A big thank you. The response to the September issue was phenomenal—truly, beyond expectation. It is so gratifying to know we hit the note you wanted to hear, a magazine that told stories that made you laugh, cry and put the magazine aside to read later. And almost unanimously, you supported our belief that readers are ready for a different approach to our L.A.
What didn’t you like?
Mostly, the paper. Don’t I know it! We now have new cover stock and paper that respects the superb work of our photographers.
A lot of you made it known in no uncertain terms—actually, you yelled—that you want Merl Reagle’s crossword puzzle. Okay. We listened—it’s back.
You wondered which columns with dedicated writers would return: David Steinberg continues his “Ear” interviews with fellow comedians; the town’s top chefs again create vegetarian and vegan meals for Kathy Freston’s “New Leaf” (her visit this month to Wolfgang Puck’s Cut resulted in dishes he made for us being added to the menu); Robyn Todd tells us more of Izzy’s story; “Shades of Green,” by Kelly Meyer, Jennifer Maguire and Linda Daly, is still cluing you in to ways to go eco.
“By the Numbers,” always about sports statistics, is back. It’s created by Jack Davis, who is 16. Not kidding.
And you loved “L.A. Overheard.” So get out there and start eavesdropping, and email what you hear in and around town to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other departments will continue, written by different authors. “My Best Story” is always penned by a prominent figure, a storyteller by nature. This month, Henry Jaglom writes of his last lunch with his best friend, Orson Welles. A note: The second drawing in the story is also by Jaglom, done after Welles specifically asked that Henry draw on black paper with the white grease pencil directors use on set.
In “My LA,” Joel Engel writes about being a conservative in famously liberal Hollywood. I asked Joel who the “major stars” are that he sees at Republican fundraisers, but he won’t talk.
“Hollywood Rules,” always by a figure in the Indusry, is a personal, unexpected take on any number of things. This month, star of How I Met Your Mother Josh Radnor tells us why it is important for him to be kind. How cool is that?
And stay tuned for more surprises.
I have to get a word in about Frank Gehry and John Lautner. My own personal Frankie and Johnny, two men who changed and defined the face of Los Angeles architecture, were my first two stories as a journalist. I remember every second of the interviews, almost 25 years ago. Lautner was an enormous figure—huge in stature, as well as personality and talent. There has been a renewed interest in his work—witness the exhibit at the Hammer Museum. I don’t remember him as a man who never liked L.A, as some have said.
On the contrary, Lautner was simply someone whose visions were on another plane. And he was an odd duck. I remember how incredulous he was that the late Bob Hope was angry the house John designed for him in Palm Springs was taking six years to build. In this issue, for the first time anywhere, you can see the photos of the Garcia House. I think John would have gotten a kick out of being in the same issue as Frank Gehry.
Which brings us to Frank. In “What’s Frank Up To?” you can see photos of his latest projects. His work and the immense respect he commands worldwide are well documented. Personally, it’s simple: Gehry is a visionary beyond expectation, an inspiration to architects everywhere. In the same way as Lautner, Gehry can be a curmudgeon of sorts, with a conviction that comes from his belief in the integrity of the creative process. He is a worrier by nature but an optimist at heart. His visions have changed architecture forever.
Gehry and Lautner. They illustrate the greatness of Los Angeles. We are proud to bring them both to you in the pages of LA.