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This Week in RP(LA) 3/7/11

Groundwork Coffee, Venice
So to fill you all in: for the last 6 months or so This Week in RP(LA) has been an internal RP tradition to keep RPNY posted on the many goings-ons over at RPLA’s Cattaraugus HQ – whether they be culinary experiments, company field trips, or actual notes on how things are going with our two films. We all get a good kick out of it so we thought we’d share. Hope you enjoy…

This Week in RP Outings
It’s been a rather cramped couple of weeks here at Cattaraugus HQ. The two Michaels began a “February is A Surprisingly Short Month” push on Web beginning with the widely publicized “Big Edit” over President’s Weekend. The edit, which was carried out in honor of President Washington’s well-documented love affair with all things cinema, most notably the documentary form. (It’s been said that Washington once posted a highlight reel of the Battle of Saratoga on YouLiberate – an early precursor to YouTube. The video was taken down by the site’s administrator because of Washington’s illegal use of the Guns ‘N Roses classic, “Hell’s Bells” in the video’s opening.) In any case, “Big Edit” was an undisputed success and has spilled over into a general editing push that is anticipated to last through March. The unforgiving pace of such an edit has lead to two things: a pervading desire to get out of the confining Cattaraugus HQ for a breath of air each day and a never fading need for caffeine. The captain of his High School bird hunting team, Kleiman quickly suggested the two Michaels kill two birds with one stone and find a destination that could provide the Michaels with respite from the chaos of HQ as well as their afternoon caffeine fix. The answer came in the form of Groundwork Coffee – a coffee bean institution here in Los Angeles. The Michaels are no strangers to Groundwork, having frequented the Santa Monica location since their arrival in the Greater Los Angeles area back in October. Over the course of their patronage the pair of Michaels found Groundwork to satisfy all of the pertinent checks on their never-before-published guide to finding a good iced coffee spot:

* Friendly and knowledgeable baristas
* Iced coffee that has to be professionally diluted with water by said knowledgeable baristas because it’s so fucking strong
* A professional staff that will allow a pair of rather ballsy customers to taste the undiluted coffee upon request
* The ability to buy iced coffee in jugs as opposed to cups

Yes, Groundwork has everything a coffee drinker could want. One could therefore imagine the level of excitement that overwhelmed the Cattaraugus duo on the first day of Big Edit when a Venice Groundwork location was discovered. Set on the relaxed corner of 7th Ave and Rose in Venice, the Groundwork Flagship store is a coffee-lovers heaven. Easily three times the size of the Santa Monica location (which is admittedly cramped), the Venice Groundwork is a self-serve styled coffee shop, offering iced coffee a Michael can pour himself, fresh and innovative biscuits, and an enjoyable atmosphere just minutes from the beach.

This Week in RP Culture
Tensions in the RPLA Kitchen have been high as of late. After months of culinary dominance, the masses began to call into question the non-traditional kitchen styling of RPLA Culinary Director, Michael Kleiman. Most notably, the Director’s ambitious protege, Michael Pertnoy, started the first rumblings of an overthrow as his celebrated eggs over easy demonstrated their versatility – satisfying customers for both breakfast and lunch. Tensions came to a climax three weeks ago as verbal insults became a staple of the RP dining experience

However, in Big Edit’s spirit of collaboration, the two Michael’s eased tensions last week when an unlikely collaboration between master and protege lead to what critic’s are calling a creative re-invention of RPLA’s culinary offerings: The California Morning Sunshine. A perfect combination of the two Michael’s individual talents – Pertnoy’s legendary eggs over easy and Kleiman’s exotic melted swiss cheese and avocado combo – the California Morning Sunshine features an egg perfectly fried over easy atop a slice of whole toast topped with fresh California avacado and melted swiss. A splash of spicy Harbonaro sauce is thrown in between the cheese and the egg for the more daring clientele. And all is topped off with a sprinkling of Paremesan cheese. “It was very organic,” Pertnoy said of the combination. “I had been telling him he can’t make anything other than toasted bread with swiss cheese and avocado and he had been complaining that I only make eggs over easy. So we decided to combine them.” “It was the smartest idea either of us had ever had,” said Kleiman. However, Randal Jennings, a made-up Culver City resident and frequent RPLA patron was underwhelmed by the announcement. “I’ve been making these things for months,” says Jennings, who since November has been ordering Kleiman’s swiss cheese toast and Pertnoy’s eggs separately and then combining them.

This Week in the Web Edit
In between hour long rush hour drives to Venice and paradigm shifting culinary creations in the Cattaraugus kitchen, it’s hard to imagine that anything might actually be accomplished in the Web edit. Wrong again, This Week reader! Reinvigorated by their achievements in the kitchen, and pushed forward by the ungodly amounts of Groundwork coffee they were consuming, the Cattaraugus team did what it does best: edit movies. The Michaels continued down the impossible path to an assembly edit, breaking early Saturday morning with 5/6 Peru sequences fully formed and a 6th sequence just “hours away.” The Peru cut is running an impressive 86 minutes – down from 140 after “Big Edit.” With the help of post-production supervisor, Thomas Sweeney, interviews are expected to finally be brought into the equation next week, during what is already being dubbed “Really Big Edit Week.”

That’s it for This Week, join us next week for a full report on “Really Big Edit Week”, the continued collaboration in the RP kitchen, and a fresh jug of Groundwork coffee.

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