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Real Estate

Issue #1 2018


I saw the 3D walk thru and it didn't thrill me. I'm going to see it for real

PLG’s Cindy Lorimer

It's modern but is it open enough?

I need studio space so you'd have to park on the street.


My car needs to charge here so you need to park on the street.

Kitchens-on-Montana’s Kitchens-on-Montana’s Lisa Lisa Steinbach Steinbach Legendary graffiti artist “Zephyr” revealed

I'l go $5000 more Dude...Ok that's it and I want I handle them to pay for all it inspections

Lots of reading space

WTF? Last week it wasless. $10,000

A A MOMENT MOMENT IN IN TIME: TIME: The The origin origin of of Beverly Beverly Hills Hills

Suzanne Donegan’s interior design work Attorney Mark Brooks photographic passion

Around Town: We take a look at Dog Parks Cover Illustration by Ferdinand Alon


Lon Levin CalRE# 01965638 Editor/Contributing Writer

Jodi Mitchell CalRE# 01470032 Real Estate READY is a subsidiary of Lon Levin Real Estate (LLRE) CalRE 01965638. ©2018 Lon Levin Real Estate. All Rights Reserved. All content is the property of LLRE and cannot be copied or used without the expressed written consent of the publisher Real estate agents affiliated with PLG Estates Brokerage are independent contractor agents and are not employees of the Company. ©2018 PLG Estates. All Rights Reserved. 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 or pending registrations owned by Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. CalRE#01470032

JUST MY OPINION The Editor gives his opinion on various real estate related issues THE BOSS Co-Founder of PLG Estates, Cindy Lorimer answers some very personal questions. SUZANNE DONEGAN GETS CREATIVE WITH US The popular interior designer shares her history of success with us. ATTORNEY MARK BROOKS: IT’S IN THE DNA Attorney Mark Brooks shares some of his storied part with us along with some great photography. AROUND TOWN LOOKS AT DOG PARKS A quick review of some of our favorite dog destinations. KITCHEN DREAMING Lisa Steinbach-Schecter gives us a taste of her culinary success A FEW WORDS WITH THE LEGENDARY “ZEPHYR” Graffiti artist and bicycle racer Andrew Witten speaks candidly with Co-Editor Jodi Mitchell. MARIO YEAMAN, A HUMBLE SUCCESS One of the top mortgage lenders in the country talks candidly about his past, present and future.

Lon and I have known each other all our lives so when he brought up the idea of doing a magazine around real estate I didn’t hesitate to jump in. He has worked as a creative director at Fox, Saban, and others and also worked on what became the Loew’s Coronado Hotel since his family developed it. I was lucky to work with writers and artists and non profits for most of my life. We both grew up in Beverly Hills - he was across the street from Elvis and I was up the street from the Troubadour. A lot of our friends have gone on to do interesting things. So, since everyone has a story, we thought it could be fun to bring some of them forward here. We hope you enjoy it. We enjoyed putting it together.

jodi mitchell Thanks

it's just

my opinion by Lon Levin

Everyone has an opinion. Some valid, some... well some just don’t hold water. However, it’s important to be heard. In that spirit I’m going to wade into the water and give you some of mine. I don’t like real estate agents who constantly talk about how long they’ve been in the business as a prelude to telling you what you don’t know. This is a sure sign of insecurity that that agent is falling behind, becoming a dinosaur and proud of it. While I’m on that subject, I’ve run into some agents who swear by all that is old school; door-knocking, cold calling, postcards, etc. You mention social media, or new technology and they wave it off. “Don’t waste my time with it” Some even get angered and lecture you about the good old days. My opinion... the good old days are gone and we agents need to embrace all of the lead generating methods out there including the old school ways. It is true that nothing works better than networking and getting in front of people. If you’re comfortable doorknocking and cold calling then do it, but don’t ignore reality. Technology is here to help and it is evolving at warp speed. Be yourself. Sounds simple but a lot of us are trying to be someone else, someone we believe our agency and our clients prefer. Someone we think fits the part. But it’s not true. We are all just fine as we are. The more authentic you become the more you will attract the kind of people you want to do business with. It took me a few years to find the right agency where I could concentrate on what I do best, learn what I need to and not be worried if I’m dressed the right way or have the right car.

Zillow, Redfin, Purple Bricks and other low cost real estate companies will not make real estate agents extinct. That being said, we will have to work harder and be more efficient to make sure our clients get service and guidance these companies cannot offer. For me that’s a challenge and nothing to fear. As one of my doctors once told me,”Face your fears and they will disappear.” I’ve found that to be very difficult but true. Don’t spend too much of your time working at the expense of your family and loved ones. If you’re not enjoying yourself and your work then stop and figure out why. Bring balance to your life; work, play, family. Be patient with your clients and explain the process as clearly as you can. Remember it’s about them not you.


Cindy is essentially a true LA native, even though she was born in the bustling city of Saigon in Vietnam and immigrated to the US as a small child to escape the Vietnam war. Cindy is the V8 engine behind PLG Estates as she is the operations manager for the company. With a keen eye for detail she keeps the agency running at top speed with the efficiency of fine German engineering. Also a keen real estate agent in her own right she manages to don both hats of management and agent with dexterity and ease. Always quick to help and even quicker with a smile Cindy is an integral and essential part of the PLG family. Cindy has a BA in Science from Cal State Northridge and was a professional actress on screen and T.V. After acting she was a senior account manager for American Express and was successful in catapulting one of the products in their Corporate Sales department from inception to implementation and huge national success. It was a natural and obvious transition for her to team up with husband Peter to form a Real Estate alliance. Cindy and Peter compliment each other which has galvanized a very blessed and successful partnership. With sights set high Cindy and Peter look forward to providing, their trademark of top knotch service to all clients and agents in their brokerage. First off what’s it like to be married to Peter? The energy this guy puts out is extraordinary along with his obvious talent and intellect. How do you get a word in edgewise? I actually do a lot of the talking if you can believe it! But he does have a lot of energy, that’s for sure. He’s extremely creative and very much the left-brained one in the relationship and I’m the right. It sounds cliché, but the combination works pretty great; he’s the yin to my yang. I feel extremely lucky that we get to go on this amazing journey together with our three kids… We seem to work so well together that no matter what we decided to do with our lives, I think we would be successful at it as a team. If say it was something small like running a lemonade stand, or something bigger like starting PLG, we would make it work. And yes, he is really intense :) Tell me a little about your background. Did you always want to be in real estate, let alone running a cutting-edge real estate agency? How about your family. Did anyone (family, friends) encourage your interest? Discourage?

