Ventura Blvd — Jan | Feb 2023

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Arts

VENTURABLVD.GOLDENSTATE.IS SIX DOLLARS JAN/FEB 2023
The
Issue SCULPTOR MELORA GARCIA

Wed Feb 15 | 8pm Filharmonie Brno Janáček, Martinů and Dvořák Dennis Russell Davies, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Sat Feb 18 | 8pm Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth A.I.M by Kyle Abraham

Thu Feb 23 | 8pm Treelogy: A Musical Portrait of California’s Redwood, Sequoia and Joshua Trees Featuring Billy Childs, Steven Mackey, Gabriella Smith, and Delirium Musicum Commissioned by The Soraya at CSUN Thu Feb 2 | 8pm Christian McBride’s The Movement Revisited A Musical Portrait of Four Icons Sat Feb 4 | 8pm Vince Giordano & The Nighthawks I’d Rather Lead a Band with Loudon Wainwright III Wed Feb 8 | 8pm Melissa Aldana Quartet JAZZ CLUB Fri Feb 10 | 8pm Joel Ross’ Parables The Parable of the Poet JAZZ CLUB Sat Feb 11 | 8pm The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra Featuring Samara Joy Requiem: Fire in the Air of the Earth
Filharmonie Brno Renowned composers Billy Childs, Steven Mackey, and Gabriella Smith — all with deep California roots of their own — have each composed original music for this threepart concert. Commissioned, produced, and presented by The Soraya, Treelogy is a celebration and a call to action to save California’s beloved and iconic trees. Gabriella Smith Billy Childs Steven Mackey Joel Ross Melissa Aldana Vince Giordano & Loudon Wainwright III Christian McBride Samara
THE WEST COAST’S PREMIERE WINTER JAZZ FESTIVAL TheSorayaStage | TheSoraya.org | (818) 677-3000
Joy
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REBORN

The remarkable works of painter Edgar O. Kiechle, unearthed after 60 years 56

POSITIVELY PACOIMA Artist Levi Ponce shares the story of one of the Valley’s largest murals. 58 THE ART OF LAYERING Sculptor Melora Garcia 72

LASTING IMPRESSION A couple reimagines a home in coveted Longridge Estates. 80 CALIFORNIA CASTLES Four chateau experiences you can enjoy without traveling out of state 84

PASSION PROJECT

Turns out a VB photographer is a heck of a painter, too.

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2023
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16 ART COLORS THEIR WORLD A peek into the home of two passionate collectors of art 24 WONDER WALLS The art of framing 26 LASTING IMPRINTS Artist and art consultant Laurie Raskin on how to discover and purchase art for the home 30 ARTISTIC IMMERSIONS Two don’t-miss exhibits this month
84 16 COVER Melora Garcia with her sculpture “Your Skin Is My Favorite Color”; Photographed by Monica Orozco AND THEN SOME... 86 REAL ESTATE PROFESSIONALS OF THE VALLEY Meet the top-tier professionals here for home buying, selling and financing. 103 REAL ESTATE Spectacular local listings 122 LAST WORD Inside the mind of an accomplished illustrator THE SAUCE 66 ON A ROLL KazuNori opens in Studio City. 68 PUFFED PERFECTION The savory creations at Borekas in Sherman Oaks 70 SPICE IT UP A tequila cocktail to sip by the fire 36 THE JEWELRY SCULPTOR The creations of jewelry designer Lisa Ziff 42
SMOOTH OPERATOR Musician Dave Koz 46
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We always planned on filling our home with art. Somehow it never happened.

My husband and I bought our Encino home in December of 1997, and I vividly remember the first night we spent here. I was seven months’ pregnant and sitting down with our 2-year-old for dinner. I gazed around at all the empty, unfurnished rooms in disbelief: Wow—this is mine!

We didn’t think we’d get the ranch-style home, which was Elvis-esque in decor style. When our realtor, Harriet Cameron, alerted us that a house (built in 1954) in a neighborhood that we’d been eyeing was about to go on sale, we dashed over to see it. One quick loop around the property and my husband proclaimed, “We’d like to make an offer. And we’ll pay asking.”

“What?” I exclaimed. “Can we even afford this? What about all the work it needs?” The thought of the two of us, both of whom had big jobs (back in the dinosaur era when you spent eight to 12 hours at the office every day), renovating a house sounded like a nightmare. Getting rid of those hideous cottage cheese ceilings, flimsy sliding doors and garish sunken bar in the family room? What would we do with all the outdated bathrooms? The powder room, with sink faucets of two swans mating, wasn’t exactly guest-ready.

We ended up going over asking. So did all the other bidders. The owner asked all of us to write a letter sharing a bit about ourselves. “What does he want to know? This is weird!” I shrieked to Harriet. “Look, if you want the house,

write a nice letter,” she calmly stated. We did, and we got it. Best decision we ever made, but quite honestly, the house has been a money pit. Renovations in 1998 and 2004 A kitchen redo in 2019 and another one in 2022 when a plumbing leak ruined our wood floors. The constant stream of improvements inside and out. I could have housed a small art gallery with the money we’ve spent on landscaping projects over the years. All of that, plus all the costs of raising and educating kids, has eaten up our fine-art fund. We do have a couple of substantial pieces, but most walls are bare.

But now is our time. We’re past all the heavy-lifting years. I’m committing to learning about and exploring art. I want to find where my taste intersects with my husband’s. (As of late, they’ve been kind of diverging.) I want to buy art that we will enjoy in the years to come.

As luck would have it, I met artist and art consultant Laurie Raskin while working on the WOMEN’S issue last fall. We did a piece on her home, which includes her own contemporary, mixed-media pieces and works of other noteworthy, gallery-show artists. We struck up a friendship. She came over to offer suggestions. We looked at what walls to focus on, and Laurie even had some brilliant ideas for relocating some of our existing art. She also offered advice on galleries and classes. A lot of her suggestions are in the article on page 26. Laurie, by the way, was so helpful in guiding me as I put together this ARTS issue that she acted essentially as my guest editor. I hope you learn as much from her as I have.

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Linda Grasso,
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JANUARY/ FEBRUARY 2023

SULTRY SERENADE

Catching up with Valley native Dave Koz on page 42.

art colors their world

GETTING INSIDE THE MINDS—AND THE VALLEY HOME—OF A COUPLE WHO ARE PASSIONATE ABOUT VIEWING AND COLLECTING MODERN ART.

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The dining room is filled with abstrast works, sculptures, and constructions, such as the two pieces on the wall flanking the fireplace. On the left: an abstract yellow, blue and black painting by Robert Szot. Over the fireplace: a watercolor-oil-collage work by Michael Goldberg.

When Mark and Carrie (last names withheld to protect their privacy) started collecting art 12 years ago, they were simply two creatives attracted to art and on a journey of exploration. Carrie, an events producer, had gone to art school at Carnegie Mellon University, which made her “very familiar with art history.” But, she notes, “Mark and I have learned so much more about art in the pursuit of collecting.”

They started out buying modern master etchings, such as a Marc Chagall and a Joan Miró. Then as their tastes developed, they began to collect works of abstract expressionist painters.

“Abstract expressionism is a visual representation of an emotional experience, instead of trying to paint in a realistic way,” says Mark. “It’s not: I’m going to paint what I see. It’s: I’m going to paint what I feel. And when I started looking at more abstract pieces, something switched on in me and it ultimately changed the way I view art.”

From that moment on, the couple turned their attention to contemporary art and sculpture.

“It’s almost like falling in love. You can’t stop thinking about it. It takes over your psyche,” explains Mark, who owns a commercial production company.

When they aren’t visiting galleries like Bergamot Station in Santa Monica and LA Louver in Venice, they’re scouring the internet or monitoring auctions. Sometimes it’s just about the thrill of the hunt; other times they go after a purchase with wild abandon.

“It is really exhilarating when you bid on a piece at a lively auction. Carrie and I are like, ‘Yeah!’ when we ‘win’ a piece. And then the big letdown: when you

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realize you have to pay for it,” Mark laughs.

There are times when a work gets on their radar and just stays there. Take, for example, the Willem de Kooning limited-edition lithograph that hangs by their front door. The couple first saw it in an Elle Decor magazine home feature. Several years later it resurfaced for sale in a New York gallery. The couple set up an appointment and went to see the litho, but it was too pricey. Then years later, Mark, who closely monitors happenings in the art world, spotted it in a Paris auction. And this time they bit.

The more than 30 artists displayed in the couple’s sleek, light-filled home are impressive. They include Gronk (oil painting on panel), Robert Rauschenberg (paper pulp sculpture encased in an acrylic box) and Sam Francis (abstract etching).

Of the latter, Mark explains, “He was one of the most significant figures in abstract expressionism based in Los Angeles.”

Among the most significant pieces in the home: two abstract expressionist works by Michael Goldberg, including a watercolor-oil-collage piece over the fireplace. Atop the fireplace mantel is a pair of sculptures by Roberto Lugo, whose works are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York as well as LACMA.

Two other significant pieces the couple points to are by painter-sculptor-printmaker Frank Stella and sculptor Richard Serra.

For Mark and Carrie, buying is a process that typically starts with a mutual attraction to color and texture. “We both have to look at it and go ‘Yeah!’” explains Carrie.

If the feeling remains, they’ll typically go look at the piece again. (They generally won’t buy pieces without seeing them in person first.) Then, if still intrigued, they’ll Photoshop a digital image of the art into a photo of the room where they would place it. Often, they make yet another visit to see the piece. They don’t

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Works in Mark’s office include a lithograph by Sam Francis and an etching by Stanley William Hayter.

Left: Carrie with a painting by Iva Gueorguieva. Below: a sofa with a photograph by Patty Carroll.

“THE ACT OF COLLECTING IS 99% LOOKING AND ONLY 1% BUYING ART. WE LOVE THE WHOLE EXPERIENCE OF IT—LEARNING ABOUT HISTORY, DIFFERENT PLACES AND EVENTS, AND HOW THEY INSPIRED THE ARTISTS TO EXPRESS THEMSELVES.”

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The couple treats every space in the home as an opportunity to create an artistic moment. On a small wall off the living room: a painting by Tomory Dodge and a ceramic by Roger Herman. Right: Mark in the yard with a sculpture by Troy Pillow.

buy until they’re certain the piece will stand the test of time—not in terms of investment, but rather their affinity for it.

“The act of collecting is 99% looking and only 1% buying art. We love the whole experience of it—learning about history, different places and events, and how they inspired the artists to express themselves,” Mark says.

Despite the high-octane list of notable artists at their home, Mark and Carrie don’t consider themselves art snobs.

“We have passion for art. We aren’t trying to collect anything in particular in terms of an artist or style. We just buy what we love,” shares Carrie, who works as an executive producer of live stadium shows.

As if to make a point, Carrie stands in her home office, gesturing to a row of paintings on a wall. She pauses on the last piece, a colorful oil painting of an old doorway, and quips, “This one here is honestly one of my favorites in this room. It wasn’t done by a famous artist. It was done by a friend who paints, and I just love it.”

The best part of collecting, they say, it getting to live surrounded by works of art that lift their spirits.

“We wake up every day and say, ‘We can’t believe we live here!’” Carrie says.

And then there’s the added bonus of the way art changes one’s perspective on life.

“The thing about living with art is that we are conditioned to see things in that way. A tree, an overpass, graffiti—it all looks like art now to us,” says Mark. ■

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Wonder Walls

A LOCAL FRAMING EXPERT OFFERS TIPS FOR MAKING YOUR ARTWORK SHINE—AND STAND THE TEST OF TIME.

Montel McClellan, owner of FastFrame Expert Picture

Framing in Sherman Oaks, has been offering framing advice and services for 30 years. “I love being a part of the journey to help people preserve precious photographs, mementos and works of art that bring them happiness and joy,” he says. Drawing from his interior design background and in-depth knowledge of the latest styles and materials available, Montel shares some tips on how best to show and protect your art.

1

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Before asking your framer to offer aesthetic options that serve your art and budget, ask yourself a few questions. This way you can arrive at the frame shop with a general sense of what style of frame appeals to you. Traditional? Modern? Do you like floater, shadow box, metal, gilt or plexiglass box frames? .

2

THINK LONG-TERM

Use only acid-free mats and foam backing to prevent chemical changes that over time can cause yellowing and deterioration. And use UV-protective acrylic glass, which is a good alternative to regular glass because it’s lighter in weight, more durable, less susceptible to scratches, and cuts down glare and reflections.

Acrylic glass is also a great option for pieces hanging in kitchens and bathrooms, where moisture can damage art, and for children’s rooms because it is much stronger and thus more shatterproof than regular glass.

3CONSIDER COLOR

There is a misconception that if you surround your art with a white mat, it will make the colors in the piece pop. But accents of color in mats and frames can awaken and enhance the overall presentation in art. Rich, deeper-colored art pieces can benefit from corresponding hues in matting and framing while a pop of color on an otherwise monochromatic piece can elevate the overall presentation.

4REIMAGINE OLDER ART

Updating older framed art can be as simple as changing out the mat with a new color or encasing it in a double mat of different hues. Or choose a new frame. Have a farmhouse-distressed or stripped-down wood frame? Why not try a flashy colored metal frame or a floater frame that will provide a more contemporary vibe?

5

GET TACTILE

Visit your neighborhood framing store and get individualized attention from experienced framers who can offer an array of aesthetic and creative options. If you shop online, you have to rely solely on what materials are available, without any guidance. An expert framer can help you navigate choices in colors and textures. This way may require a bit more effort, but odds are you’ll be more pleased in the long run. ■

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Laurie Raskin is a lover of all things art. With a BFA and an MFA in fine arts, and as an ardent student of art history, Laurie, along with her husband, Rick Shuman, has collected fine art for decades. She is also a

mixed-media contemporary artist herself whose works are shown at numerous noteworthy galleries in the U.S. as well as internationally. And simply because she loves to help people connect with and develop a passion for

Lasting Imprints ARTIST AND ART CONSULTANT LAURIE RASKIN ON HOW TO BUY MEANINGFUL ART FOR THE HOME TO ENJOY THROUGH THE YEARS.
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art, Laurie also works as an art consultant. Here VB editor Linda Grasso gets the connoisseur’s advice on finding and buying art for the home, whether you are looking for an investment piece or a first-time buyer trying to define your tastes.

How does one define their tastes in art?

Start visiting museums and galleries regularly—and take your time. As you explore, see what you are attracted to and what engages you. Ask the gallerists and docents questions. Taking classes is also a great idea. Our tastes grow and change as we become more knowledgeable. Another option: Hire an interior designer or art advisor/consultant whose taste you like for some help. There is no right way to collect art. Be personal and be bold. And enjoy yourself in the process.

If you live in a traditional house, should you buy more traditional art? And ditto for contemporary homes and art? I like to mix it up. It’s very personal. Contemporary art looks terrific in traditional homes, and traditional pieces can work very well in contemporary homes. There are no rules here. Collect what you love.

How does one assess how much to pay for a piece? Is value simply a matter of how much it means to you and are willing to pay?

