Fairfax High School, whose history reflects the changing Jewish demographics of the Fairfax District, has evolved over the decades as a diverse place of learning, mirroring Los Angeles’ racial tensions and triumphs in the process.
A venerable Jewish business in the Fairfax District has received a short-term stay of execution. Hatikvah Records, an internationally known vendor of both popular and rare Jewish music, will remain open at 436 N. Fairfax Ave. until mid-January, despite earlier reports that its closure was imminent.
Playwright Leon Martell was dining at Canter's when his thoughts drifted to Billy Gray, the Jewish comic whose name had graced a 1950s nightclub on Fairfax.
Billy Gray's Band Box had been a sexy, Hollywood gangsterland kind of joint where stars like Lou Costello had schmoozed with mobster Mickey Cohen. But the club was long gone and Gray's name had faded from Fairfax, Martell noted -- until he glanced at the menu and saw the Billy Gray Band Box special.
"Billy lives on in the Fairfax -- as a chopped liver sandwich," he said.
If you want to know what's going on, talk to the guy who runs the newsstand.
That would be David Mallel, who owns the well-stocked newsstand at Fairfax and Oakwood avenues in the heart of the Fairfax District. He keeps attuned to the political feelings of his well-read clientele by seeing what they buy and mixing those observations with his own experiences as a lifelong member of the Los Angeles Jewish community.