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RESILIENCE

AWARDED

BOOK TOUR

Schools and students carried on during the holidays.

WSA Squeaky Wheel Award went to the area’s Tree Canopy Master Planner.

Author and Larchmont Chronicle founder is on a book signing tour.

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REAL ESTATE LIBRARIES HOME & GARDEN

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VIEW

Section 2

LARCHMONT CHRONICLE

DECEMBER 2020

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

101 S. Norton Ave | Windsor Square | $5,299,000 Gorgeous Mediterranean w/4 Bdrms, 4.5 bas, bright airy rooms, stunning kitchen & 1 bed BH

201 S. Plymouth Blvd. | Windsor Square | $4,995,000 Beautifully remodeled & restored English just 1 block to Larchmont. 3 bed/3.5 ba+1 bed GH

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

267 S. Windsor Blvd. | Windsor Square | $4,500,000 SOLD OFF MARKET. Represented the Buyers of this beautiful remodeled one story home w/ pool + guest house.

315 Lorraine Blvd. | Windsor Square | $3,999,000 Best 4 bed + 4 bath upstairs layout + private park like grounds. 315Lorraine.video

Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

238 S. Norton Ave. | Windsor Square | $2,995,000 Family friendly Traditional on Norton with 5 bedrooms, 3 baths & newer kitchen plus large yard. Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

527 N. Cherokee Ave. | Hancock Park | $2,499,000 IN ESCROW. Well maintain Spanish on great block w/ 5 bdrms, 4.5 ba, large rooms & orig details + pool. Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

208 N. Beachwood Dr. | Larchmont Village| $1,955,000 IN ESCROW. Romantic Spanish with 3 bedrooms, 2 bath, beautiful kitchen & calming gardens. Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

233-235 N. Irving Blvd. | Windsor Square | $1,899,000

6330 Primrose Ave. | Hollywood Dell | $1,599,000 Modern Architectural in Hollywood Hills w/ 3 bdrms, 2 baths, open living spaces & outside office. Rick Llanos 323.810.0828 CalRE #01123101

550 S. Arden Blvd. | Windsor Square | $9,950/ MO Chic 3 bed@ w/ bath + powder! 2 bed/2 bath UP; Master w/ nu fab bath down! Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

440 S. Arden Blvd.| Windsor Square | $6,680,000 440Arden.com. 5 Bed /6.5 Ba + basement w/theater, new ba+gym, laundry. Pool/spa, guest house. Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

530 S. Rossmore Ave. | Hancock Park | $4,699,000 Resort–like 25,089 sqft lot. Pool/spa, 4Bed/2.5ba in main house+Studio Apt ADU. Magical! Lisa Hutchins 323.460.7626 CalRE #01018644

SOLD - Rare duplex in HPOZ w/ charming outdoor space. Delivered vacant. 4BD+3.5BA. 233Irving.com Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

330 S. Irving Blvd. | Windsor Square | $4,795,000 Classic L.A. Elegance and the Ultimate Home Office. 5 beds + 3.5 baths. 330Irving.video Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

134 S. Windsor Blvd. | Windsor Square | $3,799,000 SOLD - Elegant Country English w/ generous lightfilled rooms. 5BD+3BA. 134Windsor.com Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

346 N. Gower St.| Larchmont Village | $1,936,000 Sparkling Spanish with 3 beds +2.5 baths. Exterior guest suite as well as a detached office. 346Gower.com

Loveland Carr Group 323.460.7606 CalRE #01467820, #0888374

81462 Joshua Tree Ct. | La Quinta | $3,600/ MO Trilogy 55+ 30 day rental home. Two beds suites + den. Dec 2020, April 2021. Golf. Pool Barbara Allen 323.610.1781 CalRE #01487763

COLDWELLBANKERHOMES.COM Hancock Park 323.464.9272 | 251 N Larchmont Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90004 The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Realty are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2020 Coldwell Banker Realty. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Realty fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker Logo are registered service marks owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. CalDRE #: 00616212


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Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

Back to square one? Preservationists have reason to hope Historic Preservation is by nature a conservative endeavor, which seeks to reinforce the connection to the past through the protection and celebration of built history. (“Conservative” as in “conserve” and “conservation.”) Progress in this city often is seen as being in conflict with historic preservation, with some people saying they are seeking forward movement and often-radical change as a means of addressing civic problems. In our most recent election, the race to represent the residents of Council District 4 was fought by two selfproclaimed progressives over a swath of Los Angeles rich in historic resources and steeped in the tradition of preservation. Quick learner As I observed in my November column, Councilman David Ryu has been an enthusiastic and responsible steward for this heritage, and he has used his term in office to strengthen and expand protections for historic monuments and neighborhoods. This did not come naturally. When he began his tenure, Ryu did not have a deep knowledge of historic preservation policy. He learned quickly on the job, however, by engaging advo-

cates and preservation groups and by participating in City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument designations and the creation of Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZs) in his district. CD4 again finds itself with a new Councilmember, Nithya Raman. With Councilmember-elect Raman, we find ourselves again at square one. But, once again, there is reason to hope that preservationists will have a partner in CD4 who is open-minded and willing to see preservation as a net good. Preservation and housing C o u n c i l m e m b e r- e l e c t Raman was elected with the help of a young and devoted following that — armed with a laser-like focus on the issues of homelessness and affordable housing — enthusiastically drove the Raman campaign to victory. These two issues, compounded by the pandemic and its economic fallout, are the paramount challenges of Los Angeles in our time. Detractors would say that preservationists are NIMBYs who oppose change and stand in the way of more affordable housing being constructed. However, closer examination of the record reveals that pres-

New Listing 322 S. Rossmore |$5,995,000 5 Bed+5 Bath| Hancock Park

In Escrow 201 S. Rimpau| $5,795,000 4 Bed+4.5 Bath|Hancock Park

Sold in 3 Days 640 Lillian Way| Hancock Park

On Preservation by

Brian Curran

ervation has a vital role in the provision of affordable housing and in providing shelter for the homeless. I was heartened to hear that the Councilmemberelect had read the Los Angeles Conservancy’s “Preservation Positive” white paper and found it enlightening. That publication (at tinyurl.com/ y2snaken) highlights facts such as that five percent of the city’s rent-controlled units are in HPOZs; 58 percent of all rental properties were built prior to 1960; and, within HPOZs, 51 percent of units are affordable to a low-income couple. My personal favorite was the white paper’s analysis of the city’s 673 strip malls as being under-built land ripe for development. As I reported in a previous column on “Preservation Positive,” historic neighborhoods are dense, varied in property types, and diverse, exactly what housing advocates encourage. Los Angeles cannot build its way

New Listing 137 N. Larchmont |$2,995,000 4 Bed+4 Bath|Windsor Square

Sold 301 S. Lucerne|$2,975,000 5 Bed+3 Bath|Windsor Square

Sold in 3 Days

out of homelessness without preserving the affordable housing it already has. We hope that Councilmember Raman will be pleased to learn how many individual historic structures have been re-purposed as shelters for the homeless, particularly as bridge housing. Monuments such as the Hollywood Studio Club designed by Julia Morgan, architect of Hearst Castle, is now a women’s crisis housing facility. The craftsman mansion Casa Zulma in Koreatown is now bridge housing for transgender women. The mid-century former Will and Ariel Durant public library and the Wallis House in Hollywood serve as bridge housing for women and for women and children. And, downtown, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation bought and converted several historic hotels into supportive housing for Skid Row. Use what we have As Los Angeles faces a severe financial shortfall as a result of the pandemic and over-promised public pensions, advocates for the homeless like the Councilmember-elect will have to look for more practical solutions to deal with the affordable housing crisis than big taxpayer-funded programs. The historic resources

of this city are tools ready to be used in this effort. We hope Councilmember Raman will promote their utilization for the good of CD4 and Los Angeles.