Yes. I do suggest doing your research on past sales of a particular artist. Find a budget you are comfortable with, but sometimes stretch for something you love. You will always regret the one that got away. Most galleries are willing to allow you to pay in installments. Better to buy a good piece over an extended time than to buy a piece for less money that you don’t love as much.

OK, you have a room with four walls. All four are empty. How does one assess which wall to place art on? This is where intuition and play come in. How large are the walls? Where are you sitting in the room? What wall

are you looking at most? What is the light like? Just move things around until it feels right. First, lean art against the wall for a while before you hang anything. Photoshop can also be very helpful.

Any tips for looking for “affordable” art?

There are many ways to buy affordable pieces. Every year, there are art sales from graduate art students: UCLA, CalArts, Art Center College of Design, and Otis. Get on their mailing lists or contact the school offices. You can also buy high-quality prints or lithographs from many sources. Saatchi Art and Artsy are great online places to buy art and research artists. There are local artists’ studios who show their works several times a year. The Brewery Art Walk in Downtown LA as well as Barker Hangar in Santa Monica have sales several times a year. Saatchi Art holds an art fair in LA every year with a variety of price points available. There are also galleries that show emerging artists that are affordable.

Does everything have to be framed?

It depends on whether the piece is on canvas or on paper or how fragile it is. There are some wonderful framers that are not too expensive. It also depends on

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“THERE IS NO RIGHT WAY TO COLLECT ART. BE PERSONAL AND BE BOLD. AND ENJOY YOURSELF IN THE PROCESS.”

where you are placing your art. Art can fade. If you do use glass or plexiglass, make sure it has UV protection.

If you are contemplating making a major purchase at a more high-end gallery or via an auction, how do you make sure you are getting a fair deal?

First you must like the work. Then look up the artist you are interested in online. Go to their website. You can also sign up for various local art email newsletters to get a basis of knowledge about fine art—which will give you confidence in your decision. Art Now LA, Artillery, Art Matters with Edward Goldman, ARTnews, Art Daily and Art Talk are a few newsletters that will keep you educated about the local art scene.

Any other suggestions?

Bring an art piece home and see how it looks before deciding. Most galleries will allow this. Do your homework. Put in the time at galleries. And when you visit one you like, sign up to be on their email list. Follow

artists and galleries on Instagram. Lastly, take a class on art collecting. Edward Goldman, formerly of KCRW Art Talk, gives a private class four times a year on the art of collecting. Brenda Williams teaches an excellent class at UCLA Extension called Contemporary Art Los Angeles. With both of those classes, you’ll go to galleries, private collections and museums.

What generally constitutes an “investment piece”? Any advice for buying one?

Trends come and go. The “it” artist today could be out years later. There are artists who have stood the test of time. There are also famous artists who go in and out of fashion. If you are buying for investment and are inexperienced, it’s probably a good idea to work with an art advisor or gallery that you trust. I personally don’t advise buying art only for investment. Imagine you buy a piece that you don’t love, and you look at it for decades and the value remains the same? What a waste of an opportunity! Instead, buy what you love and enjoy it. ■

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Edward Goldman leads students through a gallery while teaching his private class Fine Art of Art Collecting.

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Artistic Immersions

TWO ENRICHING CULTURAL EXPERIENCES IN THE VALLEY TO ENJOY THIS WINTER.

TALL TRIBUTE

In 2020, California wildfires took aim at our trees. Ancient redwoods, giant sequoias and more than a million Joshua trees were lost. Journalist John Branch and photojournalist Max Whittaker chronicled the destruction of trees in The New York Times, and when Thor Steingraber read the story, he was touched. The executive and artistic director at the Soraya was ultimately inspired to create a musical that pays tribute to all the trees lost. He enlisted the help of violinist Etienne Gara (artist in residence at the performing arts center), and they put together a team of composers: Gabriella Smith and Grammy Award winners Steven Mackey and Billy Childs. The resulting three-part concert, Treelogy, will tour college campuses across the state. Performance is February 23 at the Soraya. For more go to soraya.org

FABRIC OF OUR LIVES

Quilts can be much more than warm bed covers or colorful wall hangings. The Fabric of a Nation: American Quilt Stories at the Skirball Cultural Center is a testament to this, featuring works by more than 40 diverse artists and covering five centuries of American quilts. The exhibition tells compelling human stories that narrate an intimate history of American life. The exhibit includes works by sculptor and painter Sanford Biggers as well as LA–based artists Sula BermúdezSilverman, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Joel Otterson and Ramsess. Also on display is a moving quilt from the Skirball’s own collection, “Ellis Island,” which depicts the Ashkenazi Jewish immigrant experience. Runs through March 12. For more go to skirball.org

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SURVIVE & THRIVE

Cancer has not stopped Emily Rose from being a determined advocate for her clients and community.

Being of service is one of Realtor® Emily Rose’s most valued goals— whether it’s supporting clients through a real estate transaction and beyond or volunteering with community organizations that are meaningful to her. Emily has endured and overcome more than her fair share of difficulties, but she sees them as opportunities that have equipped her to be a better agent, friend and mother.

“Having been able to overcome personal life challenges has made me a fierce negotiator for my clients’ best interests,” says the single mom of two: adult son, De’Andre, and 7-year-old daughter, Kali-Rose.

Emily is currently in treatment for metastatic stage 3 ovarian cancer—for the second time. She wears the badge of “survivor” proudly and says the cancer experience has helped her recognize how precious life is. She aims to leave the most positive, lasting impression on everyone she meets.

“I have a lot of compassion for people going through life events, especially cancer and deaths in families,” she says. “I’ve represented countless clients over the years on transactions as a result of events of this kind. People need a reliable, experienced, empathetic hand to hold in times of need.”

Tragedy struck Emily’s family early when her mother passed at age 46 from pancreatic cancer. Upon learning that the BRCA1 gene mutation would affect her own health, Emily opted to have several preventive surgeries. But she still developed ovarian cancer. “It was a really tough experience the first time. Then I was healthy for four years, and now I’m going through it again. But I

feel good this time.”

Born in Boulder, Colorado, Emily moved to California when she was very young. She grew up in a cozy home in Tarzana, down the street from El Caballero Country Club, where her grandparents were members. She enjoyed playing tennis and swimming at the club. A favorite memory is Cali Camp in rustic Topanga Canyon, which has now become her daughter’s favorite summer camp.

In 2000, Emily was attending college and focused on becoming an attorney. She soon realized she needed a career where she could balance the demands of being a young, single mother with an active son. “Real estate allowed me to be involved in the PTA and volunteer at his schools, attend all his sporting events and get involved in my community while serving my clients at the same time,” she says.

Her real estate career began with a mortgage lending firm. After discovering her passion for working with people on a

more personal level, she quickly transitioned into residential real estate sales. She has earned top producer awards throughout her career. “Real estate is my passion, and that’s reflected by my clients’ end results and loyalty over the years.”

With her close friend and associate Kimberli Peters-Russell, Emily manages Newmarket Homes LA, a team of agents at Compass in Calabasas. Newmarket Homes LA is thoroughly familiar with micro changes in markets throughout the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles.

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Emily and Kali-Rose

we know your block, and we probably know your house!” Emily says with a laugh. “So we are the first to see where local shifts in buying and selling occur and will always act on them in specific ways that benefit our clients. A new market is always around the corner, and Newmarket Homes will always be there first for you.”

Emily takes pride in giving back, particularly through extensive community organizing in Sherman Oaks. She started a neighborhood watch program for Library Square and held annual neighborhood watch dinner meetings where residents worked closely with the police department, the councilmember’s office and the city attorney. She also hosted popular summer block parties for many years.

For these endeavors, Emily was named “An Angel in the City of Angels” three times by the city of Los Angeles. She also was honored with the award for top donations to her previous firm’s charitable fund 10 years in a row. “Giving back is huge. It feels good to donate on any level—time, services, money.”

As she continues this round of cancer treatment, Emily finds that a mindfulness practice is particularly helpful. “It’s not an easy task to quiet your mind—especially when thinking about escrows and listings and children and health. But it’s so necessary, even just a few minutes a day.”

She also enjoys traveling, especially to see her grandchildren: De’Andre’s daughter, Jade, and son, Jordan, who live in Texas. “They call me Nana,” she shares with a smile.

Emily’s future is bright. She is focused on surviving, helping clients navigate changes in the real estate market and giving Kali a great life. She is also writing a double memoir about her mother’s life and her own journey, which she hopes will help readers who are going through similar challenges.

No matter what life hands her, Emily is a tough go-getter—the type of person you want on your team.

EMILY ROSE, DIRECTOR | DRE #01308620

NEWMARKET HOMES LA | COMPASS

5016 PARKWAY CALABASAS, SUITE 100 CALABASAS | 818-355-9988

NEWMARKETHOMESLA.COM

FB: @EMILY ROSE IG: @PEACEFU1_WARRIOR_GODDESS

34 |
Emily with (L to R) Jordan, De’Andre and Jade
“REAL ESTATE IS MY PASSION, AND THAT’S REFLECTED BY MY CLIENTS’ END RESULTS AND LOYALTY OVER THE YEARS.”
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the jewelry sculptor

USING SKILLS AKIN TO THOSE OF A SCULPTOR, JEWELRY DESIGNER LISA ZIFF USES OLD-WORLD CRAFTSMANSHIP TO CREATE STRIKING STATEMENT PIECES.

Written by Chelsee Lowe | Photographed by Shane O’Donnell

| 37

Before I met Lisa Ziff at her hilltop home studio in the Valley, I perused her distinct creations online. Organic shapes in brushed gold are eyecatching. One brilliant pendant is almond in shape but has holes that evoke coral, with inset diamonds placed just so. Another charm of brushed 10-karat gold is reminiscent of sliced lotus root and its beautiful asymmetric circles. “Coffee bean” stud earrings look like their namesake, slightly bent by a soft fissure line.

Inside Lisa’s studio—which offers stunning views of the Valley and the San Gabriel Mountains—it is evident that natural and found objects are indeed her inspiration. The space is lightly decorated with photographs and art by family members (her three children are now grown); books from her father, a longtime biology teacher; and hundreds of small curiosities that she’s gathered herself or been gifted: dried poppy pods, chunks of coral, textured rocks, leaves, and husks of all kinds of botanicals. Rusted buttons and knobs rest on one windowsill, and a pig’s tooth sits alone on a nearby shelf. Lisa laughs while looking at the item, which her daughter discovered during her college field work in Santa Cruz.

“When I was younger, my dad and I used to beachcomb, and I still do that now—in a cityscape, on a trail, anywhere,” she says. “Eventually, people just start bringing you things.”

Her work desk is strewn with instruments she uses to fashion her original designs: clay tools, dental picks, a soldering torch and pliers of various shapes. On this

day, a bracelet of golden links of varying sizes is under construction. This is where she spends hours each day. When making a brand-new piece, she’ll start with a block of wax, sculpting it down to the desired form— say, a ring with a floral centerpiece, or the hoop of an earring. From the wax form, her casting expert makes a metal model, then a silicone mold, which can be used for creating multiples of a piece.

“Really, I’m more of a sculptor than a jeweler,” Lisa says. “That’s where I’m different. I come at this work from a different perspective. I like carving away at each piece. It fills that same pleasure I had as a kid, digging in the sand, then finding something. That’s the fun part, and that’s what keeps me coming back.”

Lisa’s skill, combined with her calm demeanor and observant nature, has served her well over the years. While studying design at UCLA, she got an office job at Frank Gehry’s studio in Venice. She mostly ran errands, but she was also exposed to some of brightest minds in the field. “That was invaluable,” she says. One day she conversed with renowned architectural photographer Julius Shulman as she shuttled him from the airport.

Upon receiving her undergraduate degree, portfolio in hand, she headed to Milan. This was a pre-internet world, she reminds me. She arrived in Italy and coldcalled her favorite design studios for employment. She worked under famed Italian architect Vittorio Gregotti briefly, then avant-garde Studio Alchimia. Because land for new structures is limited in Italy, many designers instead focus on products and interiors. Lisa followed suit, making drafts for furniture, rugs and other household items. Then she returned to the U.S. and attended Rhode Island School of Design.

“I was more into product myself at this point. That’s anything you use, or anything that is produced in multiples, from bedsheets to dinnerware, even a fork.”

After years working in Italy, she returned to LA and funneled her creative juices into her own company— a housewares line sold in high-end gift shops and

38 |
“REALLY, I’M MORE OF A SCULPTOR THAN A JEWELER. I LIKE CARVING AWAY AT EACH PIECE. IT FILLS THAT SAME PLEASURE THAT I HAD AS A KID, DIGGING IN THE SAND, THEN FINDING SOMETHING.”

museum stores. When she became pregnant—with twins, no less—she turned her eye to jewelry making. It was a way to scale down, she says, making fewer but more-precious pieces.

“Ultimately, making jewelry is very familiar. I’m still sculpting, in wax rather than in clay. It’s smaller work. There was definitely a learning curve, and there still is. Every piece I make, I discover something new.”

Now an empty-nester, Lisa has her sights set on expanding her line to more stores (it is already in Studio City boutique Mag.Pi) and her online presence. Goals aside, the joy remains purely in the work.

“I lose track of time easily here,” she says, standing in her studio. “This is my happy place, my little escape.”

For more, go to lisaziffdesigns.com. ■

Smooth Operator

JAZZ MUSICIAN DAVE KOZ LAUNCHED HIS ILLUSTRIOUS CAREER RIGHT HERE IN THE VALLEY.

Contemporary jazz artist Dave Koz has spent much of the last 35 years on the road performing in concert halls around the world. But no matter where his tours take him, he says he’ll always remember where his life in music began—the San Fernando Valley.

Born in Encino and raised in Tarzana, he took up the saxophone in the 7th grade at Portola Middle School. He was soon playing in his brother’s rock band, doing weddings and bar mitzvahs.

“If someone told me back in high school that I’d be playing the saxophone for the rest of my life and making a living at it, I never would have believed them,” he says. “I didn’t know it at the time, but the sax became a means to express myself in ways that words could not. This instrument, with the deep inherent humanness in its sound, was a way for me to communicate my deepest emotions.”

After graduating from UCLA in 1986, he made a deal with his parents that if he couldn’t make it as a professional musician after six months, he’d try something else. His big break came only six weeks later when singer Bobby Caldwell invited him to go on tour with him. Through Caldwell, Dave met keyboardist Jeff Lorber, who hired him and encouraged him to begin composing and recording his own music. A year later, Capitol Records released Dave’s debut album, Dave Koz, which won him his first Grammy nomination. Since then, he’s had numerous #1 hits, including the songs “You Make Me Smile,” “Together Again,” and “Can’t Let You Go.” He’s also collaborated with such big names as Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles.

In all Dave has received nine Grammy nominations and had 11 albums reach #1 on Billboard’s Current

Contemporary Jazz Albums Chart.

The artist has never lost sight of his roots, though. “I will always have a soft spot for the Valley—so many happy memories growing up in Tarzana, riding my bike and playing with neighborhood kids. It always felt safe, comforting and inspiring. It will always feel like home to me. Being a Valley Boy is a special part of my identity.”

