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EMMA TOSHACK thinks outside Nomadica founder
DECEMBER Â· JANUARY 2018
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Contents EDITOR’S NOTE 6 Moving Forward Together COMMUNITY 10 Santa & Snowboarding @ Runway 12 “Mighty Ground” Beneﬁt @ Central Park Bandshell 14 100 Pieces @ Steelhead 16 Halloween Spooktacular @ Runway 18 Haunted Carnival @ CTRL Collective PEOPLE 20 Nomadica founder Emma Toshack is changing wine culture one can at a time 28 Hillary Clinton keynotes inaugural Teen Vogue Summit at 72andSunny
Vol. 2 | No. 5
PETS 32 Three instantly lovable animals looking for forever homes HOME 34 Cat Chen creates sophisticated natural perfumes for modern moms
HEALTH 38 Cedars-Sinai’s Dr. Victoria Kang on how to avoid the ER this holiday 40 Daybreaker throws a cognitiveimproving dance party before dawn
FOOD 44 Mootral makes a local stop on its climate-smart beef road trip SHOPPING 48 A sassy sweatshirt and yoga chill-out set for your favorite super mom
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44 ON THE COVER: Emma Toshack shows off her Nomadica wines at Hal’s Bar and Grill. Photo by Courtnay Robbins. Design by Michael Kraxenberger.
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Moving Forward Together
t’s no surprise Playa Vistans do things differently. From eschewing clunky wine bottles and chemical-heavy designer perfumes to pursuing new solutions for homelessness, Playa Vista breaks the mold. The Teen Vogue Summit held at 72andSunny proved that young women today are a much more complex mosaic than their moms were a generation ago. Of course fashion is still important to them, especially in the time of Instagram, but they’re much more invested in social issues, expressing themselves and finding ways to help others. They expect fairness, inclusivity, opportunity and fun; they’re also willing to fight for those things if need be. It’s not a coincidence the summit was held in Silicon Beach. Playa Vistans came together not once but twice to help the homeless these past two months. In November, crowds turned out for an outdoor screening of the locally produced documentary “Mighty Ground” and a benefit concert by the film’s subject, Ronald Troy Collins. Collins has made an amazing transformation allowing him to follow his dream of being a musician. I was inspired and humbled by his journey. In December I attended a charity art auction inside Deutsch’s brand new Steelhead studio space. I was impressed by the technology that allowed guests to place bids via their smart phones and receive text updates about items at the auction. Proceeds from the event went to Safe Place for Youth, a Venice-based nonprofit that helps homeless kids. I also got to know entrepreneur Emma Toshack on a hot day over a can of her Oregon White Blend wine that she described as, “really rich, almost oily, complicated and a little funky.” It struck me that the wine she chose for me to taste (over ice in a plastic cup at the tables outside Cabbage Patch) was really a metaphor for Playa Vista itself: rich in creativity, oily in the sense that no one is stuck in tired ways of thinking, complicated in its ambitions, and funky in its fun, rebellious attitude. I hope you enjoy this issue as much as I did. Have the happiest of holidays and a wonderful 2018!
Managing Editor Shanee Edwards Art Director Michael Kraxenberger Contributing Writers Lara J. Altunian · Christina Campodonico Stephanie Case · Richard Foss Jessica Koslow · Robyn Paris Andrew Dubbins · Andy Vasoyan Gary Walker Contributing Photographers Erica Allen · Inae Bloom Courtnay Robbins · Maria Martin · Shilah Montiel · Zsuszi Steiner Emily Hart Roth Graphic Designer Kate Doll Account Executives Renee Baldwin Kay Christy David Maury Advertising Director Rebecca Bermudez Senior Editor Joe Piasecki Publisher David Comden
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6 Playa Vista Direct | December · January 2018
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COMMUNITY PHOTOS BY MARIA MARTIN
SANTA AND SNOWBOARDING @ RUNWAY Instagram blew up as families flocked to Runway on Sunday, Dec. 3, to take selfies with Saint Nick. Celebrating her first Santa sit-down was tiny cutie Sloane, daughter of Marisa and Greg Avallon, who you may remember shared their home with us in our February issue. We’re thrilled to hear they’ve added a nursery to their beautiful Woodson home. A snowboard simulator gave brave bambinos a chance to sharpen their skills before hitting the slopes over the holiday break. Plucky Sophia showed off mad shreddin’ skills while other kids looked on in awe. Aprés-ski, kids went to work making buttons, tree ornaments and other holiday decorations with one of Santa’s taller elves, Tiffany Peterson. With cooler weather, a fresh ocean breeze and plenty of sunshine, Playa Vista proves once again it’s a great place for families to winter during the holidays. — Shanee Edwards 10 PLAYA VISTA DIRECT | DECEMBER · JANUARY 2018
Pritpal Bahra helps her son Gurnaam balance on the snowboard
Little Athena concentrates on crafting the perfect ornament
Tiffany Peterson helps other elves with their crafts
Greg and Marisa Avallon share little snowﬂake Sloan’s ﬁrst visit with Santa
Sophia shreds the Runway on a snowboarding simulator
