediately see why. Whether you are visiting for a leisurely weekend getaway, a business meeting or a special event, the hotel’s deluxe accommodations define the essence of modern luxury. Enjoy spectacular skyline views, access to more than 40 specialty boutiques and restaurants, and unparalleled meeting facilities. Discover L.A.’s largest convention hotel — widely regarded as a “city within a city” — which is sure to surpass all expectations. An iconic attraction in its own right, this unique name in Downtown Los Angeles hotels beckons with an exceptional setting. Stunning Accommodations Within moments of arrival, guests can rest assured that their stay will be nothing short of remarkable. Enjoy an endless array of amenities, including the largest hotel spa in L.A., 19 distinct restaurants and lounges, and a beautifully landscaped outdoor pool deck. For business travelers and corporate event planners, the Bonaventure is proud to offer the largest ballroom in the city, fully complemented by first-class service. Expertly achieving the delicate balance between business and pleasure, each of the hotel rooms connects guests with an extraordinary host of features. The hotel features a six-story atrium with myriad specialty boutiques and
international restaurants, 1,358 guest rooms and suites with spectacular city views, and more than 110,000 square feet of meeting space. The Bonaventure has consistently gone to great lengths to provide the ultimate urban oasis. Giving Back and Staying Green The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites is proud to be L.A.’s first hotel to reach the environmental standards set by Green Seal, as it works to make Los Angeles a greener and healthier city. Guests can witness firsthand how the hotel is helping to ensure a better environment by reducing its carbon footprint through recycling programs, energy conservation and management, water conservation and more. The Westin Bonaventure continuously seeks to achieve a clean, healthy, safe and sustainable environment for guests, the community and future generations. The Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites is at 404 S. Figueroa St. For more information call (213) 624-1000 or visit thebonaventure.com.
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ICONS OF DOWNTOWN
FLIPPING AN INDUSTRY UPSIDE-DOWN An Immigrant Entrepreneur Leads DDC Group Inc. and ViceVerseLa.com
FROM DDC GROUP INC. AND VISAVERSALA.COM lava Borisov, founder and CEO of DDC Group Inc. and ViceVerseLa.com, started with humble beginnings. His parents immigrated with six kids looking for a better life. Borisov himself moved to Los Angeles when he was 23, looking to start his life. Los Angeles was experiencing a hard economic downturn at the time of his arrival. After struggling to find a job, even with his college degree, Borisov was forced to live in his car for a period of time. He was in Downtown Los Angeles before it was a hip destination. Yet he continued to persist, and after
six months he found an opportunity to start his life in Los Angeles. Since his first job in the corporate franchise industry, Borisov has managed and developed a commercial projects portfolio worth more than $105 million, and that spans 33 states and 17 countries. This was the foundation for starting his own commercial construction business, DDC Group Inc. DDC Group Inc. is a premier restaurant and retail developer that provides full service to clients from A to Z. DDC was born out of an understanding of how the franchise system in restaurants and retail works. DDC’s refined proprietary systems are proven to deliver consistent results in reducing costs, lessening a client’s timeline and maximizing revenues. Within three years, Borisov grew the company from zero to north of $11 million and 25 employees. “The first year was the toughest, getting traction and getting others to see your vision. But the metrics speak for themselves. This last year we have increased our revenues by 780%,” says Borisov. Out of the success of DDC Group Inc., and natural demand in the industry, ViceVersaLa.com was born. ViceVersaLa.com, a digital marketing agency based in Downtown Los Angeles, is building an open online community of passionate, creative and innovative digital entrepreneurs. The agency provides news, advice and services for entrepreneurs,
and operates on the concept that communities are everything, and if your mind and passion is in every project, there is nothing you can’t accomplish. “I can remember waking up at 5 a.m. and working till 12 p.m. every day. You have to just trust the process,” Borisov says. Borisov, now 29, serves as investor and CEO of Vice Versa media agency and the DDC Group. “It’s my ethos and vision to deliver white-glove service to our employees, clients and investors, in that order,” Borisov states. “Leaving a legacy for generations to come is something that we need to prioritize as entrepreneurs.” Contact Salva Borisov at (425) 503-4961 or slava@ ddcgroupinc.com.
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DTLA: Make It Yours The Downtown Center BID Continues to Lead the Evolution of DTLA FROM DOWNTOWN CENTER BID or almost two decades, the Downtown Center Business Improvement District (DCBID) has been a catalyst of the transformation of Downtown Los Angeles into a vibrant urban center. As it begins a new 10-year term, with the support of nearly 1,700 property owners, the DCBID remains committed to enhancing quality of life in the district for residents, workers, businesses and visitors. The DCBID’s highly visible “Purple Patrol” focuses on the community outreach, security and maintenance that keep the neighborhood safe, clean and welcoming to all. All team members receive enhanced training for responsive and responsible engagement, whether they are ambassadors providing maps and information to visitors or outreach teams assisting homeless individuals with access to services. Equally visible is the BID’s marketing, which has helped establish DTLA as a prime destination for shopping, dining, nightlife and entertainment. Leveraging DowntownLA.com — the top website for DTLA — as well as an active social media presence, the BID engages and informs the community, promotes local businesses and events, and advertises the DTLA brand throughout the region and beyond.
MAPS & GUIDES I EVENTS I RESTAURANTS MAPS & GUIDES I EVENTS I RESTAURANTS BUSINESS RESOURCES I RESEARCH & REPORTS
BUSINESS RESOURCES I RESEARCH & REPORTS
The DCBID’s economic development efforts help attract businesses, investment and development to the district. The leading source of information on the Downtown market, the BID publishes the must-read quarterly market reports and hosts popular tours of the area’s office, retail and residential sectors. Next up for the DCBID is “DTLA: Make It Yours,” a multifaceted campaign to engage and attract new residents and businesses and promote the community, culture and convenience that makes DTLA thrive. More information is at DowntownLA.com.
A Champion for Downtown Martha Saucedo Has Been a Driving Force At the Central City Association
CCA is committed to proactive leadership focused on advancing the development of Downtown Los Angeles by advocating for effective and thoughtful planning, supporting and attracting business, and enhancing the quality of life.” MARTHA SAUCEDO, CCA Chair and AEG Executive Vice President of External Affairs
FROM CENTRAL CITY ASSOCIATION artha Saucedo, AEG’s executive vice president of external affairs, served as Chair of the Central City Association’s Board of Directors from 2016-2017. Under her leadership, CCA expanded its role as the leading business advocate and coalition builder on issues that matter most to Downtown Los Angeles. During her two years as chair, Saucedo worked closely with CCA members and staff to redefine the organization’s vision for the future and establish a framework to develop new priorities to guide CCA’s advocacy work. She also helped launch a long-term strategic plan for the organization’s advocacy, influence and engagement work. Saucedo oversaw the executive search efforts to hire a new president and CEO for the organization, and also worked to bring
M CCA advances policies and initiatives that enhance Downtown’s vibrancy and increase investment in the region
a greater diversity of voices to CCA’s Board of Directors by adding seven new members from the broader Downtown community. Saucedo has been a devoted Downtown advocate and civic leader working to ensure that Downtown industries thrive. She represents AEG in all of their external affairs and oversees its corporate communications efforts, community affairs policies, charitable involvement and outreach for its development programs. Central City Association advances policies and initiatives that enhance Downtown Los Angeles’ vibrancy and increase investment in the region. CCA is the leading visionary on Downtown’s future and represents the interests of 400 businesses, trade associations and nonprofits that together employ more than 350,000 people in Los Angeles County. Visit ccala.org for more information.