Valley Boy or not, Dave has become a world citizen. In the mid-1990s Dave started hosting “The Dave Koz Morning Show” on radio 94.7 The Wave. Today you can catch him Sunday mornings on the SiriusXM Watercolors weekly show “The Dave Koz Lounge” for two hours of great music, live interviews and stories. Currently he’s preparing for his next big gig, the annual Dave Koz & Friends at Sea cruise—a seven-day floating music festival aboard the Holland America ship Oosterdam this spring that will sail to ports of call in Spain, Morocco and Portugal.

“The future,” says Dave, “is about finding the inspiration and the creativity to continue producing music that will bring people together, lift them up, and help them find solace, inspiration, warmth and happiness.” ■

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“I DIDN’T KNOW IT AT THE TIME, BUT THE SAX BECAME A MEANS TO EXPRESS MYSELF IN WAYS THAT WORDS COULD NOT.”
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“THANKS TO CINET, I HAVE A TANGIBLE TROPHY TO CONTRIBUTE TO MY TROPHY WIFE STATUS.”

QUEEN OF CLEAN

Award-winning local business keeps customers smiling and styling.

The Valley’s Steamer Cleaners has always been known by their customers as tops in the industry. Recently they received awards to prove it.

Offering dry cleaning, laundry and tailoring since 1987, husband-and-wife team Nicole and Shahrokh Basseri—with assistance from their fun-loving daughters, Ariana and Ilana—provide clients with environmentally safe garment solutions using top-of-the-line technology in an atmosphere that puts a smile on each client’s face.

“We are in the customer service business,” shares Ariana, who studied marketing and creative writing at Emerson College in Boston and works as a comedian, script consultant and writer. “Our goal is to make people happy and spread joy. Our employees are friendly, kind, knowledgeable and take a personal interest in our customers and their garments. We are a small privately run operation that is passionate about serving our community.”

These exceptional business efforts have caught the attention of CINET, a global network of textile experts that recently held its 2022 Global Best Practices Awards show in Milan, Italy. The organization awarded companies that demonstrate innovation and corporate social responsibility, with the winners determined by 18 jury members from 11 countries.

Steamer Cleaners ranked as the fourth-best dry cleaner internationally in the Retail Textile Cleaning category. “I’m here to flex on our recent awards we won in Milan, Italy,” Ariana shares. “After a rigorous competition taking into account our state-of-the-art machines,

environmentally safe cleaning products and never-ending philanthropies, Steamer Cleaners now ranks as the fourth best dry cleaner in the world. The whole world!”

Ariana also won the Young Entrepreneur Award for the United States. “Thanks to CINET, I have a tangible trophy to contribute to my trophy wife status. I must take this moment to acknowledge Botox for my prize-winning youth. I took home this welldocumented trophy thanks to making my dad/boss go viral on the World Wide Web.”

Another way the company recently claimed the spotlight is with its custom Steamer Cleaners shirts. Designed by artist Faye Orlove, the shirts were given away free of charge and have been sported by producers, musicians, movie stars and many Valley residents.

Asked to share a bit more about herself, Ariana—who grew up helping her parents with the business—responds: “I thought you’d never ask! My famous and successful husband, Rob Fee, and I have two ethically sourced Persian cats (and one unethically sourced Scottish Fold cat). When I’m not charming the laundered pants off our Steamer customers, I have a newsletter on Substack called Ariana’s Dirty Laundry. Get it? I’m very clever and fun. I credit the amount of freedom my gorgeous-perfecttalented parents give me to thrive.”

One of Ariana’s favorite tasks? Using her creativity to make Steamer Cleaners cool. “Honestly, that’s very impressive for a place that does laundry,” she laughs. “Thank you for reading, and I look forward to seeing your stains soon.”

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
STEAMER CLEANERS 13646 VENTURA BLVD., SHERMAN OAKS 818-906-2345 STEAMERCLEANERS.COM IG: @STEAMERCLEANERS | 45 The Basseri family

an artist reborn

BY DAY, EDGAR O. KIECHLE WAS A HOLLYWOOD ILLUSTRATOR. BUT BY NIGHT, AND IN EVERY SECOND OF HIS SPARE TIME, HE WAS A PROLIFIC, PASSIONATE PAINTER WHOSE WORKS—STORED AWAY FOR MORE THAN 60 YEARS—ARE JUST NOW HITTING THE LIMELIGHT.

| 47

“His mind was like a camera.” That’s how Paula Kiechle Kerris describes her father, artist Edgar O. Kiechle. Her sister, Suzanne Kiechle, calls him “Mr. Observation,” adding that he even painted what he saw in his car’s rearview mirror. None of this comes as a surprise to anyone who has beheld Edgar’s oil paintings, many of them beautiful testaments to life in the San Fernando Valley in the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s.

“He had a great sense of storytelling through his art. He captured heart and soul in his paintings,” says Paula.

Life for Edgar began in the Midwest. He was born in Missouri in 1911. When he was 8 years old, his father, Anton, moved the family to Hollywood to pursue his career as a stained-glass artist, followed by stints painting backdrops on silent films.

Years later, Edgar, following in his father’s footsteps, attended Otis College of Art and Design. Though he studied architecture at the time, his keen abilities as a fine artist would ultimately dictate his future.

In the early 1930s, Edgar landed a job in animation at UB Iwerks. When that studio closed, he moved on to Walter Lantz Productions, and then Universal Studios. By the late ’30s, Edgar’s detailed and vibrant brushstrokes put him on the map as an illustrator.

His years creating cartoons turned out to be a launching pad for his work as a set designer on feature films, many of them classics. While Edgar got jobs at all the studios (the majority were in the Valley, known then as “Hollywood North”), Universal was his steadiest client.

In 1936, Edgar made the decision to move with his wife, Beatrice, from Hollywood to Studio City. Because

the LA River was not yet concrete-lined, Edgar purchased a plot of land on higher ground, which proved to be a prescient move. Two years later, LA was hit by the biggest flood in its history, killing more than 100 people.

The family settled on a quiet street just off Laurel Canyon, surrounded by walnut groves. He and Beatrice would go on to have three daughters, one of whom, Suzanne, still lives in that Studio City house. Except for the walnut groves, the property remains much the same, and includes Edgar’s makeshift studio in the garage, still filled with paintings, drawings and storyboards.

Edgar rose in stature and notoriety, particularly at Universal, where he’d spend his lunch hour sketching whatever struck his fancy. Mr. Observation, the man with a mind like a camera, captured everything from the mundane to the extraordinary, starlets among them.

After actress Ida Lupino commissioned him to do a portrait of her sister, the word got out. Soon, lyricist Ira Gershwin, screenwriter-director Preston Sturges, and a slew of other luminaries were hanging Edgar’s work in their homes. Hedy Lamarr, who owned one of his pieces, hosted a show for him. By the 1950s, Edgar’s paintings hung in galleries around the country, including Elizabeth Taylor’s father’s art gallery in Beverly Hills.

Meanwhile, Universal, having amassed a large collection of the artist’s works, began to rent his oil paintings out to Hollywood movies, most notably An Affair to Remember (1957), Imitation of Life (1959), Pillow Talk (1959) and Magnificent Obsession (1963). On the set of For Love or Money (1963), where one of Edgar’s paintings was hung behind him on the set, Kirk Douglas was heard joking, “I’ve never been upstaged by a painting before.”

His artistic sensibility and passion grew with each passing year. Having adopted a service dog while serving in World War II, he would spend hours walking his pup along Valley streets, all the while clocking every detail of his surroundings. Later he would set those observations down on paper and canvas.

While the major cities of the world have been

48 |
“HE HAD A GREAT SENSE OF STORYTELLING THROUGH HIS ART. HE CAPTURED HEART AND SOUL IN HIS PAINTINGS.”
Here and below: views of Ventura Boulevard by night, painted in the 1950s A Valley streetscape at night, painted in the late 1940s Paula Kerris and Suzanne Kiechle in the garage of the family home with some of their father’s paintings

captured on canvas since time immemorial, it can be challenging to find renderings of the San Fernando Valley. There are historical photographs, yes, but nothing conjures life in the Valley during gentler times quite so vividly as Edgar’s vivid treasure trove. A nightscape of the Cahuenga Pass. A bustling night scene of Ventura Boulevard in Studio City at Christmastime. A young girl—a friend of Paula’s—sitting on the banks of the LA River at the corner of Laurelgrove Avenue and Valleyheart Drive. “She was mourning the loss of the wooden bridge that was washed away in the flood. It used to be our gateway to the movie theater and little

Kiddieland amusement park, which we’d frequent on the weekends,” recalls Paula.

While Edgar created set designs for scores of wellknown films, his motivation was not money or prestige; it was simply to create.

“His true passion was his art,” says Paula. “He’d take on a commercial ad job, an architectural job, a portrait for a movie—wherever they needed his help. All on the side. He was the guy who was always in the background, expressing himself through his brush.”

Tragically, just as he was hitting his stride at age 49, it all ended. Working on the set of The Last Sunset

(1961) in Mexico, Edgar contracted dysentery. He came back ill, and his doctor told him to go home and rest.

“He walked in the door and collapsed right here,” says Suzanne, pointing to the floor in the living room.

Edgar’s paintings remained at the Studio City home for nearly four decades, until Beatrice died in 1998. The sisters were stunned when they started to catalog the works. There were nearly a thousand pieces. They wanted to keep the paintings together as one collection, but at the same time, “We wanted to get his name and his art out there,” explains Paula. When keeping the

A man sitting at the foot of the hills in Studio City, painted in the 1950s

collection whole turned to be a challenge, they decided to sell some of it. Art dealer Jim Waterbury bought about a hundred pieces, some of which will be showcased in the Palms Springs Modernism Show at the Palm Springs Convention Center, February 16–20.

“What I like most about his painting is his ability to capture the mood of a specific time and place,” says Waterbury. “His works in the ’40s and ’50s depict a still slightly rural LA as it is growing into a major city. His paintings along a bustling Ventura Boulevard beneath the still-wild Hollywood Hills are among my

favorites. He documented the emergence of the area as few have.”

Paula and Suzanne are delighted that their dad’s paintings are seeing the light of day, displayed in the homes of people who appreciate them, just as they do.

Above the fireplace, in the living room where Edgar collapsed, hangs a striking portrait of a little girl. “That is me when I was younger,” says Suzanne. “I love seeing it there every day.” ■

| 53
“Puppet Show in the Park” (1945) shows children riveted by a performance on a tiny stage at North Hollywood Park—a scene that could have been straight out of one of Edgar and Beatrice’s real-life puppet productions. He made the puppets, while Bea, a pianist, played the music and voiced the female characters. Together the duo performed in parks and schools all over the Valley.

ABOVE & BEYOND

If you’re looking for a home in Studio City, Hidden Hills or West Los Angeles or you simply want to get the most value out of your property transaction, working with Realtor® Danielle Peretz is one of the easiest decisions you can make. She has lived and worked in Studio City for more than 20 years and brings that irreplaceable local knowledge to every client relationship.

During the past two decades, Danielle has bought, sold and renovated countless homes while providing real estate investment services for builders and luxury developers across Los Angeles. She recently joined The Beverly Hills Estates after working for years with The Agency, where she ranked in the top 1% of agents in the Valley. She received the 2019 and 2020 MVP awards, the 2021 Top Agent award, and the 2020 and 2021 Chairman awards.

Understanding that buying or selling a home is among the biggest financial decisions an individual will make, Danielle goes above and beyond for her clients, helping them navigate each challenge and opportunity while ensuring they are relaxed and informed every step of the way. “Being supportive and available 100% of the time to my clients is what I aim for,” Danielle explains. “I understand that to do that, I need open communication with my team. Being a team player is everything!”

Her team includes agents Gabriel Pelaez and Joseph Collins. “Being honest and considerate, motivated yet humble, and exercising patience and dedication provides my team with the necessary skills to succeed,” Danielle shares.

Whether assisting a first-time buyer or seasoned investor, Danielle has proven to

be a caring, tenacious advocate who makes her clients’ satisfaction her top priority—and never settles for less. This shows in her client testimonials:

“Danielle Peretz is simply the best! Her professionalism, knowledge, skills, character, personality and compassion turned our experience of buying our home into the sweetest of all!” – M. Hirsch

“Danielle Peretz is a real estate professional! We can’t recommend her highly enough. She is a quality agent with class and a designer touch!” – K. Bernstein

“Danielle was the listing agent for my newly built house, and she was able to sell my house within no time and create a new—and the highest—comp in the neighborhood. She’s very professional and kind, and she invests time, money and knowledge into her work. I highly recommend anybody who is looking for a listing agent to work with her.” – Olive

Always supportive of new agents joining the real estate industry, Danielle shares some words of wisdom with anyone considering a career in this field: “Embody the role of a lifelong student. Always be ready to learn from experiences. Question the ‘experts.’ Be open to change. Expose yourself to new ideas. Learn new skills. Never be satisfied with what you think you know, and more importantly, do not consider yourself an expert. Every single deal in real estate is specific and unique; it is impossible to apply the same methods to each transaction and expect the same result. As a Realtor, you are dealing with emotions, life savings, sentimental values and the dream of homeownership. Consider these facets of the job, and apply your broad range of skills accordingly.”

When she’s not representing clients in real

estate, Danielle enjoys spending quality time with her family, traveling, volunteering with the local schools and playing golf. She supports Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Valley Friendship Circle and families in need.

DANIELLE PERETZ

THE PERETZ GROUP 818-644-1477 DANIELLEPERETZ.COM DRE #01897529

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION AGENT SPOTLIGHT
SUPPORTIVE AND AVAILABLE
“BEING
100% OF THE TIME TO MY CLIENTS IS WHAT I AIM FOR.”
Gabriel Pelaez, Danielle Peretz and Joseph Collins

Positively Pacoima

Mural artist Levi Ponce first set his sights on the expansive, graffiti-covered wall in Pacoima—the side of a factory building in an industrial district along San Fernando Road—in 2014. But it took five years for work to begin.

“The wall was a giant eyesore at a major freeway exit. Because it’s located on Caltrans property, the project seemed impossible until LA City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez turned her attention to the site. She

cut through all the red tape and allocated over $100,000 to clean up the area. We finished the 10,000-squarefoot mural in 12 days, coming in under budget.”

Levi collaborated with Jacques Dupuy, whom he’d worked with at Disney Imagineering, to bring the design to life, along with talented graffiti artists from across LA as well as traditional muralists like himself.

For the artist who grew up in Pacoima, the rewards are immense. “It was like bringing Disneyland to the

56 |
ARTIST LEVI PONCE ON THE CREATION OF “RUSHING WATERS,” ONE OF THE VALLEY’S LARGEST MURALS.

masses in a part of town where a ticket can be quite an expense,” he says.

“The wall has never been tagged again. It’s a great example of what can be accomplished when we work with and not against the graffiti community. With this mural, the largest public piece I’ve ever done, we are seeing a positive reflection of the East Valley. The imagery shows off our heritage.”

The flowers, for example, represent the Armenian

community, to remember the genocide they fled from and that led to many of them moving to the Valley. California oak trees are also depicted, and the woman at the center represents the indigenous Tataviam tribe.

“Murals can transform a public space. We changed the perspective of visitors and locals alike about what this place is and can be.”