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“MIGHTY GROUND” SCREENING & CONCERT @ CENTRAL PARK BANDSHELL On a chilly Friday evening in Playa Vista’s Central Park, a large crowd sat in silence watching Ronald Troy Collins read a goodbye letter to crack cocaine. Collins is a 49-year-old former crack addict who spent 30 years in Downtown L.A.’s skid row, surviving by charming passersby with his unique voice and songs. That’s how he met Playa Vista resident Aimee Schoof, who helped produce “Mighty Ground,” the documentary charting Collins’ turn from a homeless addict into a bona fide recording artist. The film screened as part of the Nov. 3 benefit for HomeAid Los Angeles that included a Q&A with Collins and Schoof. The event concluded with Collins performing several songs with lively accompaniment from family members — many of whom he’d lost touch with for decades. “Sobriety is a beautiful thing,” said Collins, “and now I want to help change other people’s lives too.” — Andy Vasoyan 12 PLAYA VISTA DIRECT | DECEMBER · JANUARY 2018
Formerly homeless musician Ronald Troy Collins and band perform at the Central Park Bandshell
William Dane and “Mighty Ground” producer Amy Schoof
Ronald Troy Collins dazzles the crowd with his vocal talents
Playa Vista Director of Experience Sandra Kitashima dances with Collins
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community Photos by Inae Bloom
100 Pieces @ Steelhead Deutsch welcomed a powerhouse roster of local creative talent into its new Steelhead studio space on Nov. 30 for the ad agency’s third annual 100 Pieces charity art show. The event’s founders — Deutsch Chief Creative Officer Pete Favat and his wife Amy, talent manager Melissa Ross and designer Chris Buzzell — each invited local artists, ad agencies and production shops to donate pieces of art for a silent auction benefiting Venice-based homeless services nonprofit Safe Place for Youth. Some of the more famous contributors included Shepard Fairey, Lauren Greenfield, Mark Seliger and Ed Moses. Amy Favat said the auction’s name came from its first year, when the goal was to collect 100 pieces of donated art. This year 204 works of art hung on displays made from reclaimed wood donated by EcoSet. The silent auction raised $70,000 for Safe Place for Youth. — Shanee Edwards 14 Playa Vista Direct | December · January 2018
1 100 Pieces founders Amy and Pete Favat, Mellissa Ross and Chris Buzzell 2 Guests admire a photo of passionate Mona Lisa viewers clicking their cameras in a frenzy 3 “Romeo + Juliet” by Chuck Blackwell 4 “Bars” by Brandon Kusher 5 A bidder ponders where he’ll hang an artwork if he wins
community Photos by Inae Bloom
Halloween Spooktacular and Dog Costume Contest @ Runway As shadows began to creep down the bluffs on the evening of Oct. 31, adults, children and their dogs paraded around Runway in their most hauntingly cute Halloween costumes. Doggies dolled up as superheroes, pumpkins and pizza strutted their stuff down the red carpet competing to be crowned top dog. All the pooches were precious, but only three won gift baskets provided by the Wallis Annenberg PetSpace. In third place was Stella the poodle, dressed as Sandy from “Grease.” The second-place winner was Maddie, also a poodle, wearing an adorable Wonder Woman costume. First place was a tie between two Shih Tzus: Ally dressed as a peacock, and Coco dressed as a Christmas present. After the contest, people munched on grub from food trucks, Hal’s Bar & Grill mixed up a special Halloween cocktail, and Sol Cucina offered Taco Tuesday specials. — Shanee Edwards 16 Playa Vista Direct | December · January 2018
1 Wizards Pam and John Baldivia introduce little Jenna to the magic of Halloween 2 Shiloh Tucker as Frankie from “Monster High,” Gwendolyn Spence as a fairy, and Suhailah Tucker as a Greek goddess 3 This poodle pizza seems worried that he’s on the menu 4 All the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles walk the red carpet 5 This traveling case of Stella Artois is perfect for the holidays
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community Photos by Maria Martin
Haunted Carnival @ CTRL Collective The creative co-working campus CTRL Collective transformed on Oct. 26 into a freaky funhouse with food trucks and a frightening Ferris wheel to celebrate Halloween. Psychotic clowns chased costumed ghouls through a scream-filled maze while other partygoers enjoyed over a dozen different virtual and augmented reality experiences. Some of the VR highlights included a bloody Roman gladiator battle from Colosseum VR, where many participants struggled to keep their virtual head. Paranormal Evidence from Next VR allowed guests to experience the hauntings of a 19th-century insane asylum. Those who didn’t want to don a VR headset could enjoy IRL carnival games and photo booths or join the monster mash on the dance floor. Ten percent of the Carnival’s proceeds benefitted the CSSSA Foundation, a nonprofit that raises a diverse array of private sector funds for the California State Summer School for the Arts. — Shanee Edwards 18 Playa Vista Direct | December · January 2018
1 A Haunted Carnival guest dressed as a French maid chills out in a virtual world 2 Costumed revelers sidle up to the bar for drinks 3 A man engages his muscles in a very physical VR encounter 4 A hipster and a cat make the rounds of the carnival 5 Fully immersive VR takes a guest into another world