I think most people don’t know what they really want to do in life. Unless you knew you wanted to be a doctor or lawyer and had to put in the time in school I believe most of the time your purpose falls into your lap. I met Peter when he was a record producer. Shortly after that he decided to get his Real Estate license and that’s when everything changed. Six months in and I saw him drowning… It was just too much work for one person. At the time I was an Account Manager for a gift card program. I was great at what I did and really liked the work, but decided to up and quit my job to help Peter. He kept asking me if I was sure, and I just knew that I was. And that’s how it all began. That’s a lot of blind faith in each other! Ok, so if you weren’t in real estate, what do you think you’d be doing? The thing is, I didn’t really have the chance to have a dream of becoming something when I was a child. I was an immigrant, or a “boat person” as we called it. I came to this country at five and didn’t speak English. It was more about survival and acclimating. I suppose now as an adult looking at my skills and what I like, I would probably have a key role supporting someone building a business. Hmm… I guess I already did that though!

I’d say so. Ok, what were like as a youngster? Your interests, passions. Do you have siblings? I’m the youngest of four and was your typical youngest child. We all share a unique bond from taking the crazy journey to America together and having had to start a whole new life together. We all actually ended up in California, which is nice. I have to say that we are all extremely different and that I think it’s really interesting, how people can have the same starting point in life and end up in completely different places; That’s what makes life so great.

“I was an immigrant, or a “boat person” as we called it. I came to this country at five and didn’t speak English.”

How do you feel about the #metoo movement? Have you ever encountered negative workplace issues? (I experienced plenty in the entertainment business)

Where do you see yourself in the next 10 years? Any personal goals you have that are long-term and are in the makings right now?

We are all 1 out of 3, right? We are all somehow affected by it. It can be represented in so many different areas in life, which I think is the key to it. It’s putting a spotlight on instances where you feel alone and isolated and it let’s you know that you aren’t. So it’s about time and it’s amazing! It’s giving people who feel shame and like a victim, even outside of just sexual misconduct, the chance to feel unified and powerful. For me it’s wonderful that the #Metoo movement is celebrating all people who are brave enough to stand up and stand out for any negative experiences they have had and shed light on them.

I see myself not working as intensely as I do now. I’m a born workaholic and it’s hard for me to stand still. My ultimate goal is to slowdown and be there for my kids in their teens. Not sure exactly how I’m going to do it, but that’s my plan! And something that is already set in motion now, is that I’m planning on building my portfolio of homes, so I can flip them one by one. It’s something I love doing. When you create something with your own personal stamp, that is unique, and put love into it, there is no feeling more satisfying. With this endeavor I can work at my own pace and hopefully slow down a bit.

How did PLG come into existence? What do you think your role in it has been?

Aside from Peter, who do you admire the most and why?

We were both at another brokerage and decided we wanted to create an environment and a space where there weren’t any clicks and everyone was equal. We wanted to create a culture that we didn’t really have in the previous place we worked at. And the beautiful thing is that though that is what we set out trying to accomplish we didn’t necessarily know exactly what that was or what it looked like. Somehow, with those intentions everything organically developed and became our vision and what PLG is today. What’s your vision for the future of PLG and how does it align with your future? It’s hard for me to answer this question because honestly, PLG is where I want it to be already… I couldn’t be more thrilled with what we have accomplished and anything on top of what we have today is truly just a bonus. Maybe another cliché, but it’s the truth! What’s been your biggest learning experience, one that may have shaped your attitudes about what you do and why? I have to say, the major one that shaped my attitude on my life in general was my stillbirth. It’s the kind of thing that really put the important things in perspective. I always say to Peter, when things get tough, that just as long as our loved ones have their health that everything else is gravy. When you experience true loss you realize how beautiful and special all the good in life is. I hold onto that and try not to focus too much on the small stuff.

Assuming that I even admire Peter… Hmmm. That’s a tough one. And that’s the last word from Cindy! Perhaps we’ll have to revisit her another time and see if she has an answer to that question.

suzanne DONEGAN Interview with...

with Jodi Mitchell

Los Angeles based designer and creative director, Suzanne Donegan, specializes in the juncture of modern design, lifestyle, and wellness. This forte is manifest in her luxurious interiors and thoughtfully designed furniture and products. Suzanne’s aesthetic vision is rooted in tradition, while forward-thinking in awareness. “Modern luxury is about wellbeing- our mental, emotional and physical health are profoundly influenced by our surroundings. Great design allows people to feel comfortable, energized, focused and in time with the natural rhythms of life.” An ability to see the big picture as well as the smallest details has established Donegan as a sought-after consultant for clients on both the east and west coasts. Hi Suzanne, and thanks for this sit down with me. Let’s start with...What’s your process? Well-being is at the heart of my approach to creating interiors, I believe good design has a holistic effect on our lives and can positively change the way we think and feel. Beautifully crafted objects and environments are emotional, life-enriching and fundamental to the human experience. A guiding principal that inspires my work was perfectly stated by Italian architect Renzo Piano, “Beauty is one of the most important emotions in life.” My work focuses on wellness design and health informed luxury- which I define as the intersection of design with the five senses and how beautiful environments and products are experiential, emotional and linked to personal health.

The art of Design is no longer philosophical. Scientific research has shown the impact aesthetics have on health and well being. Great design allows people to feel comfortable, energized, focused and in time with the natural rhythms of life. The five senses are central to this experience and are ultimately the link between the inner and outer worlds. As an interior designer, I strive to create restorative homes that influence our emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. My trove of research on healthy design spans from ancient healing practices to cutting-edge studies on neuroaesthetics. This expertise focuses on the home as the premiere site of wellness and sustainability. Currently my projects include luxury residential properties, experiential mindful retreat centers, and the UCLA cognitive health clinic.

