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THE ARTS ISSUE VENTURABLVD.GOLDENSTATE.IS

SIX DOLLARS

JAN/FEB 2021

Ready For Her Closeup THE MASKED SINGER COSTUME DESIGNER MARINA TOYBINA


10 years of extraordinary performances


10 years of generous support

TheSoraya.org


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021

12 DESIGNER UNMASKED The Masked Singer costume designer Marina Toybina

18 ARTIST IN MOTION Sculptor Stuart Kusher

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28 ARTISTIC ACADEMIA USC’s Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

AND THEN SOME... 66

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PROFILES

ON THE VERGE

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Creating their way through the chaos

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REAL ESTATE

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Spectacular local listings

3 works by locals

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LAST WORD

VALLEY LIT

When intermission lasts ... and lasts

Famous authors who have called the Valley home

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A PLACE IN THE SUN Actor A.J. Cook models captivating resortwear looks

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VISION OF A VILLA A modern Spanish-style compound in Bell Canyon

THE SAUCE 48 GARDEN VARIETY Olive & Thyme’s Melina Davies shares a recipe from her new cookbook

COVER Marina Toybina;

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photographed by

IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK

Michael Becker

The architecture and decor of Saddle Peak Lodge.


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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

PUBLISHER

Linda Grasso

Michelle Villas

Robin Sanders

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER

robin@goldenstate.is

Darren Elms

Nikki Smith

COPY EDITORS Bob Howells, Laura Watts

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PHOTOGRAPHERS

DIRECTOR OF BRAND PARTNERSHIPS

Ashley Barrett

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Michael Becker

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CONTRIBUTORS

Rose Eichenbaum

sue@goldenstate.is

Sydney Costley, Hadley Hall

Shane O’Donnell

Meares, Tanya Monaghan,

Monica Orozco

Dakota Kim,

Justin Ruhl

Thor Steingraber, Jean Trinh

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MARKETING & OPERATIONS PARTNER/BRAND PUBLISHER | Emily Stewart PARTNER/MANAGING DIRECTOR, MEDIA & ANALYTICS | Warren Schaffer DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL | Charles Simmons DIRECTOR OF FILM & VIDEO | Bryce Lowe-White OPERATIONS DIRECTOR | Allison Jeackjuntra SOCIAL/COMMUNITY MANAGER | Lauren Madden ACCOUNTING | Janet De La Cruz, Margy Way To learn more about us, visit thegoldenstatecompany.com.

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EDITOR’S LETTER

Time for the Arts This is our annual ARTS issue, and I get it if your first re-

was able to witness for myself this beautiful phenomenon—

sponse is: Aren’t the arts a bit of an indulgence right now,

the impact art can have on people during challenging times.

given everything else going on in the world? Our editorial

While art may not solve our problems, it can give us hope.

team also gave the question some thought. Quick story: Years ago I was asked to join the board of a

That’s why this time of pandemic is such a paradox. We need art more than ever right now—and not just the art

nonprofit aimed at providing classes in the arts for young

itself. Not art in a vacuum. We need to be gathering, con-

adults—most of whom had been emancipated from the

necting, communing, enjoying art with others. And yet we

city’s foster program at the age of 18 and deposited on

can’t. At least not in person. Yet.

the streets to fend for themselves. At the initial meeting I

For this ARTS issue, Thor Steingraber, from the

was interested in helping but puzzled. “So let me get this

Northridge performing arts center The Soraya, pens a lovely

straight,” I asked the two board members at the table:

editorial on this very situation on our final page. I agree

“They need shelter, food, jobs and a mentor, and you are

with him: I think when all of this is in our rear-view mirror

suggesting we raise money so we can offer them guitar,

there is going to be a huge push for human connection.

dance and sculpting classes? Isn’t that putting the cart

And we are going to see all this pent-up creativity from the

before the horse?”

past year explode in a torrent of fabulous art, dance, music,

They patiently explained that art takes these young people outside themselves, away from their problems, and puts

theater. I can’t wait. In the meantime, enjoy this art explosion on our pages.

them in a place purely of creativity. Even if it is just for an

It is visceral, impactful and bold—a harbinger, I believe, of

hour, immersion in the arts nurtures the human soul. After

what’s to come.

that meeting, I did join the board and over several years

Linda Grasso Follow me on Instagram @she_sez

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JANUARY/ FEBRUARY 2021 CREATIVE MINDS From graphic designers to novelists, meet some of the Valley’s most imaginative artists.


designer unmasked AT THE HELM OF COSTUME DESIGN FOR ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL SHOWS ON TV, AND WITH FIVE EMMY AWARDS UNDER HER BELT, MARINA TOYBINA IS READY FOR HER CLOSE-UP. Written by Linda Grasso | Photographed by Michael Becker


Watching Marina Toybina putter

CAREER DESIGN

around her spacious studio tucked in

After graduating FIDM, she took on jobs when and where

an industrial section of Glendale, not

she could. In 2001, along with a business partner, she created the fashion line Glaza. “I’ve always been inter-

far from the home she shares with

ested in contemporary and couture fashion. That’s what

her husband and two children, it’s

I went to school for. I really wanted to come up with

clear she is in her essence. Whether

almost like capsule collections.” The fashion line didn’t pan out, and making ends meet

hovering over a sewing machine or

was a constant struggle. “I was doing a lot of free work

draping fabric on a mannequin, the

and pitching my designs everywhere. I was just trying to

39-year-old is in her milieu. “It is my space,” she notes with a smile, adding, “It

push forward.” Marina started doing Fashion Week runway shows in San Francisco, New York and LA. That opened the door to

is where I am privileged to work with my team. I worked

the music industry, and Marina started creating outfits

solo for a long, long time, but now I have a terrific team.”

for live performances and stage work, mostly for backup

As lead costume designer for the highly rated network

dancers for well-known performers. In some cases, that

TV show The Masked Singer, Marina won her fifth Emmy

led to her taking over costume design for the entire per-

award this past fall (Outstanding Costumes for a Variety,

formance. Still in her early 20s, Marina started working

Nonfiction, or Reality Program). Of her five Emmy wins,

for Pink and Britney Spears. “It was positive feedback for

she says this one means the most.

me more than anything else. It wasn’t until I started do-

“It is such a creative show and so impactful. The personal recognition for me—as a part of it—goes a long way.” Born to Russian parents, Marina emigrated with her

ing television that I even saw a paycheck.” Well before the paycheck there were accolades. Marina collaborated with artists Katy Perry and Taylor Swift and

family from Moscow to the United States at the age of 11,

won Emmy awards for her creations. And she started

with the family settling in Phoenix, Arizona. Her dad was

designing costumes for contestants on the TV shows The X

a wrestling coach; her mom was an epidemiologist. She

Factor and So You Think You Can Dance, winning two more.

started sketching designs around the age of 8. Later as a teenager, she bought fabric and hired a seamstress to

UNMASKING THE PROCESS

bring her sketches to life.

Marina joined The Masked Singer at its U.S. debut in 2019

“My parents knew I had an artistic sensibility pretty

tially a guessing game in which 12 celebrities sing while

that is the path they originally wanted me to take. They

wearing elaborate getups—everything from a hippo to

weren’t terribly familiar with fashion or costume design

a pineapple—to conceal their identities. The judges and

as a career path. But ultimately they said ‘go where your

viewers get small clues throughout the season as to who

heart is. Follow your heart and we’ll follow you.’”

the disguised personalities might be. Each week, one

She met a recruiter from Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising during her senior year of high school

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(the program originated in Korea). The show is essen-

early on. I was also interested in the medical field and

singer is eliminated—and unmasked. Designing for The Masked Singer is a meticulous

and moved to LA just weeks after graduating. “It just

process. The dozen costumes are ornate, eccentric and

seemed like something I had to do. It was a crazy

almost surreal. “You have to think outside the box. I

spontaneous move.”

think: what architectural influences can I bring to life for


“YOU HAVE TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. I THINK: WHAT ARCHITECTURAL INFLUENCES CAN I BRING TO LIFE FOR THESE COSTUMES? HOW CAN I INCORPORATE NEW TECHNOLOGY? AS A COSTUME DESIGNER, THE PROCESS OF EVOLVING— ESPECIALLY FOR THIS SHOW—NEVER STOPS.”


these costumes? How can I incorporate new technology

understanding who will be inside the costume and they

to innovate our fabrication and design capabilities? As a

will help tell their story via the resulting design.

costume designer, the process of evolving—especially for this show—never stops.” Turnaround is quick. Marina and her team only have

was in the making for two years. “Kelly Osborne was the

process that is constantly being refined. Once the network

singer who wore it. We had to remake parts of that cos-

approves the artwork, Marina starts researching fabrica-

tume four times to get it perfect for the final design.”

season, I try to step it up.” Then she and her team begin working with the show’s casting directors and producers, getting a keen

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Among her favorite costumes on the show: Ladybug, which

two months from conception to completion. It’s a harried

tions and techniques. “Every single time, every single

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THE HIGHS

Her favorite artist to collaborate with is Carrie Underwood. Marina started working with the singer on her first tour, Blown Away, nearly a decade ago. “We’ve gone through so many years of creating and evolving and just


being able to speak the same language. It’s wonderful to

taken on a new meaning. “To me, it means that we paint

be on the same page and know your artists so well.”

our own lives.”

A tattoo on her arm that reads “Our lives are our

She cites the Japanese costume designer Eiko Ishioka

greatest art” is from a Miley Cyrus song. She got it while

(The Cell) as an inspiration and says she’d like to work in

she was designing for the singer’s Gypsy Heart 2011 tour.

film one day. But for now she insists that she is content,

“I was still fairly young. It was only the second tour I’d

adding that during the pandemic she has felt a deep sense

ever done. I was in that weird crossroads of figuring out

of gratitude.

what to do, how to survive. Every rehearsal that I went

“I’ve been able to step back and pause, allowing me

to, I was inspired by her music. It kept me showing up

to truly understand my creative space and appreciate

every day. Something about that particular lyric really

my creative team. The costumes are the art that we have

touched my heart.”

produced and are proud of. I think that is what success is:

Now that she has kids (ages 2 and 1), the lyric has

to be able to call something your own.” ■

Marina at her Glendale studio with the Seahorse costume (worn on the show by singer Tori Kelly) in the background.

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artist in motion STUART KUSHER’S ARTISTIC PURSUITS HAVE LED HIM DOWN NUMEROUS PATHS IN LIFE. BUT SCULPTING MAY BE HIS ULTIMATE DESTINATION. Written by Hadley Hall Meares Photographed by Shane O’Donnell


By his own account, Stuart Kusher is never satiated. A true polymath and perpetual student, the opinionated artist has had wide-ranging successes from advertising to film to music. Yet he is most passionate about—and quite frankly, all he wants to talk about—is his art. Stuart creates ornate, monumental sculptures that are baroque, gothic, yet startlingly modern at the same time, evoking life’s great mysteries— including his own mortality. “I’ve almost died several times, you know,” he says. “I know that I’m a lucky guy. I’m always thinking about where I’m going to end up. And know what’s interesting? Nobody really knows. That unknown is what I’m playing with, you know? And I enjoy the unknown.” When the pandemic struck, Stuart left his old workspace in Boyle Heights and started working at his home studio in Studio City, which he admits has advantages. “I can walk out of my studio door and in 10 feet I’m at my swimming pool!” A self-taught sculptor, the Brooklyn-born artist started sculpting faces out of kneaded erasers in elementary school while sitting in the back of the classroom. By the age of 16 he was in a group show at LACMA, and later studied at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. A storied, award-winning career as a creative director, producer, director, graphic designer and advertising agency founder followed, in which he helmed ad campaigns for film, TV and fashion. He also worked as senior creative director at a major record company, designing album covers, posters, billboards and TV commercials for several artists and bands including B.B. King, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Steely Dan. “I’ve won lots of different awards—not that I give a shit, though,” he says.  


The joy that he experiences today is all found in the rigors of his art practice. Since he doesn’t use live models, the figures spring out of his fertile imagination. “I’ll sit for two, three days, until clay starts to talk to me and I start to see something on that, and then my imagination keeps on going and I start talking to myself, it starts talking back to me, and it evolves,” he says. “It just evolves and that’s what’s a turn-on to me. Every day when I wake up, I don’t know what I’m going to create, and I can’t wait to do it.” Decades of voracious learning and experimenting inform his artistic process. “I never get blocked up, you know, never. It just flows,” he says. “I know writers that get writer’s block. I don’t have that problem. I think that has to do with the depth of my visual vocabulary.” Indeed, many of his works are evocative of famed sculptors of the past, particularly the 17th-century Italian artist Bernini and the monumental works of ancient Greece. “Contessa,” Stuart’s recent masterpiece, is a bronze sculpture of the head of a beautiful goddess that is 8 feet tall and weighs a ton. “I always give women power because that’s how I look at them, very strong,” he says. Another powerful work is “The Messenger,” which he cast in both bronze and stainless steel. “It’s a nude with giant wings that I engineered so that it’s like she’s floating. The piece appears to be floating over a ring of skulls. There are candles on every other skull, which represent the pillars of society that are being eroded,” he says. In 2019, Stuart and his son Brandon, a photographer, mounted a joint show called DNA at Fabrik Projects in Los Angeles. “He had half the gallery; I had the other half,” he says. “It was the greatest thing, for a father to be able to share that kind of moment.” But the sculptor is now on to the next moment, the next challenge. He is currently working on an intricate sculpture entitled “The Gates of Hell,” inspired by Auguste Rodin’s pieces of the same name. “That’s one thing I won’t do: I will not repeat anything,” he says. “That’s the discipline. That’s the part that is the challenge, and it keeps you growing creatively. Some artists get comfortable in a style or something and they sell a few paintings and stuff and they stay with it their entire career. It’s not me. I’m trying to learn.” ■


AG E N T S P OT L I G H T

Michael and Joy Bergin

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AG E N T S P OT L I G H T

FROM RUNWAYS TO REAL ESTATE Once a top model and television star, local Realtor® Michael Bergin now shines the spotlight on his real estate clients. WRITTEN BY LAURA L. WATTS | PHOTOGRAPHED BY KRISTIN ANDERSON

M

ichael Bergin had an idyllic childhood. He grew up in a

on giant Times Square billboards. He traveled the world for work, walking

a model, let alone an actor. I’ll never forget the callback for Baywatch. After reading

small town in Connecticut

on the runways of many major cities for

in front of about 12 producers, they put red

with his family: mother, father

well-known designers and appearing in a

shorts on me and threw me in ‘The Tank’ for a

and three siblings. Michael and his childhood

variety of TV commercials. Baywatch became

swimming audition. Immediately afterward, I

friends spent their free time running around

aware of Michael’s work with Calvin Klein

had to race to the airport to not miss my flight

the neighborhood, playing Wiffle ball and

and reached out to have him audition for the

home (without my suitcase), and by the time

pretty much any other sport they could think

TV show. He was cast in the role of Jack “J.D.”