Toast Modernist Ray Kappe at benefit Dec. 3 Virtual tours of architect Ray Kappe’s daring residental designs from the 1970s will be featured at a benefit for the Los Angeles Conservancy. “Levels of Kappe,” on Thurs., Dec. 3 at 6 p.m., will explore the late architect’s role in shaping the Modern movement. Architectural experts, including his wife – architectural historian Shelly Kappe — will make remarks. Tickets are $35 for members and $75 for the general public. Visit laconservancy.org. Benefit Committee cochairs include Bill and Jennifer Fain and Diane Keaton. Celebrate with a toast with Kappe’s favorite nightcap — a classic martini. Cheers.

Happy Holidays! May Peace, Happiness, Health & Prosperity be yours during this holiday and throughout the New Year.

648 Lillian Way| Hancock Park

DRE #01870534


Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

3

A quick trip through Los Angeles history with Wayne Ratkovich By John Welborne Wayne and Jo Ann Ratkovich have lived in Windsor Square and Hancock Park (and Windsor Square again) for most of the past 50 years. Wayne has become a “famous real estate developer,” especially because of his interest in historic preservation. (He preceded me in serving a nine-year term as a Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.) Wayne has won many welldeserved awards. For example, last summer, the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects recognized him as a Presidential Honoree. Named the “Merry Norris Design Advocate - Developer” for 2020, Wayne was singled out for his work in “city building since 1977.” Just a few weeks ago, the “Los Angeles Times” had a major feature story about San Pedro and the “West Harbor” dining, shopping and entertainment complex emerging on the site of the former Ports O’ Call. The project is being built by the Ratkovich Company and Jerico Development of San Pedro. In the spring of last year, Wayne’s wife, Jo Ann, convinced him that a lot of her local friends in the Auxiliary of the Hospital of the Good

LUNCHEON SPEAKER Wayne Ratkovich and Jo Ann.

Samaritan would enjoy hearing from him about local real estate development and his role in it. That indeed was the case. Interested Auxiliary members and guests filled a room at Wilshire Country Club to hear Wayne’s presentation. Lucky to attend on behalf of the Chronicle, and as a longtime real estate person myself, I was singularly impressed with what Wayne had to say. I later convinced him to let the Larchmont Chronicle share his remarks with a far wider local audience. Wayne told the guests that he “would like to share some thoughts about Los Angeles including what I think are the agents of change in Los Angeles and in cities throughout

our country and the world.” He said he would conclude those thoughts by recounting his own company’s “experience with historic preservation and what I have discovered about the importance of preservation over the past few decades.” This talk took place in May of 2019, a year before COVID-19 arrived, of course. But the talk covers a long stretch of Los Angeles history, a period that included the arrival and departure of the Spanish flu as well as other detours on the road to where our city is today and where it is going. Regardless of the coronavirus bump in the road, I find Wayne’s predictions for the future to be sound, and I believe readers will find his talk of interest. [This is the first of two parts. The second part will appear in our January issue.] THE CITY By Wayne Ratkovich Let’s take a quick trip through our city’s history. The shortcut I will take is looking at the city in 50-year increments beginning in 1900, with a second increment beginning in 1950 and the third in 2000. This commentary focuses on Downtown Los Angeles where, I believe, the city’s history began and is most interesting.

THE CALIFORNIA CLUB, founded in 1887, is among three clubs that had significant early influence on the growing city.

1900 - 1950 Just prior to 1900, three clubs were formed that were to have a significant influence on the growing city — the Los Angeles Athletic Club in 1880, The California Club in 1887, and the Jonathan Club in 1895. Members of these clubs have been significant forces in the growth and history of Los Angeles. Railroads came to town in a big way. The Santa Fe Railroad opened a line linking Los Angeles to the rest of the nation with the price of tickets as low as $1, no doubt contributing to the population boom that was about to occur. The Pacific Electric Railway

was created in 1901 by Henry Huntington and Isaias W. Hellman to connect Los Angeles to the outlying suburbs. In 1944, there were 109 million riders transported on 1,150 miles of track. In 1901, Huntington also founded the Los Angeles Railway, the company that operated the Yellow Cars — the streetcars that served the nearby neighborhoods. According to some historic accounts, the Yellow Cars carried more passengers than the Red Cars. Population growth followed the rails and the sunny weather. In 1900 the city’s (Please turn to page 12)


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Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

DISTINGUISHED Tudor-style home at 361 N. Citrus Avenue, demolished in October 2019.

CONSTRUCTION underway at 361 N. Citrus Ave., at the corner of Oakwood, November 2020.

Jill Galloway

323.842.1980 | jill@jillgalloway.com

Estates Director, Sunset Strip

jillgalloway.com | DRE 01357870

At the end of quarantine and this holiday season, if you decide you can’t stand the people you live with, remember, I’m your Realtor® Compass is a licensed real estate broker (01991628) in the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdraw without notice.

Home at 361 N. Citrus Ave., one year later By John Welborne The reaction throughout Los Angeles to the sudden demolition last year of an historic 1927 Tudor-style home at 361 N. Citrus Ave., on the southwest corner of Oakwood Ave., was like a roar of outrage that echoed everywhere. Tinyurl.com/y2j8s5xq is just one example. There are nearly 100 other online references to the destruction of the home. The beautiful home had been purchased by developer Reuven Gradon, president of Afton Properties, and his wife, who had sent a letter to the sellers stating unequivocally how the Gradons would care for and preserve the home. Shortly after the sale closed, however, the home was demolished. A chief complaint of neighbors and architectural preservationists was that the legally required notice of demolition was not posted properly.

The Gradons said they subsequently had decided their family (then three, including a young son) needed a larger, more modern house. One year later, that large house is very visible. Neighbors and architectural preservationists, especially the distraught sellers of the house, who were so shocked at its demolition last year, sought solutions for the future. There have been numerous suggestions offered on how to protect an historic property. See, for example: larchmontbuzz.com/featured-stories-larchmontvillage/361-n-citrus-ave-anarchitectural-loss-and-preservation-lessons-learned. Also, guidance on easements and using covenants in a grant deed to achieve your preservation goals is available at: tinyurl.com/yxac775f. See also: tinyurl.com/uvtuegw.


Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

THANKFUL

FOR MY CLIENTS AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE MADE 2020 THE BEST YEAR YET!

120 N. Hudson Ave. Represented the Buyers

201 S. Plymouth Blvd.

100 N. Irving Blvd. Represented the Buyers

508 N. June St.

101 S. Norton Ave.

527 N. Cherokee Ave.

147 N. Windsor Blvd. Co-Listed with Maria Gomez

449 N. Highland Ave.

251 S. Citrus Ave.

203 N. Gower St.

208 N. Beachwood Dr.

238 S. Norton Ave.

267 S. Windsor Blvd. Represented the Buyers

425 N. Gower St. Represented the Buyers

424 N. Larchmont Blvd. Represented the Buyer

5717 W. 2nd St.. Co-Listed with Kathy Gless

111 N. Ridgewood Pl. Represented the Tenant

131 N. Citrus Ave. Represented the Tenant

147 S. Poinsettia Pl.

645 Wilcox Ave. #3D Co-Listed with Kathy Gless

1853 Buckingham Rd.

801 S. Longwood Ave. Co-Listed with Sandy Boeck

4936 W. Melrose Hill

109 S. Kilkea Dr.

6330 Primrose Ave.

3308 Larissa Dr.

2741 Rinconia Dr.

944 S. Longwood Ave. Co-Listed with Sandy Boeck

RICK LLANOS (C) 323-810-0828 (O) 323-460-7617 rllanos@coldwellbanker.com

746 S. Los Angeles St. #908

3463 La Sombra Dr.

HELPING CLIENTS FIND & LIVE THE “LA DREAM” IN THE HANCOCK PARK/ WINDSOR SQUARE AND SURROUNDING AREAS FOR OVER 28 YEARS

CalRE#01123101 The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage are independent contractor agents and are not employees of the Company. ©2018 Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Owned by a subsidiary of NRT LLC. Coldwell Banker, the Coldwell Banker Logo, Coldwell Banker Global Luxury and the Coldwell Banker Global Luxury Logo service marks are registered for pending registrations owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

