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FEB/MAR 2018

Calabasas | Encino | Sherman Oaks | Studio City | Tarzana | Toluca Lake | Woodland Hills

Celebrate New


Photo by D Park Photography

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where we live 18

Q&A VPAC Patron Sharon Nazarian

66 SEEN Faces Spotted Around Town

28 FRONT LINER Firefighter Christopher Bustamante


56 WILD RIDE Disney Dealer Mike Van Eaton

30 DATEBOOK Fun Stuff to Do


44 features

24 RENAISSANCE MAN Meet Arnold Chanin, a guy who gives new meaning to “patron of the arts.” 32 VISIONS OF BHUTAN Dentist Barry Shaffer forges a new path as a photographer. 48 ARTIST IN THE HOUSE Step into the studios of three artists who are keeping oldworld artisanship alive. 60 POOL PARTY 2.0 An Encino couple create a contemporary pool pavillion at their traditional abode. 68 OPEN SPACES, OPEN MINDS Discover the natural beauty, welcoming natives and adrenaline rush of New Zealand. .


the sauce

40 BOULEVARD AMBITION SOCA in Sherman Oaks 44 THE POUR-OVER EXPRESS Groundwork Coffee in NoHo

and then some...

72 ON THE MARKET One-of-a-kind Studio City Craftsman 76 PROFILES Top Realtors of the Valley 101 REAL ESTATE Spectacular Local Listings 122 SOMETHING TO FALL BACK ON Being and raising a creative COVER Photographed by Shane O’Donnell; Rendered by Christine Georgiades



s a vital heartbeat in the entertainment capital of the world, it’s no wonder CSUN is a destination for future legends of the industry. Internationally recognized for its robust and diverse programs in business, management, and cinema and television arts, CSUN produces talent that thrives both on and off screen. Named by The Hollywood Reporter as one of the most powerful business managers in the

industry, CSUN alumnus Fred Nigro and his accounting firm have represented larger-than-life entertainers such as Tom Cruise, David Letterman, Nicole Kidman, Steve McQueen, Demi Moore and Fleetwood Mac. With Hollywood in CSUN’s backyard and industry professionals serving in the classroom, students gain a leg up in the climb to the top — where they make stars rise and become stars themselves.




Linda Grasso

Robin Sanders 818-427-2050 |

ART DIRECTOR Michelle Villas

ADVERTISING Senior Account Executive | Sue Williams


818-625-3515 |

Editorial Director | Darren Elms Account Executive | Erika Carrion Copy Editors | Peggy Jo Abraham,

310-897-2424 |

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Michalene Busico, Lissa Kapstrom, Hadley Hall

Jared Sayers

Meares, Anne M. Russell, Susan Spillman, Rachel Heller Zaimont PHOTOGRAPHERS Michael Becker, Tameka Jacobs, Shane O’Donnell, Monica Orozco


Todd Klawin

MARKETING & OPERATIONS Partner/Brand Publisher | Emily Stewart Partner/Managing Director, Media & Analytics | Warren Schaffer Brand Publisher | Hannah Lee Director of Marketing & Business Development | Cherice Tatum Director of Digital | Charles Simmons Director of Film & Video | Bryce Lowe-White Art Director | Angela Akers Digital Marketing Manager | Mike Sayers Operations Director | Allison Jeackjuntra Marketing Manager | Rachel Gotko Director of Events | Danielle Price Accounting | Janet De La Cruz No part of this periodical may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written consent from The Golden State Company, LLC. Any and all submissions to this or any of The Golden State Company, LLC publications become the property of The Golden State Company, LLC and may be used in any media. We reserve the right to edit. TO OUR READERS Ventura Blvd welcomes your feedback. Please send letters to: Reader Response Department, Ventura Blvd PO Box 3760, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266. Please include your name, address and email. Edited letters may be published. SUBSCRIPTIONS Email: or phone: 310-376-7800. Subscriptions are $29 per year.



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editor’s letter | LINDA GRASSO

In Queenstown, New Zealand for our travel piece on page 68

Canvassing the Valley...and Beyond I enjoyed having a chance to sit down with Sharon Nazarian and discuss her family foundation’s $17 million donation to the Valley Performing Arts Center for the cornerstone article in our annual ARTS issue. The center’s executive director, Thor Steingraber, was also part of the interview (page 16). It was riveting to hear why the prominent Westside family chose the center, located on the campus of CSUN, as the recipient for the donation—one of the largest in the state university system’s history and the system’s largest single gift to fund the arts. The funds will support the programming and operations of the stunning, state-of-the-art facility, ensuring a healthy, vibrant future for generations to come. In a gradual rollout, the center will be renamed The Soraya. Soraya is the Nazarian family matriarch’s first name. In Farsi, it means “jewel”— which, I’d say, is befitting from all angles. From three highly skilled artists who exhibit an almost magical deftness with their hands (page 48) to painter/collector/donor Arnold Chanin (page 24) to former Encino dentist Barry Shaffer, who just published a coffee-table book of photographs taken in Bhutan (page 32)— we cover the creative endeavors that are enlightening and inspiring us here in the Valley. I was over the moon when TV writer Lissa Kapstrom (Fairly Odd Parents, Just Shoot Me, Wings) agreed to write Last Word, our essay on each issue’s final page. She addresses the challenges of setting your sights on a career in the arts and then having a child who aspires to do the same. With so many creatives living here in the Valley, I’ll bet many of you—with and without children—can relate. In the midst of this arts-centric issue, you’ll find a story about LA Fire Department Capt. Christopher Bustamante, who was on the front lines of the Creek Fire (page 28). For the VB team, the fire touched close to home. Our sales rep Sue Williams, along with her husband, Eric, had to flee their Sylmar home in December. As the couple sped away, their neighborhood was fully engulfed in flames. They returned several days later to the ultimate Christmas gift: their home—miraculously— was untouched. Firefighters got there just in the nick of time. Bustamante is one of many firefighters who put their lives in danger for our community. We simply could not miss the opportunity to send a heartfelt thank-you to him and the entire force.

Linda Grasso Editor-in-Chief



Follow me on Instagram @linda.grasso and my podcast @she_sez








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Dear Readers, It’s not often that we pen a letter in Ventura Blvd, but as the owners of VB’s parent company, Moon Tide Media, we have some exciting news we’d like to share. From our founding in 2006, we’ve operated our business under the name Moon Tide Media. It’s a name that signifies the highest tide in a lunar cycle. We felt it was optimistic and, well, kind of cool. Since that time, we’ve grown from a single print magazine to a multi-channel media network, with nearly a dozen publications, an award-winning advertising and marketing agency, and a growing family of dedicated employees of whom we couldn’t be prouder. It’s been an exciting ride. We’ve always been focused on creating great California-inspired content for the markets and the marketing partners we serve. Our team has produced over 10,000 pieces of content reflecting the very best of where we live, and we intend to continue doing just that on a broader scale. That’s why we’ve decided to rebrand our company. Effective January 1, we have changed our name to The Golden State Company. Our company will have two operating divisions: The Golden State Network will house our owned-and-operated media, including Golden State, Ventura Blvd, Southbay, HOME and others. We’ve unified our media on a single digital platform, designed so that content can be easily shared—better serving readers as well as advertisers. Our second division, Moon Tide, will operate as the stand-alone, fullservice advertising and marketing agency it has become. So what does this mean for you, dear reader? Hopefully, more and better content that is relevant to you. As Ventura Blvd celebrates its seventh anniversary, our great team, lead by editor-in-chief Linda Grasso and publisher Robin Sanders, will continue to deliver eye-opening stories celebrating the place you call home. And with our new Golden State Network, which includes the revamped, it’s now easier than ever to find articles and features about the Valley. And don’t be surprised to discover that the content finds you—popping up across your favorite social feeds. It’s part of the plan. Thanks for joining us on this journey. It’s a fascinating time in the media business, and absolutely none of this would have been possible without our incredibly supportive readers, advertisers and marketing partners. Welcome to Golden State. We’re thrilled about the next chapter. Warmly, Charlie Koones, Managing Partner | Todd Klawin, Managing Partner



The Valley’s Center for the Performing Arts


at 100

KEIGWIN + COMPANY Celebrates Bernstein Sat Feb 3 | 8PM New York dance innovators KEIGWIN + COMPANY performs pieces choreographed to Bernstein’s lush orchestral suites from On the Town and On the Waterfront, plus two world premieres.

On the Waterfront Film with Live Orchestra Score by Leonard Bernstein Richard Kaufman, Conductor New West Symphony



Directed by Elia Kazan Screenplay by Budd Schulberg

Sat Feb 24 | 8PM One of the 10 best American films of all time and the only film that Leonard Bernstein scored.



On The Waterfront © 1954, renewed 1982 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved.


Step into the studios of three artisans who embrace old-world craftsmanship. More on page 48.





A New Dawn Exploring the future of the Valley Performing Arts Center after a transformative donation by the Nazarian family PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHANE O’DONNELL | RENDERED BY CHRISTINE GEORGIADES

The Nazarian family, who lives on the Westside, is well known for their philanthropic contributions to performance institutions across Southern California, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Skirball Cultural Center. Patriarch Younes is head of Nazarian Enterprises, which invests in alternative energy, logistics technology, aerospace and real estate. Just about everyone was shocked when the Y & S Nazarian Family Foundation announced they were donating $17 million to the Valley Performing Arts Center on the campus of Cal State University Northridge this past summer. It is the largest single arts gift to the state university system, and it signifies a major transformation, which includes renaming the center to “The Soraya,” after the family matriarch. Editor in chief Linda Grasso sits down with the foundation’s executive director, Sharon Nazarian, and the center’s executive director, Thor Steingraber, to talk about what the donation means to the seven-year-old institution’s future.

What is the mission of the Nazarian Foundation? SN: Our mission is to support educational causes as well as arts and culture in both the US and Israel. Also, to support public policy in Israel which we do primarily through the Rand Corporation and a few other think tanks. This gift to Northridge hits two of those buckets at the same time—it’s a performing arts venue and an educational institution.

The donation was inspired, in part, by your father’s experience emigrating here from Iran. SN: My father’s story actually has two immigration experiences. At 16 or 17 he emigrated from Iran to Israel, when Israel was established. Our deep-seated love and connection to Israel comes from that experience. Then in 1978, with the revolution underway, we left again and came to LA via Israel. Both those experiences were transformational for my father in terms of his identity. We had to leave our home and his factory. Everything was taken over by the government. Immigrants have that understanding of the fragility of life. You can lose everything overnight, and then you have to start over. My father has robust thinking about starting over. It does not faze him. He understands he has the ability to do it. What specifically prompted the VPAC donation? SN: With the family foundation, we try to



be thoughtful in our giving. Northridge spoke to us in so many ways, starting with the performing arts center—this jewel in the middle of the Valley. My brother David also graduated from CSUN and his [philanthropic] efforts have been fundamental to the development of the university’s business and economics school. But it was a lot about the makeup of the student body. The Cal state system is the middle-class engine of the state. It is what makes California work every day. It is what makes California great. Without this facility, the Valley does not have a performing arts center and the Valley, with its ethnically diverse communities, deserves the best of the best. The message we are sending is: we see you; we acknowledge you; you are the fabric of the state and you are our future. I love the way your family embraces its heritage. So many immigrants shy away from it—particularly in light of the political climate right now. SN: For many in earlier generations—Jews who survived the Holocaust or left Europe because of the war—there was some shame because of where they came from. For my parents and me, we feel that the fabric of American society is the immigrants. This country was built by immigrants. While I can’t say this gift was directly impacted by the political climate of the country, that thought is there in the back of our minds. The political questioning of the contribution of immigrants to America has really disturbed me. This country has been built on the backs of immigrants. This gift was a nod to that. Thor, what was your first reaction to the gift? TS: The first time Sharon and I met, we shared coffee here on the stage. Sharon and her family were definitely checking me out. They wanted to make certain that our visions aligned and that I would run the place—in the long term—in a way



that reflected their values. She said a few things that excited me because they were the same kinds of things I was thinking in terms of the mission being that the center is an arts leader. It seemed the perfect alignment between support and organizational vision and management. It was an incredible moment. What does the gift mean to the center? TS: So many arts organizations live in a state of insecurity about their longterm future. When there is a downturn in the economy, many arts centers fold. To have an endowment that ensures the long-term future of the facility and the organization is great. It does not exist without it. Plus, the gift has brought and continues to bring intention and validity to our work. There are so many worthy arts organizations. It is hard to put a stake in the ground in terms of philanthropy. This gift says what we are doing is important and hopefully it will attract more giving. We’ve discussed the importance of getting Westsiders to come over the hill for performances. Will this provide incentive? SN: We definitely, as a family, thought about that. We really considered that many of our friends might never come here. We hope to encourage them, and we hope they will see the value of coming here. But we gave a gift to this community. Now, how can we ensure that our vision will be expanded? What is most important is the programming. It will make people want to come here, and that is what Thor will build upon. We fly across the country to see Hamilton in Manhattan. We know people will do that. Thor has the vision, the credibility and experience. This institution is in great hands. TS: At every single performance, someone comes up to me in the lobby and says, ‘This is my first time here. I drove here from Brentwood and I got here faster than I get to downtown and the parking is so much easier.’ Sometimes they even say the ticket

was cheaper. So, it is happening. Getting big name acts is another goal. Again, will this money help accomplish that? TS: The reality is that LA is the second largest entertainment market in the country and home to the two largest entertainment companies in the world—AEG and Live Nation. They literally control artists and venues on every corner of the city. The competition is for artists—even, for say, a comedian. That comedian may have an exclusive contract to appear on Sunset Strip and I’m just 15 miles from the Strip and I can’t book them. We work with 200 agents to book 50 artists—ranging from the most elite classical artists to up-and-coming popular musicians. We have to make the case every day that those artists should come here as opposed to the Westside. What’s your dream act or performer? SN: Mine is kind of unorthodox. There’s an Iranian composer who came to my office and spoke about wanting to be commissioned to write an opera based on the Iranian revolution—a love story. I love opera and taking this very important event in our lives that has never been in opera form tantalizes me. I’d love to see that on stage. TS: My favorite projects are what I call crossover projects, where an artist explores a new genre or say a heavy metal artist does an orchestral concert, like when Serge Tankian did that for two nights here. Stewart Copeland was another artist who did a crossover performance. I’d love to have John Legend do one. He’d be an incredible opportunity to merge audiences. There is nothing more exciting to me than seeing a student in shorts and sandals here, alongside a patron who is totally dressed up for the evening. That is what this performance center does that no other does around the world. ■



Masterpiece at the Mausoleum

One of LA’s most historic cemeteries is the unexpected showplace of world-class art. WRITTEN BY HADLEY HALL MEARES

When Ana Pescador tells people where she works, their first reaction is usually surprise. “Many people don’t know that there’s a museum at Forest Lawn,” the director says. “Then they come and visit and are amazed at what they find!” While it may initially seem strange that there is an art gallery in the midst of Forest Lawn’s sprawling Glendale grounds, it is part of the famed memorial park’s unique mission. Founder Dr. Hubert Eaton sought to revolutionize the cemetery model—from a gloomy place of sadness and solitude—to a beautiful, welcoming space featuring gardens and inspirational art. Dr. Eaton strove to create “a place where artists study and sketch; where schoolteachers bring happy children to see the things they read of in books.” In 1952, the Forest Lawn Museum opened, furthering Dr. Eaton’s holistic vision for his memorial park. The facility oversees a large permanent collection—both within the structure and throughout the grounds at all Forest Lawn parks. “The objects in Forest Lawn’s permanent collection are very eclectic, although the majority of the works are European. There are Western bronze sculptures, American historical paintings and artifacts, and one of the Easter Island statues,” Ana says. “The most famous and my personal favorite is Jan Styka’s The Crucifixion painting, which Dr. Eaton purchased and had to construct a building to house it because it’s so large—195 feet long by 45 feet high. It’s the largest religious painting in the Western hemisphere.” The permanent collection also includes one of the most extensive and well respected stained glass collections in North America. There are more than 1,000 pieces, primarily from France and Germany, and dating from 1200 A.D. Most notable is the stunning stained glass recreation of Leonardo da Vinci’s immortal masterpiece, The Last Supper. Created by master craftswoman Rosa Caselli-Moretti, it is housed in the park’s Great Mausoleum and on view to the public. In addition to its permanent collection, the museum hosts rotating special exhibitions with a world-centric, globetrotting focus. Recent shows have included David Bowie: Among the Mexican Masters and a retrospective of the Chinese-American artist Cao Yong’s work. Currently on view is the exhibition, Pigskin Peanuts, an homage to the late illustrator Charles M. Schulz, which runs through March 15. It features 50 comic strips, as well as Peanuts objects and ephemera. “Following that,” Ana says, “we are working with the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), highlighting the best moments in soccer history.” While it may seem odd at first glance, Ana views a visit to the grounds and museum as a joyful, cultural experience—for all ages. “It is a destination for families,” Ana explains. “My favorite thing about Forest Lawn Museum is knowing that people can learn and connect with art in a new, exciting and unexpected way.” ■ Visitors can use a free mobile app for guidance through the art and architecture. It includes images, audio and video. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday; admission is free. More at






