*PLAYA PEOPLE – MEET CAMPBELL:
Campbell has been living in Culver City since July 2017
*PLAYA – NEWS: DEUTSCH LA LAUNCHES VIRTUAL BRAND-BUILDING PROGRAM
– Playa Vista
Deutsch LA, one of the largest advertising agencies on the West Coast, Tuesday announced the public launch of its free four-week virtual brand building program designed to assist Black-owned businesses in Los Angeles. Applications are being accepted to participate in the spring program beginning April 1. The Blackness in Full Bloom program was first introduced in February 2020. Founded by former and current Deutsch LA executives Maya Thompson, Gurbani Chadha and Justin Brown, the program aims to arm local Black entrepreneurs with the tools to help their businesses fully “bloom.” Providing access to world-class marketing expertise and resources, Blackness in Full Bloom consists of weekly, two-hour virtual workshops covering different facets of marketing, such as branding, design, paid and earned media and content production.
“After launching this initiative during Black History Month last year, we quickly realized the importance of making this an ongoing program to continually uplift and support Black businesses in Los Angeles,” said Kim Getty, CEO of Deutsch LA. “As an agency, we draw inspiration from Los Angeles, while also finding ways to contribute to and magnify its cultural richness in all that we do. Blackness in Full Bloom helps us achieve this in a unique way by assisting Black entrepreneurs thrive in a city we all call home.” In February, the program’s first cohort was hosted in-person at Deutsch LA’s Playa Vista office with Cazza, natural hair care products, Behind the Sneaker, a platform highlighting creatives and culture and Nappily Natural Apothecary, a health and beauty store.
Due to the pandemic, its next iteration was hosted virtually in December with wine distributor O&M Wines and organic gardening company, The Plant Plug LA. For the first time, Deutsch LA is expanding the program by accepting applicants via online registration. Blackness in Full Bloom is now open to Black-owned business owners and entrepreneurs in the greater Los Angeles area. Free online registration can be completed at Deutschla.com/Blackness-In-Full-Bloom.
*PLAYA – NEWS:
Stadia boss, Phil Harrison
– Playa Vista
In news that will shock very few of you Google’s Stadia streaming service apparently did not hit expectations. That’s according to a report from Wired, which says that two sources claimed that the platform had not met the forecasts set out for it by the search giant. Since its launch in November 2019, Google parent company Alphabet has not mentioned Stadia once in its financial reports or its call with investors; nor has it publicly said anything about how well the cloud games platform has performed.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that Stadia boss Phil Harrison courted big name publishers like Take-Two and Ubisoft and that Google paid of “tens of millions of dollars” to bring games like Red Dead Redemption 2 to the platform. Apparently, the amount of money the company was willing to pay to bring big names to the service even shocked industry vets.
This news comes in the wake of Google closing down its first-party Stadia Games and Entertainment development studio at the start of February. This reportedly came just days after Harrison had praised the development teams and had seemingly made it seem like they had a future ahead of them.
The decision to close Stadia Games and Entertainment was in-part due to anxieties about Microsoft’s continued studio spending spree, not least the purchase of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax Media. Wired also reports that while Google announced the opening of a Playa Vista in March 2020, the following month the search giant put a hiring freeze into effect. The company was not able to bring new blood in, save for some “strategic areas,” of which game was not one.
*PLAYA – NEWS: POLICE ASK PUBLIC’S HELP TO FIND SUSPECT WHO STOLE CAR PAINTINGS
Los Angeles Police detectives were asking the public’s help to identify the suspect who stole a car in Westchester containing two original paintings from artist Jack Armstrong. The auto theft happened sometime after 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 25 near West Kenyon Avenue and 80th Street, where the victim parked his four-door Lincoln MKZ and left it for the night, the Los Angeles Police Department said. The victim noticed about 11:30 a.m. the next day that the car was stolen, police said. Two 2-by-3-foot original Jack Armstrong paintings were in the stolen vehicle.
*PLAYA – NEWS: CITY FAILURE – HOMELESSNESS SUIT – PLAINTIFFS SAY IT’S TIME TO STOP THE CRISIS:
The plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to force the city and county of Los Angeles to quickly deal with the homelessness crisis have filed a notice of intent with the court for a preliminary injunction, which would require thousands of beds in the coming months to be opened for indigent people, according to court papers obtained. It is a first step toward placing the city and county into a court- supervised receivership in the matter, according to the L.A. Alliance for Human Rights, a coalition of downtown businesses and residents.