Aussie wine entrepreneur Emma Toshack brings highquality portable wines to Playa Vista 20 Playa Vista Direct | December 2017 Âˇ January 2018
Nomadica founder Emma Toshack is changing wine culture one can at a time STORY BY SHANEE EDWARDS | PHOTOS BY COURTNAY ROBBINS
mma Toshack refers to herself as “the cute, entrepreneurial housewife.” She certainly is that, but don’t let her diminutive self-ascribed title fool you. This Aussie transplant is shaking up the American wine market in a very millennial way. Until now, Toshack’s career has been a bit like wine tasting at a global vineyard. At first, law school in Sydney seemed too dry for her taste; she preferred the earthy aroma of riding and training dressage horses. When that career seemed to literally have too many legs, she returned to law school to finish her glass. Her curious palate led her to open a restaurant, then work at The Boston Consulting Group before getting her MBA at Harvard Business School. A job at Snapchat caused her to take a big sip of Playa Vista. She liked the taste and settled in. One of her favorite aspects of living in Playa Vista is its close proximity to the ocean. On warm days, Toshack often found herself pouring her favorite, high-end wine into an empty Pellegrino can for trips to the beach. And just like that, she uncorked the idea for Nomadica. “Nomadica started from this mythical place where nomads go to drink wine while they’re traveling,” she explains. “The idea is to conjure this place where you go to try new things and it’s all about art and adventure and experimentation. You can be nomadic with
Each can of Nomadica wine has its own limited edition original artwork
it, because you can take it anywhere — but it’s also taking you places.” According to a 2016 report in Wine Spectator magazine, millennials drank about 42% of all wine consumed in the U.S. the previous year. But millennials aren’t just drinking more wine than any other generation, they’re changing the way it’s marketed and sold. Despite having been around for centuries, Toshack thinks the old-fashioned wine bottle is a dusty relic from the past. “The wine industry has always found itself in a bit of a no man’s land between being very true to the heritage
of old Europe and trying to embrace the future. It struggled, in my opinion, to figure out the quality angle on the future side of saying, ‘Look, you can be a cool lifestyle brand that’s still quality wine and not have to look like an old, European bottle-style label.’” She says premium boxed wine is popular in Europe, but it never took off in the in the U.S. “No one here has been able to crack it. That doesn’t mean it’s not crackable, it just means the market is a little (Continued on page 22) PLAYA VISTA DIRECT | DECEMBER · JANUARY 2018 21
(Continued from page 21)
bit different. No one here ever made boxed wine cool. The perception is that it’s poor quality, but it doesn’t have to be.” Toshack wanted high-quality wines “made in a really genuine way” — in other words, sourced from exceptional wine makers around the globe and curated by respectable sommeliers — “but in a package that’s really convenient and doesn’t break. That you can take to the beach, sneak into the back of an Uber or a movie theater or whatever.” But it’s not just the quality of the wine inside that’s important to Toshack. The whole package should be an experience, which in 2017 means it has to be Instagrammable. From a lush jungle scene on a can of an Oregon white blend to a watercolor hummingbird on a can of sparkling white, the name and Insta handle
Emma Toshack displays her cans of wine at Hal’s Bar & Grill
of the artist who created it is right on the label, encouraging the buyer to seek out a larger experience by engaging with the artist online.
“If you like the brand, the label, the art, you’re more likely to try it,” she says. So far, the wine is available on the Nomadica website, select retail stores, and various hotels and bars around Southern California, including HiLo in Culver City and Neuehouse in Hollywood. Toshack also sets up shop at music festivals and private events, including Levi’s Infamous Haus and a fundraiser at film producer Jill Solloway’s home. She recently purchased a refurbished vintage airstream for the wine to travel across the country. At the Planned Parenthood Food Fair in Santa Monica last March, it was stroller moms and soccer moms who expressed their enthusiasm. (Continued on page 24)
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(Continued from page 22)
“One even told me canned wine is the best thing for Saturday morning soccer games ever,” says Toshack. “I was like, ‘Cheers to you ladies.’” As Nomadica takes off, Toshack has big plans, including “an urban tasting room with rooms designed around the artwork,” she says. The company is also collaborating with deejays to create playlists for each of the wines, turning Nomadica into a true lifestyle brand. Between the flavor notes, musical playlists and the portable pop-top package with gorgeous labels, the idea is that Nomadica drinkers are getting more than a glass of wine — they’re getting an entire experience. And isn’t that what being a millennial is all about? Visit nomadica.wine or follow @nomadica on Instagram to keep up with Nomadica Wine events and new product releases.
