First Time Home Buyer's Seminar

Saturday, January 7th @ 2:00 PM
Kick-off the new year by joining us and New American Funding's Dianne Alonte to learn more about the planning and purchasing process of buying a home! 

Come for a fun afternoon of drinks, hors d'oeuvres, and a casual introduction to the home buying process! Feel free to invite friends and family.

Even if you're just starting the planning process, find out what to expect when purchasing a home in Today's Market!

*Disclaimer: This is an informational event. No sales pitch involved. :)

RSVP

 

Posted
AuthorTiffany Chin

Buying is somehow still cheaper than renting in LA

Courtesy of Michael Locke

Courtesy of Michael Locke

To buy or to rent? The answer isn’t hard if you move around a lot or don’t have the cash on hand to cover a down payment, but for those looking to settle into a community for a number of years, the decision can come down to a simple question of finances. And according to a new report from Trulia, it’s still cheaper to buy in Los Angeles in the long run—in spite of sky high prices.

The bad news for homebuyers: Historically low interest rates haven’t done much to increase the overall benefits of buying over renting. Last year, when mortgage rates were slightly higher, it was 37.2 percent cheaper to buy; this year, the number has risen only slightly, to 37.7 percent, nationally. In Los Angeles, the savings are lower, with buying about 32.7 percent less expensive.

Courtesy of Trulia

Courtesy of Trulia

The reason savings haven’t increased much given the drop in interest rates is that the growth of home prices has outpaced rents over the past year. Across the country, prices have soared nearly six percent, while rents have increased just 3.5 percent.

The savings figures are calculated over a seven-year period, assuming a $536,350.60 sale price (with 20 percent down) versus a monthly rent of $2,600. That’s about the price of a median home and a median two-bedroom rental in Los Angeles, so savings numbers could decrease for homebuyers looking for an above average property or willing to settle for a less expensive apartment (or get a roommate).

 

The 32.7 percent savings figure provides enough of a cushion that buying would still be cheaper unless home prices jump 52 percent or mortgage rates increase to 7.4 percent (neither a likely possibility).

Still, all this is probably cold comfort to the high number of first time homebuyers for whom even starter home prices are well out of reach. For many in LA, renting might be more expensive over time, but it’s simply the only option available—and probably not in a $2,600 apartment either.

Full article here.

Posted
AuthorTiffany Chin

Given the intolerable level of heat that's overtaken the LA area lately, it can be easy to forget that Southern California has seasons—or even weather other than hot and dry. Still, if you look hard enough, there are plenty of places to find glimpses of fall in and around LA. Here are nine spots where you can admire the kind of picturesque autumnal landscapes usually associated with colder weather states.

Full article here.

Posted
AuthorTiffany Chin
Image via Arspickles17.

Image via Arspickles17.

The smallest neighborhood in Los Angeles is, fittingly, also one of its most quaint and small-town adorable. It's so quaint and small-town adorable, it still has an independent bookstore. There are a lot of ways to define LA's smallest 'hood (it could be downtown Culver City?), but we're going with the tiniest by area, according to the Los Angeles Times's comprehensive mapping project, which puts Larchmont in a .49-square-mile rectangle surrounded by Hollywood, East Hollywood, Koreatown, Hancock Park, and Windsor Square.

Larchmont (use it interchangeably with Larchmont Village if you like) is far less fancy than Hancock Park or Windsor Square and more suburban than Hollywood, East Hollywood, and Koreatown, and it's defined primarily by the single long strip of Larchmont Boulevard, lined with diagonal parking, wide sidewalks, coffee shops, toy stores, expensive boutiques, dog bakeries, a Rite Aid, and a Chipotle.

Here are some scenes from around the village:

Erin McKenna's Bakery. Photo via Instagram.

Erin McKenna's Bakery. Photo via Instagram.

Lunch at Larchmont Bungalow. Photo via Instagram.

Lunch at Larchmont Bungalow. Photo via Instagram.

And, here's what you need to know about Larchmont:

History: A man named Julian Labonte first established Larchmont Village in 1921 as part of the sprawl out from Downtown in that era, with one-story stores (sometimes with second-story offices) along Larchmont Boulevard, starting with the east side of the street; eventually he added a movie theater on the western side, according to the Larchmont Buzz. The Los Angeles Railway Yellow Car ran down the center of the street. The area prospered as the commercial center for old-money Windsor Square, and in the 1950s the streetcars and telephone poles were taken out to make the strip more pleasant, according to an old story in the Times: "Since then, change has taken place only gradually, sparing the street any major upheavals."

 Undated photo via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

 Undated photo via Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection

Demographics: For such a bougie little area, Larchmont is actually less rich and less white than you might think. The Times ranks it as "highly diverse" for both the city and the county—it's 24.6 percent, 37.2 percent Latino, 30 percent Asian, 3 percent black, and 5.3 percent "other"—and a huge 56 percent were not born in the US. The median income is $47,780, which is only average for the city and low for the county. A majority of residents earn less than $40,000 a year. Larchmont also has unusually high percentages of single, never-married people.

