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Casual Italian Dining


www.postogiustola.com 1948 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041 HOURS: Open every day from 5:30-9:30pm








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contributors SHAUNA MARINCIK

Having combined her passion for photography and music, Shauna attends many concerts with her camera in hand, capturing unique, lively and intimate moments. You can see more of her work atshaunalynnproductions. com


Johnny Buzzerio is a Los Angeles based photographer, shooting creative portraits for the music and entertainment industries, working with celebrities like Katy Perry, David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Justin Bieber and many more. www.johnnybuzzerio.com



Samantha Smart is a film editor working on documentaries, features and trailers, who has won several awards for her work. She has a passion for “all things film” and lives in Los Angeles with two rambunctious cats. sammysmart.com

Alexandra DeFurio is a portrait and editorial photographer who has shot covers for Dream magazine, including Ariana Grande and Zendaya. She has photographed seven published cook books, created lifestyle images for Josie Maran Cosmetics, and been published in US Weekly, Bop, Tiger Beat, Glamour, and InStyle. She lives in the Hollywood Hills but stays true to her Midwest roots. alexandradefurio.com


Joshua is originally from New Orleans, LA and made the transition to Los Angeles in 2010 to pursue a career in the fashion industry. Apart from PR, Joshua has conducted multiple celebrity interviews as a correspondent for various media outlets throughout Los Angeles while continuing to build his personal blog brand, #jPinNotes. As Associate Editor for SoCal Magazine, Joshua covers Food, Spirits, & Restaurant reviews along with Red Carpet Events, Launch Parties, Music Festivals, and SoCal Culture.

Michael is an actor and artist living in Los Angeles. He holds a Bachelor’s in Media and Cultural studies, and a Master’s in International Counseling Psychology. He served as a Sustainability Commissioner for the city of Palm Springs, California, and had a short run for Mayor of that city in 2015. Michael also assists in broadening the mission of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, and is the creator of NoteToSelfie, a project that mixes art and philosophy.


Originally from northern Japan, Zuke has been lived in the US for eighteen years. A world traveler, he has visited China, Hong Kong,South Korea, Taiwan, Philippines, Thailand, Spain, England, Italy, France, Switzerland, Slovenia. Brazil, Greece and Mexico. His work has been published in numerous publications.


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Born and raised in Los Angeles, John has done a variety of commercial work over the years including fashion, nonprofit, product and automotive. However his favorite has always been portraiture. He is now also working with moving images and enjoying creating video portraits. www.skalickyphoto.com.



Chanelle Renee is an American model, creative director, model coach and fashion / beauty enthusiast. With a long and highly-qualified resume in fashion, magazine work and design, Chanelle equally enjoys expressing herself behind the scenes. Chanelle’s contributions landed her in several fashion magazines as a Fashion & Beauty editor, as well as a Creative Director. She was a contributing Beauty Editor for LA Fashion Magazine and the Runway Director in Los Angeles.



A dynamic and highly energized Global Speaker, Life Strategist, Empowerment Coach, Police Detective, freelance writer and more. Anthony’s mission is to inspire people around the world to stop chasing their dreams, and start CREATING and CATCHING them. Having worked in the entertainment business for over 20 years, and within the law enforcement community for almost 9 years, Anthony has amassed a varied, and wide spectrum of business, career & life expertise that has earned him great respect and admiration from his peers, and many others.

DENNIS RICHARDSON Born in Miami, Florida, Dennis Richardson moved to Los Angeles to begin his marketing career, and to expand on his dreams and aspirations. Currently, he works as a social media consultant and digital marketing manager for several clients, as well as a freelance writer and food connoisseur. His passions include space & travel, fine cuisine, and of course the forward-thinking, environmentally conscious world of all things Tesla. What he hopes to accomplish in life is a lasting, positive impact on the lives of others in a way that everyone will see the world for the beautiful and fragile place that it is.

southern california’s culture portal

Publisher Agency27


Niki Smart is a writer living in Los Angeles. Her first memoir “Hell Camp” won her 2 x eLit Awards, an invitation to read at the LA Times Festival of Books, was a Top Ten Best Seller at local book stores, and garnered rave reviews from readers. Smart’s second memoir is set for release in early 2018. Smart is currently the Managing Editor for the SoCal Magazine (previously managing editor for the LA Fashion Magazine), and her writings have been published in More Magazine, Laguna Beach Independent, Aspen Times, StuNews, The LA Fashion Magazine, SoCal Magazine, and the Gemeindezeitung.

Editor-in-Chief | Creative Director Randy Dunbar Managing Editor/Senior Writer Niki Smart Associate Editors Joshua Pinkay Katie Nartonis Dennis Richardson Anthony C. Stafford Marketing | Social Media Ely Anne Veder ely@socalmag.com Beauty Editor Chanelle Renee Fish + Wildlife Editor Phil Miller Contributing Writers Nathaniel West, Raymond Chandler, Charles Bukowski, Joan Didion


Contributing Photographers John Skalicky, Irvine Garland Green, Greg Gorman, Randy Dunbar, Niki Smart, Jared Rubin, Johnny Buzzerio, John Skalicky, Alexandra DeFurio, Marta Elena, Shauna Marincik, Irvin Rivera, Matt Mitchell, Irvin Penn, David Stewart, David Hockney, Lysette Model,

While California feels like it’s always been her home, Hawaii, San Francisco, Las Vegas and the Philippines are just a few places Ely Anne has lived thus cultivating her lifelong appetite for finding, trying and sharing new adventures, especially through food and wellness activities. She loves how food can always bring people together – anywhere, any time – and that’s what fuels her passion for public relations and marketing. Ely finds it invigorating to have a hand in seeing brands thrive in their community by using her PR, marketing and event production skills.

Video Editor Sharick LaMay of LaMay Day Productions LLC Advertising Information info@socalmag.com

Spring Issue©2018 by The Agency27.com a multimedia company All rights reserved. No part of this periodical may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission from SoCal magazine.



3711 Cahuenga Blvd. Studio City, CA 91604

Expect bursts of spice, deeply concentrated flavors and a big mix-and-match menu where plates are designed to be passed around and shared. A unique and fun food experience awaits all, as the menu changes based on what’s in season. No meat-substitutes on the menu; no easy “go-to” soy-protein or reworked versions of meat-centric dishes. The menu, along with the space, is built from the ground-up as a showcase of the restaurant’s namesake: Vegetable. 10 www.VegetableLA.com SoCal magazine / The Next Issue



The Next Issue is Now


hat each of us share, until we don’t, is the future. The future will occur differently for each of us. These are the facts. The future will certainly be measured by one’s longevity—for 104 year old Reggie Gooch, he has experienced more future than most. While a big concept, the future is really meted out in the little things— automobiles, televisions, social media for that matter—incremental. but different from a moment ago. As someone who has flown for decades, it feels like air transportation has stood still—the Concorde is gone, the flight from LA to NYC is still over five hours, and seating arrangements have only brought us less room, sadly. Change, that transition from past to present to future is always interesting—our faces are evidence of a life lived, and depending on genes, lifestyle and luck, we may happily embrace that future, or not. When we first saw the website, Ageist, it was clear that many, many people over the age of fifty are embracing their present and their future with joy and purpose. Meeting with David Stewart, co-founder of the media website, it was clear that he was the embodiment of the Aegiest concept for a reason—he is that. We look forward to our collaborations with David and his unique team of people. With this issue, the next issue, we embarked on finding some of the future by way of the past, and the present. Joshua Pinkay looked to nine individuals living in Los Angeles, who are creating pathways into the future with various industries and interests.

Kristine Upesleja, visionary founder of Madisons— Innovative Materials, literally showed us the future with her display of innovative textiles; interactive materials that can actually monitor your health, and light up a room. Wearable technology and smart fabrics will grow in popularity, if only because the current resources of industry at some point, will become exhausted. Sam Gennawey’s essay on the unfortunate history of monorails in Los Angeles is a case in point. The future is not always delivered, though the California Department of Transportation, just announced it will in June begin buying land to build a 63-mile high desert freeway connecting the Los Angeles County communities of Palmdale and Lancaster with the San Bernardino County communities of Victorville, Apple Valley and Adelanto. The first freeway construction in 25 years! Wouldn’t a train connecting Los Angeles to Las Vegas be easier? Lastly, a salute to the future in the name of Elon Musk, who recently launched SpaceX into space and successfully recovered two of Falcon Heavy’s three rocket boosters, which landed side by side on concrete pads at Cape Canaveral, Florida. And if that were not enough, he also launched with the rockets a Tesla Roadster, with a dummy driver, playing David Bowie’s Space Oddity. Vision with a sense of humor is exactly what is needed as we peer into the looking glass of things to come—mindful that what is future will soon become past, what is young will one day be, less young. What is next will be replaced by, yes, the next thing, and so on and so on. For now, a special thanks to Niki Smart, and all the extremely talented members of the SoCal team, whose company and talents are never taken for granted.

Photographed by John Skalicky


bookstore on Wheels

Alexa Trembly and Emory Harkins have a story to tell


By Niki Smart Photographed by Alexandra DeFurio

here is something charming about Twenty Stories, the independent mobile bookstore that roams all over Los Angeles and sometimes even further. You might find the colorful van parked outside your favorite coffee chop, or near a bustling Farmer’s Market, with the ever-friendly Alexa Trembly and Emory Harkins ready to serve you, and share their literary wisdom. Although Alexa and Emory could pass as brother and sister, they’re actually a couple and have been together for several years. Through their shared love of books (and of being with each other) they hit upon the idea of selling books out of a van. They were inspired 12

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bookstore on Wheels

by the trending mobile culture they saw in food trucks and other mobile pop-up stores. To make their vision manageable, they decided that twenty titles per month would be a great start — and thus the innovative Twenty Stories was born. Via Kickstarter, Alexa and Emory quickly hit their goal of $10k and used that money to buy their Twenty Stories vintage van and kit it out with detachable shelves, and then placed advertising on the side and solar panels on the roof. (The solar panels are to charge their phones, which they need for navigational purposes and for financial transactions). Once the van was ready, they bought their first load of inventory and added other knick-knacks to their mobile business, in the form of greeting cards, magazines, tote bags, t-shirts and notebooks. This young couple has it down—they can go wherever the buzz is and be set up in under 10 minutes. Alexa and Emory like to support the small presses of LA, so Twenty Stories, additionally carries chapbooks and zines, but mainly their stock is mainstream, trending titles. And because they only want to support titles they themselves have enjoyed, they both read voraciously, covering about 10 books each per month. Their goal is to “grow the literary community in and around Los Angeles by showcasing literature in new spaces.” Twenty Stories is available to help authors create book events, as Alexa and Emory can set up wherever needed and sell/promote the title in question. Even an unsigned author can make use of this great idea through a consignment arrangement, and established authors can organize “pop up signings”. And lastly, at the Twenty Stories website, you’ll find their online periodical “Palm Leaf” that writers can submit to— and Alexa and Emory recently started a book club that meets once a month in various places. For more information please visit www.twentystoriesla.com


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1. Brass by Xhenet Aliu 2. This Will Be My Undoing: Living at the Intersection of Black, Female, and Feminist in (White) America by Morgan Jerkins 3. Neon In Daylight by Hermione Hoby 4. Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi 5. Wade in the Water by Tracy K. Smith 6. When Rap Spoke Straight to God by Erica Dawson



Boulevard Bar


ach Negin and Daniel Flores opened Tabula Rasa Bar in September 2016 with the vision of creating a neighborhood bar that serves superb wine, beer, and food. They opened this wine bar in an area that no one thought would work. But three years later, this hip bar is a-happening. This is one of the few places that offer Happy Hour 7 days a week from 5-7 p.m. Plus, each night has a different theme. Sunday night is live jazz. Tuesday is “semi-educational beer tasting”, and Wednesday night is “semi-educational wine tasting”. Thursday night is pizza night, but my favorite is on Saturday nights when patrons get a chance to “Spin the Wheel”, giving them a chance to win a free drink for the entire bar, or 25% of their bill—all sorts of fun prizes. Tabula Rasa offers about 150 different, oft times unique wines, sourced from smaller vineyards practicing sustainable and environmental consciousness. Tabula Rasa also offers small plates of food from their kitchen that stays open until last call 7 days per week. tabularasabar.com

Photographed by Johnny Buzzerio

Tabula Rasa

5125 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027 16

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Pottery: New Craft du Jour C

reative-prone millennials are discovering the soothing comfort and mind-clearing benefits of working with clay; an artisanal skill passed down over centuries that reinforces a sense of history and promotes a more leisurely way of creating something unique. Popular restaurants have taken to serving on ceramic dishes and trendsetting boutiques know the powerful pull of the pottery craze. It’s not just in America; the BBC Two’s The Great Pottery Throw Down (where ten home potters from around the country compete to become Top Potter) was hugely popular. This is a global trend. Perhaps it’s a lash-back at the hectic speed we live at; the technical/digital era we are immersed in. Seemingly, “going back to our roots” speaks loudly to the younger generation, which isn’t surprising, seeing as they’ve been brought up in a “takeout, drive-through” age. Sitting at the potter’s wheel, you’re forced to slow down, and focus as you slip into your own unique rhythm, allowing your hands to guide you. And no—you can’t stop to take a selfie. 18

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SoCal magazine visited a burgeoning pottery studio in Atwater Village, Los Angeles, simply known as “The Pottery Studio”. Jacqueline Masloff Carlos, the studio manager and kiln loader, gave us the run down. “Our studio has grown quickly in members and we’re having great success in students taking classes 2 or 3 times, and coming back to stay on as members. The Pottery studio is so popular that we’ve had to make room for more pottery, and so we tore down the storage room to add more wheels and shelves. We had to—we have now 80 members! Most of our members make ceramics as a hobby, but then some of our members do it for production to sell. To accommodate them, we are open 24 hours, and we offer classes every day including private classes and workshops. The Pottery Studio has also been making ceramics for restaurants. Our clients so far are Journeymen, Manuela, Hearth and Hound, Eataly, and we’re currently producing plates for Bruce Kalman, owner of Union in Pasadena. Because the studio is doing so well, we’re in the works to move to Glassell Park in a year or so. Meanwhile, we’re expanding our Atwater Village location to accommodate our growing community of ceramicists.”

