LC Real Estate 06 2024

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“Never again” promise made at Holocaust Museum LA commemoration. Page 11

SO LONG, SLO Luncheon set for Officer Joe Pelayo’s retirement this month. Page 13 HERITAGE SITE Wine tasting and tours of Hollyhock House are back this summer. Page 12

VIEW Real estate MuseuMs, libRaRies HoMe & GaRden Section 2 LARCHMONT CHRONICLE JUNE 2024

Housing wars 2024: Local neighborhoods still under siege

The Little Hoover Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy released its most recent report May 14 on its review of the 50-yearold California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

While the commission was complimentary of the legislation, calling it “the bedrock of environmental protection,” with a history of protecting “disadvantaged communities” from environmental degradation, it boldly suggested that the state should exempt all infill development from CEQA review. “Infill development” is the construction of new projects in areas where most of the original vacant land already has been developed.

Housing goals

“California will never achieve its housing goals as long as CEQA has the potential to turn housing development into something akin to urban warfare — contested block by block, building by building,” says the report.

Exemptions for development from CEQA have long been the holy grail of housing advocates and the YIMBY (Yes In My Back Yard) movement, as CEQA remains the chief tool for local communi-

ties to assert their power over development, particularly development which has been sanctioned through state legislation. Lengthy CEQA reviews and lawsuits tend to drag out projects, interrupting financing timelines which often results in projects’ cancellations regardless of the merits of the CEQA arguments.

Here in Los Angeles, we are getting a glimpse of how such an exemption would play out through the mayor’s Executive Directive 1 (ED 1) program, which provides expedited review for 100-percent affordable housing projects that take advantage of state density bonuses.

ED 1

For those of you who have followed the controversial ED 1 projects in Greater Wilshire at 507 N. Larchmont Blvd. and 800 S. Lorraine Blvd., such projects land with a thud. They provide no public review, no exemptions for HPOZs and often are wildly out of scale with their surrounding community . . . and they even are exempt from providing parking if they are within a half-mile of certain high-usage transit stops.

The initial outcry after the mayor’s December 2022 issu-

ance of ED 1 led the mayor to amend her directive in June 2023 to exempt R-1 single-family zones citywide. Locally, it was only through a concerted campaign of opposition by neighbors that 507 N. Larchmont has been stalled. The ED 1 program, however, has been a resounding success in permitting and producing housing units, with over 16,000 affordable units being in the pipeline throughout the city.

Really temporary?

ED 1, however, is only a temporary program, and it’s under threat from two lawsuits from the group Fix The City, questioning the directive’s emergency powers. In the meantime, ED 1 is in the process of being made permanent through a new ordinance. This has made the draft ordinance the focus of a fierce lobbying campaign by United Neighbors and other groups seeking to restrict new projects’ size and scale within

the new law, which supporters of the ED 1 program believe will blunt the program’s effectiveness.

“Religious” properties

Another program that has been exempted from CEQA is the result of California Senate Bill 4, the Affordable Housing on Faith Land Act, which allows religious organizations to build 100-percent affordable housing on land that they own regardless of zoning, including R-1 zones, if they owned the land prior to Jan. 1, 2024.

In the City of Los Angeles, the planning department would prefer to remove the date restriction. That could allow religious institutions to potentially become land speculators, partnering with developers to buy older homes in single-family neighborhoods and redevelop them. This law, while limited in its impact by the nature of the type of land (religious owned) and by prevailing wage requirements, still circumvents CEQA and public review.

Senate Bill 9

This push to reform CEQA in favor of infill development may also be given further urgency following the recent ruling that California Senate

Bill 9, the law that allowed single-family lots to be subdivided and developed with up to 6 units, recently was declared unconstitutional for charter cities by the Los Angeles Superior Court. SB 9 had been the YIMBY movement’s most significant victory over its bête noire, single-family zones, so the ruling is sure to be appealed.

But the message from the Little Hoover Commission is clear and sure to be trumpeted: CEQA remains the greatest impediment to housing development, and CEQA’s removal by the state is the only way to ensure victory over the housing crisis.

For those concerned about local control and protection of neighborhoods, the maintenance of CEQA review over development will surely be the hill to die on. Perhaps the new ED 1 ordinance can provide a template for a middle ground, carving out exempted zones and other restrictions. There are indications that Fifth District Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky thinks so, as she has sponsored motions in support of protecting historic districts. To ensure that CEQA survives will continue to take pressure from concerned residents and voters.

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New stores and names popping up on Larchmont Boulevard

Sweet Lady Jane (SLJ) is officially open on the Boulevard and new employee, Jeansy Orellana, told us: “It’s been pretty busy so far! Everyone seems excited we are open.” The bakery’s famous triple berry cake is one of the first confections visitors to the store will see upon entering the quaint location at 203 N. Larchmont Blvd.

Another newly open Boulevard addition is a branch of the Oakberry Açai smoothie chain. Açai berries contain antioxidants, and it seems fitting that the shop is taking the slot at 122 N. Larchmont once filled by Jamba Juice, another store that sold smoothies.

Australian cosmetics brand Aēsop is now open at 128 N. Larchmont. It fills in the last retail bay of the new Larchmont Mercantile project in the former Lipson Building.

Muraya Sushi, one the Boulevard’s two longtime sushi restaurants (at 125 N. Larchmont), has transformed into Pho La Vache. Early May saw the rebranding of this, the Boulevard’s only Vietnamese restaurant. “I’ve been wanting to bring something different, Asian and trendy to the Boulevard for a long time,” said owner Jane Kwak. When we spoke, she told us pho is

one of her favorite foods, and customers had often asked if Muraya served rice noodles. Kwak seized the moment and has expanded Larchmont’s offerings to include pho (bone marrow beef broth, rice noodles, cilantro, basil, lime, sprouts and thinly sliced meat). Another popular Vietnamese offering, banh mi, is also on the menu, along with much more. Muraya lovers will be pleased to know that a favorite dish from the sushi restaurant will still be available. “We kept the crispy rice with spicy tuna because it was popular,” said a smiling Kwak.

