For a fun twist on the New Year’s Eve countdown, pass Champagne in glasses marked with numbers representing those anticipated last 10 seconds. Self-stick numbers can be found in office- and art-supply stores. On January 2, either peel off numbers (use a cotton ball and adhesive remover to wipe away residue) or save the flutes for next year.
Now that the holidays are in full swing, the bounty of festive events is upon us. While it’s never quite “Winter” in LA, we certainly know how to make the magic of the season happen. With that in mind, we say pause your Netflix night in and don your best seasonal attire, Tis’ the Season for the Holidays in LA Pt. 2!!
Winter Wonderland at The Grove
Nov. 19th-Dec. 25th
Location: The Grove
Celebrate the holidays at one of LA’s famed shopping destinations-The Grove. The month long celebration features a 100-foot Christmas Tree, the Santa House, and additional live music and entertainment. Snow falls every evening up until December 25th at 7pm and 8pm. Click here for more info.
As the event sates, Santa Con is one of the few chances adults get to truly take part in the wonder of Christmas. It likely doesn’t hurt that adult beverages are involved. Part-takers are encouraged to dress in their Jolly best for this free angeleno event. Click here for more info.
Location: The Phoenix Club, Anaheim
With over 100 craft beers to chose from, its no wonder Brew HoHo stays a hit year after year. Many of the city’s best beer is brewed in Anaheim, making the venue of choice that much more ideal for the beer fanatic in you. Click here for more info.
Santa Monica Pub Crawl
Location: Santa Monica
What better way to jumpstart the holidays than jingling all the way to SMPC’s 10th annual holiday event. Ok, maybe no jingling but certainly a fair amount of festive fun. With over 6,000 patrons having crawled until their hearts content last year, this years event is sure to be just as memorable. The fee to take part is $15 and proceeds from the Pub Crawl will go towards the Westside Food Bank to aid those in need during the holiday season. Click here for more info.
Festival of Carols
December 8th & 15th
Location: Disney Hall, DTLA
Whether you love a classic holiday song or just the joy of the season, the Festival of Carols is sure to put you in the Christmas spirit. With over 100 classically trained carolers, this event is sure to warm the heart of even the most Grinch-iest of Grinches in your friend group. Click here for more info.
Location: Burton Chase Park
Ring in the holidays at Marina Del Rey’s annual Holiday celebration-Snow Wonder. Enjoy art, crafts, music, food and even real snow as Burton Chase Park isn transformed into a Winter Wonderland. The event will also feature a fireworks display followed by the Marina’s Boat parade. Whether you chose to sled or sit in on the days fun, Snow Wonder is guaranteed to be a hit for the entire family. Click here for more info.
Stevie Wonder’s House Full of Toys
Location: Staples Center
Stevie Wonder’s House Full of Toys returns for its 22nd year at the Staples Center in Downtown L.A. The event is hosted by the musician himself along with other special guest in order to raise funds to provide toys for thousands of children in orphanages, hospitals, and shelters throughout LA. This year the show will also serve as a benefit concert for those affected by the recent California Wildfires. Concert-goers are encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift or toy. Click here for more info.
Winter Wonderland End of Year Party
Location: The Source, Buena Park
While there is still a couple weeks before you start planning your NYE celebrations, The Source’s Year-End party is the kickstarter. With a five-hour open bar, food samples, and a goodie bag valued at over $100 as well as top-notch DJ’s, you’ll leave having won the season! Click here for more info.
Newport Beach Boat Parade
Location: Newport Beach
Celebrating its 110th annual year, the Newport Beach Boat Parade is a showcase of luxury. From boats to yachts and even canoes donned in over $500,000 worth of Holiday decor, it is a spectacle worth viewing. Don’t miss out on on Bayside lit up in its festive splendor. Click here for more info.
LA County Holiday Celebration
Location: Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA
Celebrate the many cultures of the Holidays and LA at the LA County’s 59th Annual Holiday Celebration. This free event is fun for all ages with over three-hours of multicultural music, dancing, and performances. Many diverse L.A. – based artists and community groups showcase their talent, artistry and traditions on The Music Center’s iconic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage. The event is put on by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and will also be streamed on pbssocal.org. Click here for more info.