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Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

Windsor Square, Windsor Village hold annual meetings By John Welborne This year, the Windsor Square Association (WSA) and the Windsor Village Association (WVA) held their annual meetings via Zoom. Windsor Square For the Nov. 12 WSA meeting, both Councilmemberelect Nithya Raman and LAPD Wilshire Division Capt. Shannon Paulson participated. Nearly 80 people attended. The association’s annual Squeaky

Wheel Award was presented to Scott Goldstein in recognition of his decades of work improving and maintaining the neighborhood’s tree canopy. The WSA board for the coming year was elected and consists of: June Bilgore, Jeryl A. Bowers, Gary Duff, Amy Forbes, Mike Genewick, Gary Gillig, Jason Greenman, Larry Guzin, Helen Hartung, Hope Heaney, Katie Jones, Caroline (Please turn to page 13)

Goldin named president of MMRA; O’Sullivan retires Community activist and author Greg Goldin has been elected president of the Miracle Mile Residential Association [MMRA] succeeding longtime MMRA president James O’Sullivan. Greg Goldin Goldin has been a resident of the Miracle Mile for decades. He was the architecture critic at Los Angeles Magazine for 12 years, and he is the co-author of the books, “Never Built Los Angeles” and “Never Built New York.” “Greg brings an array of skills

and talents to the job,” said Ken Hixon, MMRA senior vice president. “He is an experienced journalist and a strong community advocate. He will ensure that MMRA continues as one of the most effective neighborhood associations in the city.” A former MMRA board member, Goldin has also worked on the area’s successful Historic Preservation Overlay Zone campaign. Goldin has a long history with the neighborhood: “My parents moved our family to the Miracle Mile in 1965, and pretty much ever since, this neighborhood has been my front yard and my back yard,” he said.

FIRST ADOPTED IN 1946, the City of Los Angeles Planning and Zoning Code has grown from an 84-page pamphlet (at left) to a thick, replaceable-page volume.

Zoning Code moving towards modernization By Suzan Filipek Since its introduction, the 1946 City of Los Angeles Planning and Zoning Code has grown from a slim and manageable 84-page document to a massive ad hoc patchwork of height limits, parking requirements and historic overlay zones. Unorganized and unruly, the code is difficult to navigate except for an in-the-know developer or a hired pro. To simplify the process and make it accessible to the professional and lay person alike, the City Planning Dept. unveiled a draft of its proposed new Processes and Procedures Ordinance (PPO) Nov. 10. It’s the first step in modernizing the city’s Zoning Code, City Planner Bonnie Kim told

us last month. The 700-page draft ordinance will act as the administrative guide for the New Zoning Code, which is the first chapter of the Los Angeles Municipal Code. The proposed PPO will not change any of the rules on height limits or parking requirements. “There is no rezoning happening with this ordinance,” Kim said. Re-zoning to come later That will come later, as the city’s 35 Community Plans, including the Wilshire Community Plan, are updated. (No date has been set for Wilshire, but it is expected to be reviewed in 2021.) What this hefty new document will do is provide consistency and clear rules to create

an even playing field. “Part of the difficulty now is the rules are not organized in a consistent way,” Kim told us. To find what you’re looking for, you almost have to already know what you’re looking for amid the “legalese and text-dense” information, she said. Since 2016, Kim has been working to calm the cacophony of rules and introduce a streamlined, user-friendly format for homeowners, mom and pop businesses and lay people in general as well as architects, developers and other pros. The new format cuts project review processes — everything from application to appeal requirements — by half, (Please turn to page 18)


Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

RODEO REALTY, INC.

FOR SALE

528 S. Plymouth Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90020 3d tour and info @ www.528Plymouth.com

5 Bedrooms

5 Bathrooms

5,400 SqFt

One of the Most Historic & Coveted Neighborhoods Prime 1926 Hancock Park-Windsor Square Residence now available. Designed by Celebrity Architect Mike Mueller, this Estate transports you to a place other than Los Angeles but to time captured in the Villa’s of Florence, Italy. With its impressive cypress trees to the Majestic Old World furnishings. One of a kind materials to the esquisite private gardens pool side. This 5,400 Sq ft 2 floor Villa w/ 3 Car Garage sits on a lush lot of almost 17,000 sqft. Wrapped in lush privacy with a magnificent side yard. The entry boasts a 1890 Baccarat Chandelier w/original hand tooled iron staircase with majestic colossal columns arching its private landings. 3 verandas, 2 stone garden fountains, 4 Interior Majestic stone fireplaces and an 18th century stone fireplace pool side, 12 antique stain glass doors & windows, 4 Beds, 3 bath, 2 powder, library, gracious living room, Billiard/Media Room, dining Room, butler staircase from bedrooms to gourmet kitchen.

Easy to show. Come view this beautiful property! Reach out to me today!

Stamie Karakasidis 310.308.9210

Stamieinla@gmail.com RealtorÂŽ DRE#01336135 @stamieLA

RODEO REALTY, INC. FINE ESTATES DIVISION President's Club Elite 2013-2019

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Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

‘American Pickers’ to scout for treasures in our locales “American Pickers” is looking for locals with tales to tell and rare and collectible items to feature on the History Channel’s documentary series. The show’s hosts, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, will be scouting the state this month,

including Hancock Park and surrounding areas. Large and rare finds and interesting characters are a plus in the hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. Filming will follow COVID-19 state and county guidelines and protocols. To learn

more, call 1-855-OLD-RUST (653-7878) or write to AmericanPickers@cineflix.com. Leave your name, address and contact information and a brief description of your collection. Mike and Frank only “pick” from private collections, so no

stores, museums, businesses or anything open to the public will be considered. The episode is expected to air a few months after filming, said Sarah Perkins, casting associate at Cineflix Productions.

THE CREW: Frank Fritz, Danielle Colby and Mike Wolfe.

Real Estate Sales

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Though a challenging year for all of us, I have much love and gratitude for my family, friends and clients. Recent Sales

5885 Clinton St.

Sold for $1,9000,000

next to the LATC in Hancock Park 1800 sq. ft. 3 Bd + 2.5 Ba

3436 Descanso Dr. 5418 Geer St.

Sold for $935,000

1175-83 S. Bronson Av. Sold for $2,500,000

SOLD: This home at 801 Longwood Ave. in Brookside was sold in October for $2,505,000.

Single-family homes

$4,950/mo

Day — A trusted name in Los Angeles since 1880

BobDay@coldwellbanker.com

©LC1220

Bob Day 323-821-4820 DRE # 0851770

COLDWELL BANKER HANCOCK PARK • RESIDENTIAL & COMMERCIAL 119 N. LARCHMONT BLVD.

HEIDI B DAVIS

100 Fremont Pl. 525 S. Irving Blvd. 315 S. Windsor Blvd. 644 S. Rimpau Blvd. 209 S. Irving Blvd. 508 N. June St. 145 S. Van Ness Ave. 436 N. Plymouth Blvd. 626 N. Las Palmas Ave. 301 S. Lucerne Blvd. 867 Muirfield Rd. 801 Longwood Ave. 100 N. Gardner St. 600 N. Citrus Ave. 122 N. Lucerne Blvd. 458 S. Highland Ave. 536 N. Gower St. 640 Lillian Way 634 S. Citrus Ave. 607 N. Mansfield Ave. 4037 Leeward Ave. 736 S. Bronson Ave. 908 Keniston Ave. 988 Muirfield Rd. 107 N. Wilton Pl. 720 Lorraine Blvd. 634 N. Las Palmas Ave. 555 N. Bronson Ave. 4721 Wilshire Blvd. 379 Bronson Ave. 520 N. Mansfield Ave. 346 N. Lucerne Blvd. 725 S. Highland Ave.

