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Real Estate ‘n’ Los Angeles – “We Love It!”



 mulholland poster color

For quite some time I have been collecting misspelled names of people and well-known places in our area. Sometimes the misspellings are even better than the actual names. Others, however, are just plain funny. Who could possibly argue that “Blurbank” Airport wouldn’t be a better name for that smog covered destination spot?  And “Universaltile” Studios kind of says it all, doesn’t it? Please enjoy: 

Selling in the Land of Oz

“Designed by Frank Lord Wright” (Yes, some thought he was a god…)

“New Thermaldoor Fridge” (This actually make sense…if you plan to wear the door to go skiing.)

“Pt. Doom in Malibu” (That’s Dune…unless you’re the Grim Reaper.)

“Studio in Sliverlake” (That’s Silverlake…although there is barely a sliver of water.)

“Near the beach in beautiful Belmont Sore” (Where the water obviously breeds contagions…)

“Views of Gotty Museum” (That’s Getty…unless you’re referring to a butcher shop in    Jersey. )

“Lorna Ashley Prints” (Lorna Luft married Ashley Simpson and created this line of fabrics. They later created a cookie called Lorna Doone. “Lorna Doom” if you are in Malibu of course.)

“Beverlywould” (That’s Beverlywood. Or would Beverly?  Bev? Bev? Wouldya Bev?)

History 101

“Grivith Park” (That’s Griffith Park – Purchased by Melanie, of course, right after she        married Andy Griffith and gave birth to Opie, who changed his name to Ron Howard right after the Aunt Bea-Gomer scandal. No wonder Ron lost his hair.)

“Gazelle Park” (That’s Glassell Park, unless part of LA Zoo is for sale. Oh, wait a minute…which part of L.A. is NOT a zoo?)

“Marina DelRoy” (It used to be Marina Del Rey until actor Delroy Lindo won the marina in a    floating crap game. The floating crap was in the harbor.)

“Whiter” (This was Whittier…until it turned a Whiter Shade of Pale.)

“Handcock Park” (Seriously??? That’s Hancock, you pervert!)

“Near LAXE” (Los Angeles Airport – renamed because flying out of this airport is sure to make you s__t your shorts.)

“Splanish Ranch in Asusa” (Gesundheit! That’s Azusa – as in “A to Z in the USA . Does that ‘splain things? )

A New Spin

“Big Bare Lake” (It’s BEAR, as in “Run like hell because your bare butt is about to be     devoured by Yogi.”)

“Vikonins in the kitchen” (That’s Viking… or did you mean Vicodin?  In which case, it’s   highly doubtful the Vikings you see in the kitchen come with the property.)

“Near Copton” (That’s Compton…and I doubt that even the cops are willing to go there.)

“Go N on Beaverly Glan” (Is this Beverly Glen, the road; or Beaverly Glan, the porn star? )

“Lke Arhd” (Not the best abbreviation for Lake Arrowhead – unless that’s code for         “Hooters Lake.”)

My Fave:

“Near Mullhaulin”: (That’s the best description I’ve ever seen for that hold-onto-your-skivvies, meet-your-maker E Ride we call the Mulholland Flyway! 

It’s L.A. – ya’ gotta love it!

I wear several hats: My mink fedora real estate hat belongs to Sotheby’s International Realty on the world famous Sunset Strip. I’M not world famous, but I've garnered a few Top Producer credits along the way. I also wear a coonskin writer's cap with an arrow through it, having written a few novels and screenplays and scored a few awards there, too. (The arrow was from a tasteless critic.) My sequined turban is my thespian hat for my roles on stage, and in film and television, Dahling. You can check me out in all my infamy at LinkedIn,, SherlockOfHomes, IMDB or you can shoot arrows at my head via email. I can take it.

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  1. Joe Loomer

    February 12, 2010 at 8:59 am

    Only in Californica!

    I heard they’re renaming San Fransisco to San Pelocosico!

    Navy Chief, Navy Prude!!