Real estate: Like we said, it feels suburban—some bungalows, duplexes and other small multifamily buildings, medium-sized apartment buildings, and big setbacks that allow for yards. Only a little more than a quarter of residents, 27.1 percent, own in Larchmont. The other 72.9 percent are all renters.

Photo via Instagram. Full article, here.

Photo via Instagram.

Full article, here.

Posted
AuthorTiffany Chin
Last year's event (Photo via LAFW)

Last year's event (Photo via LAFW)

The annual Los Angeles Food and Wine Fest enters its sixth year this weekend, with numerous tasting events occurring August 25—28. Much of the action takes place in downtown Los Angeles, where a red carpet will be unfurled along Grand Avenue in front of the Walt Disney Concert Hall for guests to stroll as they eat and imbibe to what is likely beyond their heart's content. The event is full of enough celebrity chefs to delight any Food Network fan, and while pricy, it is a chance to experience plenty of incredible food (and booze) in one place. There will be several large tasting events, similar to any major food fest, but also smaller, more intimate lunches at various restaurants around town.

Here's what they have coming up:

Tastings

Eat the World with Emeril Lagasse takes place on Thursday, August 25 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in front of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. The name is derived from Lagasse's Amazon Original Series Eat the World. As the name implies, there will be lots of global food, plus wine, beer and cocktails. Tickets are $115, or $160 for VIP.

Night Market takes place on Friday, August 26 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles. Expect night market-style street food, plus craft cocktails, sake, beer and wine. The event is hosted by chef Jet Tila (Dallas’ Pakpao Thai) and Brian Malarkey (Herringbone). Tickets are $125, or $175 for VIP.

If molecular gastronomy isn't your thing, but you would like a hearty plate of comfort food, perhaps try Modern Diner Dinner on Friday, August 26 from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at the Nikel Diner in downtown Los Angeles. This menu will consist of all our childhood classics from chefs Bruce Kalman (Union), Duff Goldman (Charm City Cakes), Monica May (Nickel Diner), and Nick Shipp (Upper West). Plus wine, of course. Tickets are $175.

Sunset Grill ’n Chill happens poolside at the Fairmont Miramar in Santa Monica on Saturday, August 27 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. The chefs here will be using the grill to complete their works, and it won’t just be your standard burgers and hot dogs. Chefs include Rick Bayless (Red O), John Tesar (of Dallas’ the Knife), Sax Baxer (Connie and Ted’s), Yousef Ghalaini (Fig), Nick Shipp (Upper West), and Ben Ford (Ford’s Filling Station). Wine comes via Napa Valley's Copper Cane. Tickets are $125.

Live on Grand takes place on Saturday, August 27 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Grand Ave. in downtown Los Angeles, in front of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. You can walk about and taste food from 30 chefs, and wine from over 50 wineries. Chefs include Francis Derby (The Cannibal), Genevieve Gergis (Bestia), Rory Herrmann (Barrel & Ashes), Dakota Weiss (Estrella), Fernando Darin (Ray’s and Stark Bar) and several more. There will be a performance from De La Soul and the whole event is hosted by The Great Food Truck Race host Tyler Florence (San Francisco’s Wayfare Tavern). Tickets are $175, or VIP for $250.

The Lexus Grand Tasting occurs at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on Sunday, August 28 from noon to 3 p.m. You can sample from over 200 wines (we'd recommend narrowing that down), and food from 25 different chefs. As with the events on Grand, this too is a strolling event, meaning you can move from station to station and maybe get a slight bit of exercise in between all the eating and drinking. Football fans will also be able to get a slider adorned with their preferred team's logo at the NFL Homegating’s Slider Zone, which is, yes, a real thing.Tickets are $125, or $175 if you want to get in a half hour early.

Power Lunches

LAFW's Power Lunch series happens on Friday. Each venue will offer a robust meal consisting of several courses prepared by acclaimed chefs. The lunch at 71 Above sold out, but some other good spots remain. See the schedule and get tickets here. (Menus subject to change.)