NOVEMBER 13, 2017
DOWNTOWN NEWS 13
ICONS OF DOWNTOWN
“Thou Shalt Not Kill” A Letter from St. John’s Cathedral
From St. John’s Cathedral s an urban community of faith, St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral in Down town Los Angeles is no stranger to gun violence. Members of our congregation have been victims and have lost too many loved ones to gun violence. We weep with our brothers and sisters who have experienced unspeakable loss, we gather in prayer and then we stand up to take action. And yet the violence continues. With the anger, the sorrow, the reflection that follows each personal tragedy, each overwhelming mass shooting, we promise again and again to orchestrate a meaningful response to gun violence. As a community of faith you might imagine we find strength in scripture, you might imagine we find strength in community, you might imagine we have been offered some divine insight into the towering questions that ring out again and again, “Why? How? What can we do to make it stop?” We admit we know nothing more than you do. We admit we are not privy to any answers that make sense of prevailing gun violence and systemic social injustice. And yet we have made a vow. We will not be tempted to allow difficulty to define us or to defeat us. St. John’s Episcopal Cathedral has a long
history of activism from protesting violence in the Vietnam War to embracing our LGBTQ community to opening our doors to interfaith dialogue and our undocumented neighbors and our ongoing action against gun violence. We are a diverse and progres sive community where we welcome all to “belong before you believe.’” A banner, Thou Shalt Not Kill - Control Guns NOW is mounted on the front of the Cathedral at 514 West Adams Boulevard in Downtown Los Angeles, visible from both Figueroa and Flower streets. The Cathedral’s Prophetic Social Witness Committee chose the message “Thou Shalt Not Kill” to speak to the simplicity of our goal regarding gun violence. We, as a congregation and as individuals, imagine our relentless commitment to peaceful, prayerful action can make a difference and can remind our leaders, our legislators and our fellow citizens to consider guns and gun violence within the context of a simple law above all laws: “Thou Shalt Not Kill.” Father Mark Kowalewski, Dean and Rector, St. John’s Cathedral Father Dan Ade, Dean and Rector, St. John’s Cathedral Reverend Margaret Hudley McCauley Parish Deacon, St. John’s Cathedral
experience the sacred
About St. John’s: St. John’s is a progressive cross-cultural congregation with a long history of social activism that dates to opposition to the Vietnam War and continues through the current campaign’s stance against gun violence. The church serves as the Cathedral church of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles. It is located in Downtown Los Angeles, east of the corner of Figueroa and Adams boulevards, close to the University of Southern California and bordering Los Angeles’ historic West Adams district. The church, built in the Romanesque style, was completed in 1925.
At St. John’s, we share the beauty of ancient worship and traditional spiritual practice to transform contemporary urban lives. The Cathedral presented a concert, “Put Down Your Guns” by TONALITY, in 2017 and in 2016 presented a concert mass to honor vic tims of gun violence. The congregation has marked the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims and continues to join oth ers in nationwide action to end gun violence. For information including how to join our monthly march against gun violence contact St. John’s’ Cathedral Church at (213) 747-6285 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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14 DOWNTOWN NEWS
NOVEMBER 13, 2017
ICONS OF DOWNTOWN
A Love Letter to Downtown
AT THIS CHURCH
No borders divide, no walls exclude. We meet to serve, not to be served. Grace is our guide, and love is our goal. Everyone is welcomed, everyone is loved.
First United Methodist Church Has Served the Community Since 1863 FROM FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH ear Downtown Los Angeles, You are an icon. From a distance, your skyline is the one that draws our eye. Your history, beauty and legacy draw dreamers from all over the world. Your story is one of hope and promise. In 2012, a small piece of neon was found embedded in the walls of Clifton’s Cafeteria. It had been illuminated for 77 years, and hidden for nearly 63. This little miracle is a testament to the beauty and perseverance of Downtown Los Angeles’ character. You can see the hopeful responses to the injustices of the world as rallies and vigils and walks gather people together in the streets to shout love in the face of hate. Just like this neon, we are all singing with conviction: “This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!” Los Angeles First United Methodist Church has been a spiritual presence in Downtown since 1863. Our longtime mission has been to love God and our neighbor, and our history reflects our commitment to do good in all the ways we can. I am proud to serve a church that cares about advocacy, social justice and equality. If you’ve been seeking a church home, and are looking for a way to celebrate the iconic history and future of our city, we invite you to join us at First Church. We are working to
www.CityBeautifulLA.org When we open our hearts with grace for one and all Then we open our hearts to the City Beautiful.
Worship First Sundays at 10:30am
Los Angeles First United Methodist Church 1020 S Flower Street Los Angeles, CA 90015
show God’s love, grace and mercy to the city in all the ways we can. We take this work seriously, and would love to share it with you. Downtown, your light is shining in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. Here’s to all that is to come, Rev. Mandy Sloan McDow Senior Minister Los Angeles First United Methodist Church CityBeautifulLA.org
HOLIDAY GUIDE Published to coincide with Black Friday and the kickoff of the 2017 Holiday selling season, the Los Angeles Downtown News’ Holiday Guide special issue will outline the shopping, dining and entertainment choices that come with being Downtown for the Holidays!
Special Issue publishes November 20 FOR MORE INFO ON THIS SPECIAL ISSUE CALL 213-481-1448 1264 W. 1st ST., LOS ANGELES, CA 90026 downtownnews.com
NOVEMBER 13, 2017
Fashion Retailer to Take Over Million Dollar Theatre
hen the sale of the Grand Central Square complex was announced on Nov. 1, one question concerned the identity of the tenant slated to fill the Million Dollar Theatre. Now that has been revealed, as the fashion startup CoBird has inked a deal to lease the theater and its adjacent commercial spaces, taking up a total of 56,125 square feet. That area will serve mainly as creative office space, and there will be a retail component. The deal was made with the Yellin Company before it sold the complex at 307 S. Broadway — including Grand Central Market, the theater and the Grand Central Square Apartments — to Langdon Street Capital. The value of the deal was not disclosed, but the lease is for five years, according to Chandler Larsen, a senior associate at the real estate firm Avison Young, who along with Jonathan Larsen represented the Yellin Company in the transaction. The theater opened in 1918, and was built by Sid Grauman (of Egyptian and Chinese Theatre fame). CoBird’s plans for the theater itself have not been announced, and it is unknown whether public events will take place there; it currently is used sporadically for special events and film-
DOWNTOWN NEWS 15
ing. Although CoBird has not released any clothing lines, its offices are currently in the Times Mirror Square complex. The news was first reported by CoStar.
Pershing Square Ice Rink Returns for 20th Year
owntown Los Angeles gets an annual sign that winter is approaching this week, when ice skating returns to Pershing Square. Thursday, Nov. 16, marks the opening of the attraction that this year bears the name Bai Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square. Opening ceremonies take place at 11 a.m., with the shattering of an ice sculpture in honor of the rink’s 20th year in the heart of Downtown. The 7,200-square-foot rink will be open through Jan. 15, 2018, and more than 50,000 people are expected to strap on the blades during the two-month run. Special events include DJs on select Thursday evenings, a Disney Aladdin themed skate every Wednesday from 5:30-8 p.m., and curling lessons on Dec. 17 and Jan. 14. General admission is $13 and includes skate rentals. The rink is open 7 days a week. Pershing Square is at 532 S. Olive St. Additional information is at holidayicerinkdowntownla.com.
Run (or Walk) to End Homelessness
here are more than 57,000 homeless people in L.A. County, and the United Way
of Greater Los Angeles wants you to run — or walk — to address the problem. The 2017 HomeWalk is back in Downtown Los Angeles, at Grand Park on Saturday, Nov. 18. The 5K is a fundraiser, as participants are tasked with collecting donations from friends, family and co-workers. The proceeds will go to homeless services, programs and housing, and every $5,000 a participant raises will be matched by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Registration is $25 per person and the deadline to sign up online is noon this Friday. Those who miss the deadline can still show up on HomeWalk day to register and drop off donations, starting at 6:30 a.m. The path runs from Grand Park down Hill Street, across Eighth Street and up Los Angeles Street back to City Hall. Don’t want to walk or run? United Way needs more than 600 volunteers to work the event. Registration, volunteer sign-ups and more information is at homewalk.unitedwayla.org.
