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A March We’ll Never Forget

By |April 2nd, 2020|From The Newsletter|

So, March was some kind of month, right? What a nightmare on a truly global scale. As of this writing,I’m relieved to say my family and I are healthy and doing ok. I certainly hope you and yours are doing well,too. What a shock to our collective systems, though, to be thrust into this new normal. Was it only a few weeks ago when we lived in a world without using the terms “social distancing,”or “flattening the curve?” I had never heard of the website, “Zoom,” but now it seems as though our kids’ sole educational connection comes from that now very necessary tool. I can’t believe it was March 1st when the family came over to celebrate my mother-in- law’s birthday. A week later, March 8th, even more family came over for tea. Now,the mere act of having anybody walk through the door and standing within 6 feet of us is essentially illegal. A month ago, my biggest concern was a broken patella due to an unfortunate surfing accident. Who could’ve predicted that four weeks later, my concern would be risking the coronavirus just by getting an x-ray to see if it had healed? Never would I have imagined that school would be closed/cancelled/postponed and our three boys would soon undergo remote learning without being able to play or hang out with their friends. But at least the internet has made learning in the traditional sense somewhat possible. What would we have done if this pandemic had happened a few decades ago without the benefit of being part of the digital age? I can’t recall there was ever a time when everyone was freaked out enough to suddenly clear off the shelves of the market,buying and hoarding everything insight. Maybe the uncertainty and ever changing nature of it all is bringing out our most caveman/survival instincts? It was so eerie to venture into the market only to see empty shelves where the bread and toilet paper used to be. But for every aggressive shopper, there have been so many more kind and considerate individuals trying to help one another. One neighbor has set up a Facebook group (Westside LA Covid19 assist) so that immediate needs of those with underlying health conditions can be met. Many other neighbors are offering to procure food and supplies for others less fortunate.

And there are other bright spots to this scary time that really show how supportive and adaptable we can be. Families are spending more time together. Dogs are being walked more often. Traffic is lighter. The stress that usually comes from over-planning and over-scheduling has subsided, too.There is fear, yes. But also hope.

As a society, we are sharing this experience together and there is a certain comfort in that. Like other significant milestones in history,while the events themselves may have been tragic (9-11, the LA Riots, the Northridge Quake just to name a few) the solidarity that resulted in the aftermath brought solace during another wise frightening time. Today we are being asked to stay inside for the purpose of stopping the spread and protecting those in our community who are more susceptible to getting ill and possibly dying from this mysterious disease. We are being asked to forego dining out, attending concerts,ballgames, movie theaters, shopping at the mall, even entertaining at home.We have been asked to take our kids out of school and figure out a way to keep them occupied and safe at home while not letting our own careers and businesses fall apart. We have been asked to do all of this so that the real heroes, our doctors and nurses and medical personnel, have a fighting chance to keep the most vulnerable in our population alive. So, while the sacrifices are indeed plentiful, the rewards of our efforts are worth it.

A few weeks ago I had been excited to take my family to Japan for Spring Break. Now, instead of taking in the sights and sounds of this ancient city:marveling at the famous pagodas and blooming Cherry Blossom trees- we are sheltering at home in Cheviot Hills watching dirty dishes pile up in the sink and old movies on TV. But we are also feeling so grateful to be healthy, and lucky to be with my loved ones. And we are proud to live in a community that in good times and in bad, knows howto stick together. This is a particularly surreal, somewhat frightening and wholly unforgettable time in history.Please be well, stay healthy and stop buying all the toilet paper. Just remember: we are all in this together and will make it through.

Westside Stories

By |March 29th, 2020|From The Newsletter|

A quarantine order based on the coronavirus is not new to the neighborhood. In the early 1950’s before the Salk vaccine had been developed, children and their parents were frightened greatly by the threat of the polio virus. Franklin D Roosevelt had been stricken and he had started the March of Dimes to confront the scourge. It was a particularly scary time in post WWII west side Los Angeles where public swimming pools were off limits and crowds were to be avoided so that the virus could be isolated. The specter of children in ungainly iron lungs with little faces peeking out from the opening of the machines filled the newspapers. In Cheviot Hills, Marshall Nims who lived on Wigtown Road was stricken. Immediately, the public health authorities posted the home with a QUARANTINE sign. No one was permitted to go near the house. Unfortunately, Marshall was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life which was cut short by the infection. No other members of his family were infected and his brother Roger was later a star on the Hamilton High School baseball team and his father was well known in the film business but the fact of a quarantine because of a fearsome virus is history repeating itself.

Raffle News

By |March 22nd, 2020|From The Newsletter|

Thank you so much to everyone who sent in a guess to last month’s Valentine’s Day riddle raffle! We received so many terrific answers and most everyone got the riddle right (… an apple a day keeps the doctor away!). This month we are raffling off a $50 gift card to the delicious new shop on Robertson called Edoughble. Started by pastry chef and Beverlywood resident Rana Lustyan, Edoughble features a variety of fun flavors of cookie dough, made with all natural ingredients and safe to eat raw! Located on Robertson Blvd and part of the SORO renaissance of shops and restaurants, now you can enjoy $50 worth of delicious, addictive cookie dough on us. Simply send me an email: ben@benleeproperties.com and write ‘DOUGH’ in the subject line. That’s it! We will pick a winner at random at the end of the month. Good luck!

Westside Stories

By |March 17th, 2020|From The Newsletter|

The origins of local street names are of interest and importance. Sepulveda Blvd is named for the original family of that name. The family owned the Rancho Palos Verdes which included San Pedro. Those land barons had a dispute with the Dominquez family which also owned a Rancho which included the area of what is now Carson.A judicial decree before 1848 was issued by the then governor, Jose Figueroa to settle the claims but it was not quite concluded. After that decree the matter was finally resolved by the later governor, Pio Pico which granted Rancho de los Palos Verdes to Jose and Jean Sepulveda. Later, one of the Sepulveda heirs, Ignacio Sepulveda (1842-1916) was one of the first two judges of the Los Angeles Superior Court. His grandfather,Francisco Sepulveda became the owner of Rancho San Vicente another swath of land on the westside. So in this early history we see that Sepulveda traces its name to a pioneer family, helped along by an early governor named Figueroa and finally resolved by the last governor of California before it became a street named Pico. This history should give a little trace of nostalgia when recalling that well-known song from the 1940’s:“Pico and Sepulveda.”

By Michael Harris

Need Some Additional Space? How About the Largest Residence in Silver Lake?

By |March 8th, 2020|Buyers|

If you’re looking for some additional space, there’s a custom-designed home in Silver Lake that has been deemed as the largest residential property in the area. Perched on nearly 4 ½ acres above the Silver Lake Reservoir, this 4,400-square-foot residence offers vaulted ceilings, built-in bookcases (and furniture), and three fireplaces to enjoy – as well as some breathtaking views. 

Built in 1989, the residence and its surroundings was created by a USC School of Architecture professor for the current owners/sellers. Offering the utmost in privacy, the home is divided into two main “wings,” one with a large master suite, and the other with guest rooms and space for entertaining.  

The large kitchen is a chef’s dream, with its professional-grade appliances, and even a built-in wok station. And, with two double garages, there is plenty of room to keep multiple vehicles clean and secure. 

Just some of the additional amenities that you will find in this gated estate include a lighted tennis court and a heated swimming pool, as well as a waterfall, hot tub, multiple patios, and beautifully landscaped gardens. 

Located at 1844 Silverwood Terrace, this home is currently listed for sale at $5.98 million. Private showings can be scheduled for interested purchasers.

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