Arnold Chanin has always had a keen talent for spotting up-and-coming artists and creating art—of all kinds—himself. Now he is sharing the fruits of his lifelong labors with the world. WRITTEN BY HADLEY HALL MEARES







e is absolutely a renaissance man,” Raine Chanin says of her husband, the artist and family physician, Dr. Arnold Chanin. She stands in the garage of their beautiful home in the Encino Hills, which Arnold has used as a studio for decades, watching as he rifles through over 60 years of artwork. “There’s nothing I haven’t worked in. Nothing,” he says. “Assemblages, watercolors, acrylics, bronze sculpture, ceramic sculpture, reliquaries.” His favorite medium is oil. “You can study the work and go back to it,” he explains. “Oil forces you to not be in a hurry.” Being in a hurry is not Arnold’s nature. He is a great lover of process, of observation—and most importantly—learning. Born in Pittsburgh in 1934, he became a photographer as a teen and studied painting and design at Carnegie Mellon before transferring to Antioch to study fine art and teaching. He taught art across the country and also worked in jewelry design and portrait photography. Arnold then returned to school to get his MD in 1965. “When I became a doctor, I didn’t have to kowtow to anybody,” he says. “All my art projects—my painting, my photography—every one I financed myself.” Arnold found a kindred spirit in Raine. Together they befriended (and Arnold photographed) many of Southern California’s most prolific modern artists, including Stanton MacDonald-Wright, Ynez Johnston, and Gordon Wagner. “We had belief in them, and very few people had belief in Southern California artists,” Arnold explains. The couple began to build a prolific collection. “We discovered that artists are the most generous, wonderful people in the world. We were in the ‘60s, newly married, and we didn’t have two nickels to rub against each other. However, we started buying artwork and we paid it off,” Raine says. “It was an exciting time. It really, really was. We had an empty house, no furniture—but we had artwork.” Many of these artists and their families became Arnold’s patients, including the assemblagist and printmaker Betye Saar, who paid for her children’s visits to Arnold’s practice in artwork. Most impactful from a creative standpoint: Arnold became close to the abstract expressionist Gustav Burkhardt, who had settled in SoCal. “It was love at first sight,” he says. Arnold would study with the Swiss-born artist for more than 20 years and credits him with, among other things, teaching him how to prepare canvas. In the 1970s and ‘80s, the couple began to donate their impressive artworks to various institutions across the country. Arnold’s own work appears in several collections, including the Huntington Art Collection, Orange County Museum of Art and the Smithsonian Institute. Although the Chanins have given much of their collection away, their warm home is still filled with vibrant art. Some is the work of Arnold; others are from his famous friends. Every night, Arnold, who still practices medicine, can be found creating in his studio garage, where he once set up little easels so that his children could paint alongside him. Arnold creates works incorporating the things he loves: anatomy, medicine, classical music—and Raine. He is currently reworking a series of abstract pastels he began 40 years ago in a weekly artists’ group led by Burkhardt, in the basement of MGM studios. “It’s done when you can look at it anytime in the front hall,” he says of his pieces, “and the light is right, the balance is right.” No, Arnold Chanin is never rushed. But he is always busy. ■



“There’s nothing I haven’t worked in. Assemblages, watercolors, acrylics, bronze sculpture, ceramic sculpture.”



Front Liner

As the Creek Fire raged, LAFD Captain Chris Bustamante fought round the clock to protect his home turf. WRITTEN BY RACHEL HELLER ZAIMONT | PHOTOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL BECKER

The dispatch call came at 3:44 a.m. on December 5, alerting the crew at Fire Station 98 that a wildfire was burning near Sunland. Firefighters hustled downstairs and grabbed their turnout gear. In the dark outside the Pacoima station, “You could smell something in the air, like someone was barbecuing,” recalls Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) Captain Chris Bustamante. As the engine roared toward LittleTujunga Canyon Road, Bustamante and the members of Station 98’s B Platoon began to sense the scope of the blaze. “We could see a huge glow in the mountains where we were heading,” Bustamante says. “It looked like the sun was setting at three in the morning.” It was a sunset that lasted for two weeks. The Creek Fire raged in the northern San Fernando Valley, scorching over 15,000 acres east of Sylmar and prompting mandatory evacuations. Driven by fierce winds, the blaze jumped the 210 Freeway, charred more than 100 homes and ranches and blanketed the Valley with suffocating smoke and ash—but as the winds slowed, firefighters gained the upper hand. On the front lines, Bustamante commanded a strike team comprised of five engine companies. Their work was crucial in the race to combat the spread of the fire in its harrowing early hours. First stop: Maclay Street north of the 210. Bustamante was in charge of protecting everything—including new tract homes butted up against the foothills. His team alerted local neighborhoods that the fire was coming, and residents scrambled to flee. Embers from the blaze were already alighting in backyards, setting wicker furniture and trash cans aflame. Bustamante’s crew went house to house, putting out small fires wherever they could. As the sun rose, he received a call for backup. The wind had whipped embers into an open attic and the home’s second story was ablaze. Gusts of 60 to 70 miles per hour nearly knocked the firefighters off the roof, but they managed to quell the fire and save the house—and the residences surrounding it. But wind was only one challenge first responders faced that day. Low water pressure was another. The depleted water supply dealt a blow to the effort, and firefighters watched helplessly as structures were consumed by the fast-moving flames. “It’s one of the worst feelings you have as a firefighter. We say it’s like watching your mother get beat up and not being able to do anything about it,” Bustamante says. “These peoples’ houses were being destroyed. Knowing it’s our job to protect lives and property—we take a personal toll.” With 23 years in the LAFD under his belt, Bustamante has fought hundreds of fires, but the Creek Fire hit particularly close to home. At the North Hills house where the 46-year-old lives with his wife and three daughters, ash carpeted his backyard and seeped in through the ducts. Bustamante and his team fought the Creek Fire for five days straight. When local evacuation orders were lifted, the homeowner whose attic he saved called the station to thank him. He explains with modesty, “I still have a hard time accepting their thanks. I wish I could have done more.” Working in the Valley has special meaning to the Granada Hills native. “Being a local boy who was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, I take pride in protecting the area,” he says. “That’s why I do what I do.” ■






Museum Worthy

Going On Now Hammer Project: Sam Falls

LA-based artist Sam Falls fills the lobby walls of the Hammer with lush landscape paintings made of California flora, from the ocean to the desert. Through April 29.

Michelangelo to Degas

View drawings by Michelangelo, Andrea del Sarto, Goya, Degas and other masters—all recently obtained by the Getty in one of the most spectacular acquisitions in its history. Through April 22.

The Feminine Sublime

An unconventional narrative of the sublime in painting with a unique feminist perspective. Through June 3.

Dining with Kings: Ceremony and Hospitality in the Cameroon Grassfields View the work of artisans from the Central African country including beadwork, textiles, embroideries and carvings. Through April 15; Fowler Museum.

February 9 Stephen Schwartz and Friends

Award-winning composer Stephen Schwartz hosts an evening of conversation and music with composers, lyricists and artists.

10 Jasper Johns: ‘Something Resembling Truth’

13th Annual Museums Free-for-All

Get a complimentary pass to just about any museum in SoCal on January 28. More than 30 institutions—presenting art, cultural heritage, natural history and science—open their doors and invite visitors to attend free of charge. Why not spend the entire day museum hopping across LA? It is one of several free-visit days offered during the year. To get a list of participating organizations as well as a calendar of all the free visit days in 2018, check out

Features some of the artist’s most iconic and significant paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings. Through May 13.

Masters of the American West

This art exhibition and sale features paintings and sculpture by 70 artists. Through March 25.

11 Celebrating James Baldwin

Readings and discussion focused on the life and legacy of the writer/activist. Actress Alfre Woodard hosts.

16 & 17 Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan

A mariachi opera about three generations of two families.

27 Paper Promises: Early American Photography Rare 19th century paper negatives and photographs including portraits of some of the country’s most notable political figures, as well as images from the Civil War. Through May 27.



Obstetrics — Gynecology — Aesthetics — Weight Loss








On the day this photo was taken, I was deep in the Himalayan Mountains, with access to photograph at will. I came across three juvenile monks who were playing a traditional game of Sok-Sum. It was quite a sight.

Visions of Bhutan Former Encino dentist Barry Shaffer channels his talent for photography and his passion for Bhutan into the book, Echoes of Bhutan. PHOTOGRAPHED BY BARRY SHAFFER






Photographed by Jigme Reegyal

All proceeds from sales of Echoes of Bhutan will benefit the Tarayana Foundation, established by the Queen Mother of Bhutan, to support improvements to the most rural communities. The book can be purchased at Barry’s work will be on display through July at USC’s School of Gerontology. The project, “Quiet Heroes ~ Over 80,” exhibits black and white photographs that spotlight aging and immigration.

Clouded Himalayan foothills in the background of the massive, walled Paro Dzong. This was my initial photograph of Bhutan from my first visit in 2001. It was a surprise to turn a corner and see this incredible scene … it encapsulates Bhutan’s landscape and was stunning to see in my lens.



fter a 40-year career as a dentist, Barry Shaffer was restless. Ready to start cutting back on hours at his practice, he wanted to find something meaningful. Little did he know he’d find that meaning in photography and a tiny Himalayan kingdom on the other side of the world. The Tarzana resident had taken up photography as a hobby in the 1990s and, as someone with a keen eye and deft fingers, it was no surprise that he showed promise. “The skills involved in dentistry and in photography are actually very similar,” Barry explains. In 2000, he began to scale back on dentistry and two years later, Barry enrolled full-time in the professional photography program at Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara. “I was 52. My classmates were 18 to 20—but it worked better than I ever imagined.” During that period, he heard a speech by the renowned Indo-Tibetan Buddhist

scholar Robert Thurman, at the Telluride Mountain Film Festival. “He described a very pure Buddhist culture amongst the beautiful mountains and valleys of the Himalayas. He made it sound like a kind of Shangri-La,” Barry says. Ten months later Barry and his wife, Barbara, found themselves in Bhutan, camping and trekking to the most remote parts. “I was blown away by the clean air and gorgeous mountain views, which have a spiritual quality, but also by the people. I was struck by how happy they were. We might think they have very little, but there is such joy among them. It made me think that it’s the complications of life that make it such a hassle.” The couple has embarked on three trips to Bhutan, where they’ve been embraced by the locals and the government. Barry has compiled his work in a fine-art photography book, Echoes of Bhutan, and here he expounds on some of his favorite shots.

This photo—the sight of colorful prayer flags over an ancient bridge of wood and stone spanning a pure Himalayan stream of icy glacial water—is a photographer’s dream. Loving prayers for our wellbeing and that of all creatures are written on the flags, which are believed to scatter through the atmosphere when gentle breezes cause them to flutter.

Being inside an ancient structure like the Zangto Pelri Temple is awe-inspiring for a photographer—or anyone for that matter. The smells, sounds and feelings turn you into a time  traveler, as you get a chance to capture and share these scenes. It’s awesome.



In the most remote part of the countryside, I had the incredible privilege to see this image through my lens. I just could not believe what I was viewing ... the Jangbi shaman performing a ritual to ready an ancient house for its new inhabitants.

While trekking in the Bumthang Valley, I came across these four children on their way to school. They were completely enamored to be my models, dressed in their national dress. I felt 36 lucky VENTURA andBLVD energized | FEBRUARY/MARCH from my 2018 encounter with them.

It’s just like home If home was perfectly decorated, the bar was fully stocked, and Mom was a better cook.

BAR I DINING ROOM I PATIO I PRIVATE ROOM (818) 855-1203 I 16120 Ventura Blvd. Encino, CA I

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Groundwork Coffee revitalizes a historic hub in NoHo. More on page 44.

Boulevard Ambition Chef Aaron Robins runs the urbane SOCA in Sherman Oaks with an eye towards excellence and a knack for reinvention. WRITTEN BY JOSHUA LURIE



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In a sea of gastropubs, breakfast joints and sushi spots, SOCA stands out along Ventura Boulevard—and it’s not just the upscale, sophisticated décor. Sure, a field of artistic metal flower petals shields the patio, a seablue bar and plush apricot-hued booths are inviting, and a 10-foot driftwood sculpture graces the dining room. Still, what makes SOCA noteworthy is its fare, which strives for originality and excellence with each plate. Chef Aaron Robins has evolved the menu considerably since the sophisticated, airy eatery debuted in March, down the street from his other restaurant, Boneyard Bistro. The original mission, according to Aaron, was to mirror the feel of a high-end Mediterranean resort. Now, however, he is casting a far wider net. “When we started, we were really pushing the edge, being as creative as possible,” Aaron says. “The food was gorgeous and stunning, and a bit unexpected. We evolved it into more of a modern American steakhouse with global influences … We honed it in and sharpened the blade on it, and it seems to have really found its groove.” Dinner action revolves around SOCA’s oak-fired grill. Meats range from a judiciously portioned, six-ounce Certified Angus Beef filet mignon to a gigantic 40-ounce, 30-day dry-aged, bone-in, Creekstone Prime

tomahawk rib eye. Each steak comes with a choice of sauce, including an unusual ankimo butter made with rich, luxurious monkfish liver. Elevated sides include thick-cut bacon steak and duck fat potatoes, plus atypical choices like cheesy, Peruvian-style “huancaina” mashed potatoes, and roasted carrots with citrus yogurt and pepitas. Beyond cow-based entrees, you’ll find a bone-in Kurobuta pork chop with Cuban brine and mojo de ajo, and a crispy, whole Thai pink snapper for two with palm sugartamarind gastrique and rice noodles. SOCA kicked off weekend brunch service in November. Practically everything is made in-house—from pastry chef Joy Cuevas’ bagels and breads to silky ocean trout lox that’s cured, brined and cold-smoked with alderwood. The eatery even serves a play on the boat-shaped Georgian cheese and egg pastry called khachapuri. Their version features steak, fontina, mushrooms, fried egg and chimichurri drizzle on the chewy elliptical flatbread. One area where Aaron isn’t looking to innovate: SOCA’s textbook Caesar—a bowl of romaine hearts, house-made croutons, shaved Parmesan, and raw egg, garlic and anchovy dressing that’s made by hand before every shift. This stellar Caesar matches our memory of the famed Tijuana original, minus

the tableside preparation. Even Bloody Marys are next level. Their “Boneyard Bacon Bloody” incorporates tangy balsamic vinegar, spicy jalapeño and bacon— smoked at Boneyard Bistro. Baja Bloody is more complex, combining chile-infused vodka and mescal with cumin, fresh oregano and pickle juice, with a rim garnished with cilantro salt and large curled cocktail shrimp. For diners with big appetites, Baller Brunch is a beast of a meal that comes with a 32-ounce version of the aforementioned tomahawk rib eye with a half dozen fried eggs, sautéed onions and arugula, and Béarnaise. They’ll also fire up a New York steak or any cut they have available, but it will be cooked a la plancha, since the oak grill isn’t on during brunch. Sunday nights, SOCA offers a threecourse, $36 prix fixe menu that might star herb-roasted half chicken with chimichurri roasted potatoes or petite New York steak with wild mushroom demi-glace. The menu changes frequently, as seasons shift and inspiration hits. With Aaron and his creative crew in the kitchen, diners should expect more strikes than spares. ■ 14015 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 818-301-4300,



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The PourOver Express

A century-old train depot in North Hollywood steams back to life as Groundwork coffee’s newest café. WRITTEN BY MICHALENE BUSICO

The sign outside Groundwork coffee’s North Hollywood café still reads “Southern Pacific” railroad. The 1890 depot’s original plank floors creak underfoot. The long, low-slung platform is now a sun-drenched patio, with communal tables made out of reclaimed wood. And the old ticket window dispenses richly flavored brews and breakfast burritos to commuters from the bus-line hub near Chandler Boulevard. In an era when coffee has become an art form—with international barista competitions and limited-edition beans that cost hundreds of dollars a pound—Groundwork has mastered the art of creating spaces as subtly nuanced as the coffee it serves. It makes sense, considering Groundwork actually began as a rare bookshop and cafe until owner Richard Karno decided to start roasting his own beans in 1990. The demand became so great he started roasting around the clock, and now it is the largest certified organic coffee roaster in LA. He’s also been a pioneer in developing sustainable sources and café locations with a sense of history. The North Hollywood depot, Groundwork’s eighth coffeehouse, takes it to another level. The project had been in the works for about six years, when an employee at the company’s “roastery” just a few blocks away spotted the abandoned depot. “He thought it would make a great cafe,” partner Eddy Cola explains. After some research, they discovered that the depot is a state historic landmark, closed since 1952 and owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Working with the contractor who restored the barrel-shaped Idle Hour café, Groundwork came up with a proposal and won the rights to develop the spot. “We really worked to maintain the integrity of the building,” Eddy says. “We want you to feel like it’s a depot.” The renovation took about a year and cost $3.4 million. Because of its historic status, Groundwork could not alter the exterior, so there are no new signs and that golden-orange paint job is indeed the original color. They left the interior as original as possible too— the floors were simply planed and sealed, a waiting room became the indoor seating area and new ironwork was designed to blend seamlessly with the original. Most of the furnishings are vintage, Eddy explains, pointing to café chairs from the early 20th century and farm tables from the 1920s. Custom pieces are made from reclaimed wood, such as banquettes that look like station-room benches and display shelves that hold bags of the signature Black Gold and Angel City blends as well as single-origin roasts. The dedication to vintage ends at the white marble café



the sauce counter, where state-of-the-art brewing equipment includes a La Marzocco GB5 espresso machine and two digitally controlled, Seraphim pour-over units. Foamy nitrogen cold brews are served along with the full array of espresso drinks and classic brews, and specialties such as Mexican hot chocolate and Vietnamese iced coffee. A nearby commissary turns out baked goods and prep work for dishes such as avocado toast with roasted corn, queso fresco, sweet chili sauce and a soft-boiled egg, creative salads and bowls, and a short rib hash made with brisket braised in

