NEWS Volume 42, Number 6
February 11, 2013
Celebrate Valentine’s Day Downtown
A Vision of Dodger Stadium
W W W. D O W N T O W N N E W S . C O M
Big Money, Big Art and Big Crowds Art Walk Has Changed a Lot Since Joe Moller Took Over Two Years Ago
photo by Gary Leonard
Joe Moller, executive director of Art Walk, during the January gathering that brings thousands of people to Downtown. In his two years at the helm he has made the event almost self-sufficient, largely through securing a series of corporate sponsorships. by RichaRd Guzmán city editoR
hen Joe Moller oversaw his first Art Walk in January 2011, the monthly event was both struggling to emerge from a period of chaos and trying to define itself. Some even questioned whether the gathering, which in summer months lured tens of thousands of people to Downtown, would or should continue. Moller was the first paid executive director of the Downtown LA Art Walk, the nonprofit that had been formed to lead the event. He was also its third leader in a little more
than one year. He came aboard with some lofty goals to manage an event he said at the time was in “crisis mode.” His tasks were many and varied. He had to address the future of an event that started off as a way to showcase galleries but had come to be known as a night of bar hopping. He also had a financial goal: A group of Downtown stakeholders had put up money to sustain Art Walk, but only planned to do so temporarily. Moller had to find a way to bring in cash. Then there were the challenges that by comparison seemed simple: He wanted a new website and more interactive Facebook and Twitter accounts to help the crowds that
thronged the Historic Core. At the time he was hired, he said it would take about two years to address his aims and make the event self-sufficient. Now, two years have passed, and while not all of the goals have been achieved, he and others involved with the event say that Art Walk is in better shape than it has been since its inception in 2004. “We are not in crisis management mode anymore. Crossing that off is a huge success,” Moller said one afternoon last week while sitting at Pete’s Cafe. “I feel like we’re in see Art Walk, page 20
The Battle for St. Vincent Court Property Dispute Leads to Removal of Sidewalk Tables and Chairs, Infuriating Business Owners by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR
hen sitting at an outdoor table in St. Vincent Court, the cafe-laden alley off Seventh Street in the Jewelry District, it takes only a glint of imagination to feel transported to old Europe. On sunny days at lunch, the tables that line the slim sidewalk and the faux-brick street are packed with patrons of the dozen Middle Eastern and Mediterranean restaurants that open to the alley. In the afternoon, jewelry business workers take seats to sip espresso and smoke cigarettes.
It’s almost as if St. Vincent Court is a little secret in Downtown. But the better-kept secret about the open-air food court has been that the core of its character and the engine of its small businesses — the sea of outdoor seating — is illegal. The city has long turned a blind eye to the unpermitted al fresco dining. That policy ended abruptly on Tuesday, Feb. 5, when officials from the Bureau of Street Services dispensed notices ordering the merchants to remove their outdoor tables within 24 hours. Even the court’s longtime shoe-shiner was told to clear his stand. By Wednesday, the tables that see St. Vincent, page 19
photo by Gary Leonard
Bgos Miaramoglu (right), one of the restaurant owners in St. Vincent Court. He fears the loss of outdoor tables will crush his business. His son, Sevan, holds the citation he received last week.
2 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
Celebrating 40 Years
AROUNDTOWN Charter School Petition Goes Before LAUSD
he effort to bring a new elementary school to Downtown could take a big step forward this week. The LAUSD board will consider an application at its Tuesday, Feb. 12, meeting for the Metro Charter Elementary School. The effort is being spearheaded by a group of South Park parents who are unsatisfied with the current public elementary school options in the area. If the petition is approved the school could open this fall, assuming other conditions can also be met. Officials working on the school are hoping to lease a 30,000-squarefoot space at Olive and 12th streets. Group members also said they have secured the $250,000 required by the LAUSD to open a charter school. Architectural giant Gensler has agreed to design the school pro-bono.
Evoq Puts Seven South Park Parcels On the Market
voq Properties, the retooled and renamed Meruelo Maddux Properties, has put seven South Park development sites on the market. The parcels measure a combined 5.79 acres and have the potential for up to 2.3 million square feet of residential or mixedused development, according to material from broker Cushman & Wakefield, which is marketing the portfolio. The move continues Evoq’s strategy of reducing the debt load that forced Meruelo Maddux into Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. Since emerging from its reorganization under new leadership, the firm has been selling non-core assets, includ-
TAKE MY PICTURE GARY LEONARD
ing some development sites. It recently sold three sites, including a parcel at Olympic Boulevard and Hill Street being developed by the Hanover Company, for a combined $19.5 million. Putting the South Park portfolio on the market is not an all-out property dump, said Evoq CEO Marty Caverly. The firm is entertaining all types of offers, he said. “We said, let’s take it to market and see what the market does,” Caverly said. “A lot of this may be [joint ventures]. We think it’s a unique opportunity in the capital markets.” Evoq still has significant Downtown holdings, among them the American Apparel-anchored Alameda Square complex and properties in the Arts District and Chinatown. The parcels on the market include 1150 S. Grand Ave., a 1.69-acre site entitled for 347 housing units and 17,500 square feet of retail; two parcels on Pico Boulevard between Olive and Hill streets; and a 1.07-acre parking lot at 11th and Olive streets. No asking price has been identified for the parcels.
Tom Gilmore’s Million Dollar SCI-Arc Chair
ld Bank District developer and Downtown housing pioneer Tom Gilmore can add another first to his list of accomplishments: Following a $1 million gift to the Southern California Institute of Architecture, school officials announced last week that they will establish the Downtown school’s first endowed chair, the Gilmore City Chair. “I didn’t know it was the first chair in the history of SCI-Arc,” Gilmore said. “Once in a while you have to start thinking about the long-term growth of a city, not just in terms of development
1st Street Entrance
February 7, 2013
or retail, but education too.” Gilmore, an architect by training, kicked off the current Downtown housing boom with his apartment project at Fourth and Main streets. He has been a SCI-Arc trustee since 2001. School officials said the endowment will be used to study issues such as architecture’s role in dense city environments. Gilmore is scheduled to speak at SCI-Arc at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 13.
French Garden May Say Au Revoir
fter 15 years, the pioneering Arts District restaurant French Garden may soon close. Restaurant owner Benoit Lesure last week said his landlord, Magnum Properties, is not renewing his lease and he may have to shutter the restaurant as soon as
March 31. “It’s a shame. We were one of the first ones around here,” he said. Lesure said his Seventh Street space would be replaced by Señor Fish; the small Mexican chain has a Little Tokyo location that will close, possibly by the end of the year, to make room for the upcoming Regional Connector. Enrique Ramirez, owner of Senor Fish, did not return calls for comment. Mike Meraz, the owner of Magnum Properties, would not provide details on the new tenant except to say that it was “the crew” from Señor Fish. Meanwhile, Lesure said he is looking for a new location in Downtown and hopes to get an extension from the landlord to stay open until May. The French restaurant was known in part for its lush, garden-like patio hidden in the middle of a gritty industrial area. Lesure said he hopes he can re-create the eatery in a new location. see Around Town, page 18
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Metro Briefs A Better Commute? It’s About Time
Starting February 23, Metro ExpressLanes will save you time in tra;c on the I-10 freeway, joining those already open on the I-110. The lanes are toll-free for carpools, vanpools and motorcycles. Solo drivers can ® use ExpressLanes by paying a toll. All vehicles need a FasTrak account and transponder to use the lanes. To get yours, visit metro.net/expresslanes.
Metro Buys 550 New Buses The Metro Board of Directors approved spending $302 million to purchase 550 new 40-foot transit buses fueled by compressed natural gas. The new buses will replace vehicles that are past 12 years of age and 500,000 miles over the next three years.
Gold Line Weekend Service Increased The frequency of Metro Gold Line trains is increasing from every 12 minutes to every 6 minutes on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 8pm. Now you can enjoy Old Pasadena, Chinatown, Little Tokyo and East LA over the weekend all while making better connections and with less time spent waiting for the train.
Metro Looks For Bids On Regional Connector
1800 E. Olympic Blvd. (At Olympic & Alameda St.) Se Habla Español • ALWAYS OPEN • 213-627-5008
If you’d like to know more, visit metro.net.
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Welcome Back The LA Kings The victorious LA Kings have returned to action at STAPLES Center following their 2012 championship season. Metro has several connections to get to the center including the Metro Silver, Blue and Expo lines which let you o= adjacent to the arena. Visit metro.net/discounts and >nd out how to save 10% o= at the Team LA Store.
Metro has issued requests for proposals for construction of the $1.367-billion Regional Connector light rail line through Downtown LA. The two-mile, fully underground route will connect the Metro Gold, Blue and Expo lines. For more information visit: metro.net/regionalconnector.
February 11, 2013
Downtown News 3
Celebrating 40 Years
Real People, Real Stories
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4 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
Celebrating 40 Years
EDITORIALS Vision and Leadership
Urban Scrawl by Doug Davis
ustin Beutner’s press event last week was a stone’s throw from Downtown Los Angeles. Still, the Boyle Heights happening put together by the businessman, former deputy mayor and, briefly, candidate for mayor had an important message for Downtowners, particularly for executives in fancy offices on the upper floors of area high-rises. Beutner showed up at the Downtownadjacent Dolores Mission Elementary School, just across the First Street Bridge, to tout Vision to Learn, the 501(c)(3) he founded a year ago to help make sure all kids in local elementary schools who need glasses get them. The message for Downtown leaders came in the fact that Beutner didn’t spend years meeting with city officials and crafting expensive studies before coming up with a program. Instead, he identified a problem, realized nothing was being done about it and took action. This does not happen frequently in Los Angeles or any other city. Still, it’s a fantastic case of leading by example. Hopefully others in Downtown, including the community’s many well connected and affluent business leaders, realize other problems could also be addressed by private-sector individuals who have resources and drive. Vision to Learn had its first major event last year at the Castelar Elementary School in Chinatown. Since then, the program’s huge repurposed bus has driven all across Los Angeles, stopping at various public schools. More than 5,000 eye exams have been conducted and nearly 3,700 pairs of glasses have been dispensed, according to program officials. The bus is impressive, with high-tech machines for eye exams. After kids get tested, they meet with an on-bus doctor who helps determine whether glasses are in fact needed. If they are, the students choose frames. Lenses are ground and the free glasses arrive about two weeks later. Beutner said the cost works out to about $100 a child and that the bus can service up to 70 kids a day. He also said administrative costs account for only about 10% of the budget. The bus runs five days a week and Beutner plans to expand the program to Sacramento in the spring and four to six cities next year. This is something that, in a perfect world, would not require the lead of a private sector individual. Beutner said the idea began when he learned that an estimated 15% of local students need glasses but were not getting them. He called the LAUSD superintendent who told him nothing was being done to fix the problem. So Beutner dug into his own pocket to start the program. It took about three months to go from concept to helping the first kids, he said. It is not cheap, and this is where being a politically connected investment banker has its benefits. Beutner has been able to hire a staff and establish funding and other relationships with entities including Rotary clubs and the William H. Hannon Foundation. Vision to Learn is a wonderful reminder that we don’t need to wait for elected leaders to make a difference on community problems. Hopefully some Downtown players will see other shortfalls and realize that they too can achieve a solution without going through the usual, time-consuming channels.