If you weren’t a designer what do you think you’d do?

How would you describe yourself?

Without a doubt, I would work for the United Nations - in particular UN Women which is dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Happy and easygoing!

What was your favorite project to work on? My favorite project to date is Eastaway, a luxury retreat center I designed in Vermont. The beautiful property allowed me to highlight the impact of interior design on health and wellness, including sustainable building materials, optimized water and air purification, and circadian lighting systems.

I was blessed to come from a very loving and supportive family. I would say I’m a pretty good balance of my parents: a combination of my mother’s extroverted fierce determination and my father’s introspective precision and thoughtfulness. When you’re not working what are your interests? Ways I love to spend my for my friends and family, picnics on the beach, traveling to lesser known places, and treasure hunting at antique/flea markets, among others!

What’s your favorite time of the year? I adore New Years Day- a time to reflect and set intentions for the coming year. What are some of the best moments you’ve experienced in your life? Best moments.. I’ve been lucky to experience some really great moments in my life, most recently I would include a trip to Paris with my mum- we share a love of this city for all the beauty it has to offer- amazing food, art, design, people watching- and she’s up for exploring for hours on end! Ha! I love to laugh and value the power of humor but for the life of me I can’t seem to remember my life’s funniest moment at this moment!!

Tell me a little about your background. Did you always want to be designing interiors, let alone running a cutting-edge design firm? How about your family. Did anyone (family, friends) encourage your interest? Discourage? It all started while I was in graduate school at Bard College studying the History of Decorative Arts and Design- at the same time I started studying/practicing yoga, becoming an instructor and developing wellbeing programs for children. My interest in both design and wellness revealed a synergy between the built environment and personal health that has ultimately informed my work today. My family has always been an amazing support,

especially my mum who has always understood and appreciated my vision even when it didn’t fall into the traditional career path! Where do you see yourself in 10 years? Any personal goals you have that are long-term and are in the makings right now? I am currently developing a new business concept/ platform to educate the consumer on health in the home. In 10 years from now I ideally see myself teaching and creating beautiful books!


Interview with Mark Brooks


It’s in the DNA

“When he died, none of his pantheon of entertainment people knew of his hidden talent as photographer.” Sometimes you never know how and why your interests take form. As kids we gravitate towards the “shiny object” and absorb all the information we can about it. Whether it’s music, math, art, sports or any number of things we are exposed to, something that drives us to explore more about it, learn more about how to do it and ultimately master it. For Mark Brooks, it’s in his DNA. He’s a lawyer whose career spans over 40 years and several disciplines: focusing on IP, entertainment and corporate business affairs. Succeeding in the business world, he is a creative artist at heart. His real love is photography. He has traveled around the world shooting street and scenic scenes, hung out with an all-girl punk band, and shot beautiful women in every type of setting you can think of. And according to him, he owes it all to his Uncle Bernie and Uncle Milt.

His Uncles’ father was a tailor—even made a custom overcoat for President Teddy Roosevelt and hung out with him over a drink. His father was also involved in the clothing industry in several facets. Yet, the Sirens of a different path beckoned him.

Both Uncles were friends with heads of studios, numerous entertainers and celebrities and their managers. Milt, more in the spotlight in Hollywood during Hollywood’s Golden Era was friends with some of the biggest names: Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe. Bernie was less visible, and although he knew the same people, moved in different circles: Billy Eckstein, Vic Damone, Nat King Cole, Satchell Paige, Willie Mays. There were many times young Mark Brooks got to “hang out” with his uncles’ friends. Billy Eckstein taught him how to play baseball and Willie Mays surprised him with an autographed baseball addressed to him. The chorus girls in Las Vegas would baby sit him. It’s no wonder Mark grew up wanting to be like his Uncles.

“He was a friend of Marilyn Monroe. He escorted her onto and off stage when she sang Happy Birthday Mr President to JFK.” Uncle Milt was Bernie’s older brother, my mother their sister was the youngest in the family. Milt had his own big band, then took on Count Basie as his client. Once he tasted success he landed other talent. He had Peter Lawford as a client, produced movies with Lawford and Sammy Davis, Jr and shared an office at William Morris with Sinatra. He hung out with the Rat Pack extensively and packaged his own movies with talent he represented before it became widely commonplace. He was liked by President Kennedy and hung out with him at the White House and Peter Lawford’s beach house. He was friends with Marilyn Monroe, and escorted her on and off of the stage when she sang “Happy Birthday Mr President” to JFK.

take a turn at shooting pin ups. In one of the editions of “The Barbarian” a military newspaper, he was photographed being kissed by actress Betty Hutton!

He walked along side the Kennedys and Martin Luther King in his Washington Civil Rights March. He always seemed to be at the right place at the right time.

At some point during his Hawaiian stay he became hospitalized. One of his visitors was

In WWII Bernie was an aerial photographer stationed out of Pearl Harbor. His subjects ranged from scenic travel shots to dramatic photos of military planes and ships, and every now and then he’d

Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of President Franklin Roosevelt. It was a pop-in visit from a very famous friend which was not unusual for Bernie. When the war ended, he traveled with and managed the tours for Count Basie, Vic Damone and Billy

“When I broke up with my first love, my Uncle Bernie took me over to meet Shecky Green. He was getting up at 2PM, and did twenty minutes on me and my girlfriend.”

Eckstein-- trailblazing and paving the way for these performers to hit it big. He toured Europe wheeling and dealing as a promoter and at the same time shooting iconic people and places. He then toured with Eckstein in the US, for a couple of years before desegregation, something that was unheard of at the time. “He would say: if you think Miles Davis or James Brown are great, you should have seen them in their 20’s.” In addition to smaller clubs across the nation, he spent considerable time at the Apollo Theater in NY, and Las Vegas—especially the Sands in the 50’s and 60’s. Later with William Morris, he set up their London office. “My interest in photography started around age 13 on trips back East or in the high sierras. Over the years, I got more involved in traveling I went to Paris to experience the world at 40-with no job in sight, I wandered taking all sorts of shots. Then I got work out of the

blue as a jazz tour manager-- a parallel to my Uncle Bernie.” After a couple of years, Mark returned to the US. He later went to Cambodia to again expand his experiences. It also was the start of his professional photography career. He took photos of Ancient and Modern Cambodia. Eventually he had multiple exhibitions of his work -- for charity benefits and studio shows. “That launched my photography with models-- headshots, glamour, beauty, fashion, artistic.” Recently Mark’s been interested in animal photography passing forward the love of some exceptional dogs he’s lived with “They changed me for the better, they are our kindred spirits and teach us so much and provide comfort and joy. I seem to be able to connect and reveal their soul and spirit. I suppose that is also how I work with my human models-- less interested in a souless pose.”