Groundwork’s Bitches Brew blend. According to Eddy, each day 20,000 commuters from the nearby Red and Orange bus lines pass the café, and he expected they would make up the majority of its customers. But it turns out that the depot has become more of a neighborhood spot—the weekend DJ brunches, community programs such as Artshare, which features local works on the walls, coffee tastings and “latte art throw downs” have no doubt helped. “In the end,” Eddy says, “we want this to be a gathering place.” ■






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JUN E 1 1 – AUGUST 3





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MARCH 2 6 – A P RIL 6


Artist in the House Meet three highly skilled artisans who are giving new meaning to working with their hands. WRITTEN BY ANNE M. RUSSELL | PHOTOGRAPHED BY MICHAEL BECKER



Felipe Lopez FINE WOODWORKER Although Felipe Lopez’s father is no longer living, he left his son an invaluable gift. “I discovered I inherited his ability to transform things with my hands,” says Felipe. His dad was a machinist, but his own spiritual bond is with fine woods, which include Peruvian walnut, European beech, silver leaf maple or even reclaimed exotics like centuries-old Douglas fir or ancient redwood burls. The Studio City resident was born in Mexico City and moved to LA when he was 18. He graduated from the highly regarded woodworking program at Cerritos College in Norwalk, where he learned the precision cutting, joining and finishing that characterize his beautiful constructions. Even Felipe’s largest pieces, which include headboards, dining tables and benches, don’t rely on nails or screws. Instead, they are held together securely with old-world-style hand cut joinery, such as dovetails and mortise and tenon. The exquisite pieces are then polished exclusively with natural oils and beeswax finishes. These heirloom creations have a strong Hollywood following, gracing the homes of actors Aaron Paul and Nina Dobrev and Hamilton orchestrator Alex Lacamoire. Felipe works entirely by commissions won “mostly from word of mouth,” he says. “Each piece is a collaborative effort with the client. I show my clients the woods— what they look like and feel like and how they will serve them.” After he and the client choose the combination of woods, Felipe presents a sketch and begins work. His workshop, housed in his garage, is a miracle of meticulous orderliness and safety awareness; it’s the antithesis of a home hobbyist’s rat’s nest, where you expect to find a severed finger amongst the wood shavings. Felipe even has an intelligent table saw with “flesh sensing” technology that stops the blade if the user is about to feed their hand in with a board. Of his exquisitely equipped work space, Felipe says, “When I buy a tool that I know I’m going to use, I only buy once,” meaning that he seeks out top quality, even if it means purchasing an antique. One of his favorite tools is a Stanley seven-angle plane from the late 1800s, which works as perfectly as it did when it was new, well over a century ago. Although he usually works alone, Felipe says he loves sharing his knowledge. “Every time I have an apprentice, it’s one of the joys of my life.” He is currently developing a woodworking curriculum for three schools in Guatemala that he and his wife, brand consultant Jess Weiner, help fund. The schools are for indigenous Mayan girls who otherwise would have little opportunity for education. Felipe hopes that some of the girls will find the same joy in woodworking that he does. “I’m constantly learning,” he says. “It makes me very happy.” Check out more of Felipe’s work on Instagram @ flopez_woodworker.







Joseph Porro COSTUME DESIGNER Starting out with a degree in haute couture from the renowned Parsons School of Design in New York City, Joseph Porro took a strange and meandering route to his current job as top costumer for Fox’s hit sci-fi dramedy, The Orville. Joseph’s early professional diversions included working in an LA sweatshop sewing pants, constructing character costumes for Ice Capades and working in Shanghai, designing fancy jeans for the Chinese internet brand Vancl. Thanks to that last gig, completed after costuming Tom Dey’s Shanghai Noon (2000), Joseph speaks rudimentary Mandarin, a skill that still comes in handy when he needs speedy garment production from Chinese manufacturers. But it was a stint as unofficial bartender to legendary Hollywood costume designer Edith Head, to whom he was introduced by his mentor designer, Renié Conley, that launched Joseph’s career in feature film costuming. “On my early stuff I was just shopping, not doing a lot of building,” he says. He acknowledges that his first nonunion features, including a gangster karate flick, are best forgotten but were “great learning grounds.” His first “real” movie was Kathryn Bigelow’s vampire pic Near Dark in 1987. One of his most ambitious was Roland Emmerich’s sci-fi feature Stargate (1994), which required 2,700 background costumes and included a single outfit that cost over $100,000 to create. Joseph also worked with Emmerich on Independence Day (1996) and Godzilla (1998). Those days—and budgets—are long gone, with the consolidation of the movie industry. Today the big jobs are in TV, which means lower budgets and a much faster pace. Joseph prides himself on producing all original costumes and not depending on rentals for his extraterrestrial and historical series like 2014’s Salem (which required over 1,000 outfits), 2015’s Lizzie Borden Chronicles and his current endeavor, The Orville. But that can mean putting in 110-hour weeks. With a 24-hour turnaround on costumes, “You have to have a plan B,” he says. “That plan B might be a hot-glue gun.” Although Joseph says he hates Halloween—“I feel like that should be a designer’s day off”—he loves dressing himself and boasts that he never wears the same thing twice. And he’s just as creative about his home décor: He recently bought a new house in Studio City, which he plans to decorate with an eclectic African theme. His previous property, which won numerous neighborhood awards, drew its inspiration from China. “I have a wall of jewelry in my house,” Joseph says. “Jewelry is an obsession of mine.” You might catch him wearing a necklace of his own making that includes dozens of silver thimbles or perhaps one made of bottle caps or ancient bordello tokens from Pompeii. “I draw inspiration from the most bizarre things,” he notes quite accurately.





Moye Thompson CERAMICIST It isn’t every little girl who begs for a toy potter’s wheel for Christmas, but Moye Thompson had been enchanted by clay ever since she happened on potters at work during a third-grade field trip in her hometown of Atlanta. “It was like magic to me,” she says. She got her toy wheel that holiday and “made a lot of clumpy things,” she recalls. But it wasn’t until after graduating from Harvard, spending a year in Cairo, and then starting work as a magazine editor in New York that Moye rediscovered her vocation. In 1988, a then-boyfriend gifted her a 10-week class at the Upper East Side studio, Earthworks Pottery. “I see that as my life’s turning point,” she says. In 1996, Moye met her husband-to-be, architect Doug Suisman, which led to a move to the West Coast the following year and a pottery studio of her own in Santa Monica Canyon. Her latest works are deceptively simple spheres, some about the size of a human head, others the size of coconuts. “I was inspired by a thing called a ‘spirit orb,’ but I just call them ‘word balls,’” says Moye. The orbs begin as tall vases that close in on themselves under Moye’s hands, but not before she drops two small, solid balls of clay inside, which after firing, can be heard rattling around. The walnut-sized balls may have a name or secret message on them that—as long as the sphere doesn’t break—won’t ever be seen but is known to the owner. The orbs, which Moye painstakingly stamps with individual letters to form words and sentences, have been a big hit. Jamie Lee Curtis is one of her repeat customers, ordering custom orbs with messages for friends and family. Nonprofit Heal the Bay is a regular client too, using the word balls (redubbed “beach balls”) as awards. Moye’s current orb-making efforts are focused on the United States Constitution and she recently inscribed the entirety of the First Amendment on a large sphere. She works in a brightly painted studio, but her own creations tend to be glazed in subdued monochromes or black and white. The orbs are exclusively bisque colored with a crackled-glaze effect that Moye developed through experimentation. The artist is meditative about her work, both the process and the result. “I feel that it contributes to joy in the world,” she says. “There are these little moments of joy.” Her next show opens February 10 at the interior design studio Rumba in Santa Monica. You can also see her work at ■



Wild Ride

Disney collectibles are soaring—and a small gallery in Sherman Oaks is at the peak of the mountain. WRITTEN BY MICHALENE BUSICO PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHANE O’DONNELL

The architect’s model for Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. A snazzy, green Autopia car, original paint and scuffs intact. The heartbreaking “minimum height” sign from the Matterhorn Bobsleds. All of these Disneyland artifacts and hundreds more—most dating to the early years of the Anaheim theme park—were awaiting auction in December, displayed behind a nondescript storefront on Ventura Boulevard. As Disney fanatics around the world know, Van Eaton Galleries in Sherman Oaks is one of the leading dealers in Mouse collectibles. And some of the gallery’s biggest projected sales yet—including the collections of legendary “imagineer” Rolly Crump and noted collector Richard Kraft—are scheduled for later this year. If you’ve ever dreamed of owning a god from the Enchanted Tiki Room or the hand-crafted model of It’s a Small World that convinced Walt Disney to build the ride or an actual Mike Fink Keel Boat, this is your year. The mastermind behind all of these sales is Mike Van Eaton, a longtime animation art dealer who became a Disney auctioneer almost by accident, when a friend asked him to help unload an unusually large collection. There were over 900 lots in that Story of Disneyland sale in 2015, a two-day affair that brought in more than $1.7 million and put Van Eaton in the Disney memorabilia business. Since then, his Disney auctions—each with its own theme—have seen record-breaking sales, such as the 1953 Disneyland presentation map, which Roy Disney used to drum



up investors to build the park. It fetched $708,000 last year, the highest price ever paid for a Disney map at auction. “Originally, they were going to build the park here in the Valley,” says Van Eaton, who is also an eager Disney collector and geek. “They were going to build it on a little piece of land near the studio in Burbank. Then the plans got bigger and bigger and they needed more land. That’s why they went to Orange County. “But if you think of the thousands of people employed at the studio, all the guys who inked and painted the cells, there is a big association here in the Valley with Disneyland. It’s a big reason why we have a store on Ventura Boulevard, so people can find us—the families of people who worked on all those movies—and bring us stuff to auction or sell.” There is plenty of profit to tempt them. Van Eaton estimates that prices for Disney collectibles have tripled over the past two or three years and are still on the rise. Case in point: those portraits that “stretch” in the beginning of the Haunted Mansion ride. Van Eaton bought one years ago for $4,000. “Of course, I had no place to put it, so I stored it rolled up in a closet,” he says. He eventually sold it for $40,000, only to see a similar stretch painting sell for $150,000 a few years after that. But he points out, “You can still get things for $25 or $30 that are quite worthwhile, and that makes the market very exciting and fresh.”

At the December sale, that Matterhorn Bobsleds safety sign was a surprise hit. Estimated at $800 to $1,000, it fetched $18,000. An attraction poster for the longgone Rainbow Caverns—like all attraction posters, done in a style that suggests actual travel to a fantasy destination—sold for $14,000. Even a newer bygone attraction— the Tower of Terror—brought in $11,000 for a room-key cabinet, more than triple its highest estimate. No matter what the object, Van Eaton says these are emotional purchases. “You don’t buy this stuff because of artwork,” he explains, “but because the character, the ride or the movie affected you. It’s all about memories. It’s funny, but December is one of our slowest months because this is stuff you buy for yourself, not for a gift.” It makes sense then, that almost all of the bidders are from the United States, with more than half from California. And that lately, there has been an uptick in demand for anything connected with the 1980s (like the Little Mermaid) as that generation hits their 40s and becomes nostalgic for a piece of their childhood. For Van Eaton, the personal touchstones are the Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion, which he remembers riding when they first opened in the late 1960s. “I was blown away then and they still hold up,” he says. “It’s thrilling to own that stuff. Even if it’s rolled up in a closet.” ■




For Mike Van Eaton, every Disney auction is a story unto itself—a kind of themed ride into the past. For the three major sales at Van Eaton Galleries this year, the objects will be displayed during previews open to the public. Check out for dates. SPRING: ESTATE OF ROLLY CRUMP The legendary Disney “imagineer” designed the It’s a Small World ride, the moving characters in the Tiki Room and got the Haunted Mansion off the ground with something called Museum of the Weird. Crump, who is now 87 and lives in Oceanside, is selling most of his memorabilia, including his prized possession: a model of the Small World facade that he showed to Walt Disney to get approval for the ride. “It’s going to sell for around $100,000,” Van Eaton says. EARLY SUMMER: PRIVATE COLLECTION OF RICHARD KRAFT This enormous collection—“the most extensive we’ve ever seen,” Van Eaton says—was the subject of a 2006 documentary, Finding Kraftland. Kraft, an LA film music agent, acquired a vehicle from almost every ride in the park—Matterhorn bobsleds, Peter Pan floating ships, Haunted Mansion buggies, Model T’s from Main Street, the People Mover, even a riverboat—plus artwork and other collectibles. Van Eaton is currently looking for a venue large enough to hold it all. “My favorite item is a 40-foot sea serpent that used to be underwater in the Submarine Voyage,” he says. “The head moves, the eyes go around, too.” LATE SUMMER: HISTORY OF THE DISNEY STUDIO The sale, sourced from several collectors, spans the dawn of the studio in 1922 to the present day and includes cartoon artwork, toys from the ’20s, Kem Weber’s sleek furniture for the original studio, movie props and more. It will kick off with a piece from Van Eaton’s personal collection: a 1922 stock certificate for Laugh-O-Gram Films, a forerunner to the Disney studio, that Walt Disney started in Kansas City. “I love that piece, but it fits this auction so well,” Van Eaton says. “And it’s sitting in my drawer. Better that it’s on someone’s wall.”



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POOL PARTY 2.0 An Encino couple reimagines the backyard of their traditional home with a contemporary pool pavilion. WRITTEN BY SUSAN SPILLMAN PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHANE O’DONNELL

“The opportunity to do something really different was a little too tempting.�


ike many couples whose children have grown and flown, Suzanne and Daniel Ferleger hadn’t used the swimming pool of their Encino ranch-style home in years. With their sons both now in their 20s, the pool and its themed, parklike setting, amid faux rock waterfalls and a tiny pool cottage, no longer held appeal. “I never wanted to go in the pool because it was so dated and rundown,” Suzanne says. That all changed last summer, thanks to the completion of a spectacular 1,000-square-foot contemporary pool pavilion, the centerpiece of a three-years-in-themaking backyard reset. “It’s a whole different lease on the property,” explains Daniel. “The amount of time we spent out here last summer is more than the time spent out here over the last 10 years.” In a daring departure from the main home’s traditional 1950s architecture, the

pool pavilion, enhanced by a landscape renovation, is distinctly contemporary. Its most striking feature is a dramatic butterfly roof, complemented by stacked stone, a large expanse of glass that welcomes natural light and dramatic, oversized Fleetwood doors that open wide. The structure’s main floor boasts all the necessary trappings for luxurious, casual entertaining—a 17-foot-high ceiling, a comfy seating area, full bar, flat screen TV and bathroom. An upstairs loft can accommodate overnight guests, while a basement is equipped as a home gym. The pavilion’s interior is comprised of raw materials, including a Douglas fir tongue and groove ceiling, exposed steel beams and a concrete floor. An outdoor lounge area, furnished with green upholstered chairs, connects the pool and the pavilion. The structure wasn’t exactly in the cards. Original plans called for a simple cottage-like pool house—in keeping with the style of the



main residence. But a trip up the coast to celebrate Daniel’s retirement inspired a new direction. Suzanne and Daniel fell in love with the airy ambiance, sustainable materials and connection with nature of the wineries they visited, including the Stoller Family Estate, and Winderlea Vineyard and Winery in Willamette Valley, Oregon. “The opportunity to do something really different was a little too tempting,” admits Suzanne. A temptation for the couple; a challenge for the architect, Jon Brouse. “The old pool house was really dilapidated. Once it was removed, we were left with an unusual triangle piece of property that was buildable. The city’s setback requirements dictated the footprint, and the design grew organically from that,” shares Jon. While zoning restrictions capped the main floor at 500 square feet, Jon suggested that by digging the foundation deeper, the Ferlegers could add a functional basement



and another 400 square feet, which ultimately became the gym. Jon added light and whimsy to the basement by incorporating a 7 foot by 2 ½ foot window that peers directly into the swimming pool. Other unique touches include a waterfall from the stair landing of the loft into the Jacuzzi beneath and a small Zen garden off the back of the pavilion, that’s encased by a fence made of bamboo cut from the property’s front yard. Creating a contemporary retreat yards away from a traditional Encino ranch house may intimidate and even confound some, but not this team. “I always saw it more as sculpture,” explains Jon. “When you’re looking out back, you’re not looking at a structure, you’re looking at a sculpture. I intended from the get-go to provide a focal point that completes the backyard.” The couple also opted to make some simple changes to ease the transition. Among them: removing the faux ‘70s rock from the

front of the house and replacing it with the same stacked stone used in the pool and pavilion. The landscape was also reworked to more closely mimic that of the backyard. Furnishing the unique shape of the pavilion’s ground floor to maximize seating and comfort was accomplished with custom pieces created by designer Latosha Lovell. As it turns out, the empty nesters aren’t the only ones who have rediscovered the backyard and pool. “Every weekend over the summer, our son and his girlfriend, who live in West Hollywood, were here first thing in the morning, parked on the lounges like it was a resort,” says Suzanne. “They’d turn on the music, have cocktails. We never used the yard that way before. It’s like having a getaway from home because it’s so different. Every time that I come out here, I feel that I’m away somewhere.” ■


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Students Hit the Stage

Joshua Bell

Victoria Lanier, Chris Botti, Katherine Damkohler

Ed Helms

Vincent Womack, Malcolm McDowell, Joshua Bell

Judith Hill


Education Through MusicLA’s 12th Annual Gala, hosted by Malcolm McDowell, honored Joshua Bell and Vincent Womack. Guests included Chris Botti, Billy Childs, Judith Hill, Joanne Pearce Martin and students from across the city. The annual féte is aimed at raising support and awareness for music in disadvantaged schools.

