» Thanks to a test result backlog, Tuesday marked Los Angeles County’s biggest daily rise yet in COVID-19 cases. Day over day, there was an increase of 4,015 positive results; likewise, the positivity rate climbed from below 10 percent on Monday to 11.5 percent on Tuesday. [Los Angeles Times]
» Michael Lofthouse, CEO of a Silicon Valley cloud computing startup, has been identified by several outlets as the man who launched a racist rant against an Asian family at a restaurant in Monterey. Before calling the person filming him “an Asian piece of shit,” he warned the family, “Trump’s gonna fuck you.” [ABC 7]
» Locals are lining up to participate in COVID-19 vaccine trials. A Pasadena man told L.A. Daily News, “I was stricken by the very core idea: We can put ourselves on the line, at risk, to help countless other people by getting a COVID vaccine sooner.” [Los Angeles Daily News]
» Mary Trump’s tell-all book about her uncle Donald is coming out earlier than expected, and the media is already laying out all of the most fascinating details, among them that the president allegedly paid someone to take the SAT for him when he was in school and that he once, she says, complimented his own niece’s breasts. [The Guardian]
There may be a pandemic, but you don’t have to give up summertime outdoor movies–or at least not entirely. Clever pop-up series have shifted from crowding parks with viewers on picnic blankets to setting up massive parking-lot screens inspired by classic American drive-in movie theaters. Sure, the logistics will be a little more challenging, but these pop-up drive-in movie series might just be the biggest entertainment events of the season.
The biggest annual summer outdoor movie series didn’t let us down, pivoting to a program of in-car entertainment. The schedule is reduced this year, but still includes multiple venues, and there will still be food trucks on site. Street Food Cinema is also a cohost of the Level 8 Drive-In series at the Americana, listed below. (SFC will also rent you the gear for your own drive-in screening or larger-than-life projected wedding ceremony.)
July 16, 8:30 p.m. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 17, 8:30 p.m. The Princess Bride(Ontario International Airport)
July 17, 8:30 p.m. The Sandlot (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 18, 8:30 p.m. Independence Day (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 23, 8:30 p.m. Black Panther (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 24, 8:30 p.m. Moana (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 25, 8:30 p.m. The Goonies (Brandeis Bardin Campus)
July 31, 8:30 p.m. Napoleon Dynamite (Ontario International Airport)
Enjoy the views from atop the garage of the Americana at these screenings. In addition to the family-friendly flicks, you’ll have access to classic movie concessions including free popcorn, and the option to buy special meal packs from the complex’s restaurants.
July 9, 8:30 p.m. La La Land July 10, 8:30 p.m. Raiders of the Los Ark July 11, 8:30 p.m. Crazy Rich Asians July 16, 8:30 p.m. Jurassic Park July 17, 8:30 p.m. The Lego Batman Movie July 18, 8:30 p.m. Black Panther
Tribeca Drive-In at the Rose Bowl
An offshoot of NYC’s Tribeca Film Fest, this Robert DeNiro-backed pop-up is running in four locations nationwide. In L.A., it takes over the parking lot at the Rose Bowl. A high-tech screen is visible even during the daylight, so some family fare starts earlier in the afternoon. Some evenings also feature live stand up comedy.
July 2, 4:45 p.m. John Lewis: Good Trouble July 2, 8:15 p.m. Jaws July 3, 5 p.m. E.T. July 3, 8:45 p.m. The NeverEnding Story July 4, 12:30 p.m. The Wizard of Oz July 4, 4:15 p.m. Apollo 13 July 4, 8:30 p.m. Field of Dreams July 5, 4:45 p.m. Space Jam July 5, 8 p.m. Creed July 9, 5 p.m. Palm Springs July 9, 9 p.m. Comedy: Dave Helem July 10, 9 p.m. Comedy:Ester Steinberg July 11, 1 p.m. Inside Out July 11, 9 p.m. Comedy:Daniel Webb July 12, 1 p.m. Spy Kids July 12, 9 p.m. Comedy:Erica Rhodes July 16, 4:45 p.m. John Wick July 16, 7:45 p.m. The Dark Knight July 17, 5:30 p.m. Mean Girls July 17, 8:45 p.m. Superbad July 18, 12:30 p.m. The Goonies July 18, 4:30 p.m. Be Water July 18, 8 p.m. Straight Outta Compton July 19, 4:30 p.m. Friday Night Lights July 19, 8 p.m. Wonder Woman July 23, 5 p.m. Meet the Parents
July 23, 8:30 p.m. Meet the Fockers
July 24, 5 p.m. Girls Trip
July 24, 8:30 p.m. Bridesmaids
July 25, 1 p.m. The Lego Movie
July 25, 5 p.m. Inside Man
July 25, 8:15 p.m. Do the Right Thing
July 26, 5:30 p.m. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure
July 26, 8:45 p.m. Beetlejuice
The 15-acre Roadium in Torrance opened in 1948 as a drive-in cinema, but by the ’80s the space was mostly used as a swap meet (specifically, the swap meet where, legend has it, a record seller introduced Eazy-E to Dr. Dre). Now the space is going back to its roots for occasional pop-up movie nights.
July 10, 7 p.m. The Wizard of Oz July 11, 7 p.m. The Wizard of Oz July 17, 7 p.m. Grease July 18, 7 p.m. Grease July 24, 7 p.m. 13 Going on 30 July 25, 7 p.m. 13 Going on 30 July 31, 7 p.m. Shrek August 1, 7 p.m. Shrek
Curated by actor Michael B. Jordan (and featuring several of his starring roles) this Amazon-sponsored series of double-features takes place at City of Industry’s full-time drive-in movie theater, the Vineland Drive-In. Refreshments are on Amazon, all purchased from diverse-owned local businesses.
July 1, 8:30 p.m. Love & Basketball / Crazy Rich Asians
July 15, 8:30 p.m. Black Panther / Creed
July 29, 8:30 p.m. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse / Hook
August 12, 8:30 p.m. Do the Right Thing / Get Out
Located at the Ventura County Fairgrounds, this series is run by the same organizers who are also using the venue for drive-in concerts from Third Eye Blind, Fitz and the Tantrums, and other acts. More showings to be announced.
