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LASC: 34 Years on Santa Monica Boulevard and Thriving

LASC: 34 Years on Santa Monica Boulevard and Thriving

Fri, Nov 17, 2017 3 Comments

Don Zuidema has a Dutch surname. He’s 65 (a very well put together five and 60), grew up in Rochester, N.Y., and attended university in College Park, Md., where he met his first partner, Michael McGinley.

I write “first,” because he’s been part of a triangle “since 1988.”

“I’ve heard it all,” Zuidema said plainly. “Thruplet … a triad, a threesome.”

The third man (not a reference to the 1950 noir thriller starring Orson Welles) is Alfredo Izaguirre.

Zuidema told me he is “fine” with me mentioning the trio “as long as it’s not salacious.”

“Do I look like I’m a salacious person?” I asked.

“No, but with all that’s been going on, who knows anymore?” he said, laughing. Was he referring to Trump … the flurry of sexual harassment allegations we as a nation have been absorbing…

WeHo@Work: At Laurel Pet Hospital, It’s All in the Family

WeHo@Work: At Laurel Pet Hospital, It’s All in the Family

Thu, Nov 02, 2017 3 Comments

Laurel Pet is housed in a building constructed in 1926 that for at least 85 years has served as a veterinary hospital that has been owned by the Calsyns for 47 of those years.

Easy Rider: Max Hushahn’s Thunder Road Has Been Paved with Stars

Easy Rider: Max Hushahn’s Thunder Road Has Been Paved with Stars

Fri, Oct 20, 2017 2 Comments

But West Hollywood may not be part of Thunder Road’s future

The Empty Vase that Became the Best Kept Secret in WeHo

The Empty Vase that Became the Best Kept Secret in WeHo

Fri, Oct 06, 2017 4 Comments

Topiary. Let’s talk about it.

You know, green stuff (i.e. plants). Maybe some Kenilworth ivy or lovely creeping fig wrapped around wire frames twisted into the shapes of beloved animals (dinosaurs anyone?) or specific objects (like a throne)?

If you were asked where to get one, maybe two, right here in WeHo, would you snap your fingers with a knowing smile or draw a complete blank?

“We are the only ones,” Saeed Babaeean, 55, proprietor of The Empty Vase on Santa Monica Boulevard at Willey Lane and Nambo Street says, “as far as I know…for sure…in the city…that does topiaries.”

“Probably in the country there are only a handful,” Babaeean said. “When we have these big elephants, big giraffes or dinosaurs, or whatever, it’s a point of attraction.”

You agree with that? Despite The Empty Vase’s smack…

Face Place: Where Beauty Is As It Should Be — Only Skin Deep

Face Place: Where Beauty Is As It Should Be — Only Skin Deep

Wed, Aug 23, 2017

“It’s a little tricky in the beard,” aesthetician Tony Silla, 51, tells me. I’m lying on his treatment table in a dimly lit room at the Face Place, the WeHo salon he owns with his husband of 30 years, Paul Rogers.

Did I mention my legs rest upon a raised, queer-shaped cushion? It encourages blood flow to the head.

Why so tricky? Well, I’m having my face…vacuumed.

“I’m gonna use a little suction on your skin while I clean it,” Silla says. “And it’s gonna feel like this.”

Whir! Buzz! Thwiiiirrrpp! It’s sort of like being at the dentist – only it’s your face.

The wand Silla calls his “little vacuum” resembles a miniature Hoover. I imagine Barbie putting her little plastic palms around it to suck schmutz from the rugs in her Dream Home.

“Sometimes,” Silla says, “your skin gets a…

Diamonds May Be a Girl’s Best Friend, but for Gina Amir They Are Art

Diamonds May Be a Girl’s Best Friend, but for Gina Amir They Are Art

Fri, Aug 04, 2017

When you meet Gina Amir, 34, owner of the jewelry studio in her own name near the corner of Robertson Boulevard and Melrose Avenue, the first two physical traits you notice are her long midnight-black hair and her large eyes. Enhanced by eyeliner and makeup, it’s the irises themselves that, well, sparkle, like gemstones she might use in her work.

“I opened my first store in Cologne, Germany,” Amir said, after studying gemology near Frankfurt. “Eleven years ago I decided to expand the business and move to the States.” She opened up about why jewelry is her passion, entrepreneurial joys and challenges – as well as about her naughty kitty cat and why she chose to continue her business in WeHo.

WEHOville: How do you describe what you do?

Gina Amir: What I do is the world of design. Customers can have one-on-one sessions….

WeHo@Work: Tom Doherty’s Gamble Made Cafe d’Étoile a WeHo Institution

WeHo@Work: Tom Doherty’s Gamble Made Cafe d’Étoile a WeHo Institution

Fri, Jul 21, 2017 16 Comments

Doherty and his brother used their credit cards to finance the purchase of the restaurant more than 20 years ago.

Capitol Drugs: Community Service Is the Prescription for Success

Capitol Drugs: Community Service Is the Prescription for Success

Fri, Jul 14, 2017 2 Comments

“’I was born in a pharmacy,’ I like to say,” the pharmacist Raja Sannidhi, 39, the newish owner of Capitol Drugs, tells me with a slight smile.

Hold on. You weren’t aware that the local drug store had even changed hands in November 2015? “A lot of times patients are like, ‘We didn’t know there was a change of ownership,’” Sannidhi said. “That’s our point.”

Originally from India, Sannidhi grew up in New Jersey after his father, now 65, also a pharmacist and still working, moved the family to the States in 1982. Sannidhi’s generic American accent doesn’t hint at his being born seven hours outside Hyderabad, a city of nearly seven million. This guy is calm, friendly, and very earnest about his chosen profession – and why he does it.

The family has three additional pharmacies in New Jersey, Brooklyn…

Allison K. Hill:  The Woman Who, in the Era of Amazon, Keeps Book Soup Thriving

Allison K. Hill: The Woman Who, in the Era of Amazon, Keeps Book Soup Thriving

Fri, Jul 07, 2017 4 Comments

Hill is the president and CEO of Vroman’s and of Book Soup, WeHo’s legendary book store on Sunset Boulevard.

The Ganjapreneur Next Door: MedMen’s Andrew Modlin

The Ganjapreneur Next Door: MedMen’s Andrew Modlin

Fri, Jun 16, 2017 2 Comments

Andrew Modlin wants to revolutionize how we think about, shop for and consume pot.

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