All images in this article, and all rights, title and interest to them, including copyrights, belong to Mark H Brooks. They may not be copied, duplicated, transmitted, downloaded, linked to or through, for public or private exhibition, in whole or part, without the prior written authorization, consent and license by Mark H. Brooks. All rights reserved.

Photograpy by Lon Levin

I’m a native Angelino. I grew up in Beverly Hills. I know the Westside area. I’ve lived in Beverly Hills, SilverLake, Westwood, Santa Monica, Venice, Bel Air, Pacific Palisades and now Carthay. In every place I’ve lived there was always a dog park, even before they had that special designation. However now we have several parks that are specifically designed for our dogs enjoyment. Here are my favorites.



There are a few trees which offer some shade and there’s a watering point. Plenty of trash cans and scoopers.The park is mostly dirt, wood chips, and a paved surface. Everyone is friendly there and the dogs gets along.

The park is fairly large although it’s been cut down a little over the last year. Small and large dogs mingle together and there doesn’t seem to be any problem with that. I’ve gone at various times of day and it was pretty calm. No more than about 10 dogs at any given time unless dog walkers show up.

There’s a large free parking lot adjacent to the area so access is very easy.

I first discovered the Silverlake Dog Park in 2012 when I moved to the Mt. Washington area.I got to spend hours and hours there with my two dogs Atticus and Apri, who were both very young. In fact April was no more than 4 months old when she first went there. She loved running around the park annoying other dogs and having them chase her. Amazingly all the dogs she and Atticus encountered were friendly and ready to play! Aside from the dog park itself there’s plenty of dog walking space around the reservoir. The trail itself is 2 miles. After a good walk you may want to stop at one of the local cafes that are close by. Street parking is a must, however you can always find a spot. There are shaded areas for owners to sit while dogs play. All in all a great park!

“This dog park is excellent!

The fences are high, double gated. Tons of parking, haven’t had trouble parking here yet.” - Cassie T./Barrington Park

“Dogs here are typically pretty playful! There’s a watering

area with big jugs to refill and bring to the other areas across the park or a big bowl right by the source for your pup to slurp!” - Sabrini C./SilverLake Dog Park

JOSLYN DOG PARK This park is a favorite of mine because of the terrain and the comfortable settings for owners. It’s a nice clean dog park that is part of a larger park that has an area with a field and basketball court. There’s a small parking lot and street parking is fairly easy to find.The park is well-maintained and there is an area for small dogs and for large dogs. Each area makes you enter through double gated entry points, making it safe so that none of the dogs run out. The park has water fountains, benches to sit at, and areas with and without grass for the dogs to run in. It was large enough that the dogs could run freely. I like that ther e wa s no poop on the groun d , b ecaus e the patrons are diligent about cleaning up after their dogs. There were a good amount of trees so there is ample shade that you can sit in if you get hot. I Highly recommend this park if you’re looking for a good place for your dog to run around.

RANCHO PARK Rancho isn’t an official dog park but every day in the heart of the fields and courts that surround it, people bring their pets to a “dog designated” area. The dogs freely run the hills and valleys of this wonderfully equipped park. Rancho Park was named by area boosters after World War II. There was a pioneer real estate broker who had established his office on Pico near Manning back in 1927. His name was Bill Heyler. Bill did as much as any other one person to develop the area. The honor of naming this community “Rancho Park” went to Bill.


D R Ethe AM ING Discover Difference... From classic to modern, let us create the kitchen of your dreams

“We have a long-standing reputation for outstanding service that has won rave reviews from a discriminating clientele.” A couple years ago I went to delight aside from being extremely Over the last couple years I’ve Dwell in downtown Los Angeles. talented. Her high-end Kitchen talked with Lisa about her business 1609 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica (#DTLA). While I was there I won design business is thriving and and what makes it so popular. In a $2500 chic modern chair, I learned filled with celebrity clients though the first issue of READY. Here are 310.451.5353 a lot about new building systems you’d never know it by the way some of those conversations and and I met the charming Lisa Steinshe handles herself and her cozy some stories about Lisa so that bach-Schecter. We hit it off right little shop “Kitchens-on-Montana you the reader can find out all you away and over the last couple years located in Santa Monica. It’s just a need to know about this talented we’ve talked and she is always a stones throw from Starbucks. business exec.

THE SPECIALTY KITCHEN The specialty kitchen Lisa Steibach-Schecter installed in her showroom is called the Selfcare Wellness Kitchen, It brings together a collection of smartly organized products that help encourage a healthier way of eating, while paying homage to the natural environment with materials like wood and stone. “I was trying to go deeper as a kitchen designer,” Lisa told me, She’s been in the business for thirty years. “This kitchen has all the tools and protocols front and center to encourage a plant-based diet and healthy cooking. It’s all about having products that are relevant to the task at hand and being respectful to nature, which has a wonderful effect on our health and well being.”

“I always likes to encourage her clients to invest in quality, whether it’s appliances or ingredients.” The kitchen has a contemporary look but

it’s a concept that can be interpreted in any aesthetic. Steinbach-Schecter used lowVOC paint, a Thibaut textural wallpaper, and formaldehyde-free cabinetry to build the vignette, and incorporated a Galley sink, a Body Glove water filtration system, a pullout Grohe faucet, planter boxes of herbs, From classic to modern, let recycling bins, and an Urban Cultivator for the kitchen of your dreams growing micro greens. Sub-Zero refrigerator drawers are oriented to the Miele cooktop and provide easy access to fresh fruit and vegetables. Other Miele products include an LED-illuminated stainless cooktop hood, a coffee maker, and a combi-steam oven with warming drawers.“Miele was really the first to create the steam oven. It infuses moisture and maintains vitamin and mineral content, which is so important,” she says, adding that she has one in her own kitchen. Steinbach-Schecter has used Miele products for years and particularly likes the brand’s streamlined look, user-friendly design, and cutting-edge technology. “They have a great concierge service too, and a staff that really takes pride in the company,” she notes. She’s quick to add that she always likes to encourage her clients to invest in quality, whether it’s appliances or ingredients.

