ROAD TO NOWHERE

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. ROAD TO NOWHERE, originally posted novella style, was not only a great adventure, but a chance for some serious self-reflection. Not a bad thing to do these days… 

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

“If anybody would like to join the first downtownster road to nowhere road trip I’ll be leaving Thursday or Friday,” I said to the meeting of the Marketing Round Table. “I don’t know where we’re going or when we’ll get there, but that’s the idea. And uh, you could get on or off the trip at any time or place—providing that there is an airport of course.” NO TAKERS

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

Friday morning 4:30 a.m. the 1996, black, Chevy Suburban docked at the curb of my childhood home in Montebello, CA—Montebello is Italian for beautiful hills. And it is from this very spot, that I have departed for many an adventure. I am fortunate to, over an excessively well-lived lifetime, have developed a number of friends who are willing to embark on such journeys. And I should be careful to mention here that some of these individuals were mere acquaintances or even less familiar at the time of departures, but traveling and adventure make for far greater bonds than the songs of fraternity boys in their beer soaked homes.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

This particular morning it was to be my old high school buddy Mike Munoz picking me up. Although he went to West Point and achieved the rank of Colonel I still refer to him as my Mexican—I find this term of endearment more special than he does.

“The 15?” he asked.

“Sure. Let’s grab breakfast in Vegas and see if Andy wants to come with…No his mom is visiting…Let’s grab breakfast in Vegas and stop by to see Andy anyway. Maybe he can meet up with us later… How many miles do you have on this thing?”

“One hundred and eighty-six thousand. Where do you want to eat in Vegas?” asked Mike, seemingly settled into our trip within minutes. Twenty-five years ago a trip in his yellow, convertible corvette took us from coast to coast…

“All these years I’ve been going to Vegas, working in Vegas, living in Vegas, and I’ve never eaten at The Egg and I. Have you?”

He shook his head. “No. Where is it?”

“On Sahara. Let’s go there.”

Forty minutes of good conversation ensued until…  “Hey that’s the 15,” I said pointing at the exit. The Suburban swung across five lanes of traffic as can only be accomplished at such an early hour on the 10 Freeway. We could have wound up in Palm Springs or Arizona for that matter, but that’s the point, it really didn’t matter.

“Hey, let’s pull off in Barstow I like the new Starbucks there—cute girl baristas.”

Mike shrugged. “Okay.”

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

ROAD TO NOWHERE PART II

The black Suburban rolled down the highway with the mean rumble of a venerated work vehicle. I raised the cappuccino, which I held in my hand, to my lips and took the first soothing sip. Given the distinctly not stylish clothing being warn by Mike and myself and the rugged “Road Warrior” appearance of our vehicle my choice of a cappuccino, as my early morning sustenance seemed a strange juxtaposition—black coffee would have been the appropriate beverage of such a portrait. Continue reading

WRITE SOMETHING ABOUT MICHAEL JACKSON PLEASE

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. “Write Something About Michael Jackson” was not a blog that I particularly wanted to write, but our readers asked for it, I wrote it,  and as things go it wound up making the downtownster TEN BEST list. 

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

I received a text message from one of my sources at 3:00 pm that Michael Jackson, often called the King of Pop, was dead. This was fifteen minutes before the official declaration and by 3:30 pm the calls, text messages, and emails asking me to write something were rolling in. My initial response to all requests was that I had no intention of writing a story about Michael Jackson’s death. My reason being: that everyone was going to have something to say and that I had nothing to add. I have a passion for writing and or talking—I’m a storyteller by nature, but a good storyteller should have something unique to say or at the very least a unique viewpoint.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

Over a three-day period I did follow the story. Requests for my attention to it did not cease, some coming from the most unexpected people. As these days passed my response to requests that I write about Michael Jackson’s death changed. I began to tell readers that I might write on the topic of the inconsistent through line that had become so evident in, not only the nonstop media coverage, but among the general population as well. One of downtownster’s most highly educated and respected readers was particularly intrigued by my introduction of the through line concept—and was seemingly not too sure exactly what a through line was. So let me clarify:

A through line is the spine of a story. The concept, first introduced by Constantin Stanislavski, was a way for actors to think about characterization. The idea being that it is not enough to understand what we are doing or trying to do, but rather we must understand our ultimate objective—thus creating a link from action to action that propels us to our ultimate desired outcome.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

As I watched the first few hours of cable news coverage each channel and commentator had a take and in some cases several. Fox News in particular filled their time with inaccurate information that was astounding. And of course the vile Nancy Grace was already ranting about the children and custody issues. Michael Jackson in a matter of minutes was called a child molester, a music genius, the loneliest man on Earth, an adoring father, a boy trapped in a man’s body, an icon, in debt for 400 million dollars, on the verge of a comeback, worth a billion dollars, and ABC’s Martin Bashir, who did more harm to Michael Jackson’s reputation than anybody, except for Michael Jackson, made a statement that knowing Michael Jackson was one of the greatest honors of his life. This actually caused me to shake my head. I recalled him saying that Michael Jackson’s home Neverland was not safe for children. But the words genuine or honest do not come to mind at the mention of the name Marin Bashir. Continue reading

A BLOGSIDE CHAT WITH JAN PERRY

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. The idea of a blogside chat with extraordinary people like Jan Perry proved to be blogging at its best. And I predicted Jan would be running for Mayor in print, before anyone else–go figure!

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

Jan Perry A Blogside Chat

It is late at night or early in the morning, hour fifteen of work has passed by some hours ago, and as the quiet of the night will often lead me to, I find myself reflective. My screenwriting obligations have precluded me from blogging the past few weeks as much as I would liked to have, but many of downtownster’s twenty-four writers / soldiers of truth and enlightenment, have made up the difference. And to them I say, THANK YOU.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

The fact that I have not posted more than a piece or two a week does not however mean that I have been remiss in working on stories. Admittedly, I am backlogged, there is simply more to write about than I have time in the day and that would be true even if I were not busying myself with two screen adaptations and a television pilot. But one story must begin and that is the story of something I think to be unique to downtownster—I call it the blogside chat.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

We live in challenging times. And if we are to be honest with our collective selves, most generations can claim such. Of course the challenges differ from generation to generation, but almost all are challenged nontheless. What are our difficulties? How are they resolved? These are questions that should be first and foremost on all Americans’ minds. The answers to these questions and their many tangents are rooted in our ability to communicate with each other. And for the purpose of this blog, and all to come, it is imperative to recognize that communication begins with understanding the concept of common reality.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

Think of concentric circles at the middle of which is the greatest common reality. The one thing we can all agree on—perhaps gravity. I know of no one that will step off the roof of the fifteen-story building, which I live in to prove me wrong. Interestingly, those who believe that they can fly without the help of modern invention are usually considered to have broken from sanity—they no longer share in the same common reality as the rest of the world around them. The results of an individual jumping from a building such as mine, arms flapping to no avail, are not comical—they are ruinous. And such is the fate of a society that has lost its ability to communicate and broken with itself.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

Today, it is incumbent on leaders, and those with vision to communicate their ideas in the way that people not only want to hear but trust and understand. The great leaders of times past wrote and delivered speeches. Washington, Lincoln, Churchill, and King all delivered leadership and vision with their words. Their words, the people knew these men through their words. In person, in print, on radio, on film, on television, past generations heard their leaders in their own words and they trusted and understood them.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

And because downtownster is nothing if not intensely interested in all things—I started floating the idea to the business and political leaders of our world that we’d like to chat. Not interview—CHAT. An invitation, if you will, to speak to people in the way that they now listen. BEWARE: no recorded speeches, written by someone else, with no opportunity to be questioned will be passed off as real communication on downtownster.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

Imagine an ongoing dialogue, that can take hours at a time to have, taking place in public places, sometimes over a meal and sometimes over coffee—my drink. Imagine a person of power in business or politics that is willing to talk to you, albeit through downtownster, no speeches, no teleprompters, no handlers, no questions in advance, no ground rules. Clearly, this person has said much about themselves before saying anything to us at all. But be sure much more will be said.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