Orange County’s non-profit art house cinema is hosting drive-in nights at Anaheim’s Zion Lutheran Church & School. The two July dates scheduled so far have both sold out, but the org recommends subscribing to their newsletter to get announcements about more dates to come. Check out Frida’s “virtual cinema” streaming fundraiser, too.
July 8, 8:30 p.m. Grease July 9, 8:30 p.m. Labyrinth
Country music festival Tailgate Fest may not be happening this August as they originally planned, but the organizers have put their car-partying expertise into a new venture: a series of drive-in movie nights, with dates scheduled at Whittier Narrows Regional Park in South El Monte, Castaic Lake Park in Castaic, and Calamigos Ranch in Malibu.
July 3, 8:20 p.m. Independence Day (Calamigos Ranch)
July 3, 8:20 p.m. Toy Story 4 / Independence Day (Castaic Lake Park)
July 4, 8:20 p.m. Independence Day (Calamigos Ranch)
July 4, 8:20 p.m. Toy Story 4 / Independence Day (Castaic Lake Park)
July 10, 8:20 p.m. Ghostbusters / The Lost Boys (Castaic Lake Park)
July 11, 8:20 p.m. Ghostbusters / The Lost Boys (Castaic Lake Park)
July 17, 8:20 p.m. E.T. / Finding Nemo(Castaic Lake Park)
July 18, 8:20 p.m. E.T. / Finding Nemo (Castaic Lake Park)
July 24, 8:20 p.m. Sandlot / A League of Their Own (Castaic Lake Park)
July 24, 8:20 p.m. Sandlot / A League of Their Own (Whittier Narrows Regional Park)
July 25, 8:20 p.m. Sandlot / A League of Their Own (Castaic Lake Park)
July 25, 8:20 p.m. Sandlot / A League of Their Own(Whittier Narrows Regional Park)
July 31, 8:20 p.m. Despicable Me / Footloose (Castaic Lake Park)
August 1, 8:20 p.m. Despicable Me / Footloose (Castaic Lake Park)
August 7, 8:20 p.m. Frozen / The Secret Life of Pets (Castaic Lake Park)
August 8, 8:20 p.m. Frozen / The Secret Life of Pets (Castaic Lake Park)
Sagebrush Cantina is offering micro-drive-in nights outside its Calabasas restaurant. In addition to a $25 pass for the car, you’ll need to spend at least $15 on food and drink from the restaurant during the show.
July 8, 8:30 p.m. Dirty Dancing July 15, 8:30 p.m. Trolls
Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis are husband and wife, chef and pastry chef, and the visionaries behind two of L.A.’s most celebrated and successful restaurants: Bestia and Bavel.
The culinary power duo, who met in 2005 when Menashe was cooking and Gergis was a hostess at Gino Angelini’s La Terza, debuted Bestia’s rustic but modern Italian food in 2012. It quickly transformed the gritty Arts District into one of the city’s buzziest dining destinations. Food-loving scenesters from across the city flocked to the distinctly industrial dining room to feast on pizzas, pastas, and charcuterie, as town cars idled outside. Then, in 2018, Menashe and Gergis opened Bavel, a Middle Eastern marvel that became another seemingly unstoppable sensation with its next-level hummus, harissa prawns, and soul-warming lamb-neck shawarma.
But, like all city restaurants, Bavel and Bestia have been teetering amid the COVID-19 crisis. Menashe and Gergis are quick to note that even popular places like theirs, which seem invincible, have little to no financial cushion. Closing a high-volume, low-margin business for even a month can mean total destruction. And while both restaurants have done a brisk takeout business during the shutdown—selling out of their 200 dinners at each place nightly—they only make a fraction of what they did when they served nearly 500 people every night at each of the bustling restaurants. But the couple says diners continued to be extremely supportive, buying merchandise and gift cards. One guy got one for $5,000.
“He was like, ‘I really want you guys to have the funds to reopen because I believe
in restaurants,’” recalls Gergis. “Customers in L.A. in general have been amazing.”
Both Bestia and Bavel are set to reopen for outdoor dining on Tuesday, July 7 (in addition to continuing takeout). Ahead of the reopening, Los Angeles spoke to Menashe and Gergis about their struggles, the uncertainty that lies ahead, and their hopes for the future of hospitality—and their own restaurants.
Initially, you weren’t doing takeout after the COVID-19 shutdown, but then you changed your mind. Why?
Genevieve Gergis: Three or four days after the restaurants shut down, Ori and I were both like, “OK, we’re just not going to open. Everyone is just going to sit at home, and we’re just going to wait it out.” And then I was on the phone with our accountant and controller, and I was looking at the numbers, and she was like, “You’re going to be out of money by May 1.” Restaurants operate on a very slim profit margin. People think we have a million dollars in the bank. Nobody has that.
Ori Menashe: There’s no such thing as a cushion.
GG: We had, like, 100 grand, which, when you’re paying $65,000 a month in health insurance, plus other things that you owe, that goes away very damn fast. So we had two choices: we either shut down everything and put our restaurants in a coma, and no one has health insurance, or we figure out a way to sell enough takeout to pay our vendors for the food we’re using, to pay for health insurance, and then, if we’re lucky enough, to pay off some of the things that we owe, like utilities and part of the rent. Our landlord Yuval Bar-Zermer is amazing, by the way. We didn’t even ask him for rent deferment. He sent us
a letter and said, “I know that times are tough. Don’t worry about your rent right now. We’ll figure it out later.”
“Restaurants operate on a very slim profit margin. People think we have a million dollars in the bank. Nobody has that.”
What kind of responsibility do you feel to the people who work in your restaurants, with everything that’s happened?
GG: The first month I would wake up to horrible nightmares, where I would see my old employees. They would be skinny and they were hungry. That’s probably why I started Feed Love L.A. [a nonprofit that feeds restaurant workers, co-founded by Gergis, Menashe, Rossoblu’s Dina and Steve Samson, Cassell’s Hamburgers’ Christian Page and Elia Aboumrad, and philanthropist Aileen Getty]. It takes pressure off my brain to know that employees are taking home nutritious food.