Otium with Timothy Hollingsworth, Jon Shook & Jeremy Fox: Tickets include admission to The Broad's Cindy Sherman exhibit. 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. $125

Dine with the Ladies: Featuring Lexus Culinary Master Stephanie Izard and Chef Antonia Lofaso at Scopa Italian Roots in Venice. Noon to 2:30 p.m. $125

Hinoki & The Bird with Brandon Kida & Kevin Meehan: The menu includes includes pickled mussels, black garlic barley risotto, sea bass, meringue gelato and more. Noon to 2:30 p.m. $125

Rose Café Lunch with Jason Neroni, Evan Funke, Francis Derby & Nyesha Arrington. Noon to 2:30 p.m. $125

Hinoki & The Bird with Brandon Kida & Kevin Meehan: The menu includes includes pickled mussels, black garlic barley risotto, sea bass, meringue gelato and more. Noon to 2:30 p.m. $125

Simbal with Shawn Pham & Jessica Largey: Guests will get a Southeast Asian-inspired four-course meal including corn Fritters, basil cured hamachi, grilled duck breast, coconut flan and more. Noon to 2:30 p.m. $125

Paley with Chef Greg Bernhardt & Hugh Acheson: Dishes include foie gras mousse, spot pawn chopped salad, braised brisket, brownie crunch bars, and more. Noon to 2:30 p.m. $125

The Arthur J with David LeFevre & Alex Seidel: Melon gazpach, thai spiced hamachi, wood-fired octopus, boneless pork ribeye and more. $125

The Los Angeles Food and Wine Festival takes place at various locations around Los Angeles August 25—28. Tickets can be ordered online and picked up at each event's individual will call, which can be found here.

Posted
AuthorTiffany Chin
NATIONAL DANCE DAY Infectious dance moves spread coast to coast. National Dance Day’s flagship west coast celebration is back at Grand Park and better than ever. Lace up and grab your friends for a day of dance with So You Think You Can Dance creator Nigel Lythgoe and celebrities from the show as they lead the crowd in the official National Dance Day routines. The day continues with short classes for all ages and interactive performances by some of the best and brightest young dance talent in Los Angeles! Food and beverages available for purchase onsite.  GRAND PARK     Aspiring dancers and dance aficionados alike will have the chance to enjoy interactive performances by some of the best dance companies in Los Angeles.  They include Culture Shock LA, a troupe of individuals who, through the power of music and dance, cultivate self-worth, respect and dignity for all people; DEA Youth Dance Program, an after-school dance initiative that offers the healthy outlet of dance to youth; GROOV3, which focuses on putting the fun back into fitness with choreographed dance parties and classes; Antics, a Hip-Hop dance theater company committed to innovating the realm of Hip-Hop dance theater, as well as uplifting the community through residencies, workshops and special events; and Baby Loves Disco, a dance party featuring real music spun and mixed by actual DJs to get little bodies moving and grooving. 10:00-10:05amIntroductions 10:05 -10:35amWarm Up/ Workshop with Stephanie Reed (of DEA Dance) and DEA Youth Dance Program Students 10:35-10:55amNDDC Routine with Christopher Scott 10:55-11:10amAntics Performance 11:10-11:25amGroov3 (Participatory Activity) 11:25-11:45amCulture Shock LA - Performances and Cypher 11:45-12:00pmReview of NDDC Routine with Christopher Scott 12:00-2:00pmBaby Loves Disco - Fountain Splash Pad Check out a video of this year's routine, here. 

NATIONAL DANCE DAY

Infectious dance moves spread coast to coast.

National Dance Day’s flagship west coast celebration is back at Grand Park and better than ever. Lace up and grab your friends for a day of dance with So You Think You Can Dance creator Nigel Lythgoe and celebrities from the show as they lead the crowd in the official National Dance Day routines. The day continues with short classes for all ages and interactive performances by some of the best and brightest young dance talent in Los Angeles!

Food and beverages available for purchase onsite. 

GRAND PARK    

Aspiring dancers and dance aficionados alike will have the chance to enjoy interactive performances by some of the best dance companies in Los Angeles.  They include Culture Shock LA, a troupe of individuals who, through the power of music and dance, cultivate self-worth, respect and dignity for all people; DEA Youth Dance Program, an after-school dance initiative that offers the healthy outlet of dance to youth; GROOV3, which focuses on putting the fun back into fitness with choreographed dance parties and classes; Antics, a Hip-Hop dance theater company committed to innovating the realm of Hip-Hop dance theater, as well as uplifting the community through residencies, workshops and special events; and Baby Loves Disco, a dance party featuring real music spun and mixed by actual DJs to get little bodies moving and grooving.

10:00-10:05amIntroductions

10:05 -10:35amWarm Up/ Workshop with Stephanie Reed (of DEA Dance) and DEA Youth Dance Program Students

10:35-10:55amNDDC Routine with Christopher Scott

10:55-11:10amAntics Performance

11:10-11:25amGroov3 (Participatory Activity)

11:25-11:45amCulture Shock LA - Performances and Cypher

11:45-12:00pmReview of NDDC Routine with Christopher Scott

12:00-2:00pmBaby Loves Disco - Fountain Splash Pad

Check out a video of this year's routine, here

More event information, here.

More event information, here.