Because much of Downtown is encompassed by the 9th District, let us put this fact into a greater perspective, Downtown Los Angeles is the heart of the biggest city, in the largest state, of the most powerful nation on Earth, I could not think of someone better to chat with than 9th District City Councilwoman Jan Perry. Continue reading

The Extraordinary Case Of Mike Berger

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. In the case of “The Extraordinary Case Of Mike Berger” the great Alec Silverman shines a bright light on one of the best human beings I’ve had the good fortune of calling my friend. The wine tastings are not as frequent as they were when this was first posted, but Mike Berger is better than ever.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

Stan Lerner, editor-in-chief and creator of Downtownster is a revered cohort for whom I am indebted to Mike Berger, the subject of this entry, for making possible our acquaintance.  Mr. Lerner has been googled over 1.2 million times; his blogs (articles for Downtownster and his satirical serial Downtown Oliver Brown) have around 2 million hits; he is a screenwriter receiving residuals in seeming perpetuity; he is published in hardcover as a novelist, a long-form satirist and a children’s book author.  I am honored that he invited me to be a guest contributor to this blog and, after much consideration concerning what form to proffer (e.g., an op-ed piece, a film review, a vignette, etc.), I found it “altogether fitting and proper” to pay homage to Mr. Berger. This piece however, strictly speaking, could be classified as a restaurant review.  The restaurant is an ad hoc wine bar and it is Mr. Berger’s one-man show.

On the north side of 9th Street between Hope and Flower – as any denizen of downtown knows – is the entrance to Ralphs Market.  Its manifestation on the cityscape was like an oasis created by a meteor.  At last, under one roof, downtown had a purveyor of some of the most essential trappings of civilization.  What too many apparently do not know is, that within this architecturally unimaginative space, like gleaming crystals in a geode, lay a treasure for wine enthusiasts unparalleled anywhere in Los Angeles.  On Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays between five and eight p.m., one can get both the best value and the best wines by-the-glass downtown.  For twelve hours a week, four nights of happy hours, if you will….  Don’t blink or you’ll miss out.  This is all because the store opened with an exceptional department manager.  You see, dear reader, with the advent of this civilization, like a gift from an extraterrestrial race, came a subtle, dedicated, dyed-in-the-wool service professional – a one-off, wine and spirits manager by the name of Mike Berger. That’s right, you read correctly, in Ralphs Market.
 

Part of what makes him seem like he dropped in from another planet is Continue reading

IRAN

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. Although controversial, “IRAN”  ranked at the top of our political blogs.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner>

Several months ago I wrote in a downtownster blog that Iran was seeking to develop nuclear weapons – unequivocally. I went on to say that sanctions would not cause the Iranian government to halt their development of a nuclear weapon. I did not mention the not so well kept secret of the uranium enrichment facility built into a mountain, in the middle of a military base, near the city of Qom…I thought it prudent to leave that to our elected officials who are entrusted with the safety of our country, but I certainly did suggest the possibility. And because we begin with some necessary reflection I must also reiterate that the only way to put an end to the Iranian nuclear weapons program is through decisive military action.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner>

My regular readers, no doubt, still pondering my recent call for a force of one million soldiers to be deployed to Afghanistan, might think a second military action in the region over reaching—it’s not. Iran will require a massive air assault aimed at destroying all of its nuclear facilities and a ground invasion that should first secure Iranian oil assets and second destroy the Islamist government infrastructure that aids and abets global terrorism. As a punitive action for flagrantly disregarding international law the Iranian naval fleet should be additionally targeted and destroyed completely. This is the only course of action that can be taken, given Iran’s outright treachery.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner>

Previously I’ve described the scene America will awake to when a nuclear weapon is detonated in one or more of our cities –Washington and New York are the targets.

