Langer’s owner Norm Langer was part of an in-depth look at the MacArthur Park area of Langer’s, which is home to the delicatessen-restaurant. The story focuses on the FBI’s efforts to crack down on gang activity in the area, and includes insight and perspective from Norm:
If you’re looking for a fake I.D., MacArthur Park is the place to go. And even if you aren’t looking, the street dealers will come looking for you. It’s a gritty area, but you can still see the beauty of the MacArthur Park that used to be: a neighborhood with a lake and lots of paddle boats, surrounded by nice high-rise apartment buildings.
That’s the place Norm Langer remembers.
“Primarily it was a Jewish recreation area,” he recalls from inside the deli his father opened 61 years ago. Today, he runs Langer’s Deli and sells its famous pastrami sandwiches.
Over the years, Langer has had a front-row seat to the deadly gang violence that turned MacArthur Park from a mecca to a menace. He even came close to shutting down the family business like so many others in the neighborhood did.