Regional Connector Opening Delayed to 2021
unneling for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Regional Connector, which will link area light rail lines in Downtown Los Angeles and create three new stations, has been progressing this year. Despite an anticipated finish date of December 2020, however, Metro now says delays are pushing the completion back a full year to December 2021. Complicated underground utility work is part of the problem, and unexpected costs have twice forced Metro’s board of di-
rectors to approve budget increases. The current $1.75 billion price tag is 28% higher than initially projected. The Regional Connector is composed of 1.9 miles of new tunnels between Union Station and Seventh Street Metro Center that will allow riders on the Expo, Blue and Gold lines to travel from Azusa to Long Beach, or Santa Monica to East L.A., without transferring. The project is raising new stations in Little Tokyo at First and Central, at Second and Broadway, and at Second and Hope streets. The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
More Housing in the Fashion District
he slow but steady residential revival in the Fashion District continues, as last week the team behind the Grether & Grether Lofts held the grand opening for the renovated structure. Real estate management and development firm the South Park Group originally announced the adaptive reuse project in 2014, and the building officially opened on Thursday, Nov. 9. The six-story project at 730 S. Los Angeles St. offers 72 live/ work units. The Grether & Grether Building originally opened in 1921 and has been designated a city historic landmark. David Gray Architects designed the renovation, and amenities include a fitness center, yoga studio and business center. The South Park Group is also turning a nearby building at 306 E. Eighth St. into a live/work structure. Leasing information is at gretherandgrether.com.
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16 DOWNTOWN NEWS
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NOVEMBER 13, 2017
TAKE MY PICTURE GARY LEONARD
The Opportunity at Angels Landing
he City of Los Angeles has a unique Downtown opportunity on its hands. It controls a strategically located parcel that a trio of developers is vying to get. Some very big, neighborhoodchanging visions are on the table. What will wind up on the 2.24-acre parcel known as Angels Landing? It will surely be something very tall with some space that is open to the public. It will offer access to a nearby rail station, and will be a destination for thousands of people, be they residents, visitors or students. Los Angeles Downtown News recently reported on the three proposals that have been proffered for the property near Fourth and Hill streets. Whatever rises here will alter the future, but also connect to the past — the site was once planned to hold the third California Plaza skyscraper, part of the 1970s and ’80s vision propelled by thenMayor Tom Bradley to re-imagine the Bunker Hill neighborhood as an office hub, in part to create job opportunities for African Americans in the wake of the 1965 Watts riots. While Downtown saw an unparalleled building boom, the market crashed before Cal Plaza III could be built. The land remained under the control of the CRA. Later the Angels Knoll Park would arrive. After Gov. Jerry Brown shuttered redevelopment agencies across the state, the Los Angeles CRA began unloading its properties. The City of L.A. gained control of the parcel and began looking for a developer. That led to a public bidding competition, with the three finalists and the opportunity: Local leaders can pick a winner who not only builds big and creates density, but who will offer elements that will benefit Downtown for decades to come. All three proposals are dynamic. Each team includes a veteran developer with a record of building in Downtown Los Angeles. The presence of Lowe Enterprises on one team, major Canadian and Downtown L.A. player Onni Capital on another, and the partnership of The Peebles Corporation, MacFarlane Partners and Claridge Properties on the third (each team also has an architect partner), indicates that all have a route to securing the required construction loans (at least until the next recession hits). Local leaders have seen the designs, but now comes the chance to better the neighborhood. This page strongly suggests requiring a chosen developer to set aside space for a charter elementary school on a long-term lease. If Downtown is to secure families, it needs more quality educational institutions. The troubles that Metro Charter Elementary has faced in finding a home shows how vital this need is. This tower also offers the opportunity to include workforce housing, residences affordable to mid-income earners such as teachers and administrative assistants. The city’s push for a linkage fee could lead to the creation of more affordable housing in future project, but Downtown desperately needs more units at workforce price points. Some should be here, on this currently city-owned property. A winner is expected to be chosen this month. We look forward to a project that benefits the community as well as the developer.
S I N C E 19 7 2
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Regarding the article “Three Developers Lay Out Visions for Angels Landing,” by Nicholas Slayton One proposal presents what would be a blocky eyesore which walls off Cal Plaza’s Watercourt and the view from there out over the Historic Core. —John Crandell True, one of the defining features of the Watercourt is the panoramic view of the Historic Core skyline. If the developer takes that away, then they need to put something very special in its place to compensate for the obstructed view. Perhaps more trees and landscaping or a big waterfall? —Whitman Lam I watched Cal Plaza II being erected in the summer of ’86 and through the following year. Later I saw the ridiculous funicular open and did not grasp why people would have wanted that reinstalled on the hillside. For the site of Cal Plaza III I envisioned a high-rise fronting Olive, Fourth and Hill streets with an escalator system from Hill Street up to Cal Plaza. I don’t have any preference for who would occupy the development; office, hotel or residential, while I feel the funicular should be dismantled. I prefer the construction reach the approximate heights of Cal Plaza I and II. —Jay Heldman
EDITOR: Jon Regardie SENIOR WRITER: Eddie Kim STAFF WRITER: Nicholas Slayton CONTRIBUTING EDITOR: Kathryn Maese CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Tom Fassbender, Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Emily Manthei
Angels Flight matters because in a world that takes everything for granted and values so little, it manages to make people care. It was the little train that conquered the hill that had blocked the city’s growth for a hundred years. It is an organic link between the Historic Core and Bunker Hill, between the Victorian city that was and a city that is always in the process of becoming. I can’t think of any other part of Los Angeles that has caused so many people to go out of their way to catch a glimpse or maybe go for a ride. Cities are much more than mere collections of buildings. Towers of glass and steel do not a city make. Great cities have dimension and scale. —JR Lorden
Hey You! Speak Up! Downtown News wants to hear from people in the community. If you like, or dislike, a story or editorial, let us know. Or weigh in on something you feel is important to the community. Participation is easy. Post a comment online at the bottom of any story, or go to downtownnews.com, scroll to the bottom of the page, and click the “Letter to the Editor” link. For guest opinion proposals, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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NOVEMBER 13, 2017
DOWNTOWN NEWS 17
Restaurant Buzz A New Chinatown Wine Bar, North African Flavors and More Food Happenings By Eddie Kim owling for Couscous: We’re living in an age where putting stuff in bowls is seemingly the hippest thing a fastcasual restaurant can do. That said, Palikao’s got a unique twist on the concept: The modest joint at Sixth and Los Angeles streets is serving warm bowls of fluffy couscous, topped with tender hunks of meat and vegetables. Couscous is a pastalike concoction traditionally made by rolling semolina with water into tiny pearls, to be steamed over a bubbling pot of stew; it’s considered the iconic dish of North Africa. At Palikao you can build your own bowl ($9) with a choice of proteins such as meatballs or spiced merguez sausage made with lamb, and vegetables including butternut squash, carrots, garbanzo beans and more. There’s also a gluten-free grain base. At 130 E. Sixth St., (213) 265-7006 or pali-kao.com.
Hawaiian Style: A broken mouth sounds awful, but in Hawaiian Pidgin slang the phrase “broke da mout’” is a good thing indeed, often exclaimed when something is so delicious you can hardly stop chowing down. So here comes Broken Mouth, a new casual restaurant on Ninth Street in the Fashion
District that specializes in the kind of comfort food that Hawaii locals know well. That does not mean traditional Hawaiian food. Instead, Broken Mouth features an all-day menu with a focus on the classic “plate lunch,” or a scoop of rice and potato-macaroni salad served with entrees such as Kahuku shrimp sauteed in lots of garlic and Korean-style “fritters” made with steak or chicken. There are other a la carte options (including a fried chicken sandwich), sides and even avocado toast, because if a restaurant opens in L.A. in 2017 without avocado toast, did it even open at all? At 231 E. Ninth St., (213) 418-9588 or eatbrokenmouth.com. Mixing It Up: While Clifton’s is one of Downtown’s most memorable venues, this page has not been impressed with the cocktails served in its halls. That may change with the arrival of bar wizard Beau du Bois, who is set to overhaul the drinks program. Du Bois has been shaking and mentoring for six years at Mar Vista’s excellent The Corner Door, and now he’s tasked with building the menu for the secretive basement bar Shadowbox, as well as the busy Gothic Bar, Monarch Bar and Pacific Seas. His cocktails will better fit each bar’s theme and vibe, and we’re excited to see how Shadowbox unfolds when it opens next
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year, considering that Clifton’s owner Andrew Meieran has hyped it as a theatrical, one-ofa-kind cocktail experience. The news was first reported by the website Eater L.A. At 648 S. Broadway, (213) 627-1673 or cliftonsla.com. Feeling Baked: Scott Tremonti has been slinging pizzas from a food truck for years, but he has now settled into a brick-and-
mortar location for The Urban Oven. It’s the first sit-down restaurant at The Bloc since the opening of District inside the Sheraton hotel, and the menu focuses on personal pies in either 10-inch or 13-inch formats. Prices range from the low teens to just under $20, with flavor combinations including prosciuttoleek with fontina cheese or the “Tre Verde” with kale, asparagus and green onion. There Continued on page 22
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NOVEMBER 13, 2017
What Does Downtown Need, Yuval Bar-Zemer? An Early Arts District Developer Opines on the Changing Neighborhood By Eddie Kim t the turn of the millennium, the Arts District was a sleepy neighborhood with relatively few residents and almost no nightlife. That made it perfect for Yuval Bar-Zemer, who had previously upgraded old buildings in Santa Monica and San Diego, among other locales. Soon he and partners Paul Solomon and Leonard Hill of the firm Linear City came across a lovely brick building at Industrial and Mateo streets. They hatched a $25 million plan to transform it into a live-work complex with condominiums, but few people believed they could (or should) pull off such an ambitious project in the neighborhood. “To me, it was pretty obvious,” Bar-Zemer says. “For 25 years the Arts District had attracted creative people into unique, formerly industrial spaces. The risk was convincing others this was doable.” The Toy Factory Lofts debuted in 2004, and Bar-Zemer and Hill would go on to create the Biscuit Company Lofts and The Elysian near Dodger Stadium (Hill passed away in 2016). Bar-Zemer still lives in the Arts District and has become a vocal stakeholder and advo-
Yuval Bar-Zemer is a developer and property owner who helped kick-start the residential evolution of the Arts District more than a decade ago. He continues to advocate for community priorities.