I landed, I had a message from my manager

of. During high school he served as captain of

Darius and played that part for four years,

saying I got the part! I was so excited I literally

the basketball and baseball team.

which led to guest spots on other television

ran through the airport like O.J. Simpson in the

shows, lead roles in film and plenty of

Hertz commercial! It was such a whirlwind.”

He attended the University of Connecticut and worked odd jobs to help pay for school, including roofing, waiting tables and

publicity in the industry. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think

After Baywatch was canceled, Michael was ready to move on from acting to something

even escorting for the university’s security

that would happen to me,” Michael shares.

he felt even more passionate about. He

department. A friend of Michael’s father

“As shy as I was, I never thought I would be

had always loved everything related to the

suggested he look into modeling to earn extra money, suggesting that he could earn up to $1,000 a day. That’s all Michael needed to hear, and he began to pursue it aggressively— taking modeling assignments while still attending school.

“I LOVE WORKING WITH PEOPLE, HELPING THEM FIND THEIR FIRST HOME OR THEIR DREAM HOME.”

ROLE MODEL After graduation, he moved to New York City to pursue his new career full time.

Alana Bergin

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With his good looks, athletic body and charming personality, he quickly landed the international Calvin Klein campaign where he replaced Mark Wahlberg as the new “underwear guy.” It was that job that led to other large campaigns such as Liz Claiborne, Valentino and many more. Michael says his career “just took off,” and he began to see his image frequently in glossy magazine ads and |

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AG E N T S P OT L I G H T

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home—from furniture shopping to attending real estate open houses just for fun. He started buying, building and flipping homes in 2003 and eventually decided that this was the career path he wanted to pursue full time. His next step was to get his real estate license. A CHANGE OF PACE He had the full support of his wife, Joy, who now works on Michael’s real estate team as his marketing manager. “It’s been quite a journey for Michael, from being at the top of the modeling world to the top of the real estate world,” Joy shares. Michael and Joy, who live in Studio City, enjoy being involved with their community and supporting local charities. They have two children: son Jesse, who is a baseball pitcher for UCLA, hoping to get drafted by the MLB this summer, and daughter Alana, who is a high school junior and volleyball player who wants to follow in her father’s footsteps and give the modeling world a go. “We have absolutely loved raising our kids here in the Valley and having them attend the local schools,” says Michael. “It’s strange how life unfolds—from finding your true passion in the workforce to finding your true love and having a family you would die for. I feel extremely blessed!” Michael has worked in Los Angeles real estate for 12 years now, specializing in the San Fernando Valley: Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Encino, Toluca Lake and the surrounding areas. Instead of giant billboards, his image now graces real estate ads on bus stop benches and in grocery stores. He works with Compass, where he is ranked in the city’s top 1% of real estate agents and #1 in his Sherman Oaks office. “I love working with people, helping them

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You’ve done all the silly stuff. Now it’s just about health, happiness and living with purpose. The SheSez Podcast Available wherever you listen

More at SheSez.com Follow @she_sez


artistic academia USC’S NEW GLORYA KAUFMAN SCHOOL OF DANCE IS BEING HAILED AS ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE PROGRAMS IN THE WORLD. Written and Photographed by Rose Eichenbaum


When Glorya Kaufman donated a

“What makes Kaufman exceptional is that it func-

multimillion-dollar endowment

tions as a high-level arts conservatory inside one of the

for the construction of a new dance

world’s leading private research universities. In addi-

school at the University of Southern

tion to rigorous technique classes and live performances not unlike Juilliard’s, students are also required to carry

California, she did much more than

the same academic course load as any major liberal arts

kick off a brick-and-mortar facility.

undergraduate,” says Jackie Kopcsak, professor of ballet.

“The dancing philanthropist,” as she is known, facilitated what has become the most innovative university dance program in the country. In just five

“This is a winning mind-body combination you don’t find anywhere.” To implement the New Movement, Jodie Gates tapped many of the most respected dancers and choreographers within the concert and commercial world to join the school’s faculty. Professors include luminaries such as

short years, Kaufman’s dance program

William Forsythe, Saleemah E. Knight, Patrick Corbin,

has become the Juilliard of the West,

d. Sabela Grimes, Jackie Kopcsak and Bret Easterling. In

making Los Angeles the new Mecca for dance.

addition to its full- and part-time faculty, which helped define and shape the school’s one-of-a kind curriculum, Kaufman also commissions artists in residence for three to six weeks each semester. Students enjoy the rare

“The Glorya Kaufman School of Dance is the great-

world’s most celebrated masters and perform their sig-

creator of the TV show So You Think You Can Dance. “Over

nature works. Aszure Barton, Dwight Rhoden, Desmond

the years I have no doubt that it will adjust the power of

Richardson, Barak Marshall, Sonya Tayeh, and Zippora

theatrical dance training from the East Coast to the West

Karz are just a few who have taught technique to or di-

as well as internationally.”

rected Kaufman students.

The recognition hails in part from the school’s unique

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As you might have guessed, it is a highly selective pro-

approach. The Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, affec-

gram. Of the hundreds of applications and audition videos

tionately referred to as “Kaufman,” introduced “the New

Kaufman’s faculty combs through each school year, only

Movement,” a 21st-century approach to theatrical dance

25 students are selected. “What we look for are dancers

training conceived by Jodie Gates, the school’s found-

who have a certain vigor to their intellectual curiosity and

ing vice dean and a former Joffrey Ballet principal. Unlike

who want to fuse their intellect with their physical prow-

other programs in which students train in one dance form,

ess,” says associate professor Patrick Corbin. “Training

the New Movement focuses on the intersection of all dance

at Kaufman is a tough, rigorous, physical and intellectual

forms. Students train not only in their style of expertise,

experience that pushes students to the limit.” It’s not for

but in many styles—ballet, contemporary, jazz, and black

the faint of heart, yet Kaufman’s students are the first to

vernacular dance/hip hop. Expanding a dancer’s body

sing its praises.

awareness and movement vocabulary not only enables

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opportunity to work closely with some of the concert

est dance school I’ve ever seen,” says Nigel Lythgoe,

“The awesome thing about Kaufman is that it sharpens

them to perform with greater facility, it promotes respect,

my academic pursuits, which go hand-in-hand with my

collaboration and inclusivity within the art form.

artistic ones,” says senior Evan Sagadencky of Tarzana.


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“Living and training in LA is the perfect recipe to propel

I learned from my time at Kaufman was not just steps

my interests and define my artist’s path.”

and choreography. I learned a lot about listening to other

Sophomore Aidan Tyssee from Redondo Beach also com-

more about being a person than being a dancer,” he

a rich academic education and the opportunity to take my

reflects. Justin is now cofounder of RYBG, a film, sound

art and apply it to other dimensions and practices and use

scoring and choreographic-based production company

it in the real world. It’s opened me up to so many wonder-

with fellow Kaufman alum Adam Agostino.

ful mindsets and perspectives. I’ve begun to think of my art more as an approach to life than a dance technique.” Justin Epstein from Woodland Hills was part of Kaufman’s inaugural class, graduating last year. “What

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people, respecting people and loving people. I learned

pliments the program’s dual focus. “Kaufman has given me

When Justin and the rest of the inaugural class graduated in 2019, they hit the ground running, filling the ranks of some of the most prestigious dance companies from coast to coast: Complexions Contemporary Ballet in New


York, Hubbard Street Dance in Chicago and Alonzo King

“The New Movement is not only training dancers to move

LINES Ballet in San Francisco. Two Kaufman alumni even

in myriad ways and to be proficient, productive and art-

got roles on Broadway in the revival of West Side Story.

ful, it’s changing the mindset of how you behave in the

The success that Kaufman graduates have found is no

world—to be better people and better human beings,”

surprise to industry insiders. “The students receive the

explains Corbin. “Anybody can teach someone how to

highest level of training in all styles of dance, taught by

dance. But what we’re interested in at Kaufman is what

the most brilliant teachers who embrace a joyful approach

kind of people we’re putting out there in the world.”

to learning,” shares Julie McDonald, agent and founder at

Rose Eichenbaum is an award-winning photographer,

McDonald Selznick Theatrical Dance Management in LA.

writer and the resident photographer for USC’s Glorya Kaufman

“Kaufman is a true gift to our city.”

School of Dance. ■

And the benefits go far beyond the stage and screen.

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on the verge MEET VALLEY ARTISTS KENDRA MINADEO AND AMY SMITH, WHO ARE TURNING OUR TURBULENT TIMES INTO CAPTIVATING COMMENTARY. Written by Dakota Kim | Photographed by Monica Orozco


For Valley artists Kendra Minadeo and Amy Smith, making political art isn’t limited to election years. The turbulence of the past few years has flooded their work with even more vibrant political images. AMY SMITH Studio City artist Amy Smith’s work revels in color and sensuality, putting the spotlight on women who laugh while raising fists and declaring “fight the power.” From modern icons like Kamala Harris to trailblazers like Maya Angelou, Amy applies her camera, stencils and paintbrush to the emblems of feminist zeitgeist.“I want to celebrate women who are making a difference, not just Marilyn Monroe done 18 different ways,” the artist says. Amy often takes photographs of her subjects, using them to create stencils and then mixed-media collages. She also does digital graphic design and paints and spray paints on both canvas and wood. Her work has been featured at the LA Art Show and Saatchi’s The Other Art Fair, as well as on TV shows including Dear White People, Grownish and Insecure. In a contemporary art milieu that favors listless “cool girls” or even violent depictions of women, Amy’s subjects are alive with speech and symbolic declaration. Her temporary portrait of Maya Angelou at Wood & Vine restaurant in Hollywood—a collaboration with Arts Bridging the Gap—was emblazoned with a quote from the writer: “We may encounter defeats but we must not be defeated.” From afar, viewers see Angelou’s face framed by doves, but a closer look reveals an entire story within a collage of Angelou’s head and shoulders. Amy used the popular street art “wheatpasting” method (with hanging posters and stencils) to adorn the wall with miniature reproductions of Angelou’s book covers, words, and the title of her poem “Phenomenal Woman.” Amy finds daily inspiration in the Valley, especially working from her Studio City home, where she lives with her 3½-year-old. In fact, her son recently helped break apart vinyl records (“with a real hammer!”) for a commissioned piece.


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The artist was selected by the Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce to participate in the project #LetsPaintShermanOaks, painting two electrical boxes with vibrant colors. She also collaborates with nonprofit Off the Wall Graffiti in Van Nuys, where she paints at various events. In 2020, Amy produced a total of 11 installations—all with a COVID theme. A recent virtual show at Gabba Gallery featured Amy’s depiction of her astrological sign, the Sagittarian archer, in a female form. Using a background of recycled magazines, she cut out stencils of the archer illustration and spraypainted the image. The result is a valiant everywoman holding a bow and aiming for an unseen target. Echoes of Barbara Kruger live on in her silkscreened Equal Means Equal T-shirts, which exhort us to “Elect More Women.”

KENDRA MINADEO The artistic endeavors of Kendra Minadeo are farreaching. The illustrator and designer creates 2-D illustrations, hand-lettering for political works, children’s books, graphic novels and greeting cards. Kendra’s work casts a keen eye on current events such as social distancing and face coverings, but with a lighthearted touch that conceals surprising depth. Kendra’s work allows the surface viewer to enjoy its colorful and whimsical shapes, while another kind of viewer may discover its subtle clues. A Mother’s Day card is humorous yet thought-provoking, depicting a mom in an office who sticks her baby in an impromptu bassinet fashioned out of a desk drawer. The challenge of full-time parenting while working as an artist has forced the artist to adapt in order to keep making work. Her trick is a program called Procreate, which allows her to draw and erase on her iPad.“I used to work in watercolor, but after I had my baby, I just couldn’t wait for paint to dry,” she says. “I had to convert to a fully digital way of working. I like it because I can stop and start whenever I want to, and it’s fairly portable.” A Canadian immigrant who moved here in 2007, Kendra’s work has been influenced by the American

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political landscape, particularly by the 2016 presidential

normalize diversity, whether it’s by artists or art directors

election.“I didn’t get citizenship until 2017, when it was

doing books, commercials or magazines,” she says.

too late to vote. But I really wish I’d been able to,” she

Kendra says her lettering work is inspired by some

says. “Having Trump get in was just so painful. If there

of the textures of duotone and halftones, a popular way

was a possibility for him not to get in again, I wanted to

to print comics in the ’80s and ’90s. In one of her first

be a part of it.”

pieces, a mock cover called “Battle Royale” for an exhibit

In 2019, she partnered with Culture Surge, a coalition of artist and activist organizations, to create her “Vote

She then progressed to hand-lettering fonts for greeting

Squad” illustration for their Mask or Mail voting campaign.

cards and commission work.

This piece was turned into a mural by Culture Surge for

during the pandemic, with more space to work and walls

both crystallized in time and timeless, with its hopeful

to create art on. And she views herself as a true local.

illustration of three voters holding their ballots aloft.

She gets regular delivery from Joe Peeps Pizza, orders

targeted at, representation matters. “We need to keep showing diversity in our work as artists because the more work that’s out there like that helps

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Kendra says she is grateful to be living in the Valley

the runoff elections in Georgia. The illustration feels

When it comes to her work, regardless of whom it is

40

at Gallery1988, the artist connected two Ts into swords.

food from Harvest Moon and green tea lattes from Blvd Cafecito—all perfect backdrops or inspirations for her next great illustration. ■


Book Nook THREE BOOKS WRITTEN BY LOCALS.