Lights, Camera, Action!

The second annual Sherman Oaks Film Festival screened 28 movies from around the world. Also presented at the event were studentproduced films from the cinema program at Millikan Middle School.

Jeremy Foley, William O’Leary, Sara O’Reilly



The team from the movie Arg Stairs

Mikhael Bassilli, Brandon Miree, Troy Mittleider

Glenn Plummer and Michael Sean Hall


SOFF programmer Jeff Howard with Millikan Middle School filmmakers Remy Boul, Ella Mazer, Ella Warner, Isabella Masrouga, James Labuda, Miles McCrudden

Illuminating Moment

The Charitable Foundation hosted its yearly fundraiser, Light Up the Night. Berkshire Hathaway CA Properties agents and guests enjoyed the festivities, which raised $35,000 for LA Family Housing.

Manuel Sanchez, Jason Walker, Steven Davis, Sheila Rose, Darlene Kelly, Ed Solorzano

Carmen Rosenzweig discovers she is a winner.

Andrew Manning selecting raffle tickets

Hardly Ho Hum The opening of Soul Hum Meditation Studios in Sherman Oaks proved to be a dazzling spectacle. Founder Natalie Kiwi transformed the parking area into a party space featuring intention setting, mini meditation sessions, tarot card readers and food catered by neighbor, The BLVD Kitchen.

Alessandro Gianneti, Mariah Lyons, Hilary Jackendoff, Amanda Gilbert, Jasmine Shah, Danielle Beinstein, Natalie Kiwi, Megan Monahan, Julie Hovsepian, Tamara Kiwi, Shannon Algeo

Candice Accola and family getting intent bracelets

Aidan Schenck, Jeff Schenck, Natalie Kiwi, Zelma Kiwi

Natalie Kiwi, Amanda Silverman, guest



Open Spaces Open Minds On a recent trip to New Zealand, VB editor Linda Grasso explores one of the planet’s last great treasure spots





et in the azure seas of the South Pacific Ocean, New Zealand is renowned for its clean, green environment and remarkable beauty—from rugged mountains and ancient glaciers to white sand beaches and freshwater lakes. A country slightly larger than Great Britain, many travelers go there to see the ethereal landscapes made famous in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and to tour its top-rated wineries. Not us. This past November, my husband and I embarked on an idyllic, 10-day journey, dividing our stay between the north and south islands. What lured us was simple: we wanted a full immersion into the raw beauty of the county. In designing our itinerary, we crafted three distinct experiences: golf (my husband’s passion), an island sojourn and just one tourist destination—Queenstown—where we hoped to get an adrenaline rush. MANGAWHAI After the 14-hour flight to Auckland, on the north island, we headed out to dinner at the waterfront Oyster & Chop, where we devoured some of the tastiest oysters I’ve ever been served. The country’s capital city was just a pit stop for us; we were anxious to get to the scenic spots. A driver picked us up the next morning for the journey to the private, exclusive Tara Iti Golf Club in Mangawhai. My husband wanted to play on the oceanfront course recently ranked by Golf Digest as the 29th best golf course in the world. We originally rented a car but changed our minds after we were warned about the challenges of driving on the opposite side and lack of signage. Indeed, it was a treat to kick back and just soak up the scenery during the twohour ride up the coast to Mangawhai (pronounced “Manga-why” or “Mung-fi,” depending on who you ask). My eyes were transfixed on the vibrant green pastures dotted with cows, sheep and grapevines. The landscape was lush and at peak growth after a strong rainy season. We arrived at Tara Iti and were delighted to discover it met every expectation. Built by LA alternative investment impresario, Ric Kayne, it is sophisticated and luxurious but understated—reflecting the refreshing mindset of New Zealanders. Kayne bought the property—a seven-mile stretch of uninhabited, pristine, ivory sand beachfront land along the Te Arai Coast— from the Maoris. Vowing to create a unique golf experience with a deep respect for the

natural inhabitants and to restrict the number of homes built to just 35, he and his team restored the native dunes and its wildlife. Opened three years ago, the centerpiece of the resort is a stunning links-style (created atop sand instead of dirt) golf course by renowned designer Tom Doak. The 18-hole course is woven into the natural ridges and sand dunes and dotted with stunning silver “tussock” grass. There are lots of activities to keep entertained in Mangawhai. You can tour local boutique wineries, horseback ride or surf on the beach, or go diving just off the coast. More experienced divers might embark on a day trip to The Poor Knights Islands, considered one of the top 10 dive sites in the world. My husband played two days of golf, so we only ventured “off campus” once for a farmers market 40 minutes away. We strolled among the vendors selling fresh produce, local fare and artisanal items. The experience gave us a real feel for the community. WAIHEKE ISLAND Waiheke Island was the location for our second adventure. Described as having rugged beauty, it sounded a lot like Martha’s Vineyard—one of my favorite places. The 45-minute ferry ride was super smooth. We were staying at the Te Whau Lodge. Marg, who runs it along with her partner, Rob, picked us up with a sunny smile and full of ideas on fun things to do. With its own warm, dry microclimate, Waiheke is a favorite escape for city dwellers and visitors alike. Eight thousand people live there year-round. On the island’s landward or south side, emerald waters lap at rocky bays. While this side has the best sunsets, the ocean or north side has some of the region’s most spectacular sandy beaches. The Te Whau Lodge is tucked high on a hill with 180-degree views from every glassfacaded room. Our hosts immediately made us feel right at home with glasses of wine and delicious seafood canapés. We enjoyed cocktail hour on our balcony, marveling at the sunset. Afterwards, we headed to the island’s main town of Oneroa to dine at Fenice, a casual Italian eatery that we both found impressive. The next day we awoke to a sumptuous, full breakfast and planned our day in the lodge’s communal dining room overlooking the Te Whau bay. Since the late 1970s, Waiheke has seen the growth of a flourishing wine industry. There are now 31 vineyards and 17 wineries on

VISIONS TO REMEMBER Top to bottom: Mudbrick Vineyard; Waiheke Island; Tara Iti ; Linda with husband, Charlie at Tara Iti




TE WHAU LODGE, WAIHEKE ISLAND Six waterfront suites; full breakfast and evening wine/canapés service included; rooms from $355.

HULBERT HOUSE, QUEENSTOWN Six charming rooms (my favorite is The Majestic); full breakfast and evening wine/ canapés service included; rooms from $660.

QT QUEENSTOWN 69 contemporary boutique rooms; Bazaar Interactive Marketplace and Reds Bar are both on site; rooms from $270.



the island. A “small is beautiful” philosophy yields limited quantities of extremely high quality fruit, which is made into international award-winning wines—most notably Merlots, Bordeaux-style blends and Syrahs. For our first day, we hired Chris Palmer, a local driver and guide. It was like having a good friend, who happened to be a native, take us to all the off-the-beaten path places that locals frequent. Chris took us to his two favorite wineries for tastings, to a hidden cemetery where some of the island’s founders are buried and on a fabulous hike with 360 degree views. That evening we headed to the Mudbrick Vineyard & Restaurant. We strolled the picturesque lavender gardens and then enjoyed a delicious dinner at a table that abutted a large open window, allowing for breathtaking sunset views across the Hauraki Gulf. As with nearly every restaurant we dined, Mudbrick cultivates its own organic gardens, which provide heirloom produce, picked fresh each day. While I expected natural beauty, the palate-bending culinary experience in New Zealand came as a delightful surprise. Indeed, the Kiwis take farm-to-table dining to a whole new level. The next day Rob pointed us to a terrific hike that was filled with fragrant honeysuckle and manuka honey bushes. The trek ended at the Rangihoua Olive Oil Company, where we sampled the varieties and noshed on other locally produced goods. QUEENSTOWN Queenstown, an hour and a half flight from Auckland, touts itself as “the adrenaline capital of the world.” There are countless activities for adventuresome types: wilderness fly-fishing, hiking, helicopter and jet boat rides, and hot air ballooning. It is also the home of the bungee jump. We were greeted by the cheerful staff at the QT Queenstown, a new luxury boutique hotel, and then made the stroll along the lake into town. Although it was not yet peak season, the streets were packed with tourists and twentysomethings—all enjoying their cocktails along the waterfront. (There apparently is no open container law.) The next morning, we were picked up by Glenorchy Air and taken to the local airport where we hopped aboard an eight-seat propeller plane to make the 30-minute trip to Milford Sound. During the surprisingly smooth flight, we glided through the magnificent glaciers and gazed at alpine lakes in all shades—from powder blue to emerald green.

During our two-hour cruise, we learned that Milford isn’t actually a sound, which is created by rivers. Instead it is a fiord—a narrow, deep inlet of the sea between high cliffs, formed by the submergence of a glaciated valley. Our cruise took us all the way out to the Tasman Sea. Sheer rock walls, waterfalls and the mile-high monolith of Mitre Peak were some of the highlights. At one point, the ship inched close to a waterfall and we got misted for the ultimate facial! Day two, we headed to Kawarau Bridge, the spot where bungee jumping was born. The jumps are all operated by A.J. Hackett and easy to arrange. We opted for the Kawarau jump because it was closer to town (20 minutes). My husband was the jumper; I was happy to be assigned photography. After he was weighed and filled out a questionnaire checking for things like heart problems and cosmetic implants (I’m serious), we hopped aboard a bus, and before we knew it, he was perched on the ledge encased in his harness. After a quick (and rather pale-faced) thumbs up—he flew like a bird and then was yanked all over the place before finally being dropped off in a boat below. The whole thing took about an hour. Afterwards, we continued down the road to Arrowtown, a historic mining town. It was charming but a bit touristy.
That evening, we had a fantastic dinner at the QT Queenstown’s swanky restaurant, Bazaar. The eatery, described as an “interactive marketplace,” offers buffet-style dining with chef showmanship in full force. From super fresh seafood to an entire roasted pig, the dishes are all artfully presented before your eyes. The next day—in an effort to have a completely different experience—we moved into the historic (built in 1888) Hulbert House, a recently restored six-room boutique inn, perched on a steep hill overlooking Queenstown. With magnificent vibrant wallpaper, exposed stone walls and sweeping city views—it has a cozy, luxurious vibe. Rooms all have their own unique décor. The next day we walked through Queenstown Gardens with its humongous peonies and stunning array of roses and then the shops and restaurants along and around Church Lane (the most quaint section of town). Next, we opted for one more adventure: a jet boat ride along the fast-flowing Shotover River. The speedboat did 360s and veered within inches of jagged rocks. My favorite part (by far) was watching our hunky, Hugh Jackman look-alike driver.

Do WAIHEKE ISLAND TOUR GUIDE, CHRIS PALMER NEW ZEALAND AIR We took five flights on this airline during our trip and each one was on time and provided excellent service. TIME TO GO October and November—the spring season. Avoid the rains in July and August and the summer vacationers in December and January. Plus, in Queenstown, it stays light until 10 p.m. during spring. QUEENSTOWN ADVENTURE Most activities are priced between $125 and $150 per person—even hang gliding.

FULL IMMERSION Top to bottom: Milford Sound; a stunning springtime sight; two small plates courses from our meal at Amisfield Vineyard & Bistro

We also rode the gondola to the top of the mountain to watch the hang gliders and lunched on salads at nearby Bespoke Kitchen, famous for its edible, flower-adorned baked goods. For our trip finale, we headed to Amisfield Vineyard & Bistro for a multicourse feast. It put a bow on the farm-totable experience with every ingredient— from earth to sea—sourced locally. “Are these essentially stuffed fruit roll-ups?” I asked the chef regarding some smoked venison wrapped in what appeared to be a dried cherry sheath. (I’m an always curious cook—what can I say?) The ten days passed too quickly. I hope to go back someday. In the meantime, I will remember what our tour guide, Chris, relayed in an email. He was speaking specifically about Waiheke Island, but it can easily be applied to all of New Zealand: “Remember, it’s not so much a place, but it’s a state of mind. The peace and tranquility you experienced yesterday is yours to keep and to remember wherever you are ... even in LA!” ■




LANDMARK LUXURY A magnificent American Craftsman in the hills of Studio City evokes the classic designs of Greene and Greene. WRITTEN BY PEGGY JO ABRAHAM


ever was an architectural style more suited to its environment than when brothers Charles and Henry Greene introduced the American Craftsman movement to the Golden State in the early 20th century. A perfect melding of traditional Japanese aesthetics and California’s natural beauty with abundant sunlight and open land, it has remained one of our most enduring and recognizable home styles. The Greene brothers are most famous for designing the world-renowned Gamble House in Pasadena. In keeping with the arts and crafts movement, the architecture focuses on attention to detail and the use of natural materials. As the brothers’ famous peer, Frank Lloyd Wright, expressed, “I believe a house is more a home by being a work of art.” Drive up an oak tree-lined, private road just off Coldwater Canyon in Studio City and you’ll discover just such a gem tucked into a lush hillside. The estate is an updated version of a Greene and Greene masterpiece, complete with every modern amenity available. This stunning compound was constructed in 2012 and has only had one owner. Its pristine condition conveys the care and thoughtfulness that went into each design decision and the sumptuous features anticipate every need of the most discriminating buyer. With such tranquility, one would never guess the home is only minutes away from both bustling Ventura Boulevard and Beverly Hills. The magnificent, one-of-a-kind home is the result of a unique collaboration between noted architect Ray Keller and acclaimed designer Dixon Chang. One of the first things you notice as you enter the property is the design team’s adherence to the philosophy of being “one with nature.” From the deep overhanging eaves and protruding rafter tails to the earth-tone exterior hues, the main living quarters and guest house reflect the soothing shades of the environment. Maintaining that aesthetic, the two houses are connected by an overhead walkway that blends seamlessly into the carefully appointed landscaping. As Chang explains, “Our vision was for an estate that would complement and connect with the idyllic canyon setting. The end result was a true oasis in an urban environment.” Stepping into the main house, visitors are greeted by a massive threestory entryway that exudes warmth and charm with maple wood floors and ceilings made of Douglas fir. Natural light streams in from spectacular leaded glass windows that depict sprawling oak trees, a signature craftsman motif. The thoughtful floor plan includes a lower level designed for lavish entertaining, a second-floor living area which includes three bedrooms and a top floor dedicated entirely to the master’s quarters—2,100 square feet that offer every luxury imaginable. All seven of the home’s bedrooms have en suite bathrooms and there are two additional powder rooms. The Greene and Greene style of opening rooms to the outside is evident




The Gamble House by Greene and Greene



everywhere, with french doors found throughout the house. This brings an intimate touch to a home that’s just over 10,000 square feet. “With the scope and footprint of a project this large, it’s the details that give it a unique feel—the abundance of the sunlight, the sensuous wood finishes and the seamless flow of the space,” says Keller. Off the entryway, the main level of the house has three large bedrooms on one side. The other side features an entertainer’s dream. The living room and formal dining room are connected by pocket doors and have wood built-ins crafted by some of the best artisans in LA. Like the living room, the oversized “great room” has coved ceilings with dramatic wood beams and three sets of french doors that open to the outside entertaining areas. Fireplaces and pillars, built in the craftsman style, are made of beautiful Pennsylvania Blue Stone. Adjoining the great room is an enormous, open, chef’s kitchen complete with a generous center island and the finest appliances—from a six-burner Wolf stove with grill, griddle and double oven to side-by-side Sub-Zero refrigerators. On the third level, leading into the luxurious master suite is a charming sitting area with an amply-sized wet bar—ideal when looking for a late-night drink or snack. The spacious bedroom has vaulted wood ceilings, fireplace and an indulgent three sets of doors that open to a sweeping wrap-around terrace overlooking the pool and exquisitely landscaped backyard. The large scale of the suite means generous space for both his and her master bathrooms with steam showers, as well as two dressing rooms. And on the topic of brilliant systems— you can control security or music features throughout the entire compound with state-of-the-art technology. Completing the master’s quarters are an office and additional laundry room. The lower level of the house will make you never want to leave the grounds— with two en suite bedrooms (one of which is currently used as a gym), a screening room, wet bar and expansive office/conference room. Additional space for visitors is right next door. The two-story guesthouse features a game room/yoga studio on the first level and a living room, dining room, kitchen and bedroom with a balcony upstairs. Expecting a crowd? Plan a large gathering with ease as there’s no need to worry about available parking. With four garage spaces, a carport and a motor court, there is room for a total of 15 vehicles behind the property gate. The remarkable estate, spanning just over an acre, was developed with resortstyle relaxation and entertaining in mind. Off the main kitchen, a large patio provides a dining area, multiple sitting areas, a fireplace and built-in BBQ. The backyard is complete with a two-tiered swimming pool, spa and fire pit. A citrus orchard and a putting green are the final finishing touches on this American Craftsman masterpiece. Realtor Susanna Nagy sums up the appeal saying, “The unusual focus on quality, aesthetics and livability makes this compound unlike anything else currently on the market in this area. Add in the privacy and the accessibility to everything both the Valley and the Westside have to offer and you realize what a true gem this property is.”