The Pottery Studio 2992 Glendale Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90039 thepotterystudio.com



Ole Olofson t h e m u lt i - l ay e r e d a r t o f

This is a man who has lived in many parts of the world and has soaked up a lifetime of experiences. He has followed his passion, and over time, his paintings have emerged as luminous layers of textured beauty and intention. Ole’s gentleness of being, the kind way in which he moves through the world, and his understanding of himself is all reflected in his art.

How long have you been in USA? I’ve been in and out of LA since 1976 and I’ve lived all over this town when I’m not off picking up inspiration in other parts of the world. It has served as a great home base, even though I occasionally feel the need to venture off for a change of scenery. I’ve lived and worked in Sweden, Austria, Bali, India, Italy, and Holland. The work I recently produced in Amsterdam was moved to Paris where I hope to spend some time in the future.

back in Sweden where I grew up. Later I moved to America and started another design company, which did pretty well. Regardless of the success I achieved, I craved more freedom to explore my creativity, I knew I needed to take a leap of faith and pursue what I came to understand I deeply and truly believed in. So I sold my share of that company.   How do you find buyers and promote yourself ? Mostly by word-of-mouth and through friends. I’ve been lucky. For example when I wanted to live and paint in Italy, I had no particular long-term plan, and had the great fortune of meeting a wonderful man by the name of Luigi Arnoldi, a benefactor who supported the arts and generously gave me the keys to a beautiful five hundred year old farm house isolated up in the mountains by Lake Como. This became the perfect environment over the course of three years to quietly hone and develop my technique.  The luck continued when I returned to the fertile environment of LA that I had left prior to my stint in Italy. Reconnecting with my circle of friends, some of whom had achieved their own successes while I was gone, became loving supporters and collectors of my work.  Generally speaking though, I find promoting myself difficult. I guess that’s a typical cliché for an artist but so it is.

Is there any art that makes you say, “I wish I had done that”? I’m not sure if there is any art that I could say I wish I would have done or made, but I certainly have been inspired by plenty in various mediums of work.  Some of my first inspirations were, William Blake, Odilon Redon, Hilma af Klint, and William Turner, whose latter work inspired me tremendously, almost abstract with beautiful fractals of light.  I also admire the tenacity of Van Gogh whose progress you can clearly see when you look at his early work, especially in the dark and slightly depressing portrayal of a period of time in “The Potato Eaters”.  He never gave up on pushing beyond his limits, which is so evident in the evolution of his work.   If you weren’t an artist, what would you be? I’ve painted and drawn since I was a child. In my early adulthood I fancied myself an inventor and dabbled in that field and became a partner in a design company

How long does a painting take? It takes as long as it takes. It’s a labor of love and no two 20

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Photographed by Josh Franklin

paintings are the same. They are all unique. Can you tell me about your process? It has developed into a process of intuitive intention, I paint in layers, each covered by a layer of textured varnish or transparent gels, eroded with water and wet sandpaper partially exposing the work and intention of each layer before it. A meditative manifestation of light, color and structure void of thought yet with intent. I deliberately avoid brush strokes and am always surrounded by unfinished canvases, I work on whichever one needs the attention at the time. Of course, it took some time and exploration to get to this point. I used to do figurative paintings, one early breaking point I remember was when I was working on a piece with Jesus holding a baby. Jesus was meant to have a look of misery and despair, while the baby was beaming with serenity and enlightenment. It didn’t come off the way I envisioned, so I painted over it, several times. Ultimately, it became a jockey thrusting through the air on a racing horse. I discarded it in the corner of my studio, but one day it caught my eye, and as I looked at it - it was oozing out intention! I was in altered states of sorts when I discovered those oozing intentions, but the impact and its message were clear to me.  I experienced a similar epiphanies while sharing a studio in New York with my painter friends James Mathers and Charles Fine. They were both doing amazing work in that realm during the early 80s. So, that’s how my layering process started. At that time my drawings and paintings always had two points meeting, earth and the sky, divine inspiration coming down to meet us, or vice versa. Do you have a favorite piece that you’ve made? I have many, but I do recall selling one particular piece and regretting it. So I made a duplicate and swapped it. The reason I liked this little painting is that I made it after a long winter in Northern Italy preparing for a spring show.  When spring arrived, the grounds were covered in lovely yellow primroses that reminded me of a story I’d read about a UFO that crashed in New Mexico.  Debris was scattered over a field, some 22

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parts were thin light sheets with a pattern similar to hieroglyphs type scriptures superimposed with yellow primroses against a purple background. In the story, the Marshall who came to inspect it, shot his gun at a sheet and the bullet shoved the sheet into the ground, and when he inspected the sheet there was not even a dent in it.  The thought of a UFO having an interior decorated with flowers amused and inspired me so I tried to capture the essence in that little painting.

Any upcoming shows we should know about? There is an impending show in the spring of this year with three other artist friends: Alexander Mihaylovich, James Mathers and Adam Bricusse. The exact date and location are still yet to be determined. For more on Ole Olofson’s art please visit  www.oleolofson.com

Photographed by Josuć Rivas


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A Bear of a Man Nahko Bear brings music and people together By Niki Smart


he first time I saw Nahko Bear was on a cell phone as a friend of mine played me “Black as Night” Nahko’s hit song. Even though the sound was crappy and the picture was tiny, I instantly knew this was a special artist. In his video, Nahko sits in the back of a pick up truck, torn jeans, barefoot — just him and his guitar (and a few vegetables). Nahko doesn’t need any gimmicks to sell himself. What you see is what you get — and that’s the beauty of Nahko. You get the sense that this man is honest, pure and filled with love, and as he sings “I believe in the good things coming”, you feel yourself wanting to believe it to. Nahko’s origins are a mix of Apache, Puerto Rican and Filipino cultures, although he was adopted and raised by a white Christian family in Oregon. As an adult Nahko found his mother and siblings and learned of the traumatic past he hailed from. Given this mix of cultures, lifestyles and ethnicities, Nahko understands that we are first and foremost human, and through his lyrical story-telling songs, he hopes to unify people, to bridge cultural gaps, and to steer listeners towards personal and spiritual realization.

What are you least proud of? My shadows. they seem to have followed me around for years and have been the most trouble in my life.  Peter Pan knows the feeling.  

As a “citizen in service to the planet” what is of the utmost importance to you right now - and how can we help you? I suppose it’s hard to narrow that one down, but I suppose I could to two things.  As a board member of Honor the Earth, we are working on stopping pipelines in the Midwest.  Read up on Line 3.  We are also focused on a big hemp project on the White Earth reservation with Winona Laduke, our board president.  You could also check out the salmon restoration at run4salmon.org - two years “Don’t call me a prophet, project in a row i have helped organized this eat your vegetables, get event and this year we raised 80k our initiatives.  There’s also the off your phone and get for Nahko Scholarship collaboration with outside and get off your Intertribal Youth.  We campaigned over summer and were able to send 5 phone when you’re outside the underprivileged native youth to a really cuz no one really cares rad summer camp in Oahu.  Basically, kids have no federal funding from about your selfies or your the the gov on their rez.  There’s a few things food photos...” you can check out!

You are being hailed as a musical prophet — how does that fit your picture of you? To be honest, i think that’s pretty strange.  I don’t consider myself a prophet, in fact it kind of cringe at the title.  i suppose i know why people use that, but it doesn’t feel right.  I perceive myself in a far more reluctant, casual way.  Some days i’m just another poet with a guitar, feeding the revolution its daily dose of fuel.  Other days, i am alone on that road wondering where my allies are in music, mission, and action.  

What are you most proud of/your biggest achievement? Recently, I am really proud of winning a NAMA: native American music award.  It’s been a long road of selfdiscovery to connect with my Native American roots and seemingly even longer road within our Native community to be seen and received.  It’s a really big deal for me and my family to be respected and honored in our own indigenous community. We won record of the year for our album called HOKA released in 2016.   

Who are your heroes? Paul Simon, Conner Oberst, Ram Dass, John Trudell, Winona Laduke, Chance the Rapper, Shailene Woodley, my mom. What is your spiritual practice? Yoga - meditation veganism - loving kindness? Surfing, horses, yoga, running, our tradish native ceremonies, and spending time in nature.   What advice do you have for your followers? Don’t call me a prophet, eat your vegetables, get off your phone and get outside and get off your phone when you’re outside cuz no one really cares about your selfies or your food photos, but I’m kind of joking but not really, listen to more Debussy, know where your water comes from, give more/take less, be gentle on yourself, but firm.   What’s next? Keep your eyes peeled, I have a lot of magic in store for this year.

For more information please visit: nahko.com



in concert

Shauna Marincik reviews the 2017 concert series in SoCal Photographed by ShaunaMarincik


n epic year of music with incredible tours and performances, 2017 started with a bang as the ACLU hosted their WELCOME benefit at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, featuring artists Zedd, Halsey, Imagine Dragons, Macklemore, Skrillex and Bebe Rexha, just to name a few. Farther south, The Head and The Heart made their way to SOMA down in San Diego, with their positive indie tunes. April continued with Empire of the Sun accompanied by Broods at the Shrine Auditorium, creating their once in a lifetime show with dancers, confetti and an array of costumes. Finishing off April was John Mayer at the Forum playing his melodic tunes and intoxicating guitar rhythms. Heading into May, a smaller venue and artist Vancouver Sleep Clinic hit the Troubadour, selling out the venue and filling the

floor with fans—this group is on the rise. Lifehouse came back strong Memorial Day Weekend at the USS Midway in San Diego, singing hits such as ‘Hanging by a Moment’ atop the flight deck as the sun set over the ocean. Langhorne Slim an indie-folk artist cut from a different cloth wowed the Troubadour with his wit and raspy vocals, during a sit down affair with filled chairs and a fully engaged audience. A bit of a 90s revival as Rise Against and Deftones played The Mattress Firm Amphitheater in Chula Vista. You’ve never experienced these groups unless you’ve been in the pit with the fans! There was no lackluster support from longtime fans. Into the summer came Kaleo at House of Blues in Anaheim. Previously opening for the Lumineers earlier in the year, Kaleo sold their express tour tickets as fast as they covered the So Cal venues. Switchfoot partnering up with Lifehouse hit Encinitas at Moonlight beach for the 26

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annual Broam, benefiting local youth and surf competitions with big time surfers such as Rob Machado and Bret Simpon. The bands and surfers teamed up with special needs kids to surf. Switchfoot and Lifehouse not only paired up for this benefit but also announced a tour together, getting close with fans at The Greek Theater in Los Angeles. Both bands did meet and greets along with private sound checks for some lucky fans. End of summer and early Fall brought in Green Day at Mattress Firm Amphitheater, playing all of their classics, throwing in several pyrotechnics, mixing in some fans up on stage, and jumping into the crowd to surf through the pit. Of course, with September came the KAABOO festival in Del Mar with Garbage, ICE Cube, Alanis Morissette and Pink headlining the main stage. Pink ended her show with a jawdropping high wire performance and heartfelt guitar duets. Tom Petty closed out the weekend at KAABOO

and a week later gave his final performance at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Closing out September, Imagine Dragons hit Chula Vista hard at Mattress Firm Amphitheater with their Evolve tour. With elaborate screens and lights, they never disappoint when it comes to entertaining their fans and delivering hit songs. The Script came back into the picture this year, showing up at the Wiltern as though they’d never left us. Wall to wall fans showed their love and support as the hit songs rang through the theater. Indie electronic artist Aquilo popped up at the El Rey Theater all the way from the UK, in a moving, intimate performance. Indie artist Sarah Jarosz graced the Troubadour with her beautiful voice and a three-piece ensemble. Rock band The Score filled The Parish at House of Blues, Anaheim with catchy hits from their new album ATLAS. And the ever evolving group Thievery Corporation filled the House of Blues, Anaheim, bringing in rap/R&B/jazz/reggae/middle eastern and several other flavors of music. Coming in from South Carolina, Needtobreathe energized the Wiltern with their mix of eclectic Christian-rock. Norwegian artist Bernoft mixed things up at the Troubadour with his multi-instrumental performance. Rachel Platten popped in at the intimate Peppermint Club in Beverly Hills to play her big time hit “Fight Song”, while Barnes Courtney turned the Troubadour into a full on rock concert, crowd surfing and ripping his clothes off—which, naturally, the crowd loved. Beautiful and graceful Lindsey Stirling closed out December with her holiday performances at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles following her “Dancing with the Stars” appearances.