What are your plans for reopening at this point?
GG: We are, I think, like most people, really trying to figure out the airflow and the space and our staff and how to strategize and open in the safest way possible for both the public and our employees. Also, we need to make sure [that we’re not] bleeding money. It’s a very delicate balance, and we’re trying to make sure we’re at least breaking even. We don’t need to be making money to open, because we understand that that can come later. At this point, it’s not about profits.
OM: We’ll have a new menu at Bestia. It won’t be completely new—stuff like bone marrow and cavatelli and the margherita pizza are going to have to stay. Customers would probably kill me if I took those off the menu. We’re also going to switch some things at Bavel. I want to start with a fresh menu. Obviously, the classics are going to stay, but there’s going to be a good amount of new items.
How did you react when you heard that L.A. would allow restaurants to reopen for dine-in service in early June. Were you surprised at how quickly that happened?
GG: I’m disappointed in the way [L.A.] handled a lot of it. It felt like they were flying by the seat of their pants. They were like, “OK, there’s this crazy virus, let’s shut everything down and we’ll close our eyes and maybe it will just go away.” They continued that for a very long time. People started to lose their sense of place, and had anxiety about whether they’re ever going to get their job back, whether they can feed their family. It created a lot of stress; there was no leadership. When they started to realize that the virus wasn’t just going to be eradicated, and we were going to have to live with this in some form, they all of a sudden were like, “You can just open and be really safe.” They didn’t give us any preparation. It’s like when your kid has to go through puberty, you give them the talk to prepare them. We are the city’s children. I love my city, but I expected more.
OM: I thought it would take a little bit longer and they would want to see less cases, but I guess there was a lot of pressure to reopen.
A year from now, what do you hope things will be like at Bestia and Bavel?
GG: We have enough treatments available to make COVID-19 not deadly. And then people can fully interact without fear. Because the whole point of restaurants is they’re places to let go of the stress of your everyday life. As long as this virus is rampant and deadly, people aren’t going to be able to fully relax in a restaurant. I want our restaurant to be an escape.
It’s not going to feel like much of an escape if you see people with masks in your open kitchens?
GG: It wouldn’t. I’m hoping we’ll have enough of a handle on this where people can start to enjoy their lives and not have this thing hovering over their heads.
Do you see any bright sides to the shutdown?
OM: I think people are now going to appreciate things a little bit more. You’re going to go out to a restaurant and the first thing on your mind is not to figure out what’s wrong, but to see what’s right. I feel like people are going to enjoy life a little bit more and just appreciate their time away from work and with their friends at restaurants. I never complain when I go to restaurants. I have one day off every two weeks—I don’t want to be pissed off on my day off. If the food is good, that’s good. If the food is not that great, I’m still having a good time. And I feel like people are going to be a little bit closer to that.
The weekend that restaurants were initially allowed to reopen was also when the Black Lives Matter protests really crested. What are your thoughts on how the restaurant industry can be better and more inclusive for the Black community and all people of color?
GG: I think the answer for restaurants is, instead of focusing on that perfect résumé when hiring, to be more open-minded and change the questions you ask in an interview. When you walk into places and you don’t see what Los Angeles looks like, maybe those places should look at themselves. I’m not saying they’re racist or bad people. But that would be a time for self-reflection. My mom is a social worker and I come from that kind of mindset of looking at everyone and taking everything into account. I’ve been to a million protests. I’m the one with the sign that says people should love each other. I’m a little hippie-ish. I think the best way to describe it is that when we hire, I don’t say, “Two years experience or school.” I write stuff like, “Team player, good attitude, flexible schedule.” We hire from everywhere. We hire from Homeboy Industries [a nonprofit that provides job training for people who were previously gang members or incarcerated], which I love. It’s not just about racial diversity. It’s about hiring from a diverse socioeconomic background. We have done that from the beginning. In one of our first Yelp reviews [at Bestia], somebody wrote something like, “I feel like everybody here is an ex-gang member, because they all have gang tattoos.” Ori and I were like, “They are. A lot of them are.” Sometimes we get a résumé and somebody will say, “I’m a perfect fit for Bavel because I’m Israeli,” or, “I’m a perfect fit for Bestia because I’m Italian.” That’s not how we hire—we hire people who are kind, have empathy, and are team players. Very few of our people went to culinary school. Our interviews aren’t, “Hey, tell me about your work at Joël Robuchon.” It’s, “Do you love food? Do you want to learn this? Do you have the passion?”
There’s been a lot of buzz about the Arts District, but a lot of it is really about Bestia and Bavel. Other people have struggled in the same neighborhood. What’s been your secret?
GG: Me and Ori and Leah Bunch, our director of operations, are really scrappy.
OM: We’re always there. We never leave our restaurants. We’re not moving on to the next project, so we focus on those two restaurants. I’m still spending 17 hours a day at the restaurants, and all three of us are workaholics. I guess we’ll be able to travel one day, but we’re trying to keep things as best as we can keep them. The work never ends.
Did people have special tricks to get reservations at your restaurants in the past?
OM: We’ve gotten some crazy emails. Remember that crazy one that was, like, a sexual email?
GG: Oh, that was a good one. Someone was like, “My wife will give Ori a blowjob.” It came from a well-known comedian, so it made sense he would say that. And then instead of creepy, it became funny.
OM: It was still creepy.
GG: The truth is, we’re very first-come, first-serve. But once in a while, you’ll get someone who’s like, “My 80-year-old grandmother finally finished her chemo and it’s her birthday.” How do you say no to that? You can’t.
But you’re not encouraging people to lie about medical conditions?
GG: You know when it’s real and when it’s not. You can just tell.
OM: The best way to get a reservation is at 11:00 in the morning, when our hostesses do all their confirmation phone calls for the next day. They’ll get some cancellations because people are making a reservation a month or two in advance, and then they’re like, “Ah, shit, I can’t make it.” Go online at 11:00, 11:30, or just make the phone call and you might be able to get in the next day.
