LAmag.com, August 11, 2009
Note to Paula Abdul: When Jerry Orbach’s widow accepted a posthumous SAG award for her husband in 2005, she told the audience that “Jerry had a motto: Never leave a hit show.” Orbach’s talent was prodigious—aside from his stellar work as Lennie Briscoe in 274 episodes of Law & Order and film roles like Martin Landau’s shady brother in Crimes and Misdemeanors, he was well known for his presence on Broadway, lending his memorable baritone to The Fantasticks, Chicago, and 42nd Street. But even he knew not to mess with a winning formula. His wife’s story stuck with me for years.
The way Jerry felt about Law & Order is how we feel about our Best of LA issue. We may add new categories each year to our annual celebration of the things we love most about the city, but we’re not about to mess with the formula. Each year we throw a party for the winners highlighted in the magazine. It’s one of my favorite events. This year it was held on a beautiful summer night at the Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows in Santa Monica. On the lawn, around the pool, and sitting by the fire pit you had the brothers who own Two Felons Skate Co. (winner of “Best Skateboard Shop”) mingling with the women from Grub (“Best Tuna Melt”); the “Best Urban Farming Guru” Tara Kolla getting tips on where to find quality horse manure from “Best Saddle Maker” Paul Selvey; the managers of Council Thrift Shops (“Best Thrift Shop Appraisal”) making a connection with the owners of B2V salon (“Best Celeb Do for $100”). It’s an awesome cross section of the city, and we’re honored to be honoring those who do such praiseworthy work every day. We’ve created a short videolog of the party. Another way you can participate in the issue (aside from going out and buying a copy) is to enter our first-ever Best of LA contest, where you can win items featured in the issue. Last week it was a massage from “Best New Spa” winner Spa Montage Beverly Hills; this week, a dinner for two at Grub.
Note to Paula Abdul, part two: The entrants for best massage had to give us five reasons why they deserved it, and a common theme was how much they were stressing out over the economy. We’ll send you the link.