Discover the

“I was trying to go deeper as a kitchen It’s all Difference... designer. about having us create products that are relevant to the task at hand and being respectful to nature.”

(continued) (And when clients upgrade products, she encourages donations to organizations like Habitat for Humanity.) She also encourages reading and seeking sound advice from wellness experts. “I just try to impart some wisdom in a nice way. Food is mood, and this whole kitchen just kicks up the happiness factor,” she says with a laugh. “Everything works in symphony.” .

Street The legendary “Zepyhr” talks with Jodi Mitchell

Andrew Witten, known as Zephyr, is an artist, lecturer, author, the Zephyr of Suzanne Vega’s song, “Zephyr and I” and now an avid cyclist and father. As a tagger and the head of a famous street art collective, the Rolling Thunder Writers, he was a key component in graffiti artists making the jump from NY City subway cars to galleries such as NY’s FUN gallery and 51X and a show in Japan with fellow artists Futura 2000, Dondi White, Fab Five Freddy and Dominque Philbert; to collectors and commercial work. He, along with his fellow artists, invented styles

and standards that prevail today. His work was featured in the documentary “Style Wars” and Charlie Ahearn tapped him to create the title sequence for his landmark film, “Wild Style” in which Zephyr also appeared. He is a serious artist who continues to be a central figure in the street art scene. When did you start creating art? Like probably 99% of all kids throughout the history of the

“Art is art whether it’s

in a gallery or in the streets”


planet I began making art in the earliest years of my life. The only difference between me and some other kids is that I never stopped drawing and painting. Unfortunately, modern western society encourages capitalism over creativity so a lot of kids don’t stick with it, as they get older. I still have some of my drawings from age six. What compelled you to paint in subways? The history of graffiti being presented as fine art first

occurred in 1972, when a man named Hugo Martinez exhibited the top New York City subway painters under the banner “United Graffiti Artists” (U.G.A.). Despite a well-received Soho exhibit in 1973, the world didn’t appear quite ready to accept graffiti as high art yet. When it was attempted again in the early 80s by Patti Astor at her Fun Gallery in New York, the reception was very positive, and her tiny ramshackle gallery launched the art careers of Basquiat, Haring and many other greats. Patti was the first gallery owner to give graffiti artists solo exhibitions and it was through her faith in me that

I made the leap from subway yards to the so-called “white walled world.” Recently part of Chicago was up in arms as a beloved piece of building art was mistakenly removed in a graffiti “cleanse” This was part of a plan to lure Jeff Bezos and Amazon to bring jobs. Any comment? The image was clearly art - the canvas seems immaterial. I wasn’t familiar with this situation. I had to look it up on the Internet. As far as the piece on the wall that all the controversy was about, it was done by an “old school” French street artist named “Blek Le Rat”. I confess

that street art is not where my attention generally goes. However, I do have a special place in my heart for this artist because he is a real grandfather of the international street art movement. In fact, Banksy has borrowed heavily from him, stylistically. That said this whole situation is a bit of a paradox wrapped in a conundrum. It can get quite complex very quickly if analyzed with any depth. I can’t even begin to express my opinion about it is in any real way because doing so would require pages of potentially circular narrative. In a nutshell, the situation is replete with

“We used subway cars as our medium for artistic self-promotion”.

and skateboards. Diego Rivera, were not aligned ironies andHis contradictions that of surfboards toured Japan in 1983. works his mostinpopular withof“society” the samepiecway we include standards, who Many can be seen in the subjective hip-hop culby simply were been The done difference is huge. As – if anyone reallyand owns space es have ture documentary Style–Wars his trademark name subway painters, we exploited—or (i.e. “public” vs. “private” he was featured as himself in the space); redesigning or “Zephyr”. created—a loophole in the the legalmotion “rights” of anyone to “Zeph” landmark hip-hop picture and even Wild Style.“property”; He is co-author of athe propriety system. We used the subinfluence on New York for way cars as our medium financial aspects of so-called Witten’s 2001 biography of fellow graffiti self-image is exemplified We artistic self-promotion. art.White: So, with that in mind, I’ll City’s artist, Dondi Dondi White Vega’sthis 2007bysong accomplished trespassgraciously leave Style Master General: The Lifeany of further in Suzanne andstorage I,” which uses ata night ing the yards discussion about this Graffiti Artist Dondi White. He for is another “Zephyr conversation between andtrain to spray our namesVega on the day. interviewed in the 2005 DIY grafWitten a framing device cars. asNot only was thereto public fiti video The Art of Storytelling, what toward Vega describes as this, hostility our doing What’s thefallen difference where he talks about graffitibetween create a little snapshot of whathigh butofthere was a perpetually artist Nace.the commissioned Mexican “sort End Avenue (and usedlegal) to berisk likeand level of physical Muralist of the 1920’s and the West 70s.” vulnerability involved. The work workinspired you and friend were in the His name was byyour a brand we did was never condoned. And doing? The Mexican muralists I assume although in some circles subway you’re referring to, most famously graffiti was celebrated, in our time we were considered a blight at best.

