Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. Chief Economist Jack Kyser is accustomed to seeing his name in print. The quote-worthy Kyser often appears in the pages of local newspapers, expounding on and analyzing local business matters.

But Kyser says it "startles" him to see his name attached to the LAEDC's new center for research.

The Jack Kyser Center for Economic Research will issue a variety of business reports throughout the year. Kyser has already seen the new center's name emblazoned on an LAEDC newsletter.

"It's an unusual feeling when you see that and say, 'What's my name doing there?' It's kind of an interesting feeling," Kyser said. "I think it is going to take some getting used to. It is enjoyable, it really is."

Does this mean Kyser has a whole new set of responsibilities to attend to?

"I hope not," Kyser laughed.

Dining Delights

Hold the kimchi for Amir Daghigh.

Daghigh, the owner of Model Works Inc., which makes scale models of buildings for architecture firms, says that a new business partnership means he'll be traveling to South Korea once a week. But, he's not a huge fan of Korean food. Except for Korean BBQ, that is.

Daghigh, who just got back from a jaunt to Seoul, said he won't have much time for typical tourist activities anyway. And another thing: "I don't plan on learning Korean."

Daghigh said that his Iranian culture has a lot in common with Korean culture.

"I am learning a lot from their culture they are close to my Iranian culture, they are not casual, they are more formal. I like that. It is hard for some Americans because Americans are so casual."

Miraculous Moves

Always thinking big, Eli Broad believes Los Angeles has become the world's fourth cultural capital behind New York, London and Paris. What's more, he said last week that L.A. could well be No. 1 in contemporary arts.

If not, it wouldn't be for lack of effort from Broad, who's pledged up to $60 million to build the Broad Contemporary Art Museum which has three floors of contemporary art. The 74-year-old philanthropist made his comments at a press preview last Thursday for the museum, which will open officially on Feb. 16 as part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Broad's gift may be a miracle for contemporary art. But Renzo Piano, the architect of BCAM, said that what may be a greater miracle is that traffic-choked Los Angeles ceded one block of Ogden Drive so the museum could be built.

"In Los Angeles, to take a street away, is like a miracle," the Italian architect gushed. "It's like destroying the Colosseum in Rome."

Daniel Miller can be reached at dmiller@labusinessjournal.com.

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