Author: The Argonaut

Reading Minds

Westside magician practices mentalism to connect with audiences By Bridgette M. Redman Jackson Ridd typically introduces himself as a mentalist who connects with people through their thoughts and feelings. He books himself as a paranormal entertainer who taps into mysteries from the other side of reality — that he has strong premonitions of the future. He performs his acts of mentalism in magic shows where he involves the audience with his mind-reading tricks. “Whoever my audience is in any given show, I really like to connect with them, talk about them, see what they are thinking about, see what is going on in their life in a way,” Ridd said. “I really enjoy bringing it out. It makes performing fun.” He recently performed in Culver City and will be returning to Citizen Public Market every second Thursday to perform in and host Westside Magic. Every performance is different even when he is using the same framework, because each person brings different vibes. “I focus mostly on what the audience is thinking and bringing to the table,” Ridd said. An honest connection Ridd likes to start out with a very old piece of mentalism, something he described as a foundational piece. He gives everyone pieces of paper and they write down questions, fold them and put them into a bowl. He grabs one, reads the question and tries to discern...

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Going Out in Flames

Green House Smoke Shop to close after 21 years By Michele Robinson After 21 years, Green House Smoke Shop will close its doors forever on October 31. This year, Sandor Caplan and Bunny Lua, the shop’s co-owners, will clear out their remaining items and liquidate a business that has been the cornerstone of the Abbot Kinney community for decades. “It’s very sad,” Lua said. “I’m losing my love. It’s heartbreaking and tragic.” Lua and Caplan opened Green House Smoke Shop on April 20, 2000. Prior to operating the specialty shop, Lua managed Chronic Creations, located where the Venice Depot once was. Caplan is a classically trained chef who prepared food for President George H.W. Bush, Margaret Thatcher, Helmut Newton and Mikhail Gorbachev, among others. Prior to owning Green House Smoke Shop, Sandor owned a restaurant in Venice called Restaurant 5 Dudley. “I wanted to do something that represented my lifestyle and I wanted to do it well,” Lua explained. “The shop was open seven days a week from 11ish to 7ish. We opened and closed whenever we wanted to go to the beach, to go to our son’s basketball games, etc.” she explains. Longtime Venice residents since 1998, Lua and Caplan decided they wanted to open a store in their neighborhood because they loved their community. When deciding on a location for their store, Lua looked at Abbot Kinney...

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Día de los Muertos

Santa Monica rolls out the red carpet for special celebration By Bridgette M. Redman Sometimes an artist’s most fanciful flights of imagination are also the ones that hit closest to home. The Third Street Promenade will spring to life this Saturday with a celebration of death that includes altars, dance, art and music. The Santa Monica community will celebrate the lives of those who have gone on before us with the Día de los Muertos Community Celebration from 5 to 10 p.m. It’s a family-friendly celebration that will include booths with goods from more than 30 local BIPOC vendors. “We were very careful to incorporate as many members of the community as possible, paying tribute to tradition,” said Kathleen Rawson, CEO of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc. “We wanted to provide our community with ample opportunities to learn about the importance of Día de los Muertos while also giving them a chance to have some fun, dance, sing and celebrate.” Activities will include traditional ballet folkorico dances, mariachi music, community altars, La Catrina sculptures, face painting and kids’ crafts, and a makers market with BIPOC vendors that Angel City Market curated. The celebration will begin with dancing at 5:30 on the Promenade Main Stage. “It should be a fun, family-friendly event that celebrates the cultural significance behind Día de los Muertos,” Rawson said. “Santa Monica Ballet Folklorico will offer a...

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Fifth Wall Mural

Multicity art campaign encourages people to choose Earth By Bridgette M. Redman As people gather around the world to discuss climate change, Fifth Wall is greeting them with murals stressing the importance of climate work. Fifth Wall is the largest venture capital firm focused on technologies for the global real estate industry. Their mural project is intended to draw public attention to the real estate industry’s need to invest in climate technology. The real estate industry is considered the world’s largest contributor to the climate crisis as it accounts for nearly 40 percent of global energy, greenhouse gases and raw materials. The mural launched at 6 Rose Avenue in Venice in October — the second in the multicity campaign — went up last week to coincide with the Milkin Institute’s Global Conference which had the theme “Charting a New Course.” It will be up until November 4. The mural was created by Kent Yoshimura, an artist and multimedia creative who has directed content for such global brands as AT&T, Ford, Lego and McDonalds. Yoshimura learned about Fifth Wall’s mission when they hired him and it was one he could get behind. “I would much rather work with a company that is goal-driven for a cause I care about like sustainability than a company that is just in it for the profit and doing marketing on the basis of self-promotion...

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Westside Happenings

Thursday, October 28 Movies By The Sea: “The Nightmare Before Christmas” 7 p.m. Enjoy movies by the sea every Thursday night at the end of the Venice Pier through October 28. Grab a blanket and chair and head to the beach for an evening of ocean breezes and movies under the stars presented by Washington Square Business Improvement Group, City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, and Venice Beach Recreation Center. Food and drink will be available from various restaurants as well. Admission is free, movie starts at 7 p.m. Park in the lot by the Venice Pier at 3100 Washington Blvd., Venice Friday, October 29 West Coast Big Band Showcase October 29-31 The 3-day festival presented by the LA Jazz Institute is designed to be a major celebration of their return to live music and an opportunity to present an array of Los Angeles’ finest big bands. It will feature 14 concerts plus rare films, panel discussions and special presentations. On October 29, enjoy performances by Gordon Goodwin’s Little Phat Band, Steve Huffsteter Big Band, Doug Webb tribute to Zoot Sims, and Fullerton College Big Band. On October 30, enjoy performances by John Daniel Stephens Big Band: Buddy Collette Celebration, Tom Kubis Big Band, Carl Saunders BeBop Big Band, Celebrating Sammy Nestico, and Jazz America Big Band. On October 31, enjoy performances by Bill Holman Band,...

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