A Lot to Like but Much More to Accomplish on Broadway
s the years pass, it is becoming clear that José Huizar’s Downtown legacy will depend in large part on what happens on Broadway. The rest of the 14th District that falls in Downtown — and after the redrawing of council boundaries, that means most of the Central City — is equally important, of course. Still, Broadway is where Huizar five years ago planted his first big and still most prominent flag. The five years is important because it marks the halfway point of Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative. On Jan. 28, 2008, Huizar unveiled the plan and pledged to transform a historic corridor that had spent decades on the decline. The street had come to be known for its shuttered movie palaces, along with a cacophonous mishmash of street-level retail jammed with discount electronics and cheap jewelry stores. Looking at Broadway five years later, the results are very impressive. Huizar has demonstrated vision, focus and, for the most part, follow-through, enabling a stream of high-profile additions to open on the street, with more in the pipeline. We give great credit to Huizar and his staff for making such significant strides on a street that had seen several previous, poorly conceived revival efforts. Along with that praise, however, is the reminder that the work is not close to complete, and that some elements critical to Broadway’s turnaround need more attention. Huizar has accomplished a lot, but a great deal more needs to be done. Los Angeles Downtown News last week reported on the five-year point in what Huizar launched as a decade-long plan. One obvious point today is that 10 years from the original starting date won’t be long enough. Completing the turnaround of Broadway will likely take well beyond the time Huizar would be termed out of office in 2019. The successes of the program are both physical and psychological. Through Bringing Back Broadway, Huizar has gotten numerous business and landowners to work together and buy into a common vision, which is no small feat. Some stakeholders now take a long-term approach to the street. Before the effort began, the focus was usually on how to fill a vacant space immediately and for the most money, with little thought given to what impact it might have on people a block away. The clearest signs of success are the businesses Huizar and his Broadway deputy Jessica Wethington McLean have brought to the
street. Restaurants such as Umamicatessen, Les Noces du Figaro, the Los Angeles Brewing Company and Alma are culinary anchors that draw customers at lunch and in the evening. They are also destinations for the people who will work in Tarina Tarantino’s under-construction jewelry headquarters the Sparkle Factory, or guests who will book rooms in the Ace Hotel, now being built in the old United Artists Theater. The business growth dovetails nicely with the progress on the Downtown streetcar, something that seemed fantastical when Huizar first broached the idea. Now the urban circulator is looking ever more like a reality, and Huizar and his team scored a major victory in getting Downtown residents to vote in December in favor of a taxation plan for the $125 million project. It adds to the street’s current and future momentum. We also like the idea of wider sidewalks and increasing pedestrian activity by as early as June with things like a sort of “pop-up” park that will give pedestrians a safe space to congregate amid the tumult and traffic. We look forward to seeing how this temporary concept, slated for June at an undetermined location, takes shape. Not everything, however, has been rosy. Huizar and his team need to direct serious attention and resources to a proposed ordinance that would make it easier to activate now dead office space on the upper floors of Broadway buildings. It’s a great idea, but the problem is, it’s been a great idea for several years. Huizar told Downtown News there has been recent progress on negotiations with the Fire Department, but after all this time “progress” is not enough. This could bring thousands of people to the street, and it should be a priority. Also still key is reopening the theaters. A significant step forward was taken last year when the Delijani family, which owns four venues, announced a plan to begin upgrading and programming them. Huizar and his team must ensure this proceeds on a timely basis. The theaters are what make Broadway special, what separates the street from any other stretch with restaurants and nightclubs. Again, concrete action must follow words. Pulling off the remaining challenges won’t be easy, but then little in Los Angeles is. At the same time, the hard work will be worth it. Broadway is already better than it was five years ago. We look forward to how much better the street will be five, 10 and 20 years from now.
February 11, 2013
The Readers Respond Website Comments on a Pershing Square Upgrade, A Mayoral Endorsement, a Strange Tree and More
very week Los Angeles Downtown News gets online comments to the stories we publish. These are some of the most interesting responses. Additional comments are welcome at ladowntownnews.com. Regarding the article “AEG Giving Seed Money to Pershing Square Effort,” published online Feb. 1, by Richard Guzmán
est Downtown news I’ve heard in a while! This park could use a complete overhaul in a much simpler, classic style. Nothing hip or modern. Something that will stand the test of time rather than being flashy and regrettable in another 20 years —Brian R., Feb. 1, 5:51 p.m.
reat job José Huizar! I’ve always found the design to be elementary, as if a giant child plays here. But no child is safe amongst the rodents and vagrants that make this their home. —Rox Berry, Feb. 3, 6:35 a.m.
his is an opportunity for the city to deal with some of the needs of the homeless people who congregate in Pershing Square. Public restrooms with locker rooms and showers, a place where hot meals are served and appropriate security would be a good start. Referrals to homeless shelters and medical/drug abuse treatment could be added. These facilities could be kept separate from the public park areas, so as to avoid infringement on others’ enjoyment,
Downtown News 5
Celebrating 40 Years for homeless men all across her district, and Skid Row now has two Downtown women’s spaces with apartments. She has been responsive to the needs of the Skid Row community the whole time she was council person. —Don Garza, Jan. 31, 11:23 p.m.
and security monitors could be hired to walk the beat to maintain restrictions. —John Gaylord, Feb. 3, 1:37 p.m.
Regarding the article “The Strangest Tree in Downtown,” about a ficus growing out of a building, five floors off the ground, published Jan. 21, by Richard Guzmán
Regarding the editorial “Endorsement: Jan Perry for Mayor,” published online Jan. 31
erry is out of office if she is defeated, but Greuel and Garcetti will be out of office if they lose also. Perry in her debate comments has shown the strongest position on limited increases for public employees in the years ahead. Perry also calls for contributions to health care for city employees. Downtown is a mecca for restaurants and live performances. She should be given lots of credit for that. The next four weeks are going to be very interesting. —Jack McGrath, Jan. 31, 1:35 p.m.
was appalled by her grandstanding toward reopening Angels Flight and continual advocating that Metro take it over long after it was clear they had no interest in doing so. Too parochial and mediocre. Not even remotely ready for prime time. —Dana Gabbard, Feb. 4, 10:21 a.m.
an Perry has put many formerly homeless people to work! We have the best permanent supportive housing as a result of her efforts. I was one of the people who started on the streets, then moved into permanent supportive housing and now live in my own loft. She believes that all people deserve a voice and deserve to be heard. She was there to help turn around the mostly targeted services
hanks for shining a light on life on Broadway. I hope the tree gets moved to another part of the street and continues its life. —Moon Cinema, Jan. 23, 12:58 p.m.
ooks like due to the scarcity of fertile land to grow upon, the trees are finding a better place to grow themselves. It sure is a treat to watch such a thing, but I wonder what will happen after six months. —Berta Robbins, Jan. 24, 10:52 p.m.
thought the little tree growing on a narrow 12th floor ledge of the Commercial Exchange Building was interesting, but this tree takes the cake! —Travis Sky, Jan. 26, 5:42 p.m. Regarding the article “Developer Unveils New Plan for Grand Avenue,” published online Jan. 18, by Ryan Vaillancourt
o more Gehry and his wobbly stuff! Just revive John Parkinson from the dead and let him design some proper architecture. It shouldn’t be that hard to do. —Horthos Maus, Jan. 20, 6:10 p.m. Regarding the article “Last Cops Out of Parker Center,” published online Jan. 16, by Ryan Vaillancourt
he building was a disgusting, dirty, dangerous dump and the City should be embarrassed about leaving employees stuck there. That it took three-plus years to make other arrangements is a testament to the city’s inability to get anything done in a timely manner. Just blow the thing up — there is nothing worthy within it. —Ramona Gonzales, Jan. 18, 10:06 a.m. Regarding the article “Two Skid Row Parks at Risk of Closing,” published online Jan. 24, by Ryan Vaillancourt; funding would later be found to keep the parks open
ven if these parks close for just a few days, this is going to be a serious problem as there is no place for people to sit down save for about three benches total in Skid Row’s 50-odd blocks. There are many mothers with small children I see here receiving services and also a large elderly and disabled population. These people in particular will need outdoor seating, water and shade as it starts to heat up. The parks are for everyone’s well being and provide much needed green and open space which is so lacking in these parts. —Katherine McNenny, Jan. 24, 11:39 p.m.
his situation again speaks to the longstanding municipal neglect of Skid Row. No voices, no votes here. Given the sheer number of people on the streets and the dire lack of street facilities and services, these parks represent a critical piece of the physical and social infrastructure of the community. Their closure would likely result in negative and costly spillover effects that will end up costing the city more in the long run. Hopefully Councilman José Huizar’s office will come up with a lasting solution that can ensure these parks remain open in perpetuity. —Hal McMath, Jan. 27, 6:20 a.m.
6 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
Celebrating 40 Years rendering courtesy AC Martin Partners
New Wilshire Grand Design Revealed Spire Would Rise Above Top of US Bank Tower by Ryan Vaillancourt staff writer
he architects working on the $1 billion replacement for the Wilshire Grand hotel last week unveiled a new design distinguished by a soaring spire that will be the tallest point of the city’s skyline. The spire, revealed on Thursday, Feb. 7, will rise atop the 71-story structure from a sloped, dome-like cap likened to a sail that encloses what officials term a “sky lobby.” That structure will render the tower the first Downtown high-rise without a blocky, helipad friendly roof. Project architect AC Martin Partners has been
working closely with officials from the Los Angeles Fire Department to win the blessing for the roof design, said project designer David Martin. The structure still includes a small horizontal pad that could accommodate helicopter rescue operations, but it’s a slate of state-of-the-art fire safety infrastructure elements that would allow the tower to skirt the full helipad requirement, Martin said. Chief among the special safety elements is a “hardened” elevator that could function during four hours of fire conditions, said John Starr, a project architect with AC Martin. The proposed pad is smaller than what city rules require, but AC Martin’s design will satisfy the fire see Tower, page 18
The proposed new Wilshire Grand hotel includes a spire that would reach 1,100-feet into the sky.
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Community Amenities: ~ 24 Hr. Manned Lobby ~ Concierge ~ Pool / Spa / Saunas ~ Fitness Center ~ Gas BBQ Grills ~ Recreation Room
Apartment Amenities: ~ Refrigerator, Stove, Microwave & Dish washer (most units) ~ Central Air & Heating ~ Balconies (most units)
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February 11, 2013
Downtown News 7
Celebrating 40 Years
e c n a m o R in the City It’s a Love Story! Downtowners Share Their Tales of Amour and Disaster
f you ask Downtowners to share their best love stories, be prepared: They will respond in force. That’s precisely what Los Angeles Downtown News just learned. In honor of Valentine’s
Day, we conducted a love story contest, inviting readers to share their best tales. We had three categories: Best Wedding Day/ Engagement Story, Most Romantic Story and, for those who think that love stinks, Best
Worst First Date Story. We were inundated with responses that run the emotional gamut. There were expressions of glee and tales of woe. There were experiences people dream about, as well as ones that
any sane person would dread. Some were traditional and others completely unpredictable. Below are some of the best responses, along with the prizes they are capturing. Thanks to everyone who got into the V-Day spirit.