What restaurants have you missed the most during the
OM: My top five would be Taco Maria, Broken Spanish, Hatchet Hall . . .
GG: Don’t go so fast, you’re missing people.
OM: . . . Cassia and Fishing With Dynamite.
GG: Let’s go get some Cassia! I [also] love Tsubaki and Ototo.
I can’t decide which one I like more, because, you know what?, Courtney Kaplan is the most amazing sake expert, I think, in all of Los Angeles. Fishing With Dynamite is amazing for me. All I want to do is have oysters next to the beach. Or go to neighborhood restaurants like Elf in Echo Park. I just want to sit there with a glass of biodynamic wine and have their halloumi salad while my daughter pulls on my hair because she wants more sugar in her lemonade. I miss so many little places. I miss driving to work and stopping at Konbi for their amazing chocolate croissants. There’s too many little things. It’s not just about big experiences.
What do you think of quarantine cooking, and how everybody was suddenly making sourdough and banana bread?
GG: Banana bread is the best thing ever, so I definitely agree with that.
OM: It [was] the perfect time to make sourdough. It’s very difficult to perfect something like that when you’re working and busy. Letting your sourdough sit at room temperature and then refrigerating it, you can see the whole process and understand its habits because you’re at home all day. It’s pretty cool to see people making sourdough.
How did your daughter, 6-year-old Saffron, handle quarantine?
GG: Saffron thought it was the best thing that’s happened to her. She came to work with us.
OM: She loved it.
GG: With her little mask. So cute.
OM: I was in quarantine when I was a kid in Israel during the Iraqi War, and I was in the fourth grade. And I think those two months, I can still remember how great they were because I was with my family all day. We would go into the bomb shelter together with gas masks and spend hours playing Monopoly. It was amazing. I’m sure my parents suffered, but all us kids enjoyed it.
Which of you handled quarantine better, and how’s your marriage
beyond your business partnership?
GG: I feel like we were both handling quarantine equally well.
OM: Both of us are working. I think I would torture her if I was at home all day. I’m probably going to be on the sofa and just watch movies all day, and that would annoy her a little bit.
GG: Yeah, it would. Our marriage is great because we don’t have time to torture each other. I’m less naggy.
I guess your marriage is going to remain strong, because you’re not going to have downtime in the foreseeable future.
GG: I don’t see any downtime for the next 30 years, maybe 40. Unless they have a frozen-food line, restaurant people don’t retire.
OM: Yeah, whenever you feel bored, you’re like, “Let’s open another restaurant.”
So you potentially could still open a third restaurant?
OM: Yeah, definitely.
GG: It’s like when you ask people about kids. One of them is like, “Two’s good.” The other is like, “Three might be OK.” And the other one is like, “Really”?
The protests taking place in the wake of George Floyd’s murder have led to a reckoning with institutional racism that’s touched everything from national politics to pop culture. In the fashion world, design houses have been taken to task for keeping Black models off their runways and refusing to dress Black celebrities. Editors of prominent fashion magazines have been called out for keeping Black journalists off the upper echelons of their mastheads.
In L.A., Black, queer designers are creating a fashion ecosystem all their own. Here are ten we recommend supporting on Blackout Tuesday—and every day.
Since Pierre Davis founded her inclusive, community-oriented label No Sesso—Italian for “no sex/gender”—in 2015, the L.A.-based label has become synonymous with deconstructed silhouettes and thoughtful, expectation-defying details. Davis and her partner Arin Hayes have created a line of agender pieces and host a series of community-based events dedicated to empowering people across all genders, colors, shapes, sizes, and identities. In 2019, Davis made history as the first transgender woman designer to show at NYFW. Each of her collections is a celebration of intersectional identities filtered through a patchwork of repurposed materials, textured fabrics, and the brand’s signature hand-stitched embroidery. Find a selection of No Sesso’s pieces available on the brand’s Depop.
Sabine Maxine Lopez is the multihyphenate visionary behind Patty Wack Vintage. Lopez has been curating vintage pieces for over 15 years and sells a variety of colorful and bold pieces in her Etsy shop, from a burnt orange ’70s pencil skirt to a sparkling deep blue ’80s blouse with billowing sleeves. Lopez identifies as a queer BIPOC and created a podcast called A Tribe CalledQueer where guests discuss topics including femme visibility and toxic masculinity in the queer community. Lopez designs apparel and accessories for her podcast celebrating Black femmes and queer pride. Find Lopez’s vintage collection on Etsy shop.
This accessories brand has brought the beauty of West Africa to the West Coast with their line of handmade maximalist eyeglasses, Ankara print earrings, fringe necklaces, and headwraps. The company’s name derives from Burkina Faso, the country where the company’s creative director, Karen Chatelain, grew up and where she continues to support the work of local tailors. Burkinabae’s decked-out specs have been featured in several music videos and Beyoncé even worn one of their headwraps at her push party baby shower in 2017. Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a celebrity to wear a Burkinabaé original. The brand has plenty of accessories that are perfect for those who want to add a bit of couture to their wardrobe without breaking the bank. Find Burkinabé’s eyewear and other glamorous accessories on their website.
Utilitarianism meets style in L.A.-native James Flemons’s eponymous label, Phlemuns, founded in 2013. The sustainably minded, non-binary clothing line is produced by Flemons as well as a small team of seamstresses and tailors who are paid fair wages out of a studio in Downtown L.A. Most of the designer’s pieces are made from soft, breathable cotton terry and rib-knit fabrics to maximize comfort. You’ll never want to throw on sweatpants again after wearing Flemons’s assortment of slouchy cargos, sweaters, and T-shirts which come in both neutral tones and eye-catching prints. Find unisex staples on Phlemuns’s website.