Posted
AuthorTiffany Chin
 
(Photo on the left by Skylight Books via Facebook; Photo on the right by Kent Kanouse via the Creative Commons on Flickr) By Julia Wick

(Photo on the left by Skylight Books via Facebook; Photo on the right by Kent Kanouse via the Creative Commons on Flickr)

By Julia Wick

SKYLIGHT BOOKS
One could argue that Skylight is basically the platonic ideal of an indie bookstore. It's big enough to almost always have what you are looking for while still feeling neighborhood-y and cozy. There is an actual tree in the middle of the store and even a resident cat (hi, Franny!). Skylight also boasts one of the better Los Angeles/California sections of any bookstore in the city, along with a noteworthy cookbook selection. They added an "annex" next door a few years ago, which houses books on art, design, architecture, music, film, theatre, fashion, graphic novels and magazines.

Steve at Skylight recommends Hip Hop Family Tree Book 4: 1984-1985 by Ed Piskor, saying that "the fourth volume in Ed Piskor's incredible graphic history of hip hop features some of the most iconic artists and some great Los Angeles shout outs including: Ice-T, the movie Breakin',and KDAY. Piskor's art and storytelling make this book (and the whole series) an instant classic."

Skylight Books is located at 1818 N. Vermont Ave. in Los Feliz, (323) 660-1175.

 

ESO WON BOOKS

Located in Leimert Park, Eso Won is one of the country's oldest and most-respected black bookstores according to no less a source than Publishers Weekly. They specialize in books with an black focus and carry deep cuts on music, race, history and politics that are rarely found in other brick-and-mortar stores. The owners are extremely knowledgable and have pointed me toward relevant books for research projects in the past. Though the great selection and friendly atmosphere are more than enough reason to visit Eso Won, shopping there also provides an excellent opportunity to "vote with your dollars," and support a black-owned small business, of which there are far too few in this city.

James of Eso Won recommends Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi, which he describes as "a powerful book by a new young scholar."

Eso Won is located at 4327 Degnan Blvd. in Leimert Park, (323) 290-1048

 

The outdoor patio at Stories. (Photo courtesy of Stories)

The outdoor patio at Stories. (Photo courtesy of Stories)

STORIES

Stories is like your cool office, if your coworkers were way more attractive in an interesting-looking-Girls-casting-call kind of way, and your office had rad art on the walls instead of lame motivational posters. It's a bookstore-slash-cafe, with plenty of space to hang out and read or work. The food is simple but surprisingly good, and relatively cheap for a place with such a high concentration of bearded men writing screenplays. The book selection is a good mix of used and new, with plenty of deals to be had on the used ones (including some art books!). The store is relatively small, so Stories is probably not the place to go if you are looking for something super specific; but it's perfect for discovering any number of eclectic gems. I have also witnessed numerous bookish meet-cutes while hanging at Stories, so the odds are ever in your favor.

Alex at Stories recommends The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera, which he describes as "a slim novel packed with enough existential threat to balance out all the sun and fun out on the sand. Short enough to enjoy on one beach day, dark enough to make you wonder if the horizon is indeed closing in you."

Stories is located at 1716 W. Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park, (213) 413-3733

 

Inside the tunnel of books at The Last Bookstore (Photo by Sai Mokhtari/LAist)

Inside the tunnel of books at The Last Bookstore (Photo by Sai Mokhtari/LAist)

THE LAST BOOKSTORE

Oh, Last Bookstore, how we love you! I spend many a lunch hour wandering your aisles. The cavernous 22,000 square-foot downtown space is at once overwhelming and welcoming. The main floor is massive and meticulously organized by section, and the magnificent upstairs labyrinth and book tunnel is an otherworldly, mad spectacle. The tradeoff to the kind of space that's routinely included on lists of the world's most beautiful bookstores is that the labyrinth has—unsurprisingly—become a bit of a tourist attraction. On my last visit, I patiently waited for two different sets of out-of-towers—or possibly just Westsiders?—to take pictures before I could pass through the tunnel. That said, the Last Bookstore is well worth braving the selfie takers. There is nothing like it. Just go.

Katie at The Last Bookstore recommends The Girls by Emma Cline, which she describes as "one of the novels of the summer, it explores a pivotal summer for the narrator as she gets caught up in a Manson Family-esque cult."

The Last Bookstore is located at 453 S. Spring St. in downtown, (213) 488-0599

 

(Photo courtesy of Arcana)

(Photo courtesy of Arcana)

ARCANA

Arcana, which The New York Times has called "the go-to purveyor in Los Angeles for rare and out-of-print books on art, photography, architecture, design, fashion and music," is an essential destination for any aesthetically-inclined Angeleno. Run by a husband-and-wife team, Arcana has been around since 1984, though they only moved to their Helms Bakery Complex location in Culver City a few years ago. The beautifully designed, airy space feels a bit like a gallery or museum. It's not cheap (some of the rarer editions are wildly expensive) but even art lovers without deep pockets will enjoy a visit, if only to admire the exquisite tomes on hand.

