Woohoo! The Santa Monica Twilight Dance Series is 30 years old this summer…and as always…the City is sharing another summer of free music Thursdays on the historic Santa Monica Pier. Dance or get your feet wet and hear some excellent music. The summer of 2014 brings these fine acts…
7/10 – Cults w/ James Supercave + KCRW DJ Marion Hodges – Cults has always been a band to look to both past and present. When the young duo arrived on the New York scene in 2010 their debut effort was described as “Phil Spector with hip-hop sensibilities, Glee soaked in reverb.”
7/17 – Yuna w/ King + KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez – Yuna has risen from regional D.I.Y. notoriety to full-on international stardom. In the process, this young singer-songwriter from Malaysia has become the first artist from her homeland to conquer the American market.
7/24 – Cayucas / Papa + KCRW DJ Chris Muckley – An avid bird-watcher, Yudin majored in both Music Theory/Production and Japanese. He spent a post-grad year living and teaching in Tokyo, then taking the past couple of years to hone the sound of Cayucas. He posted a couple of songs online, picking up a lot of love and attention, but it was only when he entered the studio with producer/multi-instrumentalist Richard Swift last year that Cayucas was truly defined — sun-inspired jams that touch upon The Animals, Harry Belafonte and the surfer-folk mysticism of the Northwest.
7/31 – Omar Souleyman + KCRW DJ Aaron Byrd – Born in 1966, Souleyman grew up in Ra’s al’-Ayn, a Syrian town in the northeastern region of Jazeera. That’s where he first heard Syrian folk music played on a long-necked lute called a bozouki and rebab, a single-stringed fiddle. He enlisted Rizan Sa’id from a local Kurdish combo in 1996. The pair electrified Souleyman’s acoustic music – playing it harder, faster, louder, and more thrilling than ever before. He became an increasingly prominent act on the local wedding circuit, eventually generating an estimated 500 bootleg recordings and plenty of wild YouTube videos.
8/07 – Jagwar Ma + KCRW DJ Jason Bentley – Jagwar Ma is a musical project, est. Nov 2011 by Jono Ma and Gabriel Winterfield. The Sydney based kraut-experiment that was “a band without members” and a stage of revolving musicians.
8/14 – La Santa Cecilia w/ Sergio Mendoza Y La Orkestra + KCRW DJ Raul Campos – a Santa Cecilia consists of accordionist and requintero Jose “Pepe” Carlos, bassist Alex Bendana, percussionist Miguel Ramirez, and lead vocalist La Marisoul, whose captivating voice sings about love, loss and heartbreak. Their influences range from Miles Davis to The Beatles, Led Zeppelin to Janis Joplin and Mercedes Sosa to Ramon Ayala. Their common love of music and openness to all genres led them to the concept of La Santa Cecilia in 2007 – named after the patron saint of musicians.
8/21 – The Zombies w/ Mystic Braves + KCRW DJ Dan Wilcox – The second UK group following the Beatles to score a #1 hit in America, The Zombies infiltrated the airwaves with the sophisticated melodies, breathy vocals, choral back-up harmonies and jazzy keyboard riffs of their 1960’s hit singles like “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No” and “Time of the Season,” Their swan-song album “Odessey & Oracle” was recently ranked #100 in Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time.”
8/28 – Lee “Scratch” Perry w/ Mexico 68 + KCRW DJ Jeremy Sole – “I’m an artist, a musician, a magician, a writer, a singer; I’m everything. My name is Lee from the African jungle, originally from West Africa. I’m a man from somewhere else, but my origin is from Africa, straight to Jamaica through reincarnation; reborn in Jamaica…” .. .. Lee “Scratch” Perry (born Rainford Hugh Perry, on March 20, 1936, in Kendal, Jamaica) is a Grammy award-winning reggae and dub artist, who has been highly influential in the development and acceptance of reggae and dub music in Jamaica and overseas. Arguably the first creatively driven, “artist-producer” in modern recorded music, Lee “Scratch” Perry occupies the highest level of music making – standing comfortably next to pioneers like George Martin, Phil Spector, and Brian Wilson.
9/04 – OK Go w/ Allah-Las – Formed as a quartet in Chicago in 1998 and relocated to Los Angeles three years later, OK Go (Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka, Andy Ross) have spent their career in a steady state of transformation. Drawn from the same marching orders issued to big-hearted happiness creators as Queen, T. Rex, The Cars or Cheap Trick, and a lifetime of mixed tapes exchanged by lifelong music fans, their most recent release, Upside Out, is a reaffirmation of the sounds and ideas that brought the band together in the first place.