Needless to say, the Mexican muralists were a different story entirely. Since the movement was government sponsored their work wasn’t created in a hostile environment like ours was. You’re a serious bicycle racer. How did your collaboration with Raleigh to design a bike start? The Raleigh bicycle gig was a perfect situation. I caught my fever for bike racing from my childhood friend, Nelson Vails, the Olympic Silver Medalist. Nelson grew up in Manhattan and long before he discovered cycling we were skateboard partners. When he won the Silver Medal in Los Angeles for cycling in ’84 he did it aboard a Raleigh. Decades later Raleigh produced a tribute bike and Nelson thought I’d be the right artist for the job. He’s a great guy and Raleigh makes great bikes, so it’s a win-win. You provided art for the movie “Wild Style”. Did you enjoy working in an art department? As for doing the artwork for

the narrative film “Wild Style” (1982), it was an amazing experience and an amazing time for everyone who collaborated with Charlie Ahearn on the film. The movie captured the birth of Hip-Hop before it was even formally dubbed Hip-Hop. The film was created without any budget to speak of and filmed primarily in the South Bronx after that region burned to the ground. It captures a New York City in the throes of real collapse, although coming of age at that time was extraordinary because the level and intensity of the creative energy that flowed in that period is beyond explanation or even description. Has fatherhood changed you? Yes. I choose graffiti opportunities carefully now-thoughtfully weighing risk versus reward might be the best way to put it. I really don’t want my

daughter to see me through plexiglass while I’m in an orange jumpsuit. That’s just not a good look. Are you painting the walls of your new house with anything special? The walls are white, but I’m fortunate to have amassed a great art collection over the decades. We try and rotate the art to keep things fresh. People probably are surprised to see the traditional way I live with regard to the art I display in my home, although I try to throw in a surprise sometimes with a vintage Rick Griffin Grateful Dead or Quicksilver poster. I had a metal smith in California named “Metal Man Ed” buuld me a fake subway car. It’s made from aluminum and it’s in eight foot panels that connect. I

haven’t had the heart to paint it yet. He did such a beautiful job. It seems a shame to slap my crazy graffitti stuff all over his nice silver and blue paint scheme.




First off what’s it like to be Mario? Having been successful in the mortgage business early in my career and losing it all 3 different times makes me a bit angry, but I live with it. I’ve always bet the farm on my own possibilities and strengths. Like they say: live by the sword, die by the sword. I am now in my 3rd year in the mortgage business and doing the very same things I was doing in the beginning. I really do love what I do as I am helping people in a very big way. On every loan I do, there are several people affected by the outcome. The first-time homebuyer moves into a home they never

“At 17 my stepdad kicked me out. Frankly it was the best thing that could have happened at the time. It was like a bird pushing the chick out of the nest, you learn to fly or die in a hurry.”

thought was possible thanks to me; lowering someone’s house payment by $1,000 a month saves them from having to go into foreclosure or be forced to sell; escrow officers, title reps and real estate agents’ commissions all depend on the outcome of what I do. There’s a lot of pressure. The trick is not to carry it home to my wife even though she is my biggest support system. My workdays are typically Monday thru Friday 8am to 8pm but I must be available 7 days a week. That causes tension at home sometimes. You’re a financial guy but what other interests do you have? I’m so fortunate to be a grandfather to three of the most beautiful children in the world. There is nothing better than being a grandparent. Golf is my salvation. It allows me to be in a park like setting while being competitive with friends and others for several hours at a time. You sure get to know who people really are after playing golf with them

for 4 or 5 hours. I am currently the President of the Los Verdes Men’s Golf Club in Palos Verdes, California. Fly-fishing is another true joy. Being on a stream somewhere in the mountains all day is unbelievably relaxing and enlightening. My wife and I are dog people, so we are constantly surrounded by the warmth, love and joy that only dogs can provide. My grandkids are always thrilled when my wife has a houseful of dogs that she cares for. We live on an acre so all of us have our space. Tell me a little about your background. I was a real flunky in high school. I was too distracted by girls, sports & friends. I am the only person I know who didn’t want to graduate from high school. It was pretty clear that the party would be over, and this playing field called campus would come to an end. I tried college but again I was too high strung to sit in class let alone come home and study. Then the real world caught up with me and there I was a minimum wage guy working thru several terrible jobs. I did manage to become a machinist for a short while at a mag wheel manufacturing plant until I got caught up on one of the big lathes, it almost killed me.

That was the turning point for me. The next day all bandaged I picked up one of the mag wheels that we made there and asked the manager if I could take that wheel to some of he local tire dealers and sell them for him. I was 19 and fired the very next day. My machinist mentor was crushed. I was lost but knew one thing; working in machine shops was not for me. I eventually replied to a salesman-needed ad: I’ll never forget it “Salesmen needed to work for Parnelly Jones at Vel’s Ford”. I borrowed a shirt and tie from a friend, put on my only pair of slacks and dress shoes and headed out to the interview. On the way my Corvair blew up and I had to walk the rest of the way. I lied on the application saying I was 21 because I thought you had to be that old to hold such a prestigious position. After the interview one of the sales managers gave me a form and said that I needed to fill it out and show them my driver’s license. I went back to the sales manager with my tail between my legs and told him that I was only 19. The horror on his face was frightening. He took me to the managers lounge and told all the other managers that the first thing I did was lie to him.

Did you always want to be in the mortgage industry? I had no idea what a mortgage was when I got introduced to the business. I was a sales manager at a Porsche dealer in Hermosa Beach when this sharp man and his daughter came in. My “Liner” (salesman) found them a car she liked and turned them over to me. I was very young but deadly. I buried him in the car. The next day he came in and jumped on my desk, I thought he was going to beat me up but he didn’t. He said I was the best salesman he had ever seen and asked if I would come work for him. As it turned out he was the CEO of the 2nd largest mortgage company in the US at the time. I took the position handily as I hated the car business. I never got over hurting those who trusted me the most. At this point I was 22, married and had a baby. I had no choice but to jump in hard and make it. I’ve never had much support from my family. My mother loved me more than life itself, but my stepfather hated me. I was however surrounded by a whole bunch of great friends who thought I was the greatest thing since sliced bread. I did have a secret weapon: I was clear that if I did all the things that my competition didn’t want to or like to do that I would make it. Most everyone has call reluctance. So, I called

