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Daniel Merriam and his six siblings grew up in Naples, Maine, a rural town in the southwestern part of the state. The Merriam home was filled with a variety of musical instruments and Daniel’s mother was fond of throwing open the windows while she sang, thereby serenading the neighborhood. He deeply admired his father, Fremont, a structural engineer, noting he was “so methodical and efficient.” “My father always enjoyed showing me and my siblings very strange and unique things he had discovered.” Some of these things would end up in the basement of their summer cottage on Mousam Lake. “Our cellar was filled with aquariums filled with pollywogs, sea monkeys and turtles collected from a nearby cranberry bog.” It was about this time that Daniel discovered the joy of art for himself, spending blissful hours alone in his room, until “I had soon drawn enough fanciful images to wallpaper my entire room.”

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Kirsten has been on our covers many times over the years, and she has long been one of our favorite artists.


Kirsten Söderlind started drawing about the same time she could hold a pencil. Her parents marveled when she could “stay within the lines” of the coloring book, a feat probably less remarkable than it seemed but even then allowed her to feel as if her profession had been established at this early age.

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“My clientele is both local and world-wide.” That is world natural bodybuilding champion and acclaimed professional trainer, Lacy Weston, speaking. He is a PROPTA certified trainer and nutritional consultant and he is one of our favorite people at Boulevard magazine.


Lacy has been personally training men and women for over 30 years at their homes, set locations and at his studio in La Cañada. He trains by appointment only, beginning at 4:00am, 6 days a week. He is very firm about what sets him apart as a trainer. “I’m not trying to sell you a trend. I assist others in getting their physical and visual jobs done.”
Like each of us, it’s been a journey for Lacy. “I graduated high school one day and left home the next. I got a job at Alpha Beta. It was a 3 hour round trip bus ride to go from Alpha Beta in La Puente to my other job in the phone room at Aerobics and Nautilus Unlimited in Pasadena.” I asked Lacy how many days a week he did this? “I did this every day. After growing up the way I did, nothing seemed hard for me”, he shares candidly.

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In the case of Rebound Furniture Consignment, there’s a personal and uplifting reason behind the name of this funky and eclectic Woodland Hills furniture emporium. Jeanne Bulmer left a successful commercial real estate career behind in order to experience more adventures in life. By 2010 she was living in London with her new husband when she learned that her mother, Faye, had been diagnosed with a recurrence of breast cancer. Jeanne and her husband immediately rushed back to Los Angeles to support her mother on this journey. As it turned out, mother and daughter would walk that walk together, because shortly thereafter, Jeanne received the same diagnosis herself.

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That is when The Skirball Cultural Center will graciously allow the first ever Annual Art Affaire LA show to be held in the Skirball’s elegant Guerin Pavilion on Friday, May 20th and Saturday, May 21st. But first, here is a little history on the genesis of Art Affaire LA.

Beginning in 1985, the Contemporary Crafts Market was held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium until that venue closed three years ago. From there the CCM moved to the Pasadena Convention Center, where the CCM continued to put on their annual June and November shows. That is, until this year. When long time CCM vendor Jane Mohr learned that the 2016 June show had been cancelled, she sprang into action, because, as she says, “It left a lot of vendors homeless this June.” That’s when this admitted “Triple ‘Type A’ Personality” decided to turn this challenge into her first art show.

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“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” That is current Boulevard cover artist Rachel Brown, sharing one of her favorite quotes, courtesy of Thomas Edison. This raison d’ȇtre comes as no surprise when you learn that Rachel was raised on a farm in rural Central Missouri, and hails from a long line of creative women. Her mother, a watercolor artist, began teaching her the fundamentals at a very young age. Rachel’s grandmother was a folk painter who taught her color theory and equally as important, imbued her with her dairy farmer’s wife work ethic. “Growing up on a farm I was taught a strong work ethic at a young age and quickly realized that it was a necessary ingredient for anyone wanting to create art as a full-time pursuit.”

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That is Bette Nowinski speaking, owner of Your Good Neighbor Restaurant, and one of our all-time favorite people. She had taken a short break in her day to tell me the story behind how she came to own this beloved Studio City icon.

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Sherman Oaks resident Kfir Matalan was born in a little town outside Tel Aviv, Israel and is now an American citizen. He grew up with a father who designed and manufactured handmade leather sandals in the ancient biblical style. This was in the 80s and 90s.

