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DEVELOPMENT

MUSEUMS

CULTURE

Really open floor plans dominate in Seward Media Corridor.

Wear your mask and enjoy reopenings after a year of shutdowns.

Pritzker prizewinning architect’s designs were among trip’s highlights.

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Page 12

REAL ESTATE ENTERTAINMENT, LIBRARIES HOME & GARDEN

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VIEW

Section 2

LARCHMONT CHRONICLE

APRIL 2021

HANCOCK PARK • WINDSOR SQUARE • FREMONT PLACE • GREATER WILSHIRE • MIRACLE MILE • PARK LA BREA • LARCHMONT

326 S. Windsor | Windsor Square | $9,995,000 SOLD Represented Buyer. Recently constructed, 5Bd / 9 bas, den, office, gym & 13 seater theater. Pool & spa Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

330 S. Irving Blvd. | Windsor Square | $4,499,000 Estate quality! 5Bed/3.5 in House + 2Bed/1.5 Huge Guest house + Yard! Must see! Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

505 S. Rimpau Blvd. | Hancock Park | $9,200,000 One of a kind. Sophisticated, stylish & stunning estate designed by Gordon Kaufmann. 505Rimpau.com

546 S. Rimpau Blvd. | Hancock Park | $6,999,000 Grand Italianate w/ gst house! 6bed/6.5bBa, Amazing details! 2story entry! Co-listed.

201 S. Plymouth Blvd. | Windsor Square | $4,599,000 IN ESCROW. Beautifully remodeled & restored English just 1 block to Larchmont. 3 bed/3.5 ba+1 bed GH

Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

165 N. Las Palmas Ave. | Hancock Park | $4,499,000 Stately English Tudor on a beautiful treelined st. 5Bd / 4.5Bas, covered patio, large pool & 3 car-garage.

571 Cahuenga Blvd. | Hancock Park | $2,935,000 All redone in 2018. 3Bd / 3Bas + studio apt, pool.

604 S. Arden Blvd. | Hancock Park | $2,264,000 SOLD OFF MARKET OVER ASKING. 4 Bed / 3.5 bath, corner of Arden & 6th

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

156 S. Arden Blvd.| Hancock Park | $1,999,000

637 Wilcox #1B | Hancock Park | $1,000,000

568 N. Windsor Bl. | Larchmont Village | $1,000,000

145 S. Hudson Ave. | Hancock Park | $25,000/MO

IN ESCROW. Super Chic & Cozy! Rare find-3bed/ 2 updated baths + private pool & converted garage room!

JUST SOLD on the green. Rare 2 bed + 2.5 bath unit w/ terrace & golf course views. 637Wilcox1B.com

Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

IN ESCROW. Duplex blocks from Larchmont Village ready for your creativity. 568Windsor.com Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

Stately Country English on one of the finest blocks in Hancock Park. 6 beds + 2 baths, pool with spa. Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

142 N. Hudson Ave| Hancock Park | $18,500/MO GolfCourse View Estate! 5Bed/4.5 Bas 1bed/1ba guest rm, pool, 3rd St + Marlborough schools close. Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

1166 S. Victoria Ave.| Hancock Park | $4,950/MO Oxford Sq. home 3 bed & 2 ba. Wood floors. French doors. Spacious backyard. Artist workshop.

346 Westminster | Windsor Square | $4,000/MO JUST LEASED. Sweet 3+1.25 home w/hardwood floors and newer appliances. Sweet backyard. Garage.

135 S. Alta Vista Blvd. | Miracle Mile | Price upon Req 2 Story character Spanish 4/3.5 + Guest house. Appx. 3,100 sqft. Lot. Showing after April 12.

Barbara Allen 323.610.1781 CalRE #01487763

Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

Cecille Cohen 213.810.9949 CalRE #00884530

COLDWELLBANKERHOMES.COM Hancock Park 323.464.9272 | 251 N Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90004 ©2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. CalRE #00616212


2

Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

Developing affordable housing: Don’t believe the YIMBY hype For anyone paying attention, affordable housing is currently being heralded as the cure-all for a host of the city’s ills. Homelessness, workforce housing, urban flight, poor public transportation, climate change and segregation will all vanish if the city BUILDS! Builds more, builds bigger, builds faster and builds everywhere. Here in Greater Wilshire, we are in the eye of the storm. In Hollywood to our north, the Hollywood Community Plan Update has passed the City Planning Commission with the promise of more density, and — in Sacramento — San Francisco’s State Sen. Scott Wiener and Bay Area YIMBYs seek to end single-family housing and local control. (YIMBY is an abbreviation for the real estate industry-sponsored “yes in my back yard” movement. It’s supposedly a counter to NIMBY – “not in my back yard” — get it?) Now don’t get me wrong, I am neither anti-development nor do I deny the desperate need for more affordable housing. I do, however, question the veracity of some of the claims of local groups such as Abundant Housing, the Friends of the Purple Line and LA Forward ... and even some of the reasoning coming out of Council District 4 Councilmember

On Preservation by

Brian Curran

Nithya Raman’s office. They all are trumpeting that the affordability crisis has reached such a degree that all other considerations (historic preservation among them) must be laid aside for the greater good. I am also curious why these groups are putting their faith in what amounts to what retired city planner Dick Platkin, writing in “CityWatch Los Angeles,” called “trickle-down affordable housing.” That means expecting the real estate and development interests to adequately provide the solution to a social problem that they are partially responsible for. That certainly is a definition of wishful thinking. Consider Hollywood, where the City Planning Commission just passed the new Hollywood Community Plan Update — that included the up zoning of central Hollywood ... in an effort to drive real estate development ... in the hope this will provide needed new affordable units ... which will come as a result of the construction of many

New Listing 322 S. Rossmore| $5,750,000 5 Bed+5 Bath|Hancock Park

more market-rate units. What the planning commissioners neglected to do, however, was to protect the vast concentrations of existing (and often historic) affordable and rent stabilized units, which now will be prime targets for demolition and redevelopment. While the theory is that these units will be replaced, oftentimes years later, it is soon that the existing communities will be displaced and the neighborhood “cleansed” (as the “Los Angeles Times” put it), while newer affluent professionals with cars move in ... or not, inasmuch as Hollywood has among the highest vacancy rates in the city, according to a recent UCLA study.

Closer to home, YIMBY advocates call for the end of single-family zoning, including in Historic Preservation Overlay Districts (HPOZs), calling it exclusionary and racist. They argue that social justice demands that existing residents must make room for “missing middle housing” so as to welcome those who historically have been denied access to resource-rich communities. Their theory, here, is that the more of these new residences that contractors build, the cheaper housing will get. Senate Bill 9 is being sold as one such tool to achieve this. SB 9 would allow lot-splitting that encourages land speculators

to buy houses, demolish them wholly or partially, split the lot, and build six to eight marketrate housing units where one house previously existed. This will increase land values exponentially and make affordable housing impossible. SB 9 also eliminates objective zoning standards and allows unregulated building size. SB 9 and these other YIMBY and developer proposals do not require units to be affordable. Why would a developer volunteer to earn less money than the free market will supply? For example, in our readers’ general vicinity, new units in modern four-plexes rent for far above (Please turn to page 19)

TELEVISION CITY at Fairfax and Melrose has just applied to the City Planning Dept. for review o its propose pecific an etai e in ormation is a ai ab e no at tvc2050.com .