The Holidays at Universal Studios
Location: Universal Studios, Universal City, LA
Let your inner “Who” or “Wizard” run free at Universal Studios annual Holiday celebration. Enjoy a “Grinchmas” with all of your Whoville favorites and Dec.8, 9 and 14 – 30 as you partake in Who-liday celebrations. Solemnly swear that your up to no good? Well you wont need a Marauders map for the Wizarding World pf Harry Potter’s Christmas celebration. Venture over to Hogsmeade and enjoy festive decor, and dazzling lights music cast against the backdrop of the Hogwarts Student Choir and accompanying throaty frogs. Plus what better time to enjoy a hot cup of Butterbeer (in our case all the time but especially during the holidays)? Click here for more info.
“Holiday Time in Paleyland”
Nov. 24th-Jan 6th
Location: The Paley Center, Beverly Hills
Celebrate the joy of the season with a family-friendly line-up of classic holiday features. Playing from noon-5pm will be festive favorites like Dr. Suess’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Rugrats Kwanzaa, and Frosty the Snowman. Santa will also be there for the fun on the weekend and select weekdays from 11am-5pm. Enjoy the screenings while taking part in fun games and complimentary hot cocoa! Click here for more info.
Queen Mary Christmas
Location: The Queen Mary, Long Beach
Step aboard Long Beach’s Queen Mary for a Holiday Extravaganza. A mix of new and old traditions, the holiday spectacular features beautiful decks of lights, carolers and musical performances. Enjoy the outdoor skating rink or visit with Santa. Walk through the Gingerbread Village or lounge in Santa’s Captains Quarters. There is festive fun for all to be had! For more info click here.
Holiday in the Park
Location: Six Flags Magic Mountain, Los Angeles
The “Thrill Capital of the World” brings you all the holiday joy this season with their festive celebration. With over two million lights strewn about the park from Merry Lane to Santa’s Cottage, you will be in a world of holiday splendor. Entertainment will include the Holiday Square Carolers and music by the Mistletones and Kwerkmas. Jingle all the way through the day and don’t miss out on this family fun! Click here for more info.
No matter your plans this season, we at Rodeo Realty wish everyone a Happy Holidays!
Everyone’s favorite hipster neighborhood is your new go to spot. Or at least it will be for delicious fare, specialized shops, and a proper daily dose of art after your read below. Spend your day in Abbot Kinney and…
Take some time to step outside your neck of the woods.
In the morning…
If you are lucky enough to snag a primetime reservation, we recommend starting your morning or early afternoon off at Gjelina. The Venice hotspot is constantly buzzing and the food is other worldly.
The Beach Life
After you have fully food charged make your way over to the famed Venice Boardwalk. From colorful locals to unique speciality shops, and designer residences. You’ll find everything you need from sites, sounds, and a true feast for the senses.
Always wanted to try surfing? Go Surf LA provides year round lessons at the pier with wetsuit and board rental available starting at $80 per lesson.
During your afternoon…
Once you have filled up on seaside fun head back over to AK’s boutique paradise. Named by GQ’s “Style Bible” as “The Coolest Block in America”, Abbot Kinney Blvd is teaming with a vibrant collection of shops from vintage wear to modern designers. Stop at Tina Wakino’s Bazar, a mix of classic and expertly chosen pieces. The shop as been a Venice staple for more than 15 years with finds like Indigo-dyed textiles, furniture, jewelry, and other antique objets d’art.
Need a new pair of shades? Warby Parker’s West Coast flagship store is a beachy eyewear haven. The interior of the boutique is the perfect coastal ambience you’d expect in a Venice shop with artwork by Geoff McFetridge. What’s better about this optical option over the rest is that with each purchase of eyewear , Warby Parker donates a pair of glasses to charity.
Now that you’ve seen a little and shopped a little, it’s time for an afternoon bite! It wouldn’t quite be a day by the sea without some oceanic cuisine. Salt Air has you covered. With their Connecticut-style lobster roll or perfectly poached flaky salmon you’ll feel refined and refreshed at the same time. Pair these menu pick’s along with a serving of summery shelling beans and charred shisito peppers and we will need a new word to describe ourselves other than stuffed.
So much time for activities!…
With appetites accommodated and shopping goals met, it’s time for a midday stroll to work off that Lobster Roll. The Venice Canals serve as the quintessential afternoon reprieve.
Built in 1905 by the Abbot Kinney himself as part of his “Venice of America” plan, once wondered all the way through Venice Blvd. Registered as a Historic landmark in 1982, the canals reach is a bit shorter but the journey through is just as wonderful. Stroll along visitor friendly pathways of the luxury homes that line this Venice staple.
