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L.A. Stories / The Roving Eye

L.A. Stories

Language Arts

Too bad Chick Hearn didn’t live long enough to hear this.

After 42 seasons in Los Angeles, the Lakers will have their games broadcast locally in Farsi, a first among U.S. professional sports teams.

KIRN AM-670, a.k.a. Radio Iran, has added Lakers games to its schedule. The station, on the air since 1999, is “the only all-Farsi radio station in the free world,” according to station General Manager John Paley.

(KIRN broadcast about a half-dozen playoff games in Spanish earlier this year when Dodger games presented a conflict for KWKW AM-1330, the Lakers’ regular Spanish station.)

Paley says KIRN serves a Persian population of about 1 million in L.A. and Orange counties.

As for Chickisms like “slam dunk” and “alley-oop,” don’t expect KIRN announcers Nick Zahab and Nader Zehtab to attempt a Farsi translation.

“There are a lot of words that won’t fly that will be spoken in English,” says Paley. “Fortunately, 80 percent of the audience is bilingual.”

Danny King

Western Ways

Finally, a big, big book that tells you the life of a homeowner in Los Angeles is different from that in New York.

The Franklin Report, which publishes guides to the best contractors, plumbers, decorators, and architects in New York and Chicago, will put out an L.A. edition.

“There is a completely different focus on the outside of the house, which is as important to Los Angeles residents as decorating the inside,” observes Elizabeth Franklin, author of the first Franklin Report done for the Los Angeles market.

The 362-page tome rates everything from local window washers to plumbers.

Franklin says New Yorkers spend more money on a single piece of furniture than many L.A. residents. “That’s because their living spaces are so small.”

Deborah Belgum





Brides of Broadway

Long before “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” made a big splash in cinemas this summer, there was “Joey & Maria’s Comedy Wedding,” which has been in production for 10 years.

Sure, audiences might confuse the names, but that hasn’t stolen any thunder from the play, says producer Maggie Cupp.

Blending dining and audience participation at theaters, hotels, restaurants and corporate settings around the country, “Joey & Maria” has raised $7 million for charities.

“The hoopla from the movie has been incredible,” says Cupp, president of Dillstar Productions, an Ontario entertainment company that acquired the rights to the show from writer Darlyne Franklin. The show is currently in production at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Travis Purser

Welcome Home

An article in the Jan. 2, 1947 San Fernando Valley Times described Hi-Yan-Ka Castle in Tujunga as a place where “practically everything which flies, crawls or walks has at one time or another been a guest.”

Built in 1927 by Mr. and Mrs. R. S. Phillips (no first names were given in the story), the wood and stone home with the 30-foot turret took its name from a greeting used by local Indians. The Phillips took the welcoming theme to heart, hosting a variety of deer, fox, badgers, birds and snakes as well as more than 100 turtles at any given time.

The current owners restored the original cottage and put the property on the market for $219,000.

Hi-Yan-Ka attracted five offers in the first two days and was in escrow last week at well above the asking price, says RichardCraig Real Estate Services agent Craig Farestveit, who handled the sale.

Darrell Satzman





LEGO My Rover

With funding from LEGO Co., the Pasadena-based Planetary Society has launched a worldwide educational initiative on NASA’s exploration of Mars.

The highlight is an essay contest in which 20 students from around the world will be invited to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena to take part in the monitoring and interpretation of findings by two “Red Rovers” scheduled to be launched next summer and land on Mars in early 2004.

David Greenberg

The Roving Eye





The Wood Age

Some musicians take their groupies on the road with them. Ronnie Wood takes his art collection.

Starting on Halloween, Wood, the veteran Rolling Stones guitarist, will be displaying his artwork at the Hamilton-Selway fine art gallery in West Hollywood.

“There are a lot of celebrity artists who just do it as a hobby,” said Ron Valdez, senior buyer for the Hamilton-Selway. “Ronnie Wood is his own print maker, he’s very detailed in his art work. He’s even take time off to learn this trade.”

The show, which has been following the “Rolling Stones Licks” tour, kicks off the same day as a Stones concert at Staples Center. Wood’s work was last featured in Montreal and before that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. The show leaves Los Angeles for Las Vegas on Nov. 4.

The collection will feature about 45 of Wood’s pieces, most of them prints of fellow rock ‘n’ rollers and celebrities. Prices range from $300 for a small print to about $200,000 for an original painting.

Wood, who has played with the Byrds, The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces, attended Ealing Art School, part of an elite group that included Pete Townsend of “The Who” and Freddie Mercury of “Queen.”

When Faces frontman Rod Stewart’s solo career took off, Wood began playing with the Rolling Stones on an occasional basis. He was made a permanent member of the band during the recording of the 1974 album “It’s Only Rock and Roll.”

The Hamilton-Selway gallery, hosting Wood’s work for the first time, is generally known for its pop art collection, particularly the works of Andy Warhol.

As Wood’s paintings are sold, the show is replenished with fresh works, which are shipped in from London.

Conor Dougherty

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