Follow the artist on Instagram at @leviponce. ■

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the art of layering

WITH A DIVERSE ARRAY OF METHODOLOGIES, SCULPTOR MELORA GARCIA AIMS TO WEAVE TOGETHER AND PRESERVE FAMILY HISTORY AND MEMORIES.

Written by Hadley Hall Meares | Photographed by Monica Orozco

58 |

When asked what she loves about sculpture, the visual artist Melora Garcia’s eyes grow wide, and she breaks out into a cheeky grin.

“It takes up space.”

In addition to a sense of humor, Melora is thoughtful and expressive and has intense insights. You might say she is as exuberant and alive as her undulating, multimedia works. “What I like about sculpture is that I’m moving, or I’m able to move,” she says. “And people have to move all the way around my work.”

A native of the Coachella Valley, Melora’s art explores her Pascua Yaqui Native American and Mexican American heritage. “My work involves a gradual layering of material. It deals with the body and loss, specifically family history and memories,” she says. “For me, intergenerational histories get lost through the passing of elders. Part of my practice reimagines and attempts to preserve the stories I have access to. I also hope people feel like they can reimagine their own family history and feel like the majority of the objects around us can be used as art.”

Melora, who is currently working toward her MFA in sculpture at California State University, Northridge, doesn’t limit herself. She works in ceramics, textiles, recycled paper, found objects and welded steel. Welding in particular has become a passion. “It’s hard at first because of the noise and getting the motion right,” she says. “But it’s like being able to build

One of Melora’s works, comprising of clay, bronze pebbles and glass, sits inside a kiln. “The carvings on the form come from a photograph of a design my grandmother had on her T-shirt,” she shares.

Right: “Your Skin Is My Favorite Color,” a steel, polyester yarn, rust and cotton hand-dyed yarn installation.

something that can last longer than I can. That metal will last longer than me is really cool.”

She says she has been inspired by Los Angelesbased sculptor and CSUN Central American studies professor Beatriz Cortez. “She’s a really big influence and why I want to continue to weld, like just to be a female who welds.”

In addition to Beatriz, Melora’s artistic community at CSUN includes her advisor, the artist Christian Tedeschi, and his wife, the artist Erika Ostrander. “She is head of the art gallery right now, and she just creates this amazing space for us all,” Melora says. “So does Christian.

Her art continues to be deeply personal. “I’m working on using my grandmother’s photographs— taking them and finding a way to transpose them with my ceramic work, and then using that in my metal

sculptures,” she says. Another sculpture, “Your Skin Is My Favorite Color” (on the cover of this issue), is aimed at connecting people to their own sense of cultural pride. She aspires to have “individuals feel represented in my art and be proud of the color of their skin. I did not always feel that way when I was younger, but I grew into this deep appreciation for my heritage.”

The buzz about Melora is growing. Her work is featured in the Mexicali Biennial’s “Land of Milk and Honey” exhibition at the Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture of the Riverside Art Museum, which runs February 25 to May 28. She’s excited about the show. “I love when people look really close at my work,” she says. “I just hope that they leave feeling, very simply, just happy.” ■

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“INTERGENERATIONAL HISTORIES GET LOST THROUGH THE PASSING OF ELDERS. PART OF MY PRACTICE REIMAGINES AND ATTEMPTS TO PRESERVE THE STORIES I HAVE ACCESS TO.”
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It’s Flaky, Alright

Why people are lining up in Sherman Oaks to get their hands on one of these babies. More on page 68.

THE SAUCE

On a Roll

KAZUNORI BRINGS ITS SIXTH LA-AREA HAND ROLL EMPORIUM TO STUDIO CITY IN A LOCATION THAT HAS RICH SUSHI HISTORY.

Most restaurants try to be a lot of things when it comes to food. KazuNori aims for just one thing: to make the tastiest hand rolls in LA. And to that end, the eatery chain is successful. Fans of Kazunori Nozawa, the founder of KazuNori and widely credited with the boom of sushi in LA, will no doubt be thrilled that he has opened his sixth outpost—his first in the Valley—in Studio City.

KazuNori serves mostly seafood rolls with choices that include toro, crab, yellowtail, lobster, scallop, eel, sea bream (New Zealand snapper) and salmon. Vegan options include yamaimo (Japanese yam) and cucumber.

Deemed “hand rolls” because they fit in the palm of your hand, the raw seafood is placed on a bed of warm rice and then wrapped in crisp seaweed paper. The result is a distinctive comfort food experience with

66 | THE SAUCE

deliciously fresh, premium seafood. I longed for a seaweed salad or something to accompany the hand rolls, but as with all his eateries, Nozawa does not care. He does things his way.

As with the menu, alcoholic beverages are also limited; only sake and one brand of beer are available. As a wine drinker, I felt a bit underserved. I’m not sure why they can’t toss in a wine or two.

The Studio City KazuNori is housed in the old Sushi Nozawa space—the place where the acclaimed sushi chef kicked off his empire in the 1970s. It is also the former location of his other Valley restaurant, Sugarfish, which recently moved a few miles west to The Shops at Sportsmen’s Lodge. With only 24 seats, a large, U-shaped, handsomely stained wood bar, charcoal-hued concrete floor, and black walls, the space

feels contemporary and cool, yet cozy.

One of the great things about KazuNori is its relative affordability. Anyone who has kids knows that taking them out for sushi can be a wildly fun ride that ends with an unpleasant wham when the bill comes. (Don’t know about you, but when I take my 20-something, sushi-inhaling sons out for a “bite” and a beer, I don’t want to spend $100 or more per person.) The most expensive of the fixed-price multi-hand-roll menus is $29, and nearly all the individual rolls are under 10 bucks. I found the yellowtail and salmon pretty filling and stopped at two. Who knows? Maybe my boys will chow down six, but I figure that even with a beer or two, we’ll still be good. ■

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Chef Nozawa

Puffed Perfection

The hottest restaurant in Sherman Oaks right now isn’t what you might think. It serves food from a single window and offers only austere seating: a half dozen tiny wood rounds set atop green milk crates. Yet Borekas is indeed the “it” spot, drawing steady crowds for their specialty, a flaky Sephardic pastry that’s popular in the Middle East and surrounding countries.

In this case, chef Uzi Wizman and wife, Gal Ben Goya, draw on their Israeli and Turkish heritage to serve a version with uniquely flaky dough that straddles the line between puff pastry and phyllo and crisps, baked in a stone oven that produces up to 500 borekas per day for ravenous regulars.

Borekas offers four different fillings: cultured cheese and za’atar; potato and brown butter; spinach and cheese; and funghi (mushroom), onion and truffle. The cultured cheese and za’atar version is particularly fantastic, featuring savory cow’s milk cheese made from scratch using a 24-hour process that’s bolstered with yogurt, sheep’s milk and secrets. In every case, borekas come with medium-boiled eggs, cooling tomato pulp, house-made pickles, and schug, the fierce Yemeni chili pepper condiment. As I overheard a fellow customer saying on a recent visit to whomever would listen, “This is better than where I normally go in Israel.”

Gal and Uzi both grew up in Israel. She’s from a small city called Yehud, and he’s from Haifa. Uzi started working in restaurants as a teenager, learning from

high-profile chefs like Meir Adoni and by traveling the world. After relocating to LA, Uzi staged for six months at Matsuhisa before delivering homemade sandwiches to offices in Israeli hotbeds like Woodland Hills and Reseda. He earned a reputation for sandwiches with house-made fillings like labneh, cheese and pastrami, and became a partner in the kosher burger eatery Psy in Sherman Oaks. He and Gal later became the sole owners, changing the name to Psy Street Kitchen to reflect expanded offerings. The couple debuted a “garden to table” catering kitchen in the same plaza as Psy during the pandemic before repurposing the space for Borekas in September.

Borekas were a staple for the couple growing up in Israel. “It’s really popular there,” Uzi says. “You eat borekas anytime—when you’re drunk, when you’re hung over, when you wake up in the morning, before or after school, lunch, dinner.”

This past spring, prepping for Borekas’ opening, he and Gal toured Israel and Turkey, sampling borekas at every turn, including at his longtime favorite, Burekas Ha’Agala in Haifa. Back in LA, Uzi tested dough, cheese and fillings for over a month. “The thing that makes our borekas different is that instead of using oil or margarine, like 90% of them would, we use clarified or purified brown butter,” Gal says. “So it’s a deeper, nutty kind of taste.”

Gal’s father taught her to eat borekas with ayran,

AN ISRAELI COUPLE PUT A UNIQUE SPIN ON A DELECTABLE SAVORY PASTRY WHEN THEY OPENED BOREKAS IN SHERMAN OAKS. NOW THEY’RE PRODUCING AS MANY AS THEY CAN TO SELLOUT CROWDS.
68 | THE SAUCE

a salty yogurt drink Uzi makes with honey, lemon and optional mint. “I want to see people dip their borekas in the ayran,” Uzi says. “The boreka is hot and crunchy and ayran is cold, and it’s just supposed to work together.”

Borekas’ window opens at 9 a.m. and closes when they sell out, which on some days can be before noon. (Preordering is recommended.) Gal and Uzi say they’ve been inundated with offers to expand, but aren’t rushing into anything. “I want it to stay high quality and I want to do the right moves,” Uzi says. For now, they’re limiting their borekas brilliance to Sherman Oaks.

Follow on Instagram at @bo.re.kas ■

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“ YOU EAT BOREKAS ANYTIME—WHEN YOU’RE DRUNK, WHEN YOU ’ RE HUNG OVER, WHEN YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING, BEFORE OR AFTER SCHOOL, LUNCH, DINNER.”

Spice It Up

GIVE THE TEQUILA ON YOUR BAR CART A SEASONAL SPIN.

In Southern California, winter may not mean bulky coats and mittens, but as the weather cools, we do change our eating habits, gravitating toward comforting foods and beverages with seasonal flair. This year why not take it beyond the flavored latte? Traditional warm spices and notes of citrus are a perfect way to put a palate-pleasing spin on cocktails.

You don’t have to be a mixologist to take this one on. Start with your favorite brand of tequila and add a homemade, spiced-up, honey-based simple syrup. The syrup rounds out the edges a bit, adding subtle sweetness that pairs wonderfully with the full-bodied flavors of tequila. This cocktail is perfect for serving guests at a dinner party or sipping by the fire.

70 | THE SAUCE

SPICED HONEY TEQUILA

Serves 1

1-by-2-inch peel of 1 orange or 2 small tangerines per drink juice from orange or tangerine fresh bay leaf

cinnamon stick

2 tablespoons Spiced Honey Simple Syrup (recipe below) 4 ounces tequila

To make the citrus twist, use a sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the peel into 1-inch strips. Remove any white pith from the peel. To flame, use tongs to hold the peel over an open flame, or use a match and burn the edges slightly.

For the cocktail, rub the flamed citrus twist in the glass before adding it to the drink. Add a splash of citrus juice, bay leaf, cinnamon stick, simple syrup and tequila. Stir and serve as is or on the rocks.

SPICED HONEY SIMPLE SYRUP

1 cup mild raw honey

3/4 cup water, or more as desired pinch ground nutmeg 2-inch cinnamon stick

1 whole allspice berry 1 whole clove 1 star anise 1 dried bay leaf

Combine honey and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, constantly stirring until honey dissolves. Remove from heat, add spices, cover and steep for 15 minutes. Uncover and cool to room temperature. Strain and store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to two weeks. Use extra syrup in other cocktails or with coffee and tea.

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lasting impression

FARMHOUSE WASN’T EXACTLY THEIR STYLE, BUT WHEN DANNY AND MARISSA SEEMAN SAW A HOME IN LONGRIDGE ESTATES, THEY KNEW THAT THEY WANTED IT. HERE, THE STORY OF HOW THE COUPLE ACQUIRED THE PROPERTY YEARS LATER, AND BOLDLY REIMAGINED IT INTO A DRAMATIC SPANISH-STYLE HOME.

Longridge Avenue in Sherman Oaks is indisputably one of the Valley’s most enchanting streets. Dotted with mature trees, the road ascends slowly as it meanders toward Mulholland. Where the road ends for cars, it continues for hikers, with trails ushering them into the Santa Monica Mountains.

When Danny and Marissa Seeman first strolled this street with friends back in 2007, they fell in love. And when they stumbled upon an open house for the older, farmhouse-style home, they couldn’t resist going inside for a peek.

“We loved the property, but the market conditions weren’t right for a buy,” Danny explains.

Cut to four years later. The home was back on the

market, and this time they bit.

“We lived in the house for five years. Then we designed our dream home. I liked homes French and Danny liked Spanish. This house, a contemporary Spanish, was the perfect place to meet in between,” explains Marissa.

The Seemans worked with Brandon Architects to create their vision. After two years of construction, the 7,100-square-foot property was complete.

“We used the inspiration of Spanish architecture to create a home that was clean and contemporary,” architect Christopher Brandon shares. “This project is unique due to the site having more width and street frontage, but not as much depth. It allowed us extra room to express the architecture from the street and provided more opportunity to design for curb appeal.”

Seeing the property today from the gated entry, it feels grand. The terracotta roof and pristine, white stucco edifice of the six-bed, seven-bath home gently

“Marissa wanted modern elements with a touch of glam and brass, but also to keep the home warm and accommodating to a family of five with three young children,” says designer Brooke Wagner, who worked on the interiors. “We kept that in mind when selecting furniture styles, too, choosing pieces that had those modern elements but were still comfortable and inviting.”

contrasts with tall, black-trim windows and an oversized, arched, steel front door. Taking advantage of the width of the lot, the home has four garage doors—two on each end of the home for symmetry— providing ample space for several of the couple’s vintage automobiles.

Inside the dramatic foyer, with its vast, two-story ceiling and dual, custom-made chandeliers, light oak floors lead guests past a sculptural console by Kelly Wearstler and a formal dining space for 12 and into the family’s primary living space and kitchen. Here, beneath a dramatic vaulted and beamed ceiling, are custom cream couches, coupled with angular chairs upholstered in a plush gray fabric. The muted color

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The

palette continues in the bar, with marble counters, open glass shelves and iridescent, geometric backsplash tile by Ann Sacks, individually set in black grout.

“The kitchen was definitely my vision,” shares Marissa. “I really love sleek cabinetry that feels modern and almost European.”

Custom cabinetry in a charcoal gray has minimal brass hardware—most doors utilize pocket cutouts instead of standard pulls and knobs.

If the kitchen was at the top of Marissa’s wish list, the multiple sets of steel and glass doors and sliders that frame the backside of the house were atop Danny’s. “I wanted that dramatic feeling of steel. It’s just not the same when you paint them black,” says Danny, who owns and operates an automobile parts company.

Natural light illuminates this space, with the steel

sliders allowing for indoor-outdoor living. Another 1,000 square feet of usable space is just outside in the outdoor arcade, a resplendent patio lined with contiguous arches.

The lower level is home to a guest suite, the media room, and Daniel’s home office, a moody space painted in a deep navy, even including the coffered ceilings.

The primary bedroom suite and the kids’ rooms are on the second floor. A wood-and-steel spindled banister leads the way up oak stairs from the foyer. From the balcony of the couple’s room, nearly the entire backyard is visible—a viewing deck fit for royalty.