Before your evening begins, a trip to Beyond Baroque is almost entirely necessary. The Arts Center is considered one of the most famous literary incubators in the country. Founded by George Dury in 1968, the center is housed in the former Venice City Hall building. The nonprofit public space is used to cultivate and expand the public’s knowledge of newfound literary art. They do so through poetry, fiction, literature and art through cultural events and community interaction.
As the sun sets…
If your tuckered out on activities, consider your evening guide a much needed rest. Abbot Kinney is known for many things, and its cuisine truly pushes the threshold of being number one. From aforementioned go-to’s like Gjelina to celebrity hotspots like Scopa and The Butchers Daughter, your palette can do no wrong. We recommend stepping outside the norm and into the vegetable box to be exact.
Plant Food & Wine from Chef Matthew Kenney is a sleek vegan restaurant on the quit end of AK. And while you might say your no Vegan, to that we say it all depends on what you get. From the kimchi dumplings being almost too pretty to eat to the carrot soup being almost too good to not order three more rounds, you’ll leave plant-based satisfied.
Finish up on a sweet note at craft creamery Salt & Straw. The artisanal ice cream shop is a Portland transplant with an extensive menu boosting flavors both sinful and curious. Try the Almond brittle and Slated Ganache or go for true Cali style with a scoop of Avocado Strawberry Sherbet. Can’t decide on just one? For $10 guest can have an ice cream flight of four flavors from the classic and seasonal menus.
Wages grow at fastest pace in almost 10 years – Unemployment remains at lowest rate since 1969 – The Department of Labor Statistics reported Friday that 250,000 new jobs were added in October. That eclipsed the 190,000 new jobs analysts had expected. Job growth has now hit a record of 97 straight months. The unemployment rate was unchanged at 3.7%, the lowest national unemployment rate in 49 years. Average hourly wages were up 3.1% in October from last October. That was the largest year over gain in almost 10 years.
California employers added 13,200 new jobs in September:
TheCalifornia Employment Development Departmentreported that13,200 new jobswere added in September. California has now added an average of 29,400 new jobs a month for 103 consecutive months. The state’sunemployment rate dropped to 4.1%, the lowest rate on record.
U.S. stocks saw their largest monthly loss in 10 years in October:
Although most companies reported quarterly profits that beat or were in line with expectations, the few like Amazon, Square, Hasbro, Domingo’s and others that reported disappointing results scared investors.The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the month at 25,115.76, down from 26,458.31. last month.The S&P 500 closed the month at 2,711.74, down from 2,913.98 on September 30. The NASDAQ closed the month at7,305.90, down from 8,046.35 last month.
Treasury Bond Yields rise:
The 10-year treasury bond closed the month yielding 3.05%, upfrom 2.86% on August 31, 2018. The 30-year treasury bond yield ended the month at 3.19%, up from 3.02% at the end of August.
Mortgage rates higher in October:
The November 1, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.83%, up from 4.72% on September 27, 2018. The 15-year fixed was 4.23%, up from 4.16% on September 27. The 5-year ARM was 4.04%, up from 3.97% at the end of September.
GDP up 3.5% in third quarter:
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the first reading of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 3.5% in the third quarter of 2018. That beat expectations of a 3.4% rise, but was well below the 4.2% increase registered in the second quarter of 2018. The report also said that The PCE price index, a key indicator of inflation, rose at a 1.6% annual rate in the quarter. That was well below the 2.2% annual increase analysts forecasted. Consumer spending, which accounts for about two thirds of the U.S. economy grew by 4% in the third quarter. That marked the largest increase since the fourth quarter of 2014.
September Nationwide Existing Home Sales:
Data released this week from The National Association of Realtors showed that total existing home sales fell again in September. The number of existing homes sold in September fell 3.4% from August, and are down 4.1% from one year ago. The median price paid for a home in The U.S. was up 4.2% from last September. That marked the 79th straight month of year over increases. The unsold inventory index is at a 4.4 month supply, up slightly form a 4.2 month supply one year ago.
September California Existing Home Sales:
The California Association of Realtors reported that existing single family home sales totaled 382,550 in September on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. That was down 4.3% from August and down a staggering 12.4% from last September, when sales totaled 436,920 on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. The median price paid for a home in California was $587,850, up 4.2% from September 2017.On a more regional level the median price increased 4.7% in Los Angeles County, 10.6% in Ventura County, and 3.3% in Orange County from one year ago. Inventory levels continued to rise after hitting historic lows in 2017. The unsold inventory index in California stood at a 4.2 month supply in September, up from a 3.3 month supply in September 2017. Inventory levels have now increased for 6 straight months and are up 20.4% from one year ago. Listings are at the highest level in 31 months. Los Angeles County has a 4.4 month supply, up from a 3.1 month supply last September. Orange County has a 4.3 month supply, up from 3.1 months last September. Ventura County had a 6.3 month supply of homes, up from a 4.7 month supply one year ago.