The Winners Lo ve an d ro ses My sister pulled the car over to buy rose s vendor on a street corner. The man info from a rmed her of a Christmas special: If she bought a doze n roses, she got to pick a gift from a grab bag. My sister agreed to this deal and as she drove off, I began to remove the paper from the mystery gift. It was a photo album. “Maybe you shou ld it,” my sister suggested with a mischievous read grin. The album was a history of my relationship my boyfriend, Justin, intertwined with the with stor his parents’ proposal. Justin’s dad proposed y of to his mom in 1975, and then planted a tree to celebrate her acceptance. When I looked up from the saw Justin standing in a park, waiting for book, I me. He walked me over to a tall, beautiful tree and told me this was the tree his dad had planted 36 ago. He said this tree was about to become years significant for another reason as well. He got down on one knee and said, “My Jamie, I will love you forever. Will you mar darling ry me?” And I said, “Yes!” —Jamie Alexander Jamie wins the prize for Best Wedding Day /Engagement Story. She’ll receive a one night stay at the Omni Los Angeles Hotel, a dinner at Noé Restaurant and $100 cash.
r a in M a k in g T h e T War II. declaration of World broke e th to r io pr , 41 19 war It was the Army. When the Jack was already in t astray. He was shipped to en out, all our plans w ith other Japanese-American w , . ich M r, l Fort Custe ders to evacuate al or e th e m ca en Th mote reloservicemen. citizens or not, to re Japanese, American owing what was in store for kn cation centers. Not rcerated, Jack suggested that ca in those who were t and I come east. if you had employmen ving — ole ph loo a d un fo We tter gi ilkenson wrote a le a sponsor. So Col. W employment — as a housekeepd me the clearance an uster. C . Ft to el would be er — to trav evening. Thinking this pick up at th as The train w to a I rushed to Pasaden my last opportunity, n tickets and packed what I ai my permit, bought tr with only minutes to spare. ain a chacould. I made the tr d on May 16, 1942, in was rie ar m e er w I d an Jack g Jack days after the weddin pel at Ft. Custer. Six three years overseas. Seventy g ordered out, spendin ur children, four grandchildren fo ve ha e w , t years later I often wonder, wha n. re ild ch nd ra t-g ea and three gr if I missed the train? Nagano would have happened —Louise Story. She’ll refor Most Romantic ize pr e th ts ge se ui Lo to Morton’s. ceive a $100 gift card
We LL, Ma ybe he Wa s a LuM ber jac k Online dating isn’t all bad. After all, my wonderful boyfriend and I met via OKCupid. But I’ve had some interesting experiences with online dating, including this one. The scene: Little Tokyo. The players: myself, and the young man I met on a blog. After a relatively fun first date exploring the exhibits at MOCA, the reasonably handsome and clean-cut young man turns to me and asks the one question no girl wants to hear on a first date. “Would you like to come with me to this Japanese hardware store? I collect axes.” This was both our first and final date. Needless to say, I did not purchase an ax that day. Thankfully for me, neither did he. —Heather Johnson Heather wins the prize for Best Worst First Date Story. She’ll receive a $50 gift card to Katsuya.
see Stories, page 8
8 Downtown News
Romance in the City
February 11, 2013
Continued from page 7
RO ck ON In 2005, my fiancé Tom took me and my youn ger sister camping on San Onofre Beach. As my sister was relaxing near cided to look for some big rocks to take back for by, Tom and I dehis fish tank. While digging on our knees in the sand, we simultane ously found a sizeable rock. We began playing this game of “Do you want my rock?” back and forth for about five minutes, until I said “no!” at him for refusing my rock. While still on one and got irritated asked me, “Do you want this rock or this rock knee, he suddenly ?” He had pulled out an engagement ring. I was so surprised and happy that I said yes and accidentally dropped the ring in the sand. It took us about three minutes to find it. Since that day we have also kept the other rocks in our fish tank as a memento. —Kimberly Tran
cA N cA cH E M E If YO u uaching event. There is us oc ge al nu an an st ho I d t My boyfriend an the end of our 2011 even At le. op pe 50 t ou ab of peanut butter ally a great turnout s like Altoid tins and empty o-swag.” When ize pr for e ffl ra a ld he we “ge iners), geocoins and other jars (prized caching conta t (an army green-painted Altoids tin), my lef aw anthere was only one prize hat. I insisted that he dr the m fro me na my ew dr boyfriend re the hosts. other name since we we think you should open this one.” “Are you sure?” he said. “I tin, and inside was a beautiful diamond I finally agreed to open the I immediately burst into tears. A womr’s. ring, my great-grandmothe . People ran up to give me hugs. In the ed am re sc proposal: “Are an in the audience ely missed my boyfriend’s let mp co I rs ee ch g nin deafe what?” we gonna get hitched or My answer was yes. —Carey Baxter
cO M IS d IR Ec TI O N TA uld plan a ht my boyfriend Jason wo was goug tho I , 10 20 y Da e’s tin ling he On Valen us because I had this fee nice romantic evening for y for it. I fixed my hair and got my nails ing to propose. I was read work, I thought he was going to have a m done. When I got home fro . up ed lin I romantic dinner iting. After seeing those, wa os tac d foo t fas nd It turns out, I fou ight. thought, it won’t happen ton d we did our gift exchange. He got me an os the journal We finished our tac I started looking through , taped to al. rn jou a s wa ht ug tho t stubs what I t stubs and concert ticke and inside was movie ticke rapbook of our five-year relationship. At sc the pages. It was a little “Will you marry me?” id, sa it , ok bo his the end of the looked at him he was on I n he W g. yin cr d an d I was shocke perfect Valentine’s Day. the s wa It g. rin a th wi w it’s my turn ee kn o distraction. It worked. No tac a th wi me ed ck tri He es on Valentine’s Day. to create romantic surpris —Sandra Ann Bansil
fIR ST AN d LAS T I met a man online and he seemed very nice . After several phone conversations I agreed to meet him for dinner. We met at Friday’s and I ordered a glass of red wine. He ordered lemonade and immediately said I was an alcoholic and started in on me. an appetizer for his main course and I took the He then ordered pork chops. He then said I was disgusting for eating pork and talke d bad about me the whole meal. When the bill came he got out his phon what I owed. This was the worst first date ever e and calculated . —Danielle Banks
February 11, 2013
Downtown News 9
Romance in the City
Love Lines When It Comes to Valentine’s Day, Downtowners Say the Darnedest Things To my precious Rena… I love you with all my heart… Mommy
favorite fantasy doesn’t need a beach or backdrop. All it needs is you… Eric
Mr. Full Marine… Be my valentine for the year of the snake? Love… Secret Admirer!
Ibrahim… You mean everything to me, my little angel... Mommy
Jessica… The favor of a reply is requested as to whether or not you will be my valentine. Love… Loren
Timothy H... After over four years, I still wuv you!... With an Earth ‘W’
Brian… I love you so much. You have changed my life. I jay-walk now! I can’t wait to spend this special day with my babe. Love… Dani
Emmanuel… You hold the key to my heart, and I will never change the lock. Love… Jerolyn
GrannyBear... Thank you for being my wife, you make me so happy, I love you... GranpaBear
Mike… Thanks Babe for our beautiful home, your love and patience! XOXO… Diane and Maxine
Sweet A. V…. 45 wpm 45 errors Still fired up over you. Will see Love Lines, page 10
Pedro… You never cease to amaze me — each and every day! Love now. Love forever!... Keith TB 129… I’ve said it before, but I still love being with you every day. Thank you for everything. Love… RJR Angelina Fan… Will you be my valentine?... Alain To the fuzziest boy… I love you. It’s stupid. Love… the tiniest girl. Leslie Solorzano… Me + You =LOVE… Morris Carlitos... Te quiero mucho. Que eres mi DJ & mi mundo. Borlo AMOR, I can’t live without you. Kisses… Nicole Shane… Looking forward to new Shuux adventures as your wife in 47 days! I love you. Love & fire… Yuuki Vivian… You’re truly sent from above. Love you always… Luis Kim… Love you, need you, miss you, want you, crazzee for you… Martin Victor Cabias… Thanks to you, my reality is finally better than my dreams. I love you!... Brenna Stige… It’s PrimeTime! Fats Domino has struck — no celebration except a so-so one! Happy Day!... Pnut, Tricky & Me Robert Bermudez… Love is all we need!... Raquel Bermudez Nature Boy… Looking for a littler leaf. I am your mistress. Love… Jennifer Sophie... I’ll take the stars and count them and move a mountain. If that don’t do, I will try something new!... Edward Gabriela… U are my #1 amour & a very special person to me. Love u forever… Itow Kristen… Meeting you at LAX was incredibly special for me. I hope we can see each other again. Happy Valentine’s Day!... Robby Little Mouse… Thanks for all the help all the time, you make my life more enjoyable. Love my new bicycle… Ron Happy Valentine’s Day to this one amazing lady, our mom Yvonne Wiggins. We all love you… Your Children♥ Lesley… We’ll meet at Pete’s Café. The parking lot across the way. The children’s school. The film that’s cool… TK Dear Popn… Sending loads of hugs n kisses your way on “Special Sweethearts” day and always!… Mami Teacakes Deborah… Seduction of paradise sounds fantastic, but my
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10 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
Romance in the City JP… Thank you for tolerating awful me! You are my true hero. I love you!… Sandrapoo
Sandra Zarate… Even though we are apart, I love you with all my heart and soul. Daddy’s girl forever. XOXO
Nathan… Blue eyes, your good morning txt is the reason why I smile everyday :)… Lydia
Henry… My joy is being your wife. No one is happier than I. Love you with all my heart… Angela
Rosana... Anyone can catch your eye, but it takes someone special to catch your heart... Gary
Velt Villain… What you doin’ Maine. LOL. We keep gettin’ stronger, Loving you to the universe!… Velt Lady
RAM… You make every day worth living and fill my days with laughter and joy! Love you… DLV
My Dearest Atticus… Thank you for coming into my life. I love you with all my heart. Ever yours… Dad
Tig... My love and adoration for you is boundless. You are forever my “Blue Moon” baby. I Love You... Big
Sandy… Madly in love with you, even what we’ve been through. My heart grows ever fonder, your eyes on our daughter… Dave
Derrick Cruz and Charlene Pabicon-Cruz… Toast. Congratulations, best wishes for the beautiful, wonderful, well-attended lovely wedding celebration… Titalib
Zachary… Love you! You’re the best baseball player, Lego builder, train engineer any gal can have. Love… Mom
Craig... I love you more with each passing day. I hit the jackpot when I met you XX...Lesley
Gustavo… Tu eres mi hijo y con todos amores. Tu Mama… Chacha
Love Lines Continued from page 9 hire! Your desire, my treat… Corlis Darrell Hitchens… XOXOXO. Darrell + Yvette = Real Love. The kind that lasts forever... Happy Valentine’s Day 2013 Great year honey… It was Prime Time. I love you… The Assassin.