$11,400,000 6,920,000 5,300,000 5,080,000 4,431,600 4,400,000 3,775,000 3,295,000 3,090,000 2,975,000 2,825,000 2,505,000 2,350,000 2,300,000 2,295,000 2,150,000 1,945,395 1,868,384 1,822,000 1,800,000 1,775,000 1,735,000 1,720,000 1,633,500 1,587,500 1,525,000 1,520,000 1,519,000 1,480,000 1,392,500 1,374,000 1,265,000 1,255,000

Your Neighborhood RealtHEI or DI B DAVIS

Your Neighborhood Realtor

251 S. Beachwood Drive

Charming Spanish 3+2.5, just two blocks to Larchmont! www.251Beachwood.com

Wishing everyone

Condominiums

aListed peaceful and Sold Just Sold in Brookside Sold Listed healthy holiday season, $1,095,000 110 S Martel Avenue* 930 N Wetherly Drive #304 110 S Martel Avenue*681 S. Norton Ave., 930#106 N Wetherly Drive #304 and anStunning inspiring 737& S. #104 Stunning Estate Property w/Guest House & Pool www.930NorthWetherly.com Estate Property w/Guest House PoolWindsor Blvd., www.930NorthW etherly.com 1,045,000 year ahead! 4477 Wilshire Blvd., #105 950,000 810 S. Lucerne Blvd., #302 899,000 333 S. Wilton Pl., #10 750,000 837 Crenshaw Blvd., #204 750,000 852 Mullen 935 S. Hudson Be well, 5037 Rosewood Ave., #302 Be Well, 722,500 Be well, 4822 Elmwood Ave., #203 675,000 620 S. Gramercy Pl., #204 594,000 HeidiDavis5@gmail.com / / 213.819.1289 444 S. Gramercy Pl., #23 553,500 HeidiDavis5@gma il.com // 213.819.1289 www.simplyheididavis.com / / dre# 01831924 www.simplyheidid avis.com // dre# 01831924 525 N. Sycamore Ave., #422 429,000 HeidiDavis5@gmail.com // 213.819.1289

HeidiBHeidi DavisBDavis www.simplyheididavis.com // dre# 01831924

HeidiBDavis


Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

9

21-year-old makes fashion-forward twist for 1960s Contempo Casuals By Talia Abrahamson Stylish women, popular girls, Cher Horowitz from the 1995 movie “Clueless” and every fashionista in between during the late 20th century flocked to Contempo Casuals, a pioneering giant in fast-fashion clothing. Both the brand’s future and aspects of its history are tied to Hancock Park. Los Angeles couple Dottie and Wil Friedman founded the clothing company in 1962, soon after coming to Los Angeles. Although the chain disappeared in 2001, its flamboyant prints and trendy styles are being revived locally — on T-shirts. The Friedmans’ grandson, Hancock Park resident Max Rubin, 21, just launched “Contempo Tees.” Rubin is a graduate of Campbell Hall and currently is a college senior at Chapman University, where he is majoring in business administration and management. Rubin’s grandfather Wil Friedman approached him with the idea to repurpose original Contempo Casuals advertisements for e-commerce. Friedman had been collecting his brand’s advertisements from billboards, newspapers and magazines throughout the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. Ultimately,

SHIRT DESIGNS from Contempo Tees. Photos by Max Rubin

Rubin selected three designs from his grandfather’s archives, digitized them and placed them onto T-shirts. Rubin plans to include even more designs in the future. “[My grandfather] always worked for himself, started new businesses, taking on new challenges and loved to learn. I think this was him wanting to embark on another endeavor, and I know, throughout life, he always saw a similar drive within me,” Rubin said. “He always wanted to push that, and helped me get to that point, as well.” The two were able to develop the concept together for a year before Friedman passed away in September 2019. All genders Rubin brings a modern twist

to his grandparents’ old business. Unlike the flamboyantly feminine Contempo Casuals, Contempo Tees caters to people of all genders, prints only in monochrome and uses a white vintage T-shirt style. “I want to not copy Contempo Casuals, but more modernize it –– make it more applicable to fashion today and make it easy for people to accept and see what Contempo Tees is now versus Contempo Casuals,” Rubin said. Part of Contempo Casual’s history has another local tie. Philip Hawley Hancock Park resident Philip M. Hawley, 95, said he saw the same marking of modernity in Contempo Casuals when his company bought it from the Friedmans in 1979. Hawley was the chairman of Carter Hawley Hale Stores, a large retailer that also owned Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. At the time of the purchase, Hawley recalls that Contempo Casuals was worth approximately $6.4 million in assets. Hawley, a longtime local resident who has lived in Windsor Square and Hancock Park, and who has many offspring and their families living around Larchmont still, said in our recent interview that other

people in the fashion industry were developing products to appeal to as many demographics as possible. The Friedmans did not come from a fashion

background –– they were liquidators who got hooked on selling unsold women’s clothing — and so they developed (Please turn to page 10)

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Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

Hugh Wilton remembers ‘the jungle’ By Jane Gilman Hugh Wilton was five years old when his family moved across the street from the Wood family compound, the present-day Harold A. Henry Park in Windsor Village. (See Oct. 2020 Larchmont Chronicle story in Section 2, Page 8.) Wilton remembers playing with neighborhood kids in what they called “the jungle,” an overgrown area that was part of the 1.6-acre property owned by Dr. Eldie Wood, who came to Los Angeles in the

early 1900s. The odd-shaped parcel Wood purchased became the site of five houses for his family. Wilton’s father purchased their house on Windsor Blvd. near Ninth Street in 1953. In the early 1960s, the Wood family tried to rezone its property to allow the building of a 50-unit upscale apartment building. Wilton’s mother, Peggy Beckendorf, recalled the neighborhood effort to stop the zoning change. “It took

three years of constant protesting before the city agreed to buy the land for a park,” his mother told Wilton. A bond issue had been passed, calling for more parkland in the city and providing the necessary funds to enable Councilman Harold A. Henry to have the city purchase the Wood acreage and its buildings. A park was constructed, and it was officially dedicated to the councilman in 1966. Henry served the city’s Fourth District from 1945 to 1966.

HAROLD A. HENRY PARK is an island of land in Windsor Village that replaces what was once the Dr. Eldie Wood family compound. Photo of Wood Family book

tempo Casuals had exceeded the $100 million mark in sales. Sealed the deal With other fast-fashion competitors catching up with-

in the following decade, the chain was losing money and Carter Hawley Hale sold it to Wet Seal Inc. for $1 million in stock in 1995. Contempo Casuals remains the property of Wet Seal Inc., which now operates exclusively as an online retailer. “Its potential to grow and contribute growth diminished over time because the base you were working to succeed with was not changing in size to the degree that we had grown the business,” Hawley said. “The growth potential, when you’re going that fast, diminishes over time. I didn’t have the upside multiplier potential in later years that I had had

Contempo (Continued from page 9) a nontraditional approach to retail where they zeroed in on one primary demographic group. “Contempo Casuals was, in my judgment, a very, very outstanding group of stores that were catering to young and fashion-conscious women,” Hawley said. “As I recall, when we bought them, they had perhaps eight or 10 stores, and every one of them was doing well and clearly their customer base was enthusiastic about the product offering they were making. We decided we would try to buy it and expand it dramatically, and we

MODEL wears a Contempo Tee.

did that.” Carter Hawley Hale turned Contempo Casuals into a nationwide brand with over 200 storefronts. By 1985, Con-

in earlier years.” Path for the future Rubin is charting his own path with Contempo Tees, even as he builds on his grandfather’s archives and advice. Once he graduates from college, he says he plans to devote even more energies into growing the company. “I’m very fortunate to have my grandparents who developed that legacy that I think puts me ahead of competition right now, and I think there’s a lot of potential,” Rubin said. “And besides any success from the company, it has been so valuable, what I’ve learned from this and the skills it has taught me.”

