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My LA to Z: Paul Feig
Whether he’s people watching at LACMA or dropping cash on groceries for dinner, the director of The Office knows what he likes from the Valley to downtown
There’s a fine line between work and play for Paul Feig, director of The Office, creator of Freaks and Geeks, and author of Kick Me: Adventures in Adolescence.
Barnes & Noble
I somehow feel bad admitting that I actually really like Barnes & Noble. I will write in the café at the Barnes & Noble a lot because it’s a place where you can sit and just order a coffee but you don’t feel like they’re going to kick you out. I tend to go to the Burbank one. I kind of feel like I know everybody there now. I’ve actually written my last couple of books in that place.
Chandler Valley Center Studios
I really enjoy where we shoot The Office. It’s this studio that’s in the back of the valley. It’s like an industrial park, and we’re so unto ourselves back there with our stage and set. It’s like an old home, nobody really knows where it is. Whoever comes down always thinks they’re lost as they’re looking for it.
Most people are like, “Don’t go to downtown L.A.” But it’s just a downtown area. It’s not as cosmopolitan as other cities might be but it’s always bustling. You’re always running across really cool buildings, old businesses, old restaurants and diners. I really find that to be inspiring.
The Gardens of Taxco
I’ve always gone there at least once a week, if not more. It’s great because they don’t have a written menu, the waiter comes up and recites the menu to you. He’s got this standard joke he always makes: “The chicken is spicy. Not hot—spiiicy.”
A lot of times I’ll sit at the pavilion or the open, covered area at LACMA—they’ve got tables there. There’s a nice mix of tourists, school groups, and college people. It’s fun to sit there and write. Although, sometimes you do get kind of heavy into watching people.
The Original Pantry
I’ve been going there since film school. That has the best cole slaw in the world hands down. Their claim to fame is they’re never closed, and never without a customer. The breakfasts are ridiculous. They bring these pancakes you could sleep on top of they’re so big.
They do their stores really well. You feel like you’re in some old English manor house or something—a lot of dark wood. A lot of times you go clothes shopping and there’s always rock music blaring. Ralph Lauren is very civilized.
It’s a great independent bookstore like Book Soup, but it’s even bigger. They always have events and have this huge wall of autographed books. They do a million author events there and so they have them sign stock. It’s really cool.
You can find fresher, higher-quality meats and fish and the produce is always laid out very nicely. I kind of like the vibe in there. The crew at The Office call it Whole Paycheck, but it gives you the sense, false or otherwise, that you’re actually being healthy and being somehow progressive.
Images courtesy (in order): (1) barnesandnoble.com, (2) Flickr/datameister, (3) Flickr/checco, (4) Flickr/fotografik, (5) lacma.org, (6) Flickr/badlizard, (7) Flickr/migueloz, (8) Flickr/eyescorpion, (9) Flickr/mai