“This yard really is magical,” Marissa says. “We do a lot of entertaining. I play pickleball here with friends every Friday, and the kids are outside all summer. We just love everything about it.” ■

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family enjoys watching movies in the “arcade” patio in the summer and hosting dinner parties overlooking the pool. A pickleball court and play structure for the children— Carter (8), Reagan (10), and Nixon (5)—bookend the yard.

“With the use of arches and terracotta tiles combined with smooth stucco and other minimalist details, the facade of this home accomplishes the transitional Spanish style our clients wanted to capture,” says architect Christopher Brandon.

California Castles

CRAVING ELEGANT ENVIRONS, INSPIRING ARCHITECTURE AND A SUBTLE HINT OF ROMANCE? SOUNDS LIKE A CHATEAU EXPERIENCE IS WHAT YOU’RE AFTER. BEST NEWS: YOU CAN GET IT RIGHT HERE IN CALIFORNIA.

In the world of luxury travel, there is nothing so sensuous as a chateau. The blend of art and architecture, gardens and hospitality make chateau-style inns a favorite throughout Europe. Happily, there’s no need to travel overseas for one of these fairy tale experiences. Gracious, chateau-style accommodations are waiting to be discovered right here in California.

CHÂTEAU DU SUREAU

Stately Château du Sureau sits above Yosemite’s southern gateway town, Oakhurst. The architecture is enchanting—a 9-acre castle-resort with fragrant gardens and secret spaces that transport you to the French countryside. It’s a true chateau in every sense. The living room invites guests to enjoy a glass of wine in front of a crackling fire. Off the lobby, there’s a place of reverence—a small chapel. And because a chateau is the heart of a village, Elderberry House Restaurant and

the stone-and-wood Cellar Bar, considered among the area’s premier fine-dining destinations, are popular on-site restaurants.

The original owner of Château du Sureau (built in 1983) was Erna Kubin-Clanin, an Austrian chef, restaurateur and hotelier with a passion for sharing European charm and hospitality. Each of the 10 guest rooms in the chateau is curated with her favorite treasures. “Erna found everything herself, from the furniture to the tile in the breakfast room, which she bought from an old castle in France,” says Château du Sureau’s French hotel director, Rani Grube. Also on the property is the freestanding, two-bedroom, 2,000-square foot Parisian-style manor, Villa Sureau—inspired by Erna’s good friend, Barbra Streisand, who needed more privacy when she came to visit.

When Erna retired in 2017, she sold the chateau to the Rosenson family of hoteliers, whose collection

The stunning setting at Château du Sureau. Right: A luxurious suite.

includes Mirabelle Inn in Solvang and Mansion on Sutter in San Francisco.

LAFAYETTE PARK HOTEL

Speaking of San Francisco, a chateau-style hotel just minutes from the city pays homage to famed 18thcentury aristocrat Marquis de Lafayette. The Lafayette Park Hotel’s striking yellow facade and French-inspired architecture make it a landmark that draws visitors from around the world. General manager Nick Bozych credits the customer service and caring staff for making the hotel a AAA Four Diamond winner for more than 25 years. “Everything falls back on the customer service,” he says. “It’s really making sure we have people at the

A charming courtyard at Lafayette Park Hotel. Below: The foyer and formal dining room.

right place at the right time for you.”

In the hotel’s highly rated Park Bistro & Bar, diners enjoy farm-to-table cuisine and carefully sourced meats like the tender Akaushi ribeye. The full-service Spa at the Park pampers patrons with signature treatments like the Wildflower Wrap—an invigorating dry-brush massage with herbal moisturizers and flower essence massage oils, followed by a warm, comforting wrap and scalp massage. As with other chateau-style properties, fountains and fireplaces create magic. The Wishing Well Courtyard is a delightful interior patio with cocktail tables among colorful rose bushes and hydrangeas. On the third floor are quiet seating areas in alcoves and romantic firepits. There’s even an outdoor fireplace by the swimming pool and whirlpool tub.

L’AUBERGE CARMEL

In the artsy enclave of Carmel-by-the-Sea, L’Auberge Carmel is an enchanting three-story inn by architect Albert Farr, who also designed Jack London’s Wolf House in Sonoma. Built in 1929, this Bohemian-chic hotel captures Carmel’s village-in-the-forest vibe and is just steps from art galleries, boutique shops, notable restaurants, tasting rooms and picturesque Carmel Beach.

As with other inns on this list, secret spaces invite you to reflect, read or share quiet conversation. A cozy stone fireplace bar off the lobby exudes old-world charm. L’Auberge Carmel’s 20 guest rooms circle a fountained courtyard rimmed with twinkling lights that doubles as a patio for dining al fresco. And speaking of dining, the crown jewel of this Relais & Châteaux property is the Forbes Five Star restaurant Aubergine, with its eight-course tasting menu. Executive Chef Justin Cogley is noted for his innovative cuisine that changes daily based on the freshness of ingredients sourced on the Central Coast.

AUBERGE DU SOLEIL

No list of French-inspired inns in California would be complete without Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford, just north of Napa. The dream of French restaurateur Claude Rouas, the resort was built in stages to accommodate guests of the Napa Valley’s first fine-dining restaurant, of the same name, built on the site in 1981. The sprawling 33-acre property, a sun-kissed hillside that was once an olive grove, is the perfect setting for the inn’s 48 guest rooms and two stand-alone suites, or “maisons.”

The views of Mount Veeder and the lattice work of vineyards are stunning in any season. The terracing and trees are also magnificent, while providing the privacy for guests. In fact, Auberge du Soleil’s Lauren Brenner says the rooms are designed so that you may not realize other guests are staying nearby. “Once you get beyond the gate, it’s only for resort guests, so it’s very private. Each room has a private terrace. Some have hillside views. Some have garden views so you feel like you’re in a secret garden— complete with outdoor bathtub.”

As you would expect in the Napa Valley, the Auberge du Soleil’s fine dining restaurant showcases the region’s much heralded fresh produce and has earned 14 consecutive Michelin stars. Breakfast is included with an overnight stay, along with a curated selection of gratis snacks and local wine in each guest room. Guests often enjoy finding a secret spot in the trees or the lavender fields to have a picnic. They also love strolling among the 100 art installations on display on the property (most are for sale) and enjoying the spa with its individual treatment rooms opening to a central courtyard.

Art, architecture, gardens and gracious hospitality. These are the elements that make French-inspired hotels so enticing. Point of fact: you don’t have to travel to France to feel like you’re in the flower fields of Provence. A drive of five hours or so is all you need to find your own joie de vivre. ■

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The expansive grounds at Auberge du Soleil. Below: Some of the rooms feature outdoor bathtubs.

Passion Project

By all measures, Shane O’Donnell has found success as a freelance photographer, whether he is shooting for a high-end fashion brand or a start-up cosmetics company. Or a magazine—Shane is a regular contributor to Ventura Blvd, having shot numerous covers and articles over the past 12 years. But about four years ago, Shane found himself longing for a different creative experience. Something more personal.

“I have always admired painters, so one night I

decided to go the art store and buy some paint, brushes and small canvases. I wasn’t sure what I would paint, so I perused an older photo project I’d done that I called “The Beauty of Decay.” They were still lifes—essentially of worn-out everyday items,” he explains. Not knowing exactly where he was going, Shane started creating paintings of those photos.

With a fondness for and love of hunting for Americana—everything from roadside signs to neon motel marquees—he ultimately decided that Americana would be his focus of his new creative endeavor.

After a brief period of experimentation, Shane got his process down. First, he takes photos of things that catch his eye. Second, he projects them onto a canvas and pencils in the line art. Then, using the original image on his computer screen as reference, he slowly adds paint.

“I don’t paint like most people. I am self-taught, so I don’t paint complete layers and add as I go. Instead, I paint in segments or areas until I am happy with it. Unless there is a large area of a specific color, I stick to that one section of the painting, adding color bit by bit.”

Then something unexpected happened. Shane started showing his paintings to friends and clients and much to his surprise, they offered to buy them.

“Selling the pieces happened by word of mouth. Look, I enjoy the challenge of it, but I’m the first to say I’m just amazed that there is a painting at the end of all of it!” he chuckles.

Shane’s works have been shown at the annual Art Walk in El Segundo as well as shows in Manhattan Beach and Venice.

For more on Shane’s work, go to theshanegallery.com. ■

Art and Photography by Shane O’Donnell | Written by Linda Grasso
“I LOVE NEON AND DILAPIDATION. I LOVE THE PATINA OF THE OLD AND THE GLOW OF THE PAST.”

REAL ESTATE

Buying or selling a home can be one of the most important decisions you can make. And in this volatile market, it can be a roller-coaster ride. This is why it is essential to enlist the help of capable, experienced, trustworthy professionals. Here we share our annual Real Estate business profiles section, showcasing some of the most accomplished real estate agents in the Valley. Whether you are seeking advice about your property or you are ready to initiate a transaction, the pros you see on the following pages are ready to work by your side—from strategizing on a sales price to securing a loan to making a close.

88 CAROL WOLFE RODEO REALTY

90 CRAIG STRONG GROUP CRAIG STRONG GROUP | COMPASS

92 HARRIET CAMERON & JENNY BIRCHFIELD EICK

HARRIET CAMERON GROUP | BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES

94 STEFANIE POLLACK POLLACK & ASSOCIATES | COMPASS

95 GINA MICHELLE & GEORGE OUZOUNIAN THE AGENCY

96 GIL SPIEGEL & MARILYN SPIEGEL BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES

97 FRAN CHAVEZ & ANDREW SPITZ SPITZ | CHAVEZ GROUP | AKG | CHRISTIE’S INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE

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

99 ANDREW MANNING BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES

100 MARLENE GEIBELSON & DAYNA CAMPBELL BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES CALIFORNIA PROPERTIES

101 MADELEINE PEREZ MADELEINE PEREZ PROPERTIES | COMPASS

102 VANESSA WOLF SOTHEBY’S INTERNATIONAL REALTY

EDITED BY LAURA L. WATTS PHOTOGRAPHED BY TAMEKA JACOBS

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION

CAROL WOLFE Rodeo Realty

Since 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, an e-PRO, an architectural specialist and a certified negotiator. In 2022 Carol had another record-breaking year as the #1 individual agent in the Encino office of Rodeo Realty and ranked among the top agents by The Wall Street Journal and RealTrends’ America’s Best Real Estate Professionals. 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 almost five 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?

I bring to the table 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.

HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION?

When I am 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 of my sales are 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. My clients often include referrals from business managers, attorneys, CPAs, real estate agents and past clients.

WHAT DO CLIENTS SAY ABOUT YOU?

“Nancy and I want to thank you for the expert assistance you provided in the sale of our house in Encino. You made the process effortless. After the initial interview, it was obvious that you had the knowledge, expertise, skills and track record working in our neighborhood to handle our transaction. The photos and video of our home were awesome and very professionally done. Your strategy worked, and we sold our home within a few days of the initial listing and open house. We had multiple offers and accepted one that was $150,000+ over the asking price. You kept us informed almost daily as to what was happening and what we needed to do next to complete the transaction. You demonstrated what it means to be a professional, and you impressed us every step of the way.” – Kjell and Nancy

“As first-time buyers, we had no clue how to begin the home search process. A colleague recommended Carol Wolfe, and we are so glad they did. Carol is unbelievably thorough and knowledgeable. She cares deeply about her clients and is passionate about her work.

She answered every question, explained every form and made sure we understood the process from start to finish. Beyond that, Carol was responsive and went above and beyond in getting all our inspections scheduled and completed. Carol also negotiated an excellent price reduction from the seller—even in this seller’s market. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Carol. We are absolutely thrilled.”

“Thank you for your dedicated service in selling our Encino home under very difficult circumstances. Our home hit the market just as interest rates skyrocketed and home sales went from quick sales with multiple offers to very few offers and sales. You quickly found us a buyer at a very fair price and navigated a complex closing due to financing delays. You were extremely diligent and kept us posted at all times—often from early in the morning to late at night. We would not hesitate in recommending you to a seller or buyer of residential property.” – Barry and Sande

“Thank you for not only finding us our beautiful new home (we love it!) but selling our previous one as well. After looking at many homes in a tough buyer’s market, you found us the home that we truly wanted and negotiated a fair credit for repairs. On the flip side, you sold our home within a week of hitting the market just as the seller’s market started to wane. We knew you were the right person to go to for our needs based on your reputation and extensive portfolio. Your industry relationships, expertise and diligence paid off in helping us navigate the complicated process of buying and selling our homes. Your extreme attention to detail made closing a painless process. We will definitely highly recommend you to family and friends as a preferred agent!” – JR and Jill

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 88 | REAL ESTATE 17501 VENTURA BLVD., ENCINO | 818-285-3688 | CAROLWOLFE.COM | CAROL@CAROLWOLFE.COM | DRE #00477745

CRAIG STRONG

Anative New Yorker, Craig Strong graduated from Ithaca College and worked for years with Point Blank Body Armor, rising through the ranks to vice president of manufacturing. When he relocated to Los Angeles, he got involved in property investment and transitioned to the field of real estate. Craig has been an award-winning, top-producing Realtor® in the area for more than 20 years and is the founder of the Craig Strong Group under the umbrella of Compass, where he is vice president of Luxury Home Sales. He has been a Toluca Lake resident for nearly two decades and has served for years on the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council and the boards of the Toluca Lake Homeowners Association and the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR BUYERS IN THE CURRENT MARKET?

I would say right now for any buyer in the market, play it smart. It’s been a seller’s market for a long time, and now you can expect to negotiate a better deal for yourself. Higher interest rates and lower principal mean buyers should have thorough inspections and make sure you get what you need. Right now is a great time to buy with a ton of buyer leverage!

WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHER REAL ESTATE AGENTS?

My experience is unprecedented. There are so many people who have come into the business during COVID-19, and I can tell who is new to the industry and who isn’t. Experience in a changing market is so important, and working with an agent who has handled change before is crucial for a successful transaction. Whenever there is a changing market, things get more complicated and emotional. It’s important

to have someone with experience who can handle these changes and navigate tricky real estate transactions. All of the transactions I have successfully closed over the past two decades help me achieve the same success for my current clients.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE POTENTIAL CLIENTS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I truly represent my clients at all times. Commission is never a motivating factor for me. I want what’s best for my clients and take every deal seriously, regardless of price point. I think that is why I see a lot of repeat clients: representation to the fullest.

IS STAGING A HOME WORTH THE COST?

Yes! Yes! Yes! People in general (not everyone—don’t get offended!) don’t always know the best ways to furnish a space, and that’s OK. That’s what stagers are for! The furniture and flow help buyers visualize living in the home. Stagers make a home feel warm and inviting. A house has a much better chance of selling and going into multiple offers when it is professionally prepared for a potential buyer.

WHAT IMPACT HAS SOCIAL MEDIA HAD ON YOUR BUSINESS?

There is a certain methodology to our participation on social media platforms. I can chart my progress as well as track the properties I am listing and selling. Social media is also an incredible way to show off our community and the many ways in which the Craig Strong Group participates in local events. Through social media, people who don’t live in this area can get a glimpse of what living in Toluca Lake looks like. In addition, it is a great space for interaction with those who do live here. I also find that putting ourselves out there helps current and future clients take a look at how we

market. We always get compliments on how well the houses are being represented.