A classic barbershop is coming back to the Boulevard! Barbers on Larchmont  was slated to open at the end of May, upstairs at the mini-mall at 417 3/4 N. Larchmont. Owners Cesar Vasquez and Cesar Perez worked with Perez’s uncle Jorge Hilario at the original Larchmont Barber Shop from 2013 through 2020, and Perez is excited to say, “We’re back in Larchmont where we belong!”

The original Larchmont Barber Shop, most recently in the former Lipson Building,

opened in the 1920s. In 2013, owner Jerry Cottone sold the shop to Hilario, who stayed in business on the Boulevard until new owners bought the building and closed all 14 shops for remodeling in 2020. Hilario moved Larchmont Barber Shop to 401 1/2 S. Fairfax Ave., where he is still in business.

And now, three of Hilario’s Boulevard-era employees again will be working on Larchmont.

When we spoke with Cesar Perez, who also owns West Barber Shop at 4506 W. Pico Blvd., he was excited to be opening the new business. His son is running his other shop, so Perez told us he’ll mainly be at the Larchmont shop. Located on the second level above Larchmont Hair & Nails, Barbers on Larch-

mont has four chairs, and people will be able to stop by for a cut seven days a week. For more information, call 323-378-6550.

According to Marlon Cortez, manager of the new Tu Madre (expanded from the take-out taco eatery formerly in Sweet Lady Jane’s Larchmont location), the new sitdown restaurant at the intersection of Larchmont and Melrose at 660 N. Larchmont is waiting on permits to open. Cortez said, “As far as I know, we have everything ready.” Cortez anticipates a soft opening followed by a grand opening that will include music and balloons for a festive atmosphere. Visitors can expect to find classic Tu Madre fare including its three best sellers: the chicken al pastor taco, the ahi tuna

taco and a bowl consisting of chicken, kale, rice and beans. Ryan Gurman, real estate agent for the building that Tu Madre now inhabits, told us that the whole building has now been leased. Although he couldn’t yet share which businesses will take over the slots on either side of Jess Rona Grooming at 656 N. Larchmont, the Chronicle hopes to update readers with that information next month. There’s good news for pet owners who have been wanting to get on Jess Rona’s client list. With a recently expanded staff, the sought-after, cage-free groomer is accepting new clients for the first time in four years. We now have a fifth Larchmont ice cream outlet to enjoy. Awan, also in the Tu

(Please turn to Page 4)

Larchmont Chronicle JUNE 2024 SECTION TWO 3
BARBERS ON LARCHMONT’S co-owner Cesar Perez sits in one of his four barber chairs prior to opening. JESS RONA with one of her clients. SWEET LADY JANE’S triple berry cake stands with other tempting confections in SLJ’s newly open Boulevard location.

Television City comment period still open for modernization plan

Following the lengthy first public hearing of the Los Angeles Dept. of City Planning May 15 on the proposed expansion and modernization of Television City at Beverly Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, the city will continue to accept

comments, both pro and con. Written comments can be submitted to paul.caporaso@; write “TVC 2050” in the subject line and copy and

The Planning Commission is tentatively scheduled to hold a hearing on the TVC 2050 project on Thurs., Sept. 12, and the commission also may take public comments at that hearing. The commission then will make a recommendation and forward the proposal to


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New stores

(Continued from Page 3)

Madre building, at 5630 Melrose Ave. (in the former Coffee Coffee spot) is serving vegan and gluten-free ice cream with flavors inspired by Indonesia. Next door, Dayglow Coffee, which collaborates with Awan in a similarly co-located West Hollywood storefront, is opening soon.

Larchmont Jewelers’ opening date has been pushed back

because a piece of the interior will not be installed until early June. The new opening is predicted to be mid-June, according to Director of Marketing Caren Ho. There is no word yet as to when Phil Rosenthal and Nancy Silverton will commence construction at Max and Helen’s, their proposed new deli in the space long occupied by Le Petit Greek (now operating as Greek Eats at 8236 W. Third St.).

This home at 690 S. Bronson Ave. in Wilshire Park sold for $1,751,000 in April.

Single-family homes


*Sale prices for April.

Split level living room, floating staircase, fireplace, hardwood floors. Rare opportunity to own this topfloor penthouse unit on a tree-lined street in Beverly Hills. First time on the market in 48 years and needs TLC. This spacious 1500 Sq. Ft., 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condominium includes a full dining room and loft den with an adjacent large rooftop patio. The living room has high wood-beam ceilings and large arched sunlit windows with views of the Hollywood Hills and Miracle Mile. Spacious closets throughout. Located within a short distance of La Cienega Park and tennis courts, the upcoming (late 2024) Metro La Cienega/Wilshire station, and one mile from Cedars-Sinai. Beverly Hills School District.
4 SECTION TWO JUNE 2024 Larchmont Chronicle
356 S. Hudson Ave. $16,000,000 601 Lorraine Blvd. $5,500,000 356 N. Citrus Ave. $4,000,000 226 S. Arden Blvd. $3,300,000 100 S. Lucerne Blvd. $2,810,000 843 S. Citrus Ave. $2,750,000 110 S. Norton Ave. $2,740,000 136 N. Irving Blvd. $2,705,000 126 S. Arden Blvd. $2,658,332 247 S. Citrus Ave. $2,525,000 202 S. Citrus Ave. $2,377,500 860 S. Bronson Ave. $2,100,000 340 N. Plymouth Blvd. $2,000,555 152 S. Arden Blvd. $1,830,000 619 S. Citrus Ave. $1,775,000 690 S. Bronson Ave. $1,751,000 158 S. Formosa Ave. $1,685,000 336 N. Arden Blvd. $1,650,000 947 S. Gramercy Blvd. $1,620,000 453 S. Van Ness Ave. $1,600,000 823 S. Burnside Ave. $1,550,000 658 S. Citrus Ave. $1,495,000 321 N. Lucerne Blvd. $1,400,000 638 N. Gramercy Pl. $1,250,000 4536 Wilshire Blvd., #102 $1,310,000 641 Wilcox Ave., #3B $1,240,000 4595 Wilshire Blvd., #304 $1,200,000 346 1/2 N. Gardner St. $999,000 531 N. Rossmore Ave., #205 $980,000 346 N. Gardner St. $962,000 4568 W. First St., #306 $910,000 5037 Rosewood Ave., #203 $875,000 4822 Elmwood Ave., #404 $795,000 5132 Maplewood Ave., #204 $699,000 620 S. Gramercy Pl., #208 $611,000 525 N. Sycamore Ave., #311 $599,000 433 S. Manhattan Pl., #314 $596,688 620 S. Gramercy Pl., #238 $560,000 533 S. St. Andrews Pl., #204 $500,000
Real Estate
Larchmont Chronicle JUNE 2024 SECTION TWO 5

A City Planning Department ‘out of touch’ with neighbors

A big push from City Hall to build affordable housing fast has left many communities perplexed and angry. Including ours.