cate with his hands in political issues, community building and more. Rough Start: Linear City saw potential, but went through about 40 different banks trying to get financing for its first project. “People said politely, and not so politely, that we were… off the bend, if you will,” Bar-Zemer says. Time has proved the Linear City team right. The opening of the Toy Factory Lofts began shifting the character of Industrial Street. A cluster of small businesses catering to everyday needs followed, which helped make walking and biking the norm. “After a number of years, there was a quality of life here that doesn’t exist elsewhere in L.A.,” Bar-Zemer says. “People had voted with their checkbooks, despite the vagrants and prostitutes on the block.” Changing Tides: Bar-Zemer was surprised at how quickly prices rose. Toy Factory units had started around $325 per square foot; by the time Linear City’s Biscuit Company Lofts across the street opened two years later, homes were selling for around $500 per
photo by Gary Leonard
square foot. That success has been a double-edged sword in Bar-Zemer’s mind, and he bristles at the swell of suburban-style apartments springing up around the Arts District. He sees a unique community that deserves struc-
tures built to last, with an emphasis on fostering the neighborhood’s creative and manufacturing history. Bar-Zemer is among a group of stakeholders who have been deeply critical of recent city efforts to change zoning laws in the district.
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“A lot of developers outside of L.A. or from elsewhere in California, they see an opportunity to capitalize,” he says. “Dozens of large residential developers began talking to elected officials, convincing them that this place is primed for growth. But this inflates the land value, and other uses, studios and the arts and manufacturing, they’re priced out.” Leading the Charge: Bar-Zemer has been embroiled in plenty of fights, including as a plaintiff in a lawsuit against the former Arts District Business Improvement District; pushing back against a plan to build a bulky Metropolitan Transportation Authority maintenance building by the Sixth Street Viaduct; and negotiating with the city on zoning plans for the neighborhood. He doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon. “I often question my sanity for being so deeply involved in these battlegrounds, but you rarely find an opportunity in your life where you witness history so closely, seeing an entire environment and community change,” he says. Bar-Zemer has been impressed by the energy of other stakeholders in the still-small residential community, observing that some people will even skip work to testify at City Hall. That spirit is something he hopes never disappears from the Arts District. Three Favorites: Arts District Dining: “I shop for groceries at Urban Radish, and I love to have a sand-
DOWNTOWN NEWS 19
wich at Bread Lounge and Daily Dose regularly. My favorite restaurant of all time, of course, is Bestia.” The L.A. River: “It’s just a stone’s throw away from me and a great environment. Of course it’s all concrete, but there’s still a lot of natural life, and a beautiful sense of quiet.” Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles: “They have no commercial agenda, but the organization understands art as a relevant message, a response to the world around us.” So what does Downtown Need, Yuval Bar-Zemer? “I see a big challenge of a lot of young people who have a baby, and when that baby turns 5, they realize that our urban offerings for taking care of families are pretty limited. And I think Downtown could benefit from getting more academic institutions to build campuses or satellite space here. If we fill Downtown with researchers, students, teachers, that’s the fuel of the future. “Also, mobility. We strangled ourselves as a city with a suburban model of living, to move away, get a house, buy a car, and commute. We haven’t really changed how we move around in Downtown, but innovation is going to redefine that. “And finally, art and creativity. The surge and variety of new art institutions here, one from a rich philanthropist, a rich commercial gallery, and a small nonprofit, should be a priority for every urban center.” email@example.com
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20 DOWNTOWN NEWS
NOVEMBER 13, 2017
The Emergence of Sneaker Row Can Four Big Stores Survive in a Two-Block Stretch of Broadway? By Nicholas Slayton n July, the shoe company Vans announced that it intended to open an 8,000-square-foot flagship store at 806 S. Broadway, inside a 1930 property known as the Singer Sewing Building. Downtown Los Angeles is a far cry from the
shoe line’s surf and skating roots, but clearly executives at the Costa Mesa-based Vans see economic potential in the area. They are not the only ones. When the Vans shop debuts in mid-2018, it will be the fourth shoe and sneaker store in a two-block stretch. These aren’t small storefront spaces. The
The shoe stores Footaction and Sheikh are next to each other in the 700 block of Broadway. Two more big sneaker shops are coming to the street.
photo by Gary Leonard
Vans spot will be a showcase for the company’s wears. Another store will have a basketball court on the roof. In 2015, Sheikh Shoes, which has 79 locations in California, opened a bright, high-ceilinged spot at 745 S. Broadway. Last December, Footaction opened next door at 749 S. Broadway. Shelves of the latest shoes lined up in front of white walls dominate the space. The trend continued in May, when Foot Locker announced that it would open a flagship store for its Jordan brand in the 1928 building at 620 S. Broadway. The three-story edifice that once housed Schaber’s Cafeteria will have its roof turned into a basketball court. The Vans announcement raises a number of questions, including why so many stores that seem to have an overlap in goods are coming to the same area. Can four shops that specialize in sneakers all survive? In regards to the first question, Downtown retail leasing expert Derrick Moore noted that one retailer’s success tends to draw in others. There’s a “one after the other” element, said Moore, a principal at the brokerage firm Avison Young. (He did not work on any of the deals for the shoe stores.) “Once one retailer in a particular category has done the due diligence and confirmed a location, and more importantly the performance numbers show they are indeed generating sales, then other retailers follow,” Moore said. Ada Maldonado, manager of the Downtown Sheikh, said she’s not surprised by the new arrivals. She said that Sheikh and Footaction were building out their stores at the same time, and she expected those openings would attract other retailers. Another element to the cluster is the number of vacancies in enticing spaces on Broadway, a street that in general has heavy foot traffic. Many of the structures were originally built as department stores and are laid out in a way that is attractive to retailers, Moore said. Rents on that stretch of Broadway range from $3-$10 per square foot, depending in
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DOWNTOWN NEWS 21
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The former Schaber’s Cafeteria at 620 S. Broadway is being transformed by Foot Locker into a showcase for its Jordan brand. The three-story building will have a rooftop basketball court.