Interviews by Joshua J. Pinkay

Photographed by Irvine-Garland Green


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At the root of innovation, social change, and ground-breaking ideas, you have to examine the minds and thoughts of the people who are effecting a new wave of originality. Whether it be in media, politics, health, technology, or lifestyle, modern society is at the brink of seeing new and exciting advances at how we approach different parts of our lives within these categories and beyond. For our 2018 “What’s Next” issue, SoCal Mag is highlighting eight individual stories of people that are creating new pathways and experiences for modern society and future generations alike.

Benjamin Cory Jones / FILM WRITER Writer on HBO’s “Insecure” and Producer for Netflix’s Step Sisters claims #WritersAreSexyToo The impressive success of HBO’s “Insecure” has Your project, Step Sisters, is a feature length film on catapulted your career to new heights. Typically, the Netflix. How is your creative process different bestars of any successful show are the ones to get all the tween a series versus a full length film? attention, but you’ve managed to create a platform It’s very different. There’s an immediacy to television. For and following as a film writer. What advice would you example, with “Insecure”, we typically start writing every give to other young writers and filmmakers who might October and go through March when we start filming, so be pursuing a similar journey? we have a good six months to write the scripts and stoAlways write! LOL. I just remember early on in my jourries. By the time July hits, we’ve written everything, we’ve ney when I first became a writer, I would take classes and filmed it all, and it’s on TV. With Step Sisters, it took us read everything I could. Also, seek out people that are two years to get the film done. It’s about a black sorority doing what you’re doing. You have to bug them and be girl who teaches a white sorority how to step. Think Pitch persistent and find out how to sit down with them and talk Perfect meets Stomp the Yard. The film is about sisterto them. So much of what we do in entertainment doesn’t hood and about these two very different groups of women seem real. We play make believe for a living, but you want coming together and learning from each other to cross culto find a way to make this thing real for you. You have to tural lines. Film just takes so long to happen. One compaalign yourself with people who ny went bankrupt, another one are doing what you’re doing and closed its doors on us, and so “Until we can change who find a community of people who it’s hard because so many more are at your level and can share makes decisions and who’s in people have to be involved. Also, information as you all grow. I’m a writer first, and television power, then we’ll still have to is definitely a writer’s medium Comparing the industry from because we work on set and fight the same fight.” when you started to now, how go through the process. Film is much would you say that Holmore of a director’s medium, lywood has progressed to create content that’s more and you have to let the director have his space and time, inclusive to wider audiences? there’s more room to breathe in that scenario. TeleviHollywood hasn’t changed much. The decisions on what sion is also a much longer ongoing story, whereas with TV shows or movies make it to air or to screen still reside film there’s a finality to it that offers a satisfying end and largely with a group of white heterosexual men. Yes, I’m makes the story complete. very happy that we have shows like “Insecure,” “Queen Sugar,” “Fresh off the Boat,” and “Atlanta,” but we’re still Hashtag, #WritersAreSexyToo! You’ve coined that on grossly under-represented as far as people of color and the your social media with almost every post you’ve ever LGBTQIA community. Issa Rae is a really good friend of done. Tell us about that, and what it means to you. mine; I’ve known her for many years and I know how long LOL! That hashtag has taken a life of its own. I started it took her to get her show “Insecure” on the air. She was the hashtag originally to give myself a reason to post my turned down from network to network. The challenge is shirtless pics; however, I’m really trying to say that being that we still have to convince white hetero men why our a writer is sexy. People always think that the actors have stories matter. When we see a story about a white houseit all, but I love what I do so much. I’m in a writer’s room wife going through a divorce, it’s immediately relatable, but with some of the smartest, funniest people I’ve ever met. I when I want to share a story about being a black gay man, get to write lines of dialogue and see my work two month or a black man sharing his experience at an HBCU, I have later on television. Before I became a TV writer, I didn’t to do so much more to help them understand why my story even know there was a team of highly intelligent individis important. Until we can change who makes decisions and uals who were crafting these stories. I just want people who’s in power, then we’ll still have to fight the same fight. I to know that this profession is sexy AF! I want to show think more people are aware due to the age of social media people that what I do is accessible to them too. and the internet, which is allowing more individuals to get into this business. We need more writers. 30

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Lizzie & Joaquin Brown / YOGA WAKE UP APP Passionate duo combined their individual talents to help make wellness a real thing for all people.

Your story is unique in the way that you both found ways to combine your professions with something that you love. Tell us about that experience and what it’s been like to blend the two together. J: So Lizzie’s background is in public relations and mine is in app development. When we met, she was already into yoga, and I started shortly after. We became that couple that would show up to classes together and somewhere along the line, we started coming up with ideas for yoga apps. It was in one specific class we were in that the instructor had the lights down low and was whispering, “Get a mat, a bolster, and a blanket and pretend you’re sleeping.” She proceeded with the class, but took about a half hour just to get us on our feet. The experience was amazing and I thought, why can’t we wake up like this every day? L: I remember he came home and told me he wanted to try something. He played music and led me through some stretches and asked what I thought about it. I thought it was pretty cool J: I was hesitant because Lizzie’s a bit of snoozer, and wondered if this would even work for her, but sure enough, it did.

you in the creation of this app? L: In other countries around the world, yoga is accessible to all people. It’s very important to us to maintain the same ideal with our app. We want people to be able to practice yoga for their health and to make them feel more flexible, but also to feel less stressed and more relaxed. There’s a hundred different reasons why you would benefit from it, so we never want stray from that. Yoga Wake Up works with you in your bedroom, so there’s nothing intimidating. J: It’s just you and an audio track. There’s no video component to look at that would make the user think, “I’m not as attractive as the instructor,” or “I’m not as flexible as that person.” We’re really trying to hone in on yoga for EVERYBODY. Everyone yawns, stretches, and wakes up in the morning. Our app instructs people how to do that and set intention for the day which is a big component of our wake ups. How else will the app expand as it becomes more popular? J: We already over 100 wakeups on the app right now, and most of them are pretty similar. What we’re working on now is creating wakeups that are useful to a specific need like healing from losing a loved one whether through someone passing away or through a tough breakup. We want to tap into a granular level so that there are wakeups for someone with a knee problem or someone dealing with depression. We want to have options for everyone. L: We already have wakeups for seniors, prenatal, kids, parents, so there are currently several options to try. We want to get to a point where Yoga Wake Up is recommending different wakeups for you depending on what is going on in your life. J: We even want to eventually take the app outside of the bedroom to places like airplanes. Imagine having a specific wake up right before you land, something you can do right in your seat with instruction on the screen in front of you. L: We have something in the works with hotels in the West Hollywood area where you’ll be using it in your hotel room. Wherever there’s a need for waking up your body or invigoration, even if it’s midday, then there’s a place for Yoga Wake up.

In this day and age, a lot entrepreneurs are fusing their passions with the tech industry. Do you think that’s just a trend or is it a necessity in our current world? L: Tech is all about making things more convenient. If you can do something that you’re already enjoying and you can make it more accessible, then you’re able to do more with it. I think it’s a trend that’s only going to keep evolving and growing. J: To me, tech is just another tool the same way a hammer and nails are. Today, entrepreneurs are doing what they love because they’re passionate about it. Without passion, it’s hard to succeed in a constantly evolving industry. Tech is the means to deliver the passion. What you’ve done with the Yoga Wake Up app is challenge the notion that wellness isn’t attainable to the masses. We see often that many wellness brands and services aren’t reasonably priced enough for the average consumer. Why was that factor important to 32

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Jess Phoenix / SCIENTIST & CA-25 CONGRESSIONAL CANDIDATE Geologist and Global Warming Expert wants to change the face of politics and prepare America for the future.

How will your experiences as a scientist benefit your relationship to science and politics and why the two role in politics? actually do work together. Being trained as a scientist gives me a really unique Science is really responsible for everything we background, particularly because I’m an Earth Scientist. use on a daily basis: TV’s, cell phones, the internet, I’ve actually researched climate change and natural vaccinations, going to the Moon, anything that we enjoy hazards like landslides, earthquakes, fires, floods, all of as a benefit to modern life is brought to us by science that. In congress, you often have to look at things you’re and engineering. When our country was founded, not familiar with, and my training as a scientist allows people were really encouraged to purse they’re curiosity me to look at all the available facts because they had to. They had to The most important and then ask other people who are be able to solve problems that no experts in things that I’m not an one could solve for them, so I think thing to know about it is expert in and then assemble that we need to return to that. We need that it affects every part of information to make decisions. people who can use both sides of our lives for every person. their brain and can think about That’s what really need for policy. We need people who can look at It doesn’t matter if you’re issues from different perspectives. everything that’s out there and We’re facing challenges now with rich, poor, it’s going to then make the best decisions for our massive population, for example affect you somehow, and it’s right here in Southern California everybody based on facts. the biggest threat that we’re with over-crowding. We have You’re essentially combating a opportunities to make our lives going to see over the next political stance on global warming better, but we need scientists to help from the current administration. us get there. 50 years. As a climate change expert, what do you want people to know about Your audience in politics might climate change and why it’s important to pay attention fall into a younger demographic which is certainly to it? an important thing. What efforts from your political The most important thing to know about it is that platform will be dedicated to youth outreach? it affects every part of our lives for every person. It I used to teach college students at Cal State Los doesn’t matter if you’re rich, poor, it’s going to affect you Angeles and I was the founder and executive director somehow, and it’s the biggest threat that we’re going to for a non-profit called Blueprint Earth. I taught see over the next 50 years. Reason being is because it college and university students how to do field science will cause issues with food insecurity to become more research. We’d take the out to the desert and give them acute; it will amplify the threats we see from terrorism; opportunities at no cost. We also have an elementary we’ll see more property damage from natural disasters; school outreach program where bring scientists into and we’ll see groups of people moving because they classrooms of underserved communities to encourage can’t find work, or their homes were flooded, or they’re young children that they too can be scientists. For me, not able to grow crops. So it’s really essential for there’s going to be a focus of combining education and everybody to know that it’s going to affect everyone outreach. The narrative is that we all have to deal with whether or not you’ve been caring about the climate these problems now in our 20s, 30s, and beyond, but before. people younger than us are going to be dealing with these problems for several generations. We have to Most people don’t immediately correlate science to make sure that we’re getting people engaged in these politics because a majority of the men running the topics at a young age. You can’t afford to not care about country come from law backgrounds. Expand on your politics, because it affects everyone. 34

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Ishmael Mayhew

DIGITAL BRAND STRATEGIST Branding and Tech Influencer will merge his ideas into the future of fashion and style. As a digital strategist, you’ve managed to create cutting edge campaigns for a number of brands and personalities. How are you using that same creativity to transition into fashion? I want to repurpose my creativity and conceptualize a fashion line. I plan to launch my first collection this year and with that collection, I think it will be something that people will find to be really inspiring. People will be able to see what I do digitally but translated to clothing. A lot of the color swatches I select and the way I structure Instagram feeds and promote content will be laid out in a similar way.

merging. We’re starting to see a lot of new apps that allow you to shop based on screenshots; you can plan your looks on apps; you can order clothing on a subscription basis. Technology and fashion is fusing more and more and I think it will elevate as people begin incorporating the use of wearable technology and wearing clothes that advance their daily lives while still being practical. I also think that people will start to express themselves not necessarily with technology or electronics in fashion, but rather through seeing how the concepts, colors, and layouts of digital platforms will transcend to style in clothing. People are really into color sampling and using hex codes to curate their Instagram feeds, and you’re going to start to see that in the way that people choose to wear clothes.

“Technology and fashion is fusing more and more and I think it will elevate as people begin incorporating the use of wearable technology and wearing clothes that advance their daily lives while still being practical.”

When did brand strategy become a part of your career? How has your personal brand benefitted from it? I’ve been designing for a long time, actually, longer than brand strategy was even a thing for me. Brand Strategy became my conduit for expressing myself in design in a more practical way at the time. It was a means for me to easily find work and it’s benefitted my career in huge ways. I’ve gotten attention because of my Instagram feed or because of the work that I’ve done for my clients. The results I’ve gotten has led me to bigger and better projects, and will hopefully continue to do so.