on 100 real estate offices 2 times a week and 33 offices a day 6 days a week for 5 years. I beat out my competition by shear attrition. I was never the sharpest tool in the shed, but no one works harder than I do. If you weren’t a Mortgage Broker, what do you think you’d be doing? When I first started selling cars I was introduced to Dale Carnegie and signed up. It was a life altering experience. I always thought it would be wonderful to be a life trainer of some kind. Especially when you consider what that training and others like it did for a guy like me. What were like as a youngster? Your interests, passions. Do you have siblings? I loved sports and was a very good baseball and football player but didn’t get much help from my stepdad. My father left us when I was 5. My sister was 4 and devastated and eventually died from a suicide attempt. My mother did what she could to survive but needed financial help, so she grabbed the first guy that she thought was financially fit. As it turned out he was a real piece of work. He made it impossible for my sister and I to live at home. All my time was spent at

other people’s houses. At 17 my stepdad kicked me out. Frankly, it was the best thing that could have happened at the time. It was like a bird pushing the chick out of the nest you learn to fly or die in a hurry. I lived in the back of my friends’ station wagon for over 3 months before I saved enough money to get an apartment. That was an amazing feeling moving into my own apartment after living like that. Give us some insight into your day and what get’s you going in the morning?? Typically, I grab my phone when I wake up around 6am and see what interest rates are doing. My company is in Chicago and a lot of what we do happens back there so I kind of get a head start on everyone else. I return all latenight emails that came in from the previous night then feed our 3 dogs and the couple dozen peacocks that live around our property. I also try to tend to the property for about 30 minutes or so. I need the outdoor time, as I’ll be inside for the next 8 to 10 hours. Once in the office it’s all about managing the pipeline of loans that are in process. That entails, locking in loans, following up with clients making sure they get us what is needed to get their loan approved, putting

out fires and there is a stack of them every day. I have a fabulous staff, so a lot of my day is simply following up with them to make sure we’re getting the job done. The second half of the day is comprised of taking or reviewing new loan applications, putting them in process properly and PR type work. My business is all referral so connecting with referral partners and clients is critical. What’s your vision for yourself in the future? Sailboat tack: I’m 66 this year and feel 40. I still need to make a lot of money to sustain the lifestyle that I’ve come to enjoy and certainly will need a large bank account when I slow down. I really have no intention of retiring, as I love what I do and don’t want to lose the edge that only work gives you. What makes that possible is technology. I can take my laptop anywhere in the world and do the very same things that I do in my office. My plan is to continue to work but not necessarily out of my office every day. I’ve always loved the mountains and the desert. At 70 I’ll live in both places enjoying the climate of both through peak season doing the same thing that I do now.





A licensed real estate broker in CA & Nevada with sale and lease transactions of $44M in the last three years. Since the 1970’s Paul’s been involved in the sale, leasing and management of Office, Industrial, Retail, Apartment and single tenant NNN properties. Over the years, Paul has closed thousands of transactions and has owned and managed over 300,000 square feet of office, retail and apartment properties in California and Arizona. We sat down with him over lunch.NRT top 2% Nationwide 2010 | Top 3% California | #1 NRT

You’ve been in the commercial real estate business for a long time now. How have you seen it change?

It took 11 months until the leases were finally fully executed. I think that I probably made about 12 cents per hour on that deal.

When I first came in the Business in the early 1970’s, I worked mostly in Office Leasing. Asking rents for new buildings were predominately 65 to 75 cents per foot Full Service. So, I would go out canvassing in older buildings in Hollywood and Downtown L.A. and the Valley; I would see people and they would say “Why should I move to pay 65 cents when I’m paying 35 cents now”! How times have changed-now most asking rents are anywhere from the 3’s to even the 6’s. Not all are Full Service any more.

My longest deal was 24 months, with St. John’s Hospital and St. John’s Tower Imaging. They are still there, at Wilshire and 22nd St. in Santa Monica. We signed the lease in January, 2002 and the city of Santa Monica finally approved their occupancy in January, 2004. It was worth the wait, as the total Lease Consideration was $6.1 Million. Today, I’m sure that it would be double that figure.

I started my own company in 1975. Almost immediately, I sold my first listing, an office building on South Robertson, for $180,000. I was in Fat City with my $11,000 commission (which wasn’t shabby at that time!). The same building today would probably sell for $5 million or more! You’ve worked with panoply of interesting companies and personalities over the years; do you have a favorite story without naming names? My favorite stories are not funny, but they make me proud of my perseverance. Around 1970 or 1971, I walked into a really big office of Allstate Insurance, in DTLA. What luck! Their lease was going to expire in about 18 months and they wanted to move. So, I toured them through a number of new and existing buildings, primarily in MidWilshire (now known as Korea Town). We eventually struck a deal with Tishman Realty for a full floor in the old Tishman Plaza.

You served in the Vietnam War. How did that affect the trajectory of your life? A very good question…I was very fortunate, in that I was never in combat. I was a Quartermaster (Supply) Officer. I was in charge of all of the food operations in Nha Trang, Vietnam (a beautiful area) for the year that I was there. We distributed rations (food) to about 30,000 American, South Korean and Filipino military personnel, every day. I saw so many places in Vietnam, as I flew about as Pay Officer (our guys would be paid in Vietnamese Piasters, as they were out in the boonies and dollars wouldn’t have worked). I paid all the local vendors (bread, produce, ice, etc.) by check, in their currency. This enabled me to travel to Saigon several times I could have flown back to Nha Trang the same day, but I usually stayed for 3 days in an air-conditioned hotel and I was able to eat in some great restaurants. So, my business studies in college were put to good use in a War Zone! OJT for the eventual real world. Also I was able to travel to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Thailand,

which changed my worldview. The Trajectory per se wasn’t Vietnam, but the fact that I had been in the Army. In the summer of 1968, I had to spend two weeks at Camp Roberts for training. I met a guy there who had his own office leasing company, and he eventually recruited me. The rest is history! When you’re not busy putting together multi-million dollar deals, what’s your passion? I have two great kids and 5 nice, really smart grandkids. That makes me feel very happy. What has been your favorite life adventure? It can be travel - a life lesson, anything... There was a life lesson I learned early, and I think about it every day. Like the majority of us, I was in a very strong relationship with a girl, for two and a half years of college. She was a year behind me. Naturally, when I entered the Army, she was still in college, bye-bye relationship. I remember the day that it ended and, of course I was very distraught. I went to see some close friends and the mother of the family told me: “Paul, you don’t have to sell yourself to anybody”. That stayed with me to this day. I learned that, first and foremost, I had to learn to like myself and that is a big key to being successful: be yourself and stick to it, no matter what kind of jerks or bullies you deal with. Self-confidence is learned from within and it makes you stronger. I love making deals, whether they’re multi-million or smaller. Paul E. Feiwell /Broker Associate Pacific Union Commercial 150 S. Rodeo Drive #100 Beverly Hills, Ca. 90212 (310) 980-2722

A MOMENT IN TIME Beverly Hills and Los Angeles before all the glitz and glamour.