Continue reading

BREAKFAST AT BOTTEGA LOUIE

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. “Breakfast At Bottega Louie” not only introduced a whole new literary experience to the world of blogging, it made a very good restaurant famous. So it should come as no surprise that this groundbreaking blog made the TEN BEST LIST.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

(Original) Foreword by Stan Lerner:  the following short story “Breakfast At Bottega Louie” is a work of fiction, written as a novella, meant to give the blog reader a unique literary experience. In essence “Breakfast at Bottega Louie” is a love story that examines the intersection and repair of two broken lives. I present to you the story, now in its entirety. 

 BREAKFAST AT BOTTEGA LOUIE

I did not move to Downtown Los Angeles in order to seek adventure nor to help the less privileged, but rather as a small, insignificant dinghy adrift in the sea of life. It’s true that like all writers, although I was a businessman all those years ago, I have had my moments of self-aggrandizement in which I have felt as if I had some special calling in life. I might have even caused a few dozen or so to share in this indulgent maybe even delusional belief. Yet, the reality is fairly simple: I came to live where I have now lived for the last fourteen years because it was inexpensive. Not that it looks inexpensive, rather the converse is in fact the case—I live in the lap of luxury. Indeed it was a once in a lifetime event that imbued such a fortunate circumstance on to me. A golden cage of my own in a thriving part of the city that has on some blocks even surpassed the quality of life that can be found on Ninth Street between Flower and Hope, for this is where I dwell.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

One such block to rise in status midst our prosperous neighborhood would be 7th Street. It had some grand old days in the grand old days but had spent forty of the last forty years as a shadow of its former greatness. My own mother, may she rest in piece, reminisced about the trolley cars that had transported her and Aunt Louise to shopping excursions at the stores that once towered above the streets. The original Robinson’s headquarters I’m sure was a favorite stop. And just across the street was Brooks Brothers where my dad had bought suits. I know this latter statement to be absolutely true as I wore a hand-me-down from this very store in my senior picture. I didn’t mind at the time, but now wish I had been wearing a fine suit of my own on this occasion.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

With this location, formerly Brooks Brothers, I am inimitably well versed. Because in the days that I sought to build a clothing empire of my own rooted in the value proposition and a familiar sounding name, I toured the premise with the serious intent of turning it into a larger and improved version of my store a block to the north. Why this did not transpire I can no longer recall, but this is easy to forgive as my empire building days left carnage on the streets that would have wowed the Cesar’s—even Caligula, and after praying for much forgiveness some things a man should be allowed to forget.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

 For three years the site that was once almost part of my rein of business terror seemed to be under perpetual on and off construction. The floors above were with equal sluggishness being transformed into lofts—part of an adaptive reuse boom that was both revitalizing the city and adding substantially to my net worth, which ironically had been increasing daily for years as I benefited from no merit of my own other than the weakness to live the life of what I think of as the faux rich. Interesting, that a phantom economy turned my faux rich life into a life of semi substance. No doubt in the future I shall lay claim to visionary status when I inevitably decide that humility no longer suits me. Humility? Yes, in substance if not in form I am a humble man. Particular? Yes. But one can be humble and still have an appreciation for the finer things in life. In fact in Los Angeles you can have all of the fine things in life—as I exemplify with little money at all or a fair amount of money that you owe and mean to, but don’t pay back.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

 I had been told of a gourmet market to open in this space where my father was once fitted for suits. Dave told me this and since he is gay and in real estate I assumed it to be completely accurate. Because, let’s face it, who can not keep a secret more so than a gay man that tells everyone he is gay. Personally, if I were gay I would tell no one. I mean that would seem to be more fun—especially with respect to the opposite sex. Imagine a black hole of neediness that one could not be sucked into simply by the fact that you appeared to be, but were not part of the same universe. I think that this is the great secret of heterosexual males—all wish to be gay. Not because they are attracted to men, personally I would rather be mauled by a Grizzly Bear, but because like the truth it would set us free—I digress but not really.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

            The gourmet market, known as Bottega Louie, when the wrappers came off the windows was a market, a café reminiscent of an indoor piazza, and fine dining establishment with an open kitchen. The white marble that lay beneath my Gucci clad feet exuded the class of a substantive foundation necessary to all great social interactions. Continue reading

BETTY BOOZE 3

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: Downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. This particular blog let the world know that Downtown Oliver Brown had a sister and David Mamet’s assistant Meaghan had some serious talent–readers loved Betty Booze!

