FLEMING’S LA LIVE DELIVERS

Okay, it’s a play on words. I didn’t mean by the title that Fleming’s will deliver their food, but rather that the food delivers one hell of a dining experience.

What would a Stan Lerner blog be without a disclosure? Given my past appearances on the pages of the LA Times, Los Angles Downtown News, some gigantic billboards, the cover of a novel, and just living Downtown for fourteen years the idea that I’m going to walk into a restaurant and do some kind of anonymous review is ludicrous. In fact Fleming’s LA Live has graced more than one of my Downtown Oliver Brown adventures and I even wrote a piece for blogdowntown announcing its opening. So, the facts being what they are when I walked in with my trusty assistant Drew to do a serious review I expected some serious service and food. And I got both and then some. Continue reading

A LOOK AT ANGELS FLIGHT

The Shortest Railway in the World

The cars remain stationary on their twin tracks, fresh paint splashing orange and black across the doors.  The metal tracks reflect the fading sunset, and the arches at both the top and bottom are clean and renovated.  I glance up at the top, the tracks narrowing at the plaza.  Although not functioning, Angels Flight is still a very welcoming sight. 

I want to ride it.  I want to chug up the tracks for the small fee of 25 cents. Continue reading

12 THE MOVIE GOOD

In looking through the annals of film, there is one title that consistently appears on virtually everyone’s list as being classic, iconic, masterful, mandatory viewing and a must see for any filmmaker – “Twelve Angry Men” – Sidney Lumet’s 1957 character study of 12 strangers serving as jurors to a murder trial of a young man.  It is these 12 distinct personalities who will decide the fate of another total stranger.  While many may believe the law is cut and dried and jury deliberations are based on testimony and legal instruction, it is, in fact, the life experience and mores of each individual juror that shape their reasoning, thought process, interpretation and analysis of a situation and ultimately, their vote in a jury room.  TAM wields an emotional sledgehammer and intensity that is so well crafted that it has not only stood the test of time for some 50 years, but has spawned remakes in every medium.  And now, thanks to acclaimed Academy Award winning director Nikolai Mikhalkov, we have a re-imagination of TAM for the 21st Century with 12.

Continue reading

LAS VEGAS REPORT

The downtownster approach to travel, will to a great extent, focus on places that appeal to those of us who live in an urban environment, want to get to where we’re going reasonably fast, and given today’s economy – present some bang for the buck. But like several other categories of this sacred blog site downtownster travel may transcend the very paradigm I have just described. I found myself writing a poem last summer on Mackinac Island…Great place and I might very well write about it one of these days. The fact that the almost defunct LA Times did a piece on it, well it was hardly experiential. However, for today it’s about my favorite LA suburb—Las Vegas.

            I cruised in last Sunday, wind in my hair, to attend the Grand Opening of the new M Hotel, which is just south of South Point. And I will describe my experience to you in the same fashion I described it to Kristen the PR Manager at the Wynn. “Crowded, jammed, packed, and that’s all I can really say.” “That’s what I heard,” replied Kristen as we transitioned to the more relevant topic of Wynn and Encore. So, there I sat discussing a future piece I might be doing on Wynn and Encore, the reality weighing on me that I did not get the story that I had come to Las Vegas to get. My mind drifted to a Downtown Oliver Brown adventure, which might save the day, but rather I resolved myself to find some gem of a travel piece in my 48 sleepless hours. Continue reading

DOWNTOWNSTER LAUNCH STORY

Downtownster, like most great ventures, was born from an array of circumstances so organic that our business seems almost accidental—even to me. So, let me share with you this: I myself did not intend to get into the business of blogging and until a couple of years ago hardly knew what a blog actually was or why they were becoming so popular. That being said, as an author of books and a writer of movies, I knew that the future success of my marketing efforts would involve blogging—and so it will be for all businesses large and small. Continue reading