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SECTION TWO

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12

Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

Ratkovich (Continued from page 3) population was just a shade over 100,000 and by 1950 it reached two million residents. Spring Street emerged as the “Wall Street of the West” with a stunning growth of buildings and enterprises. Starting with the Hellman and the Continental buildings in 1902, buildings constructed during the boom included Crocker Bank, Farmers and Merchants, Title Insurance, the Rowan, the Security, the Spring Arcade, the Los Angeles Stock Exchange, Lloyd’s Bank, Pacific Southwest Bank, E.F. Hutton, California Canadian Bank, the Mortgage Guaranty Building, the Banks & Huntley Building, Barclay’s Bank, the A.G. Bartlett Building, the Bank of America and the Financial Center Building. Retail also caught a wave into downtown with Arthur Letts’ Broadway Department Store at Fourth and Broad-

L.A. TIMES BUILDING bombing was in 1910.

BROADWAY DEPARTMENT STORE at 4th and Broadway.

way in 1896. Letts also backed John Bullock, who founded Bullocks at Seventh and Broadway in 1907. At the turn of the 20th century, A. Hamburger and Sons moved onto a site at Eighth and Broadway and built a department store that was to become the largest west of

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Chicago, later known as the May Company. The Broadway Theater District included 12 theaters built between 1910 and 1931. They included the Cameo, the Arcade, the Palace, the Million Dollar, Loew’s, the Orpheum, the Rialto, the Globe, the United Artists and the Los Angeles. Many of us remember Jack Smith, the gifted columnist for the “Los Angeles Times.” Here is what Jack Smith had to say about the theaters on Broadway: “I remember walking into those opulent interiors, surrounded by the glory of the Renaissance, or the age of Baroque, and spending two or three hours in the dream world of the movies. When I came out again the sky blazed; the heat bounced off the sidewalk; traffic sounds filled the street; I was back in the hard reality of the Depression.”

This from the “L.A. Times” in 2006: “There was a time, long ago, when the streets of downtown Los Angeles were awash in neon — thanks to a confluence of movie theaters the world had never seen before. Dozens of theaters screened Hollywood’s latest fare, played host to star-studded premieres and were filled nightly with thousands of moviegoers. In those days, before World War II, downtown L.A. was the movie capital of the world.” Success came to Los Angeles despite the turbulence coming from the bombing of the L.A. Times building in 1910, WWI (1914-1918), WWII (19411945), the Los Angeles Aqueduct water wars of the teens and twenties, and the Great Depression of the 1930s. In the first 50 years of the 20th century, Los Angeles became a real city, and downtown Los Angeles was the beating heart of the Southern California region. It was the center of banking, law, real estate, retail and entertainment — all made available to citizens living to the north,

south, east and west. The next 50 years were quite different. 1950 to 2000 In 1915 there were 55,000 cars on the streets of Los Angeles. Today there are two million cars in Los Angeles and 5.5 million in the County of Los Angeles. The automobile, freeways and the idealism of suburban living changed Southern California and all of Los Angeles. The changes in store for Downtown Los Angeles were historic, profound and enormous in scale. The opening of the Arroyo Seco Parkway in 1940 and its direct connection to downtown in 1953 was a sign of what was coming. Freeways reaching out to West Los Angeles, the San Fernando Valley, the San Gabriel Valley, the South Bay and Orange County brought mobility to the surging population of Southern California that followed the end of World War II. How could life be any better than to live in the suburbs of sunny Southern California? Mom, Dad, the two kids, the new home, a barbecue, and a (Please turn to page 13)

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Larchmont Chronicle

Ratkovich (Continued from page 12) pool — it just could not get any better. Ozzie and Harriet showed us the way. The same mobility enabled industries, retailers and entertainment venues to head for the ’burbs. Homes for mall rats spread across the county with devastating consequences for urban retailers like those in Downtown Los Angeles. Spring Street was all but vacated by the banks, law firms and brokerage houses that made the street such an important part of downtown. Most of the Broadway theaters closed or changed their programming to appeal to Latino audiences. Broadway became a street dominated by retailers serving the Latino market. Streets were flooded with shoppers every day, and on weekends it was as much a social experience as a shopping trip. In the second half of the century, leadership in the city began to shift from the private sector to City Hall. In 1955, the city adopted the Bunker Hill Urban Renewal Project, a huge site of 133 acres stretching from First to Fifth streets and from the Harbor Freeway to Hill Street. To make way for new development, eminent domain was widely used, ultimately leading to the demoli-

DECEMBER 2020

tion of an entire residential neighborhood. To support the redevelopment cause, the city lifted the height limit for buildings in 1957. In 1968, Downtown Los Angeles got its first truly high-rise building, the 40-story Union Bank Plaza at Fifth and Figueroa. In the meantime, leadership in the private sector was on the decline. A publication by USC’s Annenberg Center said the following: “In the early 50s, the Committee of 25, which, depending on your historical interpretation, was either an enormously powerful clique of the city’s business elite or a shadow government running the city [was active]. By either interpretation, this one centralized group of players was recognized as being the de facto power center in the City of Angels.... It was through their influence that the Brooklyn Dodgers became the Los Angeles Dodgers.” The meeting place for the Committee was The California Club. Fall from grace More from Annenberg: “The biggest change since (the early ’50s) has been the L.A. business community’s fall from grace. Once there was a myriad of large corporations with enormous footprints in Los Angeles: ARCO, Pacific Mutual, Security Pacific National

Bank, Bullocks, United California Bank and Carter Hawley Hale. Most of those companies have either been bought or have simply left town.” Los Angeles was no longer the dynamic city it was in the first 50 years of the century. Indeed, it was tagged as a “suburb in search of a city,” an unflattering but accurate label. But the second half of the 20th century wasn’t all gloom and doom in downtown. In 1958, the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles and opened Dodger Stadium in 1962. In 1960, the Democratic Convention was held in Los Angeles and nominated the future president, John Kennedy. In 1962 the first Super Bowl was played in Los Angeles, and in 1990 the Metro Blue Line connected the downtowns of Los Angeles and Long Beach. In 1964 the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion opened, and in 1967 both The Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson opened. Office buildings were the primary form of development in downtown from the day the height limit was lifted. From 1983 until 1991, 22 million square feet of new office buildings were constructed downtown. Indeed, the city got the skyline it so badly wanted. These new office buildings were not great economic successes.

SECTION TWO

13

The largest hotel in the city, the Bonaventure, opened on Figueroa Street in downtown in 1972. The Broadway Plaza opened to great fanfare in 1973 when architect and developer Charles Luckman designed the first truly mixed-use property in Los Angeles — a hotel, an office building and a retail center all linked together. In 1993, heavy rail transit finally came to Los Angeles, initially with a line running from Union Station to Seventh and Flower streets and later extending west to both North Hollywood and to Wilshire and Western. Two good and important forces emerged during the cen-

tury’s second half. One was the “Downtown News,” a publication born in 1972, and — in 1977 — the Los Angeles Conservancy held its first public meeting at the Oviatt Building in downtown. The “Downtown News” and the Conservancy have both served and supported downtown in a very positive and constructive way. So, the second half of the 20th century saw the growth of the region being accommodated in the suburbs, but urbanity was not abandoned. Let’s go to the next 50 years — the period we live in now. [From 2000 to 2050 will be the subject of next month’s conclusion of this essay.]

Annual meetings

dinner, installation of doggie bag dispensers and their continual re-filling in Harold Henry Park, collecting food (as well as donating $800) for the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, holding “Movies in the Park” and contributing to local Fire Station 29, the LAPD Wilshire Division and Memorial Library. Two new board members, Andrew Lo and Ciji Davis, were elected to join continuing members Barbara Pflaumer, Heather Brel, Virginia (Ginger) Tanner, Jeff Estow, Anthony DiMaggio, Julie Kim and Chris Turner. Outgoing board member Betty Fox was thanked for her service.

