Download Podcast Episode!

A note on the audio quality: this episode is a bit tinny, due to the learning curve on setting up multi-guest remote podcasting, and the present difficulty in quickly obtaining alternate mics and mixers. Please be patient with us. We’re working on it!

You Can’t Eat the Sunshine returns with an all-new Quarantine format, inviting folks who are passionate about Los Angeles history and historic preservation to join us for a conversation about the places that matter more than ever, as much of Los Angeles shelters in place under Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Safer At Home” directive.

Our special guests on April 21, 2020 are Carolyn Zanelli and Spencer Jones of Save Normandie Avenue, Nathan Marsak (The Cranky Preservationist / RIP Los Angeles) and Steven Luftman (Friends of Lytton Savings / Dept. of Urban Secrets), talking about the challenges of fighting to preserve the architectural integrity of their landmark “Little New York Street” (the 700 block of South Normandie) during quarantine, hopeful signs of cooperation from developer Jameson Properties, and how you can help save a unique L.A. time capsule by simply emailing City Council (instructions below). Plus, Nathan riffs on his long fantasized zombie apocalypse, density and Yimbyism in post-pandemic Los Angeles.

Links to learn more about our guests, the episode’s topics, and us:

Carolyn Zanelli and Spencer Jones are longtime residents of the 700 block of South Normandie, Koreatown’s Little New York Street. When they learned that a massive, modern building was planned for the surface parking lot opposite their apartment, they launched Save Normandie Avenue, an advocacy organization seeking an historically appropriate design for the infill project proposed for the block.

Nathan Marsak is an architectural historian, writer and preservationist. His current blog is RIP Los Angeles home of the Cranky Preservationist videos, and you can whet your whistle for his forthcoming Bunker Hill book by poking around the On Bunker Hill blog.

Steven Luftman is a preservationist and community activist. His website is the Dept. of Urban Secrets, with information about campaigns to Save Lytton Savings and to landmark the Mendel & Mabel Meyer Courtyard Apartments, Wallace Beery House and South Genesee Duplexes.

Esotouric is our historic Los Angeles tour company, presently not operating due to the pandemic. We have a newsletter, a YouTube channel, and can be followed on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

The Cranky Preservationist Visits Carolyn and Spencer on the 700 Block of South Normandie.

Want to help Save Normandie Avenue? Please visit this link as soon as possible (before April 29), to give emailed Public Comment. A sample email is below.

For more info, see the City Council file: Los Angeles City Council File: 20-0087 – 738 South Normandie Avenue / Categorical Exemption (CE) / California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) / Appeal

Sample email for Public Comment (feel free to add to this, or simply copy it and sign your name):

Dear City Council,

The proposed development by Jamison Properties at 738 South Normandie potentially jeopardizes the historical significance of the entire street, because it is entirely out of character with the existing block, which has not had any new construction in eight decades.

The block, which sits in the Normandie Mariposa Historic District, was built at the same time as the Ambassador Hotel, a landmark which was demolished after a long preservation battle. Today, it is one of the city’s most popular film locations, due to its time capsule appearance.

I am asking that CD10 Councilman Herb Wesson and the rest of City Council allow the CEQA appeal for 738 South Normandie, to help preserve the historic fabric of the block by ensuring that any new construction respects the existing historic structures and blends in, rather than standing out. Please do the right thing and help preserve Koreatown’s Little New York Street.


(My name, my zip code)