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SOLD

137 S. Larchmont | $2,995,000 4 Bed+4 Bath| WINDSOR SQUARE

New Listing 2314 W. 21st St. | $1,450,000 4PLEX 8+4 Total | Studio City

In Escrow 11568 Chiquita | $6,795,000 6 Bed+ 8 Bath | Studio City

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3331 Caroline |$2,950,000 2 Homes 3+2.5 Each| Culver City

319 S. McCadden| Off-Market 4 Bed+ 3.5 Bath| HANCOCK PARK

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Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

reati e o ce By Suzan Filipek A five-story creative office building targeted to media companies and designed with an open space, post-pandemic perspective, is planned at the northwest corner of Melrose Avenue and Seward Street. Floor-to-ceiling windows, an open stairwell and ample outside spaces are among features of the project by developer Bardas Investment Group. Plans include 68,000 square feet of new office, retail and open space in four buildings at 6101-6107 Melrose / 713735 N. Seward. The project includes two existing historic buildings that are part of the 100,000-square-foot campus. The design by architect Ben Toam of Otherworks (formerly with Rios) also includes ground-floor food services and subterranean parking to be entered from Seward. The new development/adaptive re-use project is envisioned as an anchor at the end of the Seward Media Corridor, which is home to — among other entertainment companies — Netflix, one of Bardas’ tenants. The Media Corridor extends north to Santa Monica Blvd. The Fremont Branch of the Los Angeles Public Library is next door on Melrose.

SECTION TWO

ilding planned in

edia

AN ALL-WHITE building with floor-to-ceiling windows, viewed from the east on Seward. Melrose is at left. Proposed as a five-story, media-focused project, it adjoins the John C. Fremont Library.

Project requirements include a zoning and height change and a traffic study; so far an application has been submitted to the City Planning Dept. West Hollywood developer and founder and managing principal at Bardas, David Simon, has also met with business and community groups, including the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council’s Land Use Committee. Simon was part of the team that developed Columbia Square in Hollywood. “I’ve always been focused on media spaces from a real estate perspective in L.A.,” he said.

The 74-foot-tall commercial development at Melrose and Seward will replace a parking lot and a late 1920s singlestory commercial building. That building’s sole remaining tenant is Big Sunday, the massive local volunteer group. Big Sunday will be moving by the end of the year (See story on page 19 of Section 1). Renderings show a white corrugated metal façade and setbacks on Melrose with terraces and balconies above. The project will create a new pedestrian access. Simon explained that, prior to the pandemic, “everything was heading towards outdoor

istrict on

elrose

OUTDOOR spaces, above and below right, are among features of the Bardas Investment Group development, at Melrose and Seward.

space, but it really accelerated it, and that was the main focus of the building. And, Southern California has the climate for it. “Our goal is to keep the media companies in L.A. and not have them move out.” And keep the jobs here as well, he added. Locally, in commercial real estate, life sciences and entertainment properties are thriving, unlike many other commercial business sectors, explained Simon. Entertainment companies are not interested in the highrise buildings of the past. “Media companies are very finicky on the type of space they want — creative environment, low density, space to collaborate and ease getting in

and out.” Simon hopes to break ground in 12 to 18 months, and to complete the project in approximately three years.

ome ro nd to ret rn in a Paula Panich, our Home Ground columnist, is away from home this month. We look forward to reading her column in our next issue in May.

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Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

t can take a illage to go an e tra mile to ho se each one of s The February front-page Larchmont Chronicle article about Giorgio has been on my mind. “We talk about how homelessness is growing at such a rapid rate and we can’t stay on top of it. Our neighborhood truly is a village and it’s important to take care of your village,” commented Olivia Kazanjian, (Larchmont resident). When we see Giorgio, hunched like an old man on a walker, we are witnessing the insidious demise of a large percentage of our population in one man. How does our dysfunctional system allow a shopping cart to become someone’s “home” filled to the brim with old clothes and mementos long forgotten? Have we grown so used to walking past people sleeping on sidewalks that we’ve given up on Giorgio? On all the Giorgios, “because we can’t stay on top of it”? A statement that has been far too easy for us to accept. I reached out to my friend Sarah Dusseault, a commissioner at the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA), for her guidance on helping Giorgio. Sarah connected me with Eduardo, who gave me a heartwarming account of helping an unhoused neighbor get off the street. That neighbor, Lansing, lived behind a store in the Sunset Square area for seven years. Many of the neighbors looked after him. When Lansing could no longer live behind the safety of a locked gate, he moved to a corner on Sunset. “The neighbors rallied and

The NIMBY Diaries by

Marilyn Wells began looking for ways to help Lansing,” Eduardo recalled. One of the neighbors had already discovered that Lansing was a U.S. military veteran and was eligible to receive benefits. Ms. Dusseault helped connect the dots by finding a case manager and mental health resources, and everyone switched into high gear to help Lansing. One neighbor suggested finding another gated area. “I thought, that’s like moving him from the middle seat to a window seat. No, we’re going to upgrade him!” exclaimed Eduardo. Lansing was hesitant because he didn’t want to leave the comfort of his neighborhood. The neighbors finished the final mile of the marathon by locating an affordable unit in the area and helping Lansing move into his new home. As I listened to the determination of the Sunset Square’s neighbors to help one man, I felt empowered. It does take a village. A village willing to go that extra mile for all of its residents. I wonder what it would be like to run into Giorgio at Village Pizzeria, wearing nice clothes with his hair combed back. As a community, it is our duty to insure that the people who work in an area can live there. Teachers, Larchmont

employees and our elderly residents who need to scale down should all be able to find housing. We can make a difference in people’s livelihoods by welcoming all new developments that include affordable units, especially what is referred to as the “Missing Middle” — units for both low and middle incomes. At a recent Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council Land Use Committee meeting, Windsor Square’s Tommy Atlee, a recent Yale graduate, now a law student, argued in favor of a new five-story apartment building proposed for 500 N. Larchmont Blvd., “I can’t afford housing in the

neighborhood I grew up in. This building would give me that opportunity.” Our village can chip away at the larger problem, one person at a time, by saying “yes” to affordable housing. Too many people spend more than half of their income on housing, because rents have soared and wages have not kept pace. A worker needs to earn $41.96 per hour in the City of Los Angeles to afford the average rent of $2,182. My background as a mental health professional has taught me that the most meaningful parts of our identity are found in the

community. For this reason, I want to live in a neighborhood that values social, racial and economic diversity. It’s not enough to move the teacher or the young lawyer who can’t afford Los Angeles rents from the middle seat to a window seat if we’re not willing to ask what an upgraded ticket looks like for every neighbor, including our unhoused like Giorgio. Larchmont Chronicle guest columnist Marilyn Wells, Psy.D. is a resident of Hancock Park and an advocate for people with lived homeless experience. She is the co-founder of storiesfrontline.org.

an local millennials a ord the proposed fi e stor archmont ilding By John Welborne Veteran local real estate developer Raffi Cohen is proposing a new five-story apartment building for 500 N. Larchmont Blvd., on the northeast corner of Rosewood. The land now houses Snooknuk, a two-story commercial building and a few other buildings. Under regular local zoning law, a future apartment building on this property would be allowed to be up to four stories tall and have 14 market-rate units. What is proposed would be five stories tall and have 21 units — five additional market-rate units in exchange for providing two units for “extremely low income” (ELI) tenants. (These are households with maximum family incomes of $23,700 for one person up to

therefore support this project. Will they be able to afford the rent? The average perunit rent in the City of Los Angeles is $2,182 per month. One-bedS apartment building proposed room units on for Larchmont and Rosewood, viewed from nearby Rossmore Rosewood, looking northwest. Avenue are available for as low as approximate$44,650 for eight people.) Rents for one of those two ly $1,770 per month, while ELI units could be as low as one-bedroom units in the LG $655 per month. The rents Apartments, two blocks north, for the other units — the 19 on Melrose at Larchmont, market-rate units — have not range from $2,450 to $3,730 per month. been established. If the Larchmont and RoseSome millennial-aged individuals who grew up in neigh- wood project is approved, it borhoods near the proposed will be several years before project complain that they its construction is complete cannot afford to buy a single- and the rental rates for its 19 family home like their par- new market-rate apartments ents’ homes, and they say they are announced.


Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

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Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

Assessors seek clarity of inheritance and other Prop 19 impacts By Billy Taylor California’s 58 county assessors are seeking clarification on the implementation of a new property tax measure with the hope to delay a provision that makes it more costly for children to inherit some homes from their parents. Narrowly approved by voters last November, Proposition 19 partially took effect on Feb. 16, but according to Los Angeles County Assessor Jeff Prang, many homeowners are not yet aware of its impact. To learn more about how the measure potentially impacts local residents, we asked Prang to explain his concerns. Prang says the new measure makes “significant changes” to the California Constitution regarding tax benefits. “Homeowners who meet certain criteria now have expanded taxsaving options, but children who inherit property may face increases in property taxes,” he told the Chronicle last month. Basis transfer Essentially, Prop. 19 does two things. “First, Prop. 19 allows homeowners over 55, disabled, or victims of natural disasters to transfer their property tax basis with them when they sell their home and purchase a new one anywhere within the state — up to three

LOS ANGELES County Assessor Jeff Prang.

times. They can also transfer that tax basis to a home of greater value. Previously, eligible homeowners could only transfer their property tax rate to a home of equal or lesser value and only in a limited number of counties. This is effective April 1,” says Prang. Tax the children The second part of Prop. 19 went into effect Feb. 16 and imposes limits on the intergenerational transfer of the assessed value of the family property. “Previously, parents could transfer their primary residence, and up to $1 million in additional property, to their children without a change in the assessed value, even if the children used it as a rental,” explains Prang. But now,

only a parent’s principal residence may be transferred to the children, and that home must then become the principal residence for the children, or — maybe — one of them, within one year of the transfer. “If these conditions are not met, the home will be reassessed,” Prang explains. Lebowski loophole Supporters of Prop. 19 celebrated its victory as a way to eliminate what was dubbed the “Lebowski loophole,” which is a reference to a 2018 Los Angeles Times report that found actor Jeff Bridges and a sibling had inherited a Malibu home which they leased for $16,000 a month while maintaining their parent’s annual property tax of about $5,000. Does Prop. 19 appropriately address that loophole? Prang says yes. “But it imposes a one-size-fits-all approach and impacts a broad range of homeowners that includes middle-income families with modest real estate investments,” he counters. Ambiguities That’s not the only issue. According to Prang, there are numerous ambiguities in the measure. As just one example, he points to language that suggests that, if a parent transferred property to his or

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her children, and there were multiple children, all of the children would have to live there to claim the transferred property tax rate. “Absurd perhaps, but the language is confusing,” he says. With these issues in mind, Prang supports legislation to clarify the voter-approved measure: “I am working with

the State Board of Equalization, the California’s Assessors’ Association, and state legislators to craft legislation addressing major issues. “Until legislation is adopted, there will be uncertainty and confusion for many property owners,” Prang concludes. Learn more at assessor. lacounty.gov/prop19

Paul Williams’ life and work explored at WSHPHS lecture Hear how Paul Revere Williams, the orphan son of an African American fruitand-vegetable merchant, became one of Los Angeles’ iconic architects, at a presentation of the book “Master Architects of Southern California 1920-1940: Paul R. Williams,” by Marc Appleton, Stephen Gee and Bret Parsons. The talk, presented through the Windsor SquareHancock Park Historical Society, is Wed., April 21 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. Tickets are $10 for members, $15 for nonmembers, or $60 for an autographed copy

of the book with the talk. For more information on this and other talks in the series, visit windsorsquarehancockpark.com.

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SEARCH. SEE. LOVE. IT’S YOUR JOURNEY. IT’S IT I’M ’M HERE TO HELP.


Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

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Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

I volunteered at a COVID-19 vaccination site

By Caroline Tracy In February I had the opportunity to volunteer at a COVID-19 vaccination site through the Medical Reserve Corps of Los Angeles (MRCLA). The experience was rewarding on many levels and helped me to see the impressive inner workings of our public healthcare system. I wanted to volunteer because, after a year of living in suspended animation, I needed to do something. I also wanted to get the vaccine. I had heard that you could get the shot if you volunteered, so (admittedly) that was a driving factor. However, it was clear that shots are only given to volunteers if supplies allow. I knew that it wasn’t a guarantee, yet, as the day drew nearer, I became more and more excited to see this historic operation unfold and be a part of it. Friends’ experiences A lot of my excitement was kindled by friends’ anecdotes about their own experiences. A doctor friend had volunteered and witnessed first-hand the sheer relief people felt to finally get vaccinated. Another (non-doctor and non-clinical) friend volunteered at a church in Inglewood. After a day stationed as a greeter, she felt energized and hopeful because of helping others and being use-

ful, not to mention social (in a safe way). I also had heard a particularly moving episode of public radio’s “This American Life,” detailing the reactions of people getting their vaccines. Everyone described the experience of witnessing this emotion as heartwarming and invigorating. I was inspired. My first step was to apply for membership with the MRCLA and then, once accepted, sign up to volunteer with Disaster Healthcare Volunteers of California. Once you get approved for that, you take a survey indicating which date(s) and mega-pod(s) you prefer. I chose The Forum and anxiously awaited my deployment. The day at The Forum When my day came, I arrived at The Forum at 7:30 a.m. All of the check-in details, from staff parking to waiver forms and temperature checks, went as described in the e-mail I had received confirming my deployment. I joined the other volunteers in a tented area where coffee and refreshments were served while we awaited our assignments. Some were sent to traffic control, some to computer systems / management, and many to the observation area. That was where I was stationed for the day. Before leaving for our respec-

DR. BARBARA FERRER, working in the post-vaccination observation area at The Forum.

tive areas, all of the volunteers were asked who wanted a vaccine. Of the 100+ volunteers, about 15 raised their hands. During my time in the observation area, my co-volunteers and I monitored people during the 15-minute waiting period (between the time they received the vaccine until the time they were cleared to drive off). We were told to look for anyone who wasn’t feeling well or was having trouble breathing, at which point we would flag one of the doctors who had been pointed out to us during our briefing. I didn’t come across anyone who had any medical

trouble. People were happy to be checked on and many pleasantries were exchanged. I was encouraged and happy to see many teachers coming through the line that day. Just there to help I liked the energy of the group that I was working with: doctors, nurses, a former NASA engineer (we bonded over our mutual interest in a littleknown but very good show called “Strange Angel,” about rocket engineering at Cal Tech in the late 1930s). As with my friends mentioned above, many had already been vaccinated. They weren’t in it for the shots — they were just there to help. Boston connection Two of the volunteers that I got to work alongside all day (our shift ended after the last appointment around 5 p.m.) happened to be none other than Dr. Barbara Ferrer, director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, and her daughter. I had fangirled enough to know that Dr. Ferrer had a connection to my hometown of Boston. While Ferrer was born and raised in Puerto Rico, she raised her own two children in Boston, and her kids and I went to the same high school. I introduced myself and found her to be a completely familiar character:

brilliant, warm, a devoted public servant. Even her clothes reminded me of growing up in Boston in the 1990s, albeit with a modern spin. I remarked on how well organized everything was, and she was in total agreement, praising the staff at The Forum and all of the other County pods (where she also had volunteered her time). We shot the breeze as much as we could, but ultimately we were there to work. Whenever I glanced in her direction during the day, she was engaging people in their cars. She never tired. Watching her made me feel more connected to my home, more connected to grass roots organization and service. I limped to my car at the end of the day, shot in arm, fulfilled. In mid-March, I returned to The Forum to receive my second shot. My family and I were having old friends for an outdoor lunch that day, and my husband was perplexed at the timing of things. He thought I could be stuck in line at The Forum for hours and was worried I wouldn’t make it home in time for the luncheon. I was in and out at The Forum in 20 minutes. I didn’t see Dr. Ferrer, but I saw some of the other volunteers I worked with, and I thanked them for helping ... and for helping me.