A positive GDP report showing that the economy grew at 3.5% in the third quarter, inflation was tame, and consumer spending was up, could not keep the markets from continuing to slide. This week. third quarter profits were reported that were below expectations. Those were mostly in the technology sector. Even Amazon did not hit their numbers. On the other hand, some companies like Ford and Tesla exceeded expectations. All in all, fears in the technology sector hit the NASDAQ hard. It lost 3.8% for the week and is now up just 3.8% for the year after being up 20% for the year just one month ago. The Dow and S&P also got hit hard down 3% and 3.9% respectively for the week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed the week at 24,688.31, down from 25,444.34 last week. It is down 0.1% year-to-date. The S&P 500 closed the week at 2,658.69, down from 2,767.78 last week. It’s down 0.6% year-to-date. The NASDAQ closed the week at 7,167.21, down from 7,449.03 last week. It’s up 3.8% year-to-date.
Treasury Bond Yields lower this week:
The 10-year Treasury bond closed the week yielding 3.08%, down from 3.20% last week. The 30-year Treasury bond yield ended the week at 3.32%, down from 3.38% last week. We watch treasury bond yields because mortgage rates follow bond yields.
Mortgage rates almost unchanged this week:
The October 25, 2018 Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Survey reported that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate average was 4.86%, almost unchanged from 4.85% last week. The 15-year fixed was 4.29%, slightly up from 4.26% last week. The 5-year ARM was 4.14%, up from 4.10% last week.
GDP up 3.5% in third quarter:
The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced that the first reading of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose by 3.5% in the third quarter of 2018. That beat expectations of a 3.4% rise, but was well below the 4.2% increase registered in the second quarter of 2018. The report also said that The PCE price index, a key indicator of inflation, rose at a 1.6% annual rate in the quarter. That was well below the 2.2% annual increase analysts forecasted. Consumer spending, which accounts for about two thirds of the U.S. economy, grew by 4% in the third quarter. That marked the largest increase since the fourth quarter of 2014.
September Nationwide Existing Home Sales:
Data released this week from The National Association of Realtors showed that total existing home sales fell again in September. The number of existing homes sold in September fell 3.4% from August, and are down 4.1% from one year ago. The median price paid for a home in the U.S. was up 4.2% from last September. That marked the 79th straight month of year over increases. The unsold inventory index is at a 4.4 month supply, up slightly from a 4.2 month supply one year ago.
September California Existing Home Sales:
The California Association of Realtors reported that existing single family home sales totaled 382,550 in September on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. That was down 4.3% from August and down a staggering 12.4% from last September, when sales totaled 436,920 on a seasonally adjusted annualized rate. The median price paid for a home in California was $587,850, up 4.2% from September 2017. On a more regional level, the median price increased 4.7% in Los Angeles County, 10.6% in Ventura County, and 3.3% in Orange County from one year ago. Inventory levels continued to rise after hitting historic lows in 2017. The unsold inventory index in California stood at a 4.2 month supply in September, up from a 3.3 month supply in September 2017. Inventory levels have now increased for 6 straight months and are up 20.4% from one year ago. Listings are at the highest level in 31 months. Los Angeles County has a 4.4 month supply, up from a 3.1 month supply last September. Orange County has a 4.3 month supply, up from 3.1 months last September. Ventura County had a 6.3 month supply of homes, up from a 4.7 month supply one year ago.
Here’s a piping hot tip: If you want to read the best new books, read them while they’re new. Don’t wait until December when the end-of-year lists arrive; you’ll always be a year behind. Since there are so many books being published every month, how can we boil it down to a few bests? Taste is arbitrary, but here’s the basic goal: These books are exciting, interesting, and well-written. Some are conversation-drivers, others are hidden gems. Great books are coming out all the time. You shouldn’t have to wait until the end of the year to see how they (arbitrarily!) stack up.
