Playa Vista People

*PLAYA PEOPLE – MEET EDDY:

 Eddy, General Manager at Urban Plates
– Playa Vista

Eddy has been the new manager at Urban Plates for the past 3 months. He appreciates Urban Palates’ values and the manner in which they treat team members and guests. They offer inexpensive healthy meals that are made from scratch and made to order.

*PLAYA – NEWS: CULVER CITY UNIFIED SCHOOLS RANKED TOP IN CA

CCUSD Superintendent Leslie Lockhart
– Culver City

The Culver City Unified School District was named a top school district in the state of California this week and also recognized as the most diverse in Los Angeles County, officials said. CCUSD ranked 19th in Los Angeles County and 37th in California out of 440 districts in the 2021 Best School Districts in California by national academic ranking service, Niche. The website helps parents discover schools and neighborhoods that are right for them and named Culver City Unified School District the third most diverse school district in the golden state. The site also identified CCUSD as the 29th best place to teach in California (among 690 districts).

The rankings are based on rigorous analysis of key statistics and millions of student and parent reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Niche ranking factors include state test scores, college readiness, graduation rates, SAT and ACT scores, teacher quality, public school district ratings and more. Niche awarded El Marino Elementary School an A+, and Culver City High School, Culver City Middle School, Farragut Elementary School, Linwood E. Howe Elementary School and El Rincon Elementary School an A for their educational outcomes, a category that includes academic data such as SAT and ACT scores with special consideration given to schools whose students matriculate to high-ranked colleges and universities. The schools also received an A in academics, which includes proficiency in math and reading, and graduation and college enrollment rates. The ranking formula also includes facilities, safety, clubs, sports and other factors.

“We are honored to be recognized for the incredible learning environment our students, teachers, staff and community have created on our campuses – and even online as we deal with distance learning,”CCUSD Superintendent Leslie Lockhart said in a news release. “We believe academics are only part of the equation and work hard every day to address all of our students’ social-emotional needs, mental health and physical health. It is nice to be recognized for our efforts, and we will continue to be focused on equity, inclusion and preparing our students for lifelong learning.”

Lockhart added that she is especially proud of the district’s diversity. “We know, and live, the diversity of our schools and community each and every day,” she said. “This ranking affirms the value we place on our differences and the beauty of our teaching and learning experiences together.” CCUSD students are 51% male and 49% female. The district is also 37.2% Hispanic, 26.5% white, 12.9% African-American, 12.1% Asian, 10.8% multi-racial, 0.2% Pacific Islander and 0.2% Native American. CCUSD has always celebrated its diversity. The district was the first in the nation to create a Spanish Immersion program and among the first to create a Japanese Immersion program. Culver City High School offers a slew of student clubs and organizations that celebrate diversity, including the Asian Student Union, Black Student Union, Intercultural Student Union, Latinos Unidos, Korean Culture Club, Multi-Ethnic Club, Muslim Student Association and more.

“Though our schools are diverse, the best way to honor our diversity is to dive into the work that we as a school community must do to promote equity in all of our practices and policies,” Lockhart said.”There is much work to be done. We have adopted an Equity Plan, which was the collaborative effort of our various stakeholders, students, parents, and staff. This plan will outline the steps that we as a district will take over the next three years which will make CCUSD an even better district or all of our students.”

*PLAYA – NEWS: A TEQUILA OF OUR TIME

Subir Singh and his father AJ owners of Mico Tequila,
– Playa Vista

Monkey Thyme
Ingredients
1.5 oz. Mico Tequila
.5 oz. Gran Classico
.25 oz. simple syrup
.5 oz. lemon juice
A spoon full of fig jam

Instructions
Add ice and all ingredients into a shaker. Shake vigorously (10 to 15 seconds), and strain into a rocks glass over ice. Garnish with charred thyme sprig.

That cocktail is courtesy of Mico Tequila, a premium brand launched out of Playa Vista in 2018. President and co-founder Subir Singh has been a PV resident since 2009, but the story of how he got into the tequila business stretches back over decades and hundreds of miles. The Singh family emigrated from Fiji in the early eighties, and Subir’s father, Ajendra “AJ” Singh, found himself living in Los Angeles with $1500 to his name. As Subir tells it, after working his way up as a CPA, AJ was approached by Martin Crowley, the co-founder of Patron Tequila, and was asked to help bring production of Patron’s tequila in-house. AJ moved to Guadalajara, became an executive in the growing Patron empire, and put it on the path to becoming the king of modern upscale tequilas. At the same time, the Singh family became close with the Nuñez family, who have been in the tequila business for more than 80 years.