3931 Oeste Avenue - Studio City, CA Offered at $7,550,000 by Susanna Nagy, Keller Williams Realty For more information visit  or contact Susanna at 818-481-1602 74



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All About Kids This April, we’ll introduce an array of local businesses and schools devoted to making the Valley a better place for our children. Whether you’re on the hunt for exemplary education programs, well-qualified doctors or summer fun, Ventura Blvd magazine has you covered in our annual All About Kids section. FOR INFORMAT I ON P L E AS E CONTAC T U S : 31 0. 376 .78 0 0 OU RV E NT U RAB LV D@ MOONT I DE ME DI A.COM V E NT U RAB LV D.GOL DE NSTAT E . IS




real estate & mortgage For most of us, our home is the most important investment of our lives. So when it comes to buying or selling, it is crucial to work with a top-notch agent. A seasoned, skilled real estate professional can help you find the best solutions and streamline the process. That way stress is kept at bay, and you can focus on the big picture. The local agents on the following pages offer the experience and aptitude one needs in today’s complicated marketplace. Read on to learn about these key Valley professionals and how they can help you.


CAROL WOLFE Rodeo Realty

80 MATT EPSTEIN & JANE KAPLAN Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/Powerhouse Partners 82

HARRIET CAMERON & ANDREW SPITZ Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CA Properties




CRAIG STRONG Pacific Union International




SCOTT MORRIS SRM Real Estate Group




INGRID SACERIO Ingrid Sacerio Real Estate/ The Agency






BARRY DANTAGNAN Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

97 FRANCINE MEYBERG & ELAINE Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 98



DANA ROSE SAFFRON & JOIE HEDGES WILSON The Saffron | Wilson Group Wish | Sotheby’s International Realty





real estate & mortgage

Carol Wolfe Realtor® Rodeo Realty 17501 Ventura Boulevard Encino 818-285-3688

“For more than four decades I have been striving to provide clients with an unparalleled level of service—based on integrity, honesty and a commitment to excellence.”


or more than four decades estate broker associate Carol Wolfe has assisted clients in buying and selling properties throughout the San Fernando Valley, particularly Encino, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Tarzana, Woodland Hills and Calabasas. She is a licensed broker, a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), e-Pro, Architectural Specialist and Certified Negotiator. In 2017 Carol had a record-breaking year as the #1 agent for Rodeo Realty in the entire San Fernando Valley. Rodeo Realty is associated with the largest recognized luxury networks, positioning Carol to market high-end properties internationally with global exposure. Carol is an active member of the Encino Chamber of Commerce and supports the local community. She and her husband, Bruce, a real estate developer, have two children: daughter, Alex, who works with Carol, and son, Adam, a computer consultant. When she’s not working, Carol enjoys traveling and spending time with her two grandchildren: David, 7, and Eden, 5. What does it take to be the best in the real estate business? “What I bring to the table is outstanding client representation, detailed market knowledge and high-tech marketing solutions. I have always been on the cutting edge of technology. I am very good at negotiating the best price for my clients and great at problem-solving. Another thing that makes me successful is the great relationships I have with other Realtors®. I’m known to be very cooperative and easy to work with.” What trend is defining the real estate industry today? “Transactions have gotten more complex over the years, and there are often many difficulties. Many of my clients have expressed a desire to work with me because they trust that things will be handled with expertise and the utmost professionalism. My clients often include referrals from business managers, attorneys, CPAs, real estate agents and past clients.” What would you like potential clients to know about you? “I will take good care of them; they have chosen the best agent in the area. I will work relentlessly to make sure my clients get the best possible results. My slogan is ‘Nobody



Does it Better.’ I strive to provide clients with an unparalleled level of service—based on integrity, honesty and a commitment to excellence.” What’s most rewarding about your work? “The many friendships I’ve made. To have clients thank me in the end for a job well done and refer me to their friends and families is the best reward. Here are some examples.” “Thank you so much for your remarkable assistance to us in selling our home. There was never a call to your office that you did not return personally, and there was many a Sunday when you personally covered the front door. Even after the sale, you remained involved whenever we needed you. We felt supported throughout in every respect, and our biggest sadness now is that we have no explicit reason to see you regularly!” — Pamela & Peter Gurfein “I wanted to thank you for the time and courtesy you extended to my husband and I by assisting us with the sale of our home. We greatly appreciate that you held our hands through the entire process. Walking us through the multiple offers, the negotiating process, and finally the escrow and closing were made easy because of you.” — Jill Cross “Carol Wolfe represented my parents in the recent sale of their home. We could not be happier with the services she performed for us. First and foremost, Carol was able to accomplish a cash sale in a very short period of time and for an excellent price. This required her to work with very stressed out elderly sellers who were moving to a retirement community. I’m convinced that Carol is among the finest of Realtors in Southern California, and I heartily recommend her to anybody contemplating a residential real estate transaction.” — Brian Reeves “I have been practicing high-level business law for 45 years and am able to spot good lawyers from bad within minutes, so I know when I am dealing with a pro. Let me tell you that Carol is a true pro, and we felt very secure with her handling the sale of our house. We appreciated her thoroughness, communication skills and guidance. I would unqualifiedly recommend Carol to anyone in need of brokerage services.” — Jeffrey Richter





real estate & mortgage

Matt Epstein & Jane Kaplan Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices/ Powerhouse Partners 13300 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks 818-789-7408 |

“Having this team is a great advantage to our clients— it helps make the process run very smoothly.”


Realtor® in the San Fernando Valley for more than 26 years, Matt Epstein has been recognized as the #1 agent in the San Fernando Valley for Berkshire Hathaway. He represents buyers and sellers in Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Encino, Valley Village and Valley Glen and is the cofounder of Powerhouse Partners. Matt is a Chairman’s Circle Diamond Award winner, which represents the top 1/2 of 1% of all Berkshire Hathaway Home Services agents nationwide. What makes you the best in real estate? “I absolutely LOVE what I do, and I work extremely hard to make sure my clients have outstanding representation on both the sell side and the buy side of their transaction. I get clients top dollar for their homes. I take great pride in the fact that I have not had one seller or buyer involved in any legal issues regarding the sale or purchase of their home. I will negotiate the best price that is possible for the sale of my clients’ home. My buyers also can rest assured that they’re getting the best deal possible.  Relationships in real estate are extremely important, and over the years I’ve enjoyed tremendous relationships with other agents—which is always helpful when representing a seller or a buyer. My experience and passion for what I do has created enduring, long-term relationships with my clients.” How are you involved in your community? “As a lifelong resident of Sherman Oaks, I know this area and the different market swings that we’ve had over the years. I’m extremely involved with this community and have been the vice president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association for the last 23 years. I also bring to the table my experience of having been a planning commissioner for the city of Los Angeles for 13 years, serving as president for the last five of those years. As a planning commissioner I am extremely aware of building issues on new home starts as well as remodels, and this area of knowledge can be extremely helpful when buying or selling a home.” What specialty services do you offer clients? “I specialize in sellers, and my wife, Jane Kaplan, specializes in buyers. Jane had an



amazing career in television as a talent executive, and now her talent is in matching the right home to the right buyer. Together we are able to maximize the price and contract terms for our clients. I’ve been the top agent in this market and the top agent with BHHS in the San Fernando Valley. I also have the Powerhouse Partners team of 21 agents. Having this team is a great advantage to our clients—it helps make the process run very smoothly. The team approach is also advantageous for our sellers because our team is aware of their listing for their buyers, and we are privy to homes that are going on market through our other agents before they even hit the MLS.” How does where you live come into play with your job? “Since I live in Sherman Oaks I am often less then five minutes away from most client listings—and that’s whether I’m at the office or at home. Also, having grown up in this area and having lived here my entire life I am completely aware of all neighborhoods, all construction and all issues involving specific areas. I love the Valley and love this community.” How do you deal with volatility in the market? “Being in the market for as many years as I have, I have seen the ups and downs. Yet knowing where the market has been and where it is today, I am uniquely equipped to get sellers the top price for their homes and make sure they are protected when it comes to all the contracts and negotiations. When my wife is working with buyers, her job is to make sure they see everything on and off the market and get the property for the best price possible—no matter whether the market is up or down.” Tell us about the house where you grew up. “My office is about a half a block from where I grew up. The house is still there. It’s not been torn down as a McMansion yet, but it’s definitely one of those homes that would be a target. It’s still fun being able to drive by and see the neighborhood that I grew up in.” Disclaimer: ©2017 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. CalBRE 01121162





real estate & mortgage

Harriet Cameron & Andrew Spitz Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices CA Properties 14141 Ventura Boulevard Sherman Oaks 818-380-2151 16810 Ventura Boulevard Encino 818-817-4284

“Our knowledge of and love for where we live makes it easier for us to convey the amazing attributes of calling the Valley home.”


eal estate partners Harriet Cameron and Andrew Spitz have been assisting clients with buying and selling homes for 70 years. Harriet started working in the industry as an escrow officer, and Andrew’s background is in sales and marketing. They have been business partners for more than two decades and focus on homes in the Ventura Boulevard Corridor from Studio City to Woodland Hills and surrounding areas, with an emphasis on Encino and Sherman Oaks. What makes you the best in real estate? “Constant communication and knowledge of the areas in which we work.” Do you have a philosophy when it comes to a code of ethics? “Integrity is highest on the list for our business. We are known throughout the real estate community for our honesty and ability to close our transactions.” Share a bit about your firm—what makes it noteworthy? “Berkshire Hathaway, owned by Warren Buffet, has a worldwide presence and reputation for quality, integrity and reliability. Berkshire Hathaway Home Services was honored in J.D. Power’s 2017 Home Buyer/Seller Satisfaction Study for ‘Highest Overall Satisfaction for Repeat Home Sellers Among National Full Service Real Estate Firms.’” What are your specific areas of expertise? “Networking, marketing, interior design and contracts.” What specialty services do you offer? “We have a team of five licensed Realtors®, making us available seven days a week— including our own transaction and listing coordinators, a marketing director and showing facilitators. We network with vendors, business managers, attorneys, stagers, builders and other real estate agents, providing us with the ability to cater to the needs of all our clients and knowing about properties prior to them coming on the market. In this time of low inventory, this is an invaluable asset to our clients.” How does where you live come into play with your job? Andrew: “I grew up, went to school, live and



work in Encino, providing me the ability to know the history of homes on any given street and surprising my clients with that knowledge.” Harriet: “I currently live in Encino but lived in Sherman Oaks for many years prior. Our knowledge of and love for where we live makes it easier for us to convey the amazing attributes of calling the Valley home.” How does your knowledge of the area benefit your clients? “Being able to know a specific home—or at a minimum be familiar with the street and its history—allows us to determine the best price for the property, whether for a buyer or a seller.” How do you deal with volatility in the market? “Consistency whether the market is up or down.” Tell us about your background. Harriet: “My father has always been my professional role model. He instilled in me a very strong work ethic and firmly believed in the ‘can-do’ attitude that I have applied to both my professional and personal development. I grew up in a duplex when I was younger, which always made me strive for a home to call my own. I find the best way to challenge oneself is to set a goal and always have something to look forward to or toward. If you aren’t working toward hitting a goal, you can sometimes become complacent.” How do you like to spend your free time? Andrew: “Though I work seven days a week, I enjoy whatever free time I have with my wife and two children.” What nonprofits do you support? “We support more than 30 charities at any one time through our company’s Charitable Foundation, and donations are made with every transaction that we close. We also support our local school, Lanai Elementary.” Disclaimer: ©2018 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. CalBRE 01317331, 00675971 and 00924610. If your home is currently listed, this is not a solicitation for your listing.





real estate & mortgage

Susanna Nagy Realtor® 4061 Laurel Canyon Blvd. Studio City 818-481-1602

“I am personally involved in every element of the transaction and available for my clients 24 hours a day.”


usanna Nagy specializes in residential real estate, ranking in the top 1% of real estate agents around the world. She is a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist and was recently honored as one of Southern California’s 100 Most Influential Realtors. What makes you the best in real estate? “I have earned a reputation as one of the ‘go-to’ Realtors for those looking for a top agent to represent them in the sale or purchase of a home in Los Angeles. I limit the number of clients that I work with at any one time so I can really get to know and understand them, their values and priorities. I am personally involved in every element of the transaction and available for my clients 24 hours a day.” What do you consider your most important two skills? “My clients tell me that work ethic and ability to effectively negotiate are two of my most appreciated skills. In today’s fastmoving real estate market, it takes hard work to close escrow on the perfect home at the right price, and I have a proven track record for negotiating deals at the best value for my clients.” What specialty services do you offer for your clients? “I am a full-service Realtor. For example, one of my current clients is a Major League Baseball player who was recently traded from the LA Dodgers. I know that time is his most precious commodity, and I told him, ‘Just leave the keys on the counter, and I will handle everything that needs to be done to sell your estate for top value.’ He and his family jumped on a plane that day, and I managed the entire pre-listing process on their behalf—from packing their possessions to cleaning, painting and landscaping.” How does where you live come into play with your job? “Having lived and worked in the Valley for more than 16 years, I have a deep understanding of every neighborhood. Each city in the Valley is unique, and each neighborhood has its own special characteristics that can literally change from block to block. If you are not intimately familiar with the immediate block, your clients may leave significant money on the table.”