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

Welcome back,

Question: What’s better than wearing a skirt?

Why in his right mind, he would ever say yes, is beyond me…  but I wasn’t about to question it. His ASSistant emailed me the address, and then after a nanny emergency, I was emailed another.

I was supposed to meet him that night on the roof at the Standard in downtown Los Angeles. That is definitely NOT where we met.

 When my friend dropped me off (in a 1990 Eagle mind you) I wasn’t at all surprised by the location, but I was convinced that I would have NO real one on one intimate time with him… which was disappointing. I could have swept him off his feet… (sigh)

 I had to show my I.D. at the door. The large man, accompanied by three other large men, was in plain clothes… which insulted my intelligence when I saw his surveillance ear piece.

He asked me if I had any weapons on me and then, as if he’d known me for years, leaned down and gently said “flask please, ma’am”.  I looked at him in my best “f*ck you, how dare you assume… (I can’t even finish that).

 I handed him the flask in my bag. He smiled, and moved out of the way, letting me inside.

There were kids everywhere! It was like Michael Jackson’s house at midnight. I looked around, my hands were sweating so badly, I could have taken a shot with the water shed. I tried to spot him, but there were just so many little humans running, screaming, crying, laughing, shitting, pissing, farting… you name it they were “ing-ing” it. Continue reading

LA LIVE’S SAINT PATRICK’S DAY MASSACRE

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: Downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. This particular blog gave the community notice that AEG LA Live wasn’t the beneficent benefactor that, for many years, they made themselves out to be.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

Okay, I didn’t work on the script, and didn’t raise the $500,000.00 I was supposed to in order to spin downtownster.com off from its’ parent company Lerner Wordsmith Press today… Sorry shareholders, but it was a SAINT PATRICK’S DAY MASSACRE and I had to get in the middle of it—and yes like all good downtownster.com writers (Vaughn Blake) I’ve been drinking Guinness. So as Elvis would say “My boy! My boy!”

It started simply enough; I met Carlos our programmer to go over the pictures that will soon be uploaded to the coming soon downtownster.com store. That would be right here on this very website. Our initial collection of Downtown Oliver Brown clothing will no doubt be a big hit and be an even greater distraction to my screenplay and novel writing than blogging, but enough about me and downtownster. We were working and having a coffee at The Farm at LA Live…As usual there was nothing going on in the plaza. Apparently it was crowded the day before with 450 people trying to get 45 jobs in what AEG calls a job fair and the rest of us call a publicity stunt to lure CNN into using the place as a backdrop.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

It was this very quiet nothing going on for the community atmosphere that we have all become so used to that struck me as I stood in the city’s other cement bunker, albeit with trees and a fountain, Pershing Square. And yes I know that the city is working on some multi-million dollar study to determine how to spend a few hundred million in funds we don’t have to make the place feel not so Cold War Era, but I’m actually of the belief that we’re headed back into a cold war with Russia, so that the current state of Pershing Square is just fine. Anyway, I took in the fountain that poured green water and smiled. Then walked to the area where the Young Dubliner’s were rocking the house. Continue reading

NO ENCORE FOR OLIVER

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: Downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. Of course it should come as no surprise that “The Adventures Of Downtown Oliver Brown” made the list more than once. It was a hell of a year!!! 

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

“Whooooo Shiiiiiiit!!! Look what the cat done dragged into Vegas!!!!” screamed the large, handsome, cowboy looking fellow that had come to greet us at the airport.

            I staggered off of Stan Peters’ Gulfstream V and watched as the cowboy fellow lifted Stan off of the floor in a hug that would have crushed a hearty Grizzly, no doubt. Hopefully you’ve read the last blog where the drinking binge that resulted in the flight to Las Vegas with Stan on his private jet began. Because Stan’s Gulfsream is well stocked with fine Scotch the drinking had continued unabated until the moment where our story continues:

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

            “James Whiskey Peet the third, I’d like you to meet the best and possibly most dysfunctional writer in Hollywood, Downtown Oliver Brown.”