For sunny, outdoor fun, Toshack suggests a can of her Sparkling White or Pink River Rosé
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Teen Vogue Editor-inChief Elaine Welteroth invited former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to give the summitâ€™s keynote address
28 Playa Vista Direct | December Âˇ January 2018
Teen Vogue taps Hillary Clinton, Ava DuVernay and young Hollywood to blaze a trail for girl power in Playa Vista
STORY BY BY CHRISTINA CAMPODONICO | PHOTOS BY VIVIEN KILLIEA/GETTY IMAGES FOR TEEN VOGUE
an fashion and politics coexist on a glossy teen magazine platform? It was a foreign concept in legacy media before Teen Vogue rocked the Twitterverse last December with a bold op-ed on how President-elect Donald Trump was “gaslighting America.” A year later, Teen Vogue continues to incisively pair political commentary with fashion-forwardness — (why wouldn’t they?) — and brought that sensibility to its first-ever Teen Vogue Summit, which concluded in Playa Vista on Dec. 2. A political thread ran through the day of panels, workshops and keynotes as seamlessly as the flourish of faux white fur that peppered giant bean bags, outdoor lounges and butterfly chairs on 72andSunny’s airy corporate campus. The morning began with a call to action as “Black-ish” star Yara Shahidi interviewed former presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton. HRC urged a crowd of hundreds — mostly millennial and Gen Z women and girls — to vote in upcoming midterm elections and hold their representatives accountable for their recent actions in Congress. “This is a burning house,” Clinton said. “Now, hopefully, the fire isn’t that big yet, and there’s still a lot of time to put it out. But it will only be put out by people standing up and claiming their rights, claiming their values again, and voting.” Clinton also advised young and future voters to not “look for the perfect campaign and the perfect candidate,” she
About 500 young women and teen girls (and a few of their boyfriends) gathered at the ofﬁces of 72andSunny for the inaugural Teen Vogue Summit
said, “because there’s no such thing as a perfect human being. Look for people who generally agree with you.” Later in the day Rep. Maxine Waters did not disappoint the young progressives who’ve taken to calling the outspoken Trump critic “Auntie Maxine.” She led the crowd in chanting “Impeach 45” after an eviscerating condemnation: “Donald Trump does not deserve to be president of the United States of America. … This man is deplorable and he’s dangerous.” But it was 14-year-old actress Storm Reid, the star of the much-anticipated spring film “A Wrinkle in Time,” who made perhaps the most profound if not out-rightly political statement of the day. “I have a really strong belief that we have the ‘IT’ in the book and the movie,
and then we have an ‘IT’ right now, in our world,” said Reid, referencing the evil villain of the novel and film and perhaps some contemporary force. “In order for real change we all have to come together and be one to basically save the universe, because it’s ugly right now. It’s real ugly.” When politics took a back seat, the gathering was buoyed by attendees’ eagerness to connect with each other and learn from the summit’s speakers, workshop leaders and panelists — among them ground-breaking film director Ava DuVernay. She spoke about “A Wrinkle in Time” with Reid and co-star Rowan Blanchard as well as mentoring women and people of color in the film industry. (Continued on page 30) PLAYA VISTA DIRECT | DECEMBER · JANUARY 2018 29
(Continued from page 29)
“It’s important that we pass the knowledge along, pass the love along, and pass along the idea that we could lead in any moment,” said DuVernay. Between keynotes, stylishly-dressed teens and twentysomethings, even thirthysomethings and moms accompanying their preteen daughters — many sporting white PB Teen backpacks stuffed with swag — excitedly shuffled between panels on building a beauty empire to workshops on combatting sexual assault, like students dashing between classes. “I really wanted to come today because I wanted to learn as much as I could,” said 21-year-old Maliyah Mason, a senior at Cal State Long Beach who also holds the title of Miss Compton 2017. “I wanted to get new ideas on how I could grow and develop as a person. ... I’m just so happy that this is a new event, where people from across the country can come together and can talk to like-minded people and
get new ideas on how they’re going to be innovators and activists and trailblazers.” Mom and startup founder Carole Hamm, who flew in from Maine, was excited to expose her 12-year-old daughter to the conference’s unique opportunities, even its serious topics. “I want her to start learning early how to find her way and navigate these issues [of being a woman] and help her come out a stronger young lady,” said Hamm. “I kind of look to Teen Vogue for some of that guidance.” But the day wasn’t all lectures in real world subjects. You could bedazzle a Juicy Couture jacket at one station, or chat with a “mentor” like TOMS Shoes founder Blake Mycoskie at another. Stars like singing-songwriting sister duo Aly and AJ paused to take selfies with fans in the hallways of 72andSunny. And Coolhaus ice cream sandwiches circulated on platters during the afternoon. The night capped off with a guided meditation by “Hunger Games” actress
Amandla Stenberg and a performance showcase featuring singer-songwriting duo Alex Belle and Isis V., among other artists. Admission to the summit was pricy: $299 for Friday’s professional development “@Werk Immersions” at various L.A. tech and media companies, $399 for Saturday’s summit, or $549 for a two-day pass. At least 50 participants attended on scholarship. But most of the attendees I spoke with walked away inspired — pleased with their investment — even if there weren’t enough sandwiches to go around at lunchtime. “I really just thought of Teen Vogue as a magazine,” reflected Loyola Marymount University senior Tallie Spencer. “I think this is going to change the world of journalism and magazines and news a little bit, because it’s going to inspire people to be their own brands and make a difference and make their ideas into a reality.”