Do you have a philosophy when it comes to a code of ethics? “My code of ethics is simple: I represent each and every client as if they were family. Whether you are a first-time home buyer looking at a one-bedroom condo or a celebrity selling a 10,000-square-foot estate, I will tirelessly advocate on your behalf and I will always have your best interests as my top priority. My clients are often surprised when I talk them out of a home that I know is not right for them.” How does membership in professional groups enhance what you offer clients? “One of the professional groups that I am a member of is the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing. Membership is limited to top-performing Realtors and is by invite only. As a certified member of this group, I have access to specialized materials, training and education on selling and buying high-end luxury properties. For my clients this means I have access to the latest market research, trends, techniques and technology that help me sell their home for maximum value.” How do you deal with volatility in the market? “Volatility in the market is only a problem if you don’t make it a priority to completely stay on top of the data. Passion and emotion can lead to bad decisions for the uninformed. Inventory, demand, interest rates, school ratings, tax codes, zoning changes and housing starts are just a few of the indicators that I follow closely to ensure my clients obtain the best possible value from their transaction.” Tell us about the house where you grew up. “I literally grew up on a small family farm in rural Hungary. We had an outhouse, and all dishes and laundry were done by hand. I was up at 4:30 a.m. to tend to the livestock before going to school. Life on the farm was certainly hard, but the memories of family time each night around the dinner table are priceless. Growing up as a farm girl instilled in me tremendous compassion and a tireless work ethic.” How do you like to spend your free time? “Having moved from Hungary, which has very cold winters, I have a true appreciation for the Los Angeles climate. I love to spend my free time outdoors—a fabulous hike in the morning and an open-air dinner and concert at the Hollywood Bowl.”





real estate & mortgage

Craig Strong Executive Director, Estates Division Pacific Union International 10154 Riverside Dr. Toluca Lake 818-987-9700

“My level of service and professionalism provides real value.”


raig Strong is the executive director of the Estates Division of Pacific Union International—a firm where he is an awardwinning, top-producing sales agent. He has worked in the real estate industry for 17 years and specializes in the areas of Toluca Lake, Studio City, Burbank, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village, Encino, NoHo and Hollywood Hills, as well as various other pockets of Los Angeles. What makes you the best in real estate? “My care of and attention to clients. My level of service and professionalism provides real value. I am very objective and identify negatives when they arise. There can be complications that occur behind the scenes of a transaction that my clients will never know about because it’s all part of my job. I handle it all!” How does where you live come into play with your job? “My home, office and golf course are all in Toluca Lake. I chair the Toluca Lake Public Safety, co-chair the Neighborhood Watch and have served on the Toluca Lake Chamber, the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council and the Toluca Lake Homeowners Association for many years. Being so involved in the community where I have lived for 15 years enables me to be an excellent resource for my neighbors as well as those wanting to live here.” Tell us about a common challenge in real estate. “Oftentimes sellers have higher expectations for their property’s value than what it is actually worth. Buyers feel they might be overpaying and have high expectations on the condition of the home, which can lead to a difficult negotiation when dealing with Request for Repairs. It’s a matter of getting everyone on the same page—a talent that takes years to cultivate.” Do you have a philosophy when it comes to a code of ethics? “My basic philosophy is ‘disclose, disclose, disclose.’ As an agent representing the seller, I do all I can to get the seller(s) to disclose everything about the house. Even if they repaired something, disclose it. If it’s one thing I have learned working in real estate, your neighbors know more about



your home then you do. As soon as the new buyers move in, the neighbors will be right over to see if they knew some things. Disclose everything. Same philosophy when I represent the buyer. There is no reason to leave anything out. It will always come back to haunt someone. If everything is disclosed at the beginning during the honeymoon phase, it is easier for everyone to digest it. If it’s discovered later, someone will feel taken advantage of, which is never a good feeling.” What has been a career highlight? “I have represented some great homes, friends and celebrities. I have also had other agents ask me to represent them, which is a nice compliment in itself. When I was asked to represent the Hope Estate, that was such an honor. When I moved to Toluca Lake, I loved saying that I lived a few blocks from the Hope Estate. It was a proud moment for me to tell my parents, aunts and uncles that I would be the agent for the estate. This will be a hard one to beat.” Tell us about the house where you grew up. “I grew up on 109th Street off Riverside in Manhattan. It wasn’t so nice in the ‘70s. We didn’t have air conditioning, which was OK 2/3 of the year but the city does get hot in the summers. One of the reasons that I moved to Toluca Lake was the community. I never had a community growing up; it was a little rough around the edges. I was lucky if I came back home with the basketball I left for the day with. I love seeing my kids being able to walk or bike ride into town. I love seeing them play in a backyard not a courtyard. I have no idea what it’s like to grow up like them, but it does look like a ton of fun.” How do you like to spend your free time? “Any time out of the office is usually spent with my family going to the movies or one of my kids’ music or sporting events at Campbell Hall. I’m lucky enough to be married to Tara Strong, one of the biggest female voices in animation. Her credits are endless, but some of her most notable and recent work includes Twilight Sparkle in My Little Pony, Raven in Teen Titans, Ben in Ben 10 and Timmy in The Fairly Odd Parents. And if I have any extra free time after all that, I’m on the golf course. Fore!”


The Strong Family back: Sammy & Aden front: Craig & Tara




real estate & mortgage

Jimmy A. Hirsch The Agency 14140 Ventura Blvd. #101 Sherman Oaks 424-321-4945 BRE #01970186

“Since we’ll be spending significant time together, I believe enjoying each other’s company is important.”


ealtor® Jimmy A. Hirsch represents buyers and sellers of single-family residences in Encino, Sherman Oaks, Studio City and Tarzana. After nearly two decades of working in the industry, he switched to full-time real estate work three years ago and joined The Agency in 2016. He also personally builds and flips homes and invests in multi-family apartments. How does your knowledge of the area benefit your clients? “Having resided in five different Encino homes since 1981, I have an intimate knowledge of the San Fernando Valley. My wife of 25 years, Pam, is an integral part of my support team, having her own uniquely different and qualified experiences. Our children have been raised in the SFV (Oakwood and Harvard-Westlake) and are now in college. Whether you’re just arriving to the SFV or have been here for many years—whatever your individual situation, chances are we’ve been through it ourselves.” Share a bit about your firm—what makes it noteworthy? “The Agency is a different type of brokerage firm. It was founded by three very successful agents at three different national franchised firms. After only six short years in existence, they have transformed the nearly 40-year-old stale business model where agents are largely operating on their own while keeping larger commissions, with little support from their brokerage unless there’s a crisis to be managed. The Agency agents share a larger commission split with its brokerage partner. In return, there is a mass array of in-house sales, marketing, social media, public relations and advertising support that goes directly to their agents. This allows more time to be spent with clients directly and their properties rather than mired in necessary yet time-consuming administration functions. But the most compelling cultural shift is our proprietary shared customer and strategic databases. We are firm believers of sharing and helping one another rather than protecting our own individual fiefdoms. When you hire one of us, you’re getting an army of 300 with a single point of contact. If you want various points of contacts for targeted social media platforms as a preference, we can accommodate that as well.” What do you consider your most important professional skills? “Honesty—always tell the truth, as it will eventually come out anyway. And integrity—say what



you do AND do what you say!” What specialty services do you offer clients? “I know new construction and renovation costs due to spending my own personal money on both. But the most important specialty service I provide is me. I have a strong and humorous personality that enables me to include extensive laughter with my clientele. Since we’ll be spending significant time together, I believe enjoying each other’s company is important. As such, I pick and choose the people I want to represent. If our personalities don’t mesh well from the beginning, chances are it won’t be a rewarding experience for either of us. I engage in a philosophy of being more things to fewer people rather than all things to all people. While I take my job very seriously, I don’t necessarily take myself too seriously.” How does where you live come into play with your job? “Having lived in Encino for more than 25 years provides me intimate knowledge of specific streets, pockets within those streets and overall area expertise. Since I’m not running around greater Los Angeles on a regular basis, I am able to be more intimately involved with current on- and off-market properties. Additionally, I am frequently present for all showings and inspections once in escrow due to my proximity to the property.” What has been one of the highlights of your career? “After running a national metal manufacturing firm for 30 years with my father, it culminated in a successful sale to our largest competitor and industry leader. Afterwards, as a relatively young man, the reinvention of myself and transition to full-time real estate has been my ultimate true calling. I honestly believe the first 30 years was the training ground for real estate. I have been in so many personal transactions as a buyer and seller; performing as an agent gives me unique experiential perspective to read and understand both sides of a deal.” How does membership in professional groups enhance what you offer clients? “My circle of friends and spheres of influence typically revolve around financially successful and high net worth individuals. I understand business-minded individuals. My ability to empathize while providing counsel based on personal experience has forged very successful long-term relationships.”





real estate & mortgage

Scott Morris SRM Real Estate Group 13848 Ventura Blvd., 1st Floor Sherman Oaks 818-262-3695

“Whenever I work with a client, a portion of my commission is donated to JDRF and to the charity or cause close to my client’s heart.”


lifelong resident of the San Fernando Valley and founder of SRM Real Estate Group, Scott Morris offers more than 30 years of experience in the real estate and mortgage brokerage industry, with transaction volume exceeding $1 billion. Helping the effort to find a cure for type 1 diabetes (T1D) is one of Scott’s personal missions, in partnership with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) Los Angeles Chapter. When he’s not working, Scott enjoys spending time with his wife, Kelly, and children, Ryan and Katie. What would you like potential clients to know about you? “After 30 years in the industry I recently adopted a purpose-driven business model. My customers are my partners, and my promise to them is that when they partner with me they will save money, save time and together we can save lives.” Why did you change your business model? “I made a promise to myself on the day my son, Ryan, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes that I would do whatever I could to help him get better. That led me to partner with the JDRF—the largest nonprofit funder of T1D research in the world—and today I serve on their board of directors and volunteer with their Ride-to-Cure program. Working with my JDRF peers and witnessing their selflessness and passion for finding a cure has been inspiring and—in some ways—life-changing.” How does the model work? “I wanted to help my client-partners tap into their own advocacy. I realized that although my family’s story is about T1D, my client-partners may have their own story and passion for a different charity or cause. Therefore whenever I work with a client, a portion of my commission is donated to JDRF and to the charity or cause close to my client’s heart. This allows us to form a strong working relationship, and together we can scale our philanthropy.” What trends define the real estate industry today? “I think the most significant shift underway is the evolution of the consumer. First of all, home buyers and sellers are more knowledgeable than at any other time in history. Consumers are looking for a better and more affordable way to find,



buy, finance and sell homes. My focus is on saving my client-partners money and time while helping them achieve their unique real estate goals. Second, customers want the companies they work with to be good corporate citizens. This is an encouraging trend, and smart companies will figure out an authentic way to meet this demand. If working with a particular company allows the customer to participate in a bigger story—one that addresses and positively impacts a social need—then the company is creating a meaningful experience for the customer. For me, this is the ‘save lives’ component of my purpose-driven model and the promise I make to each of my clients.” What do you think the real estate industry will look like in the coming years? “Consumers disrupt industries, not companies. Therefore I believe consumers will drive the change and ultimately determine what the industry looks like. This means the industry will evolve in a manner that serves the consumer well. Right now the traditional business model of the real estate industry is under attack by well-financed companies promoting models built on discounted commissions and, in some cases, flat fees. The problem with these newer models is they are transactional and built on top of online platforms, which means they can’t offer the local knowledge, strategic focus or trust a seasoned agent brings to the table. I think sophisticated buyers and sellers will realize there is too much risk in these models and will choose instead to work with an agent they can count on. We may arrive at a sort of hybrid model that will not be one-size-fits-all. Firms will need to adapt and find new ways to offer custom solutions that address a customer’s unique needs at a fair price: Tieredpricing solutions and a suite of value-added services—such as mortgage brokerage and planning services for buyers, to name a few— will likely become more prevalent.” What’s on the horizon for SRM Real Estate Group? “My hope is that we will be known as the leading social impact real estate brokerage and mortgage planning firm in the communities we serve. Our primary success metrics will be how much money we are saving our client-partners and how much money we are directing to our charitable partners. In this way, our company will build on its mission: creating partnerships that promote social good.”


Scott Morris and Stephanie Twerdahl, JDRF




real estate & mortgage

“My competitive edge is my wealth of knowledge of all levels of the real estate arena.”

The Agency Residential Estates Division

John Tashtchian

23622 Calabasas Road, Suite 148 Calabasas 818-968-2822 |

ealtor® John Tashtchian, director of the Residential Estates Division at The Agency, has worked in real estate for 27 years. He has a background in corporate banking, management and finance and speaks five languages fluently. In his time off, John loves to play golf and spend time with friends and family.

both sides of the business, it gives you and your clients an upper hand on all transactions—listing and buying—which creates a win-win for everyone.”


What would you like potential clients to know about you? “I specialize in negotiations and structuring the most complex transactions, because of my extensive background of finance in and around real estate. My competitive edge is my wealth of knowledge of all levels of the real estate arena—through my previous years in corporate banking, unparalleled negotiation tactics, and the building and remodeling of homes.



My clients turn to me for best strategies when it comes to their real estate goals and plans. I love spending the time thinking outside the box and strategizing how I can get the highest and best value for my clients. I always strive to deliver a ‘white glove experience’ when I am representing my clients in their first home purchase or selling multi million dollar homes. Clients first! My philosophy has always been to represent clients as if it were my own property that I’m selling or buying. First class and nothing less.” What do you consider your most important skills in business? “The combination of The Agency’s worldclass marketing and my extensive background in sales, negotiations and real estate transactions adds tremendous value to my clients. When you have vast knowledge of

How does where you live come into play with your job? “I live in Tarzana. Being born in Los Angeles and raised in the Valley gives me a keen knowledge of all the neighborhoods I grew up watching and developing throughout the years.” How do you challenge yourself in your work? “Every day I continue to try to learn something new and different from other real estate professionals. We have to constantly learn and strategize in this business, and working with high-caliber professionals is always a great blessing.”


real estate & mortgage

Ingrid Sacerio

Director of Residential Estates Ingrid Sacerio Real Estate/ The Agency 14140 Ventura Blvd., Suite 101, Sherman Oaks 323-333-7018 |


top-producing, award-winning agent, Ingrid Sacerio joined The Agency last fall. She was raised by parents who were both successful real estate agents in Southern California. Prior to entering the “family business,” Ingrid pursued multiple passions and careers in education and the sciences. She holds a B.S. in neuroscience from UCLA and a Masters of Arts in education from Pepperdine University. A board member of Los Encinos School, Ingrid is actively involved with the local school districts and well-versed in the range of available educational opportunities. She volunteers with LA Family Housing and lives in Sherman Oaks with her husband and their two children. What makes you the best in real estate? “I have the innate ability to match people with their dream home. Anna L. of Studio City wrote, ‘Ingrid is a fierce and tireless advocate for her clients—and this extends to every aspect of both sale and purchase. She has the fine-tuned expertise, bold approach and localized savvy to provide a much-needed edge in today’s real estate market. A trusted strategic partner who consistently puts her clients’ best interests ahead of her commission, Ingrid brings unparalleled excellence and accountability to every transaction in which she engages. I would not purchase another home in the Los Angeles area without her.’” What are your most important two skills? “My negotiation skills and attention to detail are noted among my clients and colleagues. Heather and Jason S. of Studio City wrote, ‘Ingrid is by far the best Realtor we have ever had the pleasure of working with. For more than a year, she guided us as we renovated our home and prepared to put it on the market. She graciously gave her time and offered her expertise at every step in the process. Her skillful marketing and negotiation strategies resulted in a quick sale, over asking, and we could not be happier.’”

“I take the time to know my clients on a personal level, understand their​ desires and needs, and then turn ​them into a reality.​” SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

What specialty services do you offer clients? “I take the time to know my clients on a personal level, understand their​desires and needs, and then turn ​them into a reality.​Laurie M. of Encino wrote, ‘When I added selling my house to a too-busy schedule, I needed someone who would walk me through the whole process—a Realtor who could simplify the complications, be flexible with their time and protect my interests. Ingrid more than lived up to those needs. I could not recommend her more highly.’” FEBRUARY/MARCH 2018 | VENTURA BLVD


real estate & mortgage

“I am respected by my competitors, trusted by my adversaries and wholeheartedly recommended by my clients.”

Andrea Korcheck


n 18-year veteran of the real estate industry, Realtor® Andrea Korchek assists buyers and sellers of luxury homes in the greater Los Angeles area, specifically Toluca Lake, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Tarzana and Woodland Hills. She also has a Westside presence and last year had transactions in Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Hollywood Hills and even Santa Barbara. Andrea joined The Agency in June 2017. She has a BA from Gonzaga University and a law degree from Georgetown University. What makes you the best in the business? “I am energetic and enthusiastic and will stop at nothing to be the best. I also have a unique set of skills that contribute to my success. On the deal-making side, my past experience as a business litigation attorney makes me an at-ease, effective negotiator



and proficient in drafting and interpreting contracts. On the marketing side, I have a trained eye in design and an eagerness to exploit the latest technologies and platforms, implementing a beautiful and robust marketing plan with maximum local and international exposure for each of my properties. I work tirelessly to obtain the highest offers and find the best values, and I keep in constant communication with my clients, giving them straightforward and insightful information from which they can make informed decisions. My clients know they are in the best of hands as I deliver smooth and often record-breaking sales.”   What are your two best qualities? “IQ and EQ: Being quick and smart really helps in this business! I’m well-educated in school and life, and I definitely bring all of my ‘lessons’ to the table in each deal. I’m always the ‘go-to’ at the office when col-

Director, Luxury Estates The Agency 818-371-0933 leagues have tough questions on their deals. But I achieve the most beneficial results in all of my transactions by reading other people’s signs and reacting appropriately. As one client stated in a letter recommending me to a friend, ‘Andrea really knows when to push and when to pull back.’ I am respected by my competitors, trusted by my adversaries and wholeheartedly recommended by my clients.”   What is your code of ethics? “Honor thy client. Having been an attorney, my fiduciary duty to my clients is part of my DNA, and I take it very seriously. I work for my client and not the deal, and my clients know it and appreciate it.” Disclaimer: Andrea is no longer an active member of the State Bar and is acting solely as a real estate professional.


real estate & mortgage

Michelle Schwartz

Managing Partner/Agent The Agency 14140 Ventura Blvd., Suite 101 Sherman Oaks 424-230-3716


ne of the founding team members of The Agency, Michelle Schwartz opened the firm’s Sherman Oaks/ Studio City office last August. A specialist in residential real estate for the past seven years, she attended Beverly Hills High School and USC and formerly owned a marketing and public relations company. Why did you choose this line of work? “I am a natural entrepreneur … I have been since just after I graduated USC. Having navigated through a primary career only to then shift my focus to real estate, I never lost the thrill of being in charge of my own destiny. When I started in real estate, master Realtor Mauricio Umansky believed in me, my skill and knowledge, and my ability to help him grow his business to the next level. Spearheading The Agency’s San Fernando Valley growth has been on my mind since early on. Though I was in a new career, my need for something bigger and better had not subsided.” What would you like clients to know about your team? “The Sherman Oaks branch services the greater San Fernando Valley with the most concentration in Toluca Lake, Studio City, Valley Village, Sherman Oaks, Valley Glen and Encino. In just a few months, we have been attracting some of the Valley’s top producing agents. The best want to be alongside the best, and quite honestly… that is us! Our ability to serve our clients and market their properties in an unparalleled manner makes us a true force to be reckoned with. Simply put, ‘we are not your parents’ brokerage.’”