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Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

rom the entral i rar fire ears ago a stor st now eing told EXCLUSIVE TO THE LARCHMONT CHRONICLE

By Sally Stewart Beaudette The shocking April 29, 1986 news broadcasts of the senseless fire ravaging a Downtown building so loved — and then burned and waterlogged — led to a cry for volunteer help from every news source region-wide. I was one of many who heard that cry, and I knew instinctively that, early the next morning, the senior recognized elected and appointed public leaders of the City and County of Los Angeles emergency and logistics teams were instantly needed with their expertise and resources to meet ... as equals ... turf and politics set aside. It was their Library! As is often true, there was tension between them in the months before the fire. Only one person in the private sector could call that meeting ... Lod Cook, chairman of the Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) ... who at the time set the vision for community caring. During the early afternoon of the fire, I called him at his top-floor office in ARCO Tower, across Flower Street from

the burning Central Library. I clearly explained the situation and, with his agreement, — and in his name — his staff then brought together a 7:30 a.m. meeting the next morning. Everyone asked to be in that next-morning group attended without exception ... taking chairs around the huge walnut conference table that filled the wood-paneled Board Room on ARCO Tower’s Executive Floor. No agenda. No paperwork. No note-taker. No camera. No press. And no leaks. No ARCO representative was there.  It wasn’t necessary. An ARCO presence filled the room. There must have been someone quietly solemn from the Library and hoping for help he or she could barely define. Someone ceremoniously closed the huge door when about 25  leaders had filled every chair. I sat purposely not at one end, but with my back to the magnificent city-view windows in the midpoint of the long side of the table filled with Chiefs of City and County Fire and Police departments in uniforms, emergency department leaders, staff of County Supervisors and City Council-

members. No list exists. All had filled out name badges with bold markers, to be readable from across the table. Around the table that morning, in that unfolding crisis, they met as equals. Vital. Respectful. Respected. They came for the Library. They waited for whoever would lead. I began. I remember my words, spoken from my heart and wisdom without notes. “I’m Sally Sturdy Stewart ... third generation Los Angeles. My corporate attorney father Herbert Sturdy was managing partner of Gibson Dunn   & Crutcher at 634 South Spring Street. He rewrote the City Charter for Mayor Sam Yorty  and led the creation of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, the largest natural open space within a one-hour drive of the largest population in the nation. He was Walt Disney’s attorney. “I’m proudly vice-chair of the KCET Public Television board and co-president of the Los Angeles Conservancy that is saving and revitalizing historic places in our city. “And I was a co-chair of Tom (Please turn to page 11)

“CENTRAL LIBRARY, Los Angeles” is a poster by David Lance Goines, released by the Los Angeles Library Association to commemorate the opening of the restored and expanded Central Library in 1993. Goines writes of the poster: “The greatest library known to antiquity was that founded by the first Ptolemy at Alexandria. The story of its destruction is of doubtful authenticity, but other libraries really have suffered dreadful fates. Knowledge put to the torch is a common theme, even in our own time, even among our own kind. Like the fabled phoenix, the Los Angeles Central Library was renewed and stands, more splendid than before, a gem sparkling in the smog-beautiful sunset diadem of tall buildings. City of Angels, heart of soaring celluloid dreams. It really does look like this.” Poster a id ance oines

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Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

Extended hours, books in bundles at libraries The Library To Go program at the Los Angeles Public Library (LAPL) has become so popular that the hours have

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Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In addition, LAPL is now offering book bundles for kids.

If a parent (or child) is looking for something to read, but isn’t sure what to choose, he or she can sign up for book bundles, five books based on the reader’s interest, theme and reading level, personally selected by library staff. For more information, visit lapl. org/kids/book-bundles.

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Larchmont Chronicle

Central Library (Continued from page 9) Bradley’s successful re-election campaign under Fran Savitch. [I paused.] “In this circle right now, I am nobody. ... And I am everybody! “Our Library needs each and every one of you right now, with your resources and expertise. That’s why I called Lod Cook as the fire was still uncontrolled to ask you to come together this morning ... and you have come responding to that call! “Every one of you leading your departments and teams is urgently needed to talk to each other and work together starting in this room right here, right now, to serve and save our Library! “Your cultures and turfs could make that challenging. Not now. You lead our city and county, and you can make things happen. Every idea shared and red tape cleared will make a difference. “Simply, we in this City need you ... and we trust you.” And with those words, the room came slowly alive with connecting, commitment, business cards and empowerment. And they left talking and going to work on the project. There is no other record of

APRIL 2021

that important half hour. Freezers and KCET As Susan Orlean reports in her wonderful tome, “The Library Book,” published in 2018, the Library staff reserved space in huge freezers Downtown to house hundreds of thousands of waterlogged books, to be thawed and returned after the building would again be ready for them — a long time later. Next: So, right from the early morning ARCO meeting, I raced to KCET and directly into the live broadcast studio where I explained the urgent immediate need for people to drive to our Downtown Central Library and, in trunks and on seats (which was my understanding), to cautiously load up and transport wet books to be frozen so they wouldn’t grow mold and have to be thrown out, but could be placed back on new shelves ... eventually. I learned later that the single largest immediate response from volunteers came from KCET’s intense constant onair appeals. [It turned out that volunteers’ personal vehicles were not needed to transport the books. We volunteers carried piles of wet books out from the library shelves and carefully stacked them on wooden pallets outside. There, they were

SECTION TWO

THANK-YOU NOTE sent from “Dick Shunary” to the first 600 of the 2,400 volunteers who helped save the books at Central Library in 1986.

bound together with plastic stretch wrap, and the pallets were loaded on trucks and were driven to frozen food warehouses on the east side of Downtown. – JHW, Ed.] Thanks given Another aspect heretofore publicly unknown: Five days later, I drove to the Library temporary offices (donated by ARCO, across the street) to ask if there was a plan to officially thank the volunteers who had worked under the guidance of the emergency Library leadership team. They were honestly swamped, and they said “no.” So they authorized me to create — and with 10 KCET and Los Angeles Conservancy friends

— to address, personalize, stamp and mail “Thank You” notes to the first 600 volunteers who had signed in and begun helping on Day 1 and during the first five days. The Library personnel trusted me, and they gave us their handwritten lists with approximately 600 signatures and addresses as of that time. I saw several signed-in with their address: “Pershing Square.” Obviously Downtown without-homes  people. Hearing someone comment that  she thought they just came to the saving-the-books effort for coffee, I responded, “No ... this is where they live, and this is their Central Library that they love,  and

11

they came as fellow volunteers to help.” Over two days in my living room in Toluca Lake, we personalized 600 “Thank You!” postcards from “‘Dick Shunary’ and 2400 fellow volunteers.” Someone took a formal photo of our incognito team holding open books in front of our faces. We mailed the 600 postcards all at once at the former main Downtown post office — Terminal Annex. A friend later said, unknowingly, that she had received the nicest personal “Thank You” from Mr. Shunary at the Library ... she’d been so happy to help in the crisis. Postscript: Last night, I checked an untouched file box I have deep in a dark understairs closet, hoping to find a bright yellow postcard if I had saved one. My hand reached down between the papers and suddenly came up with this ... the only remaining one. A true miracle! I thank the Larchmont Chronicle for asking me to share this story about the 1986 Central Library fire that never has been told — prior to right now. Sally Stewart Beaudette now lives in Damariscotta, Maine, and she visits “home” in California when COVID-19 allows.