Whitney of Arcana recommends Both Sides Of Sunset, an art book that she describes as "an astonishing compilation of photographs of Los Angeles—'the impossible city,' the land of 'Sunshine and Noir'—by some of the world's best artists."

Arcana is located at 8675 Washington Blvd. in Culver City, (310) 458-1499

 

(Photo courtesy of Art Catalogues

(Photo courtesy of Art Catalogues

ART CATALOGUES

Art Catalogues is an independent art bookstore that operates under the umbrella of Los Angeles County Museum of Art. It's housed on the LACMA campus, making it ideal for a pre/post-museum visit. They have a fair amount of general contemporary art books, but their real specialty is both current and out-of-print museum and gallery exhibition catalogues, hence the name. They stock books in an array of price points—some are gallery worthy, with gallery-worthy prices, but they also carry a fair amount of art books under $30 (including some very cool limited-run selections from small publishers).

Dagny of Art Catalogues recommends BILLY 1968, a catalogue for an exhibition of work by artist Billy Al Bengston: "Ed Ruscha designed this catalogue for an exhibition of works by his friend, Billy Al Bengston. The exhibition installation was designed by Frank Gehry. It was one of the first collaborations by these three icons of art in California."

Art Catalogues is located at LACMA at 5905 Wilshire Blvd. in Miracle Mile, (323) 857-6587

 

CHILDREN'S BOOK WORLD

Growing up in L.A., Children's Book World was more than just a bookstore, it was a mesmerizing portal to another world—the Narnia wardrobe, Platform 9 ¾, and Alice's rabbit hole, all in one. It's the kind of place where the booksellers remember kids' names and interests, and can readily dole out on-point recommendations for even reluctant readers. They also host a free weekly story time every Saturday at 10:30 a.m. for younger kids, featuring storytellers, author readings and musical performers.

Sharon at Children's Book World recommends We Came to America by Faith Ringgold: "In the timely new picture book We Came to America, Faith Ringgold's striking illustrations and powerful, lyrical text beautifully express how our country is made up of people from many different countries and 'We are ALL Americans, Just the same.'"

Children's Book World is located at 10580 ½ W. Pico Blvd. in Cheviot Hills, (310) 559-2665

 

Book Soup (Photo by Matt Y. via Yelp)

Book Soup (Photo by Matt Y. via Yelp)

BOOK SOUP

Found in 1975, Book Soup is more than just a bookstore—it's an iconic part of the Sunset Strip landscape. Its towering, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves and a selection that is especially strong on art and film books attracts an industry clientele. Author events are a huge part of Book Soup's culture—the likes of Gore Vidal and Hunter S. Thompson have appeared at Book Soup—and their jam-packed calendar has something going on almost every night. The schedule for July alone includes Chuck Palahniuk, Ask Polly columnist Heather Havrilesky, TV historian Jennifer Keishin Armstrong, and seminal musician John Doe. In the first season of Californication, Hank Moody (David Duchovny) celebrated the release of his fictional book with—what else?—a reading at Book Soup.

Amelia of Book Soup recommends Ghettoside by Jill Leovy: "This meticulously researched investigation of violence in South Los Angeles—specifically, black-on-black crime in urban areas, and the complexities of law enforcement therein—should be required reading for everyone who resides here."

Book Soup is located at 8818 Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, (310) 659-3110

A reading in the courtyard outside of Diesel. (Photo courtesy of Diesel via Facebook)

A reading in the courtyard outside of Diesel. (Photo courtesy of Diesel via Facebook)

DIESEL

Tucked into the Brentwood Country Mart, Diesel is small but packed. Highlights include their large young adult section, as well as their extensive nonfiction selection. And, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, the friendly, deeply knowledgable Diesel staff is also what makes the place so special (shout-out to my girl Emma, a third-generation bookseller and Diesel part-timer). If you want something in particular, the store does a ton of special ordering for customers and can usually get books in within two business days.

Emma of Diesel recommends All Involved by Ryan Gattis: "Gattis weaves 17 fictional accounts of the days of the L.A. riots, through the point of view of an array of characters, including gangbangers, drug dealers, nurses and firefighters alike. It's thrilling historical fiction at its best!"

Diesel is located in the Brentwood Country Mart at 225 26th St. in Brentwood, (310) 576-9960

 

Hesse Press Release Party at Family. (Photo by Bobby B. via Yelp)

Hesse Press Release Party at Family. (Photo by Bobby B. via Yelp)

FAMILY

If Stories is your cool office, then Family is like being a freshman at college and walking into the off-campus apartment of the brilliant and brooding senior in your Joyce seminar who knows every band you've never heard of and won't ever give you the time of day. Except that suddenly they are telling you about every awesome small press book you will love, and this weird zine you really need to check out, and this whole rack of wild magazines you've never seen before. It's pretty small, but you won't be short of options. They also have some cool prints and plenty of signed editions.

