Don’t be surprised to see an influx of Sun Devils around downtown – and this has nothing to do with the long, hot summer that’s baking the City of Angels. This is about Arizona State University, which harbors a Sun Devil as its mascot and some interesting ambitions in Los Angeles. ASU President Michael Crow offered insights into the school’s growing presence here – it already has a California Center in Santa Monica – during a dinner with a fascinating cross-section of thinkers at the Pacific Palisades home of Moira Shourie and her husband, Rajath Shourie, a managing director of Oaktree Capital. Moira played host in her capacity as board president of Zócalo Public Square, an intellectually unafraid outfit that specializes in “connecting people to ideas and to each other” – and serves as a key link for ASU in L.A. … Why L.A. for ASU? Crow gave the crowd numerous reasons and much to ponder over Scottish salmon and Niman Ranch beef short ribs. The al fresco setting helped make a key point, with the Shourie’s deck offering a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean as it absorbed the setting sun, emphasizing Crow’s contention that Los Angeles has grown into a capital city on the world’s stage, joining New York and Mexico City on North America’s roster of global metropolises … ASU has planted a flag in L.A. “because everyone has got to have a presence in the capital,” said Crow, who thinks big and talks plain enough to make you realize he looks a bit like the famously focused Bill Belichik, coach of the New England Patriots. There’s a key difference, though. Belichik is known for a narrow view of the world – all Patriots, all the time – while Crow takes a broader look. He sees L.A. as a place to try to scale some of the ideas that have been put into practice to impressive effect in Arizona as part of a quest to reshape educational systems and improve outcomes … You can bet Rajath Shourie is used to having his professional performance measured by outcomes – investors tend to play that way. Yet he recently had a coming out party of sorts, subjecting himself to a more subjective measuring stick as he belted out a swinging, public rendition of “Fly Me to the Moon” that reportedly came with a Sinatra-like flair, tux and all … It also turns out that his singing career stems from the Sun and Moon Singers, a group that includes his wife … And it ultimately turns out that both of the Shouries are measuring up with their artistic performances – they’ve even gained the positive notice of the Palisadian Post, a publication that counts in that corner of the world … An impassioned lawyer named Chan Yong (Jake) Jeong has gained the notice of the Korean-language press and is making strides with English-language counterparts as he rails against Mayor Eric Garcetti over what appears to be – at best – clumsy communications in regard to public meetings about homeless shelters, including one that’s been proposed in Koreatown. Jeong drew about a dozen journalists to his latest press conference, held last week at Korean Eastern Presbyterian Church on 6th Street, with representatives of the Business Journal and KNX 1070 making up the English-language contingent (see related Commentary, page 50) … Expect the proposal for a gondola between Union Station and Dodger Stadium to get its share of notice. It started with equal parts irony and symmetry at the party HR&A Advisors gave at the Bloc Rooftop at 7th & Flower on July 18 to welcome longtime urban planner Martha Welborne, and continues with our coverage on page 5 of this issue. Among Welborne’s first tasks will be a push for the gondola, she told the crowd at the Bloc, which included her husband, John Welborne, publisher of the Larchmont Chronicle and animating spirit of Angels Flight. It strikes me the old wooden cars of the little railway on Bunker Hill and the notion of new-fangled gondolas riding the skies over Elysian Park share something very L.A. despite their differences in age and technologies … Sullivan Says: Nowhere better to beat the heat than the rustic dining room of Papa Cristo’s.
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