  2. Gwen Banta

    February 12, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Joe, it’s so nice to know you are up on all the latest CA news. So you probably have already heard that we are changing the name of L.A.’s Mandeville Canyon to Mandible Canyon, because you can’t drive through without having your tires chewed up? And famous Benedict Canyon is about to become Benediction Canyon, because you have to say a prayer before you merge into oncoming traffic. Laurel Canyon remains unchanged because many ot our residents are too laid back to shake things up, otherwise we would be Locoweed Canyon. Ah, yes, “Obladi oblada life goes on bra…”

  3. Patrick

    February 12, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Just can not get enough of your posts. I’ve a whole new desire to find the funny in this otherwise laughable profession. Keep it up…the posts, that is! (That’s the best I can do…sorry)

  4. Gwen Banta

    February 12, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Thanks, Patrick. I had another funny incident happen today that may make you smile a bit more. I locked myself into a parking garage in a small condo complex in Hollywood and couldn’t get out (it’s too complicated to explain). I called for help through the iron gate and a homeless person came up to help me. I told her I could give her the gate code so she could enter the outer door and then come around to the garage to open the garage gate from the condo side of the entrance. She told me she had an important meeting with “Darf Vader,” and then she gave ME a quarter and walked away. Luckily someone came home and the gate opened so I could dash out. But isn’t it nice to know I rate even lower than an imaginary person?

  5. Julie Falen

    February 13, 2010 at 12:36 am

    WHat I love best about that story is that she was waiting for “Darf Vader” and gave YOU money! I think that’s hysterical.! As a resident of Hollywood (Hollywould) it wouldn’t have surprised me if she COULD have gotten into the condo complex to open the door. BUt I woujldn’t trade it – and I love someone who spells right and sees the giggles in the mis-spelled.
    Nice to run into your post Gwen, instead of the plugging away I did at Open Houses.
    Hope all is god in your world.

  6. Gwen Banta

    February 13, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Thank YOU, Julie. I just want everyone to know that I really tried to insist that she keep her quarter, but she was too busy talking to some imaginary person to listen to me. She had on a hat made of aluminum foil, and it seemed to me that she MUST be a lightening magnet. That would certainly explain her relationship with Darf. Incidentally, I don’t know if you intended to misspell “good” in your last sentence, but the line certainly works both ways, doesn’t it? I love it!

  7. Fred Glick

    February 13, 2010 at 8:27 pm


    I hear that Fred Lord Right dude has some cool pads!

  8. Gwen Banta

    February 13, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Yes, Lord Fred, you are right – and may you get a helluva commissio for all of them!

  9. Fred Glick

    February 13, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    I have actually written a few posts about spelling, language and the reel s tate agent.

    What amazes me is people that will use these agents to write and negotiate contracts for them for the largest and most important purchase of their lives.

    Priceless stupidity.

  10. Gwen Banta

    February 13, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Some poor spellers have great minds, Fred. I will say, however, that when spell check is available (and it isn’t always), it does seem a neglect of detail not to use it. I am a terrible typist – I even have to look at the keys (a serious challenge because, in addition to a lack of manual dexterity, I am also half blind). Thus, it is easy for me to make typos. I always encourage proof reading because typos can make us look idiotic . Witness the guy who put an ad in our MLS Weekend Guide that said, “Live Near the Hollywood Bowel”!

  11. Fred Glick

    February 13, 2010 at 8:58 pm

    How hard is it to read what you’ve written before hitting the “send” button.

    I’ll bet we can make a fortune as real estate proof readers by charging $10 per listing and guarantee perfect spelling and language.

    We can then write a Dumb and Dumber like real estate agent script.

    Don’t get me started!! Oh, OK, get me started…we could have a lot fun doing it!

  12. Gwen Banta

    February 13, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    Ha – I love your passion, Fred! In one of my earlier blogs I spoke about taking the MLS “Hoof in Mouth” show on the comedy circuit. I admit I am guilty of mentally filling in what I MEANT to type rather than seeing the written word. Hence, my recent error in referring to a Dr. Dunhill as Dr. Dunghill (probably only appropriate if he were a proctologist). When are we going to get spellcheck on AG? Of course, that never addresses the synonym problem, which is the source of so many errors…and the reason I drink.

  13. Fred Glick

    February 13, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Luckily, I have a mac that continually spellchecks. It’s a little secret thing that makes them so much better.

    Next time I’m in LA, drinks are on me with a free spelling and typing lesson for your proctologist!

  14. Gwen Banta

    February 13, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    I’ll take you up on that, Fred. “And maybe I should switch from a PC to Mac for the spell checker,” the girl with huge feat told herself while unconsciously stroking the hare on her chin just below her bulbous read knows.

  15. Fred Glick

    February 13, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    ….and their orchestra! I think we should take this off AG. Email me direct fred at he said as he feated the glove of his red-armed armadillo while running his Penguin for Governor of Alaska in 1947…….