            James Whiskey Peet the third, crushed my hand with a vice like grip. “Well any friend of Stan Peters the scummiest and most powerful producer in Hollywood is a friend of mine.”

 I pried my hand loose. “Are those real six shooters you’ve got strapped on there, James Whiskey Peet the third?” 

            He pulled the pearl handled, diamond studded, beautiful instruments of death with the skill of true shootest and fired off a couple shots each into the air. “Damn right they’re real—writer boy. And call me Whiskey Peet! Now enough of this shiiiiiit hop in the car and let’s go play some cards!” Then wrapping his arm around my shoulder. “Bet you don’t have any cars like this in that faggot, liberal city you just flew in from.”

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

            I took in Whiskey Peet’s Rolls Royce Phantom stretch limousine. It actually made Stan’s normal Rolls Royce Phantom look small. My eyes had some trouble focusing but eventually made their way down to the front of the car where they came to rest on an enormous set of what appeared to be solid silver steer horns.

            “This is a fine automobile Whiskey Peet. I take it that it’s equipped with a bar?”

            He slapped me on the back. “My boy! My boy! Get your ass in there and see for yourself.”

            Whiskey Peet shoved Stan and myself through the back door where we were greeted by a bunch of girls wearing nothing but chaps and cowgirl vests…And a guy named Dave.

            “Girls these are my boys from the coast!” The girls all said, “hi” on cue and made various comments about how cute we were. “And boys that’s my buddy Dave The Jew!” Continue reading

GO BUY A KINDLE!!!

FOREWORD BY STAN LERNER: downtownster does not celebrate its first birthday until February, but I still feel compelled to post the TEN BEST downtownster blogs of 2009. And while I think all of our blogs have been great, these are the ones that readers read the most and gave us the highest level of props for writing. I wrote this blog almost a year ago. And as it sometimes goes it has recently become even more relevant than it was at the time of its original publication. Yes, as I had hoped for Amazon has lowered the cost of a basic Kindle to $250.00. I urge everyone to buy Kindles for friends and family–a great gift, which will keep on giving for many years!!!

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

I often joke in my blogs about downtownster being an unfunded startup, launched in the middle of perhaps the worst economic situation in our country’s history—this is not a joke, but the truth. As downtownster grows, literally every day, I am asked with greater and greater frequency to write about the economy, politics, and relationships. Can you imagine that we live in a time that customers, in this case downtownster readers, can tell you what they want and if you have any business sense—you can oblige at the touch of a keypad. So, I woke up this morning planning to write a brilliant essay on the state of the economy. I was even going to delve into why entrepreneurs, such as myself, should be more aggressively than ever, starting companies like downtownster. But then it occurred to me to write about Amazon’s Kindle DX.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

Kindle, if you are not already familiar, is an e-book reader created and sold by Amazon. The new Kindle DX is a technological marvel, which holds 3,500 book titles at a time and is close to paper-thin. The reading display utilizes ink technology, which gives the reader the closest experience possible to actually reading print. And unlike the Sony e-book reader the Kindle operates with an internal wireless 3G capability that allows books to be downloaded to the device, usually in thirty seconds or less. Yes, THE WIRELESS HOOKUP IS FREE, the cost is covered by Amazon. I should also mention the new DX model has a 9.7 inch screen— 3 inches larger than the past models.

<Click Here: To Buy Books By Stan Lerner> 

The LA Times take on the Kindle DX, in a recent article, is, not surprisingly, whether or not Kindle will save newspapers—like the LA Times. And while this is a legitimate question, we should all note here that the LA Times and other financially troubled newspapers are in trouble more than anything because of bad business decisions. A debt free LA Times still owned by the Chandler’s would have turned a profit of a hundred million dollars last year. This begs a discussion regarding leverage—it’s not good. But let’s not digress too far. I predicted almost ten years ago that a device like Kindle would be developed and would be the future of how people, not only read books, but newspapers—and now a little something called blogs. Continue reading