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FROM ANNENBERG PETSPACE ˜ e coolest buddies in Playa Vista are waiting for their new forever homes
Hey there, I’m a young German Shepard mix, I’m very friendly and a bit goofy. I’m like a giant puppy. I’m hoping you will spend time helping me with my manners. I see everyone else getting treats for sit and stay — I want treats too!
What can I say, I’m beautiful and well mannered. I enjoy lounging in the sun and an occasional catnip cocktail! I’m looking for a special friend to spend quality time together.
I’m new to this, so I’m a little shy. I know in time we can be the best of friends. I’m sweet, friendly and very affectionate. I think I would be more comfortable if I was your one and only pet in a home with adults or with older children.
“Tip from the Trainer” by Eleasha Gall, CPDT-KA
Decoding Your Dog’s Communication - “Mirroring” Dogs have amazing communication skills - they can “talk” with each other from a block or two away by using their body language. If you are walking your dog and you spot another dog, watch what they do. Do they
sniff at the same time? Turn their heads away from each other? These are very social ways for dogs to communicate with each other. Dogs use “mirroring” as a way to tell the other what they want and what they are comfortable with. If you’ve ever seen your dog urinate on the same thing another dog has urinated on before them, they are picking up on the other dog’s presence, and communicating by mirror-
ing the behavior. This is their non-verbal communication. A dog that mirrors another dog is generally more social. Dogs that live or play together will also do this mirroring behavior. One will chase and then turn around and be chased, or one dog will “play bow” and another dog takes the same posture. It’s all fun and games when they take turns!
To learn more about pet adoption, or to see other available pets, visit annenbergpetspace.org 32 PLAYA VISTA DIRECT | DECEMBER · JANUARY 2018
WELCOME TO THE MdR KIND OF WATERING HOLE Mix a spoonful of northern Italian fare with a dash of Napa Valley sensibilities and you get Barbianca Local Kitchen. A neighborhood favorite in Marina del Rey located inside Hotel MdR. HAPPY HOUR DAILY 4-6 • WINE DOWN WEDNESDAYS LOCALS ONLY RECEIVE 20% OFF* at Barbianca Local Kitchen when you mention this ad. Barbianca Local Kitchen at Hotel MdR reservations: 310-577-6039 • barbianca.com • 13480 Maxella Ave. • Marina del Rey 90292 *Food items only. Not valid during Happy Hour. Expires 12/31/17.
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PLAYA VISTA DIRECT | DECEMBER · JANUARY 2018 33
Scent of a Woman
Home-based entrepreneur Cat Chen creates sophisticated natural perfumes for modern moms By Robyn Paris | Photos by Courtnay Robbins
34 Playa Vista Direct | December Âˇ January 2018
Home Left side:
Cat Chen and her toddler daughter Anne enjoythe sweet smell of their bright, modern living room B e low:
The natural jute round rug balances the straight lines of the reclaimed wood dining table
B e l o w r i g h t:
hen Cat Chen returned to her job in operations at The Honest Company after maternity leave, she noticed that her infant daughter Anne was irritated by the fragrances she was wearing to work. Her daughter’s sensitivity inspired her to look around for natural perfumes, but she couldn’t find one that she liked. So she created her own. Leaving the nine-to-five to follow her nose, Chen launched Skylar Body — a safe and natural, yet still sophisticated line of perfumes — in April. Skylar Body perfumes are mixed and bottled at a mom-and-pop boutique right here in L.A, using a base of organic, high-quality sugar cane alcohol from an eco-friendly farm in Oregon. Chen sources her botanicals from
Stained wood and leather stools compliment the grey-toned marble and tile that match the smooth, steel appliances
all over the world, including Italy, India and Pacific islands. “The ingredients come from where they’re native and abundant,” she says, noting that her fragrances do not contain parabens, phthalates, or animal byproducts; they’re hypo-allergenic and have not been tested on animals. Response so far has been enthusiastic, with sales coming in from all over the United States. Chen says the need for a natural alternative to traditional perfumes is resonating with women who ask themselves, ‘Why would I use a fragrance with harmful ingredients?’ “Most women just love smelling good. Scents help people feel happy and confident. They evoke memories, and they’re an easy part of a beauty routine,” she says.
Currently, Skylar Body sells four scents beautifully packaged in artistic reusable containers: the citrusy, fruity “Coral”; the fresh and beachy “Isle”; the spicy, bold “Arrow”; and the floral “Meadow.” The watercolor artwork on each container and its packaging was created by L.A. artist Jeff Fontelera. Chen met Fontelera through a friend and was impressed by the “light, fresh, original, authentic, natural” feel of his watercolors. She asked him to design the packaging for each individual scent. “Jeff let the emotions of the scents guide him” as he created the art for each perfume, she says. “Branding is so important because it impacts how you feel about a product.”
