Tag Archives: bottega louie

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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.

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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 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.

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 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.

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            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

ROCK ‘N FISH – ROCKS

Torn between readers who want stories about national topics and those who want to know what’s going on in the very happening Downtown LA always presents a conundrum for this writer. Balance being the key to most things in life and the fact that I’ve been desirous of writing about Rock ‘N Fish LA Live for a long time now—this one is for my people in my hometown The City of Angels. And for those readers abroad, you’re going to come to Los Angeles one day, so make a note: eat at Rock ‘N Fish LA live, you’re going to like it.

For the ultra faithful it could tickle your AEG bone that I’m writing about a dining establishment in the heart of LA Live given our stormy relationship, but this place is too good to throw out with the bathwater. And given that I’ve taken to eating at Rock ‘N Fish several days a week I wouldn’t want a Stan sighting to send the observer of such into shock. I should mention here that while most of the restaurants at LA Live are big corporate owned entities, Rock ‘N Fish is one of a chain of two, the original being a beach legend down in the South Bay.

So of all the restaurants in all of the places that I travel…It all started months ago when I ran into Eric / manager of Rock ‘N Fish…I’m leaving out the part about the hot publicist, but the story really begins with me sitting on the very nice patio, one of the best in Downtown, listening to some great rock ‘n roll, thus the name Rock ‘N Fish, and eating almost everything on the menu—not one thing that I wouldn’t order again. But before talking about the food I have to digress for a moment and say that Rock ‘N Fish LA Live is about more than food, Rock ‘N Fish LA Live is about community. All of LA Live combined has not made an effort equal to that of Rock ‘N Fish to be part of what’s going on Downtown and downtownster is all about supporting those that support us.

The food: Rock ‘N Fish much like another favorite restaurant of mine, Continue reading

Bottega Louie

If you’re reading downtownster you might already have a feel for our style—we’re not a news blog, meaning that we don’t run around and look to break the latest greatest story in less than six hundred words. Frankly we leave that to Ed and Eric at blogdowntown. No, our mission at downtownster is to find stories and get involved in them—we’re storytellers, each with our own unique voice / point of view. And as of the time of this blog I’m pleased to say there are now fifteen downtownster writers working on stories.

            That being said, David Kean (The Realtor) mentioned to me this morning that Bottega Louie was doing a soft opening today, the official opening being next week. Three years in the making all the usual words have been written. I did however want to stop by to see if Bottega Louie belonged on the downtownster story list, so here I sit—literally. Am I breaking a story and the downtownster mission? Yeah. Funny thing that I can’t even not break my own rules.

            Why? I walked into the space and ran right into Leslie, formerly of Roy’s fame; the tour began immediately. Words and phrases came to my mind with blistering rapidity. Continue reading