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Museums open after yearlong shutdown By Suzan Filipek After a year of lockdown due to the pandemic, all of the four major museums along Miracle Mile’s Museum Row have — or will soon — open, with safety protocols in place. The first among them is the Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., which had its rollout last month. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is set to open April 1, and the La Brea Tar Pits Museum follows on April 8. At the Petersen Museum, three exhibits that were

up to three family members through 2021. All tickets must be pre-purchased, including those for health care personnel and first responders, who also need to provide a physical copy of professional verification at museum check-in. Visit Petersen. org. All of the museums follow health and safety protocols set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state and the county to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. (Please turn to page 13)

launched during the pandemic are on view: “Supercars: A Century of Spectacle and Speed,” “Extreme Conditions” and “Redefining Performance,” featuring Porsche’s most innovative road and race vehicles. In addition, “The Aesthetic of Motoring: 90 Years of Pininfarina” debuted at the Petersen March 25, featuring four vehicles by the storied Italian car design firm and coachbuilder. As a thank-you for their service during the pandemic, the Petersen is offering free admission to health care workers and first responders and

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Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

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Exhilaration is on display at Petersen By Steven Rosenthal At about the same time I first learned that the museums were reopening, I received an invitation to review the “Supercars: A Century of Spectacle and Speed” show at the Petersen Automotive Museum. I realized that I hadn’t been out in public for over a year. I thought about the opportunity and learned that the Petersen, along with other museums along Museum Row, were taking the strictest safety precautions prescribed by Los Angeles County and CDC guidelines. When I arrived, a security officer signed me in, and he scanned my

body temperature. It flashed green, the security officer signaled a normal reading, and I was off to see the “Supercars” and special exhibits. As I entered the elevator, I passed signs requesting masks and social distancing. When the doors opened, a colorful array of the most dreamedabout cars sparkled in the exhibit hall. These aggressive performers are striking. My heart pumped, and the adrenalin rose just seeing these automobile treasures, sculptures shaped by speed, wind and the road. With these beauties, the exhilaration begins before you

ITALIAN car exhibit debuted at the opening March 25.

get behind the wheel, and accelerates to stupendous when the cars’ unbelievable performance kicks in. On display are some historical dream machines and modern speedsters built with gold, titanium, carbon fiber and the synthetic Kevlar, a heatresistant and strong synthetic fiber, for additional performance refinement. Two hundred-plus mph is common on these dream rigs, which hug the ground and stand waist high. The favorite Supercar on my wish list is the 1993 Vector W8, which clocks at 242 mph with a formidable turbocharged V8 sporting 625 horsepower. It looks like it’s moving while parked in its exhibit spot. In addition to the new “Supercars” exhibit, the museum debuted an exhibit celebrating Italian design firm and coachbuilder Pininfarina, “The Aesthetic of Motoring: 90 Years of Pininfarina.” You will also find the Hollywood Dream Machines on the first floor featuring the legendary DeLorean time machine from “Back to the Future” and a mock-up transport from “Star Wars.”

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LA BREA TAR PITS, in Hancock Park, will open Thurs., April 8.

Photo by Gina Cholick. Courtesy of NHMLAC

MUSEUMS (Continued from page 12) Staff members and visitors are required to wear face coverings, capacity is limited, and social distancing is enforced with designated navigation paths within the exhibitions. LACMA LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., opens Thurs., April 1 with six new exhibits. They are: “Yoshitomo Nara,” “Cauleen Smith: Give It Or Leave It,” “NOT I: Throwing Voices (1500 BCE - 2020 CE),” “Bill Viola: Slowly Turning Narrative,” “Vera Lutter: Museum in the Camera” and “View From Here: Recent Acquisitions.” Visit lacma.org.

La Brea Tar Pits “Mammoths and Mastodons” will be on view at the La Brea Tar Pits, 5801 Wilshire Blvd., when it reopens on Thurs., April 8. The exhibit explores the world of these Ice Age animals, whose fossils have been found at the Tar Pits and at sites around the world. The museum will be open Thursdays through Sundays with an expanded schedule in the coming months. Visit tarpits.org to reserve your timed ticket entry. Craft Contemporary is set for a Sun., May 9 reopening. Check its website in coming weeks for more information. Visit craftcontemporary.org.

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Larchmont Chronicle

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Plan a post-COVID escape to Mexico for food and culture By Helene Seifer Although the coronavirus is still in our midst, progress of the vaccination campaign inspires thoughts of future travel. In 2019, 32 million Americans visited our southern neighbor; why not look ahead and plan a trip to our sister city in Mexico to explore the cultural riches and pure deliciousness offered by Mexico City? Here are highlights from my own experience eating and “arting” my way from one end of Mexico City to the other when my sister and I visited just prior to the lockdown. Prices are in U.S. dollars. As of this writing, the places mentioned have survived the pandemic, but check before you go. Must-try tastes For a landlocked city, there’s a lot of excellent fish and seafood in this town, and Contramar has some of the best. Executive Chef Gabriela Cámara’s bright and airy restaurant specializes in extremely fresh ingredients simply prepared with herbs, vinegars or light sauces, enabling the individual ingredients to sing. A standout dish is fish Contramar, a butterflied whole grilled white fish sold by weight and sauced with the colors of the Mexican flag: one side swathed in red adobo; the other in a green parsley pesto. Delectable! Ours cost $18. Contramar.com.mx. A charming restaurant with political inclinations (the wait staff’s shirts have silk-screened power fists and the menu declares, “White Supremacy is Terrorism”), Masala y Maiz sits on a boutique-lined side street off Glorietta Insurgentes (Rotary of Insurgents). Chefs Norma Listman and Saqib Keval mash up Mexican, Indian and East African flavors to create mouth-watering and beautifully presented dishes. Our wonderful brunch included $8 giant prawns coated in spicy berbere, an Ethiopian chili blend, and $7 beets mixed with yogurt, fried chickpeas, cucumber and roasted coco-

BERBERE-SPICED PRAWNS from Masala y Maiz.

nut. masalaymaiz.com. Expendio de Maiz is a tiny storefront with a unique concept: sit at one of two communal sidewalk tables and eat whatever you’re given until you say, “Stop!” Owner and original Chef Jesús Salas Tornés’ ode to heirloom corn, now helmed by Ana Gonzalez, serves a succession of mainly blue corn tortillas topped with such delights as sardines and nasturtiums or avocado, crema and chorizo. We stopped after five plates each and the whole brunch set us back $20 total. expendiodemaiz.com. In a rating of the 50 best restaurants in Latin America, Quintonil was awarded a well-deserved 11. Named for a green Mexican herb, this highend restaurant in the “Beverly Hills” area of the city is known for their $120 ten course prix fixe, but we ordered four dishes à la carte totaling $72. Chef Jorge Vallejo‘s inventive and beautiful plates included charred avocado atop insect dust and fish in grasshopper adobo sauce. A show-stopper was pork showered in gossamer petals of roasted plums and figs, basking in contrasting puddles of deep red sweet chili sauce and pale gold pureed potatoes. If you can forget about all the edible bugs, you’ll be in food heaven. Quintonil.com. Cultural riches Of course, we do not live by food alone; we also must feed our souls with Mexico City’s abundant heritage of art and culture. Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are essentially the

QUINTONIL’S SHOW-STOPPING PORK with fruit “petals” and sauces.

modern patron saints of the city, and one of the best places to enjoy their art is Museo Dolores Olmeda. It’s well-worth the 45-minute Uber ride to the city outskirts to visit the hacienda of Rivera and Kahlo’s former patron. The interior is packed with their paintings and domestic artifacts, and peacocks and lush greenery adorn the beautiful grounds. Head back into the city proper to visit the Frida Kahlo Museum, the bright blue home where she was born and died. Rooms surrounding a plant-filled courtyard remain decorated as they were when Kahlo and Diego Rivera were in residence. The extraordinary Diego Rivera Mexican history mural adorning the walls at the National Palace in the city center depicts the struggles for freedom against the French, the Spanish and assorted dictators. In a “where’s Waldo” move, Rivera hid an image of his wife amid the throngs of

FRIDA KAHLO AND DIEGO RIVERA exhibition at Dolores Olmeda Museum.

characters displayed. Head to the sprawling Chapultepec Park to visit what is generally regarded as the most important museum in Mexico City. The Museo Nacional de Anthropologia (National Museum of Anthropology) recounts the history of ancient Mexico through artifacts and dioramas. Other worthwhile museums in the park are Museo de

Arte Moderno (Modern Art Museum), which features paintings by muralists including David Alfaro Siqueiros, who has a mural on Olvera Street, and the Museo Rufino Tamayo (Rufino Tamayo Museum), founded by the artist himself and featuring his work. Museos Soumaya and Jumex share a plaza in a tony neighborhood filled with sidewalk cafes and ritzy shopping. The visually striking Soumaya is clad in 16,000 reflective hexagonal aluminum tiles. This most visited art museum in Mexico contains notable 15th to 20th century European art and paintings by Mexican muralists. Museo Jumex, a beautiful white concrete building (Please turn to page 15)

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Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

Voters elect GWNC directors

SOUMAYA MUSEUM’S sweeping aluminum-clad curves.