(Continued from page 6) Labiner Moser, Angie Szentgyorgyi, Steve Tator and John H. Welborne. Windsor Village More than 20 members of the WVA gathered for a Zoom “cocktail party” annual meeting on Nov. 21, and they were feted with hand-curated boxes of grapes, cheese, crackers, olives and honey courtesy of Maggie Clancy. The WVA board reviewed some of its accomplishments including: revitalization of the neighborhood block party, introduction of a potluck


14

Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

DRESSED UP, with school parking lots to drive through, vehicles stole the show this Halloween.

Car decorating, drive-thru events on brand for Halloween 2020 By Caroline Tracy Halloween was not all-butcanceled, as it turned out. Keeping with the spirit and ethos of the time, schools “pivoted” by providing new, safe traditions for children and families to partake in. For at least two local schools, drive-thru pumpkin carving contests and decorated car parades replaced the traditional

LUNCHTIME — socially distanced, of course — inside the under-construction Audrey Irmas Pavilion on the southeast corner of the Wilshire Boulevard Temple block on Wilshire Boulevard. Photo by Gary Leonard, November 12, 2020

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class party and school-wide costume stroll. Third Street Elementary’s staff and parent organizations came together to host the Spooktacular Pumpkin Carving Carpool Event Oct. 29. The event showcased pumpkin designs from the student body, as staff and parent volunteers greeted families along the car route and safely distributed candy. (Please turn to page 19)

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Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

15

December’s cinnamon: fragrant, fortifying and not all the same

by

Paula Panich

Yemen. Pliny turns out to be the reliable narrator. It is not known whether these writers are referencing C. verum or C. cassia, but the spice trade in both was wild and brutal. Cinnamon experiment Let’s get back to my kitchen, and yours. I bought three different “cinnamons” from the same purveyor (spicehouse. com). Many supermarket cinnamons are actually cassia; some are labeled as such, some not, and most do not source the spice. From Spice House, I tested true C. verum “Ceylon;” C. cassia, “Korintje” (from In-

Miss the Sunday farmers market? Now you can shop on Wednesdays The Larchmont Farmers Market has added an additional day to the traditional Sunday market at 209 N. Larchmont Blvd. The Wednesday market is open from 1 to 5 p.m. Melissa Farwell, manager of Raw Inspirations’ Larchmont Farmers Market, said the additional Wednesday market is in the same location as the Sunday market, at the Larchmont Village clock tower. The addition of the second day gives vendors a chance to set up at least once a week, as well as for customers to visit vendors they may have missed on Sundays. For more information visit facebook.com/LarchmontVillageFM.

CINNAMON is traced to ancient times.

the savory Moroccan bisteeya. The cassia “Korintje,” far more pungent, and with its three percent volatile oil content, was much too strong and bitter in my tablespoonful experiment. However, it lives up to the general medicinal reputation of all cinnamons — cooling to the stomach. I was amazed. The cassia “Saigon” is peppery, spicy, maybe a bit fiery,

with a knockout, rich fragrance. It has a high volatile oil content, five percent, and is used in chocolate and often in the strong, strong taste of “cinnamon” buns. Each of the three has its place in your cooking. A far more scientific culinary experiment with cinnamon and cassia can be found on cooksillustrated.com/articles/342shopping-for-cinnamon.

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donesia); and C. cassia, “Saigon,” obviously from Viet Nam. I made three small aluminum foil boats. In each I put five slices of the same apple, a tablespoon of butter, a tablespoon of brown sugar, and in each a different tablespoon of the three spices under consideration. (A teaspoon would have been fine, but I wanted to push the fragrances and the tastes.) The Ceylon true cinnamon was still mild and sweet even in this large quantity. It has a low volatile oil content (one to two percent) and is preferred in Europe and Mexico, and by me in the incessant apple crisps I seem to make, and it pairs well with cream and milk. It has a subtle fragrance, and I would say subtlety and sweetness sums it up. It is used in Middle Eastern tomato sauces, and I would use it in

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If you are fussy about where your wine comes from, and perhaps your favorite chocolate, you might have an interest in the provenance of the cinnamon you measure out for the sweets on your table, and even the savory. Fortifying, cooling, and vivifying, cinnamon, though its scent is unmistakable, is not generic. I have just consumed my fill in an experiment I’ll get to in a minute; I suspect my house will hold this divinely sweet fragrance for a good long while. Cinnamon is a bit of a botanical and historical tangle. In the U.S., the bark of the true cinnamon, now known as Cinnamomum verum, and the bark of C. cassia, a related tree, can be labeled as “cinnamon,” but not so in the U.K. In French, the single word “cannelle” applies to both. Ancient spice Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) has been the source of C. verum from ancient times until today. A 7th century BCE archeological find on the isle of Samos shows evidence of cinnamon in a sanctuary of the goddess Hera. Herodotus weighed in on cinnamon in the 5th century BCE in Book III of his “Histories,” with a fantastical tale involving cinnamon in the mountain nests of enormous birds, and “Arabians” who lure the birds with pieces of dead cattle, thereby causing their nests to fall down so the bark can be gathered. The song of this spice can be heard in the Bible’s 45th Psalm and in Ezekiel. The ancient writers Strabo and Pliny the Elder mention it too. In Pliny’s “Natural History” is found a story about spice traders swiftly crossing the Indian Ocean in monsoon season, with a first pause at a harbor in


16

Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

‘Last Vermeer’ evokes the priceless beauty of the Dutch originals The Last Vermeer (8/10) 118 minutes. R: Based on the story of WWII-era Dutch painter Han van Meergren, this film is highlighted by Guy Pearce’s scintillating performance. Rarely do you find a performance like this, one that lights up the screen every second he’s on. Van Meergren is arrested shortly after the end of WWII and accused of being a traitor by selling priceless recently “discovered” Vermeer paintings to the Nazis, especially Herman Goering. The cinematography (Remi Adefarasin) is entrancing. There is a scene at the beginning of two people sitting at a table with a garden that is so beautifully framed and set that it looks like an oil painting itself. The Dutch locations are equally captivating. Both are Oscarworthy and add immensely to the enjoyment of the film. The

Family-Run

ending is bogus, but I don’t want to go into that because it would be a spoiler, and it’s too good a film that should be watched in ignorance of the facts. In theaters. Queen’s Gambit (8/10) Six episode mini-series TVMA: I fell in love with Anya Taylor-Joy earlier this year when she starred in the delightful “Emma.” She is even better in this, playing Beth Harmon (who is played as a nine-year-old by Isla Johnson in a dazzling performance). Harmon is the protagonist of the 1983 novel by Walter Tevis. This story of a chess prodigy is, at heart, a sports story of an amazing participant that is poignant and fulfilling, dealing as it does with competition and drugs. It is at times distressing, but is mostly uplifting. Netflix. The Undoing (8/10) TV

with

Tony Medley mini-series, six episodes TVMA: Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant give outstanding performances in this thriller about a seemingly loving couple whose lives are grossly interrupted by a brutal murder. This grabs you at the outset and never lets go. HBOMAX. My Psychedelic Love Story (7/10) 98 minutes. NR: Timothy Leary was the high priest of LSD who told people to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” This is filmmaker Errol Morris’s introspective story told through a four-tape interview Leary gave with a prison psychologist and by his much younger (25 years) girlfriend, beautiful Swiss-born, French-

By Rachel Olivier Buy an autographed copy of “Inside Hancock Park” by Jane Gilman and hear her speak on the history of the neighborhood at a Zoom talk through the Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society Wed., Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $30 for a copy of the autographed book and the presentation, or pay $10 for just the presentation. Visit tinyurl.com/ y66n7dmb for information and tickets. Around the neighborhood When last we heard from Larchmont Chronicle found-

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Like many new war films, it consists mostly of walking and talking. If these undisciplined soldiers were ever on a mission they would have been wiped out in the blink of an eye. Prime. Last Call (3/10) 110 minutes. NR: This has been in the can for a long time. It should have stayed there. The story of the last year of Welsh poet Dylan Thomas’ (Rhys Ifans) life, 1953, it’s mostly Thomas orating poetically (and unrealistically) and drinking, almost two hours of it. While the abstruseness of what Thomas says may lead one to believe that writer / director Steven Bernstein was using Thomas’s words, not so. All the dialogue was written by Bernstein, and it is so over-the-top it is offputting. When I lived in London the Welsh had a bad reputation. This Thomas is a real jerk, and the two hours I spent watching him was agonizing. In theaters.