WHAT IS NEW AND EXCITING FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN 2023?

As in any changing market, there is an opportunity to remarket yourself. It’s a time to either invent yourself or reinvent yourself. I am personally excited to announce that I will be starting an all-new Compass Mentoring Program as senior mentor. In addition, I will soon be launching my Strong Coaching Program for all agents!

Many agents came into the industry post-COVID-19 and are in need of some guidance. And seasoned agents want to change things up. Acknowledging this need, I decided to create an industry support program. Can’t wait!

WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?

I have gotten to know so many wonderful people through my business. I’ve met some of my best friends through my real estate transactions. I never thought it would be possible to connect the two, but this industry has a way of bringing people together. I love that part of this job.

Disclaimer: 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 withdrawal 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.

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 90 | REAL ESTATE 10154 RIVERSIDE DR., TOLUCA LAKE | 818-930-4050 | STRONGREALTOR.COM | @ CRAIGSTRONGREALTOR | DRE #01450987

HARRIET CAMERON & JENNY BIRCHFIELD-EICK

Harriet Cameron has worked in the real estate industry for 40+ years and helms the Harriet Cameron Group, which includes her associate, Jenny Birchfield-Eick, agent Doris Bonnelly and Jenny’s assistant, Julia Constanza. Harriet joined what is now Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in 2002, and Jenny joined the agency in 2018. The team, which boasts more than $1.625 billion in residential sales, consistently achieves top honors and industry accolades for outstanding sales production.

HOW DOES YOUR BACKGROUND ENHANCE YOUR WORK IN REAL ESTATE?

With a previous background as an escrow officer for 10 years, Harriet has unparalleled insight into the escrow process and real estate finance with top-notch negotiation skills. Jenny’s prior professional background in entertainment and politics provides a unique skill set that translates directly to the real estate landscape with expert negotiation and communication assets. These diverse professional backgrounds offer knowledge, perspective and imagination where clients glean the benefits.

WHAT IS YOUR TEAM KNOWN FOR?

We prioritize quality over quantity in order to serve our clients in the utmost way. We understand their needs in order to exceed expectations. We are closers and creative negotiators. Every deal should be a win-win for the seller and buyer, and we are known for crafting deals in unique ways. We stand by our reputation as smart, savvy and energetic businesswomen who prioritize people and make deals happen.

WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM YOUR PEERS?

No sugarcoating. We tell you like it is. We do not inflate prices to get a listing. We provide research, stats and facts on pricing and marketing so our sellers get the best possible price in the shortest time to avoid having listings that sit on the market or experience multiple reductions, which ultimately can

diminish the final sales price.

We are transparent and communicative, and we tenaciously prioritize our clients’ needs to get the deal done. We utilize our vast network of professionals, our sphere of influence and every available resource to target the buyer for our listings and find the ideal houses for our clients. And there are no surprises. We spearhead every detail to prepare a house for market, and we are reachable 24/7 for our clients. Overall we offer top-notch service and creative negotiating; we close escrows expeditiously; and we deliver sparkling dream-home keys to our clients!

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES IN THE MARKET THIS YEAR?

As Warren Buffet, chair and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has stated, “The future is never clear. Uncertainty actually is the friend of the buyer of long-term values.” We feel this is true in today’s housing market. Real estate historically is one of the surest investments. With the rise of interest rates, cash buyers have the greatest opportunity. And if cash isn’t an option and a buyer plans to live in a home for many years, we have an array of lenders offering special interest rates. This—coupled with putting more money down or buying a slightly smaller home—can help some buyers take advantage of a slowing market.

Because of the underlying housing shortage, buying now may be better than buying later. Many buyers are obtaining adjustable loans at a lower rate or plan to refinance in the future. We offer analysis and guidance for each client’s needs to make their housing goals a reality regardless of market conditions.

WHY IS WORKING WITH A TEAM BENEFICIAL?

Each member of our team brings distinct qualities and professional acumen that directly benefit our clients. With experience

and tenacity, all matters are handled and resolved with great knowledge and expertise. Nothing falls through the cracks. We are meticulous, proactive and determined to seamlessly manage our clients’ needs to ensure smooth, successful transactions.

IS STAGING A HOME WORTH THE COST?

A resounding yes! Our sellers never regret presenting a home in the most attractive way to build on buyers’ desire and imagination to make this home their own. We work with clients on every detail before bringing a home to market, and we offer vendors who are creative, talented and cost-effective. This investment often translates to higher sale prices. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices also offers a concierge service for cosmetic updates and renovation projects; the cost can be deducted at closing. These investments can maximize a home’s value and minimize its time on the market.

WHAT IMPACT HAS SOCIAL MEDIA HAD ON YOUR BUSINESS?

Social media is an exciting, booming tool that successfully garners attention and traction for our clients with high-quality, inventive and well-produced videos, reels, posts and stories for all social media outlets. Our multitiered marketing strategies enable our clients to boldly stand out to an expansive customer base. Jenny uses her producing skills and creative storytelling to build powerful narratives and attention-grabbing pieces that assist in capturing buyers’ attention and selling homes. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices also provides access to worldclass marketing tools.

Disclaimer: ©2023 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties 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.

14141 VENTURA BLVD., SUITE 8, SHERMAN OAKS | 818-380-2151 16810 VENTURA BLVD, ENCINO | 818-601-8663 | HARRIETCAMERON.COM | JENNYBIRCHFIELD.COM @HARRIETCAMERONREALESTATE | @JENNYBIRCHFIELDREALESTATE | DRE #00675971, 02070744

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 92 | REAL ESTATE

STEFANIE POLLACK

Pollack & Associates | Compass

Stefanie Pollack has worked in real estate throughout the Valley since 2003. Most recently she joined the Studio City office of Compass. She worked in national sales, SEO/online marketing and mortgage lending before becoming a Realtor®

WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES IN THE MARKET

THIS YEAR?

With such uncertainty in the economy, the frenzy to buy at any price is over. There is going to be more inventory for sale, which will give buyers more opportunities. For sellers, the biggest opportunity will be using their equity to upgrade into a home that fits their changing lifestyle, invest in their current home with a renovation, buy an investment property, or achieve other life goals such as starting a new business, retiring or downsizing.

WHAT GIVES YOU THE EDGE IN YOUR AREA?

I was born and raised in the Valley. My daughter goes to the local school, and I am active with local charities and organizations. I am invested in our community, and I know the uniqueness each neighborhood in the Valley has to offer. I give my clients the knowledge they need to make the best real estate decisions and guide them in the right direction.

WHAT IMPACT HAS SOCIAL MEDIA HAD ON YOUR BUSINESS?

Social media has become the easiest and quickest way to communicate everything I am working on and has made it easier for potential clients to reach out to me without any pressure. Having my personality shine through shows how authentic and enthusiastic I am about my business. Check me out on Instagram, LinkedIn and my website!

IS STAGING A HOME WORTH THE COST?

Yes, a professionally staged house is a proven way to generate higher offers. Buyers have more options and are more particular about their investments since there are more choices in the market. As a result, you need to make sure your home shows well and stands out. I know that not everyone can afford all these options, so I have access to great programs like Compass Concierge which helps cover the upfront costs.

Disclaimer: Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the state of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified.

License #01991628, 01527235, 1527365.

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 94 | 12001 VENTURA PLACE, SUITE 100, STUDIO CITY | 818-625-6171 | STEFANIEPOLLACK.COM | @STEFANIEISMYREALTOR | DRE #01815614
REAL
PHOTOGRAPHED BY NICOLE GODDARD PHOTOGRAPHY
ESTATE

George Ouzounian and Gina Michelle run a high-volume real estate team in the Los Angeles luxury market, with a focus on the Valley, Calabasas and Hidden Hills. Their team has achieved more than $1 billion in career sales. Both have been recognized among the top 1% of real estate agents nationwide by RealTrends every year from 2019 to 2022. They have been named as Los Angeles Business Journal’s Most Dynamic Brokers, and RealTrends ranked them #48 for Individual Brokers in Los Angeles and #29 for Small Teams in California. Additionally, they have been named Top Team in the Valley and one of Los Angeles Magazine’s Real Estate All-Stars for four consecutive years.

WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM YOUR CONTEMPORARIES? Work, work and more work. We came into this game without family connections or any leg up; we just outworked everyone. Our motto has always been “first in, last out.”

WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO SEE IN REAL ESTATE THIS YEAR?  Simply put, it’s not the crash everyone expected. It is not a housing bubble or housing recession. It is, in our opinion, a housing reversion. The last two years have been the best two years we have ever seen in the real estate industry, but they were not the norm. They were wildly fast-paced due to the global pandemic, which drove interest rates to the lowest point we had ever seen. That, coupled with very low supply, created a perfect storm for the real estate industry, particularly in Los Angeles.

What we expect to see in 2023 is a reversion to a more typical, healthier market where proper presentation, prep work before listing and listing with a seasoned professional will determine your sale’s ultimate level of success. Who you work with matters now more than ever.

WHAT STEPS DO YOU ENCOURAGE YOUR TEAM MEMBERS TO TAKE IN THIS NEW YEAR?

Each of us has to ask ourselves: Is this really what you want to do for the rest of your life? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to make it in this business? If you are a newer agent in this business, you will have to outwork, outrun and outperform everyone. The more you know, the more your knowledge benefits your client.

2023 IS THE YEAR OF...

We believe 2023 is the year of growth and building character. Imagine you are a sports team owner starting your new market season. To achieve the goal, you must commit to polishing every skill set and gaining as much knowledge as possible to remain in the game and win. This can apply to every industry. The work we do in this next season will directly translate to better future outcomes for our clients.

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION | 95 23975 PARK SORRENTO, SUITE 120, CALABASAS | 818-850-1458 | 12080 VENTURA PLACE #D, STUDIO CITY | 818-900-4259 THEAGENCYRE.COM | DRE #01503003, 01948763
The Agency
GINA MICHELLE & GEORGE OUZOUNIAN
REAL
PHOTOGRAPHED BY @OPENHOUSEFOTO
ESTATE

GIL SPIEGEL & MARILYN SPIEGEL

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

Gil and Marilyn Spiegel, husbandand-wife Realtors® who work under the umbrella of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, specialize in properties along the Ventura Boulevard Corridor from Studio City to Calabasas and Ventura County from Agoura Hills to Westlake Village, as well the Westside of Los Angeles. Gil worked as a real estate attorney and developer and Marilyn worked in apparel marketing before moving to California and transitioning to real estate in 2004.

WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?

Making a difference in someone’s life and lifestyle and creating wealth for our clients is very satisfying. We work almost completely by referrals, and many of our clients have become lifelong friends. It’s also been very gratifying to help the next generation. Our clients are our best advertising! Here are some of their words:

“This is my fourth transaction in eight years with Gil and Marilyn. When my father passed

away two months ago, Marilyn stepped in and found a crew to not only remove 70 years of belongings but also saw that it all went to charities we all cared about. They priced the house right and artfully managed multiple cash offers. There were many hiccups in the process, and Gil is a master at keeping things on track. They are nice people who are great at their jobs.” – Robert

“Gil and Marilyn are the best! This was our first home-buying experience, and they helped us through every step of the process. They were always available and knowledgeable and put our minds at ease during an otherwise very stressful time. We’re so happy in our new home!” – Cody and April

“You worked so diligently, professionally and expertly—making yourselves available every step of the way, even with the many hurdles we encountered. You kept our spirits and confidence up with your positivity and optimism. We would recommend you to anyone in need of a top-notch agent in the most important transaction in life.” – Nancy

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES IN THE MARKET THIS YEAR?

With the large baby boomer population of people in their 70s and 80s, senior housing is a great opportunity. We help seniors downsize, which takes organization, patience and understanding. We often are their cheerleaders and their psychiatrists. By planning ahead, we can help them make the move while independent living is still an option. With increased equity in their homes, they can invest in moving to senior communities that offer active living. When all is done, they forget about the difficulties and thank us for helping give them a new lease on life. It’s a very rewarding experience.

ANY ADVICE FOR BUYERS AND SELLERS?

For buyers, it’s not all about the mortgage rate. A home is still the best investment. Marry the house and date the rate. Sellers have established substantial equity in their home over the past few years. Let us help you invest that equity in rental properties—the perfect way to create wealth.

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 96 |
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16180 VENTURA BLVD., ENCINO | 818-388-4515
GILANDMARILYN.COM
FB: GILANDMARILYNSPIEGELREALESTATE IG: @HOMESBYGILANDMARILYN | DRE #01351635, 01369282
REAL ESTATE

FRAN CHAVEZ & ANDREW SPITZ

Spitz | Chavez Group | AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate

Realtors® Andrew Spitz and Fran Chavez specialize in luxury properties along the Ventura Boulevard and Mulholland Drive corridors as well as surrounding areas. With more than 60 combined years of residential real estate experience, Andrew and Fran have been named Real Estate All Stars by Los Angeles Magazine; ranked among the top 100 real estate agents in L.A. County by the Los Angeles Business Journal; and placed among the top 1% of real estate professionals in the U.S. by RealTrends.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR BUYERS IN THE CURRENT MARKET?

Buyers in this market should be working with experienced Realtors who not only have good relationships with other Realtors but also work with a multitude of lenders. We have developed strong relationships with top lenders that enable our clients to obtain preferred pricing, as well as making sure each buyer is matched to the lender who is best versed to their financial situation.

WHAT GIVES YOU THE EDGE IN YOUR AREA?

As lifelong residents, our vast knowledge of the area provides clients an inside track. Andrew was born, raised, schooled and lives in Encino. He surprises clients with his knowledge of homes, owners and floor plans on any given block. Fran has resided in Studio City, Sherman Oaks and, for the last seven years, Lake Sherwood in Westlake Village. He provides insight that clients would not be privy to otherwise.

WHAT IS YOUR TEAM KNOWN FOR?

Catering to our clients with a hands-on approach, along with our knowledge of the inventory, experience in problem-solving and negotiating skills. We like to think of ourselves as the Four Seasons of real estate and are backed by a dedicated licensed staff that includes a marketing director, social media manager, transaction coordinator and a paralegal administrator, giving us the ability to serve our clients’ wants and needs.

HOW DO YOU SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY?

With each transaction we donate a portion of our commission to various charities including the American Cancer Society, City of Hope and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE POTENTIAL CLIENTS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

We don’t just assist clients in buying and selling homes. We cultivate relationships with our clients that go far beyond the closing of their properties—which is why we have a strong referral base and repeat business. We have developed a strong network of vendors and professionals, allowing us to provide our clients with the support they need prior to listing and well beyond the closing.

Disclaimer: AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate is a real estate broker licensed by the state of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License #01527644.

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION | 97 15760 VENTURA BLVD., SUITE 100, ENCINO | 818-453-9119 | SPITZCHAVEZGROUP.COM | @SPITZCHAVEZGROUP | DRE #00924610, 01013357
REAL ESTATE

STEPHANIE PAYAB

The Payab Group | Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

Real estate agent Stephanie Payab has been with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties since 2003 and started The Payab Group in 2016. Stephanie has consistently earned some of the highest awards presented to agents within Berkshire Hathaway. In addition, she has been recognized nationally in the top 1% of all BHHS agents.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR BUYERS IN THE CURRENT MARKET?