Mexico

(Continued from page 14) with signature sawtooth roofline, has one of Latin America’s largest collections of contemporary art. Those interested in architecture must visit the last residence designed by Pritzker Prize-winning Mexican architect Luis Barragán, Casa Gilardi. Here the architect’s fascination with light and color is epitomized by yellow-filtered light in a corridor leading to a turquoise indoor / outdoor room containing both a dining table and a swimming pool. Also of interest is the nearby Casa Luis Barragán, the architect’s former home and studio, where he experimented with

his design concepts. Do consider a visit to the magnificent art nouveau Palace of Fine Arts. The building’s opulent interior includes fine murals, a Marotti crystal roof and the world’s only Tiffany stained glass stage curtain. It’s worth catching a colorful Ballet Folklórico performance there. Off the beaten path A lesser-known activity is the street art walking tour of murals commissioned to address violence against women, honor indigenous communities and commemorate the devastation of the 1985 and 2017 earthquakes. To book a tour, message mural project creator Aida Mulato through Instagram @jóvenesartesanos.

By John Welborne On March 23, the Los Angeles City Clerk released “unofficial” election results from the March 16 Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council (GWNC) elections. Approximately 450 voters elected 19 new Directors for the 21 seats on the GWNC Board of Directors. Most of the seats also have elected Alternates, who were the runners-up in the vote count. Final results were due to be released after the Larchmont Chronicle’s press deadline because ballots postmarked by March 16 still may be counted up to March 26. (The final results will be included in our updated story online.) The following are the unofficial winners, listed by seat, with the Director’s name first and any Alternate’s name second. 1. Brookside: Owen Smith, Joane Hennenberger Pickett; 2. Citrus Square: Jeffry Carpenter; 3. Country Club Heights: Brian Donahoe, José Tamayo; 4. Fremont Place: Vacant; 5. Hancock Park: Jennifer DeVore, David Trainer; 6. La Brea / Hancock: Cathy Roberts; 7. Larchmont Village; Charles D’Atri, Kathryn Burke; 8. Melrose Neighborhood: Christopher Hauck, Philip A. Farha; 9. Oakwood-Maplewood-St. Andrews Neighborhood: Bind-

hu Varghese; 10. Ridgewood Wilton - St. Andrews Square: Patricia Carroll; 11. Sycamore Square: Conrad Starr, William Schneider; 12. Western-Wilton (We-Wil) Neighborhood: Juan Portillo Jr.; 13. Wilshire Park: Michael Duggan, John Gresham; 14. Windsor Square: Gary Gilbert, Caroline Labiner Moser; 15. Windsor Village: Stephanie Shim, Beau Lloyd; Renter (tie as of 3-23-21): Hayden Conner Ashworth and Bailey Benningfield; Business: John Winther, Raphie Cantor; Education: Scott Appel; Religious: Vacant; Other Nonprofit: Cindy Chvatal, Helen Eigenberg; and AtLarge: Brian Curran, Joe Suh.

GWNC geographic areas

15

For the first time in the 20-plus years of the GWNC, there was an organized slate of candidates running for some of the available seats. Sponsored by several local “progressive” organizations, the slate consisted of six people running for six seats. Two members of this slate were elected as Directors (Bindhu Varghese in the OakwoodMaplewood-St. Andrews Neighborhood and Juan Portillo Jr. in the Western-Wilton [We-Wil] Neighborhood). Kathryn Burke was elected as an Alternate for Larchmont Village, and Raphie Cantor was elected as an Alternate for the Business category. For the Renter category, there was a tie at press time, with slate member Bailey Benningfield to become either the Director or the Alternate, depending upon the drawing of straws. New GWNC board members are expected to take their seats at the April 14 meeting of the Board of Directors. Learn more at greaterwilshire.org.


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Larchmont Chronicle

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SECTION TWO

Spy thriller takes place in Cuban Missile era; corrupt FBI tale The Courier (9/10): 105 minutes. PG-13. I remember Oleg Penkovsky (a scintillating Merab Nididze) very well. He was a highly placed Soviet official who fed secrets to the West before and during the Cuban Missile crisis. This film purports to tell the whole harrowing story. The courier was Greville Wynne (Benedict Cumberbatch in an Oscar-deserving performance), a British businessman who was recruited to receive and deliver the secrets to British and American intelligence. Directed by Dominic Cooke from a script by Tom O’Connor, this is a story that has begged to be told for more than a half-century. I don’t know how accurate the details are, but the basic facts are true, except that the relationship between Wynne and his wife, Sheila (Jessie Buckley, who was such a hit in 2019’s “Wild Rose”) was totally made up because little to nothing is known about her. Even though you know the outcome (well, I did), it’s tense and dramatic the whole way through, a terrific film. My main objection is that they should have added graphics to the end telling what happened to Wynne after. If you are telling a true story, finish it. City on a Hill (8/10): 10-part series. TV-MA. The performances of Kevin Bacon and Aldis Hodge highlight this gripping crime series set in Boston. Bacon plays a corrupt FBI agent and Hodge is an ambitious Assistant District Attorney taking on a case that challenges the city’s criminal justice system. It’s as much about the charac-

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ters’ personal relationships as it is about the case. The supporting cast sparkles. I hated to see it end. Prime and SHO. Subtitles Although Netflix has beaucoup films to watch, they devastate their foreign films by inserting voice-overs, dubbing the dialogue with English-speaking actors, which destroys the enjoyment of the film. It’s disconcerting for many reasons. First, the lips are not synchronized, which is bad enough. But worse is that the actors are generally second rate. You know that all the dialogue is being read by someone in front of a screen watching the actors emote, which loses any hope of verisimilitude. Every time I try to watch a foreign film on Netflix, I feel as if I’m watching Woody Allen’s brutal satire of dubbed films, “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” (1966). If you want to watch foreign films, you should try MHz Choice, which shows only foreign films, and they do not dub the dialogue. Further, the subtitles are first-rate. When Hollywood does subtitles, they are generally awful if not amateurish, often white on white, blending in with the background. Here is a sampling on MHz Choice: Agent Hamilton (8/10): 10part series. TV-14. This is a Jason Bourne-type adventure with seemingly everyone in the world after secret agent Carl Hamilton (Jakob Oftebro) after a series of bombings and cyberattacks in Stockholm. Who are the good guys, and who are the

At the Movies with

Tony Medley bad guys? Can we trust anyone, even Hamilton? Oftebro is an attractive protagonist / antagonist (who knows?). And his girlfriend, Sonja (Katia Winter), is drop dead gorgeous. It is deviously convoluted as twists keep occurring. MHz Choice. Swedish, English and Russian. Spiral (8/10): Eight seasons of eight episodes each, starting in 2005, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2017, 2019, 2021. TV-PG. This is a French crime drama

that looks at each situation from various points of view, showing immense corruption on all sides. Vaguely similar to “Law and Order,” it’s different from American crime dramas because of the way that judges, magistrates, and officials in France work together with detectives. The only drawback is a tendency towards showing long, detailed scenes of burned and mutilated bodies, which is unnecessary — often disgusting — and detracts from the overall excellence of the show. I finally started fast-forwarding through those scenes. Caroline Proust shines as the main protagonist detective showing the challenges and sensitivities facing an attractive woman in a violent man’s world. The supporting

cast includes many fascinating characters. Won the 2015 International Emmy for best Drama Series (Season 5). MHz Choice and Prime. French. Murder in… (7/10): Seven seasons of nine episodes each. A gorgeous collection of murder mysteries, each one set in a different, picturesque region of France. The stories are good, and the cinematography and locations are visually charming. MHz Choice. French. What is MHz? MHz Networks offers viewers access to a library of the best foreign television mysteries, dramas, comedies and documentaries subtitled in English through its subscription streaming service, MHz Choice. For more information, go to mhzchoice.com.