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raised heiress Joanna Harcourt-Smith, who met him in Paris when he was a fugitive and they fell in love. She tells her story, disjointed but heartfelt, and it involves many icons of the ’70s like Andy Warhol, Diane von Furstenberg, Adnan Khashoggi, even The Rolling Stones. The interview was conducted over two days. She jumps back and forth. It’s a unique, if convoluted, peek at Leary, but what’s more interesting is the naked look we get of her as she searingly bares her soul. Showtime. Recon (4/10) 95 minutes. NR: Inspired by a true event in WWII Italy, this tries to capture the tension and ambiguity of war by concentrating on a small squad of soldiers challenged not only by lifethreatening, but life-altering, experiences over the period of one day. It is terribly burdened by a myriad of technical and production design errors as well as serious plot holes.

HOURS *Library-to-Go at Fairfax and other select libraries: Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Thurs., Dec. 24, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 25, closed; Thurs., Dec. 31, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Fri., Jan. 1, closed. Visit lapl. org.

CHEVALIER’S BOOKS hosted an event with Jane Gilman in conversation with Tom LaBonge.

er Jane Gilman, she was announcing publication of her book in our October issue. Since then, despite COVID-19 restrictions, she’s had a whirlwind tour around the neighborhood discussing her book. In November, Gilman spoke at a Zoom luncheon for the Wilshire Rotary. Also, Chevalier’s Books posted a talk between Gilman and former Fourth District Councilman Tom LaBonge. They discussed some of the little-known bits of history regarding Hancock Park. A video of the conversation is available at chevaliers-

books.com/jane-gilman and on YouTube. Gilman also discussed her work and the history of the neighborhood with native Hancock Park-er Lisa Hutchins at the home of Yvonne Cazier for a benefit for St. Vincent Meals on Wheels last month. When we reached out to Gilman to see where she might be next she quipped, “Alas, I haven’t heard from ‘60 Minutes’ yet.” You can find “Inside Hancock Park” at Amazon and at Chevalier’s Books.

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Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

17

ntering a di erent brave new world as histor repeats

lara s

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from a grid. The Detroit Opera did a mini-remix version of Wagner’s “Gotterdammerung” in the parking structure of its opera house, with the “audience” driving through in their cars, listening to the performance on their radios. Ticketmaster has announced that it is exploring ways in which to verify that theater- and concert-goers will have had their vaccinations and test negative 24 hours prior to show time, to guarantee future sales. O brave new world! In midNovember, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that the economy “as we know it” may be over. We are, he said, “recovering, but to a different economy” with technology, automation and new spending and savings habits permanently altering the economic landscape. Mr. Powell made no determination as to whether or not this was good or bad. It was just different… and inevitable. Future of performance? I think the same will be true for the performing arts. Those $800 “Hamilton” tickets look a little absurd (ob-

er ea art

While the Los Angeles Ballet will not be performing “The Nutcracker” this season, “Clara’s Nutcracker Tea Party“ will be offered online Sun., Dec. 20. Guests who sign up will sip tea and taste savory and sweet treats while watching past performances from Los Ange-

served

les Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” starting at 11 a.m. Ticketholders will receive a party box to open during the tea. Tickets are $39.99 for individuals or $125 for a table. For more information, visit tinyurl.com/y567e3ps or go to losangelesballet.org.

Historical Society 2021 speaker series announced The Windsor Square-Hancock Park Historical Society kicks off its speaker series Wed., Jan. 13. Robert Inman will speak on his book “An Architectural Guidebook to Los Angeles” at 7 p.m. Buy a ticket with an autographed copy of the book for $55. “Bunker Hill Los Angeles: Essence of Sunshine and Noir,” by Nathan Marsak, will be the topic Wed., Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. Autographed copies of the book with a ticket to the presentation are $50. Michele Asselin will speak on her book, “Clubhouse

Turn: The Twilight of Hollywood Park Race Track,” Wed., March 17 at 7 p.m. An autographed copy of her book that comes with a ticket is $60. David Judson speaks on his tome, “Innovation in Stained Glass,” Wed., May 12 at 7 p.m. An autographed copy of the book and a ticket for the talk can be purchased for $70. Presentation-only tickets are $10. A password and link will be provided for the Zoom events at the time of purchase. For more information, visit windsorsquarehancockpark. com.

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Louis Fantasia scene?) when people can’t pay the rent. Crowding into a 2,000-seat theater on a winter night just doesn’t have the same appeal it did a year ago. How many more “socially distanced” scenes do I have to watch before screaming out, “this is just not interesting!” Whatever the theater will be, it won’t be what it was. This has happened before in the history of the theater, often when politics and art collide. Take, for example, the English Restoration. In September of 1642 (barely a quarter century after Shakespeare’s death), the Puritans shut down all the theaters. They were places “of lascivious Mirth and Levity,” undermining the morals of the nation. After beheading Charles I, England suffered under the Interregnum

orting oo essions are on de and at allis The “Sorting Room Sessions” programs are back at the Wallis Center for the Performing Arts, which has scheduled a number of pre-recorded performances for December and January. Ticketholders will have 24 hours from 8 p.m. the day of the performance to view each session. Tickets are $25 for a single event, $60 for three performances and $96 for the entire series. Visit thewallis.org/SR for more information.

of Oliver Cromwell, where, by the mid-1640s, actors, writers and producers were considered rogues and vagabonds who should be whipped out of town. Many fled to France to join the exiled court of Charles II. In 1660, when Charles was “restored” to the throne, producers loyal to the Stuart monarchy were given “patents” with which they could open theaters (such as the Drury Lane) and present plays. Wit, satire from France Well, no boring Shakespeare for them! They brought back theater from France that was based on wit, satire and manners, with women(!) playing the female roles, in indoor theaters (modeled on Louis’ French tennis courts), with lighting and box seats. Play-

wrights such as Wycherley, Sheridan and Congreve were, to quote the 1920s American critic James Branch Cabell, “the first of English authors to present a world of unscrupulous persons who entertained no special prejudices, one way or the other, as touched ethical matters.” No comeuppance for an evil Iago or Richard III here. The villains become land-owners, venture capitalists and politicians. As I said, O brave new world! But be of good cheer, Dear Holiday-maker, this too shall pass, and we shall, I believe, eventually enter into a new era of theatrical creativity and energy. We just have to wear our masks, repeal the Electoral College, and remember that there’s more to life than the Hallmark Channel!