David of Family recommends Confabulations by Torbjørn Rødland: "These images share an aesthetic quality and even subject matter of commercial photography, so they feel familiar, but they're tweaked often in a perverse or creepy way, so they also feel alien, like a half-remembered dream, or a memory you're not sure is real or not."

Family is located at 436 N. Fairfax Ave. in the Fairfax District, (323) 285-2010

Full article, here

Posted
AuthorTiffany Chin

   How hot can Venice’s real estate market get?

Photos by Joshua Targownik The Venice real estate market has been hotter than hot for a while now, and a new-to-market home along the canals looks to be a good litmus test of how high the neighborhood’s ceiling has become. The three-bedroom home is asking $5.5 million—the highest price ever for a home along the Venice Canals, according to The Real Deal. The real estate news website says that price is $600,000 more than what the previous record holder was asking. That home ended up selling for $4.5 million last summer, suggesting the sellers of this property at 2335 Eastern Canal might have to settle for a bit less than the eye-popping list price. Constructed in 1988, the 3,296 square-foot home features bold interior design from Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, who has added plenty of the Hollywood Regency flair he brought to the Mondrian Hotel (take note of the especially baroque mural that adorns the wall of one of the home’s four bathrooms). Walls of glass and skylights keep the home light and airy, while providing plenty of views of the picturesque canal below. The home is also equipped with eco-friendly features bound to appeal to the neighborhood’s increasingly tech-y residents. Per the listing, these include solar panels, eco counters, and a "sophisticated whole house water filtration system" The property boasts two balconies, a spacious rooftop deck, and a sauna, and outdoor space on the ground floor includes a barbecue area and hot tub. How high buyers will be willing to bid for all of this remains to be seen.

Photos by Joshua Targownik

The Venice real estate market has been hotter than hot for a while now, and a new-to-market home along the canals looks to be a good litmus test of how high the neighborhood’s ceiling has become. The three-bedroom home is asking $5.5 million—the highest price ever for a home along the Venice Canals, according to The Real Deal.

The real estate news website says that price is $600,000 more than what the previous record holder was asking. That home ended up selling for $4.5 million last summer, suggesting the sellers of this property at 2335 Eastern Canal might have to settle for a bit less than the eye-popping list price.

Constructed in 1988, the 3,296 square-foot home features bold interior design from Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz, who has added plenty of the Hollywood Regency flair he brought to the Mondrian Hotel (take note of the especially baroque mural that adorns the wall of one of the home’s four bathrooms). Walls of glass and skylights keep the home light and airy, while providing plenty of views of the picturesque canal below. The home is also equipped with eco-friendly features bound to appeal to the neighborhood’s increasingly tech-y residents. Per the listing, these include solar panels, eco counters, and a "sophisticated whole house water filtration system"

The property boasts two balconies, a spacious rooftop deck, and a sauna, and outdoor space on the ground floor includes a barbecue area and hot tub. How high buyers will be willing to bid for all of this remains to be seen.

Content by Elijah Chiland.

 See more photos & information, here, or schedule a showing, here.
 
Posted
AuthorTiffany Chin

The city that became known as “The Heart of Screenland” sprang up from farmland along the Pacific Electric Railway line to Venice and was incorporated by its founder and namesake, Harry Culver, in 1917.

The historical Town Plaza in Culver City. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times). Content by Scott Garner

The historical Town Plaza in Culver City. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times). Content by Scott Garner

Even before Culver City was officially a city, the movies had come to town, with Thomas Ince moving his studios from Pacific Palisades and building the two production facilities that would become MGM Studios (and later, Sony Pictures Studios) and the Culver Studios.

While Hollywood the place got all the press, Hollywood the industry in its Golden Age was centered in Culver City. “Gone With the Wind,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and “Citizen Kane” were some of the towering achievements of cinema that rolled off the studio production lines on Washington Boulevard.

Street upon street of neat little bungalows were built to house the army of production personnel required, and the tidy all-American neighborhoods of Culver City themselves became screen stars, providing the backdrop to movies and television shows set in cities and towns all around the country.

Sony Studios in Culver City. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Sony Studios in Culver City. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

The movies weren’t the only marquee name in town: Howard Hughes built his aerospace empire on land just outside the city limits and ran RKO Pictures (now known as Culver Studios) for seven turbulent years in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Culver City suffered through a period of decline beginning in the 1960s, but the return of production to the old MGM lot after Sony’s purchase of Columbia Pictures reinvigorated the economy. A savvy and effective renewal scheme saw the city’s downtown become a pedestrian-friendly dining spot, and the area around the Helms Bakery become a center for the arts and furniture shops.