Written by: Alyssa Cole (An Extraordinary Union, A Hope Divided) Publish date: February 27 Why it’s worth reading: Cole is known for historical romances set at pivotal moments in American history, but here she tries out contemporary rom-com, with winning results.The cultural and political relevance aren’t gone, they’re just tweaked and lightened a bit. Ledi is an epidemiology PhD student who suddenly starts getting a flood of spam emails claiming she’s the long-lost betrothed of Prince Thabiso of Thesolo. But the emails are not spam, and this former foster kid is indeed a long-lost princess. What follows is a fairy-tale romance rooted in the very real world. What’s most fantastical might be the kingdom of Thesolo, a wealthy and technologically advanced state that will leave anyone longing for a thoughtful, benevolent government instead of whatever’s going on in Washington now.
Written by: Isaac Butler and Dan Kois Publish date: February 13 Why it’s worth reading: Angels in America is one of the most important — and best — plays of the 20th century, but if you’re not a theatre aficionado, why should you care about this oral history of the play’s birth, life, and legacy? Well, how about an incisive look at reactions to the AIDS crisis and the Reagan era, with chilling parallels to our own time? Or what about a soaring testament to the power of collaborative art and its reach beyond the theater seats? Maybe you’d prefer a dishy, enthusiastic chorus of behind-the-scenes tales and reminiscences from people like Meryl Streep, Nathan Lane, Mary-Louise Parker, and Jeffrey Wright? The point is, this is a book about one play and about so, so much more. It sprang from an article for Slate, and there’s a reason that niche oral history went viral, far beyond the theatre-loving world. The World Only Spins Forward is funny, moving, and utterly fascinating, a portrait of artists coming together to make something radically new and beautiful.
Written by: Seanan McGuire (October Daye series) Publish date: January 9 Why it’s worth reading: Fantasy books are rife with children who go on magical adventures; Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children takes them in when they return. In Beneath the Sugar Sky, a girl named Rini falls from the sky into a pool on the school’s grounds, seeking her mother — long dead, since before Rini was even conceived. Which makes it even more important that Rini find a way to save her mother before Rini herself ceases to exist. Rini is joined on her quest by several young residents of the Wayward home into a world called Confection, equally dark and whimsical. The adventure that follows carries a sincere belief in the power of friendship.
Written by: Jim Holt (Why Does The World Exist?) Publish date: May 15 Why it’s worth reading: Jim Holt approaches some of the biggest questions on the blurry boundary between science and philosophy, not as a journalist making a beeline for empirical truth, but as an essayist, circling and spiraling toward understanding. It’s an unusual and invigorating approach — Holt’s voice is warm and engaging, and his writing is lucid. This book also offers a collection of biographical sketches of some of the greatest thinkers from the last century, including Benoit Mandelbrot, Alan Turing, and the titular pair, specifically the unlikely friendship they developed at Princeton in the ’40s. Together these essays create a complex (though unfortunately overwhelmingly male) portrait of the great minds of the twentieth century and an illuminating exploration of their ideas.
Written by: Joseph Cassara Publish date: February 6 Why it’s worth reading: In The House of Impossible Beauties, Joseph Cassara brings readers into the Harlem drag ball scene of the 1980s, awash in glitter and beauty and pain. This is a fictional story built on the foundation of the real-life House of Xtravaganza, with the house’s first “mother,” Angie, re-envisioned as Cassara’s Angel, a trans woman who builds a family in order to find her own home. As Angel’s house grows, so does the scope of the novel, with characters that, whether based on real people and invented whole-cloth, are rich and vibrant. Many are runaways, literally or figuratively, searching for a place where they can be known as themselves and loved. And they find it, however fleetingly: a queer, Latinx sanctuary that’s not a subculture but a whole wide world. The story of that world is full of anger and sorrow and joy.
Written by: Alisha Rai (Forbidden Hearts series, The Karimi Siblings series) Publish date: March 27
In the third and final installment of her Forbidden Hearts series, Rai brings the whole thing home with satisfying closure. Eva Chandler, who so far has been a meek and polite minor character, comes vibrantly to life as she struggles with oppressive family expectations, her emotionally abusive father — and a longstanding crush on Gabe, her big brother’s gregarious, and of course gorgeous, best friend. This isn’t love at first sight, but the culmination of years of mutual longing and their history gives this romance more heft and believability than many others. It’s sweep-you-off-your-feet delightful, and the weightier aspects of the story add depth to the romance rather than souring the mood. If you’re new to the series, the whole thing is worth reading — while Gabe and Eva’s story is self-contained to Hurts to Love You, the conclusion to the epic intergenerational drama that Rai’s been weaving may be disorienting to a new reader.