In an economy with rising inflation, prices go up on nearly everything. If you are a renter, you can bet on your landlord increasing your rent every year. Becoming a homeowner provides a level of stability—especially in times of economic uncertainty. Of course, with homeownership comes a mortgage. It’s most likely your largest expense, but you can lock in your monthly payment for the length of your loan or at least until you can refinance.

IS STAGING A HOME WORTH THE COST?

Staging a home can help it sell faster than homes that are not professionally staged, and statistics show it is worth the investment! A well-staged home makes a great first impression both in online photos and in person. It gives the home a new, fresh feel that allows anyone to walk in and see how a space is best used and the potential of the property.

HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION?

Can you believe that we are still experiencing low inventory levels? With such limited inventory, multiple offers are still possible for a well-priced property. We help our clients beat out their competition by positioning them properly from the beginning. When they find their dream home, we advise them to put in their strongest offer. Every transaction is unique, and The Payab Group works to find the best strategy for all of our clients.

WHAT IS YOUR TEAM KNOWN FOR?

Stephanie Payab is known as a strong, dedicated leader with bright pink hair! The Payab Team is a group of agents and staff who love the real estate business and who work tirelessly to meet the needs of each of their clients—whether they are selling, buying or renting a home.

WHY IS WORKING WITH A TEAM BENEFICIAL FOR YOUR CLIENTS?

Working with a team is beneficial to our clients because we have the agents and staff needed to handle a transaction. We are ready for anything that pops up. The Payab Group’s goals are to provide the best advice and service as well as a fun and rewarding  experience for our clients, and to get the job done successfully!

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 98 | REAL ESTATE 16810 VENTURA BLVD., ENCINO | 818-269-2796 | THEPAYABGROUP.COM | DRE #01394407

Residential real estate agent Andrew Manning has worked in real estate since 1986. He specializes in all areas of the Valley and Palos Verdes to Paso Robles in all price ranges. Andrew joined Berkshire Hathaway in 2013 and is a founding member of the luxury property division. He continually achieves the ranking of #1 individual agent in the San Fernando Valley and was ranked the #13 agent worldwide (out of 50,000+ BHHS agents). He has brokered more than $2 billion in closed transactions during his career.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR SELLERS IN THIS MARKET?  With the climbing interest rates, blooming inventory and buyers holding more leverage, there are still many creative ways to “win” in today’s market. Gone are the drunken prices of 2021, and in their place are more realistic values. While factors impacting the market are complex, together we can make it work for you.

WHAT QUALITIES ARE NEEDED TO BE THE BEST IN REAL ESTATE? Being a good listener, having a good reputation among other agents, having knowledge of your area and market conditions, and helping your clients with problem-solving and trusted resources such as mortgage brokers, movers, handymen and tradespeople.

IS STAGING A HOME WORTH THE COST?

In 2023 it’s more important than ever for your house to look pristine. Staging is key. Because properties are in such high demand, sellers can no longer kick problems or cluttered rooms down the road. Buyers are paying a lot more attention to the details of your home.

WHAT IMPACT HAS SOCIAL MEDIA HAD ON YOUR BUSINESS?

Social media is truly key to all real estate transactions these days! Just like online dating, if someone sees your home and doesn’t swipe right, they’re never coming back to date you. I work very closely with a savvy media team to craft some of the most innovative and influential campaigns around today, including the use of social media influencers when appropriate. My sellers deserve the most effective and expansive exposure for their homes.

HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION?

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 I align myself with like-minded clients.

DO YOU INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY IN YOUR WORK?

My partner, Steve, is my rock and balance beam. He runs our small group and helps with showings, inspections and problems/resolutions.

Disclaimer: ©2023 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties 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.

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION | 99 14141 VENTURA BLVD., SUITE 8, SHERMAN OAKS | 818-380-2147 | ANDREWMANNING.COM IG: @ANDREWMANNINGRE | FB: @ANDREWMANNINGREALESTATE | DRE #00941825
MANNING Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties
ANDREW
REAL ESTATE

MARLENE GEIBELSON & DAYNA CAMPBELL

The mother-daughter team of Realtors® Dayna Campbell and Marlene Geibelson have a combined experience of 40 years of real estate transactions. Both were raised in the San Fernando Valley. A graduate of UCLA, Marlene worked as a teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District prior to her real estate career. She has been the recipient of Top Producer awards and served as a member of the International President’s Circle with Berkshire Hathaway, ranking among the top 10% of sales associates. Dayna graduated from California State University, Northridge with a double major in film production and screenwriting and started her professional career in the entertainment industry, planning large-scale events for both corporate and social clients. She began selling real estate in 2015.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE POTENTIAL CLIENTS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

We have never-ending energy to always go the extra mile for you and will go wherever

we are needed. Of course we have our areas of specialty, but client service is always #1.

HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE

COMPETITION?

Relationships! The relationships we have built with other agents over the years speak volumes when establishing credibility for our buyers. When our buyers come to the table prepared to strike, our team dynamic and relationships help position them as superior candidates. This is especially true in situations with multiple offers, which we are still seeing in today’s market.

IN WHAT WAYS HAS YOUR PROFESSIONAL PERFORMANCE EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS?

Both of us have had multiple jobs in the service industry. It’s in our nature to provide the best service we know how. When our clients tell us how pleased they were with how we supported them during their transaction and refer us to work with their friends and family, that is the ultimate compliment!

WHAT IS NEW AND EXCITING FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN

2023?

We have an incredibly exciting new build coming to the market in the late spring/early summer. This is a concept that the entire city of Los Angeles has yet to see on the market. We can’t give you any hints except that it is a new single-family home coming to Studio City!

DO YOU INVOLVE YOUR FAMILY IN YOUR WORK?

The family dynamic is a huge part of how we work and why people choose to work with us. Because of our generational gap, we appeal to different categories of buyers and sellers. Also, our combined experience creates confidence for our clients. Almost like a tag team, our clients receive a two-for-the-price-of-one value with us, since we are both 100% invested in the client and available for their every need.

Disclaimer: ©2023 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC.

16810 VENTURA BLVD., ENCINO | 818-634-9404 | MDHOMESLA.COM | IG: @M_D_HOMES | DRE #01969328, 01078441

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 100 | REAL ESTATE

ARealtor® at Compass and owner of Madeleine Perez Properties, Madeleine Perez works in residential real estate across Los Angeles. A New York City native, she was an award-winning producer for ABC News and a freelance editor for Los Angeles Magazine before transitioning to real estate.

WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM YOUR PEERS?

Honesty and integrity are at the core of my business. A Realtor is more than just the person selling your home or helping you buy one—they should be a trusted partner. This business is about relationships, and my reputation with local agents sets me apart from my peers, helps my buyers secure their dream homes and gets my sellers the strongest possible offers. I also stand out because I have a huge list of vetted vendors who are the best in their fields.

WHAT GIVES YOU THE EDGE IN YOUR AREA?

The Valley is a unique market. It takes someone who lives and works here to best serve clients. It’s about knowing every listing and the intricacies of each neighborhood, having solid relationships with local agents and being an all-around Valley expert.

WHAT IS YOUR HISTORY IN THE VALLEY?

I moved to the Valley in 2012 and fell in love with the area instantly. My husband grew up here, and now our son attends school in Sherman Oaks. I enjoy all the amazing restaurants and activities. I believe in giving back to our community, which is why I organize food and clothing drives for Hope of the Valley Rescue Mission and support other worthwhile organizations.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE CLIENTS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

This business is, above all else, about my clients. There are a lot of egos in real estate, and I believe clients should choose an agent who achieves success without making it a celebration of themself. I’ve gotten a lot of referrals and repeat clients because I made sure their needs were not just met but exceeded.

HOW DOES YOUR BACKGROUND ENHANCE YOUR WORK?

As a journalist, I learned valuable skills that have been essential to my success in real estate. I know how to gain people’s trust and respect, excel in high-pressure situations, and react with speed, composure and precision. I take a personalized approach with every client, ask poignant questions, listen to individual needs and deliver comprehensive advice.

Disclaimer: Compass is a real estate broker licensed by the state of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. License #01991628, 01527235, 1527365.

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION | 101 818-318-7353 | MADDYPPROPERTIES.COM | MADDYPREALESTATE@GMAIL.COM @MADDYPPROPERTIES | DRE #01985156 MADELEINE PEREZ Madeleine Perez Properties | Compass
REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHED BY STEPHANIE HELGUERA

VANESSA WOLF

Sotheby’s International Realty

While Vanessa Wolf works all over Los Angeles as a Realtor® with Sotheby’s International Realty, she specializes in Valley properties. She started working in real estate in 2017, became a leasing agent in 2018 and joined Sotheby’s in 2020—quickly becoming one of the top producers at her office. For her efforts, she was awarded the 2022 Rising Star Award by the firm. Vanessa was born and raised in Orange County and earned a BFA in theatre performance from Chapman University.

WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE POTENTIAL CLIENTS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

I genuinely love working with my clients. I am a hands-on agent whose priority is to build trust and open communication with everyone I work with. I want to understand clients’ short-term and long-term goals so I can use my experience, resources and network to make it a smooth experience. I’m here for my clients every step of the way.

HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS BEAT THE COMPETITION?

Having worked on both the buyer side and the seller side, I know how to craft a clean, strong offer for my clients. It is not always about the highest price; I connect with the listing agent to really understand what the seller is looking for as far as terms, timeline, etc. That phone call allows me to package and present the best possible offer, which helps my clients regularly stand out among multiple offers.

WHAT IMPACT HAS SOCIAL MEDIA HAD ON YOUR BUSINESS?

Social media has had a major impact on my business. It is an incredible tool for keeping in touch and sharing information about the market with my friends and network. I keep my social media honest and organic— because of this, people feel comfortable reaching out to me with real estate questions. And often those relationships have turned into new clients.

IS STAGING A HOME WORTH THE COST?

I would say staging is the most important tool in prepping a home for sale. You have a few seconds to capture the buyer’s interest with photos. In person, a client’s first impression when they enter a property can shape how they feel about it. A professional stager is able to show a home’s full potential in a way that helps prospective buyers imagine themselves living in the space. Staging has almost become an expectation for buyers in the Los Angeles area. If full staging is out of your budget, I still recommend fresh paint, decluttering and removing personal items.

Disclaimer: ©2023 Sotheby’s International Realty. All Rights Reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark and used with permission. Each Sotheby’s International Realty office is independently owned and operated, except those operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. The Sotheby’s International Realty network fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act.

SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION 102 | REAL ESTATE 13501 VENTURA BLVD., SHERMAN OAKS | 310-882-3467 | VANESSAWOLFHOMES.COM | @VANESSA_ANDHOMES | DRE #02065030

Spectacular Longridge Estates New Construction

Located on a quiet tree lined street within Longridge Estates sits this new construction masterpiece. The grounds have been artfully curated with a detached full-service guest house. Two A-frames sit above a large center mass giving way to upper floor deck gardens. Rob Diaz, Mark Alexander and Anastasia Ratia spared no expense or detail in creating this timeless jewel.

Offered at: $8,500,000

Andrew Dinsky, Associate Broker | Equity Union Real Estate 310-729-3393 www.thedinskyteam.com

REAL ESTATE
SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION | 103
The Chernov Team embodies integrity and vitality across all of our business operations. We hold ourselves personally accountable to the highest standard of performance, vigorously working together to achieve dynamic results and prevailing equitable and ethical, even in the most difficult situations. We share a resolute passion for what we do and an unwavering drive to excel in every move we make. We spare no effort, make no excuses, and leave no stone unturned in realizing optimal success for all our clients. We know the San Fernando Valley inside-out and we have carefully curated and nurtured the local relationships necessary to produce outcomes well beyond the reach of our competition. 818.432.1524 INFO@CHERNOVTEAM.COM WWW.CHERNOVTEAM.COM The Chernov Team LIC. # 01850113 / 01904054 FOLLOW US @CHERNOVTEAM The Chernov Team #1 TEAM IN THE VALLEY #6 IN LOS ANGELES #16 IN CALIFORNIA
Over $1 Billion In Sales 2020-2022

A

ONE OF A KIND OPPORTUNITY

in the heart of Studio City. This gated contemporary estate is completely private and secluded. A nature lovers paradise immersed in over an acre of lush park-like grounds with endless possibilities to be your own personal sanctuary. Behind a 150-foot tree-lined driveway & hidden from all directions with no neighbors in sight this art gallery masterpiece with over 8,000 square feet of organic architecture has limitless potential to be the trophy estate home dreams are made of.

