Playa Vista People 02/10/2022


Kimi has been living in Culver City since August 2013

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Robbin D. Crabtree, PhD, is dean of the Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts at Loyola Marymount University.

Robbin D. Crabtree Profile at Loyola Marymount University.


Brandyn Phillips, a server, Ashley Leigh Wells, line cook / manager, and Leighton Tsai, owner of MidiCi Italian Restaurant in Marina del Rey.


1. Why did you choose to conduct your business affairs in the Silicon Beach area? How did you get there?
–I landed in Los Angeles, and Playa del Rey, on a lucky wind, really. I attended Loyola Marymount University, getting my B.A. and M.A. in English, because I fell in love with the bluff, which I didn’t know at the time was built on top of a Tongva settlement. I think I felt their ghosts. In my young life, my adult life, my writing life, my body politic have been immersed in the “how” to fight and change injustice, racism, inequity, and any lack of diversity. So, when I first relocated to L.A., and then attending LMU, I felt at home in Playa del Rey. Back then, the diversity in the community, the people, in the schools where my daughter attended, in the business and restaurants, felt right to me. I felt like I could write here, and I did. I’m still writing here.

2. What would you have to say has been the forefront of your success in your career? How did you develop your process in your work?
–My work as a writer and educator is fueled by, and I believe successful, because of my environment but also the cultural and social issues I approach. That’s why I enjoy conducting readings and lectures around my book, Black Indian. My process is following the narrative. Finding the poem in the day, or in someone’s story. Currently, I’m working on a second memoir, a historical novel, two collections of poetry – one about the founders of Los Angeles – and two screenplays. My life is writing and I’m not afraid to say that whereas some people are hesitant to say this. I write, teach writing at my alma mater Loyola Marymount University, and hang with a crew of amazing writers. It’s all I want to do with the rest of my life – tell stories; disrupt the paradigm with narratives that haven’t yet been told. I love speaking with youth and international audiences about America’s hidden narratives of Black people, Black Indians, women, and Free People of Color.

3. In what ways have you seen the area change since you’ve been here?
–The real estate has gone up far too high here, especially when not many of the homes have pools. I love that the train is coming, yet I’m not happy that the parking spaces by the basketball courts have been taken and blocked. That changes the culture of our neighborhood. We just want to park and hike up the dune to the beautiful ocean. I love that we still have our mom and pop stores, though.

4. Where are your favorite places in Silicon Beach that aren’t well known?
–The stretch of Playa del Rey’s little beach and the view from the now closed off streets where we used to watch the airplanes take off from LAX in the early ’90s.


Have you ever been snorkeling?
–YES, in the 2nd largest Great Barrier Reef in Belize. Super fun and can’t wait to return.
Do you have a secret talent?
–NO. Nothing’s a secret with a writer.
Did you have a pet growing up?
–YES. So many! But my favorite pet, more like a brother, was my dog, Sam.
Have you always lived in the same state?
–NO, I was born in Michigan, moved to Los Angeles at 18, left here for Virginia in 2004 and then returned to L.A. in 2018 because I missed the ocean. I also missed my literary community.
Do you like baking?
–YES and NO. When I was 16, I did all the baking, cakes, bread from scratch, pies, for holidays. Even though I still love it, I think I’m all baked out. Lol.


What restaurant gives you heartburn in the area?

Playa Vista • Marina del Rey • Culver City • Playa del Rey • Westchester

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Mo’s Place

Outdoor Dining • Indoor Dining • Takeout

Mo’s Lamb Chops.

Mo’s Place

203 Culver Blvd, Playa del Rey, CA 90293
(310) 822-6422


Going hair crazy in Culver City. Send your photos in for publication.

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Starbucks Drops Vaccine Mandate for Marina del Rey Workers:

Starbucks will no longer require COVID-19 vaccinations of its 228,000 workers at 9,000 U.S. coffee shops, including those in Marina del Rey. Starbucks is one of the first big companies to change vaccination policies after the U.S. Supreme Court quashed a vaccine mandate that would have affected about 84 million workers, or about half of the U.S. labor force. Had the mandate been allowed to stand, workers would have had to either get fully vaccinated or submit to weekly testing. The court’s January13 6-3 ruling came as the omicron coronavirus variant was driving a surge in COVID-19 infections. Nothing in the Supreme Court ruling, which allows the Biden administration to proceed with a vaccine mandate for most U.S. health care workers, requires companies with 100 or more employees to ease vaccination requirements.