How do you want to use your skillset to influence younger generations? I want to inspire young people to go after exactly what they want without limiting their style or the way they go about it. I feel like people, especially young people, are told that they have to settle to have the most in life, and I don’t think that’s accurate. You don’t have to not be creative to be wealthy. You don’t have to follow all of the rules and be so straight laced to be smart. You can still be intelligent and still be a bad-ass. I want to teach younger people that they can do that without having to compromise their creativity or their messiness in the process.

What would you say is next in the realm of fashion and the digital age? Fashion, technology, and digital platforms are


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Julissa Calderon ⁄

BUZZFEED PRODUCER The “Pero Like” Actress & Writer proves that authenticity is the key to relevant and competitive digital content.

As an East Coast transplant, you came to L.A. Your project “Domincans Try” highlights to follow your dreams, and your story is very cultural dishes from other Latin American inspiring. You went from waitressing to now being countries that aren’t typically seen in the media. a producer for Buzzfeed. How do you reflect on Why do you think it’s important to showcase this that now? type of content? I make sure that I don’t think about what I’ve In media altogether, Latinos are always cast or done and to continue thinking represented as Puerto Rican about what I’m gonna do next or Mexican, and that’s not to reinvent myself. Going a true representation of “I make it a point to from that drastic switch in my the entire makeup of Latin career was crazy! That’s not listen to our audience and America. We all want to be something that happens every represented. Growing up, I day. I’m just very grateful. In what they want, while mixing never saw myself represented retrospect, I constantly ask that with what I bring as a on TV or in magazines or myself, “How did that happen anywhere in media. If I can to me?!” I definitely believe producer. That’s my formula be the person to help bring that everything happens for representation to media from for keeping things fresh and a reason and the stars align multiple cultures, than I will. the way they’re supposed to. I My wish is for kids to get relevant.” believe I was given a gift and excited when they see they’re I was meant to do this, so the heritage is represented, Universe put me in a path to whether they be from meet the right people at Buzzfeed that wanted to give Ecuador, or Honduras, or the Dominican Republic. I me a chance. want to be sure that Latinos all across the board are noticed and represented. That’s just who I am. In the age of all things digital from YouTubers, Instagrammers, Bloggers, etc. how do you keep What do you think is next for Buzzfeed as it your ideas fresh and how do you set yourself apart pertains to keeping the content innovative and from such a saturated concept? relatable? Authenticity is everything. Being true to yourself I think Buzzfeed is always ahead of the curve. is what is going to make people relate to you. Also, I I think they maintain relevancy by working with make sure to keep my ear to the streets. Our audience authentic producers who make sure that they know is real. I pay attention to who’s watching our content, their voice. Buzzfeed is going to continue to do what who’s replying and leaving comments, etc. I’m super we’ve been doing, and that’s being aware of staying hands on when it comes to that, because I want to true to ourselves on all of its platforms, because there know all of that stuff. I want to make sure that I’m are so many. Buzzfeed is always going to resonate touching all the bases in every way possible so that with the people first. I cannot stress enough that the content really resonates with a large group of the audience is what makes Buzzfeed what it is. You people. I make it a point to listen to our audience and have to listen to what they want and what they think. what they want, while mixing that with what I bring Obviously, as a producer, I have to blend that with as a producer. That’s my formula for keeping things what I create with my work and keep it authentic. fresh and relevant. 38

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Justin Schneider / FOOTWEAR DEVELOPER Shoe Designer turned entrepreneur advances comfort technology into refined footwear with class and style.

Why has it taken so long for a brand like Wolf & design running shoes. I ended up working at Adidas, Shepherd to come to fruition? primarily with the Adizero line which uses track The funny thing is that if you think of the history of spikes in design. That’s where I got really close with dress shoes, it used to be used for performance. Back the innovation side of footwear. I then moved to in World War I, what we know as the New Balance to work with their Chelsea Boot was what the English future concepts team and then wore to easily slip on for battle, and the over to Reebok to work with their “At the end of the Chukka Boot was originally a desert and Realflex collections. day, people have to Zigtech combat boot. That’s what performance The commercial and innovation first want to love it experience gave me a good was during those times, but the style evolved and became something and wear it because foundation to look at a relatively classic, something people wore with new, untouched opportunity. they think it looks suits. Over time, what is considered classic and beautiful, classic footwear Would you consider yourself a beautiful and brands have always build product on shoe designer? great.” the thesis of nostalgia of heritage and Absolutely. I started as a craftsmanship. Historically, that’s why footwear designer by working people have bought dress shoes. The interesting thing is on really far out there concepts, like how to make that now in the 21st Century, we have so many advances shoes regulate the temperature of the foot and then in technology, material innovation, and things that have how do we make that look cool. At the end of the day, helped push athletic shoes forward. Dress shoes have people have to first want to love it and wear it because kinda stayed in the dust. Why should you expect to buy they think it looks beautiful and great. I think what’s a classic dress shoe and not expect it to both look and awesome about Wolf & Shepherd is that people buy feel great. Since most brands in the luxury market have our shoes because they look beautiful and well made, created products built on craftsmanship and nostalgia, and they just also happen to feel great like a sneaker. there hasn’t really been any motivation to evolve that. That’s the story we want audiences to connect with. We figured that today’s working professional doesn’t just want their grandfather’s shoe, they want something How did you have to evolve as a designer coming that looks good, feels great, and performs the way they from athletic shoes and then switching to dress do. We’ve taken classic premium styles and combined shoes? What challenges did you have to personally it with athletic wear technology. face? The biggest thing about that is who you work What’s your personal connection to footwear? with. The world of athletics is so much more forward Have you always liked shoes? thinking in innovation whereas with dress shoes, you’re Well, everyone wears shoes, and that’s probably the working with old world craftsmanship. The biggest main reason why it’s such an exciting market because challenges were when we worked with manufacturers everyone can connect with it. For me, I wouldn’t say that work with all the top fashion houses who are used it was a specific affinity, but it’s the industry that I to working a specific way and then convince them to started my career in. When I was in college, I was a adapt to new machinery and materials. It’s almost decathlete at Notre Dame, and I was always running like a conflict with heritage, so you have to be pretty and training. At the time, the team was sponsored by assertive in getting our product created in the way we Adidas, and afterwards I thought to myself that the need it to feel. best I way could stay involved with athletics was to 40

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Katerina Schneider / FOUNDER OF MULTIVITAMIN BRAND Former venture capitalist turned to health and wellness to create a complete vitamin you can actually “see”.

]You have a background in finance and entertainment, but you’ve transitioned into the health and wellness industry with your company, Ritual. What was it like jumping from one industry to another and expand on why you made the switch? I was actually an investor here in L.A. running Troy Carter’s fund, a really inspiring entrepreneur and mentor to me. During that time, I met so many entrepreneurs and founders building incredible brands like Casper, Uber, and Spotify. I was able to learn so much from these incredible individuals who were rebuilding entire industries. I really thought I wanted to stay in venture capital as a career path because it was such an amazing experience, but things changed for me during my first pregnancy. I had this moment where I couldn’t find a supplement that I trusted, and I knew then that I needed to be the one to create a company from the ground up using the backgrounds and relationships I had built over the lifespan of my career. Ritual was created more so out of need beyond passion for me. Pregnancy really made me think twice about all the products I was using from toothpaste to even deodorant. I was hesitant about anything I put in my body, most particularly with vitamins because no one could ever really explain what was inside of them. I did research and got to the bottom of what I needed to make my own product. I actually raised our first round of funding during my first pregnancy to rebuild the industry from the ground up. A solid part of Ritual’s success is due in part to social media, primarily Instagram. How much are you involved with the brand identity and its social media presence? Our social media is everything. It’s what really distinguishes our brand apart from other brands in this space because we talk directly to our customers. Our base audience is primarily millennial women, but Ritual as a whole speaks to women of all ages, and our Instagram definitely reflects that. Most companies like ours are not direct to consumer and go through retail, so the direct conversation element is missing. We have a team of in-house scientists and creatives that have been able to come together and utilize Instagram as a real platform for us. We’ll create a post like, “Ask Dr. Luke” who is one of our scientists, and literally anyone can ask him anything

and we respond. Our social media is very interactive; it’s not static. I’m very involved with the process and I meet regularly with our social media strategist. There’s a full team entailed through it all and it’s like the intersection of science, design, and community. What are the benefits of Ritual and how is it changing the game for wellness? Wellness is a very hot topic right now. It’s trendy. So what we’re seeing is a lot of people experimenting on their bodies, whereas Ritual is the complete opposite. Everything we do is evidence based, science confirmed. We work with leading scientists in the industry and we spent years just researching what women actually need and what was missing from their diets. Our product takes out the guess work when buying vitamins, because our product is one simple, beautifully constructed supplement. We combine Vitamin D, Foliate Magnesium, Omega 3’s, etc. and while some benefits may include healthier hair and skin, our focus is more on the longterm benefits of why people are investing in their health. It seems like with wellness today, people have lost sight of the long-term and are looking for quick fixes and to experiment. There’s something about going back to the basics of health that is truly beneficial.


What would your advice be to any young female entrepreneurs? I want to tell women that we can actually do it! When I was an investor, I remember there weren’t many female investors, and the few that were there kind of all knew each other. Now, there are so many more that are lifting each other up, both entrepreneurs/founders and investors. Women are now investing in women-run businesses and also men are starting to see the rise of other companies in this space that they may have previously had to consult with their female counterparts to see if it even made sense. People are beginning to deeply understand the power of the female consumer and I think a lot of female founders get that innately. Build your network, have confidence, and live your life as you continue to work. I worked through both of my pregnancies, because there’s never the perfect time to have a family. You have to be willing to do it all and be a boss.

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Jordan Taylor Wright / DIRECTOR & PRODUCER

The Taylor Cut film director attests the beauty and success of his art completely to self-love and understanding. Taylor Cut Films has an impressive roster of clients Who are some of your favorite clients and projects? from films, celebrity campaigns, music videos, etc. All of them hold a special place in my heart simply How would you compare your current work to when because they have all been phenomenal chapters that you first started? have led me to where I am today. I think the most I feel like it’s been the same, honestly. The reason substantial in terms of my growth and understanding why I get to work with the types of entities and people was when I worked with Usher. I was in my early 20’s I work with is because I’ve stayed consistent and all and of course familiar with his music from listening to I’ve really known how to do is create art that feels good it as I was growing up. To be able to work with him on to me and that resonates with me and comes from my such a creative level and for nothing else to matter was heart. As I grow older and have more life experiences, amazing. It was a three year journey with Usher and it I’ve been able to meet more people and get more was really beautiful to see the world and understand aligned and in tune with who I am, what my art is, and his mindset as well as see what goes on in the world of who I’m working with. If it feels good to a superstar. me and if I’m able to put my soul into “For me, what works it, the thoughts can turn off and I can What advice would you give to young is not thinking at all. producers and directors who want to simply become a conduit for creativity. If you surrender your tell beautiful stories? Your work is visually stunning and Work on understanding yourself thoughts to just being, captures immediate attention. What first and foremost. It’s amazing to get than you can be the inspiration from other people, but you can you say about your attention to detail that helps you create the best best conduit possible must understand what really feels true story? to you first. Hopefully, that’s love and for creativity.” For me, what works is not thinking having the ability to love yourself fully. at all. If you surrender your thoughts to That will allow you then to be able to be just being, than you can be the best conduit possible for the best channel for whatever your art is. When I was creativity. I don’t like taking credit for my art because I younger, I was inspired by Steven Spielberg and loved know that it’s larger than me. When I’m editing, I’m not his work. I used to think that one day I wanted to be thinking. I allow myself to be a vessel for that art and like him, but today in retrospect, I realize that I want to that creativity. That’s where the magic happens. If you be more than that. I want to be something that can not overthink anything, you’re going to stumble. A dancer only tell an amazing message visually through a movie, doesn’t think about their dance moves; they allow their but also speak and let people know they can empower body to be the vessel for their movements. The same themselves and love themselves fully. I want people to applies for my visual eye. I allow myself to turn my understand that they shouldn’t be affected by social rational brain off and say something like, “That’s not a media and the negatives that are out there because sofa. It’s two arms that hug you when you sit down and that’s not who they are. They can be much more than it cuddles you and allows you to feel safe.” An idea like that; they can be the beauty that they want to see out in that can become an advertisement for someone or a the world. Allow and trust yourself to have the ability to story for a child’s play. Creativity is the art of surrender do that. It’s all trust. and the ability to be and not think. 44

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PORTFOLIO an ongoing series featuring the work of Los Angeles-based creatives

Marta Elena Vassilakis photographer

A beauty and fashion photographer whose work has been published in various magazines as well as advertising campaigns for Hourglass Cosmetics, Pirata Della Strada and Koffee Reinvented, she recently authored a children’s book featuring her dog, Oliver. You were born and raised where? I was born in a beautiful and remote area of Venezuela - Ciudad Piar and then moved to Puerto Ordaz until I was 20. The absolute best life growing up I could imagine!

upon a sketch pad that felt familiar which she had kept all of these years from when I was around 14 years old. When I opened it I was just floored because I really had forgotten about them. They were all sketches of closeup faces — women only. Just like my current beauty shoots!