FINDING PARIS: A NOVEL

RETURN TO SIBERIA

By Joanne Kimes

By John Shallman

THE GIRL WITH THE MAGIC PONYTAILS

This novel by the author behind the

When his family discovered an old book

“Sucks” book series (e.g., Pregnancy

that had once belonged to his grandfa-

From writer and VB contributor Karen

Sucks), tells the story of two women who

ther, John Shallman was intrigued. The

J. Young, this vibrant, engaging chil-

meet in a French class. Julia is an empty-

political consultant had the 100-year-old

dren’s book (aimed at ages 4 to 8) was

nester whose husband is leaving her, and

Yiddish manuscript translated, discover-

inspired by the author’s daughter who,

Kathy is a type-A workaholic who has a

ing an incredible life story that ultimately

born with a full head of dark brown hair,

painful secret. After both of their lives

became the inspiration for his first book.

always wore two symmetrical ponytails.

implode, they decide to go to Paris. Once

The novel recounts the life of a Russian

Illustrated by award-winning artist Yoko

there, they encounter struggles with their

revolutionary during the reign of the last

Matsuoka, it tells the story of a little girl

friendship and the cultural differences of

czar, Nicholas II, and continues on to his

with ponytails that have hidden powers.

the city, forcing them to take responsibil-

exile to a bitter Siberian prison and his

With a flip, a swoosh and a twirl, they can

ity for their own unhappiness. But, amid

journey to America to find his family—

transport her to spectacular adventures

the charms of Paris, the women find joy,

and the American dream.

and even different places and times.

By Karen J. Young

learning some of life’s most important lessons along the way.

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Valley Lit OVER THE PAST CENTURY, SOME OF AMERICA’S GREATEST WRITERS HAVE CALLED THE VALLEY HOME. Written by Hadley Hall Meares | Illustrated by Nikki Smith

When we think of works that have been inspired by

Rise of Los Angeles in 2000, intended to provide what

or made in the Valley, it’s easy to automatically go to

she believed was a fairer view of her grandfather,

film and TV. However, a closer inspection reveals some

who is largely credited with bringing water to

noteworthy ties to the literary world.

southern California.

Take for example author and historian Catherine Mulholland, who wrote William Mulholland and the

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“When I think of growing up in the Valley during the 1930s, I remember solitude; the forlorn sound of a train


whistle disrupting the country stillness, the howl of a

suburb” of Glendale. All three of those books, by the

coyote, the solitary jackrabbit darting across my path …

way, were turned into films.

as I biked to school over bumpy dirty roads,” Mulholland once wrote. In books and essays, the author would recall life on her family’s vast ranch in the West San Fernando Valley in loving detail, hearkening to the area’s Wild West origins. An affinity for the Valley has inspired some writers to make it their own. In

F. Scott Fitzgerald certainly felt stuck in 1938, when he rented a guest house at Belly Acres, the rose-andmagnolia-strewn Encino estate of actor Edward Everett Horton. Broke and feeling forgotten, a sickly Fitzgerald drank gin and worked on scripts and his famed unfinished novel, The Last Tycoon, while lying in bed. One night in 1940, Fitzgerald dined at the North

1919, Edgar Rice Burroughs, the creator

Hollywood brick farmhouse of Nathanael West, author

of Tarzan, bought Mil Flores, the former

of the grotesque Hollywood takedown The Day of The

540-acre ranch of LA Times magnate

Locust. That night, Fitzgerald, Dorothy Parker and

Harrison Gray Otis. Burroughs renamed the ranch Tarzana, and wrote his own song about his beloved new home:

journalist Elliot Paul would reminisce about their glory days in the 1920s, ending the night with a drunken rendition of the hit song “The Last Time I Saw Paris.”

Pine no more my lassie,

During the late 1940s, the idealized suburban family

My little lad be gay!

life of the Valley would stifle legendary essayist and

For we’re going back

critic Susan Sontag, a precocious student at pedestrian

To our own Tarzana Ranch

North Hollywood High. “I felt I was slumming, in my

To our own Tarzana Ranch far away.

own life,” she recalled.

Burroughs eventually subdivided the ranch,

Lopez (Arctic Dreams, Of Wolves and Men; he died in

Growing up in Reseda in the 1950s, author Barry placing newspaper ads headlined “Tarzan of the

December), spent hours playing on the LA River, while

Apes to Sell Lots in Tarzana.” And thus the town of

humorist Sandra Tsing Loh would mine her life as a

Tarzana was born.

Valley mom in books such as 2001’s A Year in Van Nuys.

Other writers have found literary inspiration in the

But perhaps the loveliest lines ever written about

darker side of Valley life. In the early 1930s, James

the San Fernando Valley come from an Angeleno who

M. Cain moved to a small Craftsman in Burbank,

never actually lived here. In Raymond Chandler’s

where he wrote The Postman Always Rings Twice, a

1942 mystery The High Window, detective Philip

tale of transience and murder that starts when the

Marlowe notes:

protagonist meets his femme fatale at her husband’s

“Around the curve the whole Valley spread out

forlorn gas station deep in the Valley. Later, in both

before me. A thousand white houses built up and down

Double Indemnity and Mildred Pierce, Cain’s striving

the hills, ten thousand lighted windows and the stars

characters find themselves stuck in the “endless

hanging down over them politely.” ■

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THE SAUCE

ARTFULLY PLATED At Saddle Peak Lodge, artistic design extends beyond the food. Details on page 50.


THE SAUCE

Garden Variety

OLIVE & THYME’S MELINA DAVIES ON HOW HER EATERY IS HANDLING THE PANDEMIC, HER NEW COOKBOOK, AND ONE OF HER FAVORITE RECIPES FROM IT.

Photographed by Ashley Barrett

Melina Davies has presided over one of Toluca Lake’s most popular eateries for the past 10 years. With unfussy preparations and an emphasis on fresh ingredients, Olive & Thyme offers everything from quiche to lasagna with finesse—all served in a bright, airy space filled with warm blonde wood tables, sleek countertops and silver stools (before the shutdown). Suffice to say patrons are thrilled that the eatery has remained open (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) throughout the pandemic. “We’re really lucky. We have always done tons of takeout and catering, so we know that business well. We didn’t need to pivot tremendously when it came to that department,” shares Melina. It comes as no surprise to the chef that with such tumultuous times, comfort food has spiked in popularity. “Our frozen pot pies have started their own cult following,” she notes. Here Melina shares one of her tried and true recipes from her new cookbook, Olive & Thyme: Everyday Meals Made Extraordinary. “This parchment-baked halibut is a perfect way to use up all the veggies in your fridge. While I prefer this particular mix, don’t shy away from adding in the odds and ends you have. No veggie left behind! Sealing them up to steam with the fish imparts a delicate flavor to everything.” ■

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PARCHMENT-BAKED HALIBUT

In a mixing bowl, combine peppers, fennel, carrots,

Serves 4

thyme, and one sprig of rosemary with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

4 sweet mini peppers, sliced

Stack two large sheets of parchment paper, large

¼ cup thinly sliced fennel bulb

enough to wrap around all the fish and veggies, on a

6 rainbow carrots, sliced lengthwise

baking sheet. Lay the halibut on top of the two layers of

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

parchment. Pour white wine over the fish, salt each side

2 sprigs rosemary

of the fillets, and pour lemon juice over the fish. Top with

Preheat the oven to 375°.

vegetable-herb mixture.

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Fold the paper over the fish and vegetables, from one

Kosher salt

side to the other and on either end, securing tightly. I use

4 6-ounce fresh halibut fillets

twine to tightly secure the package, so the steam doesn’t

¼ cup dry white wine

escape. Tie the remaining rosemary sprig to the top for

Juice of 1 lemon

an extra touch. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes. Transfer to a serving tray, still in the parchment, and untie the package at the table.

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THE SAUCE

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If These Walls Could Talk SADDLE PEAK LODGE’S CHARM COMES FROM ITS FASCINATING HISTORY OF ARCHITECTURE AND DECOR. Written by Jean Trinh

You’ve got to get off the beaten path in Calabasas to

collector’s father was a National Geographic photogra-

find Saddle Peak Lodge. The hidden gem is tucked in

pher who had lived with the San people in Africa; they

the Santa Monica Mountains, just a few miles from

gave him the animal heads early in the 20th century,

Malibu Beach. Saddle Peak has been many things in

according to Adam.

its century-old lifespan—general store, roadhouse,

In fitting with its theme, the restaurant is a carni-

and old Hollywood star hangout—but its current

vore’s delight. The menu includes elegant but unfussy

iteration as a restaurant fashioned as a rustic hunting

classics like chicken breast in a red wine jus, as well

lodge of stone and timber feels like a museum. The

as more adventurous fare such as the chef’s game trio

building’s design and decor tell fascinating stories

of elk tenderloin, bison short rib and emu strip.

about the history of its owners and visitors. “One thing we like to say is, ‘We’re a mile away, but

The space was originally a one-story structure. It wasn’t until husband-and-wife Bud and Jean Simmert

a world apart,’” says Hargun Sethi, who’s co-owned

became the owners from the 1960s to 1980s that it was

the lodge with his father, Deep Sethi, since 2016.

renovated with a new dining room and second-floor bar.

Indeed, the 15,000-square-foot lodge is trans-

However, the lodge got its warm cabin look when

portive. Sitting on an acre of land, the restaurant has

Grand American Fare Inc., a chain that also helmed

a patio with breathtaking views of the canyons and

the former Oar House in Santa Monica, took over the

mountains, including its namesake, Saddle Peak.

restaurant in 1985. Founder Al Ehringer, who still

Inside the main dining room, taxidermy mounts

frequents the lodge, added log walls and columns—

of African eland, bison and water buffalo line the

mostly a facade—and set large stonework imprinted

walls. More than 30 preserved animals are displayed

with fossilized seashells around a roaring fireplace.

throughout the three-story property, and Hargun says

Al and his wife gathered the stones from old creek

one of the moose was even rumored to have been shot

beds in Malibu, “before you could get in trouble for

by President Theodore Roosevelt.

that stuff,” Adam shares.

Executive chef Adam Horton, who has been with

The staircase in the lodge is lined with manzanita

the lodge on and off for nearly 20 years, says much

wood, another relic from the past, as the species is

of the taxidermy was donated by a regular diner. The

now protected.

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In addition to Al’s collection of antiques, the interiors feature old-timey memorabilia donated over the years by friends of the restaurant. The walls are adorned with hunting and fishing gear, and a collection of guns that includes muskets, a French flare pistol and Hollywood props. A set of model sailboats, believed to be passed down from Al’s father, fills the den, which has sailboat-themed wallpaper and paintings. Some of the lodge’s most striking works of art are its old saloon paintings of nude women. While Hargun declines to name the artist, Adam says the paintings are extremely valuable, so much so that the originals were removed from the walls to be restored; framed copies are in their place now. When Al’s ex-wife, Ann Graham Ehringer, a former University of Southern California professor, purchased the restaurant in 1992, she added her own touches as well. She collected vintage books from thrift stores and yard sales, and amassed thousands that fill the shelves of the lodge’s library, according to Adam Horton. He posits that the oldest books date back to the late 1800s. Most recently, the Sethi family converted the third floor into the Double Barrel Room, an exclusive lounge with over 900 types of whiskey. As guests walk up the stairs to the loft, they’re met with more taxidermy, including a lion head attached to its pelt. Saddle Peak Lodge is a “juxtaposition between upscale and rustic,” Adam says. “It’s one of the hardest aesthetics in the world to meet where you feel like you’re in someplace very nice, while everything feels old. It’s a really difficult balance to keep.” ■

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a place in the sun WITH SPRING VACATION AROUND THE CORNER, ACTOR A.J. COOK, FROM THE CBS SHOW CRIMINAL MINDS, DONS SOME OF THE MOST ENTICING RESORT WEAR LOOKS OF THE SEASON. Styled by Tanya Monaghan Photographed by Justin Ruhl Makeup & hair by Sydney Costley

Silk gold Sophia jacket by Nili Lotan, $284; slinky snake earrings by Amanda Hunt, $266; gold rings by I Like it Here Club, $48 to $88; gold chain link necklace by Loren Stewart, $496; zodiac chain necklace by CAM Jewelry, $82; black high-waisted pants by A.L.C., $450; tortoiseshell bandeau top by Anemone, $145.


Alberta knit cardigan by Rhythm, $92; metallic strapless bikini top (sold as set) by Hunza G, $190; gold ball earrings by Kristen Elspeth, $136; gold chain necklace by Loren Stewart, $496; zodiac chain bracelet by CAM Jewelry, $92; rose gold sequined skirt by Flannel, $120.


Black leather shorts by IRO, $316; black tankini top by Cali Dreaming, $104; coastal jacket by Le Superbe, $179; gold hoop earrings by Martha Calvo, $100.


CELEBRATING THE BEST OF CALIFORNIA

goldenstate.is

@ourgoldenstate


vision of a villa A COUPLE CREATES A MODERN SPANISH-STYLE COMPOUND FOR THEIR FAMILY, ENHANCED BY A CURATED COLLECTION OF ART. Written by Linda Grasso | Photographed by Shane O’Donnell


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Moving to the far corners of the northwest Valley came as something of a surprise for Gina and Reza Izad. The two met 20 years ago while working in the entertainment industry, and they had always lived on the Westside. But when daughters Ruby and Stella came along, the couple felt a need for change.

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“We wanted more open space and a slower lifestyle to raise our toddlers. Reza’s parents were building a home in Bell Canyon, and we fell in love with the quiet equestrian community,” Gina explains. In 2016 the couple started looking at property in the gated community, ultimately zeroing in on a spec home on a secluded cul-de-sac. It had a Santa Barbara stucco façade, terra-cotta roof and a sprawling backyard. They originally wanted something more transitional in style, with more natural light—not to mention higherend finishes and fixtures. But the bones were spot-on for what they aspired to create: a Spanish modern villa. The


couple hired Toluca Lake-based interior designer Orit

flooring on the first story with oversized, reclaimed lime-

Srour for the transformation, offering succinct directives.

stone, sourced from old French and Italian villas.

“We wanted to keep it bright, organic and clean, with

“I knew the limestone would give the home a sense of

pops of color and art. We aspired to juxtapose heavier

history. We had already replaced part of the home with

materials such as iron, limestone and marble with softer

dark ebony-stained hardwood floors, so the choice had to

organic materials found in nature,” says Gina.

be something complementary. The existing arches as well

The family moved in in 2010, with plans for a multiphase renovation. The first phase included recreating the master bathroom as well as two dated rock fireplaces.

as the wood-paneled ceilings set the tone for the antique limestone floors,” shares Orit. The kitchen was also redone. Although Gina had visions

Ebony-stained hardwood floors were installed in the liv-

of an all-white kitchen, the final design ultimately inte-

ing and billiards rooms, bedrooms and office.

grated several enhancing hues, masterfully selected by Orit.