Called ED 1, the mayor’s executive directive to speed construction of 100-percent affordable housing and address the city’s homelessness crisis has railroaded projects that have hurt some of the communities the program strives to help, local leaders say.

One such project is on a narrow, vacant lot in the Windsor Village Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ).

Awaiting a building permit, the recently approved seven-story, 70-unit Brown Stone Capital development is at 800 Lorraine Blvd.

“It’s another example of a City Planning Department out of touch with Los Angeles neighbors, and the mayor’s directive gone rogue,” local resident Sam Uretsky wrote in an email earlier this year.

“It’s out of scale and out of keeping with the HPOZ,” John Kaliski said of the Lorraine project.

Kaliski, an architect and former board member of the Windsor Village HPOZ, said the December 2022 directive has disrupted safeguards that

IF PASSED, an Interim Control Ordinance would halt ED 1 projects in historic zones like this one on 800 Lorraine Blvd.

have been in place over many years.

“All of the guardrails that have been implemented have been upended,” said Kaliski.

The ED 1 application for the Lorraine property was deemed complete on April 18, and the City Planning Dept. has 60 days to issue a Letter of Compliance to developer / owner Nima Montazeri.

The Kevin Tsai Architecture-designed project includes studio and one-bedroom units and zero on-site parking. It was approved as a 100-percent affordable housing project.

On the heels of the approval of the Lorraine project, Councilmember Katy Yaroskavky introduced a motion requesting a citywide Interim Control Ordinance (ICO)

that would put the brakes on these projects in single-family neighborhoods and the city’s 35 Historic Preservation Overlay Zones.

Some good news

“That’s a huge deal,” said Cindy Chvatal-Keane, president of the Hancock Park Homeowners Association.

The ICO motion is expected to go before the City Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) Committee before a final vote by City Council. No date has been set.

“We shared with Planning we did not think [Lorraine] should move forward. We were disappointed,” said Leo Daube, Council District 5 communications director.

The approval of Lorraine … “prompted the ICO in the first place,” he added.

Reports say the mayor plans to revise her executive directive, as the City Planning Dept. is not moving quickly enough to close loopholes and stem streamlining any project that is out of character with neighborhoods.

“That’s what we’re hoping,” said Chvatal-Keane.

But until the mayor steps in or the Planning Dept. takes action, “hundreds of these [ED 1] applications are coming in.” To date, 16,000 units have been applied for under the 100-percent affordable housing executive directive. Only a handful have been built.


“Nobody’s saying ‘Don’t build,’ but we want to have smart planning that fits into the neighborhood,” Chvatal-Keane said. Smart planning includes landscaping with trees and setbacks so that large-scale projects don’t butt into residential areas.

The president of the HPHOA is joined by other members of United Neighbors, who have been meeting with the mayor and council members. United Neighbors is a statewide coalition of residential groups. Threat to existing affordable housing

Another concern is the 600,000-plus units that are

in jeopardy as the executive directive has threatened homes protected under the city Rental Stabilization Ordinance, also known as rent control.

To help keep people from being displaced, Councilmember Eunisses Hernandez sought and won an ICO that protects rent-controlled properties from the fast-track policy in some of her areas in Council District 1.

In a bit of good news, an ED 1 project at 507 N. Larchmont Blvd. that many area residents opposed has been pulled by the developer, Shaw Ebrahimian.

Vocal outcry could have prompted the developer’s action, some say.

That project application included a large loophole: “12 recreation rooms” facing Larchmont Boulevard with beautiful balconies. These could later have been converted into large, market rate units.

“ED 1 needs to have clear parameters for developers. Now it’s too fuzzy,” explained Chvatal-Keane.

Developer Ebrahimian told residents he plans to resubmit plans for a five-story, 40-unit, ED 1 100-percent af-

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Hearing on Pawnshop bar is June 6

The Los Angeles Dept. of City Planning will hold a virtual public hearing on the proposed Pawnshop LA sports bar project on Thurs., June 6, at 9:30 a.m.

The Ventana Ventures project seeks to change the existing 7,808-square-foot, two-story office and photo studio at 5901 Melrose Ave., which operated as a pawn shop, to a restaurant and bar.

Building permit applicant Diego Torres-Palma has applied for a conditional use beverage permit to allow onsite sale and consumption of a full line of alcoholic beverages, and the restaurant would include 260 seats, private dining suites and occasional live entertainment, according to the public hearing notice.

Proposed operating hours

for the bar are 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., daily. No on-site parking is proposed.

Community concerns include the extended hours of operation, lack of parking and a security plan, the project’s location within 100 feet of Wagon Wheel School and Iglesia De Dios Camino de Santidad Church and noise and other potential disruptions from such a bar adjoining the residential area.

According to a spokesperson for the developer in an earlier email, initial plans for actual operating hours are from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Valet parking on-site was to provide 25 to 30 spaces, and the developer was seeking additional off-site parking nearby.

The design for the remodel by architecture firm

Omgivning will maintain the size of the existing building and restore and enhance its architectural details, according to city documents.

The Hancock Park Homeowners Association, the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association and the Windsor Square Association have encouraged residents to attend the meeting and speak about the late-night hours, lack of parking and other concerns.