The opening of the Expo Line in 2012 brought rail transit back to the city. There are new apartments under construction nearby, and the mixed-use shopping and office center the Platform recently opened near the site of the old Hal Roach Studios.

Neighborhood highlights

The Metro Expo Line's Culver City Station. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

The Metro Expo Line's Culver City Station. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

L.A. tech: Media is still king in Culver City, but hot start-ups including Criteo, MeUndies, and Steelhouse all make their homes in town, and as rents in nearby Playa Vista and Venice continue to climb, more are likely to follow.

Comfort. Speed. Safety: It’s not quite the return of the Red Cars, but the old Pacific Electric Railway motto applies just as well to the Expo Line, which puts the downtowns of L.A. and Santa Monica a 20-minute train ride away.

Small town, big-city living: It’s hard to find a more consistently vibrant corridor on the Westside than Washington Boulevard in Culver City. From Coolhaus on the east end to A-Frame on the west, there are plenty of dining options — and don’t forget drinks at the Culver Hotel in the heart of downtown.

Neighborhood challenges

A tight market: There are a few small-lot subdivisions under construction, but demand is high and inventory low. The hundreds of apartments that will be coming online in the next few years might take some of the pressure off, but for now, expect a tough buyer’s market.

Homeowner insight

Nada Kabbani, 42, purchased a newly built three-bedroom, four-bathroom home in Culver City in January, moving from Westwood.

“I work in Silicon Beach, and it’s only a 12-minute commute without freeways,” said Kabbani, a director at a global advertising agency. “What I love about it is it’s so diverse, with up-and coming restaurants and bars and a nice night scene and wonderful school districts, but at the same time it’s very real: It’s real people, and broad in terms of culture and ethnicities, which attracted me a lot."

Platform shopping center development. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Market snapshot

Portions of the 90016, 90066, 90230 and 90232 overlap the Culver City area.

In the 90016 ZIP Code, based on 17 sales, the median sale price for single-family homes in April was $620,000, according to CoreLogic. The median price for the 90066 ZIP was $1.24 million based on 36 sales; in the 90230, the median price was $900,000 based on 15 sales; and in the 90232, 12 sales resulted in a median price of $1.26 million.

Report card

Within the city boundaries is El Marino Elementary, which scored 944 out of 1,000 in the 2013 Academic Performance Index. Farragut Elementary was another bright spot, with a score of 943.

Linwood E. Howe Elementary had a score of 867, Culver City Middle scored 858, and La Ballona and El Rincon elementaries each scored 853. Culver City High had a score of 832, and Grand View Boulevard Elementary scored 804. Culver Park High came in at 578.

See full article, here

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AuthorTiffany Chin

Break out the lawn chairs, blankets, and BBQ leftovers for glowing views of the Fourth of July fireworks in every stretch of the LA basin!

Photo Matthew Dillon, content by Juliet Bennett Rylah

Photo Matthew Dillon, content by Juliet Bennett Rylah

Grand Park

Grand Park is hosting a 4th of July block party with music, food and fireworks from 2 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. The event will be hosted by Mario Hernandez and Kristin Rand with performances from Kotolan, Dexter Story, Jenny O., Afro Funke and La Junta. There will also be an area for children, as well as games like soccer and tag. While outside food is allowed, no outside beverages will be permitted. There will be food vendors on site, but this event is alcohol-free. Free.

Grand Park is located at 200 N. Grand Ave. in downtown Los Angeles.

Hollywood Bowl

Chicago is playing the Hollywood Bowl on the 4th of July, as well as the 2nd and 3rd, at 7:30 p.m. Other guests include Thomas Wilkins, the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and the L.A. Phil. There will be patriotic music and fireworks.Remaining tickets range from $14.50 to $200.

The Hollywood Bowl is located at 2301 Highland Ave. in Hollywood.

Marina Del Rey

Marina Del Rey will host their annual fireworks display, during which they shoot the fireworks from a barge, at 9 p.m., which you might watch from the beach or a nearby waterfront eatery. The city suggests watching from Fisherman's Village (13755 Fiji Way); Burton Chace Park (13650 Mindanao Way); or Marina Beach (4101 Admiralty Way). Parking in the area ranges from $7 to $15, and it's recommended you arrive early as spots fill up quickly.

Queen Mary

The ocean liner is hosting an all-day patriotic festival that includes a Coney Island-inspired carnival and circus, country music, line dancing, casino games, dueling pianos, a New Orleans matching band, DJs, hula dancing and fireworks. It kicks off at 2 p.m., and tickets range from $44 to $99.

The Queen Mary is located at 1126 Queens Hwy in Long Beach.

L.A. Coliseum

From noon to 10 p.m., guests can enjoy a day-long celebration at The Park at the Coliseum. Activities include live music, food, games, carnival rides and fireworks. Free.

The Park at The L.A. Coliseum is located at 3911 S. Figueroa Street in Los Angeles.