For phase two, the couple built a large pool, deck,

“We added interest with handmade Moroccan

barbecue station and a fitness studio—Gina is a Pilates

Zellige tiles from Clé Tiles for the backsplash. Each

instructor—that also includes an office.

batch of tiles is different, providing variety in texture

The final phase was completed last year: redoing the

and color and ultimately giving off a compelling vibe of


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The Izads’ sprawling backyard in the gated Bell Canyon development. Bottom: the stunning tile work on the jacuzzi; Ruby plays drums, with a painting by Donald Robertson behind her. Right: Reza and Stella by the kitchen passthrough window.


imperfect beauty. And we incorporated a little color with

reflect pop culture. There are several paintings by Donald

the dark blue/black center island, painted with ‘Railings’

Robertson (former Estée Lauder creative director-turned

by Farrow & Ball,” Orit says.

artist) in the home, including depictions of Karl Lagerfeld

That center island ended up being the spot for what Orit

and Coco Chanel. Reza, who is cofounder and chairman of

calls the kitchen’s “tour de force.” After culling through

the multiplatform media company Studio71, is also drawn

more than a half dozen stone yards, the designer found a

to Western-themed art. “My grandparents were ranchers

striking slab of Calcutta Borghini marble. “It had just the

and lived in both Fillmore and Rivers, California. I have

right amount of drama we were after,” she concludes.

always loved Western art with landscapes and cowboys.”

The ceiling soffits were lifted to add height and drama

Relaxing in their bright kitchen on a Saturday morn-

and a large pass-through window was installed over the

ing, nibbling fresh grapefruit that Reza’s father has just

sink, offering a seamless flow into the verdant backyard.

dropped off, the couple’s appreciation is palpable. “It’s

The breakfast nook was widened—with floor-to-ceiling

been a real blessing during COVID to have the backyard

windows throughout—to allow for more natural light.

and the Pilates studio/gym,” notes Reza. One can also

The dramatic environs set the stage for the Izads’ eclec-

sense their pleasure at having created an idyllic design

tic collection of art, which is thoughtfully placed through-

that exudes California lifestyle and sets the stage for their

out. In particular, the couple is drawn to works that

family’s future. ■

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“I love the idea of matchmaking for houses—finding the perfect buyer for the right house. There is nothing better than a job well done and a client who calls and says, ‘I just love our new house’ or ‘Thank you for the great job you did in selling our home.’ It is what we professional, seasoned agents live for. At this point in my career, I am over 80% referral in my business, with business coming from past clients or their friends and family. This is a Realtor’s true measure of success.” – ANDREW MANNING, BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES


REAL ESTATE Buying or selling a home can be one of the most impactful decisions we make in life. That is why having an experienced, proficient real estate agent at your side is essential—and now more than ever. Being successful during a global pandemic means getting creative. From one-on-one open houses to 3-D home tours, the industry is changing to meet the challenges of our times. Here we share our annual real estate profiles section, showcasing some of the most accomplished professionals of the Valley. At the crest of this wave of change, they have the ability to facilitate a seamless experience and successful transaction. Read on to learn more about why they are at the top of their field.

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JAMIE PEARSON & SHAWN CUSACK PEARSON/CUSACK REAL ESTATE GROUP | BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES

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STEPHANIE PAYAB THE PAYAB GROUP | BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES, CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES

MATT EPSTEIN, JANE KAPLAN EPSTEIN, EMILY EPSTEIN BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES

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GARRETT MCKECHNIE & MIA CAPANNA @LITTLE HOUSELA | WISH SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

ANDREW MANNING BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES, CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES

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DANIELLE PERETZ THE AGENCY

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ANDREA KORCHEK THE AGENCY

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OREN DAVID MORDKOWITZ PINNACLE ESTATE PROPERTIES, INC.

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CAROL WOLFE RODEO REALTY

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CRAIG STRONG GROUP COMPASS

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ANDREW SPITZ, HARRIET CAMERON, FRAN CHAVEZ SPITZ | CAMERON GROUP

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ADI LIVYATAN THE LIVYATAN GROUP | RODEO REALTY

EDITED BY LAURA L. WATTS PHOTOGRAPHED BY KRISTIN ANDERSON

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION


REAL ESTATE

CAROL WOLFE Broker Associate, Rodeo Realty

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ince 1974, estate broker associate Carol Wolfe has assisted clients in buying and selling properties throughout the San Fernando Valley. She is a licensed broker, a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), e-Pro, Architectural Specialist and Certified Negotiator. In 2020 Carol had another recordbreaking year as the #1 agent in the Encino office of Rodeo Realty. She was ranked 160 among the 250 individual agents in the 2020 Real Trends “The Thousand” list of more than 1.3 million real estate professionals in the nation. Carol is an active member of the Encino Chamber of Commerce and supports the local community. 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.’ 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.” 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.” SPEAK ABOUT THE CHALLENGES OF BUYING OR SELLING A HOME DURING THIS PANDEMIC. “The pandemic has created new challenges, and I quickly implemented changes and adapted to the new protocols. For the first two months we could not show properties, and we are no longer having open houses. I have

videos for all my listings and work virtually whenever possible. In-person showings are to a limited number of entrants. All buyers must provide a preapproval letter. Despite all the obstacles, 2020 has been a phenomenal year.” HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “When representing buyers, other agents know that I would not be working with a buyer if they were not serious and well-qualified. In almost every multiple-offer situation, my clients win. My strong reputation means that I am viewed as a top professional who will make sure the sale goes through. Other agents like to work with me for that reason. Sellers know that my marketing program is far superior. Many sales are of homes previously listed with another agent. When I take over the listing and implement my marketing program, the property sells. I have strong negotiation skills, tools and resources to achieve the best results.”   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’S MOST REWARDING ABOUT YOUR WORK IN REAL ESTATE? “The many friendships I’ve made. To have clients thank me for a job well done and refer me to their friends and families is the best reward. Following are some recent examples.” “Thank you for all your help on my recent home purchase. I cannot tell you much I

appreciate your diligence and professionalism.” – Jason Sands “Thank you so much for the work you did to sell our house in Tarzana. The time you took to make sure every detail was perfect—from the fabulous brochures and pictures to the complete explanation of the whole process. You understood the difficulty of leaving a home we have lived in and loved for 45 years, and you showed exceptional patience and kindness with us. Everyone was amazed at the speed in which you sold our home. I would wholeheartedly recommend you to anyone who needs a talented broker to either buy or sell real estate.” – Fern and Gerald Weiss “After having our house listed with another agent for over five months to no avail, we contacted Carol and the rest is history! She was the consummate professional and worked swiftly to list our house with gorgeous photos and a stellar video of our home. Within four days of listing, we had two offers and ultimately sold our house at asking price! Her commitment and work ethic spoke for themselves from day one. We were in contact every day at all stages of the process, from listing to the final sale of our home. ‘Nobody does it better’—it is the truth!” – Georgia Skoumbis, Esq. “Carol Wolfe is a sharp, attentive and very capable Realtor whom we have had the pleasure to work with. We had our home on the market with a different agent but ended up switching over to Carol after our house didn’t sell. Carol, with her marketing strategy and hard work ethic, was able to sell our home within a few weeks. She was on top of everything and made us feel like we were her top priority. You could feel she had our best interest at heart. I would work with Carol on any real estate transaction with my eyes closed.” – Hilda Anan

17501 VENTURA BLVD., ENCINO | 818-285-3688 | CAROLWOLFE.COM | CAROL@CAROLWOLFE.COM | DRE #00477745

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REAL ESTATE

CRAIG STRONG GROUP Vice President of Luxury Home Sales, Compass

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native New Yorker, Craig Strong graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in computer science and worked with Point Blank Body Armor, eventually rising to vice president of manufacturing. After relocating to Los Angeles he became involved in property investment, which led to a career in real estate. Today Craig is an award-winning, top-producing Realtor® at Compass. He served on the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council, the Toluca Lake Homeowners Association, The Toluca Lake Chamber and the Toluca Lake Neighborhood Watch. WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR 2021? ARE ANY OF THESE DUE TO THE PANDEMIC? “I’m seeing the same trends that we experienced back in April and May 2020. Once the fear of not being able to get food or buy toilet paper wore off, people began focusing on their homes since they’re spending more time in them. With work, school and normal day-to-day activities being done within the household, so many people are finding now is the time to upgrade and buy a bigger property where their families will be more comfortable spending so much time together. I predict we’ll see the same thing happening in 2021.” HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “I’ve been in real estate for more than 20 years, completing 2,000+ transactions. I help my clients beat the competition because I have the experience and knowledge of the industry. I have great relationships with other agents, and they have a great relationship with me. We collaborate, we communicate, and we find out what other clients have coming out soon and vice versa. We help each other fight for our clients.”

WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF BUYING OR SELLING A HOME DURING THIS PANDEMIC? “The challenge is actually getting people out of their homes to go see the property. A lot of individuals want to be the only ones to see the home that entire day, which makes it hard to do showings. Having a popular listing is also tough for that reason.” WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A BRAND-NEW REAL ESTATE AGENT WHO IS JUST STARTING OUT? “It’s not easy meeting people when they don’t want to leave their homes during a worldwide pandemic. Now is not a great time to get into this business. It is, however, a good time to learn about it. But when you can’t hold open houses or broker’s opens, you’re not meeting people—which makes starting out in this business very difficult at this time.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? “I truly love representing a buyer on their dream home or hitting a home run for my clients when I sell their properties. It’s just so thrilling to see how happy people are at the end of the transaction!” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THOSE EMOTIONS? “Residential real estate is all emotional! Everyone wants to feel comfortable in the home they are purchasing. They need to see themselves living in this home, having their kids grow up there, retire there, etc. Whether they’re first-time buyers, downsizing or upgrading, I find the entire process to be very emotional for my clients. Coming from a place of understanding and listening to what people’s needs are is the most essential skill in all scenarios.”

TELL US ABOUT THE HOME YOU GREW UP IN. “I grew up in an apartment in Manhattan with tiny closets where I shared a room with my brother for many years. I finally was able to get my own room for two years. I definitely find it interesting now to be able to sell large, multimillion-dollar homes. It’s very exciting!” WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS BUSINESS? “Experience is the most important quality. With experience, you’ll know what’s required. That includes listening, understanding, negotiating, knowing the contracts, knowing the inventory, knowing the industry, knowing the trends and giving your clients realistic professional advice and guidance. If you have experience and are constantly looking to learn, you’ll be one of the best in the business.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG AND RELAX WHEN YOU’RE NOT AT WORK? “It’s nice just to put on some music and work out! If I can get on the golf course where I don’t have to have my phone on, that’s my favorite way to relax. I don’t often have the opportunity to just play golf and turn everything else off, so my golf games are usually filled with phone calls, text messages and emails. But I still get at least a little bit of enjoyment there. I’ll take what I can get!” WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “Have patience during this difficult time. I think it’s also important to find ways to help your community. Before you know it we’re going to be past this, and I think anyone would hate to look back and regret not helping those around them.”

10154 RIVERSIDE DR., TOLUCA LAKE | 818-930-4050 | STRONGREALTOR.COM | DRE #01450987

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY CATHRYN FARNSWORTH


REAL ESTATE

ANDREW SPITZ, HARRIET CAMERON, FRAN CHAVEZ Realtors , Spitz | Cameron Group ®

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or more than 25 years, the awardwinning team of Andrew Spitz, Harriet Cameron & Fran Chavez, aka the Spitz | Cameron Group, has represented luxury properties along the Ventura Boulevard corridor from Toluca Lake to Westlake Village and the Westside. All three hold certifications as Luxury Collection Specialists and for 20 years in a row have been awarded the BHHS Chairman’s Circle Diamond and Legend awards and placed in the Top 100 of 50,000+ BHHS Agents worldwide. Andrew began his career as a Realtor® after graduating from San Diego State University with a degree in real estate and business. Harriet began her career as an escrow officer before becoming a Realtor. After attending Cal State Northridge’s business school, Fran began his real estate career interspersed with several years in wholesale mortgage banking. Having a dedicated team of licensed agents including marketing and social media directors, listing and transaction coordinators, an executive assistant and a buyer’s agent allows Andrew, Harriet and Fran to focus on pricing, negotiating and networking with business managers, attorneys, builders, vendors and other Realtors, providing connections for their clients they normally would not have. Combined, the three have more than a century of experience working in the real estate industry. They joined Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices 21 years ago. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR WORK IN REAL ESTATE? “Helping buyers find their dream home where they will create memories of a lifetime while gaining financial strength through homeownership and making sure the properties they are buying have a good exit. Helping sellers box up those memories while maximizing the return on what may be their biggest lifetime investment is gratifying beyond words. Helping does not start or end with a transaction at the Spitz | Cameron Group.