The project’s tentative name is in homage to the former Brothers Collateral pawn shop at the site. The two-story canary-yellow shop was run by Rudy Gintel of Hancock Park and his brother Ernest for more than 40 years, until 2020.

Built in 1934, the building was a Cut Rate drugstore in its earlier life.

Wilshire Rotary awarded ‘Club of Excellence’

Wilshire Rotary received a “Club of Excellence” award for the 2023-24 Rotary year at the District Conference, May 4 at the Biltmore Los Angeles.

It’s the third win for the Club, which last was recognized in the 2006-07 Rotary year.

The award is in recognition of the group’s many projects, Wilshire Club President Janice Prior told us.

Wilshire Rotary won among 12 clubs in the Large Club category in Rotary International District 5280. The District has a total of 66 clubs in the Greater Los Angeles area, spanning Calabasas to San Pedro and Santa

Monica to Downtown.

Winners were also announced in the Medium and Small Club categories.

ROTARIANS and winners honored at the Biltmore hotel, left to right: District Community Service Chair Sharon Gavin; District Gov. Makiko Nakasone; Janice Prior, president Wilshire Rotary; Lynnette Smith of Burbank Sunrise Rotary - Medium Club; Ken Waltzer of Santa Monica Rotary - Honorable Mention for Large Club; Connie Hui of Bellflower Rotary - Small Club; Steve Day of Westwood Village Rotary - Medium Club.

Block Party brought community together

The second annual Larchmont Spring Block Party was attended by up to 2,500 neighbors and friends on April 27.

Annie O’Rourke, one of the party’s organizers, told us the most exciting part was the energy. “The entire event was buzzing with neighbors enjoying a beautiful day together,” she said.

Children splashed around the water play area, tortoises from Tortoiseland (accompanied by handlers) roamed the block wearing “I Love Larchmont” bumper stickers, and families delighted in Got Game Camp’s activities — a crowd favorite was the water balloon toss.

School Board member Nick Melvoin, LAPD Senior Lead Officers Joe Pelayo and Hebel Rodriguez, members of the Larchmont Village Neighborhood Association, a representative of Assemblymember Rick Zbur’s office and Councilman Hugo Soto-Martinez were in attendance.

Soto-Martinez’s office paid for the party’s permit and helped fund some of the rentals, and Los Angeles Sanitation employees distributed kitchen pails, compost bins and reusable bags.

The event raised $5,130 for Alexandria House, nearly doubling last year’s donation amount of $2,800 for the nearby transitional home for women and children.

When asked if the party planners expect to do the event again next year, O’Rourke responded, “Heck yes!”

8 SECTION TWO JUNE 2024 Larchmont Chronicle
ATTENDEES enjoy the water balloon toss at the second annual Larchmont Spring Block party on the 500 block of North Bronson Avenue. Photos by Annie O’Rourke TORTOISE mingles with guests while wearing an “I Love Larchmont” bumper sticker.

Springtime tour visits colorful gardens with the WSHPHS

“All Good Gardens, Great and Small” delivered a bounty of color and springtime festivity.

The tour, hosted by the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society, featured five gardens: three in Windsor Square, one in Fremont Place and one Hancock Park-adjacent.

“We had a wonderful time. The weather was great,” said Richard Battaglia, co-chair of the event and Society president.

More than 200 people were on the May 4 tour. Many firsttime attendees also joined the 48-year-old Society, created with friends by Jane Gilman, co-founder of the Larchmont

Chronicle and co-chair of the 2024 garden tour.

“The Historical Society is a very special (and sometimes kooky) family in the middle of our major metropolis,” Battaglia told us.

“It is lovely to see the volunteers and committee members come together, work together and take pride in their accomplishments,” he added.

More than 60 docents and other volunteers were involved in the tour.

Photographer Mary Nichols captured the exteriors of the homes and gardens in advance of the tour. Elizabeth Ige took photos the day of the event.

Silent auction chairs were Debbie and Mark Alpers. First-

time docent organizer was Alex Aurisch. Diana Braker co-chaired program ads with Jane Gilman. Jade Ikeda recruited Larchmont merchants to provide items to fill goodie bags.

Jolin Crofts worked as a wandering reporter interviewing attendees.

Other volunteers included Judy and Richard Zeller, pouring Prosecco for the attendees; Marlene Zweig organizing the check-in desk; and Brian Curran researched in advance the histories of the featured homes and gardens.

BACK YARD and swimming pool of the Windsor Square home commissioned in 1915 by George E. Huntsberger that was part of the

tour, “All Good Gardens, Great and Small,” in May.

Battaglia also thanked the

homeowners whose residences were featured on the tour: Marni and Howard Owens, Kathleen Losey, Toby Horn and Harold Tomin, Suz and


Nathan Hochman coffee hosted on Larchmont June 18

Meet Nathan Hochman, candidate for Los Angeles County District Attorney, on Tues., June 18. The meet and greet will take place from 8:30 to 10 a.m. at Le Pain Quotidien, 113 N. Larchmont Blvd. Neighbors of Larchmont is host.

Hochman faces incumbent Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón in the Tues., Nov. 5 general election.

Peter Landay, Shar and Robert Penfold. WSHPHS ENJOYING the garden tour were, from left: Heather John Fogarty, Corie Brown, Alex Aurisch, Jane Gilman, Diana Braker, Beate McDermott and Neil McDermott.
Larchmont Chronicle JUNE 2024 SECTION TWO 9
THE JUNE BILGORE GARDEN, in Windsor Square, was the scene of the Historical Society’s silent auction and reception.

Hollywood’s Jewish founding in exhibit at Academy Museum

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Mon. and Wed., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Tues. and Thurs. noon to 8 p.m.; Fri. and Sat., 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Libraries will be closed Wed., June 19 for Juneteenth.

There is a compact, but time-warranting, new exhibit at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures at Wilshire and Fairfax. It is the movie museum’s first permanent exhibit, and it is well worth seeing. That’s especially so for those who live in our Mid-Wilshire part of the City of Los Angeles — because we have such a good perspective on the nearby real estate depicted in the exhibit.