“Undoubtedly, both the city and county will feel that such an order is diminishing their powers,” according to a statement released by the L.A. Alliance. “Yet, in the absence of a consensual agreement by the parties, court intervention becomes necessary.” Playa Vista People continues to receive many, many comments from residents and business owners complaining about the city’s inaction. “The City of Los Angeles should be ashamed of itself. Years and years and years of failed promises. Our own Councilman, Mike Bonin has the leader is “big talk – no action”. Look around. Crime, filth, homeless, graffiti!. Many have re-named Lincoln Blvd, “Stinkin Blvd.” – said Marina Del Rel long-time resident and business owner Darla Yarrow.
*PLAYA PEOPLE – MEET: REGINA
Regina loves kick-boxing in Culver City.
*PLAYA – SPOTTED: Jessica Alba
The 39-year-old beauty boss mixed business with pleasure as she stepped out in a pair of jeans with a trusty blazer while making her way through the Playa Vista campus of her Honest Company brand.
*PLAYA – EATS: URBAN PLATES
*PLAYA — RESTAURANTS: ORDERING DELIVERY DURING PANDEMIC? IT MIGHT BE COMING FROM A GHOST KITCHEN
Holy Cow BBQ
Delivery and takeout grew exponentially last year. According to the National Restaurant Association, 71% of restaurant owners say off-premise sales represent a higher proportion of their total business than they did before the pandemic.
One Playa Vista resident scrolls through the plethora of options on one of the many delivery apps. She has always ordered food but does it even more during the pandemic. “I order about three times a week,” Emily said. Emily noticed many new restaurants over the last year, which she said is exciting. “I definitely try to order stuff that’s close in proximity to where we are because you will get it, and it will be hot out of the box. It will be ready to eat and ready to go, so you don’t have to worry about microwaving or anything like that,” Emily said.
The increase in demand is exactly why the founder of popular restaurant Holy Cow BBQ, Rob Serritella, decided to expand his brand by opening Creative Cloud Concepts this year, a ghost kitchen that houses multiple businesses to complete orders for pickup and delivery. He started thinking about this even before the pandemic changed the dining landscape. It is more vital than ever to adapt to the takeout and delivery model because it is what the customers want, he said.
“Eating habits changed. Everyone wants everything to be portable, so a virtual kitchen and cloud kitchen lets you do that. We have seen a shift in our industry, and I don’t think we will be going back at this point,” Serritella said. The Creative Cloud Concepts hold three of Serritella’s businesses, including Holy Cow, Rooster’s fried chicken, and his new vegan option Ciao Verde. But other ghost kitchens act as landlords for completely different restaurants, from staples such as Canter’s to new ventures. It is a way for any chef to test their food without putting the time and money into a brick and mortar. They can lease space from one of these kitchens.
“The cost of entry into a cloud kitchen is much lower, revenue is much quicker, and labor footprint is smaller. It’s like having a big house and renting out all the rooms,” Serritella said. According to Technomic, restaurant sales from virtual venues are expected to increase 25% a year through the next five years. Serritella agrees, saying even celebrities have recently hopped on the trend. Guy Fieri, Tyga, and more have launched their own virtual restaurant brands.
“I think we are going to see some unique new food trends. I think we will see freshness be the forefront of what we are doing. Our industry is blossoming, and I think cloud kitchens are part of it,” Serritella said. According to the National Restaurant Association, 65% of adults surveyed ordered takeout or delivery for dinner weekly within four months of the pandemic. Emily said the ghost kitchen expansion doesn’t impact her decisions but only leads her to trying new cuisines. “I haven’t noticed if it is a cloud or not. I might not know where Benny’s Tacos is, and I don’t know if I would go there in person, but I ordered from them a bunch since the pandemic,” she said. There are many ghost kitchens operating in Los Angeles and many virtual concepts selling out of other restaurants or even home kitchens. All selling through third-party apps.