9/11- Charles Bradley w/ King James & The Special Men – Other artists appreciate their audiences, just as many are grateful for them, but few artists love their fans as much and as sincerely as Charles Bradley. By now, his remarkable, against-all-odds rise has been well-documented – how he transcended a bleak life on the streets and struggled through a series of ill-fitting jobs – most famously as a James Brown impersonator at Brooklyn clubs – before finally being discovered by Daptone’s Gabriel Roth. His recent music esges closer into the kind of psychedelic soul The Temptations explored in the early ’70s. “I’ve been calling it ‘New Direction Daptone. People are not going to expect this. There’s a lot of psych influences on this record, a lot of fuzz guitar. We’re pushing the band & the arrangements further out, which in turns has to make Charles go further out.”
Bravo! Lincoln Blvd finally develops character! Santa Monica has been painting buildings, while the heat of Abbot Kinney Blvd. has spread to Lincoln Blvd. Venice, where it has earned the ultra-hip nickname the Linc.
This fabulous article from Los Angeles magazine talks about the tremendous amount of fun, food, shopping and great experience you can now enjoy along The Linc, Venice. You know the area we mean, the area between Rose Ave. and Venice Blvd. which has always been highlighted by Staples, Lincoln Hardware, the Rite Aid Pharmacy and Ralph’s grocery store. Now, the neighborhood has gone beyond practical to downright delightful…Find out about all of the new hangs, from Wurstküche to the newly revamped WitzEnd… http://www.lamag.com/neighborhoodguides/2014/05/15/lincoln-boulevard
Sister cities Santa Monica and Venice, joined at the Ozone, let us continue to Beautify Lincoln.
Bet you didn’t know that the ancient Sumerian city of Uruk was one of the first master-planned cities. Uruk was situated on an ancient channel of the Euphrates River, some 30 km east of modern As-Samawah, Al-Muthannā, Iraq, The city was the main force of urbanization during the Uruk period (4000–3200 BC).
Like history? The Uruk epoch saw a shift from small, agricultural villages to a larger urban center with a full-time bureaucracy, military, and stratified society. Uruk period culture, exported by Sumerian traders and colonists, had an effect on all surrounding peoples, who gradually evolved their own comparable, competing economies and cultures.
Millennia has passed since the days of ancient Uruk, as well as other early planned cities such as Harappa, Lothal, and Mohenjo-daro in the Indus Valley Civilization (in modern-day northwestern India and Pakistan). The ruins of these antiquated cities display the earliest examples of deliberately planned and managed cities. Streets were paved and laid out at right angles in a grid pattern, with a hierarchy of streets from major boulevards to residential alleys.
Archaeological evidence suggests that many Harrapan houses were laid out to protect from noise and enhance residential privacy; many also had their own water wells. These ancient cities were unique in that they often had drainage systems, seemingly tied to
a well-developed ideal of urban sanitation.
Today’s well planned cities are small and manageable. Within L.A. incorporated Westside Cities like West Hollywood, Santa Monica, Culver City, Redondo Beach and Beverly Hills are fine examples.
Today, as Santa Monica continues to rethink and reinvent the notion livable cities, walkable communities, and quality of life, we borrow many elements of these early civilizations.
The past is a great source of ideas that work. “Density and adjacency increase sociability,” observes , says Donald Powers, principal of Union Studio Architecture & Community Design.
Time-tested elements like mid-block alleys – a staple of residential planning from the 1920s and ‘30s – lessen emphasis on the car. Small setbacks and stoops help houses relate to the sidewalk. Courtyards encourage interaction. Corners are important; houses built on them should play to the street. “Give 5 more feet to the corner lot and let the porch wrap,” affirms says Carson Looney, principal of Looney Ricks Kiss. “The house is just one element, not the element.”
“Built with craft and care, well-designed places that people want to spend time in never lose their luster. They remain vital and continue to appreciate in value,” offers Stefanos Polyzoides, principal of Moule and Polyzoides. A big part of is ensuring that there’s interest and variety in the streetscape.
Appealing neighborhoods are a long-term proposition. Forest Hills in Queens, N.Y.—widely seen as one of the most successful master planned communities ever—started 100 years ago; it earned that inviting patina over time. “Once upon a time, the trees were little twigs,” Powers offers. “Fifty years from now, people will say Kentlands was the Forest Hills of its time,” says Powers of the Gaithersburg, Md., community developed in the late ’80s. “One of the goals is to create a pattern that will be picked up on and connects the new with the old,” as opposed to erecting buffers between them.