“Simply put, ‘we are not your parents’ brokerage.’” SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

How does where you live come into play with your job? “As a Studio City resident and homeowner, I take pride and honor in the opportunity to not only represent our community but also assist in bringing new, amazing families and singles into my neighborhood! To me it matters who my neighbor is. I want to do my part to maintain what made me fall in love with the Valley—the awesome people and warm, inclusive energy they exude to others in the community. Raising two children in the area has allowed me to meet so many new people. The community has really become part of my family!”



real estate & mortgage

Realtor® Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

Barry Dantagnan

15490 Ventura Blvd., Suite 100, Sherman Oaks 818-426-8677 | CalBRE 01020477


s a real estate professional for Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Barry Dantagnan has received many distinguished honors including the Coldwell Banker’s International President’s Premier designation, representing the top 1% of agents nationally and has been the Sherman Oaks Office top sales producer for several years. When did you first know you wanted to go into this line of work? “My family moved a few times when I was young, and I always was involved in picking out the houses. My mom was also a real estate agent and worked in new home sales and marketing for many well-known builders. At 16 years old I would help host the weekend tours of the model homes and knew that real estate sales is what I wanted to do when I finished school.” What would you like potential clients to know about you? “I have a strong work ethic taking nothing for granted. I demonstrate trustworthiness, knowledge, honesty and effective communication skills to each client. This has become my business model, and in my 29 years as a real estate agent in the Los Angeles area, these attributes have led to a very successful career.” What do you consider your most important two skills? “Negotiating and understanding the marketplace. I take pride in working with my clients and always look out for their best interests. I know how to get my sellers the top price and how to best guide my buyers with their offers.” How does your knowledge of the area benefit your clients? “I grew up in the Valley and have a pulse on the everchanging real estate market. I know the prices and can offer my expertise on the latest listings, sales and neighborhood trends.” What is your specific area of expertise? “I specialize in the San Fernando Valley and have been focusing on sales and marketing of homes along the Ventura Boulevard corridor.”

“I have a strong work ethic taking nothing for granted.” 96


What makes you the best in real estate? “Hard work, dedication, strong negotiating skills and being available. I am easy to reach and have plenty of time for every client. My goal is to simplify the transaction for every buyer and seller.”


real estate & mortgage

Elaine Selko & Francine Meyberg

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 16810 Ventura Blvd., Encino 818-400-9667 (Elaine) | 818-987-7653 (Francine) | BRE#01019124 | BRE#01065592


laine Selko and Francine Meyberg are Realtors specializing in the marketing and sales of fine homes and estates in the San Fernando Valley, Westside and Conejo Valley. Active in the industry for 27 years, both Elaine and Francine joined the firm in 2008 when it was named Prudential California Realty. They represent high-end clients as well as first-time buyers. They are both certified Relocation Specialists and Luxury Estate Agents. A native of Los Angeles and Valley resident since 1966, Elaine raised her children in Hidden Hills and was active on the parks and recreation committee, community theatre and served as district commissioner of the Hidden Hills Pony Club. In 1990 she moved to Calabasas Park, where she currently resides. Born and raised in Beverly Hills, Francine had a lengthy career in the Los Angeles fashion industry before she began her career in real estate in 1990. She moved from Beverly Hills to Tarzana and has been active in the Tarzana Chamber of Commerce. She currently makes her home in Woodland Hills. What makes you the best in real estate? “We offer the highest level of integrity, customer service, marketing and negotiating skills to our clients, who receive our personal attention and constant communication throughout the process of the purchase or sale of a home. We are always there to answer all questions as we guide them through the process. We treat them like family, and their satisfaction is reflected in their loyalty, repeated representation and referrals. We are so pleased to have made enduring friendships with many of our clients.” What specialty services do you offer clients? “We use our talent and experience in design, merchandising and marketing to advise and assist sellers in the staging and preparation of their homes for marketing and sale. We provide this to the seller, as it is invaluable and helps secure the highest purchase price for the seller’s property.” What nonprofits do you support? “We are both on the board of directors of New Directions for Youth, a nonprofit organization offering programs and services, free of charge, to at-risk youth and families. We are are also contributors and supporters of Berkshire Hathaway’s The Charitable Foundation, donating a portion of every commission to this charity.”

“We are so pleased to have made enduring friendships with many of our clients.” SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

What is your professional philosophy? “Clients come first.”



real estate & mortgage

“We work to exceed our clients’ expectations and to build relationships that last.”

Dana Rose Saffron & Joie Hedges Wilson


he Saffron | Wilson Group is a residential real estate partnership within Wish | Sotheby’s International Realty serving buyers and sellers in the South Valley luxury market. Both graduates of UCLA, Dana and Joie met 15 years ago while working in the commercial real estate industry. They have more than 35 years combined experience in real estate. What would you like potential clients to know about your firm? “The Saffron | Wilson Group offers concierge service and custom luxury programs to achieve our clients’ real estate goals. We work to exceed our clients’ expectations and to build relationships that last. There is no higher compliment than repeat business and our clients’ referrals to family and friends. With offices in Toluca Lake, Sherman Oaks, Encino and Calabasas, we have the Valley covered.”



What advantage does your affiliation with Sotheby’s offer to clients? “The Sotheby’s International Realty® brand is the voice of luxury. We are so proud to be a part of this worldwide community, knowing that the Sotheby’s name is synonymous with quality, style and sophistication.” Tell us about your background. Dana: “I have worked in real estate since college. It is the only field I’ve ever worked in and the only career I’ve ever wanted. I deeply believe in real estate as a vehicle for building and sharing wealth and strengthening communities.” Joie: “My passion for art and architecture is what led me to real estate. My art conservation background has given me a critical eye and a unique attention to detail. To artfully unite architecture and lifestyle with those who are moved by its beauty is what drives me.”

The Saffron | Wilson Group Wish | Sotheby’s International Realty 13501 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks 818-645-4024 |

How do clients benefit from your areas of specialty? “We offer unparalleled market expertise and a comprehensive understanding of the transactional process. Our clients rely on this insight to make sound, educated choices.” What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work? Dana: “I enjoy walking in the beautiful neighborhoods near my home in Sherman Oaks, as well as cooking for my family and friends. My husband and I have four adult children.” Joie: “I enjoy art and design, travel and fly fishing as well as fine wine and good food. I live with my husband and two dogs in Studio City.” Disclaimer: WishSIR DRE#01916623. Each Office Is Independently Owned And Operated.


real estate & mortgage

L to R: Alex Potter, Tamara Wynn, Billy Wynn, Kelly Weiss

“When it comes to real estate, nothing catches me off guard or surprises me.”

Remax Olson/ Team Billy Wynn


or more than 30 years Billy Wynn has worked in real estate sales. A southern California native who attended local schools and colleges, Billy is one of the top-rated agents on Zillow and Trulia. His team is comprised of his wife, Tamara, long-time friend Kelly Weiss and nephew Alex Potter. They specialize in the Royal Woods neighborhood of Sherman Oaks, where Billy grew up and lives today.

cially and personally, and being sensitive to our clients’ time—every phone call, email or text is on task and meaningful.”

What makes you the best in real estate? “When it comes to real estate, nothing catches me off guard or surprises me. I have answers and solutions to nearly every problem or situation that can and will happen. I always have a Plan B. Being honest and transparent with my sellers and buyers comes naturally.”

How does where you live come into play with your job? “Tamara and I have been leading the Neighborhood Watch for over 10 years in our Royal Woods community. We are involved with LAPD, DOT, ENC and Councilman Koretz’s and Councilman Ryu’s offices to keep our neighborhood top-of-mind with traffic and safety initiatives such as Dedicated Patrol, Camera Surveillance Project, crime and traffic updates. When we hold

What are your most important two skills? “Listening to our clients’ needs, both finan-


What specialty services do you offer? “A home remodeling team and landscape crew. The right amount of makeup, expertly applied, can mean the difference between getting your asking price and getting over asking.”

Sherman Oaks 818-261-3400 an open house for a listing in our neighborhood, we are able to share facts, data, contacts and valuable information with potential buyers about how great Royal Woods really is and why they should live up here with us!” Do you have a philosophy when it comes to a code of ethics? “No one ever got caught telling the truth.” What has been a highlight of your career? “Having our neighbors come up to us after a Neighborhood Watch meeting at our home and ask us to come over and talk to them about selling their house. I grew up in Royal Woods with so many of these folks; it’s truly our privilege to work with them.” What are your specific areas of expertise? “Managing client expectations and successful closings.”



C R E AT I N G V I D E O F O R YO U R L I S T I N G S I S O N LY E X P E N S I V E I F N O O N E I S WAT C H I N G . H o m e F i l m s i s t h e o n l y f u l l y i n t e g r a t e d , r e a l e s t a t e v i d e o p ro d u c t i o n a n d d i g i t a l distribution package. Our talented filmmaking artistically tells the story of what m a k e s yo u r l i s t i n g u n i q u e . A n d o u r t a r g e t e d d i g i t a l d i s t r i b u t i o n e n s u r e s t h a t t h e r i g h t p o t e n t i a l b u y e r s a r e s e e i n g yo u r p ro p e r t y i n t h e m o s t b e a u t i f u l l i g h t .




Fo r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n : Ro b i n S a n d e r s a t 8 1 8 . 4 2 7. 2 0 5 0 o r ro b i n @ g o l d e n s t a t e . i s .

real estate


3931 Oeste Avenue, Studio City Offered at $7,550,000 Susanna Nagy Keller Williams Realty (818) 481-1602 | See page 72 for more information



a recap of our first year serving the 818 we sold this legend, again

and how about those numbers?


VA L L E Y OF F IC E S OP E N E D (Sherman Oaks and Calabasas)


165 C LOS E D TRA NSA CT IO N S (in the SFV)

After selling it once in 2015, we sold the iconic 17085 Rancho Street in Encino again, this time representing both sides for a record-breaking sale price of $8,253,000.


$299m 2017 TOTA L SA L E S V O L U M E (in the 818 market)

exclusive luxury listings



4715 ALONZO AVENUE | ENCINO | $4,295,000

17414 MAGNOLIA BLVD. | ENCINO | $3,595,000

6 BEDS | 8 BATHS | 9,121 SQ. FT. | 30,845 SQ. FT. LOT ANDREA KORCHEK 818.371.0933 | LIC. # 01311917 CR AIG KNIZEK 805.660.6574 | LIC. # 01377932

5 BEDS | 6 BATHS | 7,357 SQ. FT. | 16,180 SQ. F T. LOT ANDREA KORCHEK 818.371.0933 | LIC. # 01311917

5 BEDS | 7 BATHS | 6,250 SQ. FT. | 19,039 SQ. FT. LOT JIMMY A. HIRSCH 310.413.7414 | LIC. # 01970186 JOHN TASHTCHIAN 818.968.2822 | LIC. # 01453364

6 BEDS | 8 BATHS | 6,106 SQ. FT. | 26,180 SQ. FT. LOT JIMMY A. HIRSCH 310.413.7414 | LIC. # 01970186 CR AIG KNIZEK 805.660.6574 | LIC. # 01377932

25737 SIMPSON PLACE | CALABASAS | $2,250,000

11401 DONA TERESA DRIVE | STUDIO CITY | $2,099,000

5 BEDS | 5 BATHS | 5,050 SQ. FT. | 12,780 SQ. FT. LOT EMIL HARTOONIAN 310.990.0063 | LIC. # 01796925

bring it on, 2018

3 BEDS | 3 BATHS | 2,450 SQ. FT. | 10,950 SQ. FT. LOT EMIL HARTOONIAN 310.990.0063 | LIC. # 01796925 JOHN TASHTCHIAN 818.968.2822 | LIC. # 01453364

An international associate of Savills

17414 MAGNOLIA BLVD. | ENCINO | $3,595,000

6 BEDS | 8 BATHS | 6,106 SQ. FT. | 26,180 SQ. FT. LOT 17414MAGNOLIA.COM


5 BEDS | 4.5 BATHS | 3,367 SQ. FT. | 17,505 SQ. FT. LOT 5074LOUISE.COM

JIMMY A. HIRSCH 310.413.7414 LIC. # 01970186

An international associate of Savills


ng Co




Matt Epstein #1 #2 #5

Agent San Fernando Valley Agent Los Angeles Agent Nationwide for

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Follow me on Facebook: MattEpsteinRealty Top one-half of 1 percent of more than 1,250,000 REALTORS® nationwide

Follow me on Twitter: @SoMattEpstein CalBRE# 01121162

With proven results from the market leader, why call anybody else?

14736 Greenleaf St. – SO-COMING SOON- 5Br+5Ba in 5,000 SqFt on a 10,750 SqFt Lot – New Construction South of the Blvd. in a prime Sherman Oaks area. This chic contemporary home features 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms, pool house, pool & Jacuzzi. 3421 Wrightwood Dr - SC - $2,995,0004Br+2.5Ba in 3,672 SqFt on a 15,607 SqFt lot- Amazing Views in this private gated MidCentury Modern in the hills of Studio City. Features a formal living room w/ soaring exposed beam ceilings, fireplace, lots of natural light. Master suite has a spacious spa-style bathroom. The backyard has a covered patio, pool, outside shower, and a chinese garden with matured fruit trees.

4117 Davana Rd.–SO- PENDING -3Br+2Ba in 2,099 SqFt on a 10,056 SqFt Lot –Traditional single family residence in a great, quiet neighborhood nearby all the great restaurants in Sherman Oaks. The updated kitchen features ss appliances and ample cabinets. The backyard has an upper terrace with ample space to entertain or to put a pool in.


Call for your FREE market analysis! ©2016 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting this information. Based on information obtained from the MLS as of (11/1/2016). Display of MLS data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS. CalBRE 1317331

3727 Meadville Dr. –SO - $2,250,000 –4Br+3.5Ba in 4,877 SqFt on a 10,732 Lot – S. of the blvd contemporary home in highly sought after SO area. Living room w/ walls of glass & FP. Updated kitchen w/ wood floors & stainless appliances. Master suite w FP + huge BA w spa tub. Backyard has amazing views, pool & spa & covered patios. POCKET LISTING – SC – $1,499,000 – 5Br+3Ba in 2,661 SqFt on a 6,470 SqFt Lot- Nicely updated South of the Blvd. Cape Cod with easy access to all Studio City has to offer. Recently updated and upgraded inside and out. Easy West Side And Valley Access.

m: (818) 262-3695

Scott R. Morris Real Estate Broker | Mortgage Planner

w: e:

3475 Coy Drive, Sherman Oaks Designer Jennifer Pirone masterfully couples the architectural integrity of this Mid-Century Modern with a perfect blend of urban, rustic, and California cool. The home’s classic style features clean lines and an open-flow, 1,797-square-foot living area with three bedrooms and two baths. Floor-to-ceiling windows throughout invite in the light and provide residents and guests the opportunity to enjoy the benefits of their surroundings: vibrant colors, canyon views, and picturesque sunsets which soon reveal a panorama of city lights. Visit to learn more.

When you partner with me, you will save money, save time, and together we can save lives.




Nobody does it better...


4121 Longridge Ave., Sherman Oaks $7,350,000

coming soon

5317 Amestoy Ave., Encino Price: TBD


17437 Palora St., Encino $4,495,000


5421 Amestoy Ave., Encino $2,350,000


16167 Royal Oak Rd., Encino $4,449,000 Royal Oaks


4811 Encino Ter., Encino $2,199,000

coming soon

3856 Vista Linda Dr., Encino $1,599,000



16716 Alginet Pl., Encino $1,532,500 Encino Hills

16214 Morrison St., Encino $1,539,660

14839 Round Valley Dr., Sherman Oaks $1,520,000

coming soon

17038 Adlon Rd., Encino Price: TBD

in escrow

3550 Ballina Canyon Rd., Encino $1,699,000



3833 Hayvenhurst Dr., Encino $3,799,000

818.285.3688 CalBRE #00477745

#1 Agent Rodeo Realty San Fernando Valley


19660 Greenbriar Dr., Tarzana $1,349,000

Mortgage Capital Partners

Purchase & Refinance

Exciting New Jumbo Options 85% Jumbo Loan

ONE LOAN, NO MORTGAGE INSURANCE 30yr Fixed Rate and ARM Products Available up to


loan amount

85% Interest Only

IO FIRST + FIXED SECOND MORTGAGE 10/1, 7/1 or 5/1 ARM plus Fixed Rate HELOC

up to


loan amount

90% Jumbo Loan

NO MORTGAGE INSURANCE 30yr Fixed Rate or ARM plus Interest Only HELOC

up to


combined loan amount


Who is actively managing your mortgage? I manage my client’s mortgages which in many cases is the biggest liability they have. You have people managing your assets, but who is managing your biggest liability? I constantly monitor your mortgage for opportunities to meet your goals like maximizing monthly cash flow or minimizing the interest you pay over the life of the loan. Call Now for your Free Mortgage Review.