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As you can tell by now, Dear Reader, this is our holiday edition, and your critic’s calendar is chock-a-block with “Nutcrackers” and “Christmas Carols” and “Tuna Christmases” and “Radio City Music Hall” extravaganzas to review… Er… Sadly no. Our national nightmares are far from over, and my greatest fear is (pace politics and pandemics) that holiday entertainments will be left to the Hallmark Channel. Good grief, Charlie Brown! A quick, informal and totally unscientific survey reveals that our local theaters, such as the Anteus Company, A Noise Within, Will Geer, Independent Shakespeare, Inkwell, etc., are hanging on, trying to subsist on Zoomed readings and online classes. Mark Taper, the Opera, Pantages, and LA Phil remain closed, eating into their endowments and the goodwill of their subscribers, who have donated back tickets etc. Experiments abound: a Brazilian theater company wrapped individual seats in what looked like shower curtains suspended

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Larchmont Chronicle

DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

Learning to two-step, with the big blind, the preflop and the river Our October poker column explored preflop starting hands. (Reminder: Each player has been dealt two hole cards and must decide whether to stay to see the flop — the next three cards that are dealt face-up — “community cards.”) Step 1 in our two-step process was your decision to play your two-hole cards before the flop. Now comes Step 2: Your hand must improve on the flop! If not, be prepared to muck your hand. There is always an exception: If your hand does not improve, but everyone checks, you get to see the turn for free. (Never refuse a free card.) If you are the big blind and there has not been a raise, you also get to see the flop for free. On the other hand, if your hand does improve but only to a modest

degree (giving you a marginal hand), stay in only if there are no raises. It just is not worth a double-bet. Did your hand improve enough to warrant further investment? Sometimes it is obvious. If you started with Ace-King in the hole and connected with another Ace on the flop, you now have top pair with best kicker — most likely the best hand at that point. You might even decide to make a raise to thin the field to give your big pair a better chance to hold the lead until the showdown, or to build the pot you are now favored to win. Counting Your Outs Often, your starting hand will improve to a degree, but is not a made hand — that could win without further improvement. Drawing hands need

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George Epstein somewhat further improvement to have a good chance of winning. An example is fourto-a-flush (best if it includes a high honor card in the hole). There are nine others (13 – 4) of your suit still unseen — nine good outs. (To be conservative, we are not counting overcards.) The 4-2 Rule You can use probability theory to calculate the odds against connecting with one

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Note: There are also charts available that will give you the card odds for various outs. Finally, compare your card odds to the pot odds — how big is the pot compared to your cost to call to see the next card. Suppose an opponent bets $4 on the flop, leaving $40 in the pot. You are getting (40-to-4) — that’s 10-to-1 pot odds which is much higher than your card odds (less than 2-to-1). In the long run, you will come out well ahead by calling that bet. So now, you too know the two-step. George Epstein, a long-time local resident, is the author of three poker books and currently is writing “Win More in Texas Hold’em.”

Resident recognized for unique teaching, mentoring methods Longtime Larchmont area resident Dr. Leo Gordon was given the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Master Clinician Award in November for his effective mentorship and unique teaching methods. Gordon was recognized for his effective and unique methods of teaching during surgical procedures, his work on designing programs for physicians re-entering medicine after absences, his work on

the educational assessment of surgical complications and his impact on surgical education. The award recognizes innovations in bedside teaching and contributions to national and international medical educational literature. It is given annually to a member of the medical staff who has been instrumental in the medical education and mentorship of students and young physicians.

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days, from the former system of 10-24 days; and filing an appeal will be standardized at 15 days, compared to today’s 10-15 days. The City Planning Commission (CPC) recommended approval of the ordinance in Oct. 2018 with corrections identified by the public; community input continued after the public comment period was extended. The revised draft is expected to go back to the CPC in the spring. If approved, the draft will move to the Planning and Land Use Management Committee of the City Council, followed by a City

(Continued from page 6)

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of your nine outs — your card odds. But that is a bit complicated. Instead, most skilled players rely on the 4-2 rule; it gives a reasonable estimate. With both the turn and river to come, multiply the number of outs by four. In this case, that gives you an estimate of 4 x 9 = 36. This is the estimated percentage of the time you will connect to make the flush on the turn or the river. Hence, you miss (100 – 36 =) 64 percent of the time. Your card odds are 64 divided by 36 = 1.88-to-1 (approximately 2-to-1) against connecting. If you miss on the turn, then multiply your card outs by two to estimate the card odds against connecting on the river.

from 120 to 60, and standardizes the processes that remain. The rollout couldn’t come at a better time, as many businesses are struggling to survive and rebound from the economic downturn of recent months. The businesses need all the help they can get, so making the rules clear, and easy to find, will save money on professional expediters, said Kim. Key changes Key changes in the ordinance include: Extending public hearing notices to 21

LARCHMONT resident, Dr. Leo Gordon, recognized.

Attorney review before a final vote is scheduled for the full City Council. The soonest the ordinance could be adopted would be the end of 2021. For more information on the draft ordinance visit Planning4LA.org. A public information seminar will be held on Wed., Jan. 13 from 1 to 3 p.m. To be notified about the seminar and other events, visit planning. lacity.org/about/email-sign-up.

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DECEMBER 2020

SECTION TWO

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Saint Francis had a role in popularizing Christmas carols Why do we “carol” at Christmas? asks Debbie Forward. The relatively modern word carol is from the Middle English carola, which was not a song but a ring dance performed to singing and flute music. It was originally brought to Britain by the Romans, who of course, stole it (as they did most things) from the Greeks. By the Middle Ages, however, “carol” had come to mean the singing more than the dance. The Christmas tie-in came about when Saint Francis of

Professor KnowIt-All Bill Bentley Assisi wrote a Latin hymn of praise to be sung at his annual Nativity Play. This “carol” was so popular that it soon fostered the composition of many other carols, which became standards at Christmas services throughout the Catho-

lic world. During the Reformation these songs ran afoul of Puritan austerity and were banned and mostly forgotten. If you look carefully at the composition dates, you’ll see that most of the Christmas songs we sing were written in the 19th century. We may have lost the old carols, but not the love of praising the birth of the Redeemer with song. • • • Why do we “rest on our laurels”? asks Lisa Eastman. In ancient Greece, the laurel was a plant that grew on Mount

Olympus and was sacred to the gods. It was therefore chosen to be made into wreaths to crown the victors at the Olympic Games and heroes of almost any kind. To rest on one’s laurels, then, amounts to quitting while one is still a hero or champion. • • • Why has high society always been known as “The 400”? queries Robin Welch. This numerical appellation was coined in 1889 by society reporter Ward McAllister, who opined that only 400 people

Delivery by robot. What next? Meet Serve. It is Postmates’ automated delivery rover, spotted here on Nov. 23 navigating the sidewalks near S. Mansfield and First Street delivering food to a resident. The company is currently testing robot delivery of restaurant orders in Los Angeles and San Fransicso. The

robot creates a live video feed as it navigates autonomously from restaurant to customer, allowing a human supervisor to take over the controls if it gets stuck or encounters a problem. The all-electric rover has a 50-lb. capacity and is equipped with an interactive touch screen to unlock the delivery.

SERVE delivers food to a waiting resident. Photos by Robert Ronus

truly qualified as New York society. He got the amount from the number of society stiffs that the ballroom at Mrs. Astor’s Fifth Avenue town house was designed to accommodate, there being only that number worthy of an invitation. • • • Why do we “curry” favor? ponders Ed McPherson. This is a corruption of the Middle English expression to curry Fauvel. Fauvel was a centaur (a mythical beast, half horse-half man) in a popular 14th century satirical French romance play who symbolized cunning and bestial degradation. Hence to curry or pet Fauvel was to enlist the services of duplicity, to ingratiate oneself by slavish attentiveness. Professor Know-It-All is the nom de plume of Bill Bentley, who thanks readers for 32 years of questions. He bids us “adieu” with this column. Send your own thanks to him at willbent@prodigy.net

VEHICLES made an entrance at St. Brendan’s, above and below.

Halloween

(Continued from page 14) St. Brendan’s 8th-grade students and staff spearheaded their events to the delight of the younger students Oct. 30. Students and their families were greeted by the spookily dressed organizers and safely were given candy treats as well.

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DECEMBER 2020

Best Wishes to You and Yours this Holiday Season!

Bret Parsons Founder & Executive Director, Architectural Division

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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 been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate.

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

LC real estate 12 2020  

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