So what distinguishes Mico Tequila from the rest of the pack? Most importantly, it’s the tequila itself. “[The Nuñez family] and AJ worked together to produce the formula, and they harvest the agave from local farmers they have relationships with,” Singh says, “but the third component is Karina. Karina Rojo is our master distiller, and she’s one of very few female master distillers in Jalisco. She and AJ are very close, and they work together to produce tequila that really reflects the highlands and is authentic.” Although the tequila is authentic, that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for some experimentation in Mico’s take on the three tequila varieties: blanco (“white”), which is typically not aged, reposado (“restful”), aged at least 60 days, and añejo (“aged”), which has been aging for at least a year.

“When you get into our reposados and our añejos, typically when you age tequilas, you use American oak,” Singh says. “What we did was, we’re aging first in American oak, that’s whiskey casks and bourbon casks, and then as an experiment, we’re like, let’s finish these off in cabernet casks… I don’t know if there are any tequilas out there that are finished off in cabernet casks like we are.” In the spirits business, however, an interesting idea can easily be overtaken by an interesting marketing campaign. Ryan Reynolds became a stakeholder in Aviation Gin in 2018 and helped sell the company for upwards of $600 million this year. George Clooney’s Casamigos brand sold for a cool billion two years ago.

“The celebrity thing is super cool,” Singh says, “but I don’t think it would be a great fit for us. People have stories and ours is just a natural story, and it’s something that’s real. But I think there are definitely consumers looking for brands… with real stories that resonate with them.” Of course, some cool packaging couldn’t hurt. For those interested, Mico’s Blanco, Reposado, and Añejo tequilas come in suave inverted-teardrop bottles, with a well-dressed monkey man on the front (mico is Spanish for monkey). The back of the bottle even has some hometown love: Imported by way of Playa Vista, California.

*PLAYA – NEWS: YOGAWORKS CLOSING ALL STUDIOS DUE TO PANDEMIC

Brian Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of YogaWorks
YogaWorks, one of the largest yoga chains worldwide, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and will close all its U.S. studio locations, citing the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The chain has more than 60 U.S. studios YogaJournal reports. And now, the company will shift its focus to online classes and teacher training. The group entered a purchase agreement with Serene Investment Management last week, announcing that Serene has agreed to purchase the company in an expected auction, which will then be approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court. Fitness studios are taking a major hit financially, with many locations closing across Los Angeles County and throughout the country, forcing companies to focus on online platforms and new business models.

Students can continue practicing from home with YogaWorks using the YogaWorks Live and MyYogaWorks digital platforms. “The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for our industry and business, including mandatory studio closures and social distancing-imposed attendance restrictions even where studios have been permitted to reopen,” Brian Cooper, Chief Executive Officer of YogaWorks, said in a news release. Teachers are now trained to be virtual instructors, focused more on digital classes and workshops. “We have been taking action to adapt to these challenges, including expanding our digital platform that now offers YogaWorks students over 40 live streaming yoga classes per day and over 1,000 hours of pre-recorded classes and yoga workshops – all from the best teachers in the business,” Cooper said.

YogaWorks has three locations in Santa Monica, including the studios at 2215 Main St. and 1426 Montana Ave., along with the Strand Street teacher training center. Other Los Angeles-area studios are in Brentwood, Koreatown, Larchmont, Los Feliz, Pasadena, Playa Vista, South Bay, Studio City, Tarzana, Valencia, West Hollywood, Westlake Village, Westwood and Woodland Hills. At the studio in Santa Monica, all the merchandise was gone from the window at the Main Street location by Monday morning. All that remains are the building.

“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to our employees and teachers for their tireless commitment to YogaWorks over the past several months, years, and in many cases decades,” Cooper said. “We are so impressed by the passion and love that our teams have displayed despite the many challenges faced. We have also been humbled by the support and dedication that we continually receive from our students as we’ve fought through these uncharted challenges together, displaying the amazing impact that YogaWorks has had in the communities we serve. We will continue to make decisions that provide the most benefit to our team, students, and partners, and we are confident that we will emerge from this process a stronger organization.” 

*PLAYA – NEWS: GAS PRICES DROP AGAIN IN CULVER CITY, TIME TO FILL ‘ER UP

Gas prices across the Southland have hit lows not seen since 2017, according to the Automobile Club of Southern California. California’s average gas prices are at $3.199 per gallon, a full $1.023 more than the national average, a spokesperson for the AAA says. In Los Angeles County, gas prices dropped two-tenths of a cent Friday for the second consecutive day to $3.189. In Culver City, www.gasbuddy.com reports gasoline at the Costco on Washington Boulevard and Glencoe Avenue selling for $2.85 per gallon.