“Hollywoodland: Jewish Founders and the Making of a Movie Capital” tells its story primarily through projected imagery (it’s in a motion picture museum, after all) that shows the environs and origins of the first Hollywood studios.

Of particular interest to anyone familiar with, or curious about, the geography and history of our area south of the Hollywood Hills is the large topographic relief map table

onto which the evolving studio landscape is projected while a cyclorama (curved vertical screen against the wall) provides details of the evolution of Hollywood from 1902 to the late 1920s.

Opposite is a wall with detailed information about each of eight motion picture studios and their generally Eastern European Jewish founders. The third element in the exhibit hall is a corner for watching a new documentary produced by the museum, “From the Shtetl to the Studio: The Jewish Story of Hollywood.”

Like everything else in the compact space, that film is fascinating and well worth watching from beginning to end. It tells an important immigrant story.

The new exhibit adds information and clarity about buildings that remain a familiar part of our local landscape.

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“HOLLYWOODLAND” VISITORS, at left, view the topographic relief map table in front of the companion curved cyclorama screen on the back wall in the compact exhibit room.
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‘Never again’ urgent promise of Yom HaShoah commemoration

Under a tent on the grassy expanse of Pan Pacific Park, next to the existing façade of Holocaust Museum LA and in front of the museum’s rising addition, an estimated 600 people gathered to commemorate the six million Jewish souls murdered in the Holocaust and also mark the 80th anniversary of the deportation of more than half a million Hungarian Jews to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.

On the 65th anniversary of the establishment of Yom HaShoah, a day of remembering the Holocaust (Shoah in Hebrew), and the 32nd annual commemoration hosted by Holocaust Museum LA, the pledge was, as always, “Never Again.”

“We are angry and we are scared”

This year “Never Again” felt particularly urgent, with many of the event speakers noting the worldwide rise in antisemitism, especially after the Hamas Oct. 7 attacks on Israel and the subsequent Israel-Hamas war underway in Gaza. As Katy Yaroslavsky, Los Angeles City Councilmember, said, “So much has happened in the year since we last gathered for this event, and in so many ways the world feels en-

tirely different… The promise of ‘Never Again’ is not just about preventing another Holocaust, though it most certainly is about that. It’s about building a world where such atrocities can never happen to anyone anywhere.”

Guy Lipa, board chair of Holocaust Museum LA, acknowledged compassion for the loss of civilian lives in Gaza and continued, “Our community was devastated by the events of Oct. 7 and the glorification of Hamas and violence against Jews. We are angry, and we are scared.”

Holocaust Museum LA CEO Beth Kean, herself the granddaughter of survivors, warned, “The alarm bells are ringing loudly… More than six decades later, [Holocaust Museum LA’s] mission to commemorate those who perished, educate future generations about the Holocaust and inspire a more respectful, dignified and humane world remains more important than ever.”

Mayor Karen Bass, in her address, stated, “I want to reaffirm my commitment to the Jewish community. Its safety, dignity and freedom are integral to the health of this entire city.”

Israeli-American actor Mike

Burstyn, as Master of Ceremonies, acknowledged the dignitaries in attendance on May 5, including the Consuls General of Lithuania, France, Spain, Germany, Ireland and Hungary and the Deputy Consuls General of the Czech Republic and Japan. Israel Bachar, the Deputy Consul General of Israel, spoke and noted that, “Since Oct. 7, antisemitism has increased by 400 percent in America,” and he vowed that Israel’s enemies “will not succeed to destroy our national home ever.”

Other notable guests in the tent were Los Angeles Deputy Mayor Jacqueline Hamilton, County Supervisors Lindsey

Horvath and Holly Mitchell, Los Angeles City Attorney Heidi Feldstein Soto, California Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur, President of Santa Monica College Kathryn Elaine Jeffery, former City Councilmember Paul Koretz and former County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

“Let us be morally clear”

The keynote speaker was Wilshire Boulevard Temple Senior Rabbi Steve Leder, whose powerful speech began with recounting acts of brutality against Jews throughout the ages, including “1.5 million children turned into smoke [in the Holocaust].” He then addressed head-on

the controversial current situation in Gaza. “Let us be morally clear. There is a difference between murder and killing. Hamas murders Jews. And murder forces us to kill. Even when innocent people die in the process, they are not innocent victims of Israeli aggression. They are the victims of the terrorists’ total disregard for life itself…”

He continued, “To be a Jew is never to lose hope for a beautiful end to the oldest of stories.”

Maestro Conlon

The bitter pill of the situation in Israel, Gaza and the world was made sweeter with a musical interlude conducted by Maestro James Conlon, music director of the Los Angeles Opera and artistic director of the Ziering-Conlon Initiative for Recovered Voices at the Colburn School. The latter program promotes music by composers whose careers were affected by the Nazis. Conlon conducted LA Opera musicians in “Maienblumen Blühten Überall,” a poem by Richard Dehmel with music by Alexander Zemlinsky, an Austrian composer who was forced into exile by the Nazis in 1938.

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Larchmont Chronicle JUNE 2024 SECTION TWO 11
HOLOCAUST MUSEUM LA CEO Beth Kean (second from left) with, from left, Mayor Karen Bass, City Councilmember Katy Yaroslavsky and Holocaust Museum LA Board Chair Guy Lipa at Yom HaShoah commemoration May 5 in Pan Pacific Park.

Sip wine, tour world heritage site at Barnsdall Art Park

Sip wine, tour an iconic historic site and enjoy a warm summer evening at the return of Barnsdall Fridays Wine Tasting on May 31 from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

Back after a long hiatus — since 2019, because of COVID — the event is at Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House, Los Angeles’ only UNESCO World Heritage site. It continues every Friday through August 30.

The 15th season of the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation fundraiser supports the park, its arts programming and its landscaping, which includes the recent restoration of the historic Olive Grove,

which dates back to the 1890s.

The gated area on the West Lawn of the house will be reserved for those 21 years and older to sip wine, picnic and enjoy views of Griffith Park and the Hollywood Sign.

Silverlake Wine will curate a selection of artisanal wines, rotating food trucks will be on site, and DJs will spin tunes.

Work from five Los Angeles-based artists will be featured in “COLA 2024,” on exhibit through July 20 in the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, located in the park.

Tours of the interior of

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House include the dried flower installation “Ravi

Ikebana for Hollyhock House,” on display through the Fall.

Guests also can see new

Premiere of ‘Rose’ set for Ebell in 2025

The Ebell of Los Angeles has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) for a $30,000 award under the NEA’s Grants for Arts Projects. The grant will support the commissioning, development and production of “All

About Rose,” a 1940s-era story inspired by the Rosie the Riveters of World War II, composed by Brooke deRosa and written by Velina Hasu Houston.

Its world premiere is set for March 2025.

“All About Rose” will be staged throughout March

2025, during Women’s History Month at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre, and is part of the “Living Herstory” project of The Ebell Institute. The project offers free historical matinees to local schools.

“All About Rose” imagines the lives and challenges of a group of “Rosies” entering the workforce in Los Angeles, home of the aircraft industry during World War II. Together, these women fight to desegregate a local factory following Executive Order 8802, which banned discriminatory employment practices by federal agencies and all unions and companies engaged in war-related work.

For more information visit

Yom HaShoah

(Continued from Page 11)

Personal testimonials

Fewer and fewer people are left to testify about their personal experiences of the Holocaust, but an amazing group of about a dozen Holocaust survivors was there at Pan Pacific Park. Those from Hungary were among guests invited to participate in a candle-lighting ceremony. One of them was 96-year-old Mary Bauer, who was born in Hungary and survived Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, the Death

native gardens designed by landscape design studio TERREMOTO, featuring nearly 500 plants.

Hollyhock House was built between 1919 and 1921, com-

City Planning

(Continued from Page 6) fordable housing project.

Resident Sam Uretsky thanked the community for its advocacy in fighting the project but warned the owner / developer is still involved.

“Do keep in mind the property remains with the same owner. We need to remain vigilant about what the owner proposes next,” said Uretzky. Faith-based — the newest fight

The Faith Based Incentive Program is the community’s newest fight.

As it stands, churches, temples and other Faith-Based Organization (FBOs) can build

March and Ravensbrück concentration camp.

After the war, when Bauer reached the United States, she remembered what people said to her in the camps. “‘If you survive, tell the world about us.’ Therefore I keep talking and teaching about what

missioned by oil heiress and theater producer Aline Barnsdall. It is named for her favorite flower. Wright, who was among the world’s leading 20th-century architects, created stylized representations of the plant throughout the house.

Wine tasting tickets cost $45; $70 if you include a guided tour of Hollyhock House. Designated Driver tickets are available for $15 with entry only and wine tasting not included.

Guests are encouraged to bring blankets and reserve early, as tickets often sell out. Visit

The park is located at 4800 Hollywood Blvd. Parking is limited; rideshare and public transportation are encouraged.

affordable housing on their property as long as it was owned prior to Jan. 1 2024. This is pursuant to state law (Senate Bill 4, effective in late 2023).

“It eliminates turning FBOs into land speculators,” said Chvatal-Keane.

But a critical change is being suggested by Planning Department staff. In the second draft of its Housing Element implementation ordinances, the January 2024 date of the ownership requirement has been removed.  Eliminating the time cutoff “allows a giant loophole,” said Chvatal-Keane.

The staff’s move is not endorsed by Councilwoman Yaroslavsky.

prejudice and hate mean… Everyone born on this planet, regardless of skin color, ethnicity, or religious belief, they should have the right to live a free life of their choosing. Museums like this must stand as reminders of what happens when we hate each other.”

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GuneWardena: WINE TASTING returns to Hollyhock House after a long hiatus. Photo courtesy Barnsdall Art Park Foundation
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Police converse with residents over chicken

“Coffee with a Cop” community gatherings are familiar in this part of town. The events are orchestrated by Senior Lead Officers (SLO) and local businesses and community members. The concept is to create a safe space for citizens to interact with officers in a nonviolent, non-emergency atmosphere. The gatherings also further police officers building relationships with local businesses.

The most recent Coffee with a Cop was held at lunchtime at a new chicken restaurant, Starbird, on Beverly Boulevard at Detroit Street, on May 9 with Wilshire Division LAPD. The afternoon gathering attracted about 20 people.

A resident of North Orange Avenue for more than 40 years, Conrad Romo was talking to Sgt. Wes Sarno about noise issues from a business, Creative Soundz, located at the end of his block. The Melrose Avenue business hosts parties in its parking lot into the wee hours of the morning. This creates a disturbance for the neighbors, much like a “party house.”

For the past two years, Romo has worked with LAPD

officers, Sarno among them, and other organizations to stop the nuisance. Recently, LAPD issued a second ticket to the location, which changed the status of the business to a place of interest. It has now been moved to the Vice Unit for future investigation.

According to Romo, the longtime delay “has been very frustrating and taken multiple hours” to address. He’s hoping that, with this new status, his business neighbors will keep quiet.

Another attendee is having roommate issues. She stopped by the event because she feels unsafe in her living situation.

Sgt. Sarno recommended she carry pepper spray and have a plan of action should things turn violent. This helped her feel more at ease, she said.

Jo Ann Lessor has lived in the neighborhood 50 years and learned about the city’s 311 app that makes it easier to report nonviolent situations. It is now uploaded on her phone. She enjoyed talking to the officers. “They were all very willing to chat,” she said. She also learned personal information about them and about their families, such as why they became cops.

SLO Joe Pelayo to retire; lunch June 5

After 17 years as a Senior Lead Officer (SLO) for Larchmont and the surrounding areas and 29 years total with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), SLO Joe Pelayo is retiring. “I have yet to see Europe,” Pelayo states. He plans to travel the world with his wife and 12-year-old son once he retires.

His last day on the job at the Olympic Community Police Station is Sun., June 30. The first stop on his world tour is Madrid this summer. After that, he is targeting another European locale during his son’s winter school vacation.

“I’ll miss everybody. This area is one of the best assignments in all of LAPD,” Pelayo recounts. “It’s a community that feels like home.”

