There seems to be no middle ground on the Neighborhood Integrity Initiative. The controversial ballot measure is seen by some as a much needed time-out on backroom development deals and by others as a near fatal blow to the city’s housing shortage.
After supporters of the initiative delivered 104,000 signatures to City Hall, the City Council voted unanimously to place the measure – that would block certain kinds of new development in the city for two years and force the city to update its General Plan — on the March 2017 ballot.
Last February we produced an MMRA Channel interview with Jill Stewar
t, Campaign Director with the Coalition to Preserve L.A.
The video has had over 900 views, making it our most watched video.
Much has happened since last spring, and in this update
Stewart and MMRA Vice President Ken Hixon discuss in detail how the initiative has been revised and why it was shifted from the November 2016 ballot to the March 2017 election – and how it acquired the celebrity endorsements of Joaquin Phoenix and Leonardo DiCaprio (among others).
Stewart and Hixon also delve into how the City Hall politics impact development and many other topics, including Ellis Act evictions, affordable housing, and the challenges of updating community plans.
SCROLL DOWN FOR:
Miracle Mile Spotlight: MUSE on 8th
Miracle Mile Spotlight:
MUSE on 8th
Painting by Linda Bladen
In Greek and Roman mythology, the Muses were nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who presided over the arts and sciences. A “muse” is someone who is a source of inspiration for a creative artist.
Jen Ritchkoff [photo below
] chose MUSE
as the name of her coffee house and vegetarian café because she has always been inspired by the arts – theatre, in particular – and because she wanted her establishment to serve as proscenium to showcase music, art, and community.
Jen’s experiences as an actor and her education in social work led her to see business in terms of creative expression and people. She wanted to showcase her love of vegetarian food in a casual setting where people could enjoy the talents of others, whether it be the artwork on the walls, poetry readings, or musical performances.
“I kind of fell into it,” she explains how she became a restaurateur. “I was looking to shift gears. In 2006, I got out of grad school, and I was running my own non-profit for about a year. When a restaurant space opened up in the neighborhood, a friend and I decided to open a coffee house and café in the theatre district on Santa Monica Boulevard.”
Over the almost five years she was at that location, Jen learned the nuts and bolts of running a restaurant. When the opportunity came to relocate to the northwest corner of 8th and La Brea in the Miracle Mile four years ago, she jumped at it. “I fell in love with the space when I saw it. I felt really great about the community and everyone has been very welcoming.”
She discovered that running a coffee shop and café is more that just a job, it is a lifestyle, too. “We open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. every day, and I work seven days a week. In the restaurant business you really have to love what you do. And a lot of it has to do with the people.”
The café has become her living room. “My friends, colleagues, and longtime customers come in here for coffee and food or they drop by at night when we have music or entertainment. This is like my home.”
Jennifer utilized her skills in theatre administration and producing plays to create a comfortable place to dine, hang out, or have a cup of coffee while reading your email. It also allows her to display her passion for vegetarian food.
“I love introducing people who are not vegetarian to fun vegan and vegetarian dishes. We have something for everyone on our menu
. A lot of our customers are not vegetarians, but they love our food and many people don’t even realize that it’s vegetarian. I like to surprise people.”
“Food, art, coffee, and community – those are the things I love the most. And I created this place to bring those four things together,” she said as she stepped behind the counter to serve another customer.
MUSE on 8th
759 S. La Brea Avenue, L.A. 90036
For upcoming events and performances visit:
Monday~Thursday 8 a.m to 10 p.m.
Friday and Saturday 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Sunday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Order to go: seamless.com