Marina Del Rey Boat Parade

It’s that time of year again. Time for the 50th Annual Marina Del Rey Boat Parade. A tradition that started with a parade of only 20 boats (keep in mind there was only 100 boats in the whole Marina). The parade has become an annual holiday activity for thousands of Marina residents and has grown exponentially in popularity (and number of participants) over the years.
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This year’s parade will take place on Saturday, December 14th (That’s this Saturday!!) and will start with Fireworks at 5:55 pm. The actual boat parade will start shortly thereafter at 6:00 pm and will last until 8:00 pm.

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Each year there are two Grand Marshals who become the face of the parade. This year we will be a very special one, in that we have two very notable Marina/Playa residents who will take the reigns. Phil Jackson and Jeanie Buss!

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If you interested in participating in the parade or want more information with regards to the best viewing  and parking spots you can find ample information on the Boat Parade Website

Scopa – A Brand New Restaurant in Marina Del Rey

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Scopa is a project from LA bar team Steve Livigni and Pablo Moix, you’ve had their drinks in the past at places like La Descarga, Harvard & Stone, and Pour Vous.

The menu is easily identifiable as Italian, centered on small plates with extra emphasis on veggies. Front of house is run by Livigni, in conjunction with assistant GM Ashley Ragovin who is also the wine director and who prevously worked at Trois Mec and Animal. Sommelier Jesse Porter hails from Young Winos, and, of course, cocktails are by Moix, with a little insight from Livigni. Spirits are plentiful (just look behind the bar), and all cocktails ring in at just $11, a bargain these days for a well balanced drink. There’s house cocktails and amaro cocktails plus non-alcoholic drinks like Chinotto. Craft beers, some of which are local, are available by bottle and on draft.

Hours of operation will run daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Currently, you can submit reservation requests on their website. Scopa Italian Roots

Source “Eater L.A.”

Using Your Phone To Get A Ride

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Hailing a tax may be child’s play in New York City, but in L.A. the taxicabs are few and far between. Not to mention they are never where you need them to be. But don’t fret, services like Uber, Flywheel, Lyft, and Sidecar make it much more manageable. Not to mention you can do it all from your smartphone.

Flywheel - An app for iPhones and Android smartphones that lets you hail a cab, watch as your cab approaches, and pay for your cab ride using your smartphone.

Flywheel is a start-up based out of San Francisco that has partnered with Bell Cab Company. The company has around 300 green-colored cabs that roam all over the Westside. The app allows you select your pick up location using your phone’s GPS or the app’s drop-down menu that includes various businesses, music venues, shops, and hotels around Los Angeles. Once you have selected your “location” you will then see icons of all the available cabs in the area. At this point, you can “hail” a taxi and the closest driver will be notified and come pick you up. You will then be notified of estimated wait time and can actually track the taxi using GPS. You are alerted when the taxi has arrived and you’re pretty much set to use the cab just like you would if you flagged them down on the street. The app also has a feature where you can pay for the fare through your phone.

This is the only service of the three that allows you to hail actual taxis.

Uber – “Friendly Service and Clean Cars”

Uber provides two services at this point Uber and UberX. Uber is the higher cost version where you will be picked up in either a town car of SUV. UberX on the other hand involves a Toyota Prius, which can make the longer rides be more cost effective than a normal taxi.

Similarly to Flywheel, both Uber and UberX cars can be requested via a smartphone application. The app will show you which cars are in your vicinity as well as the estimated wait time for one of them to pick you up. Unlike the Flywheel app, Uber’s applications feature a fare calculator so you know approximately how much the ride will cost you from point A to point B.

Currently, my favorite option…

Lyft and Sidecar – Ride Sharing Apps

Lyft and Sidecar are in a class of their own; these are apps that promote ride sharing. You may have seen the abundance of cars with pink mustaches driving around and wondered to yourself why would anyone put that on their car…?

The mustaches are there to let you know which cars/drivers have been given the companies approval. Both of these services do background checks on their drivers to make sure that passengers feel safe and have a enjoyable ride experience.

Lyft and sidecar promote “fun and social” rides. Like the other two companies both these ride-sharing services have their own apps which work in very similar ways. They both suggest voluntary ride “donations”.

 

 

Marina Del Rey Hotel Finally Has Renovation In The Works

The Marina Del Rey Hotel was the first ever hotel built in Marina Del Rey and will be celebrating its 50th anniversary next year. With that large milestone just around the corner, Pacifica Hotels has announced that they have closed the doors (As of August 2013) in anticipation of a 20 million dollar renovation giving the hotel a complete “face lift”.

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Pacifica Hotels, California’s largest owner and operator of boutique hotels, announced Aug. 26 that the Marina Del Rey Hotel will reopen in early Spring 2014.

Matt Marquis, president of Irvine-based Pacifica Hotels stated further that “our intention with this renovation is to revitalize the Marina Del Rey Hotel, while maintaining its classic reputation. We have put significant resources into the Marina Del Rey community and want the Marina Del Rey Hotel to be a shining example of Pacifica’s investment in the area’s hospitality landscape.”

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After the improvements, 160-room Marina Del Rey Hotel will boast four-star amenities, including a full-service restaurant, 24-hour room service, concierge assistance, an outdoor, marina-facing pool and sundeck, an outdoor wedding venue, and other offerings, according to a Pacifica spokesman.