Urban Plates’ Grilled Grass Fed Steak Plate, normally $15.95, is $11 with Plate Pass.


Raphaelle and Johnny, music promoters in Playa del Rey


Michael Vartanian began his journey working at a watch shop when he was just 16 years old. He spent nine years at that job and learned all about how to care for watches. He originally had planned to become a pharmacist but didn’t feel that it was the right path for him, so he earned a business degree from Cal State L.A. before starting his own business. After saving up all his money, in 1996 Vartanian opened Marina Bay Watch Company, a watch service center and jewelry repair shop in Marina del Rey. It was a huge challenge the first few years of running the store in his early twenties, but he was fortunate to meet his wife shortly after opening the business.

Playa Vista’s Clippers Poised to Make More Moves before NBA Trade Deadline

Having spent almost half an hour outlining the championship intent behind the Clippers’ latest trade, Lawrence Frank, the team’s president of basketball operations, left an interview inside their Playa Vista practice facility before stopping to talk with coaches and players as practice began. He then presumably returned to his second-story office and got back on the phone with other teams. The NBA trade deadline was five days and four hours away, and the additions of wing players Norman Powell and Robert Covington from Portland aren’t expected to be the Clippers’ last. “Roster building is very much ongoing,” Frank said Saturday morning.


A busy Sunday morning at Café Bohéme in Playa del Rey. WATCH

PLAYA – COMMENTARY by Sandrea Zebi, Del Rey:

I found these stolen boxes and envelopes on my driveway. They belong to Redwood addresses 13370-13380 Beach Avenue, Marina del Rey.


A happy vendor at Playa Vista Farmers’ Market.


What book are you currently reading?

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1. ** Ritrovo Playa Vista – Be our valentine. Live acoustic music. 3-course menu $45. Reservations are highly recommended. 424-289-9327

2. ** I tire so of hearing people say / Let things take their course / Tomorrow is another day. —- Ashley M., Playa Vista

3. ** Post & Beam – We usually go to some far away Westside restaurant and wait. Not here. Excellent service, nice decor and atmosphere, great food, and really good (strong) drinks. My waitress was attentive and that took some getting used to. —- E.L. Cook

4. ** James Dean was a “boring, tacky little boy” who shamelessly copied technique from Marlon Brando. —- Lizzy D., Culver City

5. ** Families are finally aware and outraged that Critical Race Theory (CRT) is poisoning our children’s minds in thousands of grade schools across the country. —- Daisy P., Culver City

6. ** CNN has become a disaster. —- Lloyd W., Marina del Rey

7. ** Longtime California Assemblymember Richard Bloom dropped out of the race to replace Sheila Kuehl as County Supervisor for the district. He was widely considered the front runner but gave no specific reason for the decision. Bloom is known as a very likably, ultra-liberal political hack. —- Greta E., Marina del Rey

8. ** Days after facing criticism for being photographed maskless at Sunday’s Rams-49ers playoff game, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has offered an explanation: He was holding his breath. What a moron! Does he really think people will believe his insultingly stupid story? He should be ashamed of himself for this and many other matters. Look at the city. —- Dr. Carey S., Marina del Rey

9. ** I’ve heard many in our community refer to Council Mike Bonin as “Bone head Bonin.” Personally, I think they’re being too kind. —- Alexandra P., Marina del Rey

10. ** Starbucks are RAISING their prices. In the middle of a pandemic! Good-bye, Starbucks! —- Evan T., Playa Vista

11. ** If I hear the PC chant “diversity equity and inclusion” one more time I think I’m gonna puke. —- Aaliyah A., Culver City, Elementary school teacher

12. ** I really enjoy the food at The Good Pizza in Playa del Rey but the last two times I’ve been to lunch there I’ve sat outside next to a table of loud, screaming, obnoxious kids completely uncontrolled by their pathetic parents. —- Dusty B., Playa del Rey

13. ** If I never, ever, ever see the name Mike Bonin again it’ll be far too soon. —- Clarke K., Marina del Rey

14. ** If we lose America, the whole world will be lost. There is no other country with as much liberty as the United States of America. If we lose our freedoms here – there will be no one left to fight. —-

15. ** Because of the fact you exist and your line survived, there is a high chance you had a good warrior among your ancestors. —- Jose G., Westchester

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