Larchmont Village and Windsor Square, according to him, are the most involved communities and are incredibly organized. The local residential organizations made his job of communicating information much easier. He spoke highly of the system of block captains, especially those in

Windsor Square. Rotary to honor Pelayo The Wilshire Rotary Club of Los Angeles is honoring Pelayo for his contributions to the community with a luncheon at the Ebell of Los Angeles, 743 S. Lucerne Blvd. All are welcome Wed., June 5, at noon. The cost to attend is $35. Please RSVP to New SLO Danny Chavez When we spoke recently with SLO Pelayo, he was on-site at a homicide near

Gramercy Place and Fourth Street. Also at the scene was the officer taking over Pelayo’s position July 1, SLO Danny Chavez. The two have known each other for a dozen years, and Chavez was Pelayo’s first choice to succeed him.

Pelayo and Chavez were bike riders in the Police Unity Tour in May — Chavez for the sixth time and Pelayo for the 10th. The four-day bike tour goes from New Jersey to Washington, D.C., and it raises money and awareness for families of officers who have died on duty.

SLO Chavez is looking forward to working with the communities in the eastern part of the Chronicle’s circulation area, and he feels the transition will be smooth. He’s been an officer with the LAPD for 22 years and a SLO for almost 13 of those years. Chavez was eager to announce his department-approved Instagram account, @ Olympic_1. Starting July 1, you can follow what he’s up to on the job. He will take over Pelayo’s phone, 213793-0709 starting July 1, and his email address is 36304@

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CENTRAL AREA REPRESENTATIVE to Mayor Karen Bass, David Nguyen (left), chats with Wilshire LAPD’s new Capt. Hollis and community organizer Kim Rivera of Melrose Action.
Larchmont Chronicle JUNE 2024 SECTION TWO 13
NEW TO LARCHMONT is SLO Chavez (right) along with retiring SLO Pelayo.


Residential burglaries abound; student assaults fellow student


The following crimes in the Wilshire Division area happened between April 28 and May 14.

ROBBERY: Suspects approached a victim in a car, pointed a gun and took the victim’s cell phone on the 7000 block of Beverly Boulevard.


A student punched another student for an unknown reason on the 600 block of McCadden Place.

A victim was hit and injured with a wooden object near the intersection of Melrose and La Brea avenues.

Just down the street, at Melrose and Mansfield avenues, a suspect approached a victim and punched him in the face.

VANDALISM: An unknown suspect slashed tires on a victim’s car on the 5100 block of Wilshire Boulevard.

BURGLARIES: A suspect entered a victim’s home and


Furnished by Senior Lead Officer

Joseph Pelayo


Twitter: @lapdolympic

stole property and a car from the home on the 400 block of South Plymouth Boulevard.

A suspect ransacked a victim’s home on the 500 block of South Lucerne Boulevard.

While a victim was home, a suspect smashed the glass back door. The suspect was scared off on the 200 block of South Rimpau Boulevard.

Suspects climbed into a victim’s home through a bal-


Furnished by Acting Senior Lead Officer

Peter Choi

(213) 709-6279

Twitter: @lapdwilshire

cony and ransacked the home on the 500 block of North Rossmore Avenue.

Multiple suspects entered a business using a crowbar. They ransacked the business and then left on the 600 block of South La Brea Avenue.

Another business was ransacked after suspects broke the glass front door on the 100 block of North Larch-

mont Boulevard.

THEFT: A bicycle lock was cut and a bike was stolen from the 600 block of North Sycamore Avenue.

Unknown suspects approached a victim, gave the victim a hug, then stole jewelry and fled on the 300 block of South Orange Drive.



A suspect who was experiencing extreme paranoia produced a gun and started firing toward a victim, who fled the scene near the intersection of Van Ness Avenue and Rosewood Avenue on May 11.


THEFT AUTO: Two suspects approached a parked car and cut the driver side window and disabled its alarm. The suspects fled when

approached on May 11 on the 800 block of South Norton Avenue.

BURGLARY: A suspect entered a single-family dwelling by breaking the rear glass door, ransacked a bedroom, took property and fled through the backyard on May 10 on the 100 block of South Windsor Boulevard.

A suspect used a tool to pry open a metal bar on a window in a multi-unit building. They then used a tool to open the balcony sliding door on May 10 on the 300 block of Westminster Avenue.

A victim was inside the home in a multi-unit building when a suspect broke the balcony window, attempting to enter. The suspect fled on May 11 from the 600 block of South Wilton Place.

Personnel changes continue at Wilshire Division

There has been a significant amount of turnover recently at LAPD’s Wilshire Community Police Department (Wilshire). According to Senior Lead Officer (SLO) Hebel Rodriguez, this is a common occurrence within a division when many of its officers reach the age of retirement.

Capt. Cliff Humphris was promoted to a Captain III and sent back to head up the Metropolitan Division, from whence he came. His replacement at Wilshire is Capt. Jeffrey Hollis.

Capt. Jeffrey Hollis


With more than 30 years on the force, Capt. Hollis is the newest captain at Wilshire, where he had one of his first assignments as an officer. Hollis says, “It’s nice to circle back.” He started on May 2.

Previously, Hollis worked in gang units and the Special Problems Unit (SPU) at Van Nuys LAPD. He was a training officer there and at

Rampart, and he was captain at the Foothill Division. After Foothill, he moved to Valley Traffic before being promoted to Captain III and transferred to Wilshire.

He’s enjoyed all of his duties as an officer for LAPD and says, “being a captain means being flexible.”

The Chronicle talked to Hollis on his second day on the job at Wilshire. He already finds the officers, detectives and staff at Wilshire to be incredibly hardworking and “They hustle to keep the community safe.” He couldn’t be prouder of his division.

“I couldn’t be more pleased to be working with Capt. Rodriguez as my partner. She was a detective for many years and is great at putting resources to the crimes that are occurring.”

Hollis said television shows neglect to reveal the proactive research and planning that police do on a daily basis. LAPD officers have week-

ly and daily crime meetings where they share data among departments concerning what is happening in their particular areas. “We have a plan, seven days a week, for emerging crime,” according to Hollis.