The Marina del Rey Hotel is one of five Pacifica hotels in the marina area, the company said. The others are Jamaica Bay Inn, Hilton Garden Inn Marina del Rey, Inn at Marina del Rey and Inn at Venice Beach.

Marina del Rey Hotel is at 13534 Bali Way, Marina del Rey. Information (800) 720-0223 or http://www.pacificahotels.com.

Protecting Your Smartphone

The current era of technology that we live in is amazing; we are able to do things we previously never thought possible. The capability of smartphones rivals that of the 3rd and 4th generation desktop computers. We are able to surf the web, continuously interact with friends and co-workers, play games, and keep track of all our sensitive information. And we can do all of this on the run. Incredible!

However, there are still those people out there that want to exploit these wonderful devices. That being said, we have to make sure to take the simple precautionary steps to protect ourselves.

Step #1 – Turn on the screen lock functionality. Just do it!

- While you make think it’s tedious to unlock your phone every time the screen shuts off. You are preventing others from accessing your personal information. Also, they have time options so that it will only lock if the screen has been off for 5, 10, or even 15 minutes.

- This can be done through the settings menu on your phone.

- Do it!

Step #2 – Remember to turn off the GPS and Wi-Fi when you don’t need them.

- Unless you want to share your location on social media apps like Facebook and Twitter, this functionality really isn’t necessary.

- Also many location-tracking apps use them to figure out where you are. Most of the time it is for their statistics to figure out how to make their apps better.

- But better to be safe than sorry. If you want someone to know where you are just call them and tell them. You can turn these options off in the settings menu.

Step #3 – (Only for Non-Apple Products) Download a 3rd-Party Virus Protection Application.

- For all the Android users out there, you have the ability to download virus protection software for your phone due to the fact that Google’s developer platform is completely “open”. Everyone with an iPhone or iPad; you just have to trust Apple with your phone’s security.

- Many of the anti-virus apps for Android can be run in the background, just like similar software for your computer. They will scan your phone from time to time and help you remove any files that may be harmful.

- ** However, be careful! There are a lost of free apps out there posing to be security apps and they actually will allow hackers to control your phone.** “Downloader Beware”

Step #4 – Enable The Anti-Theft Settings

- These settings allow you to track, locate, or even erase a stolen or lost phone.

- Options like this have been available on Apple products for sometime now and are just being released on Androids.

- They also help if you misplace your phone.

That’s it for now. Just be wary of putting confidential information on your cell phone, you never know who might find it. Unfortunately, it’s not likely to be a person who will friendly enough to return it.

Largest Real Estate Deal in Southern California This Year

According to the LA Times “the sale of the 437-unit Marina Del Rey [Esprit] complex represents one of the largest real estate deals of the year…”

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This luxury complex is located on Marquesas Way bordered by the B and C basins.

The record purchase was orchestrated by real estate investment firms Capri Capital Partners and Kennedy Wilson from a partnership led by former Los Angeles City Councilwoman Cindy Miscikowski. The new owners have assumed the land lease and will soon launch a $5.3 million improvement plan on the Esprit, said Ken Lombard, who is in charge of investments for Capri, based in Chicago.

Marina del Rey lies on 400 acres of unincorporated land in Los Angeles County. In recent years, county officials have mounted a push to spruce up the neighborhood around the public marina that was dedicated in 1965. The land there remains owned by the county, which has urged leaseholders to upgrade their restaurants, shopping centers, hotels and apartments in the hope of creating a more dynamic community.

The Esprit is the newest apartment complex in the marina, which was carved out of a salt marsh to become one of the largest pleasure boat harbor communities in the United States and an important source of revenue for the county. In addition to leasing the land, the county also takes a cut of apartment and boat slip rents, hotel room rentals and restaurant sales.

“We absolutely believe the marina has a tremendous amount of upside and are very excited about this opportunity,” Lombard said. “We perceive this to be the premier property there in terms of location and quality of the units.”

The 18-acre Esprit site has five buildings and a marina with 227 boat slips available for rent.

Occupancy in the apartments stabilized at 94% during the end of 2012, said Kurt Zech of Beverly Hills-based Kennedy Wilson, “and still has plenty of potential for rental growth in a steadily improving economy.”

Source

This Week’s Argonaut

Check out the wonderful spread we have in the Argonaut this week! It features our current listings as well as the announcement that we have joined Remax. Pick up a copy around the Marina or you can view it online at http://argonautnews.com/.

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New Abbot Kinney Parking Restrictions

Vehicles that are over 6 feet high are no longer allowed to park within 100′ of the intersections between Westminster and Venice on Abbot Kinney. The signage was approved and placed by the LA City Department of Transportation at the request of the Abbot Kinney Merchants’ Association to improve visibility at the intersections.

In addition to improving the safety at intersections, the new signage will also limit the amount of food trucks that will legally be able to park on Abbot Kinney during “1st Fridays”. Then again, if the trucks are not towed after the $58 ticket, the food truck owners may just write it off as the cost of doing business. We will see what happens tomorrow!

While a Range Rover with stock wheels will slide under the 72″ restriction by 1/2 an inch, some SUV’s like the Ford Expedition will not, as they are 77.2″ in height.

- Yo Venice | http://goo.gl/ZXUS4