We are always here to provide information, answers to questions and referrals for anything and everything you can think of. We sometimes spend years with clients prior to their buying or selling and hope to never be out of contact following a sale. It is all about the relationship, not the sale.” WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS BUSINESS? “It is important to be current on market trends, new technology developments and general real estate and lender news. We participate in peer networking groups, have an active social media presence, and are constantly taking classes and seminars to stay at the top of our field. Most importantly, we have experience in reading people and are able to work with a variety of personalities.” HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS SAVE MONEY? “By caring more about our relationship with them than making a sale. We always talk to buyers about the exit on every purchase, ensuring the property is an investment that will always grow. We help sellers determine if money needs to be spent getting their homes ready to market—and if so, what the best return on their investment will be.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? HOW DO YOU HELP CLIENTS DEAL WITH THOSE EMOTIONS? “Real estate is all about emotion. Educating buyers and sellers on the process alleviates a lot of the stress that plays a part. Keeping in constant communication with all our clients is key. We pride ourselves on exemplary service and direct communication throughout every step of the sales process.” WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES OF BUYING OR SELLING DURING A PANDEMIC? “In this market of low inventory and

multiple offers, our ‘new normal’ includes educating buyers that they may have to make aggressive decisions concerning contingencies and pricing, as well as refining our vetting of buyers for our listings and adhering to the CDC-mandated guidelines for private showings. Not having broker’s opens or open houses has made it difficult, if not impossible, to preview properties for our buyers and sellers— making our prior knowledge of the inventory even more valuable.” HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “We procure properties for buyers that other agents lose in multiple-offer situations. This is in part because of our long-standing relationships with other Realtors, as well as our well-known reputation for closing transactions due to Harriet’s and Fran’s escrow savvy, along with our diverse structuring of the transactions. Our innovative and aggressive marketing campaigns for our seller clients now include streaming commercials along with the use of analytics, all of which have contributed to our success and allowed us to close 50 properties in 2020 with close to $95 million in sales.” HOW DOES YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF AND EXPERIENCE IN THE VALLEY HELP YOUR CLIENTS? “Andrew, Harriet and Fran are lifelong residents of the area. We love where we work, which is why we also live in the neighborhood. Andrew was born, raised, attended school and lives in Encino (as does Harriet), giving him the ability to surprise clients with his knowledge of the history of homes, owners and remodels on any given block.” Disclaimer: ©2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. DRE #00924610, 00675971, 01013357

16810 VENTURA BLVD., ENCINO | 14141 VENTURA BLVD., SHERMAN OAKS 818-817-4284 | 818-380-2151 | 818-517-1411 | SPITZCAMERONGROUP.COM

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY MATT COOKE


REAL ESTATE

MATT EPSTEIN, JANE KAPLAN EPSTEIN, EMILY EPSTEIN Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

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amily members Matt Epstein, Jane Kaplan Epstein and Emily Epstein are part of the Powerhouse Partners Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Studio City. Matt has worked in real estate for 25 years and focuses primarily on listings in Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Valley Village and Encino. His wife, Jane, worked as a talent executive for Good Morning America before transitioning to the real estate industry eight years ago. She works primarily as a buyer’s agent, specializing in the San Fernando Valley and Ventura County. Their daughter, Emily, worked for years as a touring musician and talent booker. She recently got her real estate license and now works on the team with her parents, focusing on East Los Angeles. WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS BUSINESS? “To be the best in the business, you need to consider your clients’ interests first and foremost. It’s not just about closing a deal; it’s about making sure your clients have bought the best house for them at the best price, and that the house has been fully vetted. Knowledge of the area is extremely important. As a lifelong resident of Sherman Oaks and the vice president of the Sherman Oaks Homeowners Association for more than 25 years, Matt is uniquely knowledgeable of the area and the ins and outs of each neighborhood.” HOW HAS THE SHIFT TO WORKING REMOTELY IMPACTED THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? “There have been many positives to working remotely. Now that we don’t have open houses, people looking to buy your home have often done a bit more research before we set up appointments to view a house. In order to see a house, you need to fill out a document we call a coronavirus entry form. Many agents and sellers are also asking to see a letter of lender approval, as well as

proof of funds if you want to see a house. All of these measures are actually streamlining the process of home buying.” WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR 2021? ARE ANY OF THESE DUE TO THE PANDEMIC? “We unfortunately foresee a lot of hurt out there due to the pandemic. So many people purchased homes in the last few years that now might be difficult to afford. I believe that the low mortgage rates will continue, but there will be greater inventory in the upcoming year due to the financial hurt that so many are experiencing.” IS THERE STILL A MARKET FOR PURCHASING VACATION HOMES? “Many of our clients have purchased weekend/vacation homes in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties in the last year. That still seems to be a vibrant secondary market for us— and one that Jane absolutely loves.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? “Matt loves working with people to help them get the most money for their house so they can move on to whatever is next for them. Jane loves finding the best houses out there for her clients—ones that meet their criteria. Emily loves finding houses for her clients in East Los Angeles, the younger hipper areas, specializing in Eagle Rock, Highland Park, Atwater and Silver Lake, to name a few.” WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A BRAND-NEW REAL ESTATE AGENT WHO IS JUST STARTING OUT? “Emily is a new real estate agent, and we advise her to work hard to get her clients the best house at the best price possible, and to remember that real estate is not just a one-deal experience. We’ve had clients for years who trust us, and through that trust they come back to us when they’re

interested in making another move. Real estate transactions are built on trust and relationships. For a new real estate agent, building trust is how one builds longevity.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? “Assisting people who are spending the most money they’ve ever spent and wanting the most for it can be daunting. Oftentimes we get the deal for our clients, yet sometimes we’re in multiple offers with a client and they end up not getting the house for any number of reasons. It’s hard to deal with their disappointment, but we always say that there will be another great house and it can turn out to be better than their original choice.” WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “Stay calm and carry on. There are a number of agents who have never experienced a down cycle. Agents who have lived through other catastrophic real estate down cycles know how to deal with real estate transactions during this difficult time, having had the experience of knowing how to move things forward.” TELL US ABOUT THE HOME YOU GREW UP IN. “Matt grew up on Nagle Avenue in Sherman Oaks with his parents and three siblings. Jane grew up in an apartment building in New York and never lived in a house until she was 16. Emily grew up in the home that Matt and Jane live in today, which is just five blocks from where Matt grew up.”

13300 VENTURA BLVD., STUDIO CITY | 818-681-2000 | MATTEPSTEIN.COM | DRE #01121162

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REAL ESTATE

ANDREW MANNING Realtor , Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, California Properties ®

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esidential real estate broker Andrew Manning has worked in real estate since 1986, when he was attending UCLA. He is the Valley estates director for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, California Properties, specializing in homes from Palos Verdes to Paso Robles in all price ranges. WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR 2021? ARE ANY OF THESE DUE TO THE PANDEMIC? “The market is stronger than ever, partially due to the pandemic. I tell clients that we are in this COVID-19 real estate bubble in the affluent areas I service. Most of the people we deal with are lucky enough to have jobs and are looking for their next work-from-home location. Buyers who can afford it are looking for larger homes with more amenities like pools, bigger yards, Zoom rooms, home gyms, home offices and more. Several of the sales I have done this year are with clients from New York City and San Francisco—buyers looking to get out of congested cities and into a home with a yard in the suburbs.” DO YOU ANTICIPATE THAT MORTGAGE RATES WILL STAY LOW THIS YEAR? “The mortgage rates are at all-time lows, allowing a higher degree of purchasing power in this escalating marketplace. Inventory is extremely low, and interest rates are the fuel that keeps this marketplace running. I do not anticipate any significant changes in the interest rates in the near future due to our struggling economy. There is no better time to refinance, as I have never seen or heard of interest rates this low. Take advantage of these rates today!” HOW HAS THE SHIFT TO WORKING REMOTELY IMPACTED THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? “It has been a real challenge for many. When COVID-19 first hit, many of my colleagues and I felt that it was ‘game over’ for the real

estate market and industry. March and April were scary times. By late April, as everyone realized we were in this for the long haul, the market exploded. Prices surged and continue to break records daily. So much can be done remotely through Zoom calls and virtual tours. It is still preferred to see a home in person, but we have received many offers and sold several homes online without buyers ever seeing them.” TELL US ABOUT COMPETITION IN THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY. “There is plenty of business out there for good agents. Cooperating is the name of the game. I have no patience for unethical clients or agents and align myself with like-minded clients. When I am working with a client, I am fiercely protective of them and their home, treating it like my own.” WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A BRAND-NEW REAL ESTATE AGENT WHO IS JUST STARTING OUT? “This is not an easy business by any means. These are unprecedented times; today more than ever the value of an agent is paramount to the client. You have to prove your worth to buyers, as they can get everything they need from the internet. You must become the client’s trusted advisor, which means talking buyers out of buying properties that ultimately don’t meet their needs. They will respect you for it later. Always be honest and, most importantly, listen.” WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS BUSINESS? “The most important qualities are being a good listener, having a good reputation among other agents, knowledge of your area and market conditions, and helping your clients with trusted resources as needed, such as mortgage brokers, movers, handymen, tradespeople and problem-solving.”

IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? “Residential real estate is governed by emotion. This is one of the biggest decisions a buyer or seller can make in their lives, and it is important to take clients through the steps slowly, explaining the process at each step. The goal is to navigate through the steps together as a true team. In every transaction, we as agents need to act as psychologists, marriage counselors, babysitters, financial advisors and so much more. The important part is to not let your ego get involved. The clients are paramount, and the agent’s emotions and ego must take a sideline in order for any deal to proceed smoothly.” WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “More than ever, it is time to cherish your family, friends and loved ones. Try to be patient and gentle with others, even the crazy drivers on the roads and freeways. We will all get through this together, as painful as the moment seems. Take time for yourself, exercise and try to eat right. It is so important to take care of yourself and your family, no matter what profession you are in.” WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS DURING THE RECENT CRISIS? “My proudest moments during this crisis have been seeing the number of people reaching out to others and willing to help financially, physically and emotionally whenever they can. I had the idea after the pandemic began to drop by several clients’ homes with a couple bottles of wine with a roll of toilet paper on top of each one. I did this for about 25 clients and got such an amazing response!” Disclaimer: ©2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, California Properties is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC DRE #00941825

14141 VENTURA BLVD., SUITE 8, SHERMAN OAKS | 818-380-2147 | ANDREWMANNING.COM

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REAL ESTATE

ADI LIVYATAN President, The Livyatan Group | Rodeo Realty

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fter majoring in business law in college, Adi Livyatan planned to attend law school. However, she changed directions 12 years ago and entered the real estate profession—and she’s been going strong ever since. A topproducing real estate professional with Rodeo Realty’s Sherman Oaks office, Adi has been recognized for her sales volume and ranked in the top ½% of all agents nationwide. Although she sells all different types of properties, she specializes mostly in luxury and new construction properties in the Valley as well as Brentwood, Beverly Grove and other areas on the Westside. HOW HAS THE SHIFT TO WORKING REMOTELY IMPACTED THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? “The beginning was a bit challenging, as we all had to adjust and make changes to the way we work. But I have always been good at adjusting to change. Once we got used to it, it was great and we managed to stay focused, efficient and productive and had a killer year! However, it’s been very hard to not have that same interaction that we did before.” HOW ARE 3-D HOME TOURS CHANGING THE REAL ESTATE WORLD? “At the beginning of the pandemic, the 3-D home tours were very helpful. After real estate became essential, people again started to personally tour the homes. Virtual home tours are still helpful for clients who are not yet comfortable seeing the house in person. I have even sold a couple homes on a FaceTime tour where they bought the house and never saw it in person until they closed.” WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR 2021? ARE ANY OF THESE DUE TO THE PANDEMIC? “I foresee that the market will continue to do very well. We may see the market going up

even more this year as it did in 2020, despite the pandemic.”

every one of my clients but also everyone who is involved in the deal.”

DO YOU ANTICIPATE THAT MORTGAGE RATES WILL STAY LOW THIS YEAR? “I do think interest rates will stay low, which will really help the housing market stay strong.”

WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS BUSINESS? “Honesty, integrity and ethics are key. Don’t ever do anything you shouldn’t do just to win one deal or one commission. It will haunt you. I always try to do what I believe in my heart to be right so everyone is happy. Satisfying my clients is my goal on every deal.”

WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “Stay focused and don’t give up. Keep pushing and being the best you can be. It’s easy to focus on the negative, but don’t let things you can’t control get the best of you. I try to think of all the good that came out of this crazy time!” WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS DURING THE RECENT CRISIS? “My proudest moment has been that 2020 was a record-breaking year for me in terms of sales. I sold just over $250 million both onand off-market. I am very proud of myself and my amazing team!” HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “I have a very good reputation in this business. I think people like to work with people they trust and will have an easy time working with. I try to make the other agents’ job as stress-free as possible; that is how an agent builds good relationships with other agents. Because of my connections, I can get my clients properties both on and off the market.” IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? “Residential real estate is super emotional. I often feel like a therapist. I prepare myself to deal with ups and downs during a deal so it doesn’t bother me. I try not to get emotional … but that never works! I am a very emotional person, but I believe that’s one of the reasons I am successful. I truly care about not only

IS THERE STILL A MARKET FOR PURCHASING VACATION HOMES? “Yes, many people value their homes more than ever. Because many work from home and are able to work from anywhere, they are wanting to buy second homes and vacation homes to get away.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB IN REAL ESTATE? “What I love most about my job are my clients. It’s funny—most of them become my really good friends. They know I truly care and will fight for them every step of the way.” WHAT DO YOUR CLIENTS APPRECIATE ABOUT YOU? “I am known for my integrity, honesty and knowledge. My clients know I am committed to providing them with the highest level of service.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG AND RELAX WHEN YOU’RE OFF WORK? “Real estate is truly 24/7, and it took me many years to learn how to relax and take time for myself. Now I try to see friends and enjoy fun time together to get my mind off stressrelated things. The biggest blessing for me during this pandemic has been spending extra time with my husband and kids. I’m looking forward to traveling a lot more as soon as we are able.”

15300 VENTURA BLVD., SHERMAN OAKS | 818-285-3220 | ADILIVYATAN.COM | DRE #01892750

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REAL ESTATE

JAMIE PEARSON & SHAWN CUSACK Pearson/Cusack Real Estate Group | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

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earson-Cusack Real Estate Group was created in 2018 to provide a full array of real estate sales and services. Individually, owners Jamie Pearson and Shawn Cusack have assisted clients with home sales and purchases in Los Angeles since 1981. Pearson-Cusack has earned the Berkshire Hathaway Chairman’s Circle–Platinum recognition for the last three years, and Shawn and Jamie are among the top 50 agents in Los Angeles and Santa Barbara counties. WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR 2021? ARE ANY OF THESE DUE TO THE PANDEMIC? “We are starting to see several trends happening for 2021. The home has become one of the most important assets for people today, and yes, it is all due to the pandemic. With millions of people now working, staying in, teaching and playing all in the same place, your home and its amenities have become just as important as location and size. The top

six amenities trends we are seeing are home theater and sound systems, pools and spas, home offices, guesthouses, large lots, and gated entry or communities.”

takes to be the best in the industry. Oh, and don’t forget to be kind!”

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WORKING IN REAL ESTATE? “Being an integral part of our client’s journey to achieve, quite possibly, the biggest goal of their life. Whether it is buying their first home or selling and finding their forever home, there is a raw happiness that comes when you hand over their keys for the first time. There are not many moments in life that draw pure emotion and gratitude out of a person; knowing that you played an important role in this major life event is extraordinary.”

WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS UNIQUE ABOUT YOUR TEAM OR PARTNERSHIP? “We bring to the table a unique combination of experience and enthusiasm. Our multigenerational partnership boasts experience with a long history of success. We embrace technology and innovation and have a ‘get down and dirty until our job is done’ energy. Our knowledge of the local neighborhood amenities—including food, entertainment and children’s needs—adds a dimension of our service that is more than just selling or buying a property. We help design the ideal lifestyle.”

WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS BUSINESS? “Obsession. Being interested or even committed just does not cut it today to provide the kind of service, support and results that it

Disclaimer: ©2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. DRE #00817566, #02031885

14141 VENTURA BLVD., SUITE 8, SHERMAN OAKS | 424-229-2793 | PEARSONCUSACKREALESTATEGROUP.COM

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REAL ESTATE

STEPHANIE PAYAB President, The Payab Group | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, California Properties

S

tephanie Payab has worked in San Fernando Valley real estate for the past 17 years. After graduating from Santa Monica High School and West Los Angeles College, she worked in manufacturing and retail management before becoming a Realtor®.

appropriately. My team and I are familiar with all areas of Greater Los Angeles and keep abreast of the ever-changing market and home values. We provide the highest level of service and go above and beyond so everyone has the best experience possible.”

TELL US ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. “My team and I work hard to exceed each client’s expectations. I treat people the way I want to be treated—with a white-glove approach. Each transaction is unique, which plays to the strength of my team to find creative solutions and positive outcomes.”

HOW HAS WORKING REMOTELY IMPACTED THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? “Real estate has mainly been a remote industry for some time, with the exception of open houses. Even before the pandemic, I felt that open houses were starting to feel outdated. The way they are handled now is a plus to the industry and our sellers.”

HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “Over the years, I have seen the market go up, down, way down and now up again. Listening to clients and learning their wants and needs is very important so we can guide them

WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS BUSINESS? “To succeed in real estate, you need to be a good listener, patient, honest and knowledgeable. But there is an innate skill that is not teachable—almost a sixth sense

that allows me to know what my clients want, even when they don’t know exactly what they want. Working with a team helps make the process smoother, more enjoyable and often faster. Flexibility, resilience, determination and grit all play a role. My entire team and I have the tools required to be the best for you!” WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS DURING THE RECENT CRISIS? “I am really lucky that I get to work in an industry that I love and continue to serve my clients while being a wife, mother, daughter and sister to my family. Everyone has come together during this historic time, and I feel that I have learned so much. I am hopeful and look forward to a fabulous 2021!” Disclaimer: © 2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. DRE #01394407

16810 VENTURA BLVD., ENCINO | 818-827-3400, EXT. 2 | THEPAYABGROUP.COM SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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REAL ESTATE

GARRETT MCKECHNIE & MIA CAPANNA @Little HouseLA | Wish Sotheby’s International Realty

R

ealtors® Mia Capanna and Garrett McKechnie have been best friends since 1994, when they met as freshmen at Carnegie Mellon University. After both pursued successful acting careers and various other business ventures, they decided to join their shared passion for Los Angeles’ unique neighborhoods, architecture and history and form a partnership. They have been a top 20 producer at Wish Sotheby’s since joining the brokerage in 2018. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY? “We love our clients and helping them make their dreams their realities. There is nothing better than seeing buyers ecstatic once they find their dream home, or creating a brilliant marketing plan that gets our sellers top dollar.” WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THIS BUSINESS? “The ability to listen to clients and then guide them on their journey. Taking care of their

needs and offering them perspective allows them to focus on making personal decisions rather than worrying about transactional ones. Also important are putting your clients’ needs first and forming positive relationships with the community, colleagues and clients.” SHOULD I CHOOSE A LARGE REAL ESTATE COMPANY OR A BOUTIQUE FIRM? “You should choose us! We offer all the benefits of a boutique, one-on-one firm with the power of the Sotheby’s name and all the marketing tools that come with it.” HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION? “This year has been an extremely competitive one—for buyers especially. We work closely with clients to form a comprehensive game plan and offer the most competitive deal at the best price. Thanks to our productive working relationships with our colleagues, our connections help our clients during highly competitive multiple counters. We do our best

to make every deal smooth and fun!” HOW HAS THE SHIFT TO WORKING REMOTELY IMPACTED YOUR INDUSTRY? “As people’s lives have changed because of the pandemic, so has their concept of home. The pandemic has made our houses a more integral part of our lives than ever before. It is a privilege to work with our clients and help them navigate the market and find what works for them now.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG AND RELAX WHEN YOU’RE OFF WORK? “Exercise and reading! OK … and a glass of wine with some sort of streaming crime drama.”

Disclaimer: Wish Sotheby’s International Realty (Broker DRE#01916623) | Each franchise is independently owned and operated. DRE #02011992 (Mia), 02123000 (Garrett)

13501 VENTURA BLVD., SHERMAN OAKS | 818-489-0781 (MIA), 323-481-0585 (GARRETT) | LITTLEHOUSELOSANGELES.COM

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PHOTOGRAPHED BY COURTNEY LINDBERG

REAL ESTATE

DANIELLE PERETZ Estate Director/Realtor, The Agency

F

or more than two decades, Danielle Peretz has lived, worked and volunteered in her Studio City community. She has bought, sold and renovated countless homes personally while providing real estate investment services for builders and luxury developers and assisting first-time buyers and homeowners across Los Angeles. Danielle has worked with The Agency since 2018. The firm recently recognized her with the 2020 chairman’s award. WHAT COULD WOMEN BE DOING TO BETTER ADVANCE THEIR CAREERS? “They could expand their skill set and embody the role of a lifelong student. While it is important for women to play to their strengths, I would suggest they expose themselves to new ideas, experiences and challenges to help develop a new skill—or even master one that may not be their strong suit. The more well-rounded an individual is, the more they are capable of achieving.”

IS RISK-TAKING USUALLY WORTH THE REWARD? “If you ever want to achieve the life you’ve always dreamed of, you’ll have to start taking calculated risks. It is absolutely necessary to take chances in order to achieve anything great in life. As with any risk, there is always something to lose when it comes to your business, reputation, money and time—which are also the very same things you stand to gain. Taking risks will enrich your life and make your career more rewarding.”

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY YOU SUPPORT YOUR CLIENTS? “Being honest and putting my clients’ interests first is the key. I handle every transaction as if it’s my own. I’m 100% supportive and available to them at any time.”

WHICH PERSONALITY TRAITS ARE MOST IMPORTANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN YOUR FIELD? “I believe that having an engaging personality, hustle and tenacity, honesty and integrity, being self-motivated, taking the time and dedication to understand the market and truly loving what you do, coupled with the desire to achieve, are the traits that lead to success.”

WHAT IS THE BEST PART OF YOUR DAY? “Family is the most important thing to me, and the best part of my day is coming home to my wonderful husband, our three beautiful kids and our precious dog and having dinner together after a productive day at work.”

WHEN DID YOU MOVE TO THIS AREA? “I first moved to Studio City 30 years ago with my parents and my five younger siblings. I love Studio City, and I can’t imagine myself anywhere else.”

STUDIO CITY | 818-644-1477 | DANIELLEPERETZ.COM | DRE #01897529 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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REAL ESTATE

ANDREA KORCHEK Director of Luxury Estates, The Agency

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ndrea Korchek grew up in the Valley, graduated from Taft High, and earned a B.A. degree from Gonzaga University and a J.D. degree from Georgetown Law. After working as a business litigator, she transitioned to the field of real estate nearly 20 years ago and specializes in selling luxury Los Angeles properties. Soon after joining The Agency in 2017, Andrea was honored with the firm’s 2018 MVP award. She has three grown children—two of whom are Type 1 diabetics. Finding a cure for juvenile diabetes is a cause she and her family are passionate about, raising more than $32,000 in a fundraising effort last year with her son as the team captain. WHAT HOUSING MARKET TRENDS DO YOU FORESEE FOR THIS YEAR? “Where we live is now a home, an office, a gym and a place to find peace from a turbulent world. Grown children are coming home, parents are moving in, so space is at a premium. We won’t soon forget that home provided a safe haven in truly tumultuous times.” WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB? “I love the diversity of each day and each deal. I am always calling upon my years of experience, both as a former litigation attorney and as a seasoned Realtor, to deftly counsel my clients and help them achieve their objectives. I love anticipating all available options and issues and navigating a strategic course that is new but easily chartered with knowledge and instinct.” WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN THE REAL ESTATE BUSINESS? “Integrity, experience, intellect, organization, communication, creativity, likability and hard work. My clients often say I make the job look easy, but I am working really hard behind the scenes. I ‘save the drama for mama,’ keep my eye on the ball and use all my skills to deliver seamless, lucrative transactions.” SHOULD I CHOOSE A LARGE REAL ESTATE COMPANY OR A BOUTIQUE FIRM? “I feel strongly that sellers benefit from the resources of a big firm. At The Agency, in addition to the unparalleled local and global marketing endeavors, agents can collaborate, help each other solve problems and share information about opportunities that are not known to the open market. When choosing an agent within a large company, select one with room on their plate to make your needs paramount every day. I am careful not to take on more than I can skillfully and diligently service.” Disclaimer: Andrea is no longer an active member of the state bar, devoting all of her energies to selling real estate. DRE #01311917

300 N. FOOTHILL DRIVE, BEVERLY HILLS | 818-371-0933 | ANDREAKORCHEK.COM

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REAL ESTATE

OREN DAVID MORDKOWITZ Estates Director, Pinnacle Estate Properties, Inc.

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hat started as a passion for developing real estate and selling custom homes turned into a full-time career as a licensed real estate professional more than 24 years ago for Oren David Mordkowitz. Today he is the estates director and a partner with Pinnacle Estate Properties and has consecutively been a top-selling agent and a multimillion-dollar producer. IN WHAT WAYS IS THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY AN EMOTIONAL BUSINESS? “Whether you are a buyer or seller, navigating the residential real estate market can be exciting, stressful, frustrating and occasionally confusing. Attachment to a home can create emotional challenges as well. I take the time to listen and understand each client’s needs, level of comfort and reason they have asked me to assist. No matter what level of experience one has with buying or selling a home, the process can sometimes be overwhelming. My goal is to alleviate the stress, find solutions and, in most situations, take on the issue for them directly.” WHAT MAKES YOU THE BEST IN REAL ESTATE? “Being able to adapt to situations and personalities while understanding that I am there to handle an important task is what makes me different. I love to sell homes, but my mindset is wrapped around the service I can provide to my clients. When you hire me, you deal with me directly and are not passed off to an associate. If a situation requires me to climb on your roof or meet at midnight, I can confidently say it will happen. Being the best in the business means being present, caring, effective, communicative, personable and solution-driven.” WHAT IS YOUR #1 PIECE OF ADVICE DURING THIS UNPRECEDENTED TIME? “If you are a seller, this is an excellent time to take advantage of our exceptional market and low inventory—especially those over 55 years of age. With the recent passing of Proposition 19, you can transfer your property tax basis anywhere in California. Buyers are also in a fantastic position to take advantage of our historically low interest rates. Be patient in finding the right home and make sure you structure an offer that has a better chance of being accepted compared to other competing offers. No matter if you are buying or selling, there are amazing opportunities for you to take advantage of.” WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WAYS TO UNPLUG WHEN YOU’RE OFF WORK? “Whether it be watching a movie, going to dinner or enjoying a tropical vacation, I love spending quality time with my family. Most recently during the pandemic we have taken up mountain bike riding and found such an appreciation for the magnificent trails and stunning views our local Santa Monica Mountains have to offer!”

17327 VENTURA BLVD., SUITE 100, ENCINO | 818-933-5866 | ORENESTATES.COM | DRE #01246402 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

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Awe-inspiring Jet Liner Views Redesigned and renovated in 2013 by renowned Stewart Gulrajani Design Team, this mid-century home offers an open, light infused floor-plan with breathtaking views of lush greenery and city lights from nearly every room. Outside find a large grassy yard, great patios and built-in seating for the gas fueled fire-pit. Set back from the street, with attached garage and additional on-site parking, enjoy both privacy and Westside proximity. 3759 Whitespeak Dr, Sherman Oaks 4 beds | 4 baths | 3,007 sf | 21,636 sf lot | $2,499,000 or $11,000/month Andrea Korchek | Director, Luxury Estates | The Agency t: 818 379 7703 | m: 818 371 0933| TheAgencyRE.com | CalBRE# 01311917