(Continued on page 36)
Playa Vista Direct | December · January 2018 35
(Continued from page 35)
Chen wanted her products to feel good in buyers’ hands and look great on their counters. She also wanted her customers to feel good about the company’s impact on the environment, so all Skylar Body perfumes come in organic, 100%-recyclable packaging and are shipped with water-soluble and cruelty free packing peanuts. Attracted to the community feel of Playa Vista, Chen and her husband Alex moved to the neighborhood in 2010, not realizing then that her bright and airy home would become a nest to nurture her child and a new business. She felt fortunate to meet a great group of Playa Vista moms after Anne was born. “The Playa Vista mom groups are tight and active,” she said — and also proved to be the perfect test subjects for Skylar. Before launching, Chen interviewed 100 women about what they wanted in a perfume and conducted blind tests of her scents alongside
name-brand perfumes at her Playa Vista home. “I kept testing until the Skylar scents out-tested the traditional luxury brands. That’s when I knew we had something.” Chen says after entertaining hundreds of options for names, she thought “Skylar” best exemplified the natural yet modern vibe of her new fragrance company. Skylar is only available online right now, which allows Chen to offer it at a price ($78) that is much lower than many luxury perfumes. She encourages women to try her perfumes in their home by offering a $20 sample of all four scents. This $20 credit is then applied towards the purchase of a full bottle of perfume. Being an entrepreneur is part of Chen’s DNA. Her father started a computer monitors business in Taiwan when computer technology was just beginning to grow. Now, Chen hopes to inspire her own daughter.
Chen wants to inspire her daughter to grow up without limits
“For me, seeing that he was able to do it was very inspiring,” she said. “I want Anne to grow up knowing that anything is possible … that you can make something out of nothing.” Find Chen’s natural scents at skylarbody.com.
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Dr. Victoria Kang of CedarsSinai Playa Vista Urgent Care encourages taking a few safety precautions before hitting the eggnog
H E A LT H
DON’T DRINK AND
DECORATE! Cedars-Sinai’s Dr. Victoria Kang explains how to stay out of the ER this holiday STORY BY SHANEE EDWARDS | PHOTO BY MARIA MARTIN
he U.S. Consumer Safety Products Commission estimates that more than 15,000 injuries directly related to holiday decorating send people to the ER every November and December. Here’s what you need to know to protect you and your loved ones this holiday season: LADDER SAFETY “The rule of thumb,” says Dr. Victoria Kang of Playa Vista’s Cedars-Sinai Urgent Care, “is don’t drink and decorate. You should have a designated decorator.” So save the hot spiced wine until after you’ve hung the Christmas lights. Kang also urges people to look out for elderly family members by not letting them decorate alone. More than 15,000 injuries related to “Falling is really funny in the movies decorating occur every holiday season but, unfortunately, it happens a lot when where the fire extinguisher is in the people are hanging lights and ornabuilding,” says Kang. “People do a lot ments,” says Kang, who urges people to of cooking during the holidays, so they inspect their ladders thoroughly before should always use kitchen mitts and hot climbing them. pads when handling hot pots.” “Make sure there are no cracks or Another warning has to do with missing screws, and that there’s no water children and tablecloths: “Little ones or oil on the steps. Always stay in the can pull the tablecloths and take down center of the rung where you’re stepping. If a falling injury should occur, seek burning candles or soup bowls, causing medical attention immediately,” she says. scalding injuries. If you’re cooking near an open flame, be careful loose clothing doesn’t catch fire.” BURNS AND FIRE SAFETY If you’re going to bring a live tree “Make sure you have a working smoke detector in the house and that you know into your home, make sure it’s fresh; if
you’re getting an artificial tree, make sure the label says it’s fire-resistant. “If someone does get a burn,” says Kang, “the first thing to do is remove the clothing that’s covering the burn. Clean the area with plain soap and water. Then, rinse the burn under cold, running water for about 10 minutes to cool down the skin area. Don’t use ice, because ice can cause frostbite and cause another injury on top of the burn.” She says to seek medical attention if the burn area involves your hands, feet, face or genitalia and if the size of the burn is larger than your hand, or if the patient is elderly or a small child. LACERATIONS Knives and scissors are everywhere during the holiday, whether people are cutting meat or wrapping presents. “When you’re cutting, always cut away from yourself and away from others. Your free hand should be on the opposite side of the item you are cutting. Make sure you use a tool that’s appropriate for the task. The knife should be adequately sharpened because if the knife is dull, you’ll need to use excessive force, which can cause injuries,” says Kang. “If a laceration should occur, the first thing is to apply direct pressure then elevate it above your heart. Clean the area with running water and then seek medical attention.” PLAYA VISTA DIRECT | DECEMBER · JANUARY 2018 39
Actor and musician Ary Katz made for a fun, highenergy emcee
40 Playa Vista Direct | December Âˇ January 2018
H E A LT H
WAKE UP AND
CELEBRATE LIFE Daybreaker brings its early morning dance parties to Playa Vista STORY BY LARA J. ALTUNIAN | PHOTOS BY MARIA MARTIN
etting up in the morning for work is hard enough for some people. Now imagine rolling out of bed before the crack of dawn to attend a 5:30 a.m. dance party. I was barely feeling awake when I arrived at the CTRL Collective coworking space in Playa Vista for Daybreaker L.A.’s Fall Whiteout Party on Thursday, Nov. 16. Now happening in 13 North American cities as well as London, Paris and Hong Kong, Daybreaker parties start with quiet yoga but quickly transition into high-energy dance parties with live entertainment and about two hours of loud, bumping music. This one would be no different. An organizer greeted me with a welcoming hug at the door, and inside the yoga class was already in full swing. About 40 people dressed in white to match the theme were doing sun salutations while it was still dark outside. “I assume everyone here is not a morning person,” said instructor Reace Daniel, whose entertaining combination of traditional movements and playful twists had everyone jumping in circles and introducing themselves to one another mid-stretch. “My job is to try to get people excited about the morning — to open up their minds to the idea that getting up early can still be fun and give you enough energy to get through your day.”