part on if they are at corners or in the middle of the block, he added. Steve Needleman, head of the Anjac Fashion Co., which owns several buildings on Broadway, including the Singer Sewing Machine structure, agreed that retailers do follow one another, but added that another draw is the existing clientele in Downtown. More people are moving to the Central City and young consumers are looking to shop locally, he said, so stores are coming to them. More Stores The sneaker shops are not the first chain stores to stake a claim on Broadway. Ross Dress for Less opened an outlet at 719 S. Broadway in March 2013 and Urban Outfitters filled a 10,000-square-foot space in the former Rialto Theater in December of that year. A Gap Factory Store arrived the following December at 737 S. Broadway. Broadway also isn’t the only place in Downtown to attract a footwear retailer built around big displays of high-end brands. Nice Kicks opened a street away in a two-story space at 862 S. Main St. in July 2016. The new stores are a far cry from sneaker shops found in shopping malls. The Broadway Footaction houses a Nike Kicks Lounge, which sells items such as Nike Air Force 1s or KD 9s. In addition to the basketball court, the planned Jordan store will have a fitness room. Needleman, part of a family that has been active on the street for decades, expects other retailers coming to Broadway will try to set themselves up as “destination stores” with special events or features. “They can’t just be setting up racks of clothing. They have to draw in the public,” Needleman said. “I think we’ll see more of that in the future.” Justin Weiss, a retail broker and vice president with the firm Kennedy Wilson, agreed, noting that Broadway benefits from its history and building layout. Weiss (who also did not work on any of the shoe store deals), said this clustering of footwear retailers ties into a loose collection of “lifestyle” retailers around Ninth Street and Broadway such as Acne, Mykita and BNKR. The shoe stores, he added, are helping to fill out the middle portion of the street. Rather than cannibalize each other, Weiss believes that more activity along Broadway will benefit existing tenants. Maldonado agreed, saying that when Footaction opened next to Sheikh, her store started seeing additional traffic. “People see more choices,” Maldonado said. “Hopefully more retail stores will join us.” When it comes to success, Weiss said, in-store sales must be considered along with marketing and exposure over the long-term. As the street sees more options, and thus draws more people, stores will benefit by being on Broadway. firstname.lastname@example.org
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22 DOWNTOWN NEWS
NOVEMBER 13, 2017
Union Rescue Mission Avoids Financial Peril
RESTAURANTS, 17 are also a few salads, some sides and a pair of mean-looking meatball and porchetta sandwiches. At 700 S. Flower St., (213) 223-5980 or theurbanoven.com. Dog Days: Hot dogs aren’t just for ball games and post-show munchies on the sidewalk. Say hello to Drunk Dog Cafe, a shop by Pershing Square that specializes in all sorts of wieners. It quietly opened in September and has more than a dozen hot-dog combinations, ranging from the namesake Drunk Dog (sausage, roasted peppers, a beer-infused tomato sauce, onion and pickle) to the terrifying Fat Dog, featuring sausage, a melty slice of American cheese, pastrami, bacon, chili, more shredded cheese and garlic spread. Everything’s under $10, and there’s also a case of pastries and bagels for those on the run. Do note that Drunk Dog is only open on weekdays from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. At 606 S. Olive St., (213) 761-7640 or drunkdogcafe.com. Wine Time: Things are-a-changin’ in Chinatown, and the latest evidence is the arrival of a photogenic little wine bar called Oriel, which sits under the Gold Line tracks in a reworked space next to Pho Hoa. It’s the newest project from Dustin Lancaster, who’s an expert at hip little neighborhood wine bars (see: Covell, Augustine, Hermosillo, etc.). He’s teamed with business partner Michael Blackman and GM Alain Jeu (Bar Marmont) in a space that’s laid-back and pretty, with white brick walls, a gleaming white stone bar and a magenta-colored floor that casts a warm hue. As for the food and drink, well, it’s very French. The menu is all bistro classics like steak tartare, onion soup, croque-madame sandwiches and escargots. The wine list is all French, and the short list of brews consists of Kronenbourg 1664, Chimay Dorée, Blanche de Bruxelles, and Celt Brittany Cider. Congratulations to Belgium, at least, for breaking the Francophile barrier. The bar is open from 5 p.m.-midnight on weekdays and until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. At 1135 N. Alameda St., (213) 235-9419 or orielchinatown.com. Got juicy food news? Email email@example.com
Fundraising Campaign Means No Layoffs, and a New Facility for Women By Eddie Kim he financial situation for the Union Rescue Mission, the largest shelter for homeless people in Skid Row, was looking dire in the summer. After seeing a 23% drop in charitable giving in the fiscal year that ended in June, the nonprofit faced a mandate from its board to raise enough money by Sept. 30 to fall within 15% of the budget for the next year — or face a cut of $1 million. That cut would have led to 10 staff members being laid off and the mission no longer accepting women or families with children, said URM President and CEO Andy Bales. A furious campaign in September, however, inspired a rush of giving, including a surprise bequest of $243,000. The identity of the owner was not revealed. “With seven days to go, we thought we weren’t going to make it,” Bales said. “But surprises happen. We actually ended up $500,000 over our target.” Bales is now moving forward with plans to build a semi-permanent tent structure in the rear parking area of the facility at 545 S. San Pedro St. to accommodate 200 single homeless women. About 100 women will be moved over from the makeshift cot set-up in the shelter’s chapel, while other women will be coming off the streets. The new structure will have bathrooms, showers and security, and it is expected to open on Dec. 3. The current budget allots for the tent to stay up through March 3, but Bales said he hopes to raise enough money to keep it operational throughout 2018. Union Rescue Mission is one of two overnight shelters in Skid Row that accepts women, with the alternative being the Midnight Mission, which debuted 42 emergency
Union Rescue Mission President and CEO Andy Bales said the Skid Row facility plans to build a semi-permanent tent in its parking lot to accommodate 200 single homeless women. photo by Gary Leonard
shelter beds for women this spring. The Los Angeles Mission and Weingart Center have waitlists for longer-term recovery programs for women, and the Downtown Women’s Center offers 119 permanent supportive housing apartments, but no emergency overnight shelter. There are 7,386 homeless people in City Council District 14, which covers most of Downtown, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. There were 2,036 homeless women in CD 14, a 33% increase over 2016 numbers. Looking toward the future, Union Rescue Mission plans to create a satellite housing facility in South L.A. The organization launched a capital campaign about seven months ago to build an 81-unit structure for families with children near Compton. The initial goal was $29 million, but the estimated costs for the land and building have risen to about $43 million on a parcel that URM is negotiating to purchase, Bales said. firstname.lastname@example.org
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DOWNTOWN NEWS 23
Constant Creation, With a City in a Bottle
The exhibit re-creates “Kandor-Con 2000,” which was Kelley’s first dive into the Kandors.
Hauser & Wirth Show Digs Into Mike Kelley’s Fascination With Superman By Nicholas Slayton ike Kelley was a giant in the contemporary art world. Living and working in the Los Angeles area for most of his career, the mixed-media artist was known for subverting and re-examining ideas of childhood memories, office environments and other topics. Before his suicide at the age of 57 in 2012, Kelley had turned to a different source of inspiration: Superman comics, and in particular the Bottle City of Kandor. One of his last major creative outputs drew from that, as Kelley took an aspect of the Superman mythos and filtered it through his own ideas of reinterpretation and constant change. The pieces in that series are now on display in Downtown. The Arts District’s Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles gallery recently opened Mike Kelley: Kandors 1999-2011. The free show, which runs through Jan. 21, collects sculptures, installations, videos and drawings. It serves as both a look at Kelley’s fascination with evolving design, and as a colorful, entrancing group of retro-futuristic pieces. This is the first major public exhibition of
Kelley’s Kandors, according to Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Senior Director Stacen Berg. The show is at the gallery due to in part to Kelley’s connection to Los Angeles, Berg said. The inspiration comes from the Superman story of Kandor, a city from the hero’s home world of Krypton that was shrunk
and kept in a bottle by the villain Brainiac before the planet exploded. Kelley was fascinated by the concept, as the look of the city changed frequently in the comics, depending on the artist. To Kelley, Kandor represented continual evolution, according to John C. Welchman, board chair of the Mike
A new exhibit at the Hauser & Wirth gallery in the Arts District digs into the late artist Mike Kelley’s fascination with Kandor, a city in a bottle that appeared in Superman comic books. Kelley worked to reinterpret the city, the same way that various artists created different versions of Kandor in the comics.