“My father was one of the first pioneers to work with the Palestinian leather craftsmen and manufacturers in the 80s. They used to make the sandals in the Kibbutz.” He adds, “I grew up wearing them. Everybody wore them.”

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Daniel Merriam and his six siblings grew up in Naples, Maine, a rural town in the southwestern part of the state. The Merriam home was filled with a variety of musical instruments and Daniel’s mother was fond of throwing open the windows while she sang, thereby serenading the neighborhood. He deeply admired his father, Fremont, a structural engineer, noting he was “so methodical and efficient.” “My father always enjoyed showing me and my siblings very strange and unique things he had discovered.” Some of these things would end up in the basement of their summer cottage on Mousam Lake. “Our cellar was filled with aquariums filled with pollywogs, sea monkeys and turtles collected from a nearby cranberry bog.” It was about this time that Daniel discovered the joy of art for himself, spending blissful hours alone in his room, until “I had soon drawn enough fanciful images to wallpaper my entire room.”

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We arrived at 11am on a weekday to find the place was packed. And there were more customers peacefully waiting for their turn at a seat inside, or outside on one of the two tranquil porches. The only “noise” came from people quietly conversing at their respective tables, and the sounds of the espresso machines doing their work. It all blissfully matched the vibe of this laid back Los Feliz neighborhood.

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“I opened with every penny I had and all my savings. Thanks to my wife and her support, I was able to build what we have today.”

That’s Raphael Berry talking about the beginnings of his iconic restaurant, Berri’s Café, which he opened in 1995. Flash forward twenty years, where today, Berri’s Café serves between six to eight hundred diners a day. Raphael vividly remembers, “I used to be there 17 hours a day. I got so busy I forgot everything else.”


Well, not really. While he was busy growing Berri’s Café (along with raising the three children who came along), Raphael and his wife Tensha had an idea for a “gourmet to go, fast casual” culinary concept.

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The definition of saxum, from the Latin, is “stone”. The definition of triumvirate, also from the Latin, is “a group or association of three.” To that end, the triumvirate of Pasadena’s forthcoming Saxum Tile Design Studio consists of partners Charis Mansur, Rich Mortensen and Greg Hess. They boast an invaluable combination of skill sets which they utilize in both residential and commercial projects.

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Aldik Home has been bringing silk floral beauty and more to LA since 1952, when it was founded by Richard Gold and his partner. Richard’s son Larry Gold now runs the Van Nuys business that has been recognized by Los Angeles Magazine’s Best of LA for its trompe l’oeil (“deceive the eye”) flora.

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I am sitting with the convivial, sophisticated master jeweler and gemologist, Cosimo “Cos” Altobelli in his sunlit Burbank office. He has graciously agreed to share his and his family’s fascinating history with Boulevard’s readers.

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Toluca Lake

The Village of Toluca Lake, established by General George Forman back in 1923, is a wondrous world unto itself. Just a hop, skip and a jump away from major power players Warner Brothers, Universal Studios, Walt Disney, ABC and NBC Television, it  boasts a treasure trove of dining, shopping, entertainment, fashion and beauty options for your pleasure.  

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The acclaimed figurative artist reveals truth beneath the exaggerated features and textured skin of his characters.


When you look at a Todd White image, you might feel a bit off balance. That’s because the world as seen through the eyes of Todd White is, well, just a little off kilter. However, the reality is firmly in place. Boulevard Magazine has been fortunate enough to use a number of Todd White creations over the years as covers and inside art in the magazine. We love Todd White’s sense of balance and his perspective on life and art.

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Not only will cooking a pan of lasagna comfort you as its tantalizing aromas waft through your house, but it will keep your kitchen happy and cozy as well.
There are three basic theories about the origin of lasagna, and believe it or not, none involves Italy. The first theory states that it originated from the Greek word “lasagnum” meaning “cooking pot.” The second theory also lists ancient Greece as its birthplace and indicates “laganon” was named after the flat sheets of pasta dough, divided into strips and laid to dry in the Mediterranean sun. The third theory claims it was taken from the 14th century English recipe “loseyn,” which features layering ingredients between pasta sheets. The Italians however are credited with changing its name to the present form: Lasagna!