What better way to wake up than with a group massage?
As soon as Daniel was done, DJs FDVM (French duo Florent Denecker & Victorien Mulliez) cranked up the electronic music which had been playing at a soft roar pre-final Namaste. Within minutes everyone was clearing their mats, putting on their shoes and getting ready to hit the dance floor. The idea of Daybreaker just seems so L.A., right? But it actually began in New York four years ago, when Radha Agrawal and Matt Brimer started looking for a way to counter self-destructive late night party culture. After achieving success in their hometown, they began looking for partners to help
spread the love. Here in L.A., Argine Ovsepian and Andre Herd are Daybreaker’s main organizers and co-producers. “It’s like a morning rave,” said Herd. “It’s much cleaner though. Here we promote starting healthy with pure dancing and live entertainment to get you pumped and ready to take on the rest of your day.” Another thing sure to help everyone stay alert is Daybreaker’s no drug and alcohol policy. The closest thing to shots were fermented Kombucha tea drinks, (Continued on page 42) PLAYA VISTA DIRECT | DECEMBER · JANUARY 2018 41
H E A LT H
(Continued from page 41)
which newly arriving guests in fluffy costumes and accompanied by Olaf dolls downed faster than the coffee they didn’t seem to need after the music picked up. You might think that getting up that early to move your body to electronic music would be something only a hip, younger crowd would be interested in. But this was 62-year-old Domingues Begalli’s third Daybreaker party, and he drove all the way from Irvine to enjoy the exercising and music. “The energy is not out of control,” said Begalli. “It’s very enjoyable, and it’s been growing.” Playa Vista’s event was a bit on the “smaller side of average,” according to Ovsepian, with about 200 check-ins as the room kept filling up with eager faces of all ages. Regardless of size, there were never any lulls as the emcee and organizers made sure to keep the stamina going: initiating conga lines, throwing surprise
Daybreaker participants limber up before getting their boogey on
trumpet players into the mix, bringing out an electric xylophone. Herd and Ovsepian even led a group dance while dressed in furry animal onesies. Amidst the smiles and sweat, everyone’s response to me asking “What are you going to do after this?”
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was “I’m going to work and then crash when I get home!” I felt refreshed when it all ended with parting hugs, but I wish I’d gotten an extra hour of sleep the night before to keep me from napping halfway through my day.
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R e d M e at
Goes Green Mootral holds a climate-smart beef tasting at the Playa Jefferson campus Story By Shanee Edwards Photos By Erica allen
44 Playa Vista Direct | December Âˇ January 2018
L e f t s i d e : “Top Chef” winner Michael Voltaggio’s crispy taco shell topped with ground beef from cows with lower methane emissions A bov e :
Cows raised on Mootral natural feed produce delicious, pollution-cutting meat
A b o v e r i g h t:
Mootral helps cows reduce their greenhouse gas emission by at least 30%
ho doesn’t love a juicy, tender filet mignon grilled medium-rare? Or a Double-Double animal style from In-N-Out? Well, vegetarians to start. And environmentalists. According to a 2013 report from the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, animals raised for consumption are responsible for 14.5% of all greenhouse gas emissions. Over half that pollution comes from cattle. Lucky for beef (and environment) lovers, the people behind Mootral natural feed supplement are trying to make red meat green again. On Nov. 13, as part of the Farm For Ch4nge Tour, the Mootral food truck parked in front of the Facebook offices in the Playa Jefferson campus to serve up what they call “climate-smart” beef. “Cows naturally make gas,” said Lindsey Mee of Blaze PR, who was
on-hand to help promote the event. “80% of the methane they emit comes from burping and the other 20% from farting.” It appears cow digestion is quite the vaporous affair. “Cows have four stomachs with both good and bad bacteria,” explained Mee. “Mootral has figured out a way to neutralize the bad bacteria and lower the methane emissions by at least 30%, sometimes more. You can feel good about eating this beef knowing that the cows it comes from were given an all-natural supplement and are not as harmful to the environment.” Partnering with Mootral is “Top Chef ” Season 6 winner Michael Voltaggio, who created a climate-friendly tostada. Lightly seasoned on a crispy corn tortilla, the beef was delicious. But don’t expect to find Mootral-fed meat at Whole Foods anytime this year. It’s still being tested as part of a pilot
program at UC Davis this December and January. In addition to helping the environment, farmers may stand to benefit as well. Because Mootral helps create a carbon reduction, they can trade that off-set at the carbon market and receive financial compensation. Mootral-fed beef will likely cost more (especially if it is also organic), but it seems to be just one of many new environment-friendly food trends. Playa Jefferson campus worker Daniel Kim said he enjoyed the beef tostada but would need to know the price point before committing to purchasing it. “If it costs 50% more,” he said, “I’m not so sure. 10 to 20%, maybe.” Even though it’s not yet available in Southern California and the cost hasn’t been determined, Mee thinks it’s important to get the conversation about beef and greenhouse gas started.