  16. James Malanowski

    February 14, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    “Pt. Doom in Malibu” (That’s Dune…unless you’re the Grim Reaper.)

    Actually, it’s “Dume” but let’s not ruin the fun.

  17. Gwen Banta

    February 15, 2010 at 1:45 am

    Ah hah – you caught the mouse catcher – that’s fantastic – thanks, James!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Business Marketing

Healthcare during pandemic goes virtual, looks to stay that way

(BUSINESS NEWS) Employment-based health insurance has already been through the ringer with COVID-19, but company healthcare options are adapting for long term.



Stethoscope with laptop, showing healthcare going virtual.

Changes in employment-based health insurance may end up costing employers more, but will provide crucial benefits to workers responding to the healthcare challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent survey by the Business Group on Health, a member-driven advocacy organization that helps large employers navigate providing health insurance to their employees, businesses will increase access to telehealth, mental health resources, and on-site clinics in the upcoming year.

Besides the obvious impacts of the coronavirus itself, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have also rippled out to affect other aspects of public health and how we engage with medical care. With so many people staying home to reduce their in-person contacts, there has been a significant increase in the use of telehealth services such as virtual doctor’s visits. According to the survey from Business Group on Health, whose members include 74 Fortune 100 companies, more than half of large employers will offer more options for virtual healthcare in the upcoming year than in the past.

The pandemic, resulting economic fallout, and dramatic changes to our lives have inevitably exacerbated peoples’ anxieties and feelings of hopelessness. As we move into cold weather, with no end in sight to the need to socially distance, this promises to be a particularly dreary, lonely winter. Mental health support will be more necessary than ever. In 2019, 73% of large employers provided virtual mental health services. That number will increase to 91% next year, with 45% of large employers also expanding their mental health care provider networks, making it easier for employees to find the right the therapist or other mental health service provider, and making it easier to access those services from home, virtually.

In addition, there will be a 20% increase in employers offering virtual emotional well-being services. Altogether, 9 out of 10 of the employers surveyed will provide online mental health resources, which, besides virtual appointments, could also include apps, webinars, and educational videos.

There has also been a slight increase the availability of on-site clinics that provide coronavirus testing and other basic health services. This also included an expansion of resources for prenatal care, weight management, and chronic health problems such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

These improvement won’t come free of charge. While deductibles will remain about the same, premiums and out-of-pocket costs will increase about 5%. In most cases, employers will handle these costs, rather than passing them on to employees.

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Business Marketing

How Instagram’s latest redesign is more sinister than it seems

(MARKETING) Instagram’s latest updates have all but repurposed the app into an online mall – one that tracks everything you see, say, and buy on it.



Woman in hijab taking photo on her smartphone for Instagram, affected by the redesign.

Instagram started the new year off with a makeover in their latest redesign. The notifications button teleported to the top of the screen in the app’s new design, and now the “Shopping” button is in its place.

It’s a subtle yet insidious switch. You’re much more likely to select the marketplace out of habit, by accident, when searching your next dose of online validation.

The app has always been a vital tool for artists, craftspeople, and small businesses to promote their work — including myself. And the new redesign is intended to boost the visibility of those groups. At least, that’s Instagram’s argument.

In an article for The Conversation, Nazanin Andalibi of the University of Michigan School of Information provides a glimpse of what’s going on behind the scenes.

“By choosing to make the Shop tab central to its platform,” she writes, “Instagram is sending its users a message: This platform is a business, and interactions on this platform are going to be commodified.”

As an advertiser, Instagram’s popularity has exploded in the last decade. Even big pharma is in on the surge, with seventy pharmaceutical companies purchasing ads on the app in 2020. (That made it the fastest growing pharma advertiser of the year.)

As we know, Instagram not only runs ads, but also uses user information to filter who sees what advertisements. Now, shopping is explicitly a central function of the app. It sometimes feels like a digital mall… And that’s not really what people signed up for.

I’ve had my account for since I was a teenager, and the experience I have using the app today is totally different from what it once was. For one, it’s increasingly difficult to differentiate paid ads from regular user content on Instagram.

And second, I use Instagram to promote my work, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing personal details about myself anymore.

Because, to use Anadalibi’s words: “Sharing or seeking information about a difficult, personal experience on a social media platform and then having the platform capitalize on an algorithmic understanding of the experience–which might or might not be accurate–is problematic.”

That goes doubly so for youth, who may not be fully aware of that engineering.

For instance, a teenager searching for body positive posts might receive personalized ad results for weight loss programs. A human would probably realize that’s an inappropriate, even triggering suggestion. But algorithms don’t think that way.