Happy New Year 2021! 16146 Morrison St, Encino Sold for $2,200,000

4448 Tyrone Ave, Sherman Oaks Sold for $1,350,169

4212 Teesdale St, Studio City Sold for $3,089,000

4450 Gentry Ave, Studio City Sold for $2,490,000

12329 Otsego St, Valley Village Sold for $2,400,000

14377 Millbrook St, Sherman Oaks Sold for $2,590,000

4444 Bellingham Ave, Studio City Sold for $2,425,000

4628 Noeline Ave, Encino Sold for $2,375,000

17211 Rancho St, Encino Sold for $8,575,000

4210 Nogales Dr, Tarzana Sold for $2,429,000

19107 Sarita Pl, Tarzana Sold for $2,445,000

6600 Noble Ave, Van Nuys Sold for $850,000

4310 Vantage Ave, Studio City Sold for $2,489,000

4319 Irvine Ave, Studio City Sold for $2,099,000

4639 Balboa Ave, Encino Sold for $7,200,000

4209 Saint Clair Ave, Studio City Sold for $2,250,000

16564 Academia Dr, Encino Sold for $7,750,000

12050 Guerin #204, Studio City Sold for $1,065,000

15039 Hartsook St, Sherman Oaks Sold for $2,185,000

4153 Wilkinson Ave, Studio City Sold for $1,500,000

4215 Allott Ave, Sherman Oaks Sold for $3,060,000

4836 Balboa Ave #A, Encino Sold for $715,000

833 N. Sierra Bonita Ave, Los Angeles Sold for $3,365,000

18518 Saint Moritz Dr, Tarzana Sold for $2,260,000

16366 Sloan Dr, Brentwood Sold for $3,600,000

3382 Canton Wy, Studio City Sold for $1,925,000

4466 Vanalden Ave, Tarzana Sold for $2,080,000

3451 Loadstone Dr, Sherman Oaks Sold for $1,755,000

4931 Rubio Ave, Encino Sold for $2,415,000

4171 Colfax Ave #D, Studio City Sold for $762,000

5160 Donna Ave, Tarzana Sold for $4,065,000

16454 Royal Hills Dr, Encino Sold for $1,675,000

16908 Bosque Dr, Encino Sold for $5,200,000

11821 Laurel Hills Rd, Studio City Sold for $1,980,000

16700 Bajio Ct, Encino Sold for $4,900,000

13001 Dickens St, Studio City Sold for $2,018,000

4252 Farmdale Ave, Studio City Sold for $2,710,000

4116 Bellingham Ave, Studio City Sold for $2,535,000

4809 Genesta Ave, Encino Sold for $2,179,000

12030 Valleyheart Dr #102, Studio City Sold for $745,000

Over $340 Million

818.432.1524 INFO@CHERNOVTEAM.COM WWW.CHERNOVTEAM.COM


5401 Donna Ave, Tarzana Sold for $3,890,000

3737 Montuso Pl, Encino Sold for $1,500,000

4634 White Oak Ave, Encino Sold for $4,589,000

3606 Camino de la Cumbre, Sherman Oaks Sold for $1,490,000

15125 Valley Vista Blvd, Sherman Oaks Sold for $3,000,000

15501 Briarwood Dr, Sherman Oaks Sold for $1,468,000

3923 Carpenter Ct, Studio City Sold for $3,675,000

5716 Ranchito Ave, Valley Glen Sold for $1,060,500

15601 Meadowgate Rd, Encino Sold for $10,350,000

19515 Collier St, Tarzana Sold for $1,865,000

12944 BloomďŹ eld St, Studio City Sold for $3,375,000

4291 Pasadero Pl, Tarzana Sold for $1,311,000

11560 Dilling St, Studio City Sold for $6,450,000

11257 Acama St, Studio City Sold for $1,469,900

16801 Oak View Dr, Encino Sold for $8,625,000

3268 Berry Dr, Studio City Sold for $1,760,000

14947 Greenleaf St, Sherman Oaks Sold for $3,800,000

14322 Collins St, Van Nuys Sold for $751,000

4431 Firmament Ave, Encino Sold for $4,795,000

5004 Veloz Ave, Tarzana Sold for $3,512,500

In Sales for 2020 16742 Pageant Pl, Encino Sold for $3,150,000

14930 Martha St, Sherman Oaks Sold for $1,042,500

17807 Valley Vista Blvd, Encino Sold for $1.964,000

4242 Bakman Ave, Studio City Sold for $1,600,000

5108 Sophia Ave, Encino Sold for $3,169,000

5127 Willowcrest Ave, Toluca Woods Sold for $1,206,000

17918 Raymer St, Northridge Sold for $755,000

11424 Dona Dolores Dr, Studio City Sold for $1,995,236

3781 Corbin Ave, Tarzana Sold for $1,765,000

3743 Mound View Ave, Studio City Sold for $2,700,000

19101 Gayle Pl, Tarzana Sold for $3,670,000

16655 Calneva Dr, Encino Sold for $1,628,500

11528 Dona Evita Dr, Studio City Sold for $1,920,000

3320 Cabrillo Blvd, Mar Vista Sold for $3,800,000

4416 Gentry Ave, Studio City Sold for $1,855,000

16866 Mooncrest Dr, Encino Sold for $5,000,000

11181 Aqua Vista St, Studio City Sold for $752,500

10823 Whipple St #2, North Hollywood Sold for $415,000

16734 Otsego St, Encino Sold for $2,775,000

5854 Lemp Ave, North Hollywood Sold for $812,000

DRE #01428774


ng Co

ratulations

MATTEPSTEIN.COM SOMATT@AOL.COM 818-681-2000

to

Matt Epstein #1 #2 #5

Agent San Fernando Valley Agent Los Angeles Agent Nationwide for

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices

Top one-half of 1 percent of more than 1,250,000 REALTORS® nationwide

Follow me on Facebook: MattEpsteinRealty Follow me on Twitter: @SoMattEpstein Follow me on Instagram: @MattEpsteinRealEstate

CalBRE# 01121162

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

Dreaming about getting away from it all, and yet it’s difficult during these unprecedented times. Just an hour away in Oxnard, Ventura and Santa Barbara the dream of long luxurious days by the ocean, kayaking through a harbor, bicycling near the beach and watching sea lions, dolphins and pelicans sounds pretty good - doesn’t it? I’ve been assisting many of our clients who are now buying weekend/ vacation homes in Ventura and Santa Barbara County. Call me if you’re interested, and I’ll show you how that feeling of vacation can be yours more than just once a year! Jane Kaplan Epstein Dre#01922991

2541 Jamestown - OX- $1,450,000 3Br+2.5 Ba in 1,800 SqFt on a 2,800 SqFt Lot-Amazing contemporary harbor home. It features a vaulted ceiling living room with a fireplace and french doors that open out to the Harbor with two docks. The master bedroom is large with huge windows overlooking the harbor along with an extremely large master bathroom. All beautifully done. This house is walk-in ready, just bring your toothbrush!

3908 Ethel Ave. – SC- $4,250,000 6Br+7Ba in 5,548 SqFt on a 9,784 SqFt Lot- Longridge Estates: Elegant, Europeaninspired villa. The home features 5,500 sq ft approx. with 6 bd and 7 ba with an open floor plan, lots of natural light, chef’s kitchen, spacious master suite, and much more. The backyard has a nice sized patio area and a large grass yard.

#KeepingItRealEstate

12519 Hesby St– VV - $1,250,000- 4Br+3Ba in 2,793 SqFt on a 5,776 SqFt LotThis traditional home in Valley Village features 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms is situated on a cul-de-sac street. Features include a fireplace in the living room. The private backyard has a pool & patio area that are ideal for endless summer BBQs, al fresco dining under the stars & limitless outdoor fun & entertaining. 3674 Dixie Canyon Ave– SO- $2,750,000 5Br+3.5Ba in 4,566 SqFt on a 11,448 SqFt Lot – Stunning hillside gated property w/ 180-degree views from every room. This home offers an oversized pavilion, and access to an underground bonus room (great for media/playroom). This amazing home is surrounded by lush landscaped areas & panoramic views perfect for entertaining or relaxation. Other amenities include an in-home office, stylized powder room, 3 car garage & abundance of storage. 3910 Sumac Dr – SO- $1,750,000 3Br+4 Ba

in 3,200 SqFt on a 9,182 SqFt Lot– Beautiful contemporary home in Sherman Oaks. The home features very high vaulted ceilings, and ceiling to floor glass doors, a master suite with a balcony, and much more. Lots of storage space and closets throughout the house. Don’t miss this unique property which affords you the feeling of being away from it all yet only minutes away.

Call for your FREE market analysis! © 2019 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 verified by broker or MLS. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information.


THE LIVYATAN GROUP FEATURED PROPERTY THE PAVILION

5110 Whitsett Ave | Valley Village 2-3 Bedroom | Approx. 1,720-2,463 sqft Offered at: $899,000-$1,299,000

ACTIVE

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12537 Hatteras St | Valley Village 4 Bed | 3.5 Bath | Approx. 2,491 sqft | 7,950 sqft lot Offered at: $1,450,000

1060 Woodland Drive | Beverly Hills 4 Bed | 4.5 Bath | Approx. 5,868 sqft | 20,250 sqft lot Offered at: $11,995,000

12731 Bloomfield St | Studio City 5 Bed | 6.5 Bath | Approx. 4,233 sqft | 8,239 sqft lot Offered at: $3,495,000

4926 Petit Ave | Encino 5 Bed | 6.5 Bath | Approx. 4,466 sqft | 8,249 sqft lot Offered at: $3,195,000

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

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12223 Gorham Ave | Brentwood 4 Bed | 4.5 Bath | Approx. 3,857 sqft | 7,500 sqft lot Offered at: $3,695,000

365 N Vista St | Los Angeles 5 Bed | 5.5 Bath | Approx. 5,017 sqft | 7,302 sqft lot Offered at: $3,799,000

9291 Flicker Way | Los Angeles 3 Bed | 3.5 Bath | Approx. 3,000 sqft | 6,072 sqft lot Offered at: $3,995,000

537 Alta Vista Blvd | Los Angeles 5 Bed | 6.5 Bath | Approx.4,312 Sqft | 7,716 sqft Lot Offered at: $3,995,000

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

15601 Meadowgate Rd | Encino 7 Bed | 10 Bath | Approx. 10,420 sqft | 15,751 Sold: $10,350,000

SOLD

15645 Woodvale Rd | Encino 7 Bed | 10 Bath | Approx. 7,481 sqft | 14,876 sqft Sold: $6,900,000

SOLD

OFF MARKET

SOLD

OFF MARKET

Magnolia St | Encino

17211 Rancho St | Encino 5 Bed | 7.5 Bath | Approx. 8,800 sqft | 34,278sqft Sold: $8,575,000

SOLD

OFF MARKET

Ostrom St | Encino

16766 Bosque Drive | Encino ( Represented Buyer) 5 Bed | 9 Bath | Approx.8,500 sqft | 25,607 Sold: $6,500,000 OFF MARKET

Margate St | Encino

Adi Livyatan

New Construction and Luxury Home Specialist Wall Street Journal Ranked #15 in CA | #28 in the Nation Mobile: 818.919.4060 • Office: 818.285.3220 Email: adilivyatan@yahoo.com Fine Estates® DRE# 1892750

www.AdiLivyatan.com

SOLD OVE R $25 0 M ILLION IN 2 0 2 0

Rubio St | Encino


AROL CAROL Nobody Nobodydoes doesititbetter... better...

sold sold

sold sold

15712 15712Sutton SuttonSt., St.,Encino Encino $4,195,000 $4,195,000 Brand BrandNew New– –Royal RoyalOaks OaksAdjacent Adjacent

4908 4908Edgerton EdgertonAve., Ave.,Encino Encino $3,300,000 $3,300,000 Encino Encino Woods Woods

sold sold

sold sold

20335 20335Howard HowardCt., Ct., Woodland WoodlandHills Hills $2,499,000 $2,499,000 Magnificent Magnificent Woodland WoodlandHills HillsEstate Estate

15620 15620 Woodvale WoodvaleRd., Rd.,Encino Encino $2,399,000 $2,399,000 Royal RoyalOaks Oaks

O OLFE LFE sold sold

17552 17552Margate MargateSt., St.,Encino Encino $2,799,000 $2,799,000 Amestoy AmestoyEstates Estates

sold sold

16612 16612Oldham OldhamPl., Pl.,Encino Encino $1,800,000 $1,800,000 Encino EncinoHills Hills

sold sold

17201 17201 Weddington WeddingtonSt., St.,Encino Encino $1,600,000 $1,600,000 Amestoy AmestoyEstates Estates

sold sold

sold sold

17977 17977Medley MedleyDr., Dr.,Encino Encino $1,540,000 $1,540,000 Lake LakeEncino Encino

12334 12334Longacre LongacreAve., Ave.,Granada GranadaHills Hills $1,350,000 $1,350,000 Cagney CagneyRanch RanchEstates Estates

TOP 250 INDIVIDUAL AGENTS IN THE NATION

sold sold

sold sold

4442 4442Estrondo EstrondoDr., Dr.,Encino Encino $1,675,000 $1,675,000 Encino EncinoHills Hills

sold sold

16657 16657Oldham OldhamSt., St.,Encino Encino $1,605,000 $1,605,000 Encino EncinoHills Hills

18451 18451 Jonah Jonah Ct., Ct., Tarzana Tarzana $1,029,000 $1,029,000 Tarzana Tarzana Villa Villa onon Gated Gated Street Street

sold sold

19212 19212Rosita RositaSt., St., Tarzana Tarzana $2,699,000 $2,699,000 Tarzana TarzanaGated GatedEstate Estate

#160

818.285.3688 818.285.3688

www.CarolWolfe.com www.CarolWolfe.com

sold sold

25921 Voltaire Pl., Stevenson Ranch 25921 Voltaire Pl., Stevenson Ranch $1,000,000 $1,000,000 Stevenson Ranch Stevenson Ranch


LD

SOLD $1,890,000

SO

8001 Honey Dr l LA

ANDREW MANNING $2 BILLION+

CLOSED SALES Lifetime Sales Volume

60+ SALES 2020 No. 8 AGENT 2019 for BHHSCP

SOLD $4,641,680 3816 Longridge l Sherman Oaks

SOLD $3,400,000 357 N Bonhill l Brentwood

SOLD $3,225,000 16231 Meadowridge Wy l Encino

SOLD $3,535,000 4700 Libbit l Encino

ANDREW MANNING l REALTOR® BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES CA PROPERTIES

818 380 2147 PH

DRE LIC #: 00941825 andrew@andrewmanning.com © 2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHHS and the BHHS symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. 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 verified by broker or MLS. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information.