In 2010, Stoney Michelli and Uzo Ejikeme started their gender-free label, Stuzo Clothing, to create a space in the fashion industry for non-conforming individuals to be who they are while wearing what they want with pride. The married couple began Stuzo (a combination of their names) as a T-shirt company, but the brand has since expanded and now offers hoodies, joggers, and hats emblazoned with empowering phrases like “Black AF” and “Yup, Still Gay!” As Black female-owned business owners, Michelli and Ejikeme are dedicated to giving back and uplifting their communities, so Stuzo often participates in pop-up events that benefit underrepresented and underserved groups. Find Stuzo’s non-binary apparel and accessories on their website or visit their store-frontat4751 W. Washington Blvd., Mid-City.
Luxury menswear designer Kenneth Nicholson started his label in 2016 to redefine masculine cuts to fit a new era of gender-neutral dressing. Sending male-presenting models down the runway in turquoise crushed velvet suits paired with diamond drop earrings and long tweed tunic dresses, Nicholson’s aesthetic blends ’70s menswear tailoring with more flamboyant detailing. His joyful crochet doily-inspired dress shirts and androgynous pleated canvas tops have been sported by the likes of cool-guy musicians like Lil Nas X and Dev Hynes of Blood Orange. Production is currently on hold for Nicholson’s brand, but you can view his collection presentations on his website.
Trans-disciplinary artist and designer B. Anele creates one-of-a-kind custom looks for their independent label, 8 Palms. Anele hand paints, cuts, and dyes fabrics which are used to construct mind-bending pieces with unexpected silhouettes and atypical cuts. Anele’s creations are art works for the body meant to be worn and styled by anyone. The artist’s experimental looks are extremely popular and often sell out as soon as they are posted to Instagram. Don’t worry, though, the designer also sells a series of hand-printed T-shirt designs that are usually more readily available. Find 8 Palm’s inventive looks on their website or book an appointment at their design space through email or DM.
Comedian, artist, designer, and proud Houston-native Rinny Perkins is known for combining ’70s style fonts and images in digital collages that discuss all things intersectional feminism and self-care with a biting sense of wit. Perkins has turned some of her most popular prints into limited edition apparel and accessories which she sells in her online shop, Brownie Points for You. Perkins’s work literally spells out what she has to say on the topic of female sexuality from 18k gold-plated rings forming the words “Women Cum First” to typographic graphic tees that say “Queer & Black.” Find Perkins’s aesthetically pleasing, retro-inspired designs on her online shop.
Oneita Parker has been sewing costumes and styling film and TV characters for over 20 years. Now the seasoned designer has brought another set of characters to life with her own line of T-shirts and mugs featuring Parker’s “Afropanda” and “Proper Bunny” illustrations. Parker’s cotton graphic tees are both parts whimsical and comfy. The artist also sews double layer, non-medical grade face coverings that come in a variety of loud and colorful prints. Dubbed “Social Masks,” they’re a fun way to comply with social distancing measures. Find Parker’s quirky wares and accessories on her website.
Born in quarantine, Nilaja Cash’s jewelry line began as a relaxing hobby meant to soothe the designer to sleep. Cash finally decided to take her propensity for late night earring making and turn into a solid side hustle by opening up a shop on Etsy. The artist specializes in miniatures, like tiny bottles of wine, ramen packages, and bottles of shampoo. It’s hard to imagine anything more adorable than a pair of mini boba tea earrings complete with microsized straws. Find Cash’s hand-crafted statement jewelry in her Etsy shop.
The last time Carrie Mitchum saw her dear friend Steve Bing, he was seated across the table from her at his apartment on the 27th floor of a luxury apartment building in Century City, asking if she believed in God. She remembers the view, an empty refrigerator, and a man searching for meaning. She told him she did believe in God—at least sometimes—to which he said it didn’t matter either way. “The best way to put it,” says Mitchum, a chef and the granddaughter of actor Robert Mitchum, “is that he was frustrated with the lack of answers.”
A few months later, on the afternoon of June 22, Bing, a prominent film producer, political donor, and activist—and scion of a prominent real estate family whose name graces multiple buildings across the city—leapt to his death from that same apartment. He was 55 years old. The LAPD and L.A. County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office, ruled his death a suicide, but that didn’t stop sordid conspiracy theories that linked Bing’s death to the late Jeffrey Epstein (the convicted pedophile and someone who Bing briefly socialized with) from blooming online.
For most of his adult life, Bing inhabited the overlapping worlds of Democratic Party politics, philanthropy, and entertainment. He inherited a $600 million fortune at the age of 18, which propelled him into a life of filmmaking, activism, and tabloid headlines that trailed him for much of his life. But what quickly comes through in conversations with Bing’s friends and colleagues is that his was a Janus-like existence. For those who got their news in grocery-store checkout lines, Bing was a caricature and a cautionary tale of American privilege. After graduating from the Harvard School for Boys (now Harvard-Westlake), he attended Stanford University before dropping out to pursue his dream of becoming a Hollywood player. He palled around with Bill Clinton and Mick Jagger. He wrote eight-figure checks, almost recklessly. He dated a string of starlets. He liked to gamble and was famously impulsive. But there was also another version of Bing that was incongruous with the version in the tabloids.
“I loved Steve. I loved the way his heart and his head were connected,” says architect and sustainability expert John Picard, who advised Shangri-La Industries, an arm of Bing’s company that focused on sustainable development and construction. Among the projects Picard collaborated with Bing on was Hangar 25 at the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, the first aviation hangar to achieve optimal marks for sustainability. Picard believes the green movement, which promotes the transition from fossil fuels to solar and wind power, wouldn’t be where it is today without Bing’s support. “I’ve never met anyone like Steve, and I don’t think there will be another one like him. He moved the needle because he put everything into the things he was trying to change and that he cared about,” says Picard.
There was a version of Bing that was incongruous with the version in the tabloids.
Bing was first and foremost a film producer. His IMDb page lists a grab bag of projects: He produced Get Carter, which starred Sylvester Stallone, and the Warren Beatty film Rules Don’t Apply. He wrote 2003’s Kangaroo Jack, which, though critically panned, went on to gross $89 million on a $60 million budget, helping establish Bing’s bona fides. Like everyone, he had his fair share of bombs. But the setting and circumstances of Bing’s death felt more Less Than Zero than anything else. The luxe Ten Thousand apartment building where Bing was living made headlines several years ago for its on-site “botox bar.” The penthouse at the Ten Thousand costs $65 thousand a month, and the building has emerged as the go-to spot for L.A.’s deep-pocketed divorcées who congregate for a second (or third) act in life. It’s a 40-story distillation of all the clichés about L.A.
