Michael Kinsley's departure from the LAT rates a bylined story in the New York Times, and to a cynic maybe that alone was good enough reason to give him a year here. Says Kinsley: "Over all, I don't regret it in the least. It was a blast." Earlier LAO scoop. * Also in the LAT: "He alienated much of his own staff through his personnel moves and an apparent preoccupation with international and national affairs at the expense of local issues."
Variety says Scott Rudin grabbed the screen rights to J.R. Moehringer's Tender Bar, "beating several bidders with a high six-figure against seven-figure deal that includes a piece of Rudin's backend gross." In other words, cool.
Former E! host Jules Asner sold her first novel to Harvey Weinstein. Publishers Lunch calls Whacked "about a screenwriter in LA writing for a TV crime series whose increasingly obsessive and paranoid behavior in the wake of a boyfriend's betrayal leads her to cross the line between real life and the life and world of the characters she has created..."
The Times cleaned up in the Association of Food Journalists awards last weekend. Among big papers, the LAT won best food section and best special section, S. Irene Virbila won for restaurant criticism and Corie Brown for food news reporting. Jonathan Gold also won for restaurant criticism in the LA Weekly.
County Supervisor Gloria Molina endorsed Alex Padilla in that Valley Senate race.
Jim Ruland, the author and host of the Vermin on the Mount reading series, is interviewed at LAist.
Author Jenny Price writes on the NYT op-ed page: "People outside of Los Angeles snicker at our beach wars. And we concede that the thought of David Geffen going apoplectic while the hoi polloi sunbathe off his million-dollar patio is not unfunny. But Los Angeles is a metropolis where you could walk a mile and not see a sizeable public park, plaza or courtyard. The downtown center doesn't enjoy a single large public park amid a sea of corporate plazas."
You could argue the point for sad little Pershing Square, perhaps. Speaking of downtown...
Thom Mayne's eye-grabbing Caltrans headquarters on First Street, not universally liked by critics, has nonetheless become a popular visual reference for Hollywood location scouts. The Downtown News' Chris Coates reports that "since it opened last fall, the striking $190 million glass and steel building has scored cameos ranging from a fast-paced car commercial to upcoming projects including a music video by R&B singer Usher and the Jim Carrey vehicle Fun With Dick and Jane, said Deborah Harris, a spokeswoman for Caltrans. The building also scored credits in Mr. & Mrs. Smith and episodes of "Alias." Most recently, the Caltrans headquarters popped up in Michael Bay's explosion-riddled The Island. New vantage point in the photo by Gary Leonard.