How did you know you wanted to become a photographer ? I had no interest in being a photographer until I was living in London and decided to take my then husbands camera to Hyde Park and take some photos. Was invited by a friend to come into his darkroom class at Westminister College and that was it!! I knew from that first moment of seeing images come up in the solution!! In actuality looking back as a child and teen I was behaving as a photographer as far as seeing and noticing light and images all around - just minus the camera. This all comes as well from painting when I was young which I pretty much stopped when I was 18. I had a huge shock a few years ago going through my Moms boxes after she had passed away. I came

You live in New York and Los Angeles? I have lived all over the world almost constantly moving and will probably always do so. But in the last three years I went to Paris for a bit to shoot, then a month in Iceland following New York for a year and then back to LA. And hope soon to be back in New York again. Actually I really feel this pull to go back to Iceland to do extensive shooting. What do you like about Los Angeles? I really do love Los Angeles! What more can be said about the weather other than it is just great! I like the different neighborhoods you find all across the city, love the restaurants and going ons, and have met and made wonderful friends here!

Opposite page: Model : Amanda Cox @ The Industry Model Management LA / Hair & Makeup : Chika Nomura


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Model : Annina / Stylist : Kat Ford / Makeup : Mynxii White at Photogenics Army / Hair : Opal Simone @opaldoeshair


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Tell us about Oliver and how he became a book.

Well, I was in New York with my childhood friend from Venezuela Mia Crowley and she said to me “wouldn’t it be fun to do a children’s book with a dog? I asked her what she meant because frankly other than when I was very, very little I have not paid attention at all to children’s books. So we chatted a bit about it and the next day I went to Barnes and Nobles to the children’s section and looked at children’s books and right then I saw the book and concept in my mind. It was very clear and instinctively came natural to me which was an activity book set out in spreads. How I would see a fashion story, just with Oliver. I found out that the standard children’s book is 32 pages so we came up with a list of 15 activities based on “ I like to.... “ and I started to plan the shots and style them. I shot him in the studio two half days and then spent the next weeks deciding on what slight illustrations to add to each spread. The most challenging of all was not the artwork but the producing of this project. The hardest project I have ever completed!!

Model : Chanel @ Two Management Designer : JGerard Couture Hair : by Marina Migliaccio @ www.therexagency.com Makeup : Tami Shirey @ Atelier Management


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MODEL Rachael Z - Wilhelmina / STYLED BY Holly Copeland for The Rex Agency / HAIR BY Mitzi Spallas at mitzispallas.com MAKE-UP by Kale Teter


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Cover Shoot for Heart & Soul Magazine Hair: Larry Sims for Exclusive Artists using Got2b Make-up: Saisha Beecham Wardrobe: Micah McDonald and Wayman Bannerman

Model : Zdenka Sutton / Stylist : Bernard G. Jacobs for Katy Duds Inc. BernardGJacobs.com Hair : Mitzi Spallas / Makeup : by Noel Nichols @ @ www.therexagency.com Architecture by The Oyler Wu Collaborative


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Model : Destiny Nolan Stylist : Kat Ford Makeup : Mynxii White at Photogenics Army Hair : Felicia Francis


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Art Director : Jordana Munk Martin Stylist : Rebecca Purcell Model : Heather Greene.

What the Future Will Wear Kristine Upesleja lives in the material world ristine can talk science, and fashion. A unique combination that is born out of 20 years experience as a researcher, curator and visionary. Currently she holds court in the FIDM (Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising) third floor library where she sits among some of the world’s most innovative materials and is happy to show you the clothing made out of ocean waste, mushrooms, discarded cassette tape and 3D printing. As a former costume designer for opera and theater in Europe, she is accustomed to visionary and yet practical outfits. “I’ve always been fascinated by the many possibilities and applications in the design world. Over the years, I learned about changes in the industry and the impact that new, innovative materials have on the space that surrounds us.” When the conversation turns to the practicality of these outfits she suggests: “A completely new approach and expertise is required. Job descriptions such as Materials Alchemist, Synthetic Biologist or Design Futurist are here and necessary to move forward. Designers are exploring the findings of electronics, software and bioengineering. Collaborations with other industries are inevitable. I’d like all to know we’re enjoying a major materials revolution, which offers opportunities now, and in the future global markets.” For more information go to madisonsinnovative.com 58

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photograph by Vanessa Reyes


The apples are grown and juiced in, Italy the leftover fibre then dried and ground to a powder. A factory close to Florence mixes it with color and a binding agent before it gets applied on a canvas to produce an innovative material, which gets its leather look through embossing. A family business in Varese, five kilometres away from the Swiss border, then makes each bag by hand. Even the metal components, which are completely nickel free and palladium plated, are made in Italy.

MUSHROOM Companies such as MYCOworks and MUSKIN are creating leather alternatives made from mycelium, (vegetative structures of fungi) and other agricultural by-products. These alternatives to leather are sustainable. Muskin is a skin extracted from the mushroom hat and is processed in a manner totally similar to animal skin, however, entirely natural. The total absence of chemicals makes Muskin totally nontoxic. It has a strong capacity to absorb moisture and then to release it. Plus it’s breathable and has shown natural water repellent characteristics. Grando Zero Espace. Mix it with linen and hemp.

WINE CORK High performance fabric manufacturer SCHOELLER, created a technology called Corkshell and Corkshell Wool. It is made by applying a layer of recycled cork to wool. Corkshell is made from cork granulate that is a bi-product in the production of wine corks. Gives the fabric higher thermal insulation and high breathability. 60

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THIS DRESS IS LITE Graphene dress changes colors when the wearer takes a breath. Graphene is a material that is one million times thinner than paper; so thin that it is actually considered two dimensional. The dress has a Graphene enhanced stretch sensor that captures the breathing pattern of the wearer. The LED’s are placed on a transparent Graphene element, so it looks like the LED is floating.


Twitter Dress by Cute Circuit, a company that has been creating LED garments and interface design since 2004. In 2014 they created the first twitter dress for Nichole Scherzinger and Katie Perry.

CONDUCTIVE MATERIAL This Ralph Lauren shirt monitors heart rate, breathing and movement activity. The shirt is knitted with bio sensing silver fibers and nylon. SILVER is becoming CRUCIAL in todays technologies. It kills bacteria and odors and is able to act as a conduit between the body and the data center. The prototype was introduced at the US Open.


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Adidas has created the first prototype shoe made from synthetic biopolymer called biosteelŽ fiber, a nature-based and completely biodegradable high-performance fiber developed by German company AM SILK. The material is ideal for sports performance as it is 15% lighter in weight than conventional synthetic fibers as well as having the potential to be the strongest fully natural material available. Will decompose in 36 hours if put into contact with proteinase enzyme.

3D printing is proving to offer sustainable and innovative alternatives in the textiles, materials, interiors and fashion industries. This innovative headpiece was created by Emma Yeo.


a media company reveals a new reality and new possibilities of a life after 50.

A lot has changed. People live longer—30 years longer than those born in 1900. Today people can live well beyond their parents age and this presents new opportunities and challenges. Retirement at 65, now seems unthinkable as people work well into their 80s as productive members of society. And yet, it is rarely celebrated and even less considered a valuable market. That’s changed, thanks to a media group who produce the website and newsletter, Ageist. We collaborated with Ageist to present some of the people who have been featured on the Ageist website — Here are their stories.

for more informartion www.agei.st AGEIST publishes a must read weekly newsletter covering how this generation is actually living, as opposed to stereotypes...


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JOAN SEVERANCE, 58 / Interior Designer, Actress, Author, Los Angeles

“I’ve done two editorials in Playboy — how much further can you go? You can go here,” she says, laughing as she motions to the building site. “This is beyond Playboy — this is the inside of me. This is where my passions lie: in destruction and transformation and creativity, and figuring and calculating, and designing and formulating.” 66

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GILES BERUBE. 54 / Creative Director , Los Angeles

“Fun is very important to me,” he says. “I thought, ‘If I take this seriously, it’s going to be a disaster.’ But if I just go in thinking, ‘I’ll do whatever I can and it’s just for myself, to say I’ve done this,’ then I maintain the element of fun.”

VIRGINIA GILBERT, 54 / Therapist , Los Angeles

“I feel like there’s something about now that what 50-plus looks like, feels like, or thinks is very different from my parents’ era, where 50 felt like the beginning of a long slide down. And I’m a big believer in what you tell yourself informs how you feel. If you have all these thoughts about how you’re old and you don’t look as good – well how are you going to feel? That’s just not very inspiring.” 68

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OWEN McKIBBIN, 54 / Author/Lifestyle Coach , Los Angeles

“I’m meeting people, they’re now in their 40s, 50s and 60s actually changing occupations. We’ve got people that want to go into nutrition, want to go into training, that knew nothing about this three months ago. We’re affecting a demographic that thought this is as good as life gets and there’s nothing we can do about it.”

JOHN TARNOFF, 65 / Career Reinvention Coach, Los Angeles

“It really underscored for me the way business has changed, and my moving into a new direction: coaching and speaking and writing about the career reinvention challenges everyone over 50 are facing in this disruptive job market.�


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“Even as a teenager I knew the music was really about something else, it was challenging social norms.” I’m really trying to challenge ideas and one of the ways I’m doing that is by embracing this age.” ANNABELLE GURWITCH, 55 / Writer, Los Angeles

BELLA McCLOUD, 57 / Psychology PhD Candidate

“I have collected older women my whole life who amazed me and were a model of what I would like to be. And they all have some commonalities of being independent, thinking out of the box — living their lives how they see fit.” 72

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JOE LEWIS, 62 / Artist, Los Angeles

“I’m an artist. I believe that great art is made from experience. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a fabulous piece when you’re 21, but it takes you 40 years to learn how to paint, and takes you 40 years how to learn to be a photographer … To really know everything to know about what you’re doing. This 10,000 hours thing? I think it’s 20,000 hours personally.”


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Ageist of Change David Harry Stewart, the originator of the website/newsletter, Ageist, redefines what growing older is from a cultural and marketing point of view.


avid is a vibrant, healthy, man in his mid-fifties with a mission to elevate the consumer status of his fellow aging counterparts. Coming from 35 years of experience as an award-winning photographer specializing in people-oriented advertising, David is positioning himself as one of the world’s leading experts in the new ways we are all aging. Together with a team of like-minded “ageing” colleagues, David has formed the company Ageist, with their motto “Live fast, die old.” The intro page on Ageist points out that “the over-50s are a critically important demographic. They’re a huge and wealthy generation, controlling $15 trillion in assets and income. Their political, social and economic standing makes them the most powerful generation to have ever lived. Despite this, brands and media have all but written them off, treating them as out-to-pastures, winding down the clock on an eternal last weekend: playing golf, taking cruises, and struggling with Viagra packaging. But that was their parents.” David Harry Stewart is bringing a fresh look to what it means to be over 50 in today’s world by supplying a plethora of role models, interviews and extensive ethnographies that explore this new cultural phenomenon.   The data will prove invaluable in branding and advertising on how to best market to this affluent generation.


SoCal Magazine is comprised of a unique group of editors from various backgrounds, interests, and professions. We take pride in being able to provide our readers with content created from the perspectives of diverse individuals. Our associate editor, Joshua Pinkay, and beauty editor, Chanelle Renee each bring a unique touch to SoCal Mag as they both have a critical approach to beauty and lifestyle while running their own platforms as Lifestyle bloggers. We've decided to partner them for an ongoing series titled, "Groom & Beauty", where they will share details on new products related to skincare, hair, lifestyle, and wellness. For this issue, Joshua examines HIMS, the latest brand for hair loss prevention catered to millennial men, while Chanelle reviews a modern twist on haircare products with natural ingredients from MONAT.


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Good Bidet!