Written by: Melissa Broder (Last Sext, So Sad Today) Publish date: May 1 Why it’s worth reading: The Pisces had its origin in a thought experiment: What if the traditional mermaid-human man love story were flipped? What if a woman fell in love with a merman? It’s a simple flip, but in Melissa Broder’s hands, filtered through her dark, wry worldview, it’s anything but an old story. Lucy leaves behind her languishing dissertation and the ashes of a long-term relationship to spend the summer pulling herself together in her sister’s Venice Beach home. Long story short, she meets Theo, who turns out to be a merman. What follows is sexy, funny, dark, and surprisingly complex. Broder’s willingness to write through taboo is coupled with (or rewarded with) sharp and surprising insights. The result is a book about reality and fantasy, love and obsession, mental health and so much more. But it’s never too heavy, and always a pleasure — if a twisted one — to read.
Written by: Terese Marie Mailhot Publish date: February 13 Why it’s worth reading: Mailhot started writing her memoir after suffering a breakdown and committing herself to a psychiatric hospital. Soon after, doctors diagnosed her with PTSD, bipolar II, and an eating disorder. Heart Berries chronicles Mailhot’s experience, though her memoir writing doesn’t fall into pat cliches about mental illness and suffering. Instead, the work is transcendent in the most literal sense, surpassing every readerly expectation about genre and form to create a truly unique book. Mailhot, who grew up on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in British Columbia, writes deftly about mental illness and indigenous identity, about failure and yearning and ambition. And all of it is unified and amplified by Mailhot’s singular voice: bold and poetic and elegant. This is a short book that packs a punch.
Written by: Madeline Miller (The Song of Achilles) Publish date: April 10
In The Odyssey, Circe is just one of many obstacles Odysseus must overcome, the witch or nymph who turns his men into swine. In Circe, Madeline Miller’s novel, she is sui-generis, as she says in the novel’s first line, “When I was born, the name for what I was did not exist.” What follows is a story of coming of age and coming into power, as Circe grows from the awkward daughter of the sun god, Helios, into a commanding sorceress. Miller is in full command of the Greek tales that she spins into something utterly, brilliantly new. This is a book of magic of mortals, of myths and mysteries, that honors its ancient origins while being powerfully of our time.
Written by: Meaghan O’Connell Published on: April 10
According to one school of thought, a writer must have lived something remarkable to warrant writing a memoir; according to another, great writing elevates the mundane into worthy material. In And Now We Have Everything, Meaghan O’Connell satisfies both camps at once, writing beautifully, thoughtfully, and honestly about the commonest thing in the world — pregnancy and childbirth — while clearly showing that the experience, for all its familiarity, is extraordinary, too. And this isn’t “extraordinary” in the miracle-of-birth way — O’Connell’s experience was, in many ways, harrowing, from her traumatic 40-hour labor to a first year of motherhood wracked with anxiety and emotional pain. So it’s even more remarkable — and a further testament to O’Connell’s skill — that in the end this is a kind of a love story, with O’Connell’s son, with her husband, and with the woman and mother O’Connell discovers she can be, or always was.
Written by: Sue Burke Publish date: February 6 Why it’s worth reading: What if a clutch of human colonists landed on an alien planet and discovered that it was home to sentient plants? In Semiosis, an amazingly assured debut novel, Sue Burke takes this simple concept to soaring heights. Sentient plants seem like both a stretch of imagination and paltry grist for drama, but Burke’s inventiveness and sensitivity make this a not only plausible but utterly gripping book. In scenes spread across a century, Burke writes deeply believable characters — young and old, men and women, and life beyond that, too — and paints her human society and alien ecosystem with equally deft brushstrokes. This is up there with Ursula K. Le Guin: science fiction at its most fascinating and most humane.
Written by: Danielle Lazarin Publish date: February 6 Why it’s worth reading: There are 16 stories in this book’s 237 pages; together, they leave you with a sense of crystalline fragments, sharp-edged shards of stories and experiences that paint a fractured picture of life as a woman and a girl. There are stories of friendship, loving and barbed, of the tender violence of familial love, and of the freedom and pain of loneliness. There’s a little bit of romance, too, but at the center are always Lazarin’s vibrant, peculiar, brilliant girls and women navigating getting what they want in the world. This is a powerful and tender collection. (Please read it even if you’re not a woman. Come on.)