The average price for a gallon of regular, self-serve unleaded gasoline has dropped seven of the past eight days, decreasing 1.1 cents, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service. It is 1 cent less than one week ago, 3.1 cents lower than one month ago, $1.034 cheaper than one year ago, and has decreased 42.6 cents since the start of the year. Across Orange County, the average price of a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline dropped a half-cent to $3.151, one day after decreasing two-tenths of a cent.

That price is 1.1 cents less than one week ago, 3.7 cents lower than one month ago, and $1.03 cheaper than one year ago. It has decreased by 39.4 cents since the start of the year. “Supplies of the ‘summer blend’ of California gasoline are still plentiful, but prices are still just inching downward,” said Jeffrey Spring, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s corporate communications manager. “However, fall gas prices have not been this low since 2017, and the 80 percent of fall travelers who plan to drive to their destinations will save about $16 per fill-up compared to last year at this time.”

*PLAYA PEOPLE MEET SKY & JESSICA:

Sky and Jessica (right) owners of Jessie and Sky,
– Playa Vista

Sky and Jessica (right) owners of Jessie and Sky, clothing they design

Vist Their Store Online: Jessieandsky.com 

*PLAYA – BUSINESS: PETALS ‘N’ WAX

Socks Galore at Petals N Wax in Marina Del Rey!

Petals N Wax

Villa Marina Marketplace Mall

13432 Maxella Ave
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
T: (310) 305-8883

*PLAYA – VIDEO: SOCCER MOM CANDIDATE LOOKING TO MAKE HISTORY IN CULVER CITY

Many moms can relate to dropping off their daughter at soccer practice, but most moms are not like Yasmine McMorrin.

McMorrin, who is running for a City Council seat in Culver City, works on her campaign while in the car at the soccer facility. If elected, she would become the first Black woman to serve as councilmember in Culver City.

“I’m showing up wholeheartedly. It matters who makes these decisions and who they have in mind,” said McMorrin.

Her candidacy qualification is about more than diversity. McMorrin is an attorney, and the interim dean of equity and inclusion at the University of Southern California’s School of Law. Congresswoman Karen Bass and California State Senator Holly Mitchell have endorsed her.

“All of those endorsements are incredibly important to me. They let me know that folks see me. They see my heart,” said McMorrin. If elected, McMorrin hopes to bring better rent control to Culver City, including more affordable housing.

WATCH HERE 

*PLAYA  INTERVIEW:

 Bartolome Graziana
Art Director | 72andSunny in Playa Vista

Q: Why did you choose to have your art directing career in the Silicon Beach area? How did you get there?

— I was born in France, raised in Cameroon and I studied Cinema and Performing Arts in the south of France. After 8 years in Montreal as an art director, I wanted to try something new. Because of my background in cinema, living and working in Los Angeles has always been a dream of mine. I am currently working as an art director for 72andSunny in Playa Vista.

Q: Would you have to say has been the forefront of your success in your career? How did you develop your process in your work?

— In advertising it’s important to be able to reinvent yourself often, to stay excited and never get bored with the work. Always be curious and interested in arts, culture, movies, music, design, etc.

Q: Do you see yourself going beyond the Silicon Beach area.

— Yes, I love travelling but right now I like the Silicon Beach area, it’s cool, dynamic and everything I’m looking for in terms of work / life balance.

Q: In what ways have you seen the area change since you’ve been here?  

— I’ve only been here for 4 years but what I like about the area (and LA in general) is that you can really feel the influence of the different past eras. The 1920’s/30’s with the big studios and movie industry growing, we are working in the old Howard Hughes office. The 1960’s/70’s hippie, counterculture vibes. And now with tech companies, start-ups and innovations, it feels like it’s always evolving.

Q: Where are your favorite places in Silicon Beach that aren’t well known? What are your favorite restaurants in the area?

— SachiLA coffee, Dear John’s, Ginger’s Divine Ice cream, Night+Market, Mike’s Deli, and Jackson’s market and deli.

Q: What was your first impression of Silicon Beach, was it love at first sight or did it take time to adjust?

— It was love at first sight. The different cultures blending together, the balance between nature and cityscapes, makes it so unique.

Insta: @BartolomeGraziana

*PLAYA — KIDS:

Runway is partnering with So Fly Kids to bring to you our October Edition of our kid’s club at Runway.

What: Come join us for a fun-filled craft led by with So Fly Kid’s Miss Michelle. We’ll be creating a paper pumpkin craft!
When: Thursday, October 22nd 4:30pm-5:30pm

Age: Kids Ages: 5-8 years old

How We’re Keeping You Safe:
The Kid’s Club will be held outdoors, right in the middle of Town Center Drive, which will provide ample room for distancing and will be led by trained So Fly Kids’ employees. Each household will have their own table and chairs available to them. We will also be enforcing all necessary COVID protocols.