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Kelley Foundation for the Arts. The project started in 1999, according to Mary Clare Stevens, executive director of the foundation. Kelley envisioned “Kandor-Con 2000” as a multimedia collaborative event. In addition to his installation, he wanted an online forum where fans could add to, enhance and mold how Kandor was visualized. With limited funds that never happened, and the original Kandor-Con 2000 was solely a physical happening. “He wanted to do this interactive piece that brought together fans, that would begin to reconstruct in virtual space the various versions of Kandor,” Stevens said. Paging Sylvia Plath Mike Kelley grew up in Detroit, and participated in the city’s music scene in the 1970s before moving to Los Angeles and getting a graduate degree at the California Institute of the Arts. He went on to be a driving force in contemporary art, working in a variety of media. The Kandors exhibit starts in Hauser and Wirth’s north gallery with a re-creation of the original show nearly two decades ago. Continued on page 26
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NOVEMBER 13, 2017
‘Caught’ in a Ruse Immersive Play in Think Tank Gallery Keeps Audiences Questioning What’s Real By Nicholas Slayton he Fashion District’s Think Tank Gallery recently opened an exhibit dedicated to radical and subversive art from China. District 798 features Los Angeles artists commissioned by the gallery to create pieces inspired by the Xiong Collective, an underground artistic and political movement in Beijing, the exact size of which is unknown. The collective’s most well known member is Lin Bo, a conceptual street artist who was jailed for two years. Lin has since been released and will be in Downtown Los Angeles to offer guided tours of the work and to discuss the artistic and political strains in the roughly two dozen pieces. It’s an intriguing concept, except… Lin Bo is not real. The Xiong Collective is not real. District 798 isn’t real, although visitors to the gallery will be seeing real and new pieces by artists who have worked with Think Tank in the past. Confused yet? District 798 is part of Caught, an immersive piece of theater making its Los Angeles debut in the Maple Avenue space. The 2014 play written by Christopher Chen is a paranoia-inducing exploration about what is real and how the framing of a story and message matters.
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Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar, Caught debuted last month and runs Thursdays-Sundays through Dec. 10 (barring a break during the Thanksgiving week). The Obie Award-winning show is being presented in an actual art gallery for the first time; previously it was mounted in pop-up galleries or theaters. “Christopher Chen has played on people’s knowledge of Chinese art and Chinese politics,” said Louis Ozawa Changchien, who plays Lin in Caught. “There are layers upon layers in this that start to unfold as it goes.” From the second guests walk through the gallery’s doors, they’re in the show. The “cast” and props aren’t readily apparent; audience members simply interact with each other, as well as the art show’s curator and Lin, who will speak about the art and the Xiong Collective. Lin, fully aware of the crackdown on dissent and speech in China, is there to talk to gallery visitors about the current state of protests in Beijing. “I like to think the audience is well taken care of,” Changchien said, breaking into an ominous laugh. There’s a certain mischievousness to the staging, according to producer Steven Klein, whose Firefly Theater is staging the show with Vs. Theatre and the gallery. That’s because the audience will have no idea who in
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sion, not theater. The art in the gallery is professional, Patterson said. The four artists involved worked in a variety of mediums, from video to painting. Think Tank Gallery chose cross-cultural artists whose works reflect internal or social tensions, including a Mexican-American artist and one of Japanese-Brazilian descent. Doing a play always requires a great amount of skill and preparation, Changchien said, but the immersive concept adds element of danger. The actor, who played Lin in the first Off-Broadway production in New York City last year, added that everyone who is part of Caught has to be in character the moment doors open, before the “show” begins.
“I like to think of this as a magic trick. There are people at the show who know me, either personally or from my work, and people who are meeting me for the first time,” Changchien said. “It can be a tricky to negotiate, but it’s also like doing magic close up.” Klein said that setting the play in a gallery provides a more active element to theater. With this kind of show, he added, audience members get into a situation where disbelief is suspended and they feel fully immersed in the unfolding story and all of its layers, even if they don’t know what’s true. Caught runs through Dec. 10 at Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., (916) 670-3801 or thinktank.gallery. firstname.lastname@example.org
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In Caught, reality is called into question during a gallery show hosted by a famous artist and curator.
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Guests are met by a banner, a centerpiece sculpture and framed images of the city of Kandor’s varying look from the comics, which are mounted on a wall. A monitor near the entrance features a video of a man in a Superman outfit quoting Sylvia Plath’s “The Bell Jar,” mixing a symbol of hope and the American spirit with deeply personal words about alienation and isolation. A constant in the gallery is the presence of two architecture students who sit in a corner, making new models to add to the center dais. This is intended to show the “never-ending production” Kelley wanted, according to Bennett Simpson, senior curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art.
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photo courtesy the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts and Hauser & Wirth
Mike Kelly’s Kandor pieces range from sculptures to video installations.
The bulk of the exhibit is in the following rooms, dimly lit to house “Kandors Full Set (2005-2009),” a collection of 21 models of the city and 21 bottles, all illuminated from below by a rainbow of colors. Unlike the Kandor of the comics, the shrunken cities are actually outside of their bottles, mounted around the space, while the cases are grouped together in the center of the room. The remaining space collects larger installations and video projections of the cities trapped inside the containers. These emphasize the imprisoned nature of Kandor’s residents, and present maddening glimpses of a constrained existence. “It’s classic Mike Kelley,” Simpson said. “He looks beyond the surface of this ostensibly happy story to find something that’s darker and more psychological about loss and alienation and the disappearance from home.” The final piece in the exhibit, “Kandor 10B (Exploded Fortress of Solitude),” references Superman’s base of operations in the Arctic that houses the bottle city. Chunks of rock and a cave are laid out in the gallery. The dark hall is lit in part by a model of the city and also by “Vice Anglais,” a Kelley video work that is set in a cave and here is projected on a screen. While the depraved debauchery of the video — think the perverted crimes from A Clockwork Orange meets the aesthetics of a camp Shakespearian production — unfolds, visitors can wander through the ruins of the fortress, working their way to the center where they find the last model of the city. Stevens and Simpson said that caves were a frequent motif in Kelley’s later work, along with color and light. In displaying everything from the initial convention to the final massive installation, Hauser & Wirth’s exhibit shows how Kelley himself reinterpreted a project dedicated to constant reinterpretation. Mike Kelley: Kandors 1999-2011 runs through Jan. 21 at Hauser and Wirth Los Angeles, 901 E. Third St., (213) 943-1620 or hauserwirthlosangeles.com. firstname.lastname@example.org
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BY DAN JOHNSON CALENDAR@DOWNTOWNNEWS.COM
photo by Robert Millard
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SPONSORED LISTINGS What Is Scientology? Church of Scientology of Los Angeles, 4810 W. Sunset Blvd., (323) 953-3206 7 p.m. every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday: What is Scientology? Find out for yourself by attending recorded lectures by L. Ron Hubbard available at the Church of Scientology of Los Angeles. Call now to reserve your seats.
ROCK, POP & JAZZ
Ace Hotel 929 S. Broadway, (213) 623-3233 or acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles. Nov. 15, 7:30 p.m.: The Ace Hotel hosts Iranian sensation Yasmin Levy. Nov. 19, 8 p.m.: French-Cuban sensations Ibeyi. Au Lac/Café Fedora 710 W. First St., (213) 617-2533 or aulac.com. Nov. 17: Ada Bird Wolfe. Nov. 18: Kellye Gray.
In keeping with a tradition of honoring seminal musicians, the Grammy Museum has embarked on a nearly year-long tribute to one of the greatest figures in jazz history. Chasing Trane, which opens Friday, Nov. 17, explores John Coltrane as a force of his time and as an influence beyond it. You can expect a retinue of physical artifacts, but those play second sax, as it were, to a bevy of footage and media attesting to Trane’s control of his craft; you’ll walk away understanding that he was not just a musician, but something of a musical philosopher. The Grammy Museum is open seven days a week so as to satiate your love supreme for John Coltrane. At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or grammymuseum.org.
Ordinary discussions of parasites in Downtown Los Angeles are typically limited to nervous queries about tapeworms and the purchase of bed bug bombs. Rare it is that feeding off of a host is treated as a noble endeavor. Enter Adrian Villar Rojas, the Argentinian artist who has latched on to the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA for the recently opened and lauded installation Theater of Disappearance. The work, which is up through next May, draws from the life force of MOCA itself, as visitors are treated to a show of supposed sculpture that is itself a portal into a larger critique of museum, place, culture and society at large. Look, think, repeat. At 152 N. Central Ave., (213) 626-6222 or moca.org.
photo by Valerie Huffman Herring
If, on the other hand, you prefer your jazz musicians to be living and performing, then Union Station has you covered. On Friday, Nov. 17, from 4-6 p.m., the waiting room at Downtown’s iconic Streamline Moderne rail hub is hosting experimental jazz trombonist Phil Ranelin. Unlike a ticket away from this place, the show is free and guaranteed to give you lasting pleasure. Ranelin, by the way, has been performing in L.A. since the 1970s, so pay heed to the top-notch musician and bandleader. At 800 N. Alameda St. or unionstationla.com.