Written by: Lucas Mann (Lord Fear, Class A) Publish date: May 1 Why it’s worth reading: You don’t need to love, like, or care about reality TV to connect to Captive Audience, a savvy blend of memoir and cultural criticism, but know that author Lucas Mann loves reality TV. He sees it for what it is, with all its flaws and pitfalls, but this brilliant, insightful book is hardly the story of a guilty pleasure. Instead, Mann writes about reality TV with his eyes wide open, about what it is and why he loves it. He also writes about who he loves it with, namely his wife, and the result is a twinned exploration of popular culture and personal experience, rich with resonance and nuance. Mann writes eloquently about powerful moments and characters from reality TV — his ode to Rob Kardashian is especially intense — and casts that same searchlight on his most personal experiences, of love, shame, loneliness, and joy.
Written by: Tayari Jones (Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, Leaving Atlanta) Publish date: February 6 Why it’s worth reading: Oprah’s Book Club sticker is a powerful imprimatur: it promises both literary excellence and cultural relevance. An American Marriagedelivers on both. It’s the story of a young black couple, Roy and Celeste, who feel the lucky promise of their lives stretching ahead of them. But early in their marriage, Roy is falsely convicted of a crime, and his years in prison — and then sudden release — bring irrevocable change to their lives and their marriage. Oprah said of the novel, “It’s a love story that also has a huge layer of suspense. And it’s also so current and so really now that I could not put it down.” Coupled with that suspense are heartbreaking empathy and a sharp look at America, on a powerfully intimate scale.
Written by: Curtis Sittenfeld (Eligible, American Wife, Prep) Publish date: April 24 Why it’s worth reading: The title story of this collection — like every story in its pages — is very, very good, but the real stand-out (which, granted, would’ve lent the book a less fitting title) is “The Prairie Wife.” I first read it online last summer when it was published in The New Yorker — I read it twice then, actually, starting again as soon as I’d finished, to try to figure out how Sittenfeld pulled off such an extraordinary narrative coup. It’s a marvel of a story, with a gut-punch of an ending that completely recasts everything that’s come before it — but rather than a gimmick, it’s an added depth to a sensitive and melancholy story about love and growing older. Those themes resonate throughout the collection, culminating in a wash of longing — for the past, and also for what we might make of the present. Each story is a gem in this extraordinary book.
Written by: Leslie Jamison (The Empathy Exams, The Gin Closet) Publish date: April 3
If you loved Leslie Jamison’s break-out hit essay collection, The Empathy Exams, let me say: this is even better. If you didn’t love that first book, or haven’t heard of Jamison before, let me say: this book is fucking amazing. Part memoir of Jamison’s alcoholism and recovery, part critical inquiry into the myth of the addict-genius artist, part cultural history of addiction treatment in America, this is a beautiful behemoth of a book, 544 pages that absolutely fly by. Jamison is a notably lyrical writer, but what really shines is her curious, generous, sensitive mind, as she reframes stories we think we know — John Cheever, Amy Winehouse, the War on Drugs itself — and shines a light on new ones. In bringing together the voices of great artists, everyman alcoholics, and Jamison’s own past, she replicates the story-sharing of an AA meeting. It’s a rich and powerful chorus.
Variety’s annual ‘Showbiz Real Estate Elite 2018’ has been announced! Every year the magazine names some of the entertainment industry’s go-to agents, not just in Hollywood, but also on the East Coast, in Miami and event in Europe, Latin America and Asia.
This year, two Rodeo Realty agents made the elite list: Josh Flagg and Ben Bacal.
“Their clients come from all over the glove,” said Variety. “Not surprisingly, however, these high-flying negotiators mostly work the properties in the Beverly Hills and Bel-Air hot zone.”
As a star of Bravo’s popular show “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles, ” there’s no doubt that Josh Flagg is one of the entertainment industry’s go-to agents.
His recent Beverly Hills sales range in the $10 million-$16 million range. Some of his current listings mentioned by Variety include 815 N. Whittier Dr. for $11.49 million and 811 Hillcrest for $8.49 million. He also recently closed escrow on $20 million property.
“The market is “very, very strong,” said Josh to Variety. “High-end properties will continue to stay steady. I don’t see a massive increase in prices, but I also don’t see a tremendous potential of property value going down.”
Significant sales mentioned for Ben Bacal: 1006 Lexington Dr. for $26.75 million, 1218 Benedict Canyon for $11.995 million and 1895 Rising Glen Road for $15.95 million. His current listings included 830 Birchwood Dr. at $15.9 million and 6250 Hollywood Blvd. at $9.75 million.