  • Kid’s club will have a limited attendance, with 1 accompanying parent per household.
  • All adults must be wearing a mask
  • Kids 2 and under are not required to wear a mask.
  • All kid’s from different households, will be socially distanced with 6ft or more
  • We will provide hand sanitizer and wipes and will be conducting temperature checks upon entry.

** Due to COVID, our spaces are limited. Please only sign up if you intend to join. Otherwise, please leave spots open for others.

Date and Time

Thu, 22 October 2020
16:30 – 17:30 PDT
Location
Runway Playa Vista12775 Millennium Dr.
Playa Vista, CA 90094

SIGN UP HERE

*PLAYA – LENS:

Spanish rice at the new Bull and Butterfly, Runway Shopping Center Playa Vista.

*PLAYA VISTA PEOPLE – Only Originals Allowed!:

*PLAYA – IN THE  NEIGHBORHOOD: FAMILY HARVEST

Family harvest at Runway is officially here! Come stop by and snap that IG-worthy shot of you and your family (or your pup)! 

*PLAYA  PEOPLE – MEET ABNER:
NOW YOU KNOW

Abner has been living and working in Westchester since January 2011.

Now You Know Abner….

  1. Loves the food at Urban Plates in Playa Vista
  2. Has had two stomach surgeries
  3. Does Pilates daily
  4. Has six dogs
  5. Smoke cigars on weekends
  6. Doesn’t drink soda
  7. Read countless books about American history
  8. Love Paul Simon
  9. Loves rap music

If you would like to be featured, send us your contact info to PlayaVistaPeople@TimeWire.net

*PLAYA–BULLETIN BOARD:
1. ***As I was driving into the lower parking garage on Fiji Way. I noticed 2 people walking towards the gate. I stopped to let them cross by me. Something told me they hadn’t carried on walking. I stopped and waited for the gate to close behind me. At the very last second they tried to run in. Which of course then made the gate re-open. I beeped my horn and started reversing back towards them. Fortunately, it worked and they ran out. I made sure they didn’t get back in before going to my parking space and called the building security. —–Andrea Bell, DelRey.

2. ***Give the horrid state of the People’s Republic of Santa Monica, anyone voting for an incumbent should do themselves and the world a favor and check themselves into a psychiatric ward immediately. —– Tony D., Marina Del Rey.

3. ***Thank God for Zen Foods during this pandemic. I don’t know what I would do without them. —— Dr. Lawrence G., Playa Vista.

4. ***The P.R. Revolution is underway. Witness here: www.PRPrime.net .

5. ***Our condo building at 8001 Redlands had two cars broken into in during the past 3 days. The burglar was able to gain access to locked cars without breaking the window. LAPD will not come out to investigate without charging a service call fee. So be on alert for more car burglaries now that burglars know that LAPD will not respond to burglar calls. —– Tony Ching, Playa Del Rey.

6. ***I’ve always appreciated having a nice grocery store in the area like Bristol Farms. Because it’s pricey I can’t do my entire shop there but I do go often for lunch and small items. The sandwiches used to be $7.99. They are now $9.99. Today I ordered a white meat turkey sandwich and later found out there is a surcharge for white meat. When the cashier rang up the item and $11.49 displayed I was surprised. I went back to the woman in the deli who made it to see if this was an error. She was dismissive and rude. In the end, the sandwich was good but I won’t be rushing back there anytime soon, especially for a price gauged sandwich.—–Greg Davis, Westchester

7. ***I’m a freelance writer but am starting a group called: (Kids Write LA). It is a creative writing tutoring service that I’m starting to help kids find their voice, get creative with their writing assignments, and mostly … Have fun with writing. Does your child need help with sentence structure, essay formatting, or grammar? I can assist and make it educational in the process. Pls. email for additional info. elisabethkatie@yahoo.com.

8. ***Save Ronnie’s Diner! Calling all locals! Our local beloved Ronnie’s Diner is in danger of closing forever ! Please consider Ronnie’s for your next meal. Ronnie’s has a very cozy outdoor dining area or you can order your favorite meal to go. Don’t let this Family owned, small business become the next victim of Covid. 12740 Culver Blvd. To order please call 310-578-9399 —– Lisa Packham, Culver City.

9. ***Did you know? Did you know that this Bulletin Board is read by 24,000 people per week in the community – Playa Vista, Marina Del Rey, Culver City, Playa Del Rey, Westchester.

10. ***For reasons I can’t fully explain and against the spirit of the times, I have grown more clement toward a greater fulness and variety of life. —– Lance H., Marina Del Rey.

Help Wanted: New, creative, photographer to test for P.R. firm clients and event. Send some photo samples and complete contact details. Must be available to Westside of L.A.

E-mail: Aurora411@TimeWire.net

Playa Vista People Edited By: Aurora DeRose  

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