“Honestly, it was surprising that Steve even decided to live there,” says one friend, who like many people interviewed for this article declined to speak on record, citing sensitivities surrounding Bing’s family. According to this friend, Bing never once participated in any of the building’s famed social mixers thrown in its sleekly designed common spaces. “He seemed like a gentle soul. For all the privilege he grew up in, he had a good perspective on it,” the friend says.
“During our meetings, you could sense the stress in his silences—you could feel the energy.” —John Picard
Gavin Polone, a prominent agent and manager in the entertainment industry, told The Hollywood Reporter that when he and Bing were in seventh grade together in the mid-1970s, Bing was a popular, attentive kid. “He would go home and rewrite the notes he took in class. He got straight As. He not only worked hard, he was smart. I remember thinking he was going to be a senator,” Polone told the trade magazine.
Polone wasn’t far off. Politics ended up consuming a huge portion of Bing’s life, and his generosity as a donor was legendary. He poured tens of millions of dollars into various Democratic and progressive causes, including Bill Clinton’s campaigns and Hillary Clinton’s failed bid for the White House in 2016, and he donated more than $10 million to the William J. Clinton Foundation. In 2006, Bing singlehandedly bankrolled the California ballot measure Prop. 87 to the tune of nearly $50 million. That proposition aimed to raise $4 billion in oil-production taxes that would have gone to develop alternative fuels, but it fell short at the polls.
Beyond politics, he contributed to a wide range of causes, including an effort to rebuild the Ninth Ward of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina; and here in Los Angeles he donated generously to the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, which provides scholarships to underprivileged children.
But Bing wasn’t a great judge of character. When recounting the impact Bing had on his career, Picard—who was speaking from Maui where he had been sheltering in place with his family during the pandemic—started to get teary. Picard remembered having to make a conscious effort to step away from the hangers-on and the girls that often orbited around Bing. “There were a lot of distractions in his life, and he had people pulling him in all these different directions,” says Picard. “During our meetings, you could sense the stress in his silences—you could feel the energy. There was always someone reaching to grab the money or the power that he could wield.”
As a result, tumult and tragedy seemed to follow him everywhere. Starting around 2003, he had two very public paternity battles: the first with Elizabeth Hurley, whom he had dated, and the second with media mogul Kirk Kerkorian over the daughter of Kerkorian’s then-wife, tennis player Lisa Bonder. Bing was revealed to be the biological father of both Hurley’s son, Damian, and Bonder’s daughter, Kira.
Last year he clashed with his father, Dr. Peter Bing, who tried to have Bing’s two children removed from a family trust. The younger Bing challenged that move in court and prevailed after a judge dismissed the case. Also last year, Bing’s former girlfriend, 28-year-old actress Allexanne Mitchum, was found dead, reportedly of an accidental drug overdose. According to Carrie Mitchum, Allexanne’s aunt, her death left Bing distraught and wracked with guilt.
“I’m sure some negative stuff about Steve is going to come, whether it’s about women or drugs or something to do with business,” says Mitchum. “But the focus should be on the good things he did—not just the donations, but the fact that he cared about people and the human condition. To remember someone for something they did 18 years ago is kind of shitty.”
When Quibi debuted at number three on Apple’s App Store in April, industry insiders thought Jeffery Katzenberg may have once again struck gold. The former Disney studio boss and DreamWorks founder envisioned a streamer that would lure millions of young subscribers with “snackable,” ten-minutes-or-less productions viewable only on phones, and initially at least, people bit. But with the $1.75 billion company’s ranking dropping to 284th place by mid-June and its free 90-day test drives set to begin expiring this month, many of those insiders are wondering what went wrong.
While Quibi, like most streamers, does not release viewership numbers, even the casual observer will note the lack of buzz. According to some former Quibi employees, the fault lies with Katzenberg himself, not to mention CEO Meg Whitman. And, apparently, they don’t think much of each other either.
In a new article that’s chockfull of great details, one former Quibi insider tells New York magazine that even the venture’s name was a red flag for many. Initially, Katzenberg wanted to call his brain child Omakase, after the sushi tasting menus he treats himself to at least once a week at Nobu Malibu. “That would have really won over Wisconsin,” the insider said sarcastically. When the company was eventually branded Quibi (Quick Bites), “They never asked staff to weigh in on it. People on staff thought it was cringey and would ask, ‘Is it too late to change it?’” pointing out that it sounded like a “quinoa-based doggy snack” or “the cry of an attacking Ewok.”
Still, the source notes, “Meg loved it.”
When Whitman, whose time overseeing eBay and Hewlett Packard Enterprise received mixed reviews, came on as Quibi’s CEO, employees wondered how the two alphas could coexist.
When Quibi was preparing to move offices, “they had a huge fight when [the design consultant] took Jeffrey to see the new office without Meg knowing, because the new office was Meg’s purview,” another source told New York. Once resituated, “they carved up North and South Korea, and they drew a DMZ line each doesn’t cross. Katzenberg was in the content corner. Meg did everything else.” When Whitman asked Katzenberg to keep his nose out of departments she oversaw, especially marketing, “It was like, ‘Oh, Mom and Dad are fighting again.’ ”
“We’ve formed a strong partnership based on strength and authenticity,” Whitman told the magazine. “We’re friends who admire and respect one another.” She also explained that, she is “left-brain analytical” while Katzenberg is a “right-brain storyteller.”
Still, some say Katzenberg’s very concept is the company’s downfall. Was there ever really a strong demand for a subscription-based streamer doling out bite-sized bits of entertainment? As one veteran Hollywood producer observes, “I have a pause button.”