Hugely popular everywhere but here, and that may change

n the cold of a Sapporo winter, one wakes to freezing temperatures. The floor is cold, the walls are cold, and yes, the toilet bowl is extremely cold—but it’s not. Welcome to your first toilet bidet experience. Justin Thomas, editor of the website metaefficient. com, considers bidets to be “a key green technology” because they eliminate the use of toilet paper. According to his analysis, Americans use 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper every year, representing the pulping of some 15 million trees. Says Thomas: “This also involves 473,587,500,000 gallons of water to produce the paper and 253,000 tons of chlorine for bleaching.” He adds that manufacturing requires about 17.3 terawatts of electricity annually and that significant amounts of energy and materials are used in packaging and in transportation to retail outlets. So what’s the big deal? Likely, there is much misunderstanding as to what a bidet is and what it does, so let us explain: generally, it is an accessory added to your toilet, the water is not from the toilet, but an extension from the water source to the toilet. It’s only clean water. That water is regulated, as is the toilet bowl by a panel of controls that sit next to or on the toilet. The water pressure can be adjusted, as well as the heat of the toilet bowl, from fuzzy warm, to downright hot. The water pressure can also be changed from cold to warm flow. It’s a win win. The trees are saved, your hands never get close to bacteria, and you walk away with a newly showered area. This is not the European style bidet — which can be complex in operation if your a novice. Bidets are now popular all over the world—except in analfearing America. It is said that over 60 percent of homes in Japan possess one and even in the higher end retails stores, the bidet can be found. Most people use a small amount of paper to dry their posteriors after the bidet has done its job, but more expensive air-drying models dispense with the need for paper altogether. 80

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Americans use 36.5 billion rolls of toilet paper every year


Two for the Road Inspired by Rick Steves and Mari Ogawa we set out to find the best hilltop towns of Italy By Zuke Oshiro & Randy Dunbar


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Province Civita di Bagnoregio of Viterbo

Civita di Bagnoregio

Not the easiest climb to reach the entrance of this historic volcanic rock hilltop, located 80 miles outside of Rome. The Etruscans founded the town more than 2,500 years ago but then town risked becoming a ghost town due to earthquakes and erosion. Civita has enjoyed a renaissance of sorts, as Rick Steves included this hilltop in his PBS series. Above, at one restaurant, the owner proudly shows off a huge olive press that is about 1,500 years old. Until the 1960s, blindfolded donkeys trudged in a circle to operate the press, crushing olives. Now it is the centerpiece of the restaurant, which sells bruschetta to day-trippers via a small grill.

We like to travel. And so it was one night while watching PBS, Rick Steves did a segment on hilltop towns in Tuscany—we took the bait. That and constant phone calls from a friend in Japan, Mari Ogawa , who had lived for many years in Italy and knew the region well. Renting a car, we traveled the Tuscan countryside in search of hilltowns. There are many, too many and utltimately, it came down to the final destination, Florence—what was on the way became our destination. Hilltop towns are built upon hills for defensive purposes, surrounded by thick protective walls, steep embankments, or cliffs, these Italian hilltop settlements provided natural defenses for their earliest inhabitants. In the Middle Ages, earthworks and stone and wooden palisades were typically replaced with massive stone and masonry walls, sturdy gates, and watch towers. In the late Middle Ages and Renaissance, even some of the smallest and most remote hill towns were adorned with churches housing works of art and impressive noble residences. It is stepping back in time, and distant reminders of the splendor of Rome and Florence, for they have a different charm quite unlike anywhere. Civita di Bagnoregio is an interesting place to begin. As it sits atop and away from parking lots, it was curious how necessities were delivered—finally, we saw mini-trucks carrying goods and people to this hilltop destination, all which added to the charm. One is immediately cast into a different world, a world of stone and flower, historical significance and the simplicity of beauty.


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Umbria, Italy


ising dramatically above the almost-vertical faces of tuff cliffs that are completed by defensive walls built of the same stone called Tufa, is the town of Orvieto. Home to many Popes, the city has a significant cultural heritage, fascinating traditions and an undeniable charm. The underground city boasts more than 1200 tunnels, galleries, wells, stairs, quarries, cellars, unexpected passageways, cisterns, superimposed rooms with numerous small square niches for pigeon roosts, detailing its creation over the centuries. In the heart of town, like most Italian cities, is the cathedral. This is Orvieto Cathedral or Duomo di Orvieto; Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta. Built in the 14th century, it is the interior where one can conceive of another time an exultation of saints. Details abound (some seen here) and the light lays upon objects with soft shadows.


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Duomo 28 Musei Archeologici “C. Faina” e Civico 33 M.O.D.O. Museo Opera del Duomo 32 Museo Archeologico Nazionale Orvieto Underground 17 Chiesa San Lorenzo de' Arari 27 Torre di Maurizio 22 Torre del Moro 23 Palazzo del Popolo Paao 9 Palazzo del Gusto e Enoteca Regionale 2 Chiesa S. Giovenale Necropoli etrusca Crocifisso del Tufo Risalita con o Ex Chiesa di S. Agostino (M.O.D.O.) 6 Pozzo della Cava 14 Chiesa Sant’Andrea e sotterranei 36 Teatro Comunale Mancinelli Chiesa S. Domenico 40 Chiesa S.Maria dei Servi 41 Fortezza Albornoz 42 Pozzo di San Patrizio 43 Tempio etrusco del Belvedere

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Duomo 33 . M.O.D.O. Museo Opera del Duomo 22 Torre del Moro 23 Palazzo del Popolo 36 Teatro Comunale Mancinelli Chiesa S. Domenico 42 Pozzo di San Patrizio Duomo 32 Museo Archeologico Nazionale 28 Musei Archeologici “C. Faina” e Civico 22 Torre Del Moro Chiesa Sant’Andrea e sotterranei 2 Chiesa S. Giovenale 3 Ex Chiesa di S. Agostino (M.O.D.O.) 6 Pozzo della Cava

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Manciano, Italy

Manciano is a town and comune in the southern part of the province of Grosseto, Tuscany, central Italy. Out of nowhere the smell of sulfur rises, people walk in bathrobes along dirt roads and one can hear Nino Rota playing in the background. You have arrived at Saturnia, the free, natural hot stream that draws people from all over Europe to partake in this unique bathing experience. Saturnia takes its name from the Roman god Saturn (or

Saturnus). Legend has it that he grew tired of the constant wars of humans, and sent a thunderbolt to earth that created a magic spring of warm sulfurous water which would pacify mankind. And a warm spring it is indeed—temperatures vary as you move about with the hottest being at the top of a hill (the source) and the outlaying areas are much cooler. Regardless, caution should be taken when moving within the spring as the rocks are moss-covered and it is slippery!

Medieval villages, historical towns, castles and defense systems, country churches (the so-called pievi) and beautiful abbeys, like the one of Sant’Antimo, are scattered all over the territory and their profiles stand out in the landscapes of the Crete Senesi, Orcia Valley, Garfagnana, Chianti and the Maremma. Finally, Tuscany is full of spas: Montecatini, Saturnia, Montepulciano, Monsummano and Bagno Vignoni, which offer relaxing holidays thanks to their thermal waters and well-equipped facilities for all types of treatments. 90

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PIENZA Val d’Orcia

Pienza having obtained recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, is the quaint charmer of a hilltop town—though in thge province of Siena, it is not Siena, which is huge and touristy to a fault. We stayed in a c harming room above a store and woke to the smell of cheese wafting through the calm Tuscan air. That cheese is Pecorino. In fact, Pienza is considered the “capital” of Pecorino cheese, because of its high quality due to the fact that the cheese is made from an especially flavorsome and aromatic milk thanks to sheep pastures in Val d’Orci. The restaurants, are small, huddled and beyond delicious, not that there is a bad meal to be had in Tuscany, but Pienza does provide an insight into the perfect mix of architecture, food & tradition.


Desert Bloom

Joshua Tree : where creatives live

he California high desert, two hours east of Los Angeles, has been known for years as a remote destination for artists of all types looking to retreat from urban life, and it’s exploding. Vast numbers of young artists and onlookers are swarming this sleepy town and its adjacent cities. A particular breed has come to set up shop in live/work spaces that are quickly establishing a network of unique artisan, crafting, and fine art studios from Yucca Valley up into Joshua Tree. Low rent, relative freedom from oversight, and a welcoming community are driving this trend among the younger, disaffected artists who would otherwise be stationed in the barrios of Los Angeles and the industrial lofts of Brooklyn. BY MICHAEL BIRNBERG 92

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Who: Xihomara Alvarez, 37 From: Miami Beach When: Moved to Joshua Tree in 2014 What: Woodworker I felt like I was on a hamster wheel in my early 30’s and began to wonder what else was out there. I considered moving up north, but the desert called me with the vast open space and laid back culture. I was looking for a place that had a garage to make art. My workspace opens up into an empty field of chola cacti and other dreamy desert plants. I’ll probably finish up some pieces I have laying around and then take my dogs for a walk during golden hour. Past, present, future; it’s all the same. The high desert has an amazing history and artist community out here. Some of my favorite people are

the ones who have been here the longest and are always down to help one another out or collaborate on a project. There are always lots of interesting people passing through. The future of the community will be more people arriving, and current residents leaving town for cheaper rent and a more remote and ancient landscape. I wish the number of tourists in hummers and people not respecting the landscape would chill out for a bit, however I support new artists and accept them with open arms.

Who: Travis Dent, 32 From: Los Angeles When: Moved to Yucca Valley in early 2017 What: Owner of The Sweet Spot, a 3000 sg. ft. warehouse live/work and event space

Who: Cody Montgomery, 35 From: Detroit Michigan & Fairfield, Iowa When: Moved to Joshua Tree in 2013 What: Owner of Totally Blown, a clothing company I live in a open studio space in the Joshua Tree village. It’s a great space. Lots of light and nice view towards the park. We use the space for making clothing, creative projects, yoga classes, music practice, and just about everything. We live and work in the same space. I’m currently renting. So in the future I see moving out of here and buying a house out in the country where I can expand. I live and work mostly with my partner Adriana Atema. She is an amazing artist, yoga instructor, and musician. I play drums and synth in her band Wildlife Freeway. The high desert is a strong and continuously expanding community of artists and musicians. The place is swarmed with talent and events. It’s a joy to be apart of. I think I fit in as one of the few young business owners that moved out here five years ago and helped prove that with an original idea and lot of hard work you can have a successful creative practice, make a good living, and have a healthy lifestyle living in the high desert. Over the last four years I’ve seen more people, more venues, more events, more traffic, less local, and less authentic desert vibes. I see myself enjoying the space for another 5 years then moving on. I like the artist influx. I’m just afraid of what’s going to happen after that. The amount of people that visit here just keeps going up. It’s kind of a bummer in some ways because the authentic desert culture that I love is getting pushed aside. Not so much in the more rural areas but definitely in the towns. For example, when I first moved here there were like a dozen of us young artists that had moved to the area and we would all frequent the Joshua Tree Saloon cause it was the local spot where you pretty much recognized everyone. Now we go in and pretty much recognize no one cause it swarmed with tourists...so now we just don’t go. But in general, more people means moreopportunity, but it also means a greater responsibility to protect the extremely delicate desert, and respect the diversity of the local culture. Joshua Tree is in the spotlight right now. It’s a great time to get inventive. To figure out how support ourselves and in turn support our community.

I fund most of my creative projects with web development and graphic design for film, video games and TV commercials. Additionally, I’m a metal fabricator, woodworker, mechanic, amateur electrical engineer and textile designer. Part of my building is used as a community art and performance space, a majority of the interior space is devoted to tools and workspaces for each of my disciplines, and the rest has been configured as living and office space. I’m currently providing an accessible performance space for local and traveling bands in addition to hosting a monthly market for local artists and vintage vendors. In the future I’d like to expand on my offerings to the community by running the workspace as a hackerspace and creating a co-working office area for professionals that live outside of town and don’t have the connectivity options that I do. The art community in and around Joshua Tree is quite varied, but is generally savvy to art around the world; most of the creative residents here come from urban areas. I’m happy to be able to share my expertise, amenities and defiant philosophies with the open minded people in this community to progress what it means to be a creative professional.


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Joshua Tree Pappy & Harriet’s

Legendary bar, restaurant, and music venue with an amazing outdoor grill - Tex-Mex is the order of the day - all right in the heart Pioneer Town www.pappyandharriets.com

Giant Rock

Maybe the world’s largest freestanding boulder. Definitely a giant rock. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giant_Rock


Originally a secret science experiment this structure was designed by ufologist George Van Tassel who claimed the Integratron was capable of rejuvenation, anti-gravity and time travel. We don’t know about the time travel claims, but we do know it offers 60-minute sonic healing sessions with crystal bowls played live.


Noah Purifoy

A vast garden of improbable sculptures, the Noah Purifoy Desert Art Museum of Assemblage Art is open to the public every day of the year from sun up until sundown and is free of charge. www.noahpurifoy.com

Furst Wurld

The art compound, gallery, and event space of artist Bobby Furst. www.bobbyfurst.com

Coyote Corner

Everything you could need for a stay in Joshua Tree… with showers out the back. www.jtcoyotecorner.com

La Copine Restaurant

Fabulous thoughtful cuisine in the middle of the hidesert. Just go!