Trevor Lane - Your Local Mortgage Expert and Sherman Oaks Resident

Trevor Lane Vice President, Mortgage Lending


818.971.9380 cell/text

L.A. Westside (Main Office)

Beverly Hills

Newport Beach


Westlake Village


NMLS #531594, CALBRE #01814408 Mortgage Capital Partners

12400 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 900 Los Angeles, CA 90025

23564 Calabasas Road, Suite 204W Calabasas, CA 91302

9595 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 205 Beverly Hills, CA 90212 5701 Lindero Canyon Road, Ste 203 Westlake, CA 91362

1200 Newport Center Dr. Suite #185 Newport Beach, CA 92660 1842 Washington Way Venice, CA 90291

This is not an offer for extension of credit or a commitment to lend. Minimum FICO, reserve, and other requirements apply. Programs are subject to change at any time until locked in. LTVs are based on appraised value. Not all applicants will qualify. Mortgage Capital Partners, Inc. is a lender under California Real Estate License #01858965. NMLS #239902. © 2017 Mortgage Capital Partners, Inc.

Oren David Mordkowitz ESTATES DIRECTOR | REALTOR ® CalBRE License #01246402 818-933-5866

4143 Hayvenhurst Drive | $4,199,000

4957 Edgerton Avenue | $3,149,000



4929 Hayvenhurst Avenue $1,380,000

1271 Stoner Avenue $1,189,000

5406 Rhea Avenue $1,189,000


16613 Oldham Place $2,199,000


17067 Escalon Drive $1,249,000


17230 Luverne Place $1,620,000

WHERE EXCELLENCE LIVES This very principle has been the foundation of the Coldwell Banker Global LuxurySM. We bring an unmatched combination of real estate expertise, sophisticated marketing tools, powerful international connections and full resources to deliver the results you desire. We have marketing programs that will attract the most-qualified luxury home buyers to your home.

Represented Buyer

11217 Dilling St., Studio City SOLD $2,500,000

4151 Klump Avenue, Studio City SOLD $1,645,000

3610 Stone Canyon Avenue, Sherman Oaks SOLD $1,399,000

5 Beds, 4 Baths, 4,500 sq. ft., Pool

4 Beds, 3 Baths, 3,226 sq. ft., Pool

4 Beds, 2.5 Baths, 2,500 sq. ft.

4009 Rand Ct., Sherman Oaks SOLD $1,218,000

3505 Loadstone Dr., Sherman Oaks SOLD $1,280,000

14710 Greenleaf St, Sherman Oaks SOLD $1,579,000

2 Beds, 2 Baths, 1,519 sq. ft.

3 Beds, 2 Baths, 2,265 sq. ft., Pool

3 Beds, 3l Baths, 2,678 sq. ft.

BARRY DANTAGNAN 818.426.8677

Š 2017 Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. Coldwell BankerŽ is a registered trademark licensed to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. An Equal Opportunity Company. Equal Housing Opportunity. Owned By a Subsidiary of NRT LLC. Broker does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size or other information concerning the condition or features of property provided by seller or obtained from public records or other sources, and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information through personal inspection and with appropriate professionals. If your property is currently listed for sale, this is not intended as a solicitation. Cal RE #01020477


10433 Kling St $3,799,000 Exquisite traditional estate in Toluca Lake. ‘Smart Home’. Enchanting resort-style pool and gardens. Guest cottage. Craig Strong 310.439.3225


4256 Strohm Ave Craig Strong


$3,699,000 310.439.3225


17841 Palora St Kristin Neithercut


$2,450,000 323.397.0800


4432 Forman Ave $2,185,000

Romantic old-world Spanish Entertainer’s paradise, saltwater pebble tech pool. Near village. Craig Strong 310.439.3225 10648 Wheatland Ave Alexander Cabrera

$1,695,000 818.201.6322


14812 Morrison St Kotler & Fahey

4615 Gloria Ave Alan Taylor

$1,449,000 818.650.1603


$1,099,000 818.599.2870

3556 Elm Dr Scott Hillenbrand



$979,000 818.621.1805

13150 Weddington St Alan Taylor

$899,000 818.650.1603

Pacific Union International does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size, or other information concerning the condition or features of the property provided by the seller or obtained from public records and other sources and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information.

PROPERTIES SOLD BY ALAN TAYLOR IN 2017! 13227 McCormick St, Sherman Oaks 4719 Atoll Ave, Sherman Oaks 1408 Torres Dr, Glendale 3946 Davana Rd, Sherman Oaks 4620 Rubio Ave, Encino 6556 Murrietta Ave, Sherman Oaks 19250 Hamlin St #4, Reseda 23594 Park South, Calabasas 5255 Encino Ave, Encino 5008 Bluebell Ave, Valley Village 4180 Klump Ave, Studio City 15035 Sutton St, Sherman Oaks 4828 Noble Ave, Sherman Oaks 4755 White Oak Pl, Encino 4443 Ventura Cyn Ave #105, Studio City 14270 Gruen St, Studio City 4439 Ethel Ave, Studio City 5958 Yarmouth Ave, Encino 4342 Gentry Ave #10, Studio City 4614 Morse Ave, Sherman Oaks 4518 Wortser Ave, Studio City 19174 Doral Pl, Northridge 4660 Varna Ave, Sherman Oaks 5435 Wortser Ave, Sherman Oaks 857 Via Colinas, Westlake Village 4477 Woodman Ave #107, Sherman Oaks 12621 Milbank St, Sherman Oaks 15732 Lassen St, North Hills 4517 Ethel Ave, Studio City 6938 Laurel Canyon Bl #211, Studio City 4850 Longridge Ave, Sherman Oaks 4107 Garden Ave, Los Angeles 3301 Longridge Terr, Sherman Oaks 5202 Exposition Bl, Los Angeles 4960 Fulton Ave, Sherman Oaks 4535 Worster Ave, Studio City 3175 Oakshire Dr, Los Angeles 4955 Stern Ave, Sherman Oaks 4645 Balboa Ave, Encino 4615 Gloria Ave, Encino 13227 McCormick St, Sherman Oaks 4719 Atoll Ave, Sherman Oaks 1408 Torres Dr, Glendale 3946 Davana Rd, Sherman Oaks 4620 Rubio Ave, Encino 6556 Murrietta Ave, Sherman Oaks 19250 Hamlin St #4, Reseda 23594 Park South, Calabasas 5255 Encino Ave, Encino 5008 Bluebell Ave, Valley Village 4180 Klump Ave, Studio City 15035 Sutton St, Sherman Oaks 4828 Noble Ave, Sherman Oaks 4755 White Oak Pl, Encino 4443 Ventura Cyn Ave #105, Studio City 14270 Gruen St, Studio City 4439 Ethel Ave, Studio City 5958 Yarmouth Ave, Encino 4342 Gentry Ave #10, Studio City 4614 Morse Ave, Sherman Oaks 4518 Wortser Ave, Studio City 19174 Doral Pl, Northridge 4660 Varna Ave, Sherman Oaks 5435 Wortser Ave, Sherman Oaks 857 Via Colinas, Westlake Village 4477 Woodman Ave #107, Sherman Oaks 12621 Milbank St, Sherman Oaks 15732 Lassen St, North Hills 4517 Ethel Ave, Studio City 6938 Laurel Canyon Bl #211, Studio City 4850 Longridge Ave, Sherman Oaks 4107 Garden Ave, Los Angeles 3301 Longridge Terr, Sherman Oaks 5202 Exposition Bl, Los Angeles 4960 Fulton Ave, Sherman Oaks 4535 Worster Ave, Studio City 3175 Oakshire Dr, Los Angeles 4955 Stern Ave, Sherman Oaks 4645 Balboa Ave, Encino

ALAN TAYLOR Estates Director | Trust and Probate Top 1% Nationwide

818.650.1603 |

Pacific Union International does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size, or other information concerning the condition or features of the property provided by the seller or obtained from public records and other sources and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. CalBRE 01369255

KevinDriscollHOMES.COM Extraordinary Seller Representation!

ENCINO 4646 White Oak Avenue $1,999,000

PACIFIC PALISADES 17352 Sunset Bl #103D $999,999

BEL-AIR 1304 N. Beverly Glen Bl $949,000


Top 1% Nationwide Estates Director

818.398.0797 Pacific Union International does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size, or other information concerning the condition or features of the property provided by the seller or obtained from public records and other sources and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. This is not intended as a solicitation if your property is currently listed with another broker. CalBRE 01270052




3Bd | 3Ba | 2,610± sf | 6,799± sf lot




4258 Forman Ave




10433 Kling St

10403 Valley Spring Ln

$22,000,000 $2,685,000




4256 Strohm Ave.



CRAIG STRONG Executive Director, Estates Division 818.930.4050 CalBRE 01450987 11550 Dilling St.


820 Grinnell Dr



John Aaroe Group does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size, or other information concerning the condition or features of the property provided by the seller or obtained from public records and other sources and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. CalBRE 01450987



COMING SOON 4457 Camellia Ave, Studio City Offered at $3,200,000



4177 Kraft Avenue, Studio City

3724 Dixie Canyon, Sherman Oaks

Offered at $2,599,000

Offered at $1,399,000




Offered at $1,925,000

Offered at $1,699,000

4724 Kester Ave #401, Sherman Oaks

4161 Kraft Avenue, Studio City

Represented Both Buyer & Seller

4130 Greenbush Ave, Sherman Oaks Representing Buyer

4146 Beck Avenue, Studio City Offered at $2,600,000

13365 Erwin Street, Valley Glen Representing Both Buyer & Seller

Offered at $2,349,000

58XX Cantaloupe Ave, Valley Glen

Representing Buyer

Offered at $550,000

Sunshine Terrace, Studio City

Offered at $849,000

44XX Ethel Ave, Studio City

Offered at $615,000

4226 Lemp Avenue, Studio City Offered at $4,000,000

5139 Balboa Boulevard #10, Encino

Offered at $1,199,000

Offered at $540,000

“ YO U R # 1 N E I G H B O R H O O D E X P E RT ”

MICHAEL BERGIN | 310.600.0715 | | CalBRE 01845572 FRIEND




Pacific Union International does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size, or other information concerning the condition or features of the property provided by the seller or obtained from public records and other sources and the buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. CalBRE 01845572


$ 2.5


HARMA HARTOUNI Operating Principal

Studio City, Encino-Sherman Oaks and Calabasas






Open House



818.784.8211 818.784.8212

11:00 AM - 4:00 PM







Competitive rates for mortgages up to $5 million If you’re planning to buy a higher-value home, Bank of America can help. We offer jumbo loans that can meet a variety of needs. The benefits of a jumbo loan include: • Loan amounts up to $5 million on owner-occupied properties, up to $3 million on second homes and up to $1 million on investment homes¹

Contact me to learn more.

• Competitive fixed and adjustable interest rates • Down payments as low as 10.01% with no mortgage insurance for qualified borrowers on owner-occupied properties with loan amounts up to $1 million

John Musso Wealth Management Lending Officer, VP NMLS ID: 448606 818.518.1008 Office

I’ll be happy to review your options and help you find a home loan that’s right for you. I look forward to talking with you about our range of jumbo loans.


Minimum down payment requirements vary by property type and location. Loan amount, interest-only payment option, loan-to-value percentage, property and/or occupancy type may require a higher level of reserves and/or post-closing liquidity. Two separate full appraisals may be required. Excellent credit required, including proof of recent consistent housing payment history. Not available on all loan programs. Other restrictions apply, ask for details. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender. ©2017 Bank of America Corporation. | ARNTJC64 | HL-116-AD | 06-2017

last word

Something to Fall Back On So you want to be an artist? Don’t tell your family. WRITTEN BY LISSA KAPSTROM ILLUSTRATED BY CHRISTINE GEORGIADES

I am a creative person. It’s something I’ve known about myself since experiencing the thrill of drawing a Thanksgiving hand turkey in first grade. The fact that five digits could become a beloved holiday bird blew my mind. I never looked at my hand the same way again. I never looked at anything the same way again. My childhood was spent endlessly drawing, painting and writing. Heaven was being alone in my room, crosslegged on my pink shag carpet, creating the perfect piece of art to give to my crush, Tim, who by seeing how gifted I was, would realize I was his soul mate and dump stupid Gina the prom queen. I had so much inside me that needed to be expressed. It was as natural as breathing. My “Paradise Lost” moment occurred after proudly showing my father one of my many masterpieces. His response was, “You should enlist in the military.” Part of becoming an artist is doubting you’re going to be one. This is a result of the messages from your family. They squash your dreams because they love. They don’t want you to starve to death, or worse, never move out of the house. You straddle a life between being a sane person with a paying job and pursuing your passion. As much as it would’ve made my dad happy to see me in the cockpit of an F-16 fighter jet, I went to art school. Fueled by a healthy dose of “I’ll show them!”—I got a degree in painting, became a set designer and was actually able to pay rent, pretty much. But during one particularly vulnerable period when I was “between jobs,” my dad sent me an air force recruitment brochure with



a note that said, “Something to fall back on.” This was a pivotal moment. What was I doing with my life? It was time to make a responsible decision, so I became a comedy writer. Comedy writers made more money than set designers, when they were actually working. When I landed my first staff writing job, I could finally say “Ha!” to all the haters and doubters, especially the ones inside my head. But I was thrown when I discovered that another writer on staff was going to law school at night. Even though he was making a six-figure salary at 25, his parents wanted him to have a real job. Were they right? I felt for my colleague who, exhausted after a long day of pitching clueless dad jokes, would race across town to his Constitutional Criminal Procedure class at USC. What was he chasing? And should I follow him? It takes courage to live life with no net. And speaking of no net, I married another writer. His father also wanted him to go to law school. This was ironic because his dad was a successful film composer, whose own father wanted him to go to medical school, even though he was a concert violinist. I found an odd comfort in the fact that family doubt is eternal. But its kryptonite is passion, because a creative person has no choice but to create. My son has shown talent as a writer and a composer, but he’s a cognitive science major at Yale. I thought I dodged a bullet, until he called last week and announced that he’s thinking of switching his major to English, with a minor in music. As I try to breathe, the legacy continues. ■

Andrew & Harriet

Results That Will Move You!

17110 McCormick St, Encino $3,875,000









4156 Hazeltine Ave, Sherman Oaks $1,689,000


4101 Witzel Dr, Sherman Oaks $2,595,000

Andrew & Harriet Did It Again! Recent Sales 4529 Gloria Ave, Encino. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4,225,000 16067 Valley Wood Rd, Sherman Oaks. . . . $3,500,000 (represented both Buyer & Seller) 4701 Hayvenhurst Ave, Encino. . . . . . . . . . $3,425,000 (represented both Buyer & Seller) 5450 Topeka Dr, Tarzana. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,753,750 16998 Encino Hills Dr, Encino. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,710,000 5128 Libbit Ave, Encino. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,700,000 16341 Meadowridge Rd, Encino. . . . . . . . . $2,392,500 3932 Vantage Ave, Studio City. . . . . . . . . . . $2,300,000 (represented both Buyer & Seller)

17149 McCormick St, Encino. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,273,880 4441 Densmore Ave, Encino. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,225,000 16634 Oak View Dr, Encino. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,137,200 14540 Valley Vista Bl, Sherman Oaks. . . . . . $1,970,000 3531 Alana Dr, Sherman Oaks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,860,000 16055 Meadowcrest Rd, Sherman Oaks. . . . $1,720,000 3619 Cananea Dr, Encino. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,650,000 15459 Dickens St, Sherman Oaks. . . . . . . . . . $1,630,000 16618 Oak View Court, Encino. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,560,000 (represented both Buyer & Seller) 14825 Sutton St, Sherman Oaks. . . . . . . . . . . $1,500,000

BRE#924610 RealtorÂŽ

BRE#675971 RealtorÂŽ



2017 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be vafified by broker or MLS. CalBRE 01317331



Stories of Almost Everyone January 28-May 6, 2018 Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc

Isabelle Cornaro

Mario García Torres

Henrik Olesen

Lutz Bacher

Martin Creed

gerlach en koop

Christodoulos Panayiotou

Darren Bader

Cian Dayrit

Iman Issa

Amalia Pica

Fayçal Baghriche

Jason Dodge

Hassan Khan

Michael Queenland

Kasper Bosmans

Latifa Echakhch

Kapwani Kiwanga

Willem de Rooij

Carol Bove

Haris Epaminonda

Mark Leckey

Miljohn Ruperto

Andrea Büttner

Geoffrey Farmer

Klara Lidén

Tino Sehgal

Banu Cennetoglu

Lara Favaretto

Jill Magid

Mungo Thomson

Jay Chung & Q Takeki Maeda

Ceal Floyer

Dave McKenzie

Antonio Vega Macotela

Fiona Connor

Ryan Gander

Shahryar Nashat

Danh Vo

Los Angeles

Westwood & Wilshire

Free Admission


Ventura Blvd February/March 2018  
Ventura Blvd February/March 2018