Unquestionably one of the most powerful people in L.A., María Elena Durazo has stepped down as head of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor. Over the past decade she has fought for the rights of 600,000 workers and played a major role in every city election and development project, large and small. Durazo, whom we profiled last year, will be taking on a VP position at UNITE HERE, the countrywide union for casino and hospitality workers.
It’s not every week that we lose a soccer club and gain a new one, but given that the Giants won the World Series (sigh) and the Lakers’ top draft pick, Julius Randle, broke his leg during the first game of the season, we’ll take any good news we can get on the local sports front. Chivas USA has been dissolved, but in its place will be the Los Angeles Football Club, owned in part by Magic Johnson and Mia Hamm (who are obviously betting big on soccer here). The new club will play alongside the LA Galaxy starting in 2017.
It’s less than a week until Election Day, and the most closely watched race in town is that between Sheila Kuehl and Bobby Shriver for Zev Yaroslavsky’s seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. At their final debate last night, moderated by Raphael Sonenshein (who wrote a cheat sheet to L.A. government for the magazine last year), Kuehl admitted that the supes are “kings and queens” in L.A. Who will wear the crown?
There are lists you want to be on, and there are those you don’t. The Watts Towers—Simon Rodia’s masterful outdoor sculpture composed of salvaged steel, seashells, tile, glass, wire mesh, and cement—was declared an at-risk site by Washington, D.C.’s Cultural Landscape Foundation.
We’ve got a new opening date for philanthropist Eli Broad’s highly anticipated eponymous (no surprise) downtown museum: fall 2015. Like the Hammer, the Broad will be free to the public. As for the chow, as we reported in our recent profile of the restaurateur, Bill Chait will be in charge of the freestanding restaurant at the museum on Grand Avenue, with Tim Hollingsworth wearing the toque and Julian Cox running the bar.
Travis Lett and the Gjelina team have finally opened their long-awaited deli and bakery in Venice called Gjusta (as in “I gjusta paid how much for a scone?”). The Los Angeles magazine food team is delighted to report that it’s even better than the hype, which is saying a lot (especially when your mouth is full with a honey-pistachio croissant).
COS to Celebrate
So much for those New York style bloggers who have been relentlessly posting updates on the status of their city’s first COS store. We got it first! The Swedish retailer (AKA, H&M’s younger sis) opened Thursday at noon on Beverly Drive, making it the first U.S. branch and beating the anticipated SoHo store to the punch. The store manager of the Beverly Hills COS reported to LAmag.com that the collections are “largely inspired by the art and architecture of L.A.,” which is fab news. Clothes based on brownstones would be boring.
We broke this news that BigMista’s Barbecue is opening next month in Long Beach instead of downtown, where they were previously reported to be headed. Why? Apparently they were priced out of the Historic Core. Don’t worry, BigMista’s, we love the Blue Line.