August 2012


From the Editor

Sometimes I wonder where I would be today if I hadn’t gone into journalism. I can see myself as an archaeologist (oh, to uncover a shard of a Grecian urn) or a landscaper (is it obvious I enjoy digging earth?) or a script supervisor (I am detail oriented). This last is especially appealing because it would mean someone would pay me money to spend time on a studio lot. I’ve always been enchanted by these cities within the city…  Read


The Dream Factory
No other city has one, not  like this. A movie studio is a creative hive, a living archive, and a place where illusion becomes history. We present the ultimate VIP tour behind the gates of the Warner Bros. back lot with a 20-page pictorial by photographer Dan Winters

WEB EXTRA: Go behind the scenes of the Warner Bros. back lot photo shoot with Dan Winters

WEB EXTRA: Read a Q&A with photographer Dan Winters about the making of “The Dream Factory”


Santa Monica’s parking meters get smart, L.A. peeks at what’s sneaking across the borders, and the Petersen Automotive Museum celebrates the sexiest body on wheels

L.A. Archetype
Applying spray tans takes a steady hand—just witness Hollywood’s god of bronzing

Ask Chris
Chris Nichols bids farewell to AAA’s bond services

L.A. Story
Sir Kenneth Branagh on going native in Manhattan Beach

The Seen
All the parties fit to crash  


Best of Shop

Even when it’s a splurge, you want to get your money’s worth. From rarefied boutiques to cozy mom-and-pops, we’ve tracked down superlative spots for picking up limited-edition Italian shoes, accessories for your furry BFFs, custom denim, and handcrafted goodies to spruce up the homestead PLUS: What Oscar nominee Anna Kendrick covets and where to get it   


Best of
Our especially picky staff snacks on nouveau pretzels, samples sausages created from just about everything, compares beers by the growler full, consumes banana cream pies, and tries to repent with rounds of local juice cleanses. Whatever your taste, rest assured: We’ve found ways to satisfy it PLUS: Where talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel scores homemade-pizza supplies



Best of Do
Los Angeles is that rare city where you actually have too many options for whiling away your time. Whether you’re hankering for an urban escape or a scenic refuge, a day lazing in the sun or a night of moving and grooving, a luxurious cabana or a free concert, we make the choosing easy PLUS: How L.A. Kings captain Dustin Brown stays cool in Manhattan Beach

The Guide
30 things to do this month, from a jumping sharks to penning poetry, sipping fine wines to downing craft beers, and toasting Neil Diamond to hurling tomatoes


By Steve Erickson
The metaphysical fitness of director Ridley Scott       

Open City
By Anne Taylor Fleming
The charms of August are a reminder that this is one time when staying put is just fine

By Mark Lacter
Get ready, because one way or another, city officials are running out of options to avoid making the toughest budget decisions of all

WEB EXTRA: How can the city manage its budget crisis? UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment director Chris Tilly weighs in


PLUS: 5 Things We’re Not Supposed To Tell You About This Issue

1 half-eaten protein bar
→ Most suspicious item discovered in the knapsack of design director Steven Banks during an impromptu search by a Warner Bros. security guard. Banks was touring a car warehouse for our feature “The Dream Factory” (page 124). “What did he think I put in there?” asked Banks. “The Batmobile?”

5 minutes
→ Time Drew Tewksbury was eyed by a librarian while he was writing The Guide (page 87) before she slipped him a note. It was an invitation to a mustache and beard competition. “I took it as a compliment,” Tewksbury said.

64,579 fans
→ Number of Twitter followers belonging to Purrfect, Cee Lo Green’s old sidekick on The Voice. Days before we were slated to send senior editor Elina Shatkin’s “interview” with the cat to the printer, Green replaced Purrfect with a cockatoo. The bird could not be reached for comment.

2 requests
→ Offers for a date made to senior editor Linda Immediato by shopkeepers as she was screening candidates for Best of L.A. (page 37). “Are the shops doing well? If so, go for it,” joked editor-in-chief and part-time matchmaker Mary Melton. Unfortunately Immediato is married—to her job.

5 bailouts
→ Actresses (Emma Stone, Cat Deeley, Emmy Rossum, Mia Wasikowska, and Ginnifer Goodwin) who agreed to reveal their favorite shops for Best of L.A. before backing out.