Alongside the redesign update, Instagram has also faces recent criticism for their Community Guidelines, which prevent suggestive and explicit images and speech.

And whether you agree with the guidelines or not, don’t be fooled. Instagram isn’t concerned with uplifting its creators, or protecting its young users. Their only goal is protecting their new bottom line, and staying as ad-friendly as possible.

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Business Marketing

Ghost Reply has us asking: Should you shame a recruiter who ghosted you?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Ghost Reply will send an anonymous “kind reminder” to recruiters who ghost job candidates, but is the sweet taste of temporary catharsis worth it?



Stressed woman at a laptop with hands on head, considering if she should send a Ghost Reply.

People hate to get “ghosted” in any situation, personal or professional. But for job seekers who may already be struggling with self-esteem, it can be particularly devastating. Ghost Reply is a new online service that will help you compose and send an email nudge to the ghoster, sending a “kind reminder” telling them how unprofessional it is to leave someone hanging like that.

Ghost Reply wants to help you reach catharsis in all of this stressful mess of finding a job. Almost all of the problems and feelings are compounded by this confounded pandemic that has decimated areas of the workforce and taken jobs and threatened people’s financial security. It is understandable to want to lash out at those in power, and sending a Ghost Reply email to the recruiter or HR person may make you feel better in the short term.

In the long run, though, will it solve anything? Ghost Reply suggests it may make the HR person or recruiter reevaluate their hiring processes, indicating this type of email may help them see the error of their ways and start replying to all potential candidates. If it helps them reassess and be more considerate in the future and helps you find closure in the application/interview process, that would be the ideal outcome on all fronts. It is not likely this will happen, though.

The Ghost Reply sample email has the subject line “You have a message from a candidate!” Then it begins, “Hi, (name), You’re receiving this email because a past candidate feels like you ghosted them unfairly.” It then has a space for said candidate to add on any personal notes regarding the recruiter or process while remaining anonymous.

I get it. It’s upsetting to have someone disappear after you’ve spent time and energy applying, possibly even interviewing, only to hear nothing but crickets back from the recruiter or HR person you interacted with. It’s happened to me more than once, and it’s no bueno. We all want to be seen. We all want to be valued. Ghosting is hurtful. The frustration and disappointment, even anger, that you feel is certainly relatable. According to several sources, being ghosted after applying for a job is one of the top complaints from job seekers on the market today.

Will an anonymous, passive-aggressive email achieve your end? Will the chastened company representative suddenly have a lightbulb go off over their heads, creating a wave of change in company policy? I don’t see it. The first sentence of the sample email, in fact, is not going to be well received by HR.

When you start talking about what’s “unfair,” most HR people will tune out immediately. That kind of language in itself is unprofessional and is a red flag to many people. Once you work at a company and know its culture and have built relationships, then, maybe, just maybe, can you start talking about your work-related feelings. I believe in talking about our feelings, but rarely is a work scenario the best place to do so (I speak from experience). Calling it unprofessional is better, less about you and more about the other person’s behavior.

However, it’s unclear how productive Ghost Reply actually is. Or how anonymous, frankly. By process of deduction, the recipient of the email may be able to figure out who sent it, if it even makes it through the company’s spam filters. Even if they cannot pinpoint the exact person, it may cast doubts on several applicants or leave a bad taste in the recruiter’s mouth. It sounds like sour grapes, which is never a good thing.

There may be any number of reasons you didn’t get the job offer or interview, and they may or may not have something to do with you. Recruiters answer your burning questions, including why you may have been ghosted in this recent article in The American Genius.

Ultimately, you will never know why they ghosted you. If it makes you feel better or at least see the issue from both sides, the amount of job candidates ghosting recruiters after applying and even interviewing is equally high. Some people simply either have awful time management skills or awful manners, and at the end of the day, there’s not much you can do about that.

Focus on your own survival while job hunting, instead of these disappointing moments or the person who ghosts you. It will serve you better in the long run than some anonymous revenge email. There are other ways to deal with your frustration and anger when you do get ghosted, though. Try the classic punching your pillow. Try taking a walk around the block. If it helps to put your frustration into words, and it very well may, then do so. Write it on a piece of paper, then burn it. Or type it all in an email and delete it. For your own sake, do NOT put their email address in the “To” line, lest you accidentally hit “Send.”

The sooner you can let it go, the sooner you can move on to finding a better job fit for you.

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