Pols and Pinks; St. Pat’s back at Bergin’s By John Welborne There are some signs of normalcy returning to town. Pink’s Hot Dogs is back

TOM BERGIN’S is serving outdoors and in, here with a midday crowd on St. Patrick’s Day.

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open (observing all the protocols, of course). So is Tom Bergin’s, “The House of Irish Coffee, Est. 1936.” These familiar destinations, one on La Brea, one on Fairfax, are welcoming customers, who obviously are very happy to be back. For this year’s St. Patrick’s Day at Bergin’s, the large outdoor canopy that was erected the first time outdoor dining was allowed is again a popular spot. In addition, there were spaced-out (physically, we mean) diners at tables and standing at the bar inside the restaurant. Ever notice how much pols love Pink’s? The accompanying photos of some of our local elected leaders, living and not, make that point. In the middle of last month, Pink’s turned

out a small (socially distanced) crowd of Tom LaBonge family and friends to salute the late councilman for something he so much would have appreciated — having a Pink’s hot dog named for him! The “Tom LaBonge Mr. Los Angeles” hot dog is a mouthful, both to say and to eat.

TOM LaBONGE and the new “Tom LaBonge Mr. Los Angeles” hot dog are saluted by (from left) Richard Pink, Brigid LaBonge and Zev Yaroslavsky on March 12, 2021.

Inc.

POLS LOVE PINKS, including, from left with Patt Morrison, former councilman Tom LaBonge, former supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, city attorney Mike Feuer and councilman Paul Koretz, all ready to speak before the “Pink’s Square” dedication in 2018.

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Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

17

Will blockchain be part of art’s post-pandemic world? And, 29 percent said they would not go to the theater at all until 2022. So, funding, yes; audiences, maybe? Can you have art without an audience? Adding to the equation is the fact that 78.1 percent of the participants said they would be willing to pay 10-25 percent more for their tickets when they do return, to help arts organizations make up lost revenues. This, while well-intentioned and perhaps even necessary, will only make performances more expensive and exclusive than they are now, and add to what will inevitably be an inflationary race to make up lost income. This may result in the elitism of the 1950s of my youth, when “those people” who regularly attended theater and concerts could afford it, and the rest of us got our culture from radio and TV (yes, radio and TV once did that!). What are we paying for when it comes to theater and art? What is the “value” of an

Theater Review by

Louis Fantasia

artistic event, and how is that value determined? The most depressing phrase I’ve heard on this subject recently has been, “The value of the artwork is in the blockchain.” Once more: “The value of the artwork is in the blockchain.” This was in reference to a “non-fungible token” or NFT that recently sold at Christie’s for nearly $70 million. It’s a nice enough piece of digital art (that anyone can download), done by a (formerly) amateur artist who calls himself Beeple (real name Mike Winkelman). The work was bought with Ethereum Bitcoins, and is stored as part of a blockchain. On its website,

Spice up your meals with Pantry Party comestibles By Rachel Olivier When Lauren Jack first started putting together her ideas for Pantry Party, it was from a love of variety in tastes and flavors. Jack says she enjoyed obtaining jams, spices, oils and other flavorful items from small local makers at farmers markets. She also liked knowing that she was supporting local farmers and purveyors. Jack grew up on Lucerne Boulevard with sister Ali, and Lauren went to Marlborough, obtaining her postgraduate degree from U.C. Santa Barbara in environmental science. Her bachelor’s is from Rhode Island School of Design. After 10 years of working in fine art, some of those years working at the Marciano Art Foundation, Jack wanted a different challenge and went to work making sustainable packaging more available, efficient and cost effective for businesses. Part of sustainable packaging includes keeping items local. This became her postgraduate project at U.C. Santa Barbara. When the pandemic hit, restaurants began trying to find other ways for people to take their food home, such as selling sauces and mixes. But people were staying close to home, ordering take out and delivery, popping into the grocery store, and, Jack suspected, falling into flavor ruts. She said she had an idea for introducing new flavors to those who were essentially trapped at home. She set up Pantry Party, a bi-monthly subscription service of sweet, savory and spicy comestibles. Jack said she contacted res-

Christie’s declares that the artwork is “unique.” So is every Big Mac McDonald’s ever made. But… I get it: when Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to repaint the Sistine Chapel, it was unique and privately held art. Japanese investors in the 1980s bought Van Goghs to keep in safes. Art bubbles have burst over everything from 17th century Dutch tulips to Cabbage Patch Kids dolls. I get it: art is what we say it is and worth what someone will pay for it. But I’ve never heard it put so bluntly before: “The value of the artwork is in the blockchain.” I thought — o silly boy! — that the value of art was in what it did to you, the viewer, the listener, the audience member. That’s why audiences need to be in theaters: to be “touched” in the same

space, at the same time, with the same breath, as those performing. It doesn’t work if you are on the other side of the screen. Film, of course, is designed to cross that screen through its manipulation of optics and perception. But I’m talking about “live” art, whose blockchain exists only in the ephemeral moment of performance. The value of that, to quote King Lear’s favorite daughter, is “nothing,” just as is the “value” of her love for him. Nothing. Price-less. Going forward into the brave new world of post-pandemic art, we’d better figure out where its value lies before it’s too late, or like Lear we’ll end up howling with a dead Cordelia in our arms, wondering how we got here. Don’t worry. I’ll feel better in May. I promise.

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COMESTIBLES are packed in bi-monthly Pantry Party boxes (with some from these first two of the series already consumed for tasting).

taurants, chefs and makers, sometimes watching them prepare the items, and also worked to ensure the packaging was, for the most part, recyclable or reusable. The idea behind the subscription box, she said, is to provide flavors that are unique, fresh and easily added to dishes while cooking at home. This was a box that would deliver an adventure for taste buds where physical adventure might be denied. Product QR codes lead to ideas for recipes. Jack taste-tests everything and likes thinking that she might be helping to expand someone’s palate. Subscriptions are $60 per box, every other month. Some items may be purchased separately and start at $10. For more information, visit pantryparty.co (yes, that’s “dot-co” and not “dot-com”).

LC608

In the opening of “The Wasteland,” T.S. Eliot reminds us that “April is the cruelest month, breeding / Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing / Memory and desire, stirring/ Dull roots with spring rain.” Eliot also reminds us that “winter kept us warm…” but that’s another story. This month saw some metaphorical lilacs sprout in the art world, including the fact that the American Rescue Plan stimulus bill included $470 million for the arts (mostly through grants to the NEA, NEH, and state arts councils). Good, right? Almost. In a recent survey carried out by theater-consulting firms AudienceView and TheaterMania, 70.5 percent of respondents (from lists of theater-goers) said “widespread vaccinations” would be needed before they felt comfortable entering a crowded theater; 93.5 percent felt they would not be comfortable unless masks were compulsory.

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Shooting at LAPD Olympic Station

LARCHMONT’S iconic Medical Building changed its exterior color from red to blue last month.

