What's in Los Angeles: Helen Mirren grabs the cover of the annual Oscars-targeted Movie Issue. There are pieces on the making of Blade Runner and on how David Poland and Jeffrey Wells — "two middle-aged, apartment-dwelling, Hollywood-obsessed rivals" — have transformed Oscar buzz with their blogs. Also in the issue: a review of Bohemian Los Angeles by Daniel Hurewitz, Chris Nichols reveals the oldest tattoo shop in L.A. is actually in Long Beach and says the Bonaventure Hotel has the last revolving restaurant around, plus LA Observed contributor Mark Lacter's Business column on the allure of boutique banks. Not online until next month at LAMag.com.
Turmoil at West: Dismantling of the Los Angeles Times Sunday magazine has begun, just ten months after West launched with such fanfare. Editor Rick Wartzman gave notice in December, and now staffers and freelancers are being told of rethinking that includes dropping fiction and Amy Tan's role as literary editor. Features czar John Montorio is said to be calling the shots, since as yet no new magazine editor has been announced.
Local angles in Esquire: Sienna Miller adorns the February cover, which includes a good piece on Chris Snow, who left an LAT internship after two months to cover hockey then gave up the Red Sox beat at the Boston Globe to become Director of Hockey Operations for an NHL team — all by age 25. Claire Hoffman's West magazine revelations on Joe Francis make the Dubious Achievements 2006 list, as do Mel Gibson, Michael Richards and Andrew Young's comments in the L.A. Sentinel that "First it was Jews, then it was Koreans and now itís Arabs" who victimize black neighborhoods. Plus, Stacey Grenrock Woods (and Mary-Louise Parker) are pretty amusing in The State of Sex feature and Dick Van Dyke speaks in the What I've Learned column:
In the early sixties, I was looking up a phone number in Santa Monica and came upon the name Stan Laurel....So I just dialed the number for Stan Laurel, and it was him! I was doing our television series, so he knew who I was. I said, "I've always been an admirer, and, you know, I've stolen rather liberally from you over the years." He said, "Yes, I know." He invited me over, and we became good friends.