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February 11, 2013
Downtown News 11
Romance in the City
Getting Your Love On in Downtown The Central City Has Eats, Events and Hotel Specials on Valentine’s Day by Kirsten Quinn
orget your proclamation that Valentine’s Day is a holiday designed to sell greeting cards and flowers. You may believe it, but when Feb. 14 arrives, are you really going to be the one who doesn’t give anything to your significant other or commemorate the holiday in some way? Survey says: No! You will step up, and fortunately for you, Downtown Los Angeles is at your beck and call. You can pop into any of the innumerable shops and grab a card or a bouquet, or you can go grander, with a dinner, a night on the town or, if you really want to impress, an overnight stay at a hotel. Below are 16 Central City options to make this Valentine’s Day stand out. Trust us, you really don’t want to blow it off. Hot Meals Leggo My Drago: Going Italian is always a safe bet on Valentine’s Day. One of the best options in Downtown is at
person. Start with crab soup, dim sum, lobster and “Peking Style” duck before moving on to a choice of steak, scallops or lamb chops. There are dessert options, but when one of them is called “For the Love of Chocolate,” who needs others? If the price is too steep, consider spending $24 just for the dessert. Reservations are highly recommended, but walk-ins are welcome for the sweet finale. At 900 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 743-8824 or wolfgangpuck.com. Grill ’Em All: Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken are veterans of the Downtown restaurant scene, and that experience
is a good thing on Valentine’s Day, when kitchens can be under duress. The proprietors of Border Grill are spending the evening preparing a $55 prix-fixe “spicy Latin” dinner. The meal features a starter, two choices of small plates and other options, among them a mushroom chilaquile or steak entree and for dessert a caramelized plantain cake. Cocktails are extra. They’re also a wise decision. At 445 S. Figueroa St., (213) 486-5171 or bordergrill.com. Battle of the Sexes: If you’re missing the matching “His” and “Hers” towel set, head to Kendall’s Brasserie. The see Meals and More, page 12
A CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN RESTAURANT
HAPPY HOUR photo courtesy Lucha VaVoom, ©Scheurshots.com
One of Downtown’s most popular Valentine’s Day events is the Lucha VaVoom show at the Mayan Theatre. Masked Mexican wrestlers, burlesque dancers and comedians fill the joint on Feb. 13-14.
Celestino Drago’s standout Drago Centro. The restaurant on the ground floor of the City National Plaza office complex is serving a four-course prix-fixe meal with options including smoked salmon salad, quail and mushroom risotto, steak and a chocolate torta. It runs $70 a person. The really interesting part? You can knock it up a notch with a $30 optional wine pairing, with a splash of something fermented complementing each course. At 525 S. Flower St., (213) 228-8998 or dragocentro.com. Choosing Chaya: Selection is key on Valentine’s Day. The folks at Chaya, which also happens to be on the ground floor of the City National Plaza office complex, understand this, and have a choice of six starters and six entrees. Those come into play in the restaurant’s three-course prix-fixe dinner, which runs $65 a head. End it the sweet way with chocolatecovered strawberries, a peanut butter soufflé or strawberry shortcake. At 525 S. Flower St., (213) 236-9577 or thechaya.com. Mo Mo Mo: You are not spending Valentine’s Day in Peru. Too bad. So take the next-best option and bring Peru to you. At Seventh Street���s Mo-Chica, chef/owner Ricardo Zarate is preparing a six-course prix-fixe dinner for $49. Sip some Maracuva pisco shooters and chow down on yellowtail, stuffed Peruvian cucumber, halibut and grilled lamb rack. Close it out with a chocolate soufflé. At 514 W. Seventh St., (213) 622-3744 or mo-chica.com. A Wolf in Puck’s Clothing: You probably won’t go wrong spending Valentine’s Day eating something that comes from the mind and kitchen of Wolfgang Puck. If you go that route, consider WP24 on the 24th floor of the Ritz-Carlton hotel. Puck is planning a six-course prix-fixe menu for $160 per
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12 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
Romance in the City
Meals and More Continued from page 11 restaurant at the Music Center is serving a prix-fixe menu with “For Him” and “For Her” suggestions. The $60 threecourse option and the $75 four-course dinner offer two selections per course. Steak-loving women and chickenloving men should feel free to mess with gender roles. Or you can share. Sharing is nice. Reservations start as early as 4 p.m. and end at 9:30 p.m. At 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-7322 or kendallsbrasserie.com. Language of Love: The still new Sixth Street restaurant Le Ka is used to mixing things up: The name blends the French and Chinese languages and means “the family.” The bringing together of diverse elements continues with the Feb. 14 dinner.
A globally inspired three-course meal is $75 a head and features options such as short ribs, scallops, gnocchi and crème brulee. Start speaking the language of love with aphrodisiac cocktail specials at the bar. At 800 W. Sixth St., (213) 688-3000 or lekarestaurant.com. Boiler Jazz: Nothing says seduction like jazz. That’s on tap at The Edison, the destination in a former boiler room in the Higgins Building. The Francesca Vannucchi Band will entertain couples with live music. Champagne, an appetizer, a choice of soup or salad, an entree and dessert are included for $115 per couple. The band starts at 8:30 p.m. Or skip the eats and go for a bottle of Perrier Jouet champagne for $95. At 108 W. Second St., (213) 613-0000 or edisondowntown.com. Junk Food Frenzy: It doesn’t get sweeter than a Junk Food Platter with your honey. Along with a three-course prix-fixe menu for $60 per person, chef Kerry Simon of LA Market
photo by JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE
The LA Market restaurant adds a very sweet twist to a Feb. 14 dinner with a junk food platter, featuring new takes on cotton candy and other desserts.
Restaurant in the Convention Center hotel is serving a platter of classed-up, old-school junk food. Think newfangled
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February 11, 2013
Downtown News 13
Romance in the City featuring a perfect pair of instruments “talking” to each other like lovers. The second show of the series, which happens to fall on Feb. 14, features Patricia Mabee on keyboard and Sarah Thornblade and Cheryl Norman-Brick on violin. Tickets are $55. The show starts at 7 p.m. At 200 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-2200 or colburnschool.com. VaVoom, There It Is!: Masked Mexican wrestling, saucy cabaret or a comedy show? How about all three? The Valentine’s Day extravaganza orchestrated by Lucha VaVoom at the Mayan Theatre is now legendary. Enjoy a night like no other. There is a Valentine’s eve performance at 8 p.m., as well as a Feb. 13 show. At 1038 S. Hill St., (213) 746-4674, clubmayan.com or luchavavoom.com. Heart Art: Folks who think the best Valentine’s Day plan is a quiet stroll should avoid the Historic Core on the evening
photo by Don Riddle
WP24 in the Ritz-Carlton serves a six-course prix-fixe meal on Valentine’s Day. There is no extra cost for the view.
sno-balls, homemade cotton candy and other nostalgic highsugar inventions. Chase it down with champagne or a Bellini, which is included with dinner. At 900 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-8630 or lalive.com. Shakespeare in Love: To be or not to be surrounded by Shakespearean actors while you dine on a $95 per person five-course feast? That is the question. The answer is found at Eat.Drink.Americano in the Arts District. Some of The
DU FIGARO DOWNTOWN
y a D s ’ e n i Valent
of Feb. 14. Folks who think the best Valentine’s Day plan is a walk amongst thousands of art fans and revelers should make sure they are in the area nice and early. The Downtown Art Walk takes place on Valentine’s Day, and there will be plenty of galleries, restaurants and bars welcoming the denizens of Downtown. The fun will last late into the night. At downtownartwalk.com. Stay the Night Strawberry Delight: Breakfast in bed is a good start, but what about having champagne and strawberries waiting in the room? Let the fine folks at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel take care of that. The establishment’s Romance Package, with rates starting at $229, includes those little touches, as well as a 4 p.m. checkout. You may have to take work off on Friday, but come on, you can do it. At 404 S. Figueroa St., (213) 624-1000 or thebonaventure.com. see Meals and More, page 14
Appetizers Lobster Bisque Whipped herb cream, aioli, croutons and cheese. $18
Sauteed Seafood Nantua sauce with puff pastry on top. $24
Pheasant Vol au vent with morels. $24
Entrees Sea Bass Purse Cabbage, mushrooms hachis, carrots and leeks in smoked bacon served with pilaf rice. $32
Rack Of Lamb Pinot Noir sauce reduction, oignons, broccoli served with a surprise potato. $26
Turtle Escalope Served with fettucini à la “Parisienne”. $36
Vegetarians Tatin Tart Zucchini and cumin cheese. $18
photo by Gary Leonard
The still new spot Le Ka has a globally inspired three-course Valentine’s Day dinner.
Bard’s most famous love scenes will be acted out intermittently during a 7:30 p.m. starter-to-sweets dinner. The roles are assayed by Archway Theatre performers. Methinks tickets are sold online. At 923 E. Third St., (213) 620-0781 or eatdrinkamericano.com. After Dinner Activities Swingin Singles: Single? Check. Swing dance fan? Check. Looking for some old-school charm? Check. The Bootlegger’s Foxtrot at the One-Eyed Gypsy is a celebration of freedom with the Fox Hills Five. From 7 p.m.-2 a.m., crush $1 cans of beer, chow $12 pizza and get fancy with $7 champagne cocktails. Grab a dance card on your way in, pick a number and find your swinging sweetie for the evening. Or grab a few drinks and hit on whomever you like. At 901 E. First St., (626) 340-3529 or one-eyedgypsy.com. Musical Couples: At the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra will do all the serenading. “Baroque Conversations” is a series of five concerts, each
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14 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
Romance in the City
Meals and More Continued from page 13 Going Vintage: The Millennium Biltmore Hotel is closing in on a century of history. So it’s only fitting that they offer a “Vintage Romance” package. With rates starting at $209, the special includes a bottle of champagne and a plate of desserts delivered to the room. There’s also a buffet breakfast for two. Late check-out? It’s a given. At 506 S. Grand Ave., (213) 624-1011 or millenniumhotels.com. Working for Love: It’s about to get sweaty. Hey, get your mind out of the gutter! The Fitness for Two package at the Los Angeles
Athletic Club includes a 60-minute personal training session for two, as well as a fitness class, workout snacks, a room and breakfast for two. It’s $269. On Feb. 14, the club also has a Beatles-themed “Strawberry Fields Forever” dinner starting at 7 p.m. At 431 W. Seventh St., (213) 625-2211 or laac.com. Getting Handsy: Two words: champagne bath. The Ritz-Carlton Spa offers two V-Day packages. The Sweet on You version includes a Hot Chocolate Stone Massage, whatever that is, along with a champagne bath and photo by Gary Leonard
Spend Valentine’s Day on the streets of Downtown with thousands of your closest friends. Yes, Art Walk this year lands on Feb. 14.