ACTIVE 4245 CLYBOURN AVENUE, TOLUCA LAKE | $3,250,000

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

ACTIVE

4747 FORMAN AVENUE, TOLUCA LAKE $2,999,000

9565 CLYBOURN AVE, SUNLAND $2,795,000

10437 MOORPARK ST, TOLUCA LAKE $1,149,000

IN ESCROW

IN ESCROW

10433 KLING STREET, TOLUCA LAKE $3,395,000

11101 BLIX STREET, TOLUCA LAKE $1,647,000

SOLD 3100 FRYMAN ROAD, STUDIO CITY $3,395,000

CRAIG STRONG DRE # 01450987 VP, Luxury Home Sales Top 1 % Nationwide #1 Individual Agent Companywide 1.3+ Billion Total Sales Volume strongrealtor.com

Compass 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


14324 ROBL AR PL ACE SHERM A N OA KS | $ 6,199,90 0 5 BEDS | 6.5 B AT HS | 7, 249 SQ . F T. | 17, 26 4 SQ . F T. L OT IN E SCROW

14582 VAL L E Y VIS TA BLVD. SHERM A N OA KS | $ 5,975,0 0 0

4850 ANDA SOL AVENUE ENCINO | $ 5, 499,0 0 0 OR $19,999/MO

5 BEDS | 8 B AT HS | 8,0 0 0 SQ . F T. | 17, 224 SQ . F T. L OT

5 BEDS | 5.5 BATHS | 5,800 SQ. F T. | 14,439 SQ. F T. LOT

IN E SCROW

839 N. OGDEN DRIVE MEL R OSE | $ 3,850,000 OR $ 25,0 0 0/MO

4069 KR AF T AVENUE C OL FA X ME A D OW | $ 2,699,500

5 BEDS | 5.5 B AT HS | 4,860 SQ . F T. | 6,50 0 SQ . F T. L OT

5 BEDS | 4.5 BATHS | 3,673 SQ. F T. | 6,750 SQ. F T. LOT

NE W L IS T ING

NEW LISTING

DANIELLE PERE T Z

DANIELLE.PERE T Z@THE AGENCYRE.COM 818.644.1477 LIC. #01897529

THE AGENCYRE.COM

An international associate of Savills


MICHAEL BERGIN |

JUST SOLD

12112 Laurel Terrace Drive, Studio City $1,899,900 3 Beds 2 Baths 1,700± Sqft Carpenter Ave School Pool

JUST SOLD

4182 Camellia Avenue, Studio City $1,392,500 3 Beds 2 Baths 1,778± Sqft Colfax Meadows

JUST SOLD

8524 Appian Way, West Hollywood $1,525,000 3 Beds 2 Baths 1,725± Sqft Hollywood Hills Canyon Road

JUST SOLD

16184 Meadowcrest Road, Sherman Oaks 3 Beds 3 Baths 2,157± Sqft Royal Woods Sold Over Asking for $1,645,000

LUXURY ESTATES DIRECTOR

JUST SOLD

4546 Carpenter Avenue, Studio City $1,875,000 3 Beds 3 Baths 2,771± Sqft Colfax Charter District

IN ESCROW

1155 N Brand Boulevard #802, Glendale $600,000 1 Bed 1 Bath 756± Sqft $101,000 Over Asking

JUST SOLD

4256 Stern Avenue, Sherman Oaks $2,775,000 5 Beds 6 Baths 4,719± Sqft 6,997± Sqft Lot

JUST SOLD

13352 Valleyheart Drive, Sherman Oaks $1,670,000 3 Beds 5 Baths 2,416± Sqft 7,200± Sqft Lot

JUST SOLD

4518 Farmdale Avenue, Studio City $1,875,000 5 Beds 5 Baths 3,271± Sqft

IN ESCROW

6002 Allott Avenue, Valley Glen $1,998,000 5 Beds 6 Baths 7,613± Sqft Media Room Huge Basement Wine Cellar

JUST SOLD

4329 Lemp Avenue, Studio City $2,368,000 5 Beds 5 Baths 3,650± Sqft Colfax Meadows Pool

JUST SOLD

4042 Denny Avenue, Studio City $1,810,000 3 Beds 3.5 Baths Yard Cul De Sac New Construction

Michael Bergin Luxury Estates Director 310.600.0715 BerginHomes@gmail.com DRE 01845572

Your #1 Real Estate Expert Compass is a licensed real estate broker and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only. Information is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is subject to errors, omissions, changes in price, condition, sale, or withdraw without notice. No statement is made as to accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footages are approximate. Exact dimensions can be obtained by retaining the services of an architect or engineer. This is not intended to solicit property already listed.


16836 MARMADUKE PL ACE | ENCINO | $ 8,995,000 7 BEDS | 8 BATHS | 9,081 SQ . F T. | 27,785 SQ . F T. LOT

2681 C OUNTRY RIDGE ROAD | CAL ABA SA S | $ 6,000,000 7 BEDS | 9 BATHS | 9,000 SQ . F T. | 11 ACRE LOT SIZE

GEORGE OUZOUNIAN

GEORGE.OZ@THE AGENCYRE.COM 818.900.4259 LIC. #01948763

5150 GAYNOR AVENUE | ENCINO | $ 3,600,000 5 BEDS | 7 BATHS | 5,474 SQ . F T. | 10,429 SQ . F T. LOT

GINA MICHELLE

GINA.MICHELLE@THE AGENCYRE.COM 818.850.1458 THE AGENCYRE.COM LIC. #01503003 An international associate of Savills


INCREDIBLE 6 BEDROOM HOME LOCATED IN STUDIO CITY’S SILVER TRIANGLE 12142 Hollyglen Place, Studio City Located south of the Blvd. in Studio City’s renowned Silver Triangle and Carpenter School District, this incredible high-end home offers unparalleled luxuries:

6 BEDS | 6 BATHS | 5,028 SF | WINE CELLAR MEDIA ROOM | GYM | OFFICE | HIGH-END FINISHES | OPEN FLOOR PLAN | POOL

Oak hardwood floors & coffered ceilings

Gourmet chef’s kitchen with Viking appliances

Price available upon request

Open family room with a stone fireplace

WWW.12142HOLLYGLEN.COM

French doors, leading out to a backyard with pool Incredible Master Suite with huge walk-in closet

818.481.1602 znagy@kw.com

CalBRE# 01832306


17107 Rancho Street

JUST SOLD

ENCINO | $ 5,500,000 5 BEDS | 6.5 BATHS | 6,500 SQ . F T. | 17,3 4 4 SQ . F T.

GUY A Z AR

GUY.A Z AR@THE AGENCYRE.COM 818.339.4192 LIC. #01882376

THE AGENCYRE.COM

An international associate of Savills


Oren David Mordkowitz ESTATES DIRECTOR | REALTOR ®

818-933-5866

CalDRE License #01246402

oren@orenestates.com SOLD

18118 Tarzana St. | Tarzana | $1,225,000 4936 Ranchito Ave. | Sherman Oaks | $1,175,000 15153 Hartsook St. | Sherman Oaks | $2,095,000

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

3718 Hayvenhurst Ave. | Encino | $3,189,000 4927 Hayvenhurst Ave. | Encino | $2,123,400 4520 Gloria Ave. | Encino | $2,389,000

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

4904 Rupert Ave. | Encino | $1,249,000 16323 Tudor Dr. | Encino | $2,399,000 4404 Gloria Ave. | Encino | $1,299,000

SOLD

SOLD

SOLD

22233 Dardenne St. | Calabasas | $1,615,000 4915 Woodley Ave. | Encino | $2,389,000 3725 Terrace View Dr. | Encino | $2,449,000

Curious what your home is worth? Contact Oren for a complimentary home analysis!

OrenEstates.com


For Sale

Sale Pending

Sale Pending

4268 Hazeltine Ave., Sherman Oaks | $1,349,000

5500 Vanalden Ave., Tarzana | $2,100,000

3633 Longview Vly Rd., Sherman Oaks | $1,195,000

Just Sold

Just Sold

Just Sold

14916 Round Vly Dr., Sherman Oaks | $2,825,000

13732 La Maida St., Sherman Oaks | $2,195,000

3462 Vista Haven Rd, Sherman Oaks | $2,195,000

Just Sold

Just Sold

Just Sold

3862 Sherview Dr., Sherman Oaks | $1,500,000

4210 Noble Ave., Sherman Oaks | $1,358,000

15265 Rayneta Dr., Sherman Oaks | $1,310,000

Just Sold

Just Sold

Just Sold

4033 Benedict Cyn, Sherman Oaks | $1,300,000

19635 Valdez Dr., Tarzana | $1,262,000

3708 Longview Vly Rd., Sherman Oaks | $1,155,000

BARRY DANTAGNAN (818) 426-8677

barrydantagnan@gmail.com CalRE# 01020477 The property information herein is derived from various sources that may include, but not be limited to, county records and the Multiple Listing Service, and it may include approximations. Although the information is believed to be accurate, it is not warranted and you should not rely upon it without personal verification. Real estate agents affiliated with Coldwell Banker Realty are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. Š2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell BankerŽ System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Realogy Brokerage Group LLC and franchised offices which are independently owned and operated. The Coldwell Banker System fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.


A home that exceeds expectations deserves a mortgage to match

• Mortgage discounts with Relationship Pricing1 • Dedicated support every step of the way • Jumbo loan sizes up to $3 million; loan sizes up to $8 million available to well-qualified buyers who meet Citi’s High Net Worth2 requirements

We’ve got a mortgage to fit your needs. Call me today. John Musso Home Lending Officer 818-518-1008 john.musso@citi.com citi.com/johnmusso NMLS# 448606

Terms, conditions and fees for accounts, programs, products and services are subject to change. This is not a commitment to lend. All loans are subject to credit and property approval. Certain restrictions may apply on all programs. Offer cannot be combined with any other mortgage offer. This offer contains information about U.S. domestic financial services provided by Citibank, N.A. and is intended for use domestically in the U.S. 1

A Citibank deposit account and automated monthly transfers of the mortgage payment from a Citibank personal deposit account using automated drafting will be required to receive Citibank mortgage relationship pricing. Ask a mortgage representative for details on eligible balances and the qualifying closing cost credit or rate discount. Availability of the Citibank mortgage relationship pricing for Citibank account holders is subject to change without notice.

2

Available for clients with a minimum of $500,000 or more in investable post-close assets, and at least $50,000 in traditional assets must be on deposit with Citi at least 10 days prior to closing. This amount may be part of the $500,000 eligibility requirement. Real estate, loan proceeds, stock options, restricted stock and personal property will not be counted as part of the $500,000 or more investable post-close assets or the $50,000 in traditional assets. Net cash value of life insurance can be counted as part of the $500,000 but not part of the traditional assets. Investable assets are defined as deposit accounts (checking, savings, money market, Certificates of Deposit), unrestricted stocks, non-vested stock and restricted stock, bonds and retirement accounts held by the individual who is personally liable on the loan. These asset types held in revocable trust may be used provided the trust document meets the Trust Policy. 100% of the face value of all assets, except non-vested stock and restricted stock, may be used to calculate the amount of funds available to meet the eligibility criteria. For non-vested stock and restricted stock, the borrower must be 100% vested within 1 year of closing and a maximum of 70% of value may be used to calculate qualifying equity. Additional conditions apply. ©2020 Citibank, N.A. NMLS# 412915. Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender. Citi, Citi and Arc Design and other marks used herein are service marks of Citigroup Inc. or its affiliates, used and registered throughout the world.


LAST WORD

Intermission THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE SORAYA REFLECTS ON A YEAR WITHOUT LIVE PERFORMANCES—WHAT IT HAS MEANT TO ARTISTS AND TO THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE. Written by Thor Steingraber | Illustrated by Nikki Smith

For the past seven years, I have worked at The Soraya, a bus-

1990s in San Francisco, I joined other artists in responding to the

tling arts center on the campus of California State University,

AIDS crisis. In 2001 in New York City, I heeded the rally cry to reopen

Northridge. Nowadays, the occasional visit to my office feels like

theaters following 9/11. A decade ago, I joined fellow organizational

something out of an eerie movie—166,000 square feet, typically

leaders in a collective belt-tightening during the Great Recession.

buzzing with activity, now stands as a time capsule. The March

today’s, especially as experienced by artists worldwide. The majority

performances are stacked in piles for audiences that never came.

have been totally without their livelihood for nearly a year. Who could

I check the mail, water the plants and make a trip around the

ever have imagined a total global halt to live performances? Many of

building to ensure everything is secure.

us met the moment by pivoting to online performances, efforts that

The dressing rooms are scrubbed clean but lifeless. The expansive stage is supervised by a single naked lightbulb. One can’t help but be struck by the contrast: Normally a blank stage holds

yielded some positive results. However, great performances are not meant for small screens and unstable internet connections. Artists bring people together, but in the past year the best we

anticipation, awaiting the next troupe that will arrive to magically

could do was diligently keep ourselves and our audiences out of

transform it. The shades on the ticket office windows are pulled

harm’s way. Like everyone, I now spend my solitary days on Zoom

low. The courtyard is populated by a single underweight squirrel

where I strive to keep my organization afloat and do my best to

accustomed to handouts. Though I’m empty-handed, she goes toe

offer some relief for a few of the tens of thousands of artists who

to toe with me and stands tall to inquire anyway.

are without any income.

The lobby is the final stop on my rounds. Here I pause. The

My rounds at work complete, I leave the theater, merge onto

emptiness is piercing. Without an audience, there is no art.

the 405 and head toward home. While artists and those of us who

Without an audience, it isn’t only the business of the arts that

support their work were not considered “essential” during the

is impacted—it’s the artists themselves who suffer, denied their

pandemic of 2020, I do imagine a moment when that changes;

livelihoods and perhaps more so, their purpose. Many artists see

when the pandemic recedes and theaters reopen; when Angelenos

themselves as frontline workers of a different sort, coming from

emerge from their homes is search of renewed human connection.

a long lineage who respond to history with the power of imagi-

I am strengthened in my resolve to be on the frontlines of the

nation, and who tend to the soul of a community of friends and

recovery, to offer the joy of concerts and performances, to do my

strangers in a collective ritual that is nonpartisan, nonsectarian,

part to revitalize the economy, and to put back to work creative

nondenominational.

professionals who make it their mission to uplift humanity with

I have dedicated myself to this vision for three decades. In the

106

While those crises were difficult, they pale by comparison to

sales report sits atop my in-box, and playbills from canceled

|

beauty, inspiration and joy. ■


The Spitz | Cameron Group C A L L TO DAY TO F I N D O U T H OW O U R U N I Q U E M A R K E T I N G S T R AT E G I E S H E L P E D U S S E L L I N T H I S N E W N O R M A L

SO

SO

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16301 Celinda Pl, Encino

SO

LD

17925 Medley Dr, Encino

4107 Stansbury Ave, Sherman Oaks

SO

LD

3949 Vista Linda Dr, Encino

3919 Westfall Dr, Encino

50 Properties Sold, 2 Currently in Escrow Totaling Nearly $95,000,000 In Closed Transactions For 2020 AndrewSpitz.com

HarrietCameron.com

FranChavez.com

DRE#924610 Realtor®

DRE#675971 Realtor®

DRE#01013357 Realtor®

818-817-4284

LD

4212 Costello Ave, Sherman Oaks SO

LD

SO

LD

17956 Lake Vista Dr, Encino SO

LD

17069 Oak View Dr Encino

3727 Winford Dr, Tarzana SO

SO

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818-380-2151

818-517-1411

© 2021 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHHS and the BHHS symbol are registered service marks of Columbia Insurance Company, a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate. 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 verified by broker or MLS. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. DRE #01317331

LD


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