12309 VIEWCREST ROAD | STUDIO CITY, CA 91604 5 bedrooms | 6 bathrooms | 7,733 living sqft | 46,550 sqft lot Offered at $5,750,000
by Donovan Healey Group 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. Affiliated real estate agents are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2022 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker® System is comprised of company owned offices which are owned by a subsidiary of Anywhere Advisors 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. DONOVAN HEALEY 310.903.1876 DONOVAN.HEALEY@CBREALTY.COM WWW.DONOVANHEALEY.COM CALRE# 01887933
Presented
3768 ROYAL MEADOW RD | SHERMAN OAKS 5327 BUFFALO AVE | SHERMAN OAKS 4101 LOS NIETOS DR | LOS FELIZ 12134 VIEWCREST RD | STUDIO CITY JUST SOLD JUST SOLD JUST SOLD JUST SOLD 1212 S VICTORIA AVE | LOS ANGELES 3900 LONGRIDGE AVE | SHERMAN OAKS JUST SOLD JUST SOLD JUST SOLD JUST SOLD 12128 VIEWCREST RD | STUDIO CITY JUST SOLD 4845 MATILJA AVE | SHERMAN OAKS 3531 COLDWATER CANYON | STUDIO CITY 6543 BONNER AVE | NORTH HOLLYWOOD IN ESCROW IN ESCROW 3818 BENEDICT CANYON | SHERMAN OAKS 11622 HUSTON ST | VALLEY VILLAGE FOR SALE FOR SALE REPRESENTED BUYER THEDINSKYTEAM.COM The information contained herein has been obtained through sources deemed reliable but cannot be guaranteed as to its accuracy. Buyer to verify accuracy of information. DRE #01811831. THE DINSKY TEAM DRE #01724985 310.729.3393 ANDREW@THEDINSKYTEAM.COM REPRESENTED BUYER REPRESENTED SELLER & BUYER 4137 MARY ELLEN AVE | STUDIO CITY IN ESCROW
10346 Moorpark Street | Toluca Lake Offered at $29,000,000 THEAGENCYRE.COM Let’s Connect. KEVIN DEES KDees@TheAgencyRE.com 818.414.3404 | LIC. #01915567
HOLLYWOOD HILLS LOS ANGELES © 2023 Sotheby’s International Realty. All Rights Reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark and used with permission. Each Sotheby’s International Realty office is independently owned and operated, except those operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. The Sotheby’s International Realty network fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Palo Vista Drive HOLLYWOOD HILLS KEVIN PANE DRE#02007794 BRIAN PANE DRE#01209478 424.535.0550 | info@PaneTeam.com | www.PaneTeam.com
Nobody does it better... Fine Estates® www.CarolWolfe.com 818.285.3688 DRE #00477745 WALL STREET JOURNAL JUST SOLD JUST LISTED JUST LISTED 19323 Redbridge Lane, Tarzana 17440 Weddington Street, Encino 19200 Allandale Drive, Tarzana 19265 Allandale Drive, Tarzana RECORD BREAKING SALE IN MULHOLLAND PARK! Sold for $5,250,000 (Over $1,065 per sq. ft.) SPECTACULAR AMESTOY ESTATES SINGLE STORY! Offered at $2,999,000 SPECTACULAR UPDATED MULHOLLAND PARK ESTATE! Offered at $4,999,000 MULHOLLAND PARK ESTATE WITH INCREDIBLE VIEW! Offered at $4,499,000 JUST LISTED #1 INDIVIDUAL AGENT
818.644.1477 DANIELLEPERETZ18 DANIELLE@THEBEVERLYHILLSESTATES.COM THEBEVERLYHILLSESTATES.COM ©2023 The Beverly Hills Estates. Broker does not guarantee the accuracy of square footage, lot size or other information concerning the condition or features of property obtained from public records or other sources. Equal Housing Opportunity. DRE 02126121 | DRE 01897529 REAL ESTATE ALL-STAR 2023
Michael J. Okun is the #1 Sotheby’s International Realty agent in the San Fernando Valley based on the total number of sales from January 01, 2022 to December 31, 2022. © 2023 Sotheby’s International Realty. All Rights Reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark and used with permission. Each Sotheby’s International Realty office is independently owned and operated, except those operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. This material is based upon information which we consider reliable but because it has been supplied by third parties, we cannot represent that it is accurate or complete and it should not be relied upon as such. All offerings are subject to errors, omissions, changes including price or withdrawal without notice. If your property is listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. We are happy to work with them and cooperate fully. Equal Housing Opportunity. 3521 WRIGHTWOOD DRIVE 3142 BROOKDALE ROAD 3639 SHADY OAK ROAD 3541 VALLEY MEADOW DRIVE 3985 SUNSWEPT DRIVE 3191 DOÑA MARTA DRIVE 3656 AVENIDA DEL SOL 11498 LAURELCREST DRIVE 36749 BENEDICT CANYON LANE 11527 DOÑA DOLORES PLACE 11927 ASHDALE LANE 12047 MOUND VIEW PLACE BROKER ASSOCIATE #1 SOTHEBY'S INTERNATIONAL REALTY AGENT IN THE VALLEY SouthofTheBlvd.com theMJOgroup.com
LittleHouseLosAngeles.com Mia Capanna & Garrett McKechnie M 818.489.0781 | G 323.481.0585 mia@littlehouselosangeles.com | garrett@littlehouselosangeles.com follow us — @littlehousela DRE#020119926 / DRE#02123000 © 2022 Sotheby’s International Realty. All Rights Reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® is a registered trademark and used with permission. Each Sotheby’s International Realty office is independently owned and operated, except those operated by Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. The Sotheby’s International Realty network fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Mia Capanna, DRE#020119926, Garrett McKechnie, DRE#02123000. We help you turn one day... into right now.
FOLLOW US ON INSTAGRAM FOR THE LATEST CRAIG STRONG GROUP UPDATES 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
Oren David Mordkowitz ESTATES DIRECTOR | REALTOR ® CalDRE License #01246402 818-933-5866 oren@orenestates.com OrenEstates.com SOLD SOLD 5028 Rubio Ave. | Encino | $6,500 3928 Ballina Dr. | Encino | $2,249,000 12438 Laurel Ter. | Studio City | $1,450,000 17881 Av. Puerto Vallarta | Encino | $3,599,000 3951 Anastasia Dr. | Encino | $3,149,000 4630 Woodley Ave. #107 | Encino | $1,225,000 4450 Hayvenhurst Ave. | Encino | $12,500 24255 Abbeywood Dr. | West Hills | $1,599,000 4791 White Oak Ave. | Encino | $12,995 317 S. Windsor Bl. | Hancock Park | $10,495,000 4314 Grimes Pl. | Encino | $2,389,000 3616 Green Vista Dr. | Encino | $2,349,000 IN ESCROW Curious what your home is worth? Contact Oren for a complimentary home analysis! SOLD SOLD AnastasiaDrive.com 3928BallinaDr.com 24255Abbeywood.com LaurelTer.com FOR LEASE FOR LEASE FOR LEASE
© 2023 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. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (818) 380-2147 │ DRE LIC. #00941825 | andrew@andrewmanning.com Instagram/TikTok: @andrewmanningre | Facebook: @AndrewManningRealEstate THIS IS YOUR YEAR TO SELL. Ranked No. 13 agent worldwide out of 50,000+ Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices agents and ready to help you succeed in 2023 and b eyond, CREATING CLIENTS FOR LIFE. SERIOUS BUYERS ARE LOOKING FOR HOMES LIKE YOURS.
14110 Valley Vista Blvd. Sherman Oaks SOLD $2,800,000 3711 Cody Road, Sherman Oaks SOLD $2,430,000 4223 Murietta Avenue, Sherman Oaks SOLD $1,975,000 15467 Del Gado Drive, Sherman Oaks SOLD $1,700,000 3833 Woodcliff Road, Sherman Oaks SOLD $1,699,000 15470 Vista Haven Place, Sherman Oaks LEASED $14,00 0 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. Affiliated real estate agents are independent contractor sales associates, not employees. ©2021 Coldwell Banker. All Rights Reserved. Coldwell Banker and the Coldwell Banker logos are trademarks of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. The Coldwell Banker ® 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. CalRe#00616212 and CalRe#01020477 818.426.8677 barrydantagnan@gmail.com
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. *Data sourced from americandreamnetwork.tv MICHAEL BERGIN | LUXURY ESTATES DIRECTOR The Bergin Group 310.600.0715 Michael@MichaelBergin.com DRE 01845572 Top 1% Agent in Southern California #1 Compass Agent in Studio City / Sherman Oaks NEIGHBOR • EXPERT • FRIEND • REALTOR INTRODUCING THE BERGIN GROUP ANDREW KLINE, ERIKA QUICQUARO, ELIZABETH FELKER, MICHAEL BERGIN, NORMA PALADINES, JOY BERGIN, ANGIE DEGRAZIA-SHAW OVER $350 MILLION SOLD! A NEW YEAR, A NEW TEAM A NEW YEAR, A NEW TEAM 4425 Bellingham Ave, Studio City 4 Beds 4.5 Baths Carpenter $2,699,000 New Construction IN ESCROW IN ESCROW 4365 Kraft Ave, Studio City 5 Beds 5.5 Baths Colfax Meadows $4,750,000 JUST SOLD JUST SOLD 3105 Elvido Drive, Brentwood 4 Beds 3.5 Baths 4,089± Sqft $3,500,000 Represented Buyers JUST SOLD JUST SOLD JUST SOLD JUST SOLD 4707 Cedros Ave, Sherman Oaks 5 Beds 5 Baths Pool & Spa $3,000,000
TOLUCA LAKE STUDIO CITY SHERMAN OAKS ENCINO TARZANA WOODLAND HILLS SCG x AKG Encino Branch Office 15760 Ventura Blvd, Encino CA 91436 Andrew Spitz & Fran Chavez Executive Directors of Luxury Estates Top 1% Nationwide • Top 100 in So. Cal. 818.453.9119 | Andrew@AndrewSpitz.com 818.517.1411 | FranChavezRE@gmail.com DRE 00924610 | 01013357 SpitzChavezGroup.com AKG | Christie’s International Real Estate is a real estate broker licensed by the State of California and abides by Equal Housing Opportunity laws. License Number 01527644. All material presented herein is intended for informational purposes only and is compiled from sources deemed reliable but has not been verified. Changes in price, condition, sale or withdrawal may be made without notice. No statement is made as to the accuracy of any description. All measurements and square footage are approximate. 3831 Scadlock Ln, Sherman Oaks 5 BD | 3.5 BA | 3,752 SF | $2,795,000 Hayvenhurst Dr, Royal Colony 5 BD | 6 BA | 7,612 SF | $5,900,000 JUST SOLD Spitz | Chavez Group Knows The Valley $2B+ SALES VOLUME 50+ CLOSED TRANSACTIONS ANNUALLY 3915 Vista Linda Dr, Encino 5 BD | 6 BA | 5,528 SF | $5,490,000 NEW LISTING 16093 Royal Oak Rd, Encino 4 BD | 4 BA | 4,056 SF | $5,299,000 4331Meadowview.com, Encino 5 BD | 5.5 BA | 4,178 SF | $4,595,000 NEW LISTING 15145Delgado.com, Sherman Oaks 4 BD | 3.5 BA | 3,677 SF | $3,350,000 19407 Shenango Dr, Tarzana 5 BD | 5.5 BA | 4,596 SF | $4,250,000 NEW LISTING NEW LISTING Top>1%ofover1.6MillionReal Estate Professionals in the U.S. byRealTrendsfor2021 Top100RealEstateAgents inLACountybythe LA Business Journal 2021 2022 “Real Estate All Stars” byLosAngelesMagazine JUST SOLD | OFF-MARKET NEW LISTING NEW LISTING Represented Sellers & Buyers Co-Listed w/ Marc Shevin DRE 00559629| Douglas Elliman

Citi

John Musso

$1 – $49,999.99 $500 off closing cost

$50,000 – $199,999.99 1/8% (0.125%) off interest rate

$200,000 – $499,999.99 1/4% (0.250%) off interest rate

$500,000 – $999,999.99 3/8% (0.375%) off interest rate

$1,000,000 – $1,999,999.99 1/2% (0.500%) off interest rate

$2,000,000 or more 5/8% (0.625%) off interest rate

Deposit Account Balances must be in the account five (5) Business Days following final loan approval and Investment Account balances must be in the account six (6) Business Days following final loan approval. Citi eligible accounts include a personal, consumer Citibank Deposit Account in which the borrower is a direct signer, Citibank IRAs, and Investments held in linked Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (“CGMI”) accounts. The borrower must be an account holder on investment accounts. IRA and annuity positions shown on linked CGMI Account statements are eligible (except tax qualified annuities under sections 401, 403, or 457 of the Internal Revenue Code). Balances from Citibank Business / Commercial accounts, ERISA accounts, Keogh accounts, Bank Collateral accounts, Foreign accounts, Fiduciary accounts, and Trust accounts where the borrower is only listed as the Beneficiary are excluded. All Custodial type accounts are excluded with the exception of Custodial IRA accounts through Citibank or Pershing LLC where the borrower(s) is the beneficiary, which are eligible unless otherwise noted. Citibank IRAs that are not linked to a Citibank Deposit Account are excluded.

The closing cost credit offer will be applied at closing and may not be used prior to closing. In Texas, the credit may not result in you receiving cash back.

If you are interested in Citi’s banking account relationship offers, please contact your Home Lending Officer or Mortgage Representative. Speak to your loan officer about whether the relationship offer is best for you.

Citibank Mortgage Relationship Pricing for Citibank account holders can only be applied prior to loan closing and is subject to account and balance validation. Citibank Mortgage Relationship Pricing is subject to change without notice.

Glossary of terms for this offer: Business Day means Monday through Friday and does not include federal holidays; Eligible Balances means total funds showing in the account at the time we verify the balances less any funds we determine you will need for a down payment or closing costs; Deposit Account means a Citibank personal checking and/or savings account as well as certificates of deposit and money market accounts; Investment Account means IRAs and investments held in Citigroup Global Markets Inc. accounts.

Terms, conditions and fees for accounts, programs, offers, products and services are subject to change without notice at any time. Offer may be modified or withdrawn at any time without notice. Offer cannot be combined with other offers, except when applied with specific Community Lending Programs. Offers are not applicable on Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit. This is not a commitment to lend. 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. Investment products are offered through Citigroup Global Markets Inc. (“CGMI”), Member SIPC (http://sipc.org). Citibank and CGMI are affiliated companies under the common control of Citigroup Inc. © 2023 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.

FOR
growing together.
Unlock special Citi mortgage discounts
you bank at Citi, enjoy: $500 off closing costs* or 1/8% — 5/8% off interest rate
THE LOVE OF
for the love of progressSM
When
Eligible Balance Relationship Pricing Benefit
Ask how you can take advantage of Mortgage Relationship Pricing
* Citi Mortgage Relationship Pricing A Citibank deposit account is required to receive the interest rate discount or closing cost credit. Automated monthly transfers of the mortgage payment from a Citibank Deposit Account using automated drafting will be required. Actual interest rate discount or closing cost credit will depend on the level of the Citi Eligible Balances, which will be verified after final loan approval.
Home Lending Officer 818-518-1008 john.musso@citi.com citi.com/johnmusso NMLS# 448606

Urban Opus

A GLIMPSE INTO THE CREATIVE MIND OF VB ILLUSTRATOR YUIKO SUGINO. HERE, SHE EXPOUNDS ON “SHADOWS,” A DRAWING SHE DID FOR THE COVER OF A RECENT SINGLE BY INDIE MUSICIAN REEYA BANERJEE.

The song “Shadows” is an empowering personal anthem about looking beyond the past and moving forward. The figure in the image is Reeya, and the setting, with the Chrysler building in the skyline, is an homage to her home state of New York. I fictionalized the spot to allow for open-endedness and fantasy.

There’s something intimate and curious about zooming in on an empty concrete jungle. Reeya stops at an intersection as she catches the light leaking past tall structures. What is she looking at? The viewer cannot see beyond the buildings, yet there’s a sense of optimism. Is this early morning? Or is the sun setting? Why is no one

else in sight? I like to leave a little mystery.

Color is one of my favorite parts of creating art. I wanted to incorporate a sense of light and dark, the contrast of past and future, and a dreamlike feeling where the colors are much more vibrant than in reality.

I have always been intrigued by textures as well. Here, the distinction between the rigid architectural lines and the faint roaming fog adds drama to the composition. It’s always a challenge to interpret words or other forms of creative expression into visual art, but that’s the beauty of illustrations—ideas are limitless, and each mind is free to imagine where the story goes. ■

122 | LAST WORD
THE WONDER WOMEN OF REAL ESTATE Harriet Cameron Group Harriet Cameron Harriet@HarrietCameron.com 818-380-2151 | DRE#00675971 Jenny Birchfield-Eick Jenny@JennyBirchfield.com 818-601-8663 | DRE#02070744 © 2023 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. Properties may or may not be listed by the office/agent presenting this information. Based on information obtained from the MLS as of (include the date data was obtained). Display of MLS data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the MLS. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. We thank our wonderful clients for putting their trust in us, and wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year! $1.625+ Billion in Residential Sales - Here to Serve You! Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties

INCREDIBLY CLOSE INCREDIBLE CARE

Providence and Cedars-Sinai are partnering to better serve the people of the San Fernando Valley. Our newly expanded, state-of-the-art hospital, which will be completed in fall 2023, will bring the highest-quality health care available, right to your own backyard.

Learn more at incrediblecaretarzana.org