sweets in the spa’s special “couple’s suite.” It’s $400. The Sugar Rush package ($230) includes the mysterious chocolate massage
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February 11, 2013
Downtown News 15
Celebrating 40 Years
Take Her Out To the Ballpark Dodger Planning Boss Janet Marie Smith Looks at The Present and Future of the Iconic Venue by Ryan VaillancouRt staff wRiteR
he Dodger action has been fast and furious since Guggenheim Baseball Management purchased the team last May for $2 billion. First came the addition of high-profile and equally high-priced players. Now, 51-year-old Dodger Stadium itself is getting an upgrade, with an estimated $100 million in work taking place in the 56,000seat venue. The visionary behind these improvements, and potentially many more to come, is new Director of Planning Janet Marie Smith. Smith has made her career as a stadium builder and master planner, most recently at Camden Yards with the Baltimore Orioles, but also with the Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves. She also has a history in Downtown, having taken a whack at redesigning Pershing Square three decades ago. She spoke with Los Angeles Downtown News about the Dodger Stadium vision, now and in the future, and why she keeps sticking with baseball. Los Angeles Downtown News: Why did you take this job? Janet Marie Smith: Why wouldn’t you? It’s such a wonderful opportunity. I’ve loved
Dodger Stadium forever. It’s so unique. I’ve always thought as a baseball fan it’s one of the best places ever to watch baseball. The second reason is I’ve worked for [Dodgers President] Stan Kasten before, who was president of the Atlanta Braves when we built Turner Stadium in 1996. It’s amazing to be a part of his team. He’s such a seasoned executive and has such a focus on fans and that’s clearly been my lifetime goal — looking at how the public uses the space. Q: What was the most important task given to you on day one? A: [Dodgers Chairman] Mark Walter and his partners had very immediate goals that were fan oriented. There were two central objectives. First, make it as commodious and nice for the fans as fast as you can make it; they saw this as very basic. It’s not dreamy schemey stuff. We didn’t have enough power in this building for fans to use their cellphones or get Wi-Fi once you had about 5,000 people here. Our scoreboards clearly were antiquated. So this collection of technology was one big focus. The other piece was, [Walter] in particular didn’t want people wasting a half-inning see Dodgers, page 17
Janet Marie Smith was tapped by the new Dodgers owners to mastermind a slate of stadium upgrades to enhance the fan experience. The team undertook about $100 million in improvements over the offseason.
Dudamel Conlon Gilad
One Orchestra Three Great Concerts as seen on
Yehuda Gilad, Music Director & Conductor
February 19, 8:00 pm Gustavo Dudamel conducts Walt Disney Concert Hall April 4-6, 5:30 pm James Conlon conducts Opera at Colburn Zipper Hall April 20, 7:30 pm Yehuda Gilad conducts Ambassador Auditorium Tickets: colburnschool.edu/tickets 213.621.1050
16 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
Celebrating 40 Years
40th Anniversary Edition T
his keepsake edition of the Los Angeles Downtown News will celebrate our 40 years being the voice of Downtown. Features will include a profile of the 40 most important Downtowners of the last 40 years, a look at the best and worst of Downtown over the past 4 decades plus lots of historical information and a reflection on the past with a look into the future of Downtown.
A Great Place to Advertise
on all ads (1/8 Page or Larger. Contact your advertising representative for details.)
Glossy Pages Available: This special edition of the Downtown News will include full color glossy pages on the Front Cover, Page 2, Inside Back Cover and the Back Page. Ad space sold on a first come basis. Glossy ad space deadline is Monday, February 11, 2013.
Half Page (10.25 X 7.625) ..................$2032 Front Page Strip (10.25 X 1.5) ............$1295
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February 11, 2013
Dodgers Continued from page 15 waiting in line at concessions or restrooms. So we’re literally renovating every restroom on the Loge, Reserve and Top Deck levels and doubling the number of men’s fixtures that are required by code and putting 50% more women’s fixtures in. Q: Dodger Stadium is a car-centric destination with no pedestrian life or activity outside of game hours. How would you change that, if at all? A: We’d love to change that and change the perception of it. For years Dodger Stadium has offered daily tours, has the store open on the Top Deck and there are a number of things that happen here from the marathon to motocross. Certainly we’d like to see more of that happen and make it better known. We’re especially excited about the conversations we’ve had with the city about doing a dedicated bus lane from Union Station, and using the Red Line and the stop over at Vermont to get mass transit from there to here. We see a lot of opportunities. We just haven’t delved into them yet. Q: What’s the first difference fans will notice on opening day? A: I think people will notice how much more spacious each particular area is. I think the Loge level in particular has always seemed very dark. It felt crowded even when it wasn’t, just because it’s so compact. In the Reserve area, the concourse has had such minimal services and yet Stan often says it is as big as Staples Center — why do we have these itty-bitty concessions and restrooms? We’re doing the big new team store there, three new big concession stands and new kids’ areas there, so I feel like our concourses will have the kinds of services that fans find at AT&T [in San Francisco] or Petco Park [in San Diego]. One of our goals is to make certain that just because we have the best views in all of baseball doesn’t mean that you have to suffer through not having the same kind of amenities. Q: The new hexagonal HD video displays in the outfield have a retro look. Why not go modern? A: Because that shape is so distinctive to Dodger Stadium and we didn’t want to lose what’s distinctive. This building has some wonderful ’60s designs, from the hexagonal scoreboards to the zigzag pavilion roofs to these inverted canopies on the Reserve and Top Deck. We didn’t want to destroy any of the iconic features of this park. Q: What other upgrades, big and small, do you anticipate that didn’t make this first wave of improvements? A: The most obvious thing is all of our work is between the foul poles this year with some very modest things beneath the Pavilion, but eventually we’d like to do a lot more with the outfield. You’ve got these beautiful views of the game overlooking the bullpen and it would be fun to do something more than just having asphalt and a drink well out there. Q: Are the improvements more important for bringing in the casual fan? The diehard fans will come anyway. A: You don’t want fans coming and saying, as they have for years, the jokes about the bathrooms. We’d like to be remembered for the Dodger Dog, but we don’t want to be remembered for the troughs in the men’s room. I think there’s just a certain standard that we as Americans have become accustomed to that is better than the one that we had in 1962 when the park opened. Q: Frank McCourt had proposed mixed-use developments around the stadium, with housing and various retail uses. Is that part of the new owners’ vision, near or long term? A: I don’t know. And that’s not avoiding the question. It’s just to say those are exciting ideas and they’re wonderful opportunities but they’re out on a much longer horizon. I think as new owners they were like, “You know what, we’re playing baseball in April and we don’t want to wait for an uncertain future for the things we can have now.” That’s improving the concourse, the restrooms, the concessions. None of those things are dependent on any other outsidethe-park issue. Q: Some have theorized that the stadium could be razed, the team could move Downtown and the land could be developed into housing. From a business perspective, is there any reason not to do that? A: That’s an exciting idea too, but we’re still playing baseball here in April. We might want to do that, but our exhibition game is March 28. So do you freeze Dodger Stadium and sort of wait to see what the future looks like? Any of those ideas, even if you knew they were certain, are five to 10 years out and we’re still playing baseball here while those things happen. I think what’s admirable about their approach is [it’s] let’s invest
Downtown News 17
Celebrating 40 Years in it now. If there’s some better future, we’ll absolutely get excited about that, we’ll listen to that. But this is now. Q: In the 1980s, before you got into baseball stadiums, you were part of a group planning the future of Pershing Square. A different group ended up designing the park. How would you have done it differently? A: It’s an almost impossible problem because, as a public park in a city that doesn’t use public parks the way you do in a city that’s densely populated, it has very few constituencies that care about it. I think over the decades it’s gotten worse, not better, with the Biltmore turning its lobby around [to Grand Avenue] and you still have big surface parking lots there. It’s hard to imagine a public space and all it can be when it doesn’t have a constituency that cares about it. Q: This is your fourth MLB team and stadium. What fascinates you about ballparks?
A: The thing I love most professionally is working in the public realm of cities. That’s what I care about. How do you revitalize waterfronts when industry leaves? How do you change how people use cities? That’s what I really love. When I went to work with the Orioles what was interesting to me was it was the first time a baseball team moved into an inner city and said I want to be part of the urban environment. Who would have known that it would turn out as well as it did and have that staying power? Once I got into that niche, it was just a chance to keep going. Q: Is the Dodger assignment a long-term one? A: I have no idea how long it might be. I don’t know that we have a good feel yet on what we might want to do after these projects are done. None of my projects are ever forever. It’s like sending a child off to college. You finish them up and let them go be. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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18 Downtown News
Tower Continued from page 6 code, Fire Chief Brian Cummings said. The project will include high-tech LED lighting embedded in the building’s glass “skin,” but AC Martin has not finalized plans on how to incorporate the lights, Martin said. According to the project’s city approvals, the lights can broadcast advertisements on the lower podium and upper levels, but only non-commercial artistic imagery can be used in between. At question is where to place the lights in the tower — the denser the bulbs, the sharper the imagery, but more lights means a greater expense for a technology that could become outdated quite soon, Martin said.
February 11, 2013
Celebrating 40 Years A 900-room hotel will occupy the building’s upper floors. Beneath it will be 400,000 square feet of office space sitting atop a podium housing retail, restaurants and other amenities. The building is being developed by Korean Air, a subsidiary of Hanjin International. Construction is slated to start late this year, after the razing of the shuttered Wilshire Grand. The new tower is expected to open in December 2016. The spire will reach 1,100 feet, which is taller than US Bank Tower, currently the tallest structure west of the Mississippi. US Bank Tower’s highest occupied floor, however, will remain higher than the top level of the Wilshire Grand project. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at email@example.com.
Around Town Continued from page 2
New Torah Coming To Downtown
Kogi Truck Founder Opening Chinatown Restaurant
oy Choi, who started the Los Angeles food truck craze with his Kogi Korean BBQ Truck, is rolling into a new home in Chinatown. Choi is bringing Chego! to the Far East Plaza at 727 N. Broadway, said George Yu, executive director of the Chinatown Business Improvement District. Chego! had been in Culver City but closed about three months ago for what was described as “renovations.” Since then, Choi has been serving the restaurant’s menu of Asian fusion meals out of the Chego Truck. There is no opening date yet for the Chinatown location. The Far East Plaza originally opened in 1976 as Food Center, and was the first ethnic food court in the U.S, Yu said.
he Downtown Jewish community will grow stronger this week, with a new torah coming to a reopened synagogue. On Thursday, Feb. 14, from 12:30-2:30 p.m., a “Sefer Torah” ceremony will be held to put the final words on the torah coming to the synagogue on the 12th floor of the International Jewelry Center at 550 S. Hill St. According to Henry Shahery, one of the owners of the property, the temple will be open weekdays and cater to Jews who work in the surrounding Jewelry District. “The plan for the future will be to bring a teacher so there will be religious instruction,” said Shahery. A temple had been in the building for about a decade, said Shahery, but it shut down. The reopening event, which is open to the public, will feature appearances by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and 14th District City Councilman José Huizar.