Another producer, who has a deal with Quibi, feels the company is betting on people’s leftovers. “If we have a show that’s going to be a huge hit, you pitch to Netflix, HBO,” the producer told New York. “If it doesn’t get traction, you pitch to Quibi.”
Others wonder why a pair of 60-somethings would think they’re in a position to run an entertainment company whose entire existence is banking on the mercurial whims of smart phone addicts between the ages of 25 and 30. Whitman even admitted
Asked to name some of her favorite current TV fare, Whitman said, “I’m not sure I’d classify myself as an entertainment enthusiast,” adding, “Grant. On the History Channel. It’s about President Grant.”
Katzenberg, who still has an assistant print out all his emails before he reads them, favors such hot numbers as America’s Funniest Home Videos,At the Movies with Siskel and Ebert, and the leg warmer porn of Jane Fonda’s 1980s workout videos. When Wonder Woman’s Gal Gadot pitched a production aimed at elevating the voices of girls and women, Katzenberg suggested that she become the new Jane Fonda and do a workout series for Quibi.
“Apparently, her face fell,” says a person briefed on the meeting.
Another Quibi refugee tells New York that Katzenberg remains convinced of his personal acumen. “A thing Jeffrey always says is ‘I’m not a child or mother, but I made movies children and mothers loved. I know millennials better than millennials.’ ”
» In an interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the U.S. is “looking at” banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok. The app was downloaded 315 million times in the first three months of this year. [CNN]
» Women report groping, sexual comments, forced public exposure, and other misconduct by police when they were detained for curfew violations at recent protests. Some women and gender non-conforming protesters report feeling that sexual violation was an intentional tactic being used by the officers. [Los Angeles Times]
» LAFC’s Carlos Vela has opted out of the MLS season restart. Vela is the soccer league’s reigning MVP and one of its biggest stars. [ESPN]
» A list of the companies that received federal PPP loans intended to help small businesses withstand the pandemic has raised eyebrows. Hollywood talent agencies, major law firms, the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, and even Kanye West’s Yeezy brand all secured the funding. [Deadline]
» After burning for 24 hours, the Soledad Fire was declared 30 percent contained and evacuation orders lifted. A cause for the fire, which scorched over 1,300 acres, has not been confirmed. [LAist]
» Uber announced plans on Monday to buy delivery app Postmates. Antitrust experts say the combined company’s domination in the L.A. market might cause problems for the deal.[Reuters]
» Less than eight percent of calls to the LAPD are about violent crime. Of 18 million calls logged since 2010, the vast majority are about traffic accidents and “minor disturbances.” [Los Angeles Times]
A New Documentary Goes Inside Danny Trejo’s ‘Crazy’ Transformation
Near the end of Inmate #1: The Rise of Danny Trejo, set for digital release on July 7, the Machete star and owner of Trejo’s Tacos speaks to inmates at Arizona State Prison. He tells them: “Everything good that has happened to me happened as the direct result of helping someone else.”
Many colleges have already confirmed they will be continuing with online-only classes in the fall in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19. But, according to an announcement today from ICE, the hundreds of thousands of people who travel to the U.S. to attend school on student visas will have to make other plans.
The agency says that, regardless of the public health reason for avoiding in-person classes, students enrolled at institutions that are online-only in the fall will have to leave the country or transfer to an institution that isn’t. Students who are not currently in the U.S. will not be allowed to enter the country to attend a university or program that opts for virtual instruction. Additionally, the State Department will not be able to issue any new visas for students enrolled at U.S. schools or programs that go fully online for the fall semester.
The modifications, which impact F-1 and M-1 visas, were announced via a post on the ICE website on Monday. While federal regulations have historically capped the number of online classes an international could take, an exemption was put into place for the 2020 spring and summer semesters due to the pandemic. The coronavirus hasn’t gone away but, it appears, the exemption now will.
Eligible students who hold the F-1 visas will still be allowed to take some portion of their course loads as online classes. These students can take one class or three credit hours online, and may be allowed to take more if they are attending a school that is offering a hybrid with both in-person and online instruction and the institution files certain documentation that asserts the student is taking at least some in-person classes and is enrolled in only the minimum number of online classes they would need to make progress toward their degree.
In 2019, there were 1,095,299 international students learning in the U.S., BuzzFeed reports, with a large number of them attending schools in California. At USC, a school that’s already announced its intention to be at least 80 to 90 percent online-only in the fall, international students account for nearly 25 percent of the total student body. UCLA and the Cal State system have also announced similar reductions in in-person instruction.
Many universities financially depend on the tuition fees paid by international students, particularly in fields including science and engineering, where enrollment among American students has declined.
If any particular school opens for the fall with some in-person classes, but then has to switch to online-only for any reason–say, a resurgent coronavirus outbreak–the institution is required to report that change of status to ICE within days. That could potentially result in international students being sent home mid-semester, perhaps amid a public heath situation that would make international travel dangerous.
“For a lot of international students like myself returning home right now is a death sentence for many reasons, including the pandemic. Learning in the USA has been a refuge for so many of us,” said a student attending the University of Massachusetts on an F-1 visa who spoke to BuzzFeed. “It appears to be a Trumpian move to force universities to be in-person in the fall. I am scared. Scared that my life doesn’t matter. Scared of both the US government and my own government.”
Below is the current breakdown of coronavirus cases as of 8 p.m. on July 5. There are now 116,570 total confirmed cases (+1,584 from prior day). Of the cases, 8,675 have been hospitalized and there have been 3,534 deaths (+48 from prior day). The regions with the highest rate of infections per capita are Castaic, Vernon, and the Wholesale District. The most deaths have been recorded in Glendale (111), Westlake (106), Pico-Union (67), and Inglewood (65).