Almost 50% of the population of California and cities like Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco are not natives to the region. This has been the trend since the Gold Rush days. It’s not surprising that few people living in California know the state’s history. Fewer than that know the history of Los Angeles. I’m a native Angelino who grew up in Beverly Hills. I was never taught about the history that surrounded me. When I was in the entertainment business I had the chance to work on a project about Los Angeles and it’s Mayor in the 1930’s, Frank L. Shaw. That opened me up to learning about William Mulholland, Frederick Eaton and a host of other early Angelinos. Here I was living in Benedict Canyon but had no idea about it’s storied history. So I started to look into Beverly Hills and LA history. What I found was fascinating. Let’s start back in 1781.

“A fictionalized story loosely based on the California Water Wars was used as the basis for the 1974 Roman Polanski film Chinatown, as well as the first third of the 1994 novel Taking of the Waters by John Shannon”

In 1781, during the reign of Spanish King Carlos III, a small group of settlers established the pueblo of Los Angeles naming it El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles. It remained an outpost of New Spain until 1822 when Mexico established a new and independent nation. The old Spainish realm of California including Los Angeles became a colony of Mexico. The Mexican government designated Los Angeles a city in 1835. The Beverly Hills area was first explored by Captain Gaspar de Portola in 1769. He and his party followed the old Indian trails in what is now known as Wilshire Boulevard. One of the members of the original settler party was a Spanish soldier from Sonoma named Eugenio Valdez. He was amongst the first to settle at the Los Angeles pueblo on the River Porcincula with his family and young bride. That same year, a six-year old boy named Vicente Ferrer Villa came to california with his family thru San Gabriel.

The two families were linked with the first Beverly Hills settler and landowner, Maria Rita Valdez. The soldier was her father and the young boy grew up to be her husband. In 1828, the Valdez family called their settlement “Rodeo De Las Aquas” or “Gatherings of the Waters”. That name came from the meeting of two underground artisian streams flowing out of the foothills. The streams were named “Cañada De La Aqua Frias” and “Cañada De Los Encinos”. One coming from present day Coldwater Canyon and the other, from my old home, Benedict Canyon. Editor: I want to thank the President of The Beverly Hills Historical Society, Phil Savenick for his help and Marc Wanamaker for supplying the historical information via his book “Early Beverly Hills”. More to come in the next edtion and on our Instagram feed at levin.lon

It’s said that famed Renaissance painter Arcimboldo wrote and collected bread recipes which he shared with his students and art loving friends. Whether that’s true or not, we choose to believe it. So, in that tradition we are giving our readersa special recipe, one that surely would bring a smile to the famous painter’s face. Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books.

Braided Lemon Bread There’s just something about lemon that brings a smile and cheerful laugh in the middle of even the dullest of days. The bright yellow color and zippy taste can’t be beat. This bread combines a soft and tender sweet dough with the tangy flavor of lemon, and wraps it all up in a beautiful yet easy-to-shape mock braid. Ingredients SPONGE 3/4 cup warm water 2 teaspoons sugar 1 tablespoon instant yeast 1/2 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour DOUGH all of the sponge 3/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened 2 large eggs, beaten 1/2 cup sugar 2 teaspoons salt 2 teaspoons vanilla 5 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour egg wash for brushing braid pearl sugar or sparkling white sugar for sprinkling on braid CREAM CHEESE FILLING 2/3 cup cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup sugar 1/4 cup sour cream 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup Unbleached All-Purpose Flour 1/2 cup prepared lemon curd INSTRUCTIONS In a small bowl, combine the sponge ingredients. Stir well to combine, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 10 to 15 minutes. In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the sponge, yogurt, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and flavoring. Add 4 1/2 cups of flour and mix with the paddle attachment until the dough is a rough, shaggy mass. Switch to the dough hook and knead on speed 2 until a soft, smooth dough forms, about 5 to 6 minutes, adding more flour if needed to achieve the correct consistency. If you’re using a bread machine, combine all the dough ingredients in the pan and set the machine on the dough cycle. Be sure to check

the dough as it kneads and adjust the flour or water as needed to achieve a soft, supple consistency. Let the cycle complete itself. If working by hand or stand mixer, place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until quite puffy and nearly doubled. While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Combine all the filling ingredients (except the lemon curd) in a small bowl, mixing until smooth and lump-free. Reserve the filling and lemon curd until ready to fill the braids. Gently deflate the dough and divide it in half. Cover half with plastic wrap and set it aside as you roll out the first piece into a 10” x 15” rectangle. Rolling on parchment paper makes moving the bread to the baking sheet much, much easier. Lightly press two lines down the dough lengthwise, to divide it into 3 equal sections. Spread half the cream cheese filling down the center section, and top with half the lemon curd, leaving 1” free on all sides of the filling. To form the mock braid, cut 1” crosswise strips down the length of the outside sections, making sure you have the same number of strips down each side. Beginning on the left, lift the top dough strip and gently bring it across the filling diagonally. Repeat on the other side with the top dough strip, so that the two strips crisscross each other. Continue down the entire braid, alternating strips to form the loaf Repeat the rolling, filling, and braiding steps for the second piece of dough, using the remaining cream cheese filling and lemon curd. Set both loaves aside, lightly covered, to rise for 45 to 50 minutes, or until quite puffy Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the loaves with egg wash (one lightly beaten egg, 2 teaspoons water and a pinch of salt), and sprinkle with coarse sparkling sugar, if desired. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Yield: 2 loaves.

The journey starts with the first step CalBre#01965638


Insightful Interviews with fascinating people and their relationship to real estate.


Insightful Interviews with fascinating people and their relationship to real estate.