The name Placido Domingo is synonymous with operatic excellence. The tenor’s career has been marked with unparalleled talent and opportunity that has carried him far and wide. He is currently performing Downtown in Nabucco, and on Friday, Nov. 17, the L.A. Opera commemorates the anniversary of the very day on which Domingo stepped on stage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for the first time. At 7:30 p.m., a 50th anniversary concert brings a bevy of superlative opera voices bulwarked by a few unlikely choices including Kristen Chenoweth and Garth Brooks. Tickets were still available at press time. At 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8001 or laopera.org.
photo courtesy Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14 Dan Ariely at Live Talks Business Forum Gensler, 500 S. Figueroa St., or business.livetalksla.org. 8:15 p.m.: The Duke professor and one time Ted Talker has a monetary wisdom tome called “Dollars and Sense.” He’ll talk about it with Jeff Kreisler at this morning breakfast event. Jeanne Blasberg at the Last Bookstore 453 S. Spring St., (213) 488-0599 or lastbookstorela.com. 8 p.m.: Blasberg’s latest work, “Eden,” is a soul-plumbing tale of adoption and acceptance. The author will read from her work before a live audience. Oaxaca’s Third Gender at Aloud Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or lfla.org. 7:15 p.m.: Anthropology and gender studies merge in the study of ancient androgyny in Central Mexico. THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 16 Is China Prepared to Lead the Global Economy? at Zocalo Public Square National Center for the Preservation of Democracy, 111 N. Central Ave., or zocalopublicsquare.org. 7:30 p.m.: We’re sure the experts will fill you in on this, but America is one serious Naval defeat and a shortage of semi-conductors away from being a second-rate power in the Pacific. Janet Fitch at Aloud Central Library, Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or lfla.org. 7:30 p.m.: The “White Oleander” author discusses her latest, “The Revolution of Marina M.” FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 17 Danny Katch at the Last Bookstore 453 S. Spring St., (213) 488-0599 or lastbookstorela.com. 7:30 p.m.: Avowed socialist Katch dishes on his book “Why Bad Governments Happen to Good People.” Tina Brown at Live Talks Business Forum Gensler, 500 S. Figueroa St., or online at business. livetalksla.org. 8:15 p.m.: The should be super fun: The editor-in-chief at the Daily Beast, and the former masthead topper at the New Yorker, has a book about her time heading another esteemed publication, Vanity Fair. This is another Live Talk breakfast event. SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 18 Seven Things I’ve Learned: An Evening with Ira Glass Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, (213) 623-3233 or acehotel.com/calendar/losangeles. 7 and 10 p.m.: The renowned “This American Life” host delivers in a program sponsored by KPCC.
DOWNTOWN NEWS 27
photo by Lindsey Byrnes
NOVEMBER 13, 2017
How much of a racket can two grown men make? You’ll find out when Death From Above come to L.A. Live’s The Novo on Wednesday, Nov. 15. In case you are unfamiliar, this is the Canadian noise punk tandem whose members have been on a 16-year crusade to redeem the pop rock canon from itself. Though the duo has occasionally focused on their respective side projects, the guys came back together to deliver their enduring brand of confrontational ensemble-play with the timely LP Outrage! Is Now. It might get loud with Sebastien Grainger and Jesse F. Keeler, but that’s a good thing. At 800 W. Olympic, (213) 765-7000 or thenovodtla.com.
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28 DOWNTOWN NEWS
LAST CHANCE FOR ‘BRIGHT STAR’
photo by Craig Scwartz
Belasco 1050 S. Hill St., (213) 746-5670 or thebelasco.com. Nov. 17: If you’d have told us in the year 2000 that by 2017 Donald Trump would be president and Blues Traveler would still be touring, we’d have laughed you out of the room. Blue Whale 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., (213) 620-0908 or bluewhalemusic.com. Nov. 13: Victor Franco San Pedro Group. Nov. 14: Chase Jackson. Nov. 15: Isamu McGregor Group. Nov. 16: Gillian Margot, Geoffrey Keezer, Terreon Gully & Ben Shepherd. Nov. 17: Daniel Rotem Group. Nov. 18: The Baylor Project. Nov. 19: Gato Libre with Kappa Maki, Satoko Fujii and Neko Jaras. Bootleg Bar 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or bootlegtheater.org. Nov. 13: LAPD returns. You know that’s not the cops, right? Nov. 14: Failing all else, Van William has an impeccable jawline. Nov. 15: Is Radiator Hospital an elaborate “Jeopardy” style allusion to garages and garage rock? You decide. Nov. 16: Plenty of sonic nostalgia with The Dip. Nov. 17: QTY is the sound of edgy malaise working itself out. Nov. 18: Alejandro Escovedo is a legend among people un-susceptible to the allure of masscult. Exchange LA 618 S. Spring St., (213) 627-8070 or exchangela.com. Nov. 16: Must Die. Nov. 17: Will Clarke. Nov. 18: Camelphat. Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or grammymuseum.org. Nov. 13: Hey it’s Carlos Vives in what will surely be a lively event. Nov. 14: Rockability royalty will be in the house that Grammy built as Wanda Jackson graces the theater with her presence. Mayan 1038 S. Hill, (213) 746-4287 or clubmayan.com. Nov. 19: Brujeria hits the Mayan. Microsoft Theatre 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6030 or microsofttheeatre.com. Nov. 19, 5 p.m.: The American Music Awards is here. Moroccan Lounge 901 E. First St. or online at themoroccan.com. Nov. 13: Roadkill Ghost Choir are moving past the Americana revival to embrace what we’ll call maturity. Nov. 14: Neil Hilborn reminds us that slam poetry is still more fun than paper cuts. Nov. 15: With Michael Rault you get Burger Records and with Burger Records you get the guarantee of at least one zany free spirit in the house. Nov. 16: Dance With the Dead and Gost are horror electro? Nov. 17: It’s night 2 of Curls’ three-night go at the Moroccan over three months. Nov. 18-19: If I The Mighty are coming down from the Bay Area. Orpheum Theatre 842 Broadway, (877) 677-4386 or laorpheum.com. Nov. 17: You better bet yah-mo be there for Michael McDonald. Resident 428 S. Hewitt St. or (323) 316-5311 or residentdtla.com. Nov. 13: Astronautalis and Chris Farren. Nov. 15: Walker Lukens, Dang Clets and Bellsaint. Nov. 16: Helms Alee, MGR and Andraus. Nov. 17: Juke Joint with Jackie Jackson. Nov. 18: Jacob Metcalf, Gregory Uhlmann and Bright Whistles. Nov. 19: The Future Is Fluid. Seven Grand 515 W. Seventh St., (213) 614-0737 or sevengrand.la. Nov. 14: If The Makers had planned on living this long, they’d have started an IRA a long time ago.