With this crime information, the commanding officers figure out where to place different personnel.

This is especially true for the SPU that Wilshire implemented a month ago. The uniformed detail identifies crimes, their motives, time of day and potential suspects. The SPU maps the crimes,

trying to figure out trends. In summing up for the Chronicle, Hollis commented that, “I’ve never seen a division with so many community gatherings. It’s five times as much as any other division.” He’s been welcomed via email by multiple community members and organizations. He looks forward to meeting as many in the community as possible, in person, over time.

New Senior Lead Officers

In addition to a new captain, Wilshire Division got two new SLOs on May 5. Officer Andrew Jones is the

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LARCHMONT CHRONICLE gets a visit from new Senior Lead Officers of Wilshire Division, Peter Choi (left) and Andrew Jones (right), on their second day of work.

Feeling blue? ‘Go where fashion sits… puttin’ on the Ritz’

In 1929, composer Irving Berlin published a sly-sounding tune with a snappy, stutter-step beat.

If you’re blue and you don’t know where to go to Why don’t you go where Harlem flits

Puttin’ on the Ritz

The lyrics painted a harmful stereotype of poor Black Harlemites dressing flashily to blend in with their supposed betters “with their noses in the air.”

Spending every dime On a wonderful time.

“Puttin’ On The Ritz” appeared in a 1930 musical film of the same title, noted for being the first song in a film to be sung by both Black and white performers. (Though, upon closer inspection, the choruses, separated by race, never actually share the stage at the same time.) The catchy number continued to surface throughout history with renditions — almost invariably performed in a top hat and coattails — by Clark Gable in “Idiot’s Delight” (1939), Fred Astaire in “Blue Skies” (1946) and Gene Wilder in “Young Frankenstein” (1974). For “Blue Skies,” Berlin updated the lyrics to describe anyone with high-brow aspirations in an effort to eliminate the racist connotations of the original:

If you’re blue, and you don’t know where to go to

Wilshire Division

(Continued from Page 14) newest hire for the Miracle Mile area, replacing retired officer Anna Schube. Jones is also following in the footsteps of his father, a retired LAPD motorcycle officer.

For the past eight years, Jones has worked at Wilshire on night patrol. He’s looking forward to working during the day and “being able to hang out with my fiancée at night. It’s a nice transition.”

According to Jones, working patrol is about chasing radio calls. He likens it to putting on a bandage. He’s looking forward to having the time and freedom to address issues and come up with permanent solutions for the neighborhood.

Why don’t you go where fashion sits?

Puttin’ on the Ritz

The title phrase of the song, now nearly a century old, references the famed Ritz hotels of London and Paris founded by Swiss hotelier César Ritz. The hotels’ five-star service and high-profile clientele made “Ritz” synonymous with luxury, a correlation that brought forth both Berlin’s catchy phrasing and the adjective “ritzy,” which came into use in 1910. Nabisco got in on the verbiage in 1934 when it named its new buttery cracker “Ritz,” promising “a bite of the good life” for a population in the depths of the Great Depression.

Among the earliest words we learn when class awareness sets in is “fancy,” meaning “posh” or “of particular excellence.” The word formed from the mid-15th-century “fantsy,” itself a contraction of “fantasy,” conjuring notions of desire. The roots of “luxury” more explicitly canonize associations between money and sex. Back in the 14th century, the word literally referred to sexual intercourse, evolving from the Latin “luxus,” which translates more generally to “excess, extravagance or magnificence.”

“Bourgeoisie,” the appointed term for a class of business owners and merchants that emerged in the Late Middle Ages, delineates social standing based on locale. The word derives from the Old French “borgeis,” meaning “town dweller,” which traces its lin-

becomes permanent.

Choi has been with Wilshire since 2015. Over his years of service, he’s worked patrol, the Vice Unit and as a Field Training Officer at numerous stations around the city.

He wants to be an asset to solve problems for the longterm.

SLO Choi can be reached at 213-709-6279 and 38788@

SLO Jones can be reached at 213-793-0782 or 41719@

Acting SLO Peter Choi has been an officer with LAPD for 17 years. For now and the next two months, he is overseeing retired SLO Dave Cordova’s area of Larchmont Village and Windsor Square. Although it’s a temporary assignment, he’s hoping it


eage to the Frankish “burg,” or “city.” By contrast, people from the country — “pais” — were called “peasants.” At the top of the economic strata was the aristocracy, a designation whose origins are neither hither nor thither, but rather from the Greek “aristos,” meaning “best of its kind,” “noblest” or “most virtuous.” Take that as you will.

The overlords of our socioeconomic hierarchy go by many monikers. “Tycoon,” which first appeared in 1857, is now a bit out of style, sit-

ting most comfortably next to “oil,” “steel” or “railroad” — the famed fortunes amassed during the Second Industrial Revolution. The word reached the English lexicon from a title given by foreigners to the shogun of Japan, from the Japanese “taikun,” meaning “great lord or prince.”

A similar term, “mogul,” denoting great power or influence, also borrows from the names of rulers from abroad.

Started by Babur, a descendant of Genghis Khan, the Mogul (also spelled Mughal) empire ruled much of India from the early 16th century to the mid18th century. Another word to describe titans of industry — “czar” — comes from the word for Slavic monarchs, which itself is a descendant of the Latin “caesar,” the appel-

lation given to leaders of the Roman Empire.

In 1982, the Dutch musician Taco released his synth-pop reprise of “Puttin’ On The Ritz,” which went on to reach No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The ranking made Irving Berlin, then 95, the oldest living songwriter to have one of his compositions enter the top ten. Though Taco’s “Ritz” used the lyrics from Berlin’s 1946 update, the music video originally released for the song included actors in blackface and top hats in an unfortunate regression toward the song’s original subject matter.

On the bright side, “Puttin’ On The Ritz” entered public domain last year — here’s hoping the next version can do this ditty justice.

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Larchmont Chronicle JUNE 2024 SECTION TWO 15
16 SECTION TWO JUNE 2024 Larchmont Chronicle

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