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Changing Careers and Changing Homes in the Palisades

There's nowhere like living in the Palisades.

I’ve always loved the Palisades, because as a child I spent so much time there. Growing up in Brentwood was nice, don’t get me wrong.  As a kid I remember walking in Brentwood with best friends (Lisa Pivnick, Wendy Pivnick, and Tracy Kaye) to places like Regular Jons and Vicente Pharmacy. 

My memory of the Palisades was more about getting in the car and driving to great places.  My mom would take me to the Hot Dog Show on Sunset Boulevard, which had the best hot dogs ever; and the fun train that went 'round and 'round the restaurant ceiling, the Bay Movie Theater and Bay Pharmacy.  Although my Palisadian friend Marilyn Wulliger says as much as she misses the old movie theater, it brought in too many people.

Ten years after finishing college, I still lived in Brentwood where the original small town feeling seemed to have disappeared.  But at least I was able to drive to the Palisades.  I desperately wanted to find that comfortable home town feeling you get at places like ’s, ,  , Morts, the July 4th 10k Race and Parade, tennis lessons at the , , the bluffs, Theater Palisades, the , which has it’s own parking lot.

As always, my travels to the Palisades were so enjoyable that I didn’t want to leave. As a matter of fact I remember exactly where I was on that day of discovery.  I was at Gelson’s and my feet didn’t want to move.  After leaving Gelson’s I called my mother on my cell phone and told her that I could not leave the Palisades.  And the rest is history.

After moving from Brentwood to the Palisades I had a new vision.  I wanted to preserve  the wonderful heritage and natural unique qualities of the Palisades. After moving to the Palisades, I decided it was time for a career change.  So, I left the entertainment industry (representing child actors) and became a professional writer, photographer and artist.

I began painting the Palisades literally and figuratively.  As a result, I wrote text and created original hand painted scenes of the Palisades, which were combined into a book entitled “Painting the Palisades.”  It was a sell out at Village Books.  Katie O’Laughlin, owner of Village Books, can hardly keep them in stock. Some of the people who own the book include: Hilary Swank, Maria Shriver, Gavin MacLeod, and Ann Kerr. My paintings pay homage to our fair town, Village Green, the Bluffs, the home gardens the landmarks such as Will Rogers Park and Villa Aurora.  

As a result of the book, I was asked to paint custom home portraits for local Palisadians, such as Maria Shriver, Larry David and Charlie Matthau.  

Another perk about the Palisades is Swarthmore Avenue, which is the heart of our town.  This street still has one story shops, where everyone knows your name - you get a smile and a big “Hi” from shop owners and shoppers a like.  I can get a good workout walking with my dog Lulu, while looking at the beautiful and friendly shops and it doesn’t even feel like a work out because it’s entertaining and relaxing.  There's nothing like it!

Monk Loomis March 02, 2011 at 07:18 AM
Yes, I remember the Bay Theater, the Hot Dog Show, House of lee....Thanks for the memories, Gabby!
Jamey March 02, 2011 at 07:20 AM
Brings back great memories, wish I were at Morts right now.
Christine March 02, 2011 at 06:18 PM
What a sweet article! I had a similar 'epiphany' that prompted a move from Santa Monica to Pacific Palisades. How lucky the author is to have experienced all the great businesses "back in the day". I hope the Village will thrive once again. The new deli, "Lenny's" is a promising start to bring back some vitality to the Swarthmore business district. Most of the new businesses have been very high-end boutiques featuring couture fashions. I hope there may be some more affordable shops to complement them in the future.
Gabrielle Gottlieb March 03, 2011 at 12:47 AM
Hi Christine, Thank you for the sweet comments. It's fun to remember the good times. I love hearing from readers to know I'm on the right track. I agree, the shops are a bit pricey. Have you been to Vivian's Boutique on Via de La Paz? Very very reasonable prices. I get loads of compliments from the clothes and shoes I've purchased there.

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