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POLICE BEAT Rash of car thefts continue across Greater Wilshire WILSHIRE DIVISION BURGLARIES: Technology equipment and credit cards are among the items stolen from an apartment within a building located on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Highland Avenue on March 1 between 5:30 and 8 p.m. after a suspect gained access through a rear patio door. A 17-year-old boy arrived home on the 100 block of N. McCadden Pl. to find a male suspect inside the residence eating food in the kitchen on March 7 at 9 p.m. When the boy confronted the suspect, the man fled with the food items out a rear door. A laptop, bag and credit cards were stolen from an apartment within a building located on the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Highland Avenue on March 7 between 5:30 and 6 a.m. Computer and camera equipment was stolen from inside a Wilshire Boulevard apartment between March 8 at 10:50 p.m. and March 9 at 7 a.m. after a suspect broke a lock box and used the key to access the unit. Unknown property might have been taken after a suspect kicked in the front door to a home on the 300 block of S. Orange Dr. and ransacked the interior on March 11 between 10 a.m. and 6:51 p.m. GRAND THEFTS AUTO: A grey 2015 Hyundai Sonata was stolen while parked on the 400 block of S. Cochran Ave. between March 1 at 9 p.m. and March 2 at 10 a.m. A black 2020 Volvo XC60 was stolen while parked on the 100 block of S. Alta Vista Blvd. between March 3 at 9 p.m. and March 4 at 7:40 a.m. A black 2018 Jeep Grand Cherokee was stolen on March 5 at 5 p.m. while parked near the corner of Waring and Highland avenues. A black 2018 Hyundai Sonata was stolen while parked in an apartment garage on the 300 block of S. Detroit St. on March 7 between 2:11 and 2:25 p.m. A black 1999 Honda Civic

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was stolen while parked on the 400 block of S. Cochran Ave. between March 8 at 10 a.m. and March 11 at 1 p.m. A silver 2012 Hyundai Sonata was stolen while parked on the 100 block of N. Orange Dr. between March 12 at 10 p.m. and March 13 at 11 a.m. A white Chevy S10 was stolen while parked on the 600 block of S. La Brea Ave. on March 13 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. A grey Ford F15 was stolen while parked on the 200 block of N. Beachwood Dr. on March 13 between 3 and 4 p.m. OLYMPIC DIVISION ROBBERY: A woman was waiting for a taxi in front of her home on the 1000 block of S. Gramercy Pl. when a grey sedan pulled up. A man jumped out of the car and grabbed the woman’s purse, causing her to fall to the ground as the suspect fled in the car on March 10 at 5:55 p.m. BURGLARY: A suspect entered a residence through a rear door to a home on the 1200 block of S. Wilton Pl. on March 16 at 9:15 a.m. The victim confronted the suspect as he walked in the front door, causing the suspect to flee without any property.

GRAND THEFTS AUTO: A grey 1999 Lexus was stolen while parked on the 800 block of S. Gramercy Pl. between March 1 at 10 a.m. and March 2 at 3 a.m. A white 2012 Kia Rio was stolen while parked near the corner of Norton Avenue and Olympic Boulevard on March 7 at 9:50 p.m. A black 2017 Kia Sportage was stolen while parked on the 100 block S. Gramercy Pl. on March 5 between 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. A white 2001 Chevrolet Van was stolen while parked on the 400 block of S. St. Andrews Pl. on March 15 between 2 and 7 a.m. A black 2015 Hyundai Sonata was stolen while parked on the 500 block of S. Wilton Pl. on March 15 between 8:30 and 9:30 a.m. A white 2012 Toyota was stolen while parked on the 400 block of S. St. Andrews Pl. between March 16 at 10 p.m. and March 17 at 8:30 a.m. THEFTS FROM AUTO: Property was stolen from a vehicle parked on the 600 block of N. Bronson Ave. after a suspect broke in on March 9 at 10:15 p.m.

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involved shooting occurred. The suspect was struck by gunfire and transported to a local hospital. Officers recovered the handgun at the scene. The LAPD later posted on Twitter that the suspect “underwent surgery and is listed in critical but stable condition.” The investigation was still ongoing at press time.

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A man was shot by a police officer while trying to enter the Olympic Police Station while holding a gun on March 23 at 2:20 p.m. The man came to the front doors of the station, which were locked due to COVID-19 protocols. When two officers went outside to see what the man wanted, officers noticed the man’s gun and an officer-

Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

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Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

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Unbelievable! I was dealt a nearly one-in-three-million hand In Texas Hold’em, with 2,598,960 poker hands possible, some are so rare that it is practically unbelievable when a player catches one of them. Indeed, when that happens and another player has a big hand, it will be very costly for the latter. A while back, that happened to me. It was shortly before the coronavirus pandemic shut down the Hustler Casino in Gardena, Calif., where I enjoy $4 - $8 low-limit Hold’em. That day, I had been playing only a short time, during which

I lucked out to win a huge pot in addition to several smaller ones. So, I was happily well ahead when this happened. In an early position, I was dealt Ac-9d — a hand playable in any position, even an early one. So I called to see the flop along with four opponents: Ad – 6s – 6h. That gave me two-pair, aces and sixes. Probably the top twopair. Unless an opponent held an Ace with a bigger kicker (e.g., A-K vs. my A-9) or a third six in the hole, my hand was

On Preservation

tle density increases in neighborhoods as a moderate way of increasing housing,” while at the same time prudently coming out as a supporter of single-family housing. When it was pointed out to her that SB 9 ends single-family zoning, she said that she would need to study the matter further. The false narrative around affordable housing that the Councilmember and her staff unfortunately are hearing is the result of the lobbying efforts of market-rate developers and contractors. But this narrative is not going anywhere (at least, in terms of producing needed affordable housing). Only real planning that takes into account population

(Continued from page 2) what is affordable to someone making the county’s average household median income. The reality is that no developer is likely to buy an expensive single-family-home property to demolish it. Rather, developers are likely to go to urban Los Angeles areas where single-family land is cheapest (relatively). Those will be the single-family neighborhoods in low and moderate-income communities of color. In a recent town hall with the Hancock Park Homeowners Association, our Councilmember Nithya Raman said she supported SB 9 and “gen-

Family-Run

Poker for All by

George Epstein the favorite. I decided to open the betting and see what I could learn from it. Three of them called; there was no raise. I smiled to myself, certain that I was well ahead. Very confident. Even more so when the turn growth, infrastructure capacity and traffic (and historic preservation!) — as well as state and federal affordable housing subsidies from Sacramento and Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-like entities — will guarantee a sustainable city with the affordable housing we seek. This is especially important to remember as our own Wilshire Community Plan is soon due for an update, and then the pressure will be on us.

was the As. I had Aces-full-ofsixes! Imagine my excitement. I focused on not giving any tells so my opponents would have no clues as to the monster I held. Now my goal was to build the pot as big as possible. If I again opened the betting, surely some of my opponents would muck their hands; you cannot make any money that way. So I decided to go for a check-raise. The player to my immediate left, a loose-aggressive player, came out betting. At this point in the hand, the bets were doubled in size ($8 instead of $4) compared to the first two rounds of betting. That would help to build the pot I was so sure of winning. Trying to read his hand, I figured him for a big pair in the hole — second best to my full house. The other two players pondered a bit, and then decided to call. “Good,” I said to myself, as I planned to complete the check-raise. All three of them called my raise. The pot was

HUGE! In my imagination, I was already adding a third rack to my chips. I smiled. The dealer then placed the River card on the board. I gasped; it was a third six! If an opponent held a six in the hole, he had just caught four sixes — quads. That would render my full house a poor second-best. I calmed myself when I realized that for that to happen, my opponent would have had to catch a oneouter — a 50-to-1 long shot. Not likely. I called his raise. Guess what: At the showdown, he turned up 6 – K suited. That hand took all my previous winnings and then some. “Unbelievable,” a player to my right commiserated with me. I had to take a break so I would not go on tilt. Yes, unbelievable — but it did happen. George “The Engineer” Epstein, a long-time resident, is the author of three poker books including “The Art of Bluffing: and “Hold’em or Fold’em – An Algorithm for Making the Key Decision.”

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20

Larchmont Chronicle

APRIL 2021

SECTION TWO

2321 Chislehurst Drive

5 Bed 5 Bath | $5,995,000 List

tremely pri ate raditional style estate guest house on pri ed, half acre parcel. Fi e edrooms, aths, lush grounds, o ersi ed pool spa, mesmeri ing ie s, poised on one of the est streets in desira le os Feli . o e in condition. his is a special home indeed, ideal for family gatherings or large group cele rations and a aits its ne t luc y ste ard.

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Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. DRE 01866771. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not een erified. Changes in price, condition, sale or ithdra al may e made ithout notice. o statement is made as to accuracy of any description. ll measurements and s uare footages are appro imate.

Profile for Larchmont Chronicle

LC real estate 04 2021  

los angeles, local news, larchmont village, real estate sales, gallery, theatre, movie reviews, professor know it all, local schools, youth...

LC real estate 04 2021  

los angeles, local news, larchmont village, real estate sales, gallery, theatre, movie reviews, professor know it all, local schools, youth...