Novel Coronavirus Cases in Los Angeles County, by Neighborhood
Agoura Hills 65
Agua Dulce 14
Angeles National Forest 5
Angelino Heights 26
Athens Village 82
Atwater Village 96
Avocado Heights 87
Baldwin Hills 304
Baldwin Park 1095
Bel Air 50
Bell Gardens 774
Beverly Crest 60
Beverly Hills 306
Bouquet Canyon 1
Boyle Heights 1971
Canoga Park 849
Canyon Country 50
Century City 56
Century Palms/Cove 682
Cheviot Hills 37
Country Club Park 156
Covina (Charter Oak) 112
Crenshaw District 138
Culver City 230
Del Aire 32
Del Rey 149
Del Sur 3
Desert View Highlands 9
Diamond Bar 208
Eagle Rock 349
East Hollywood 367
East La Mirada 42
East Los Angeles 2799
East Pasadena 9
East Rancho Dominguez 228
East Whittier 37
Echo Park 89
El Camino Village 78
El Monte 1795
El Segundo 66
El Sereno 490
Elizabeth Lake 4
Elysian Park 33
Elysian Valley 124
Exposition Park 549
Faircrest Heights 16
Figueroa Park Square 113
Glassell Park 317
Gramercy Place 114
Granada Hills 561
Green Meadows 384
Hacienda Heights 433
Hancock Park 143
Harbor City 224
Harbor Gateway 354
Harbor Pines 9
Harvard Heights 257
Harvard Park 662
Hawaiian Gardens 208
Hermosa Beach 91
Hi Vista 1
Hidden Hills 5
Highland Park 505
Historic Filipinotown 230
Hollywood Hills 138
Huntington Park 1331
Hyde Park 312
Jefferson Park 123
Kagel/Lopez Canyons 10
La Canada Flintridge 82
La Crescenta-Montrose 62
La Habra Heights 16
La Mirada 387
La Puente 547
La Rambla 66
La Verne 164
Ladera Heights 33
Lafayette Square 39
Lake Balboa 375
Lake Hughes 1
Lake Los Angeles 70
Lake Manor 6
Lakeview Terrace 271
Leimert Park 131
Leona Valley 13
Lincoln Heights 535
Little Armenia 262
Little Bangladesh 254
Little Tokyo 40
Littlerock/Juniper Hills 2
Long Beach 4379
Los Feliz 88
Manchester Square 57
Mandeville Canyon 3
Manhattan Beach 161
Mar Vista 144
Marina del Rey 29
Marina Peninsula 20
Miracle Mile 79
Mission Hills 313
Monterey Park 360
Mt. Washington 212
North Hills 838
North Hollywood 1388
North Lancaster 7
North Whittier 66
Northeast San Gabriel 126
Pacific Palisades 81
Palisades Highlands 10
Palos Verdes Estates 56
Panorama City 1322
Park La Brea 44
Pellissier Village 7
Pico Rivera 1084
Playa Del Rey 9
Playa Vista 57
Porter Ranch 153
Quartz Hill 74
Rancho Dominguez 34
Rancho Palos Verdes 154
Rancho Park 33
Redondo Beach 245
Regent Square 16
Reseda Ranch 41
Reynier Village 22
Rolling Hills 3
Rolling Hills Estates 25
Rosewood/East Gardena 5
Rosewood/West Rancho Dominguez 41
Rowland Heights 305
San Dimas 194
San Fernando 331
San Gabriel 268
San Jose Hills 245
San Marino 32
San Pasqual 4
San Pedro 1238
Santa Catalina Island 3
Santa Clarita 1345
Santa Fe Springs 206
Santa Monica 445
Santa Monica Mountains 54
Shadow Hills 21
Sherman Oaks 441
Sierra Madre 38
Signal Hill 118
Silver Lake 318
South Antelope Valley 1
South Carthay 56
South El Monte 341
South Gate 1954
South Park 942
South Pasadena 173
South San Gabriel 96
South Whittier 609
Southeast Antelope Valley 7
St Elmo Village 70
Stevenson Ranch 76
Studio City 127
Sun Valley 657
Sunrise Village 18
Sycamore Square 1
Temple City 272
Thai Town 66
Toluca Lake 37
Toluca Terrace 8
Toluca Woods 5
Twin Lakes/Oat Mountain 8
University Hills 25
University Park 387
Val Verde 33
Valley Glen 241
Valley Village 310
Van Nuys 1306
Vermont Knolls 369
Vermont Square 173
Vermont Vista 875
Vernon Central 1455
Victoria Park 97
View Heights 17
View Park/Windsor Hills 71
Walnut Park 316
Wellington Square 53
West Adams 444
West Antelope Valley 3
West Carson 182
West Covina 1181
West Hills 243
West Hollywood 292
West LA 25
West Los Angeles 227
West Puente Valley 168
West Rancho Dominguez 13
West Vernon 1045
West Whittier/Los Nietos 402
Westfield/Academy Hills 2
Westlake Village 10
White Fence Farms 22
Wholesale District 1482
Wilshire Center 512
Woodland Hills 348
Under Investigation: 3062
» When he isn’t selling $50 pairs of socks to his churchgoers or randomly deciding to run for president, Kanye West is collecting lots of government money as proprietor of Yeezy LLC. While some California small businesses collected as little as $1, billionaire West reportedly accepted as much as $5 million from the government program. [CBS News]
» Elon Musk, who apparently supports Kanye’s bid for president, had a laugh at the expense of people short-selling Tesla stock by selling a pair of Tesla-branded short shorts—which apparently sold out in minutes. The red satin shorts sold for $69.420, because the world is run by 11 year olds boys. [TMZ]
» While arguments against defunding the police tend to revolve around violent crime, an L.A. Times analysis found that relatively few calls fielded by LAPD officers are for violent crimes. According to the Times, “Of the nearly 18 million calls logged by the LAPD since 2010, about 1.4 million of them, or less than 8 percent, were reports of violent crimes.” [Los Angeles Times]
» The biggest box office hit over this year’s Independence Day weekend actually came out in 1984. Sony’s reissue of Ghostbusters was a hit at drive-ins, which now account for 90 percent of box office receipts. [Deadline]
» Former NFL star Colin Kaepernick inked a big deal with Disney. The first project will reportedly be a docuseries about his journey from 49ers QB to civil rights icon. [CNN]
» Despite a Sheriff’s Department directive to wear masks when they’re interacting with one another and the public, officers continue to be spotted bare-faced across the city. [LAist]