DEALS & DISCOUNTS--The Hollywood Fringe is an annual festival of live theater that brings players from all over the world to small theaters throughout Hollywood. It’s mostly centered on theater row on Santa Monica Boulevard between La Brea and El Centro, but several other small theaters are also involved. It offers a chance to take in a live experience and to see something unique. After all these years in Los Angeles, and being an actress, for crying out loud – and I’d never been to the festival before last Sunday! 

I heard about “Sitting Bull’s Last Waltz” through an actor in the play named Alan Tafoya. I ran into him at Callenders Grill during their groovy jazz evening on Fridays and we got to talking. Turns out he’s an Apache from near my neck of the woods in northern New Mexico. He told me about the play and I went on down for opening night to find that it’s part of the Fringe. 

"I wish it to be remembered that I was the last man of my tribe to surrender my rifle”

--so said the defiant Chief Sitting Bull of the Hunkpapa Lakota.


Sitting Bull, also a holy man of his people, had many visions, including the defeat of General Custer and his bunch of marauders at the battle of Little Big Horn. Later, a meadowlark spoke to him in a vision of his own death at the hands of his own people. 

Sitting Bull had a really bad rep with the U.S. government. He was super worried for his people since they were often starving after having their food supply purposely eliminated or being kicked out of their homes or murdered outright. Custer may have lost back in 1890, but the descendants of the Europeans were coming out west by the hundreds of thousands and stealing land from the Lakota Sioux right and left. Someone came up with a nice word to call them – “settlers.” 

Sitting Bull was a real thorn in their side because he could tell a whopper of a story with a song. The Sioux people love that. People were inspired by him to continue to resist. Then came the Ghost Dance. The Indians have always been big on ceremonies and this one turned into a movement. The Ghost Dance was a ceremony that promised that the Indian people would get their way of life back so it was pretty popular as you might imagine. The idea that the Indians could get their way of life back was also very threatening to the occupiers since that would interfere with their own plans for their destiny being made manifest. 

The actors of “Sitting Bull’s Last Waltz” tell the story of the men and women from this piece of our country’s history with visible passion and remarkable talent. The story is narrated throughout by Little Sure Shot herself, an effective theatrical device, which makes for an interesting angle. What unfolds beautifully before us in the small theater is a story that is heartbreaking to be sure but it is also an inspiring example of resistance to oppression and of a love for a life that is whole and unbroken. 

The tone of this resistance is mostly told through the art of song. Described as a “post-punk musical,” the score brilliantly and viscerally depicts the passion of the conflicts; and the power of the relationships between the various characters and the land itself. 

This show is bound to go places. The writing is superb and the musical pieces are excellently written and performed. I’d love to see the soundtrack come out. I’ll keep City Watch readers informed of that eventuality. This is an important performance piece. Not only because it causes us to know who we are as a country but because its’ message of the struggle against wanton oppression boldly resonates today as we stand on the brink of the destruction of our planet. 

In the words of Black Elk on the massacre at Wounded Knee, which took place not too long after Sitting Bull was murdered: 

“I did not know then how much was ended….I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream.” 

We need to learn from that dream



Check out Information on “Sitting Bull’s Last Waltz”  


Check out Information on the Hollywood Fringe Festival 


(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at  Facebook: - Twitter: @checkingthegate) 



Tags: Jennifer Caldwell, Deals and Discounts, Hollywood Fringe, Sitting Bull






DEALS & DISCOUNTS--Living in Los Angeles allows us to enjoy food from many different cultures, Persian food especially. So where do you go when you have a craving for delicious homemade stews or rice dishes? You could run down to a popular Persian restaurant, such as the Shamshiri Grill in Westwood or Javan on Santa Monica Boulevard, or you could go down Wilshire Blvd in Santa Monica to my favorite  international grocer, Tehran Market, and get your favorite dinner to-go. 

I have been a frequent and loyal shopper at Tehran Market for over 20 years.  The store is centrally located, an easy stop by for Middle Eastern specialty items like olives, pickles, feta cheese, pistachios, dried figs and cherries, spices, and daily delivered fresh baked goods such as pita and lavash breads. Their produce is super, also fresh. They have the best Persian cucumbers for half the cost as Trader Joes; large bundles of fresh herbs, parsley, mint, cilantro, basil, and dill costing only $.50 per bunch; and row upon row of Sadaf spices and dried herbs at $2 – $4 per package. Check out the freezer with tubs of ice cream coming in saffron, rosewater, pistachio and medjool date flavors. The thought alone makes my mouth water. 

About a month ago after shopping for my usual items, I was getting ready to check out noticing something new, pre-packaged meals in disposable plastic containers in the refrigerated counter. On a whim, I asked co-owner Soheil Salimit for a suggestion and took home khoresh ‘eh karafs, or celery stew. Being new to Persian stews, I was pleasantly surprised at the wonderful blends of herbs, beef, and celery in a lemony green sauce, yummy and so healthy. The container cost $6.99 and was enough for three servings. Soheil had just made it that morning. The next day I came back for more buying the lubia polo, rice with green beans and beef, and a few vegetarian dishes for my husband who loved the homemade hummus and sabzi khordan, rice made with green herbs and safron.  The following week I brought home fesenjon, pomegranate stew with chicken turning out to be the most delicious dish I have ever tasted. 

Here’s the deal – all dishes cost between $3.99 to $6.99. Most portions are large enough to feed a family of three or four, and delicious enough to keep you coming back.   For me, buying the packaged meals has turned out to be a wonderful and inexpensive way to get fresh homemade Persian food to home, even Queen Sheharazade would be proud. 

Even though Tehran Market has been at the same location in Santa Monica for the past 30 years, Soheil became co-owner only three years ago. His family is in the grocery/food business in Iran and has brought new energy to the store. At all times you will find the shelves well stocked, store impeccably clean, and plenty of parking on the street or in the parking lot off of 14th Street and Wilshire. Most importantly, you likely will meet Soheil as he is always there to welcome. 




Plain Rice

Polo with Spices (“polo” is rice that is mixed with something)

Polo with Dried Cherries

Lubia Polo (Persian green beans and chunks of beef mixed with rice)




Oliveh (chicken, potatoes, mayo, lemon, peas, pickles, eggs and olive oil) a lot like potato salad, and Sohail claims it is the best sellers!

Tahini and Hummus sauces –Fresh, homemade, low salt, and no preservatives.

Kashk Bademjon – an appetizer made with eggplant and yogurt and garlic.





Celery stew

Ghame stew with beef


Spaghetti with meatballs




Sohail is always changing it up, making things without meat for vegetarian fare.




Tehran Market

1417 Wilshire Blvd

Santa Monica, CA  90403



Monday through Saturday: 8 am – 9 pm

Sunday: 9 am – 8 pm


Sunday BBQ:

Sunday: 11 am – 1 pm


(Sue Helmy has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. She is currently providing superb administrative services at a financial management firm in Century City. She is active in countless church and civic organizations and spends every minute she can spare dancing to the Zumba beat.)

DEALS AND DISCOUNTS--This Saturday, Sue Helmy and I resolved to journey to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on a mission to discover what the fuss about Senator Bernie Sanders is all about. Joining us were a couple of activist friends of mine and Sue’s daughter’s best friend from college. We were especially excited to be attending with Beshoy – the college friend – because he looks like Jesus. Since Bernie looks like Santa Claus, we figured we couldn’t really do any better than hanging out with Jesus AND Santa Claus all at once. After all salvation from fire and brimstone and free gifts in December are both PRETTY GOOD DEALS. 

We opted to bus it on over to that iconic structure near USC. LA Metro bus fare has gone up since I last rode – now at $1.75 a trip, with transfers at 50 cents a pop. We had a great time riding with our fellow Angelinos down to the venue even though there was some confusion since we hadn’t taken much time to read the directions on the trip planner. HINT: PAY ATTENTION IF YOU DO THIS AT HOME! 

After about 45 minutes, we reached our destination in good spirits and proceeded to line up serpentine-style. It took us about two hours to get through. Meanwhile, we got buttons for two bucks each and some Bernie rolling papers for three. We made it through the perilous purview of the surly TSA and Secret Service types and into the plaza of the coliseum. There, we sat around on the grass and ate from food trucks and danced to the tunes of Ozomatli. Then we heard from Susan Sarandon and Dick Van Dyke before Bernie came out and introduced us to his family. 

The first thing Bernie did was pay tribute to the late great Muhammad Ali. He talked about Ali’s courage in risking it all to stand up to racism and warmongering. He then went on to outline his platform which, to my mind, sounds like the DEAL OF THE CENTURY! What we’re talkin’ here is what could be… 


What they like to call the “Great Depression” was the last time we had an economic crisis approximating the one we all just saw brought on around 2008 by the big boys on Wall Street. Times got so rough then, that the government, under FDR’s administration, was forced to pass out a damn good deal to the American public. Here are… 







Creation of agencies such as the Public Works Administration, the Civil Works Administration and others (the CWA alone put to work 4 million people in two months

Rebuild America Act,, investing $1 trillion over five years to modernize our infrastructure.  Creating more than thirteen million good-paying jobs

Passing of the Social Security Act. The initial version, the Economic Security Act, included national health care

Lifting the cap of $250,000 for Social Security and a free national health care system

Creation of the Federal Housing Administration and Home Owners Loan Corporation to regulate mortgages and housing conditions and preventing foreclosure

Expanding affordable housing, promoting home ownership, re-invigorating HARP to help prevent foreclosure, fighting homelessness and racial inequalities in housing quality

The National Labor Relations Act of 1935 (Wagner Act) guaranteed the right of employees to collective bargaining

Fighting for the Employee Free Choice Act. This would allow a union to be certified as the official union to bargain with an employer if that union gets the signatures of a majority of workers. It would have done away with the present right of an employer to come back AFTER THAT and demand another separate ballot.. Third, the bill would increase penalties on employers who discriminate against workers for union involvement.

Enactment of Glass-Steagall, preventing commercial banking to be separate from investment banking, thereby

Enactment of a new version of Glass-Steagall. Sanders thinks too-big-to-fail banks are bigger and riskier than ever before. They are even bigger than 2008 with too much power and a threat to our democracy.



The rapid climate change that is affecting our planet today is increasingly presenting the threat of not only natural disasters, but also food scarcity and quality, water quality, air-borne pathogens and a host of ills which threaten the future of humanity. This thread did not exist to this degree in 1933.


On the one difference I’ve mentioned here – and it is not the only one, Sanders is unequivocal. I took this quote from his website where he outlines an entire plan on the matter, complete with video y todo: 

The debate is over. The vast majority of the scientific community has spoken. Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and it is already causing devastating harm here in the United States, and to people all around the globe. So what are we going to do about it? We will act boldly to move our energy system away from fossil fuels, toward energy efficiency and sustainable energy sources like wind, solar and geothermal because we have a moral responsibility to leave our kids a planet that is healthy and habitable.  - Senator Bernie Sanders

Sanders spoke at the rally about the original people of this land and about how much we can learn from their traditional values of respecting the environment and preserving it for future generations. He spoke about his real concern that there will be enough safe drinking water for all people in the coming period. 

All in all, we came away with a feeling of inspiration that whatever happens, there is a big movement underway to hammer out some real solutions to some long-held problems. We all agreed that would be the best deal ever. 


Check out all these programs at 


(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at  Facebook: - Twitter: @checkingthegate) 


THE REFUGEE PROJECT --As professional photojournalist Tom Stoddart said, “Every picture tells a story.” There are thousands of refugee stories told at the Annenberg Space of Photography exhibit. Their stories are told through the eyes of accomplished and distinguished photojournalists who have been on the front lines of wars, refugee camps and war torn communities communicating this vast global crisis calling for humanitarian efforts. (Graphic above: Lesbos, Greece, 2015. A father celebrates his family’s safe passage after a stormy crossing over the Aegean Sea from Turkey – Tom Stoddart 

The Annenberg Foundation exhibit, “Refugee”, is made up of three parts. The photo and video exhibit in the main gallery, Photography Space, features a documentary of the work of five well-known photojournalists as well as photos from all over the world; “New Americans” is installed at the lower gallery, Skylight Studios telling stories of new immigrants to the US; and a Thursday evening lecture series, Iris Night, takes place until August 26 also at the Skylight Studios. 



As you walk around the main gallery, you will be blown away at the magnitude of global crisis conveyed through video and photos effecting 60 million people with half children under the age of 18 (UN Refugee Agency). They come from different countries from all five continents, the Middle East (Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Yeman, Lebanon), Asia (specifically Myanmar and Afghanistan), Africa (South Sudan, Somalia), South America (Colombia), Europe (fleeing Croatia and Slovenia, travelling though Greece, and arriving to their final destination of Germany). 

To convey this message, there is a 23-minute documentary tracking five photojournalists, Lynsey Addario, Omar Victor Diop, Graciela Iturbide, Martin Schoeller, and Tom Stoddart, telling stories of displaced people alog with their backstories narrated by Cate Blanchett. The Annenberg commissioned the phographers along with support from UN Refugee Relief, UNHCR, and Tiger Nest Films. Watch an excerpt. 

There are plenty of pictures of devastation of young and old, bombed out communities, churches, mosques and schools, highrise apartment buildings reduced to rubble, row after row of refugee camp tents, and endless faces of desperation and despair. On the other hand, the photos also show the refugees’ courage, the love for each other and their homeland, their strength and ability to continue with life. Some of my favorite photographs are Omar Victor Diop’s close-up portraits intimately showing facial expression of refugees in Somalia. You can see the look of determination and perseverance in their eyes. Another featured photojournalist, Giles Duley, shows refugees performing simple routines like sweeping the floor, looking for food, families congregating together, and trying to feel normal in their new life. 

Most importantly, the photos have become tools to educate and put pressure on politicians to take humanitarian actions. I could not think of anything more heartbreaking than the photo of three-year old Alan Kurdi, a Syrian refugee that washed up on the shores of Turkey shortly after starting the journey to Greece on a dingy last September. The picture made its rounds on social media going viral instantly on Twitter by Peter Bouckaert of Human Rights Watch being re-tweeted thousands of times within minutes. As a result, the public was outraged, funding came in to relief agencies to help the victims of the Syrian war, and countries started to open up their borders to welcome refugees to a new life. 

The photos at the Annenberg exhibit stir up the same emotion. I ask myself, How did this mass refugee crisis happen? What can I do? What political action can I take? That is exactly the point of the exhibit to first educate, then get people to take action. 


On a happier note, across the courtyard, the Skylight Studio is holding an addendum exhibit, The New Americans. It features families that have resettled in the United States through the US Refugee Admission Program. They are inspirational recordings from new settlers in California and a Congolese family in making a new life for themselves in Rochester, New York.  


Along with the photo exhibit, there is a weekly lecture series, every Thursday night, starting from April 23 through August 11, from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.  It is given by internationally acclaimed photojournalists that will leave you riveted to your chair hanging on their every word. Their passion for their profession is evident as they describe their backgrounds, interest in photographing refugee people, captivating stories they share, and their many near death experiences on location. Truly, they treat photography as a mission field communicating through their camera lenses. 


Giles Duley’s description of his motivation to photograph after losing both his legs and an arm after stepping on an IED while an assignment in Afghanistan, and his continued photography success after recovery. 

Elena Dorfman, hired by the UN to take pictures of the water source in a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan, started taking pictures of the condition of the camp. Being inspired by the teenage refugees, she documented the lives young people for the next several years, a man blinded by an explosion who eventually made his way into Canada, a woman living in a concrete shell spending her days looking for food for her family, and a Kurdish young man at the Domiz Refugee Camp in Iraq relying on his cellphone for communication with the world just like the teenagers from everywhere. 

Graciela Ituride developing a relationship with the young children to help her take pictures in Colombia. 

Kadir Van Lohuizen highlighting the risks people from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador take to come to the US, paying a “coyote” over $10,000 with hope of being granted political asylum, eventually make it to safety through very dangerous routes, and fail to get a green card. 

Like I said, these lectures are riveting. Here is the schedule of the lecture series.  


April 28          TOM STODDART: In the field

May 5             GILES DULEY: From fashion photographer to documenting the legacy of war

May 12           KADIR VAN LOHUIZEN: Refugee or Migrant?

May 19           ELENA DORFMAN: Syria’s lost generation

May 26           GRACIELA ITURIDE: My experience photographing refugees & displaced people

June 2            IVOR PRICKETT Stories of displacement from the Balkans to the Middle East

June 4           OUT OF IRAQ, A Documentary, Soldiers falling in love

June 9           ALIXANDRA FAZZINA: Visualizing migration from Somalia

June 11         AROUND THE WORLD WITH LITTLE MARKET; Lauren Conrad & Hannah Skvarla

June 11         EVENT: Handmade LA POP-UP, an afternoon of local food and art

June 16         DON BARLETTI: The roads most traveled, causes and consequences of illegal immigration

June 23         DANIEL JACK LYONS: Witnessing the vision and hearing the voice in marginalized communities

June 30          REZA DEGHATI: Exile Voices, Visual stories of refugees by refugee children

July 28           LESLIE KNOTT AND CLEMENTINE MALPAS: Putting the Camera Down

August 4        BRIAN SOKOL: People, not numbers: Using photography to humanize the global refugee crisis

August 18      MERIDITH KOHUT: Refugees and migration issues in Latin America 

Please check the website for updates in the lecture schedule. Please rsvp, seating is limited. 

If you are unable to attend a lecture in person, you can live stream it. If you are unable to watch live, all lectures are available online. I would highly recommend watching them.


The Annenberg Foundation, established in 1989 with 1.2 billion, is committed to support the arts and public education. The foundation is committed to creating public community space. The Annenberg Space for Photography is one example. The Century City facilities are just five years old and are neither museums (they do not own the art) nor are they galleries (no sale of art takes place) but are spaces to share photography that will have an impact on the community. 

The generous Annenberg Foundation commissioned and funded the entire project, photojournalist from the galleries and the photojournalists presenting through the IRIS NIGHTS LECTURE SERIES along with support from the UNHCR. 




REFUGEE - explores the lives of refugees from a host of diverse populations dispersed and displaced throughout the world.

DATES: Apr 23, 2016 - Aug 21, 2016





LOCATION: 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City


Mon-Tues: Closed 

Wed-Sun: 11 am – 6 pm



LOCATION: 10050 Constellation Blvd., Century City

HOURS/ADMISSION:          Wed-Sun: 11 am – 6 pm

Mon-Tues: Closed





LOCATION: 10050 Constellation Blvd., Century City

THURSDAY NIGHTS 6:30 – 8:00 pm




Entrance is on Constellation, east of Avenue of the Stars, on the south side. Parking on Saturday and Sunday is just $1 all day with validation. On weekdays, if you enter the structure after 4:30 pm, parking is validated and will cost $1.00. Otherwise, it is pricey.


(Sue Helmy has plenty of tricks up her sleeve. She is currently providing superb administrative services at a financial management firm in Century City. She is active in countless church and civic organizations and spends every minute she can spare dancing to the Zumba beat.)

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