“The high-end market is on fire in L.A,” said Ben to Variety. “Almost everything that has class and style is trading. L.A. isn’t built vertically, there is limited land and some of the most incredible luxury estates are being born here every month. I think L.A. is extremely undervalued.”
Congratulations to both agents for making Variety’s Showbiz Real Estate Elite 2018!
The 2018 Swanepoel Power 200 list is out and Rodeo Realty’s President, Syd Leibovitch, is once again recognized as one of the most powerful leaders in the residential real estate brokerage industry!
Out of thousands who were considered, Syd Leibovitch was one of 200 who made it onto the SP200 list.
“This year we invested over 400 hours to ensure that the SP200 is the most meaningful and accurate reflection of power and influence in the residential real estate brokerage industry,” said Stefan Swanepoel, Editor-in-Chief of the Swanepoel Power 200.
The 2018 SP200 ranks Syd Leibovitch at #107 among the 200 recognized.
“Founder of Rodeo Realty, Leibovitch heads one of the leading residential real estate firms in Los Angeles and Ventura counties with nearly 1,500 agents in 12 offices who produce almost $5 billion in annual sales,” said the SP200.
To view the 2018 Swanepoel Power 200 list, click HERE.
Predictions and New Years go together like cupcakes and sprinkles, especially when it comes to the topic of desserts.
2017 was a year of colorful decadence and over-the-top sweets like cake-topped milkshakes and funfetti cream-filled croissants. But in 2018 we’ll say goodbye to cereal atop everything, with a shift towards wellness, plant-based goodies, and whole grains (yes, even in our desserts!).
Below are the biggest trends we think you’ll want to watch out for in the year ahead.
If 2017 was a year of excess, 2018 will be equally focused on mindful eating and wellness. We’ll see this in the confections we consume as well. As demand for plant-based food options has reached record highs, 2018 will bring a bigger emphasis on plant-based, dairy-free, and vegan sweets. You can already see this with the popularity of the vegan/dairy-free selections at LA’s beloved soft-serve institution Magpies Softserve, but you’ll soon start to see such options on menus citywide. We’re even predicting more stand-alone spots devoted to alternative-diet sweets. One place to look out for is the upcoming bakery from whole-foods baking company Sweet Laurel, focusing on paleo, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free baked goods.
Even with the gluten-free craze in full effect, it’s clear people are still enjoying bread and baked goods, and heirloom grains are making a big comeback this year. In 2017 we embraced heritage grains in the form of artisan breads from local millers like Grist & Toll and farmers like Alex Weiser of Weiser Family Farms, but in 2018 we’ll see these grains go beyond bread to make their presence felt in pastry cases across L.A. Roxana Jullapat at Friends & Family offers great examples of this, with heirloom grain in housemade viennoiseries and baked goods like sonora wheat croissants, einkorn shortbreads, and spelt blueberry muffins.
2017 was a big year for Filipino food and for ube in particular — just take a look at the trending treats from Silver Lake bakery FrankieLucy Bakeshop for reference. While we think Filipino food will continue to make a splash in 2018, we’re predicting that Middle Eastern flavors and spices will be a dominant force in desserts. Middle Eastern cuisine had a strong presence in Los Angeles in mid-to-late 2017 with Kismet and Mh Zh hitting the scene. We expect continued growth and excitement about Middle Eastern food to make a big impact on desserts — think flavors like cardamom, pomegranate and pistachio. One great place you can expect to see this is Bavel, the new restaurant from chef Ori Menashe and pastry chef Genevieve Gergis (of Bestia fame) opening in early 2018.
Congratulations to Joseph ‘Bud’ Mauro and Neal Adler! The two Rodeo Realty agents have been elected for the Southland Regional Association of REALTORS® 2018 Board of Directors.
The election started September 25 and ended October 10. Members were able to go online and vote for the candidate of their choice.
During the voting process, Syd Leibovitch, president of Rodeo Realty, recommended both candidates.
“It would be good for us to have them representing us,” said Syd Leibovitch.
Congrats again to Bud and Neal! It’s great to have two of our own on the leadership team of Southland Regional Association of REALTORS®!
The following is a brief explanation of their qualifications:
Joseph Bud Mauro has served Rodeo Realty at just about every level. He has been president of the association, he has been on the board of directors, and has also served at just about every other level at the Association. He also served at The California Association of Realtors.
Neal has served on various committees, including MLS, Government Affairs, Grievance, and Professional Standards. He was a CAR director and a CAR Professional Standards trainer.