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February 11, 2013
Downtown News 19
Celebrating 40 Years
St. Vincent Continued from page 1 were the trademark of the alley for more than a decade were gone. That has put merchants like Bgos Miaramoglu, who opened the kebab restaurant Sevan Garden in the alley about 10 years ago, in a state of panic. While Sevan Garden has a sizable interior seating area, he believes that losing the outdoor tables will kill his business. “I’m finished,” said a teary eyed Miaramoglu on Tuesday. While the move may seem sudden, Tuesday actually marked the boiling point in a long simmering feud between St. Vincent Court property owners and the Delijani family, which owns the Los Angeles Theatre. The alley dead-ends at the theater’s rear loading doors and the outdoor tables obstruct daytime access for trucks carrying gear for everything from filming operations to rock concerts. Shahram Delijani, whose father Ezat Delijani purchased the Los Angeles Theatre in 1987 at the request of then-Mayor Tom Bradley to save it from the wrecking ball, said the merchants have cost his family millions of dollars in lost filming-related revenue over the past 10 years. The family long resisted filing a complaint and triggering the crackdown, he said, because they hoped to negotiate a compromise that would allow for outdoor tables and protect theater access. After a round of lengthy negotiations last summer failed to produce a compromise, Delijani recently filed a complaint, prompting the 24-hour notices issued Tuesday. Deal Goes Cold The 1931 theater is a popular filming location, but productions must rent an adjacent parking lot on Hill Street to store equipment and park trucks, instead of backing up to the
loading area. Some productions ultimately film elsewhere to avoid the cost of renting the lot, Delijani said. Now, in concert with 14th District City Councilman José Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative, Delijani said he is looking to program more live entertainment at the theater, making the loading issue pressing. “This isn’t just about my family profiting from the theater, this is about activating the city’s namesake theater, the nationally registered historic landmark,” Delijani said. “When my dad purchased and maintained the theater at a huge expense, he would have never imagined that its future would potentially have been jeopardized because of some restaurants in an alley blocking access to our loading doors. It’s ludicrous.” St. Vincent Jewelry Center owner Peklar Pilavjian, who counts seven of the alley merchants as tenants, said he has made several attempts to legalize the outdoor seating. Last year, he, Delijani and city officials, including a representative of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, tried to broker a compromise. During negotiations, Delijani said he agreed in part to a proposal to widen the sidewalks in the alley from five to nine feet, leaving ample room for sidewalk dining. Pilavjian, who would have been responsible for most of the approximately $90,000 worth of work, supported the concept even though the street tables would have been eliminated. But Delijani insisted that two spaces large enough to accommodate 72-foot-long trucks would have to be set aside exclusively for the theater. One of the proposed spaces is in front of a building owned by Pilavjian, who balked at the prospect of losing access to the parking slot. That’s when talks broke down, said Pilavjian, who fully acknowledges that the outdoor dining conflicts with city code. “I know I don’t have any legal recourse,” Pilavjian said. “I’m hoping to appeal to the
photo by Gary Leonard
St. Vincent Court is an easy to miss alley off Seventh Street in the Jewelry District. Although the tables on the sidewalk and the street have always been against city code, they were tolerated for more than a decade.
fairness doctrine of our esteemed mayor to realize that the livelihoods of many people — and it’s not mine — are going to be lost.” Those people include Kacin Celik, who opened Tulip Café in St. Vincent Court four years ago. The cafe has nine outdoor tables, some of which seat up to six people, and five smaller tables inside. On Tuesday at about 1 p.m., the patio was full. Not a single indoor table was occupied. “This is my business’ heart,” said Celik as he gestured to the patio, which was temporarily covered in a plastic enclosure warmed by heat lamps. “If I don’t have this I close the store. I sell it right away.” Celik said he knew that the outdoor seating arrangement was a code violation when he opened his business. But after years of city tolerance, he never expected enforcement. Huizar spokesman Rick Coca said there was no way to soften the blow on the merchants once Street Services was directed to enforce the code. “We recognize the arguments on both sides and would really like to see an amicable solution,” Coca said. “When the dust settles after these actions, we would still hope that that’s possible.” For now, Celik, Miaramoglu and the other
merchants will have to apply for conditional use permits to allow tables on the sidewalks in St. Vincent Court. Such permits, which can take months to process, are discretionary and could be denied. Delijani rejected the notion that Pilavjian or the St. Vincent Court merchants are victims. “I didn’t want it to come to this,” he said. “It’s a simple black and white issue: They’re illegal. They should have taken the deal that would have kept them there, but they weren’t willing to give me an inch.” With the alley cleared, access to the theater may nevertheless face new challenges. While trucks can reach loading docks through the alley, parking for long stints will require permits. Like the permits for sidewalk dining, production-related approvals are discretionary. FilmL.A., the nonprofit that coordinates film permits for the city, is required to reach out to businesses near the shoot location. When location managers visit St. Vincent Court to notify merchants of future productions and proposed truck parking, Pilavjian warned that they should expect to meet some disgruntled shopkeepers. “These guys are going to make hell,” he said. Contact Ryan Vaillancourt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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20 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
photo by Gary Leonard
Celebrating 40 Years
Art Walk Continued from page 1 the best position Art Walk has ever been in.” Crisis to Stable Moller, 38, is a Downtown resident and events producer who previously served as the director of Anaheim’s Parks and Recreation Arts Program. He was tapped to lead Art Walk in December 2010. His appointment came after the previous volunteer director, Jay Lopez, was fired in September 2010. Lopez had famously announced on the Art Walk website that the event would be cancelled. Instead, the Art Walk board ousted Lopez and pledged to continue, but only after a group of eight Downtown property owners came up with $200,000 to support the event. Moller has made strides on the financial front, and now has a budget of $225,000-$250,000 annually to support the event that takes place on the second Thursday of every month. Most of it comes from corporate sponsorships. Developer Tom Gilmore is the only one of the original stakeholders who still provides monthly support. He gives Art Walk about $2,000 a month, Moller said. “We still receive financial support from him, which is less than one-tenth of our operating budget,” Moller said. “So for the goal of being self sufficient, yes we are, but we’re nowhere near the level of sustainability that we would like to achieve.” Although Moller wants to reach a point where Art Walk has a “cushion” and can do things such as sponsor scholarships
and programs to buy art supplies for needy youth, the program is able to pay its bills. That includes Moller’s $70,000 a year salary, as well as the $40,000 earned by the nonprofit’s only other paid employee, Director of Operations Qathryn Brehm. The nonprofit also depends on a team of unpaid interns to help organize the happening. Other expenses include monthly permit fees that have been as high as about $8,800 for city services. The fees for this year are being renegotiated with the city, Moller said. The economic success pleases Gilmore. “Financially, they’re virtually independent right now. The money I provide is more like gravy,” Gilmore said. “I think Joe has turned out to be an extraordinary thing for Art Walk.” Corporate Ties Since Moller took over, he has cemented deals with busi-
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nesses including Brookfield Properties, Zippo, Converse, Smart Car, Red Bull, the WSS shoe company and Macy’s. Monthly sponsorships start at about $10,000, Moller said, and could include ads in the Art Walk map, product placement at the Art Walk Lounge (located at The Exchange L.A., a nightclub at 618 S. Spring St.) and more. The result of the financial relationship can vary wildly. Last June, Zippo hosted a concert by Venezuelan band La Vida Boheme and gave away about 300 lighters. In November 2011, Art Walk teamed up with tourism officials from Malaysia to give away a trip for two to the country. While some art purists may feel leery of the corporate ties, Marc Loge, a member of the Art Walk board, said what Moller has done is necessary to keep the event alive. “Without sponsors, Art Walk wouldn’t be here,” he said. “We’re presented with a bill every month from the city for services that are rendered.” Moller is at the center of it all. During last month’s event, he held court at the Art Walk Lounge. Dressed casually in jeans, a T-shirt and red sweater with matching red sneakers, he worked the crowd, shaking hands, patting backs, talking about the art on the walls and pointing people to the free food offered by the night’s corporate sponsor, the Taste FIGat7th food court. Few people were commenting on the artwork, which featured impressive pencil drawings by Nick Begnaud and the colorful paintings of Irish artist Dee Craig. Instead, they were gushing over the food provided by some of the restaurants at
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February 11, 2013
Downtown News 21
Celebrating 40 Years
the recently opened food court. Once the food ran out, most of the crowd left the lounge. Party Walk Art Walk was formed in 2004 by gallery owner Bert Green to generate more attention and business for the growing Historic Core gallery scene. The event quickly grew into a popular attraction. Even before Moller took over, it was commonly accepted that Art Walk had transformed into more of a monthly party than an event where people came to buy art. Bars and restaurants were usually packed. It had reached the point that certain galleries even closed on Art Walk night, knowing serious buyers were not in the crowd. Still, Moller maintains that the growth of Art Walk can be measured by the number of participating galleries. He said the tally has risen from fewer than 20 to nearly 50 places — although before Moller took over, the Art Walk website listed about 37 galleries. The current roster of galleries on the Art Walk website and map includes venues that some may not consider galleries, among them MOCA, which is a museum, and The Local Tourist, a clothing store. Moller is adamant that all of the places that officially make up the Art Walk galleries deserve to be there.
“That list is for brick and mortar businesses who exhibit art on a regular basis,” he said. The financial makeup of Art Walk is not the only thing that has changed, as certain longtime galleries have departed. Green closed his shop and left Downtown in 2011. The graffiti oriented Crewest closed its doors in December after 10 years in business. Drkrm, a gallery once located on Spring Street near Seventh that displayed documentary and photojournalistic work, recently moved to Chinatown. Drkrm owner John Matkowsky said the move had nothing to do with Art Walk, and that he just needed more space. The event, he said, was never financially beneficial for him, so it was not a factor when he decided to relocate. “At the beginning it was about art. Now it’s a party thing and we never sold anything during Art Walk,” he said. Moller said the relocations or closures are out of his control. He points to other advances. The Art Walk website now provides a list of parking spaces near the event, making arrivals easier. Facebook “likes” for the Art Walk page have gone from 12,000 two years ago to more than 58,000 thanks to constant updates. The Art Walk Twitter page boasts 12,600 followers and there is now an Art Walk iPhone app.
photo by Gary Leonard
Moller in the Art Walk Lounge, the center of activity on the second Thursday of every month.
The result, said Moller, is an event that encompasses all of Downtown and benefits the seller and makers of art. “We invite people to the community,” he said. “We promote the galleries, we share their exhibitions, we tell their stories. We are their advocates.
“But at the end of the day, the market decides if they’re interested in the products or the exhibition. We have no control over that spending dollar.” The next Art Walk is this Thursday, Feb. 14. Contact Richard Guzmán at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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22 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
Celebrating 40 Years
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The Year of the Snake will be celebrated in Chinatown Feb. 16-17. Highlights include a world record paper-folding attempt and the Golden Dragon Parade.