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Studio City’s RUA a Salon & Spa just celebrated its first anniversary in May. Walk in and you will be warmly greeted by owner, James O’Regan and his business partner, Damon Footer, followed by an offering of something wonderful from their tea and coffee bar, including delicious home-made baked treats.


Seven days a week stylists are busy coloring, cutting and styling, while the five spa rooms upstairs are filled with clients luxuriating in facials, microdermabrasion, waxing, eyebrow arching, eyelash tinting and manicures.

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Burbank’s Magnolia Park has long had a well-deserved reputation as a mecca for avid and savvy antique hunters. Repeat customers have shopped for years for treasures at Best of Times, Bearded Lady Vintage, Captain Vintage and more.


Swift Vintage contains a treasure trove of ever-changing vintage goodies. The vision of a savvy mother and daughter team, Swift Vintage is loaded with adorable dresses, skirts, blouses and shoes (pumps and more). There are even vintage two piece bathing suits (if you’re planning a fall trip to some exotic location)! Guys are not left out either, as there are cool suits, shirts, jackets and shoes to browse, as well as an awesome selection of vintage ties. Pick some fun things to try on and then head for one of Swift Vintage’s unique dressing rooms. Spoiler alert: You may end up spending extra time in there, marveling at the “wallpaper”, which consists of lovingly, meticulously hand papered magazine fashion advertisements from every era. They are a fascinating way to explore fashion history while you’re zipping or buttoning up into something fabulous. You might want to run back out and grab something wonderful from Swift’s costume jewelry collection to complete your outfit!

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You could call Geo Santini a modern day Renaissance man. He began his career in entertainment at the ripe old age of seventeen, working in music videos – lots of them. Eventually he worked his way up to directing them. The only place to go was up, so he moved on to feature films. He directed his first, Hotel California, in 2008, which was released by Lionsgate and followed that with October 31 in 2010.

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Allow us to give you a glimpse into the other-worldly genius of contemporary master surrealist, Daniel Merriam, whose sublime water colors have graced our covers more than any other artist.

Daniel Merriam and his six siblings grew up in Naples, Maine, a rural town in the southwestern part of the state. The Merriam home was filled with a variety of musical instruments and Daniel’s mother was fond of throwing open the windows while she sang, thereby serenading the neighborhood. He deeply admired his father, Fremont, a structural engineer, noting he was “so methodical and efficient.” “My father always enjoyed showing me and my siblings very strange and unique things he had discovered.” Some of these things would end up in the basement of their summer cottage on Mousam Lake. “Our cellar was filled with aquariums filled with pollywogs, sea monkeys and turtles collected from a nearby cranberry bog.” It was about this time that Daniel discovered the joy of art for himself, spending blissful hours alone in his room, until “I had soon drawn enough fanciful images to wallpaper my entire room.”

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Walk into Studio City’s new RUA Salon & Spa (formerly Krystal Salon) and you will be greeted by bright, natural light, and a delightfully airy space, despite the fact that it houses twenty-five hair stylists and estheticians, who are all available to make you beautiful, seven days a week.

Stylists on the main floor are busy shampooing, cutting and styling all manner of coiffures, while the upstairs area (including five spa rooms) is filled with clients enjoying such services as massage, facials, microdermabrasion, waxing, eyebrow arching, eyelash tinting and manicures. Clients are also enjoying various delights from the tea and coffee bar, including homemade treats.

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Allow us to give you a glimpse into the other-worldly genius of contemporary master surrealist, Daniel Merriam, whose sublime water colors have graced our covers more than any other artist over the last 31 years. 

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When Ben Foo opened the doors to The Bowhaus Pet Company nearly three years ago he had a goal. That goal was formed from his love of dogs and a certification in pack behavior management and pack training from the Dog Tec Academy in San Francisco. As Ben says, his plan was to create “more of an itinerary-based day camp, with a schedule and more one-on-one interaction, rather than a free-for-all.” 

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There is a good chance you already have a bottle of Kahlúa Liqueur in your pantry. If not, hop in your car and drive to your local supermarket pronto. It will be waiting for you in its distinctively-shaped bottle with the colorful red and yellow label.

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Note: The opinions expressed herein are those of the various contributing writers, advertisers and artists
and do not necessarily express the opinions of the Boulevard staff or ownership.
All advertiser discounts and specials are subject to cancellation withou
t notice.

 

 

 

Boulevard Magazine, 11684 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, CA 91604 - 323.436.7546