104 years youn I LONGEVITY

Not many can claim to have seen Laurel Canyon when it was a dirt track, but centenarian Reggie Gooch was there.

f you are lucky enough to meet Reggie Gooch, you will fall in love – I know I did. It’s the warm, engaging smile that he welcomes you with, the irresistible and irrepressible zest for life that he exudes, the calm acceptance of life on life’s terms that he conveys. Having lived in Los Angeles for 102 years, this centenarian has witnessed the transitioned from horses to vehicles to airplanes, and describes a time when the trash service was comprised of mules pulling carts. A time when Laurel Canyon was a dirt track, a time before airplanes, microwaves, televisions, or the Internet.

written by Niki Smart • photography by Alexandra DeFurio 96

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“I love traveling. So did my wife. We went on numerous trips over the years, all over the world, but we never made a reservation in our life.” At age 10, Reggie worked at a Reggie claims he has taken grocery store earning 50c per zero medications. He’s also shift, except on Saturdays, when never had an auto accident, he worked from 7am-7pm and and though he bought his first earned $1. This was during the car in 1928, he quips that, “no economic decline as America insurance company has ever headed towards the Great paid out on me in all those Depression, so Reggie loved his years. Plus, I never had to take job because any extra produce any tests because I’d never had was his to take home. He would an accident.” Reggie stopped share his food with his family of driving at 100 of his own 7, and all his neighbors. At 15, he worked in a theater volition. parking lot from 6:30PM -1AM In keeping with his upbeat and would do his homework on nature, as the interview was the job. “It didn’t bother me that coming to a close, Reggie said I didn’t get enough sleep, because “make sure you come to the lunch it allowed me to take my mother for 105th birthday next year in to England on a ship. I saved up June”. for 3 years to do that.” So yes, by You got it, Reggie. I wouldn’t miss the time Reggie was 18 he had it for the world. saved enough money to take his What do you enjoy most in life? for 3 months to England via a cruise ship. That’s Reggie – a What is your favorite thing to do? generous spirit. I love traveling. So did my wife. Reggie and his wife of 77 years, Reggie tells me that he was We went on numerous trips over Millie, is at his bedside. married to Millie, and that they the years, all over the world, but we never had a fight, not once, in never made a reservation in our life. their 77 years together. Millie, who was four years older than Reggie, lived until 103 herself. Together they lived Where have you spent the majority of your life? harmoniously in mutual respect and shared a deep love I was born in Canada but moved to Los Angeles at the age of adventure and travel. Talking about Millie and travel, of 2. I’ve lived in LA ever since then. That’s 102 years in Reggie’s eyes light up. These are the two things he loved LA – I love this place. I’ve also traveled all over the world, most, and luckily, Millie loved traveling just as much as my favorite place being Bavaria, though I Italy too. Reggie did. They traveled extensively, mainly on cargo boats, visiting almost every place on earth. What are the biggest changes you’ve seen to Los

My favorite story was that at age 97, Millie looked at Reggie and said “there’s a Norwegian boat headed for Buenos Aires in 10 days from now. I think we should be on it.” And they were. They even extended their trip for a month long journey through South America. Reggie laughs, “People asked us, aren’t you worried about running around in those cities – and we said “Why should we worry?” That’s what I love about this remarkable man: no squabbles with his wife, no reservations when traveling the world (literally and figuratively), no worries, no fears, and another thing, no medications.


East LA had an alligator farm and an ostrich farm. There were fun houses and roller coasters, and the Red Street Car. And the thing to do on a Saturday night was go to the movies. They had a huge movie theater with plush chairs that had a wraparound balcony that held 1500 people. This was five hours of entertainment that started with cartoons, the newsreel, a live performance, then intermission and after that, the feature movie. It was 25c to go in, but for 15c extra you could have nicer chairs. I would save all week to go to the movies. Plus, I’d walk up Laurel Canyon, except it was a dirt road, 98

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caption goes herex caption goes herex caption goes herex caption goes herex herex Reggie has two boxes of well-preserved love letters

and at the top you could see the city, and in 1918, there were 3 properties – all big palace style homes. All the streets were named after the owners of properties. The biggest change is in land prices. After the depression in 1936, we bought 2 lots of land - each cost $350. We put $3.50 down and repaid $3.50 each month. We sold them for about 30k, but they are probably worth over a million now.

What are some of the places that you’ve traveled to?

Thailand, Burma, India, Egypt, Europe, Bali, Alaska, Singapore, Iran, South Africa, all over South America…I got stuck for 30 days in Kenya. I’ve lived on a house boat

in Kashmir. I spent Christmas in the heart of Afghanistan. We bought a new car in South America then spent 9 months driving through Salvador, Honduras, Panama, Costa Rica. We shipped the car to Columbia and drove down through Peru, Chile doing the Pan American highway. And I loved going on the cargo ships. You can go explore while they unload their cargo, and they’re cheaper – especially the Polish ships, but you may be on a ship for 5 – 6 months.

You’ve lived through both World Wars, and the Great Depression. What was the scariest time for you? On March 20th 1944, I was stationed in Pompeii as part of

Facts of Life The proportion of people reaching 100 is growing over time – it was rare in the 1940s, but today, it doubles roughly every year. The oldest person ever on record was Jeann Louise Calment who lived until 122. The oldest known living person in the United States is Delphine Gibson, who is 114. Oldest person to give birth: Omkari Panwar is the oldest mother in the world, gave birth to twins at age 70. Country with most longevity: In Monaco people live to be nearly 90 years old (89.5, to be exact), which is four years longer than any other country and almost an entire decade longer than the average American. Monaco also happens to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Next on the list is Okinawa, Japan.

the air force, when Mount Vesuvius erupted. 138 aircraft were lost. We had to go to Corsica to get new airplanes, but sadly we lost them all as well.

Which was your favorite era?

They were all good. I traveled a great deal, and spent 8 years out of the country. I was drafted into service in 1942 and spent four years in the air force. I wrote to Millie almost every day for four years…and she wrote back.

Oldest driver on the roads: Fred Hale was issued with a driving license in 1995 at age 104, and drove until it expired on his 108th birthday in 1998.

Did you know/plan you were going to live a long time?

At 98, Tao Porchon-Lynch, is the oldest yoga teacher in the world and Ernestine Shepherd at 81, is the oldest competitive female bodybuilder in the world.

My mother lived until 83, but my dad died of heart problems at 55. I never thought about it. I used to be live one year at a time; now I play with one month at a time. (Reggie smiles his winning smile)

Harriet, a Galápagos tortoise lived until 175 years although it is believed that tortoises can live up to and beyond 200 years. The Greenland shark found in the Arctic Ocean can have a life span of 272 years.

We want to know your secret. Do you eat healthy, exercise, smoke, drink? I’ve never smoked, and hardly drink. I may have a glass of wine at dinner. My meals are perhaps a little beef or chicken, but mainly I eat masses of veggies and fruit. I took care of 142 avocado trees at Wattles, and I was on their board for 33 years. I love vegetables. I still go every Saturday morning to tend the garden, if I can.

But the winner of longevity is a species of jellyfish that’s capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, thereby bypassing death and regenerating itself. Therefore, it has no natural limit to its life span.

If you could tell young people one thing, what would it be?

I’d say don’t worry about anything – life is too short to get in a fight or to argue. 100

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A look back 1944-46

Reggie, 1942 Camp Roberts, Paso Robles, Ca

Reggis traveling in his DeSoto

Corsica, 1944

Millie and Reggie after boot camp, Casper, Wy.

Millie at 19, in Knoxville, TN


Business Matters Three small companies thrive in the SoCal market

by Dennis Richardson and Anthony Stafford

Southern California is no stranger to dream chasers, dream builders, and dream catchers. This part of the world is filled with heaps of dreams, opportunities, obstacles, and challenges. It is also inhabited by tons of business owners who know the contrasting, and often exhausting extremes that come with trying to earn a living in such a harsh place where homelessness, poverty, and the cost of living is elevated. These are just a few of the characteristics that set the stage for such a turbulent experience for business owners in Southern California. Yet, many of these owners and their businesses are breathing life right back into Southern California through their persistent effort to survive and thrive in a way that connects them directly to their customers and communities.


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Helados POPS Ice Cream


450 N Maclay Ave, San Fernando, CA 91340

refreshed, and re-defined. The ultimate sacrifice was made, when Marthin chose to fund the family ice cream business, rather than investing in furthering his own education. This sacrifice has translated directly into the culture and business practices of Pops. Pops makes it a priority and standard every day to connect with its customers on a level that many other businesses today have forgotten — by putting customer above profit. They also choose to create freshly-crafted, exotic, and unique flavors of ice cream that don’t always have the familiarity of the mainstream, traditional tastes. Though these practices inhibit their explosion of growth and discoverability, Pops defines their success by the customer relationships and loyalty they build, their connection and support to the community, and by the high-quality, handmade, always-delicious ice cream they create. They would rather sacrifice quick growth potential, in exchange for the slow and steady pace. For them, it guarantees that the quality of their ice cream and customer experience would never be lost.

nterestingly, their buzz doesn’t come from the usual trendy, artsy décor that makes most businesses suitable for social media fame. Despite its unglamorous, muted stucco façade that could easily be driven past without a second thought, many of its customers consider this San Fernando Valley dessert destination a diamond in the rough. Once inside, visitors will immediately notice that employees don’t wear a name badge; there are no fancy menus with photos, and there aren’t many distracting signs on the walls. Arguably one of the best gourmet ice cream shops in Southern California, Helados Pops purposefully abandons anything that’s overly fancy, sleek, or trendy. Instead, they focus entirely on putting its love and energy into their product, service, and customer experience. But it wasn’t always so easy for Pops to focus this amount of attention into their business. Helados Pops’ story begins Proven Through with two separate families, Perseverance brought together by marriage. However, Pops was sure to Marthin Ken, the owner, born be doomed from the beginning and raised in Belize, has an due to a shortage of financial extended family history of resources, high renovation grandfathers teaching their costs, lack of business boys how to make ice cream Arguably one of the best gourmet ice knowledge and support, at home. Though a longcream shops in Southern California, and all of the challenging time family treat, Marthin obstacles that would never intended to become Helados Pops purposefully abandons have crushed most small a business owner, nor was anything that’s overly fancy, sleek, businesses. Not to mention, he ever that passionate at the helm of this renewed or trendy. about making ice cream – business effort was an that was, until he met his inexperienced business wife and his father-in-law, owner. Marthin admits, Oscar. Oscar, from El Salvador, owned a flagship, family- “We should’ve failed. None of us really knew what we owned ice cream shop from 2003 until his dream was were getting ourselves into.” Yet, after two years of suddenly shut down by the weight of the recession in business, Pops has achieved a solid rhythm of operation, 2010. purposeful growth, and a strong social media following; and more importantly they have developed a community Passion Over Profit of dedicated, loyal customers who wouldn’t dare have After vowing to someday bring back Oscar’s business, any other ice cream. With a Five Star Rating on Yelp, one Marthin finally revived Oscar’s dream in 2015. The customer says, “The ice cream at Pops is simply a work new Helados Pops, affectionately known as “Pops,” of art.” Another customer describes, “I always feel like a opened its doors in the city of San Fernando - renewed, friend when I walk in, and family when I walk out; and

free catering events, and even contributing to special causes. Pops is ranked among the top 6 Ice Cream Shops in Los Angeles, and with the support of their loyal customers, and the love affair shared between them, Pops will continue to grow at just the right pace to stay special, authentic and undeniably delicious. Address: 450 N Maclay Ave, San Fernando, CA 91340 Hours: Open every day, 12 – 9 PM Phone: (818) 371-3538

BlackiBoys | @blackiboys | blackiboys.com

A Coconut Sundae, with a backdrop of Maclay Avenue and part of the storefront.

every flavor of ice cream that’s created seems to come from the depths of their heart.” Pops Makes Healthy, Artisanal Ice Cream and Customer Service a Work of Art Pops has carved its name into the ice cream world, and set a new standard for all others to rise to. Customer connections and relationships come first for the brand, followed by their hand-crafted, artisanal ice cream — free of artificial colors, flavors, and injected air. Pops is not cutting corners. Their exotic, and distinctive ice cream and sorbet flavors have organic, all-natural, and non-GMO ingredients. Even the most classic and common flavors of ice cream taste completely different from the mainstream. They also have vegan, dairy-free options for everyone to love. From cones and cups, to shakes and floats, Pops often creates ice cream art pieces with their coconut and pineapple sundaes. The small team of dedicated ice cream workers, will greet, educate, and befriend every customer; even learning their palette and suggesting flavors they may love. Pops wants each customer to know that when they visit again, they will feel like family. As if the customer experience and ice cream didn’t set a high enough standard, Pops also shares their success with the community in numerous ways, ranging in part from charitable donations, to free pop-up opportunities for up and coming small businesses. They also vigorously support neighboring small businesses through social media promotion, by hiring and mentoring local youth,

In a world where it seems there isn’t enough space for another small, uniquely special business to exist, we find BlackiBoys. Gently tucked away in the highly competitive children’s fashion industry, BlackiBoys still manages to rise through the fabric of the mainstream into a sustainable, thriving, online business. Patricia Williams, a mother of three boys (and with a fourth on the way), has been building her small business for about two years. From Utah, she moved to Los Angeles in 2003 as a dancer, and took on a retail job with her first pregnancy. As undiscovered passions often go, working in retail awakened a newfound interest: fashion. Patricia not only learned from YouTube and her friends, but she implemented what she learned accordingly, and experimented often. This small business owner, and self-proclaimed “DIY-er” (Do It Yourself-ER) eventually turned her passion of fashion into a professional small business where she creates children’s clothing that meets several goals: stylish, affordability, durability, environmentally conscious, and comfortability — something that many parents don’t consider when buying clothing for their children. It’s curious, playful name couldn’t be any better suited: BlackiBoys. BlackiBoys is an online based business that represents the rambunctious, rough play that children are known for by using resilient fabrics, and creating lasting designs that encompass and support this. With their choice of durable threads, BlackiBoys designs and merchandise outlast the many phases of childhood. For BlackiBoys, it’s more than just children’s clothing. They choose to sacrifice the mainstream, industry standards of overseas manufacturers, large-scale suppliers, and popular marketing methods, to focus Instead on what matters to most parents, and what’s best for their young customers: Affordable: Buying clothes for kids can be expensive, and even more concerning for parents is how long that clothing lasts. Children need clothes that can outlast their rough play and their growth— a difficult combo. 104

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Patricia makes sure to use deadstock fabrics from local textile providers around DTLA.