Chinese New YearCheck Celebrations Downtown This Weekend Our WebsiteWill for FullFill Movie Listings LADowntownNews.com
JANhe 28 Year of the Snake is slithering into by RichaRd Guzmán
Also likely to attract a crowd is, uh, some Music and Beyond craft beer garden and almost a dozen food paper-folding. The main performance stage will be in trucks including Calbi BBQ, Greasy Weiner Event officials will attempt to break the Central Plaza at 943-951 N. Broadway and and Frysmith. Downtown, as Chinatown this week world record for paper folding by complet- activities will run from noon-8 p.m. both The West Plaza at 943 N. Hill St. will be Starts February prepares to celebrate the Chinese ing 80,000 individually folded pieces of paper days. Performers will include child musicians1 more low-key with kid friendly activates such New Year with a pair of festivals, a parade in square and triangle shapes. It will occur from the South Pasadena Strings Program as face painting, a magician and art workshops. * andMOaBpossible world record. throughout the weekend at Mandarin Plaza and the headliners, an all-girl act called Blush. The plaza action is accented by a second IE to 55678 ILE V O M N T D t Tex will take place Saturday- at 970 N. Broadway. On Sunday, the paper The group, which mixes pop, R&B and dance festival at 715 N. Hill St. Organized by the CLUB The celebration Sunday, Feb. 16-17 at Central and West pla- will be assembled into a large snake figure. moves, is comprised of singers from five Chinese Chamber of Commerce, the event Text DTNMOVIE to 55678 to Join Our“We Movie zas as well as a nearby lot at 715 N. Hill St. thought that would be a good tie-in countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea that runs from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday Club andstreets be Entered to Win Tickets! “Chinatown will be packed andMovie it’ll to the Year of the Snake,” Ho said. and the Philippines. and Sunday will feature a second beer garden serve as a great example of the diversity of One of the more popular aspects of the cele“They’re five young, very talented and at- along with a petting zoo, carnival rides and Chinatown, ” said George Yu, executive direc- bration will also be one of the more traditional. tractive Asian singers,” Yu said. more food trucks. tor*Carrier of the Chinatown Business Improvement The 114th annual Golden Dragon Parade runs Blush takes the stage at 7 p.m. Also per“We’re definitely expecting the younger msg & data rates apply. Reply HELP for help. STOP to quit. 4 msgs/month max. Check Full Movie LADowntownNews.com District, one of the event organizers. 1-3 p.m. on Saturday. It willOur windWebsite down Hillforforming at the Listings Central Plaza main stage will crowd here with the petting zoo and carnival More than 100,000 people are expected Street and Broadway and end at Cesar Chavez be the East Wind Lion Dance Troupe and Jin rides,” Ung said. throughout the weekend that will feature live Boulevard. It will include 170 floats, classic and Wu Kung Fu. Also taking place Sunday is the Great music, food trucks and cultural performances. spruced-up cars, bands, lion dancers, horsThe same acts will perform both days. Chinatown Hunt. The 11 a.m. competition, The Year of the Snake is marked by contem- es and the grand marshals, Mayor Antonio Central Plaza will also house a second stage organized by Race/LA, is a scavenger hunt plation, preparation, reflection and change, Villaraigosa and Police Chief Charlie Beck. with six acts per day. It is being booked by with clues that courses throughout the comsaid Linh Ho, a festival spokeswoman. There are also three honorary grand mar- Kevin Johnson, founder of Buzz BandsFebruary L.A., munity. Starts 8 “We’re adding some different elements shals, including First District City Councilman which exposes up-and-coming local acts. The New Year’s celebration continues the s this year,” said Ho. “We definitely want to Ed Reyes, who represents Chinatown, and The music starts Saturday at noon with the following weekend with the 35th annual L.A. ew N n w to n m/L.A.Dow appeal to aFayounger to people who Bibiana Yung, who worked for the now de- funky folk sounds of Daniel Ahearn and The Chinatown Firecracker Run. The happening cebook.cocrowd, don’t normally come to Chinatown.” funct Community Redevelopment Agency on Jones. They’ll be followed by the Echo Park on Feb. 23-24 will feature 5K and 10K run Elements designed to attract that youth- several projects in the neighborhood. duo Western Scene at 3:30 p.m. Indie rock and bike rides. At the start, officials set off Downtown Facebook fulLike audience includeNews a craftonbeer garden in Nicky Ung, executive director of the act Eastern Conference Champions will close about 100,000 firecrackers. & Be Entered to Win Movie Tickets! Central Plaza. Modeled after the beer gar- Chinatown-based Chinese American the night at 7:30 p.m. The Chinese New Year Celebration is den held during the Chinatown Summer Chamber of Commerce, said that Reyes, who On Sunday six other bands will take the Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 16-17. Additional inNights events, it will be organized by Eagle will be termed out in July, and Yung, who Buzz stage, starting at noon with pop-rockers formation is at (213) 680-0243 or chinatownla. Rock Brewery and include offerings from retired after the dissolution theWebsite CRA, haveforTM87. They’ll be followedLADowntownNews.com by acts including com. Race/LA information is at racela.com. Check of Our Full Movie Listings Downtown’s Angel City Brewing and done a lot for the community and this is a The Vim Dicata and Random Ninjas. Contact Richard Guzmán at Monkish Brewery from Torrance. way to thank them. Also at Central Plaza both days will be the email@example.com.
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Downtown News 23
Celebrating 40 Years
Ghosts in the Machine East West Players’ ‘Christmas in Hanoi’ Digs Into the War and Family Secrets by Kylie Jane WaKefield
or most people, the word “Vietnam” conjures up immediate images, few of them pleasant. They might involve forests being obliterated, soldiers jumping out of helicopters or bombs going off in the middle of a city or village. Richard Nixon might be in there somewhere. Christmas in Hanoi, a new play opening at the East West Players’ David Henry Hwang Theatre in Downtown, is not about the actual battles that went on during the war. Instead, it takes the perspective of the Vietnamese and examines the repercussions that the war and its devastation had upon the culture and the people. It’s about family, dealing with ghosts of the past and learning how to cope and change. “It looks at the war and our participation in it in a different way,” said Jeff Liu, the director of the play that opens Wednesday, Feb. 13, and continues through March 10. “It’s not the same story. It dramatizes, in a clever way, how the legacies of foreign war and policy can literally haunt future generations, whether those generations understand the history about it or not.” The play by Eddie Borey follows Winnie and her younger brother Lou a year after the death of their Vietnamese mother. They travel to Vietnam with their Irish Catholic father and Vietnamese grandfather. There,
they encounter the ghosts of their mother and other individuals. There’s even a CIA tie. Borey is a first-time playwright who won the theater’s “Face of the Future” writing contest last year, which comes with a $5,000 prize. Like Winnie and Lou, he has Irish and Vietnamese parents. Also like the characters, he has been to Vietnam once, where he saw just how his mother’s culture deals with the past. “It’s important to get a good burial and let your family know where your bones are,” said Borey, who also pens horror and science-fiction films. “You help them transition into another world by cooking their favorite foods and putting up their pictures. Due to the war, in the north especially, there have been a huge number of reported hauntings because there were so many violent deaths far from home on unconsecrated ground.” Despite the ghosts, the play is no horror story. Instead, it is intended to reflect the ghost phenomenon in Vietnam and show that as much as one tries to hide from the past, it always catches up. The past comes into play for Long Nguyen, who was a refugee of the war. The actor, whose work includes last year’s Seven Psychopaths, said that the message of the play can be summed up in one of his character’s lines: “You think you can take in a new coun-
Darryl Holter Live at the
Seven Grand 515 W 7th St., Downtown
photo by Michael Lamont
(l to r) Joseph Daugherty, Michael Krawic and Elizabeth Liang appear in Christmas at Hanoi, a new play at the East West Players’ theater in Downtown.
try, but the new country takes you in.” Nguyen notes that the grandfather tries to put Vietnam behind him and won’t talk about it with his grandchildren. It’s a decision he ends up regretting. “What my character finds out is that though he didn’t give them any culture, they still got it,” he said. There is also a personal tie for Elyse Dinh. The actress who plays the mother is herself a Vietnamese refugee. She fled the country when she was young. She was struck by the unique nature of the script and the character. “Eddie had written something that I as a Vietnamese person have also felt but never
CHINESE NEW YEAR
seen depicted or communicated in a movie or play before,” she said. “I appreciated that we would get to say these things.” Christmas in Hanoi may deal with the Vietnamese, but Liu said the play is something that everybody, no matter what their background, who their ancestors are or what sort of family dynamic they have, can relate to. “It’s really about a family dealing with its ghosts,” he said. “That’s pretty much any family, right?” Christmas in Hanoi runs Feb. 13-March 10 at East West Players, 120 Judge John Aiso St., (213) 625-7000 or eastwestplayers.org.
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24 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
Celebrating 40 Years
Globetrotters, Japanese Dancers anD some raDiation talk all DescenD on Downtown
Monday, February 11 Our Radioactive Planet at Aloud Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 2287500 or lfla.org. 7:15 p.m.: Radiation-oriented physician Dr. Robert Peter Gale and author Eric Lax helm this discussion on the impending health threat of worldwide fallout. Hint: It’s not good.
by Dan Johnson, listings eDitor firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday, February 12 Riordan on Public Employee Compensation Millennium Biltmore, 506 S. Grand Ave., (213) 6288141 or townhall-la.org. 8 p.m.: Rescheduled from last month, this discussion on the almighty pension issue and what it means for the future of Los Angeles features former Mayor Richard Riordan and Dr. Lanny Ebenstein. Breakfast will be served.
ecause there isn’t already a sufficient amount of basketball in Los Angeles, the Harlem Globetrotters are stopping by Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 17, for a 1 p.m. show. For those who have seen the gifted ballers take the court to “Sweet Georgia Brown,” this performance comes with a twist. As part of their “You Write The Rules” Tour, the Globetrotters are allowing guests to vote online for a “ground-breaking rule to be implemented into the game.” Options include a penalty box and two basketballs in play. To sweeten the deal, the current Globetrotters roster includes the world’s tallest basketball player and the shortest Globetrotter ever. Your kids will love it. At 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 742-7326 or staplescenter.com.
ll you Hiroaki Umeda fans in the house, make some noise! REDCAT this week hosts three shows from the Japanese dance artist. From Thurs.-Sat., Feb. 14-16, you can catch Umeda’s evocative combination of visceral movement and blistering light accompaniments. This performance features the pieces “Haptic” and “Holistic Strata,” and while we’re not sure how those lofty and abstract titles translate into concrete choreography, we’re positive that we’ll have a better idea after the curtain drops. We think. At 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or redcat.org.