*PLAYA – SIGN OF THE TIMES:
Councilman Mike Bonin
*PLAYA VISTA PEOPLE – MEET KIM:
Kim has been living and working in Playa Vista since April 2016.
*PLAYA – HISTORY:
The Marina del Rey skatepark in the late 1970s.
*PLAYA PEOPLE – MEET KAMAR:
Kamer has been living in Culver City since April 2003
1. ***As an artist and sculptor here in Playa Vista, I am not very handy with a chisel, so when I sculpt, I prefer to use malleable materials that I can bend and shape as I please. —– Zara K., Playa Vista
2. ***Is it just me or do the Police seem very passive of late. —— Dr. Karen G., Marina Del Rey.
3. ***I feel like HBO is turning into the National Enquirer. —– Lance W., Westchester.
4. ***The service and the food at Truxton’s American Bistro leave a lot to be desired. —– Mr. and Mrs. Grover, Westchester.
5. ***When Mark Kelegian was looking for a business he might run with his wife and three daughters back in 2015, he came across a listing for what turned out to be Randy’s Donuts. Since then they’ve gone beyond the single storefront in Inglewood to expand the customer base (and waistlines) around Southern California and with overseas franchisees. I love Randy’s Donuts. Bravo, Mark. —– Jon P. Westchester.
6. ***For the third time in four months–another senior has lost their life to a violent act. 76-year-old John DeCindis passed away on Saturday, February 27, from injuries he sustained after being assaulted while walking on or near or the Venice Boardwalk, according to DeCinids sister, Diana Wieckowicz. Crime is completely and totally out of control. And yet idiots call for de-funding the police! —– Lynn N., Marina Del Rey.
7. ***Southern California Edison scam. I received a call from a Beverly Hills number today 310-688-3242 and was told they were calling from the Southern California Edison Co. my bill was delinquent and my electricity was going to be shut off today unless I contacted them at 1-866-213-3138. Please know DWP will never contact you by phone for any kind of payment and this is a total scam I did not return the phone call. My bill is not delinquent. And I also have Solar. This has been reported but I wanted Everyone to be aware. And remember don’t ever buy gift cards for any calls over the phone that is for sure a scam. —– Sherri Muro, Westchester.
8. ***Religious freedom should work two ways: we should be free to practice the religion of our choice, but we must also be free from having someone else’s religion practiced on us. —– Rev. Elijah L., Westchester
9.***The customer service at the pharmacy department at CVS in Playa Vista reminders me of a poorly run post office in a bad neighborhood only worse. Very frustrating. —- Shane S., Playa Vista
10. ***Ready to laugh???. 1. The dumbest thing ever purchased was a 2020 planner. 2. I was so bored I called Jake from State Farm just to talk to someone. He asked me what I was wearing. 3. 2019: Stay away from negative people. 2020: Stay away from positive people. 4. The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house & their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors! —- Gary Klein, Westchester.
11. ***My car was sideswiped. Hey everyone. I live on the corner of Pacific Ave and Moore Street. I was parked on Moore from 5 pm to 7 pm and my brand NEW car was sideswiped resulting in a broken driver side mirror and several scratches. The person who did it kept going. My neighbor obtained footage from his camera. Looks to be a gray SUV. I had to pay $663 to get the damages repaired. It’s pretty disappointing that the person who did it didn’t stop and leave their information. Just a heads up. —- Flora Eskander, Culver City.
12. ***Did you ever consider that one period stops a sentence, but three extends it. —– Jacki S., Playa Vista
13. ***It is most appreciated when Weddings and WiFi have full bars. —– Toby B., Culver City.
14. ***There is only one thing that New York City and San Francisco can agree on: 1) LA is not a “true city” —– Dr. Lance H., Marina Del Rey (Former resident of both San Francisco and New York City.
15. ***I honest wonder why all the young staff at Hopdoddy in Playa Vista seem so unhappy. All of their faces show nothing but stolid indifference. —- Staci W., Playa Vista. Playa Vista People Disclaimer: 1.) Playa Vista People accepts no liability for the content of this email, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided. Playa Vista People is not associated with any commercial or political organization and is transmitted via the web for the sole benefit of its subscribers. 2.) Unfortunately, computer viruses can be transmitted via email. The recipient should check this mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses.