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A Quick Hello from Los Angeles Street

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Wednesday, December 24, 2008, at 12:36PM
Soofer with Style Ed Fuentes

Soofer Nejat manning the door of Millennium, a men’s shoe and accessory store on Los Angeles Street.

In the Fashion District, 75-year-old Soofer Nejat offers quiet welcomes and hellos with a tip of his hat. He wears his overcoat well, his suit highlighted by a handkerchief carefully folded in four points. Last Friday, on the day before the last shopping weekend, he added a distinguished air to Los Angeles Street as he manned the door of Millenium, between 7th and 8th streets.

It’s his tenth holiday season in Los Angeles, he says, adding in broken English that he’s from Russia and speaks French. A friend of the shop owner, he comes in from Santa Monica everyday by bus to man the door. “I don’t own machine,” he says.

Our talk was brief, and before I could ask what he does for fun, he dug deep in his wallet, passing by his California I.D. Card to show me his Barona Valley Ranch Resort and Casino senior I.D.

I thanked him and wished him a happy Hanukkah. He answered with a nod and said “Merci beaucoup and Merry Christmas.”

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