However, BlackiBoys has managed to find a sweet-spot between stylishness, affordability, and durability that ensures a long life for the apparel brand. Comfortable: Something many parents may be guilty of is not knowing if their children are actually comfortable in the clothes they buy for them. But with the BlackiBoys brand, it has become a normalcy for kids to love their clothes so much that they want to even sleep in them! Now that’s comfortable. Environmentally Conscious: Another overlooked part of the entire fashion world is that trends come and go before they have really had time to get established and make a lasting impression. Unfortunately, with that behavior comes masses of unused textiles that sit in factories, and get disposed of in an environmentally damaging way. This is called deadstock fabric. Often decades-old, BlackiBoys has made a pledge to only use deadstock fabrics in the manufacturing of their apparel. The benefits of deadstock are the low-costs, uniqueness, and the abundance of fabric. It’s their goal to inform other small businesses and business owners of dead-stock fabrics and manufacturers who carry them in downtown Los Angeles (DTLA).

Patricia Williams, owner of BlackiBoys, and mother of three.

PLATFORM LA / @platform_la /


In the essence of small businesses helping small businesses, an unlikely and overlooked contributor to this great SoCal machine that just keeps turning (and giving) is Platform LA, created and managed by Runyon Group. Most would think of Platform LA and Runyon Group as a business based in a DTLA high-rise with hundreds of employees. This, however, couldn’t be

Patricia sports a matching BlackiBoys romper with her youngest son.

What Makes Them Extraordinary? BlackiBoys maintains a “made in LA” standard. Not only can this be costly, but it can come with great sacrifice. Manufacturing overseas is undoubtedly the go-to answer for many companies due to the low cost associated with the international process. However, for this small business, keeping operations domestic and local means better logistics and quality control at every level. This method has opened new doors for the brand, and they continue to share their knowledge and success with other small businesses in hopes to see other owners succeed. Patricia encourages other business owners who rely on fabrics to visit some of DTLA’s fabric warehouses, like Victor Textiles, who she insists has great staff who are extremely helpful and sweet. BlackiBoys is also carving a place for itself in the children’s fashion industry by experimenting and exploring ways to make their kids’ apparel more accessible to handicapped children. Seldom-thought issues like these are always a priority, and they hope to implement snap-buttons into their apparel line soon. In addition, BlackiBoys frequently donates clothing to schools, and future goals include donating to special needs children and local charities. With so much accumulation of good will, BlackiBoys believes that sharing this support with other small SoCal businesses will help them stay cost-effective, innovative, and centered on consumer best interests. (Photos by Cameron Jordan Photography and Britni Peterson.)

further from the truth. Runyon Group is made up of a team of only five people, and their passion project, Platform LA, which focuses on housing tenants who are all independent small businesses. David Fishbein & Joey Miller, the business partners, and founders of Runyon Group worked together for 7 years and had a vision for what they wanted to do from the day they met. This vision would ultimately become Platform LA. David, from the Bay Area, comes from a family with experience and a background in interior design and real estate, while Joey, a fourth generation Angeleno, has a family history in real estate and property management. Today, David handles leasing, and client acquisition, while Joey executes all development, financing, and construction. Erin Mavian, the COO of Runyon Group, lived in New York for 8 years with a major in Journalism and background in trend forecasting for brands. Erin’s role in Runyon Group is to know what everyone is doing and what needs to get done, and proclaims that she has “the best job in the world!” Erin gets excited by discovering and sharing unique, small businesses that people did not know existed. Platform LA has been in operation for two years, and is centered around finding the best world class and independent designers, chefs, merchants, retailers, and beyond. 106

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Joey Miller and David Fishbein, creators of Platform LA and Runyon Group.

A Service to Small Businesses The Platform team constantly looks for ways for businesses to crosspromote or partner up at their openair, intimately designed marketplace. Rather than finding popular brands in some of the most iconic shopping areas, Platform is shaping its own lane by building retail infrastructure that specifically supports small businesses and “pop-ups” by bringing them together, and offering a one-of-a-kind rotating marketplace for their visitors to look forward to. This

unique experience ensures that small business receive a spotlight to highlight their unique brand, products and services. The team can boast that the shops and restaurants at Platform are completely unique from any others in the world, and that they often have the advantage of housing the only location in the world for some of these businesses. Platform LA will likely become a massive small business amplifier and could reshape the entire shopping and dining experience. After all, they like to refer to Runyon Group as a “place maker.” A Service to the Community Platform LA’s goal: Bring businesses and brands together to create a sense of community and serve a greater purpose. Platform LA and its tenants support their local community, the Hayden Tract, by frequently donating free food to parents in the first weeks of backto-school season, site-wide canned food drive contests with tenants for various holidays, and hosting pet adoption events for rescue groups, by donating their retail space. What Platform LA and Runyon Group look forward to most, is expanding their campus and potentially building a community park for the general public that also invites them into Platform’s LA’s shopping community. Address: 8850 Washington Blvd. Culver City, CA. 90232 Hours: Open every day, 7 AM – 10 PM


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MONO (DE)RAILED Think about this next time your on your 86 minute commute

The subject of mass transportation in Los Angeles is complex. Only last July, Mayor Garcetti actually brought up the idea as a solution. The idea, once championed by the late writer Ray Bradbury has been met with an array of issues (and excuses) that seem to keep Los Angeles from joining the ranks of a city with an efficient and compelling mass transit system By Sam Gennawey 112

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realize that most people associate early Monorails with Walt Disney. It is well-known that one of the earliest drawings of Tomorrowland by Herb Ryman had one crossing over the entrance. The Disneyland Monorail was the first daily operating monorail in the Western Hemisphere. Back when the line was extended to the Disneyland Hotel, it was the first US monorail to cross a public street. However, there has been a long history of monorails in the United States and elsewhere, even in the Los Angeles area. One of the earliest examples was a system designed and patented by inventor Joseph W. Fawkes in 1907. He called it the Aerial Swallow and built a prototype in 1911 with the intention of building a line that would connect Burbank to downtown Los Angeles. He built a quarter-mile test track with a monorail train train that hung from the rail and was powered by a propeller driven by an air-cooled engine. The 40-foot train could travel at 3 mph. The train made its maiden run on July

4, 1911. As investors shied away, the project faded into history. On January 15, 1954, Coverdale & Colitis submitted their proposal for $165 million monorail to the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority, based on a study that began in 1947. By today’s standards, it would cost almost $1.4 billion. At first, the project was going to be built with private sector funds, but in 1951 a public agency was set up specifically to look at the technology. The monorail was deemed superior to a subway or light rail because of the low-density distribution of land uses throughout the region, the high degree of automobile ownership, and the lack of any surface-free mass transit. The line would begin at the corner of Van Nuys Boulevard and Roscoe Boulevard in Panorama City in the San Fernando Valley, and pass by Universal Studios on its way to downtown Los Angeles, where it would go under Hill Street for two miles. The monorail would continue to American Boulevard and Broadway in Long Beach. Fifteen

stations were proposed, and a trip from end to end would take approximately 67 minutes. Each station would have an adjacent parking lot or parking structure. The systems being studied were of a “classical” monorail, whereas the train hung below the rail, and a “splitrail” monorail, which features a train that hung below two closely spaced rails enclosed inside of a box. In both cases, it was suggested that the trains would run on rubber tires instead of steel wheels. In the case of the split-rail technology, the trains would have been virtually silent. At an average speed of 41 mph, the trains would outrun any other mode of travel. The proposed system would have featured 50 foot cars that can hold approximately 67 passengers. Up to eight cars could be combined to build one train. The third kind of monorail, the German “saddlebag” approach advocated by ALWEG (and later installed at Disneyland), was dismissed as impractical. The report stated,

“Remember, subways are for cold climes, snow and sleet in dead- winter London, Moscow or Toronto. Monorails are for high, free, open-air spirits, for our always-fair weather.” —Ray Bradbury

“Few, if any, American transit experts believe the “saddlebag” has a future in the U.S., but a number suspect that a modern suspended monorail might meet the need of some cities.” Considering the economics, at best the system would break even and maybe even turn a profit with a modest public subsidy. Tickets would cost 20 to 50 cents and they initially expected up to 79 million boardings per year. For the system to succeed financially, more than 30 percent of the ridership would have to switch from driving. So what happened? The proposal was doomed from the start. The monorail proponents were opposed by two huge political forces: the Pacific Electric Lines (the Red Car) and the Los Angeles Transit Lines. The Los Angeles Transit Lines was run by National City Lines, partially owned by General Motors. Their proposal was a series of express buses along the freeways. Shades of Roger Rabbit. These forces limited the right of way under consideration to a corridor that was the least desirable. They also lobbied the California Legislature to 114

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deny access to the Public Utilities Commission and the ability to float tax-free bonds. The other strike against the system was the public’s indifference to mass transit in Los Angeles. People just loved their cars and there was a sense of optimism that the region could build enough freeways to eliminate congestion once and for all. Sixty years later, Los Angeles is still counting on the express buses (Metro’s Rapid Bus network) to alleviate congestion. And we are all still stuck in traffic. This was the only time Los Angeles looked at a monorail system. The following is an excerpt from Walt and the Promise of Progress City: “An alternate plan was proposed in 1960, just one year after Walt’s demonstration model at Disneyland. This system would have covered 74.9 miles, with 51 miles of beam overhead, 21.6 miles at grade, and 2.3 miles in tunnels. This system would have cost $529 million. This project was too ambitious and was scaled back to 22.7 miles, with 12 miles in a subway under Wilshire Boulevard, at a cost of $192 million. Monorail advocates argued that a side benefit to the project was the construction of a multi-mile bomb shelter. Officials were so confident that the project would be funded that they held a public groundbreaking in Downtown Los Angeles and Beverly Hills in 1962. However, the funding did not materialize, and the project went nowhere. “Author Ray Bradbury was also a big fan of the monorail technology. Bradbury tried to encourage the City of Los

Angeles to build a system. He formed a citizen’s group called Save Rapid Transit and Improve Metropolitan Environments. He had admired the multi-modal and successful transit network in San Francisco and thought a layered system like that would work in Los Angeles. He said, “Look, the psychology of the monorail is what makes it superior. First of all, it’s not an elevated like the old trains in Chicago. It’s up in the air, but it doesn’t make noise…you hardly hear it.” Bradbury added, “The important thing is that it’s above the traffic, and would glide past the traffic.” “In an interview in 2001, Bradbury said, “Telephone Alweg to accept their offer, made 30 years ago, to erect 12 crosstown monorails—free, gratis—if we let them run the traffic. I was there the afternoon our supervisors rejected that splendid offer, and I was thrown out of the meeting for making impolite noises. Remember, subways are for cold climes, snow and sleet in dead- winter London, Moscow or Toronto. Monorails are for high, free, open-air spirits, for our always-fair weather. Subways are Forest Lawn extensions. Let’s bury our dead MTA and get on with life.” To date, Los Angeles has spent billions of dollars to build 79 miles of fixed rail, much of it underground. Sam Gennawey is the author of Walt and the Promise of Progress City which you can find on Amazon.

Enjoy our open air dining space overlooking the LA River and forget about the hustle and bustle of city life as you relax in one of the few parts of LA where you don’t hear any traffic. DINING ENTERTAINMENT BIKE SHOP

3050 N Coolidge Ave Los Angeles CA 90039

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'Best Place for the Best People' to Eat & Drink!


Institution Since 1942


1652 N. Cherokee Avenue A Discreet Side Street in Hollywood Reservations/Info: 323.462.1934 Boardners.com Follow us @Boardners

“The future is there... looking back at us. Trying to make sense of the fiction we will have become.” —William Gibson, Pattern Recognition 118

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Profile for Socal

2018 final  

The new and NEXT issue of SoCal magazine is back! Informational, entertaining and certainly well designed—this is a special edition.

2018 final  

The new and NEXT issue of SoCal magazine is back! Informational, entertaining and certainly well designed—this is a special edition.

Profile for socal1

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