“Four-foot sidewalks aren’t wide enough for couples to stroll, or for people to stop and talk and a baby carriage to pass by,” Looney says. “Four and a half feet is good, and 5 feet is better.”
“Each place is different,” says Speck, but “home builders who are interested in long-term value will insist that all streets are lined on both sides by trees approximately 30 feet on center.”
Experts agree, street trees should be as many and as big as the budget allows. Choose variations that are in full glory in the fall while others are blooming in the spring.
Design public spaces as outdoor rooms with a sense of enclosure. Configure them so storefronts face each other. At home, large front porches to encourage neighborhood interaction while providing a buffer for private living spaces. Special care needs to be taken for porches that are very close to the sidewalk. Savvy urban planners elevate these types of porches 3 feet or 4 feet to help homeowners feel comfortable with instead of vulnerable to action from the street.
“If you take the first tenant who comes along, you might end up with a cell phone store, a dollar store, and a liquor store,” instead of a coffee shop, a bookstore, a clothing store, and a restaurant, Powers advises. “Pick tenants that contribute to each other and to the public realm.”
by Jodi Summers
Clients are always asking, “How home prices in my neighborhood?”
The MLS has prepared a comprehensive look at how the median sale price of single family homes have fared when comparing the first quarter of 2013 with 1Q 2014.
Here is a year-over-year summary of sales and price activity in Southern California by county. Sales were down across most of the region, but prices continued to climb:
- Los Angeles County: unit sales fell by 6.3% over the year to April but the median price rose by 12.5% to $406,750.
- Orange County: sales declined by 13.5% last month, while the median price increased by 4.0% to $679,820.
- Riverside County: sales of existing homes were down by 6.1%; the median price rose by 12.7% to $309,240.
- San Bernardino County: sales were flat in April, but the median price rose by 20.9% to $198,910.
- San Diego County: unit sales were down by 7.3%, while the median price increased by 8.3% to $492,080.
- Ventura County: existing home sales dropped by 9.6%, but the median price was up by 14.4%% to $575,390.
For more information please contact Jodi Summers and the SoCal Investment Real Estate Group @ Sotheby’s International Realty – firstname.lastname@example.org or 310.392.1211, and let us move forward together.
If you are not in your car, it’s relatively easy to get around Silicon Beach. Walk Score, a metric that’s the current darling of the real estate market, is a basic measure of services within a certain radius. Venice 90291 is the 20th most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles with a Walk Score of 75. Santa Monica with +/- 89,736 residents has an average Walk Score of 78 -most errands are walkable. The most walkable Santa Monica ZIP codes are 90401, 90403 and 90404. Santa Monica is also very bikeable with a bike score of 83.
Walkability is a vast subject, involving health, community, the environment, demographics, and economics. “It’s so complicated, and it’s so simple,” says Carson Looney, principal of Looney Ricks Kiss. “Walkability is common sense. It’s about creating a better place, a destination, an experience.”
Playa Vista zip code 90094 is the 56th most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles with 4,933 residents. Playa Vista has some public transportation and is somewhat bikeable. Culver City 90232 has an average Walk Score of 73 with 38,883 residents. Mar Vista 90066 is the 42nd most walkable neighborhood in Los Angeles with 38,901 residents and a Walk Score of 65. Marina del Rey – 90292 – more of a driving area.
Studies by Brookings Fellows and economist Joe Cortright and by developer Christopher Leinberger confirm that homes with access to goods and services by foot perform better economically. “The typical working American pays as much for transportation as housing,” says city planner Jeff Speck. When a home is near “where people don’t need to drive, they should be able to charge more.”
In his latest book, “Walkable City,” Speck notes that Millennials are a big force in the demand for walkability, as they’re opting for the city in droves. The biggest population bubble in the last 50 years wants to live in places with excitement and buzz.
The other driving force behind the shift to walkability is Baby Boomers. They are leaving their sprawling homes in the suburbs and opting to live in places where they don’t have to drive as much to get to services and where they can age in place.
There are about 2,049 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in Santa Monica. People in Santa Monica can walk to an average of 6 restaurants, bars and coffee shops in 5 minutes.
Silicon Beach offers a healthy, walkable lifestyle, and that’s why we like living here.
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