Starlight Bowl

Dueling pianos group The Kings of 88 and soul and Motown act Stone Soul will play on the 4th at Burbank's Starlight Bowl. There will also be fireworks. Show starts at 6:30 p.m., tickets are $15 to 140. See more info about the event here.

Starlight Bowl is located at 1249 Lockheed View Dr., Burbank.

America Fest at the Rose Bowl

The Rose Bowl is presenting AmericaFest, which kicks off at 2 p.m. There will be food vendors and games for children in the early afternoon, and the evening will consist of freestyle motocross, a performance of the National Anthem from Pasadena Symphony's JPL Chorus, NASA Live from Mission Control, and a fireworks show. There will also be a performance from a Beatles tribute band, which is pretty funny when you think about it. Tickets are $13-25.

The Rose Bowl is located at 1001 Rose Bowl Dr. in Pasadena.

Studio City

Studio City's 4th of July fest will take place at the CBS Studio Center. They're going for a luau theme with magic shows, live music, BBQ, fireworks, an Elvis tribute band, and apparently pirates and mermaids. Tickets are $25 to $125.

CBS Studio Center is located at 4042 Radford Ave. in Studio City.

Pacific Palisades

The 68th Annual Pacific Palisades Fourth of the July Parade kicks off with skydivers at 1:50 p.m., and then the parade at 2 p.m. This is followed by a family-friendly concert at Palisades Charter High School's Stadium by the Sea at 6:30 p.m. and fireworks at 9 p.m. The parade is free, while the concert is $10. VIP upgrades for both are available here.

Culver City

Culver City's fireworks will take place at West L.A. College. There will be carnival games, food trucks, a raffle and live music from Teresa James & the Rhythm Tramps. Gates open at 4 p.m., with fireworks at dusk. Pets (save service animals) and alcohol are not allowed on site. Suggested $5 donation, parking is $10. More info here.

West L.A. College is located at 9000 Overland Ave. in Culver City.

Dodger Stadium

The Dodgers play the Orioles at 6:10 p.m., with fireworks to occur after the game. There will also be a performance from L.A. Zoo's bald eagles Chinook and Anami before the game.

Dodgers Stadium is located at 1000 Elysian Park Ave, Los Angeles. Tickets can be found here.

Cinespia

On July 3, Cinespia will present Grease followed by a fireworks spectacular at Hollywood Forever Cemetery. And if you're free on July 2, they'll be showing Purple RainTickets are $16.

Hollywood Forever is located at 6000 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood.

Ojai Independence Day Parade

If you head up to Ojai, you can catch their annual parade at 10 a.m. There will also be a concert honoring American music at Nordhoff High followed by a fireworks show. $10 for adults, $5 for children. Discounted family passes are available.

Kaboom! in Pomona

Let's be real, Pomona's annual Kaboom! is by far the most 'Merican of the bunch. They've got monster trucks, they've got Moto X EXTREME, they've got fireworks, and they're gonna shoot a human being out of a cannon. Also, what's more American than a buffet, huh? This one has salad, potatoes, BBQ chicken, carved beef, dinner rolls and mini-desserts. Gates open at 5 p.m., and tickets range from $17.50 to $25, with buffet access an additional $28 to $58. Parking is $10.

The Pomona Fairplex is located at 1101 W McKinley Ave., Pomona.

Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach's annual 4th of July parade began in 1904 when the first electric passenger train connected Long Beach and Los Angeles. The parade has seen a number of stars including actresses Natalie Wood, Jayne Mansfield and Zsa Zsa Gabor, as well as astronaut Buzz Aldrin. This year's junior Grand Marshal is child actress Hadley Belle Miller (The Peanuts Movie), and its Grand Marshals are Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

This year's events include a pancake breakfast form 7 a.m. to 11 a.m., a 5k from 7 a.m. to noon, and fireworks at 9 p.m. There is also a three-day festival at the pier plaza with food, live entertainment, and family-friendly activities. 

Full article, here

 

 

Posted
AuthorTiffany Chin

Father's Day in LA is going to be a Sunday Funday this year. Whether your dad is into hiking, chowing down at LA's best restaurants, lounging at the beach or laughing his face off at the city's best comedy shows, show him a great time. Use our guide to find the perfect way to spend quality time with your pops with these Father's Day events.

Photo courtesy of Crimson & Clover 

Photo courtesy of Crimson & Clover 

Check out the full list, here

Posted
AuthorTiffany Chin
 

Celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hollywood Farmers Market with speakers, special events and cooking demos every Sunday throughout May. The month-long celebration will kick off with a party on May 1, followed each weekend by local chef demonstrations (think: Curtis Stone, Neal Fraser, Brendan Collins) and book signings. 

Open: Sundays from 8am-1pm

Learn more, here

Posted
AuthorTiffany Chin