NOVEMBER 13, 2017
The Novo 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or thenovodtla.com. Nov. 15: Appropriately enough, The Beaches are supporting Death From Above. Nov. 16: Dyslexic anime fans will be disappointed when Amine takes the stage. Nov. 17: The Underachievers cater to their underpaying fans with a $10 show. Nov. 18: The American Influencer Awards is the epitome of meritless commercialism and participation trophy culture. The Redwood 316 W. Second St., (213) 680-2600 or theredwoodbar.com. Nov. 13: Megan Simon, The Frank & Dino Show and Abby Lyons. Nov. 15: Yass Night at the Redwood. Nov. 16: Mr. Airplane Man and Electric Children. Nov. 19: Hitmob. The Regent 448 S. Main St. or theregenttheater.com. Nov. 13: There’s a lot we could say about a double bill of Night Beats and Meatbodies, but the Downtown News is a family paper. Nov. 15: Citizen is playing. Nov. 16, 6 and 9 p.m.: Metronomy are doing two shows for Los Angeles, presumably because they care. Nov. 17: In case you’re into people who “express themselves,” Ariel Pink is playing. Nov. 18: Tonight’s show somehow encompasses both Waka Flocka Flame and Moby. Nov. 19: Propaghandi put the fun in funeral. The Smell 247 S. Main St. in the alley between Spring and Main or thesmell.org. Nov. 19: Faith Healer. Teragram Ballroom 1234 W. Seventh St. or teragramballroom.com. Nov. 13: It’s a throwback classic with Kool Keith. Nov. 14: The Clientele will not be playing the American Influencer Awards. Nov. 15: Mandolin Orange honors both Bruce Hornsby and citrus in general. Nov. 16 and 18: How Matthew Mcconaghey has a line of car commercials and Gary Numan doesn’t will forever mystify us. At least Gary is at the Teragram. Nov. 17: Careful Spafford — promising improvisation is only a selling point in cities that haven’t already been ravaged by UCB alums looking for commercial work. Union Station LA 800 N. Alameda St. or online at unionstationla.com.
teve Martin made his name as a comedian and film star, but for the last several weeks Downtowners have been seeing another side of him: as a playwright and banjo musician. Bright Star, the musical he penned with onetime pop star Edie Brickell, has been playing at the Ahmanson Theatre. That comes to an end soon, as this is the last week to catch the production that stars a mesmerizing Carmen Cusack as a newspaper editor in the 1940s American South. The show, which closes on Sunday, Nov. 19, is filled with numerous memorable small touches, as well as Walter Bobbie’s sharp direction and Josh Rhodes’ refined choreography. The show is song-heavy, with much of the plot driven by the music. There’s even an on-stage band. This may not be what you know Martin for, but Bright Star has plenty of shine. Bright Star continues through Nov. 19 at the Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 628-2772 or centertheatregroup.org.
Nov. 17, 4 p.m.: The Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble is in the house. Make that, in the train station.
Ace Hotel 929 S. Broadway, (213) 623-3233 or acehotel.com. Nov. 16, 8 p.m.: Tonight’s screening of Daughters of the Dust is co-sponsored by The Broad’s Array series. Downtown Independent 251 S. Main St., (213) 617-1033 or downtownindependent.com. Nov. 15: Bolivar, a Tropikal Symphony. Nov. 18, 7:30 p.m.: UCLA Film & Television Archive presents El Vampiro/Sombra verde. Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or grammymuseum.org. Nov. 16, 7 p.m.: Evil women are encouraged to attend the pre-release screening of Jeff Lynne’s ELO concert doc Wembley or Bust. Nov. 17, 7 p.m.: Director John Scheinfeld will discuss his doc Chasing Trane after it screens. IMAX California Science Center, 700 State Drive, (213) 744-2019 or californiasciencecenter.org. The Human Body is an exercise in cinematic anatomy that will take viewers on a journey designed to satiate curiosity without having to smell any of those nasty fluids that make us work. Academy Award winning-actor Jeff Bridges narrates Dream Big, a movie about ingenuity that begs the question, “Do we as a society have a problem with dreaming small?” Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Secret Ocean 3D takes a look at the hidden dimensions of the ever-rising oceans surrounding us land locked ex-amphibians. Filmmakers pulled off A Beautiful Planet 3D by strictly using distance shots depicting mankind’s home from hundreds of miles away. Regal Cinemas LA Live 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 763-6070 or lalive.com/movies. Through Nov. 15: Daddy’s Home 2 (12, 1, 3, 4, 6, 7:05, 9 and 10 p.m.); Murder on the Orient Express (12:15, 1:15, 3:15, 4:15, 6:15, 7:15, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.); Thor: Ragnarok (12:30, 1, 3:45, 6:30, 7:30 and 9:45 p.m.); Thor: Ragnarok 3D (11:30 a.m., 12, 2:45, 3:15, 4:15, 6, 7, 9:15, 10:15 and 11 p.m.); A Bad Moms Christmas (11:45 a.m. and 2:45 p.m.); Jigsaw (12:45 p.m.); Boo2! A Madea Halloween (12:15 p.m.); Geostorm
(1:15 p.m.); Blade Runner 2049 (12:45 p.m.).
Bob Baker’s Holiday on Strings Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or bobbakermarionettes.com. Nov. 15 and 17, 10:30 a.m. and Nov. 18, 2:30 p.m.: It’s never too early in the Yuletide season to experience a Christmastime spectacular of string work that will remind you of a fever dream. Bright Star Ahmanson, 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-7231 or centertheatregroup.org. Nov. 14-17, 8 p.m., Nov. 18, 2 and 8 p.m. and Nov. 19, 1 and 6:30 p.m.: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell made a bluegrass musical about a woman living in the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. Carmen Cusack played the lead role on Broadway and does the same here. This is the final week of the show. Through November 19. See review p. 15. Caught Think Tank Gallery, 939 Maple Ave., (916) 670-3801 or thinktank.gallery. Nov. 16-19, 7:30 p.m.: You might have a tough time determining what’s real and what isn’t as Chinese dissident artist Lin Bo discusses the Xiong Collective and the government’s response to its work. The artwork surrounding you seems authentic, but what about the storyteller? The surprises keep coming in Christopher Chen’s play. Through Dec. 10.
MORE LISTINGS Hundreds of listings of fun and interesting things to do in Downtown Los Angeles can also be found online at ladowntownnews.com/calendar: Rock, Pop & Jazz; Bars & Clubs; Farmers Markets; Events; Film; Sports; Art Spaces; Theater, Dance and Opera; Classical Music; Museums; and Tours.
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NOVEMBER 13, 2017
DOWNTOWN NEWS 29
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CLASSIFIEDS REAL ESTATE RESIDENTIAL LOFTS FOR SALE
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LEGAL LEGAL NOTICE NOTICE OF POLLING PLACES AND DESIGNATION OF CENTRAL TALLY LOCATION NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Registrar-Recorder/ County Clerk’s office located at 12400 Imperial Highway, Norwalk, California 90650 has designated polling places and will be the central tally location for the ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 51 SPECIAL GENERAL ELECTION scheduled to be held on DECEMBER 5, 2017. The Registrar-Recorder/ County Clerk’s facility and polling places shall be open between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. on DECEMBER 5, 2017. Persons requiring multilingual assistance in Chinese, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai or Vietnamese regarding information in the notice may call (800) 481-8683. POLLING PLACES
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To place a classified ad in the Downtown News please call 213-481-1448 Deadline classified display and line ads are Thursday at 12pm. FOR for 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. 9000464B EVANS COMMUNITY ADULT SCHOOL 717 N FIGUEROA ST LOS ANGELES 90012 9001686A ALPINE RECREATION CENTER 817 YALE ST LOS ANGELES 90012 9002142A SOLANO AVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL 615 SOLANO AVE LOS ANGELES 90012 9005543B EVANS COMMUNITY ADULT
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LEGAL NOTICE MORLIN ASSET MANAGEMENT, LP, a Delaware Limited Partnership as Agent for the JOINT MANAGEMENT COUNCIL, an unincorporated association, will receive qualifications packages from security service providers wishing to become pre-qualified for an available bidding opportunity at Los Angeles Union Station. It is the intent of this Joint Management Council to select a firm that will provide security services at Los Angeles Union Station at the best overall value. In order to be fully considered for prequalification and subsequent bidding opportunities, please proceed to the RFIQ questionnaire at: https:// goo.gl/forms/040eC0QZUy9oVWVT2. Completed forms are due on or before close of business by December 14, 2017. Submissions received after 5:00pm on December 14, 2017 will be rejected.
School Occupational Therapist-Special Ed. Provide occupational therapy (OT) services to special ed. students grades K-12. Job requires valid CA OT license, OTR certification issued by NBCOT, and daily driving between district schools in L.A. County, CA. Los Angeles Unified School District. Fax resume to Randy Murphy 213-241-8412.
GRAPHIC DESIGNER: Assist in design & development of multinational product branding, displays & advertisements. Mail resume to: HR, Eden Marketing Corp., 6621 Wilson Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90001.
Teacher, Mandarin Language. Multiple positions available with Los Angeles Unified School District in L.A. County, CA at the elementary, middle school & high school levels. Fax resume to Randy Murphy 213-241-8412.
DTLA NEW YEAR’ YEAR’S HANDBOOK Everything you need to know to have the best New Year’s ever in Downtown! Special Issue publishes December 18th FOR MORE INFO ON THIS SPECIAL ISSUE CALL 213-481-1448
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