ne t Metro’s Expo Li gh ou th ho w ne for or everyo n dollar method io ill m tiul m a y was merel guess again! t to Culver City, ge to rs ne ow nt Bakery is inDow th ways. CC’s Jazz bo ks or w n ai tr rtle Island The sponsors of the Tu as n ow nt ow D Friday, vading olburn School on C e th at ow sh gendary Quartet local outfit with le e th s ar ye 25 r Fo South Feb. 15. iniscent of quaint m re e m na a d an spreadjazz chops shares has been etim nt ro hf ac Carolina be yful blue-noted inning butter of jo w y m m ra G its g in crannies of Los er the nooks and ov ns tio ra bo lla co ve., (213) 621t 200 S. Grand A A h! za uz H . es el Ang chool.edu. 2200 or colburns
photo by Jeremy Sutton Hibbert for Greenpeace
Blue Whale 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., (213) 620-0908 or bluewhalemusic.com. Feb. 12: Chord Four and Brundlefly. Feb. 13: Taylor Eigsti, Harish Raghavan and Eric Harland. Feb. 14: Taylor Eigsti, Harish Raghavan, Eric Harland and Dayna Stephens. Feb. 15: Trevor Anderies. Feb. 16: David Friesen, Larry Koonse and Storm Nilson. Feb. 17: Le J Quartet and Friends. Bootleg Bar 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or bootlegtheater.org. Feb. 11, 8 p.m.: Mystery Skulls’ residency continues with support from Professor Possessor, James Supercave and Amplive. Feb. 12, 8 p.m.: If David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” had been set in Boca Raton, Vermouth’s skewed lounge music would have been the perfect soundtrack. Feb. 13, 8 p.m.: The promotional text for tonight’s Power Forward event sounds suspiciously misleading. If the words “Super Euro Disco and Girls Girls and… more girls!!!” sound alluring, you may enjoy this evening. Feb. 14, 8 p.m.: Unabashedly French Nous Non Plus will prepare to douse you in its sexually charged, trumpet laden, low key indie. Feb. 16, 8 p.m.: With funk horn arrangements, rhythms straight from the Indian sub-continent and a Brooklyn pedigree, Red Baraat will appeal to your most exclusive, elitist hipster impulses. Broadway Bar 830 S. Broadway, (213) 614-9909 or broadwaybar.la.
orothy and Herbert Vogel were not rich people. They dedicated what funds they had to purchasing art, often via lengthy payment plans. In 2008, the couple initiated their Fifty Works for Fifty States program in which they donated pieces of art to museums in each state. Five years later, the individual gifts are finally coalescing as one complete art exhibit at MOCA Grand Avenue. Through March 11, Downtowners can bask in the remarkable taste of the Vogels and wonder silently what we could amass in our lives if we didn’t drink so much. The exhibit includes Stephen Antonakos’ “Large Unit Neons” (shown here). At 250 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-1710 or moca.org.
photo courtesy MOCA
ROCK, POP & JAZZ
photo courtesy of Hiroaki Umeda
Thursday, February 14 Downtown Art Walk Historic Core, (213) 617-4929 or downtownartwalk.com. 5 p.m.: Art lovers, alcohol lovers and city-living lovers are all welcome at this Valentine’s Day Art Walk. The galleries and bars will be open, so share a romantic stroll down Spring Street with your significant other and hordes of Hare Krishnas.
photo by Bill Reitzel
Wednesday, February 13 Lucha VaVoom 1038 S. Hill St., (213) 746-4674 or clubmayan.com. Feb. 13-14, 7 p.m.: Mexican wrestling and burlesque dancing. What’s not to like? Lunchtime Yoga 227 N. Spring St., (213) 972-8080 or grandpark. lacounty.gov Feb. 13 and 15, 12:15 p.m.: Join your neighbors in a bit of namaste each Wednesday and Friday on the lawn of the Grand Park. Yoga lessons are complimentary. Tom Gilmore at SCI-Arc SCI-Arc, 960 E. Third St., (213) 613-2200 or sciarc.edu 7 p.m.: Downtown developer Tom Gilmore, who pretty much kicked off this whole housing boom thing, ventures out of the Old Bank District safe zone to address the impressionable young minds at SCI-Arc.
sunday, February 17 Black Clock Reading Last Bookstore, 453 S. Spring St., (213) 488-0599 or lastbookstorela.com. 4 p.m.: Black Clock Literary Journal hosts a reading to celebrate the release of its 16th edition. Sweet! Authors from the issue will read a bit of their work. Literary discussion will ensue.
photo © JohnPhotography.net
ell folks, it’s time to highlight the harsh reality of living on planet Earth circa 2013. We have ourselves a radiation problem. Not to distract you from the Kardashians, but if you’ll turn your attention to a map, you’ll notice Los Angeles’ proximity to Nellis Air Force Base, site of weapons storage. Another glance at ocean current charts will reveal L.A. waters may be getting some of that radiation from the Japanese Fukushima tragedy. If this is at all disconcerting, you may want to head to the Central Library on Monday, Feb. 11, when the Aloud series presents the program A Guide to Living on Our Radioactive Planet. The 7:15 p.m. event features nuclear medicine expert Dr. Robert Peter Gale and pop-writer Eric Lax. Don’t forget your iodine pills. At 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or lfla.org.
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February 11, 2013
Downtown News 25
Celebrating 40 Years
TO LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
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.
2your EvEnt info Easy ways to submit
4 wEb: LADowntownNews.com/calendar/submit 4 EmaiL: Calendar@DowntownNews.com
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Suim nner m i D ch and D n Lu
Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli. Nokia Theater 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6020 or nokiatheatrelalive.com. Feb. 14, 6:30 p.m.: Ne-Yo, T.I. and RaVaughn front Power 106’s “Valentine’s Crush” event, the title of which is hopefully an allusion to a heavy romantic interest and not a frenzied attempt by the audience to exit the venue. Feb. 15, 8 p.m.: Roberto Tapia is the Jason Mraz of rancho music. Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m.: If there were ever a show at Nokia Theatre that would make you want to run up to the Marriott and get a room immediately afterwards, it’s Charlie Wilson, Keith Sweat and the Whispers. Feb. 17, 8 p.m.: English singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran is here for those who have an interest in international heartache and minimal energy to exert at a live show. Nola’s 734 E. Third St., (213) 680-3003 or nolasla.com. Feb. 12, 8 p.m.: Reggy Woods Jam Session. Feb. 13, 7 p.m.: New Orleans Connection. One-Eyed Gypsy 901 E. First St., (626) 340-3529 or one-eyedgypsy.com. Feb. 13: RT N the 44s. Feb. 14: Bootleggers Fox Trot with the Fox Hills Five Band. Feb. 15: The Downtown Train. Feb. 16: Nocona. Redwood Bar and Grill 316 W. Second St., (213) 652-4444 or theredwoodbar.com. Feb. 11: Leo Rondeau and the Ben Reddell Band. Feb. 12: Billy Bones. Feb. 13: Dog & Pony Show and Nicole Lexi Davis. Feb. 14: Early Bird Circus, Michael Grand, Miss Tarah Marie Arnold and The Singularity. Feb. 15: The Hangmen, The Flytraps, The Breakdowns and King Neptune’s Sailors. Feb. 16: Go Betty Go, Black Mambas, Bad Cop/Bad Cop and the Zoo.
Feb. 14, 10 p.m.: Yes, once again its HM Soundsystem’s Broader Than Broadway electronica program. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day? Casey’s Irish Pub 613 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2353 or bigcaseys.com. Feb. 16, 10 p.m.: If you have a penchant for loud pseudo-punk or a cavalier, trendy association with our Native American forebears, be sure to check out We Were Indians. Club Nokia 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or clubnokia.com. Feb. 13, 7:30 p.m.: If you’re feeling nostalgic for the Bush administration and overdriven guitar power chords, travel back in time to 2002 as Stone Sour and Papa Roach hit the stage. Exchange LA 618 S. Spring St., (213) 627-8070 or exchangela.com. Feb. 15, 10 p.m.: I’d sure hate to find myself in a dark alley with Dutch trance innovator Ferry Corsten. The temptation to rob him would be overwhelming. Feb. 16, 10 p.m.: Russian DJ and heartbreaker ARTY is here to give Downtown a taste of the sounds of Murmansk! Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or grammymuseum.org. Feb. 12, 8 p.m.: Michael Bolton spends an evening at the Grammy Museum. This, for the record, is not the Michael Bolton from Office Space. Feb. 14, 8 p.m.: Mothers tell your children not to do what he has done. Eric Burdon of the Animals stops by for a chat with Grammy
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26 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
Celebrating 40 Years
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February 11, 2013
Downtown News 27
Celebrating 40 Years
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LEGAL civil summoNs SUPERIOR COURT OF CALIFORNIA COUNTY OF SANTA CLARA NO. 111CV211712 PLAINTIFF: WILLIAM FOSTER, JR., ET AL VS DEFENDANTS:
SIMON BRODIE, ALLERCA LIFESTYLE PET, INC. AND DOES 1-100, INCLUSIVE You have 30 CALENDAR DAYS after this summons and legal papers are served on you to file a written response at this court and have a copy served on the plaintiff. A letter or phone call will not protect you. Your written response must be in proper legal form, if you want the court to hear your case. There may be a court form that you can use for your response. You can find these court forms and more information at the California Courts Online Self-Help Center (www.courtinfo.ca.gov/selfhelp), your county law library, or the courthouse nearest you. If you cannot pay the filing fee, ask the court clerk for a fee waiver form. If you do not file your response on time, you may lose the case by default, and your wages,
money, and property may be taken without further warning from the court. There are other legal requirements. You may want to call an attorney right away. If you do not know an attorney, you may want to call an attorney referral service. If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be eligible for free legal services from a nonprofit legal services program. You can locate these nonprofit groups at the California Legal Services Web site (www. lawhelpcalifornia.org), the California Courts Online Self-Help Center (www.courtinfo.ca.gov/ selfhelp), or by contacting your local court or county bar association. The name and address of the court is: Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara 191 N. 1st St. San Jose, CA 95113
Case Number: 111CV211712 Dated: October 21, 2011 The name, address, telephone number, and fax number of Plaintiff’s attorney is: Scotty Storey (State Bar No. 227124) Law Offices of Scotty Storey 100 Saratoga Ave., Suite 100 Santa Clara, CA 95051 Telephone: (408)920-6300 Pub. 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18/13 FicTiTious BusiNess NAme FICTITIOUS BUSINESS NAME STATEMENT FILE NO. 2013014404 The following person is doing business as: CENTER BUSINESS SYSTEMS, 323 W. Valley Blvd., Suite 202, Alhambra, CA 91214, are hereby registered by the following registrant: MOE ESSA, 323 W. Valley Blvd., Suite
202, Alhambra, CA 91803. This business is conducted by an individual. Registrants has not begun to transact business under the fictitious business name or names listed herein. This statement was filed with DEAN LOGAN, Los Angeles County Clerk on January 22, 2013. NOTICE—This fictitious name statement expires five years from the date it was filed in the office of the county clerk. A new fictitious business name statement must be filed before that time. The filing of this statement does not of itself authorize the use in this state of a fictitious business name in violation of the rights of another under federal, state, or common law (see Section 14411 et. seq. Business and Professions Code). Pub. 1/28, 2/4, 2/11, 2/18/13
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28 Downtown News
February 11, 2013
Celebrating 40 Years
State of the Art
Two California Plaza is a Downtown Los Angeles landmark surrounded by world-class
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For more information, or to schedule a property tour, please contact:
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