(Continued on page 46)
Playa Vista Direct | December · January 2018 45
(Continued from page 45)
Find Your Spiritual Home at Mishkon The Mootral Food Truck visited Playa Vista as part of its Farm For Ch4nge tour
206 Main Street Venice, CA 90291
“The long-term goal,” says Mee, “is for consumers to start asking their butcher, their chefs: ‘Where does you meat come from? Is it climate-smart?’ We want farmers everywhere to start using Mootral feed for cows.” Find out more at mootral.com or follow @mootral on Twitter.
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Super Mom Sweatshirt and Super Baby Jumper
Finally, a comfortable top that says exactly how you feel. Pair it with this matching Super Baby jumper for your infant to create the ultimate mommy/ baby fashion statement.
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Link Chain Ring This simple yet stylish 14K gold-filled chain ring will compliment any holiday outfit. $40 MELLORÉ 12775 Millennium Dr. #120, Playa Vista
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48 PLAYA VISTA DIRECT | DECEMBER · JANUARY 2018
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. Are designed to ﬁt your speciﬁc vehicle - a perfect match • Help maintain original braking performance • Are road-tested to ensure they meet Ford standards for wear, noise and dust +tax • Meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards PER AXLE OP Code: BRK 1 at these offers (HH510835). *Mail in rebate form must be submitted by 1/31/17. Retail purchases only. Dealer-installed brake pads *On approved above average credit with or shoes. Exclusions apply. Limit one redemption per axle. Taxes extra. Subject to credit approval. $1,999 due at signing plus government Complete purchase must be made on the Ford Service Card. Subject to credit approval. Ford and tax and fees. $0 security deposit.Lincoln/Mercury 12,000 passenger cars & light trucks only. miles per year totaling 36,000 miles for lease term, 15 cents per mile thereafter. **On approved above average credit with $0 first month payment. Plus government tax and fees. $0 security deposit. 12,000 miles per year totaling 36,000 miles for lease term, 15 cents per mile thereafter. *** 0.9% for 36 months financing at $28.16 a month for every $1,000.00 WHY BUY TIRES ANYWHERE ELSE, financed. On approved above average WHEN YOUR FORD DEALER OFFERS ALL OF THIS: credit, not all applicants will qualify for • 13 Major Brands • 30-Day Price Guarantee these rates. • All Makes and Models Offers expire end of January 2, 2018. Requires presentation of competitor’s current price get ad/offer on exact tire sold by dealership within 30 days in rebates by mail (1)0% APR for Ford 72 months with Credit Card. after purchase. when youFinancing use the Service Ford Motor Credit Company above average Requires presentation of competitor’s current price ad/offer on exact tire sold by dealership within 30 days credit approval. PaymentsRebate of $13.89 per expire 12/31/16. Mail in rebate form must be submitted by 1/31/17. after purchase. offers month Dealer-installed per $1,000 financed.retail Downpurchases payment only. Tire rebates by prepaid debit card or apply to an active Owner Advantage Rewards $140 credit card rebate by prepaid debit card only. Subject to credit approval. amount varies based on account. credit approval. (2)$1,000 Factory Bonus Cash comprised of $1,000 Year End Sales Event FC Retail Bonus Customer Cash. (3)$2,500 in Factory Retoward work performed in our Service Department batesGood comprised of $2,500 Retailany Customer Cash.$50.00 Must finance- through FMCC in $99.99 . .order . SAVE $5.00 $300.00 - $399.99 . . . SAVE $30.00 to receive $1,000 Year End Sales Event FC $100.00 - $199.99 . . . SAVE $10.00 $400.00 - $499.99 . . . SAVE $40.00 Retail Bonus Customer Cash. Some rebates $200.00 - $299.99 . . . SAVE $20.00 $500.00 OR MORE . . . SAVE $50.00 may be in lieu of special financing. Not all Ford and Lincoln/Mercury passenger cars & light trucks only. buyers will qualify. See Airport Marina Ford moreorder details.is written. Cannot be combined with any other coupons or specials. Must present coupon for when Offers expire end ofOne January 2018. One to a customer. per2,transaction. Coupon good only at Airport Marina Ford. Expires 12/31/16. SEE DEALER FOR COMPLETE DETAILS.
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50 Playa Vista Direct | December · January 2018
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Playa Vista Direct is a new magazine for a new community, dedicated to telling stories about the people, places and events that define the P...
Published on Dec 11, 2017
Playa Vista Direct is a new magazine for a new community, dedicated to telling stories about the people, places and events that define the P...