I read in The Argonaut that there were rumors of the ghost of Jim Morrison of the Doors haunting the Venice Beach Bar (formerly the Venice Bistro). This was all just publicity for the bar, since the bar wasn’t even around when Jim was hanging out in Venice.
I was raised on Venice’s Ocean Front Walk, and where the bar is now there were two stores. The north store was Arnold’s Kosher Butcher Shop and next to it was Joseph’s Finjan Cafe. The Finjan was one of the first falafel shops in L.A. Later, after Arnold the butcher retired and Joseph sold his place in the late 1960s, a bar came in.
However, around the corner on Dudley Avenue there was a famous coffee shop called the Venice West that had poetry readings and sometimes a folk singer or drummer, and Jim was known to hang out there and write poetry before the Doors band was started. That was a few years before any bar was there. So Jim’s ghost could be haunting the Venice West Cafe, but I don’t think Jim’s ghost would be haunting a kosher butcher shop!
City Should Purchase YWCA
It’s a shame that in the same year the U.S. will likely elect its first female president, (Please, God) the Santa Monica YWCA, which has helped thousands of women and families for nearly a century, has closed.
However, the city is currently planning to build an early childhood education center at the Civic Center for $25-$30 million. This ECEC would care for about 110 kids, most of them the children of city, SMC and Rand Co. employees. Most of those employees don’t live here, are well-paid, and should probably pay for daycare like many residents with children do. So here’s a better idea: The city should buy the YWCA — which already has a gym, dance studio, auditorium, three playgrounds, office space, housing and parking — all for only $5 million to $10 million. There’s your early childhood education center — right next to SMC and away from the congestion of downtown, at less than half
John C. Smith
Chair, Santa Monica Recreation and Parks Commission
Keep it Local, Please!
Re: “Celebrity Law,” Cover Story, Oct. 13
I would prefer that The Argonaut stick with local stories, features and profiles. While the Q &A with attorney Mark Geragos wasn’t objectionable, it didn’t have any obvious connection to The Argonaut’s coverage area or its readers. The story was about his creative input into a TV series loosely based on his practice. Mr. Geragos doesn’t have an office on the Westside. Geragos & Geragos is based in Downtown Los Angeles.
FROM THE WEB
Re: “Tough Love,” Cover Story, Oct. 20
It’s great to see an arts program and teacher get the recognition they deserve!
Jeffe Huls is indeed a truly exceptional teacher, and his artistry, passion and rigor inspire and elevate his students. The article suggests that SaMoHi Choirs are not, themselves exceptional. I would beg to differ. SaMoHi choirs are well known throughout the region, winning top honors at festivals throughout the west, and they have sung in remarkable historic venues throughout Europe. The year that Ms. Bar-Kar filmed, one of his choirs did not place well at one festival. It made for a great story (and a great learning opportunity for the students,) but I assure you that it is not the norm. I would encourage those interested in Huls and his accomplished choirs to attend “Motus Perpetuus: Winter Concert of Perpetual Motion” at 7 p.m. on Dec. 16 at Santa Monica High School’s Barnum Hall. Tickets are available at the door.
Both my kids sing under Mr. Huls at SaMoHi now (senior and freshman) and his program is truly one of the highlights of their high school years. We are so lucky to live in a city that values and prioritizes arts education!