Los Angeles magazine
This month, Los Angeles magazine features journalist Maria Shriver on our cover, tied to a slew of stories about dynamic women in our city. The last time we did that was exactly forty years ago, with our first “L.A. Woman” cover in October, 1971. We don’t identify the model with the Raggedy Ann doll, but the feature inside, titled “Why doesn’t anyone Take The Los Angeles Woman Seriously?” challenged readers to try to name “One local woman outside show business (except Buffy Chandler and Angela Davis) that’s known nationally.” That’s pretty shocking to hear with our 2011 ears. The issue featured three who “beat the system:” Writer Joan Didion, poet Dory Previn and restaurateur and fashion designer Marilyn Lewis. The rest of the issue, with the exception of a short piece on “librarian and former bottomless dancer” Barbara Ingle, sort of skips the female angle and explores school integration, the newfound glories of Thai food (which we described as a “three-way marriage” of Mexican, Indian and “Oriental” cuisine) and booming Westwood Village, which we describe as the “last nightlife town.” This last piece writes off large swaths of the city (“Sunset strip is in a dormant season, Hollywood Blvd. has been abandoned to the freaks, downtown is that place you go around on the freeway unless you’re heading for the Music Center or a lawsuit.”) and, along with an article about burglar-proofing your home, celebrities abandoning mansions for secure condo towers and big screaming ads for alarms and home security systems, ties right in to that white flight-era fear of urban living. To make the lockdown more comfortable, we suggested you spend Saturday night at home watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show. OK, that was a good one, but we also thought Funny Face, The Good Life and the New Dick Van Dyke Show were reasons to stay inside with the TV. And this was a month that saw Ike and Tina Turner at the Greek, Phil Silvers performing A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum and Harry Belafonte singing at the Music Center. It took a long time, but I’m grateful that L.A. women (and L.A. men) shook off this fear and terror and ventured outside again. This time, we didn't have to look very far to fill an entire issue with dynamic and powerful and interesting L.A. Women. Enjoy.