california home + design’s final (and, as it turns out, their last) issue focused on the designers and designs that had won the award the magazine gives out. my assignment was ted boerner and his thicket tables. since, in the weird time frame of magazines, i was interviewing him before the statues were handed out and i couldn’t let him know that he’d won, the editor and i concocted a ruse that i was talking to all the nominees. the conversation was slightly surreal since i knew and he didn’t; he was humbled just to be nominated. this was the first time i’d worked with editor erin feher; it’s always nerve-wracking writing for someone new. you can read the full piece online here.
All posts in published stories
i interviewed madeleine brand for the palm springs modernism week blog. madeleine was the voice of the eponymous and now defunct madeleine brand show, kpcc’s most listened-to show from 2010 to 2012. this week, she returns to the airwaves with a new show on kcrw called “press play”. it’s very surreal interviewing an interviewer. i felt very self-conscious. what struck me most was that she does not use any fallback words, she just breathes through the pauses. i’ve got to learn how to do that! when i transcribe long interviews, i’m often mortified by how many i use. like, y’know, um, you can, um, read, the, like, whole interview, like here.
in the order of best to worst, interviews can take place in person, over the phone or skype or over email. in person interviews are always preferable, especially if they take place over drinks or there’s an activity; there’s a chance for spontaneity, humor, and unscripted moments. email interviews are practically guaranteed to be terrible. few people write like they talk; the responses are stilted, awkward and full of publicity-speak. so i wasn’t expecting much when it turned out that i’d have to interview nichole galicia over email. i understood — there was a sick family member she was visiting in the hospital in europe — but i steeled myself for the worst when i opened her response. maybe it’s her genius iq but her answers were natural and surprising and, after a few back and forths over a sunday, i made my monday morning deadline. if this is any indication of her talent and professionalism, this girl is going places. see this full piece here.
i interviewed claire pettibone at her store for california brides over the summer. i’m always intrigued by how people discover what they love to do — it’s like asking a couple how they met — there’s always a story that, in retrospect, seems fated but, at the time, felt more like falling down alice’s rabbit hole. claire had never planned to design wedding dresses and, despite what you’d expect, she didn’t design her own. in fact, it was only after a friend asked her to design a dress that she realized that it was what she wanted to do. that design, kristene, is still one of her most popular styles. read the whole piece here.
is there anything more iconic than a vera wang wedding dress? though there’s been a small store on melrose for a while, they’re now moving to a bigger space. when i went in to the store to find out who i should talk to, they begged me to try on wedding dresses. okay, sometimes i’ll admit that there are parts of my life that feel like a rom-com. story here.
this piece came at exactly the right time; i was obsessing about my hair (don’t even get me started about the water in la which is the worst! so hard!) i decided to combine a trip to the hairdresser with an interview. it’s always fun when you can help out your friends and champion their work in print. greg does a great job and he deserves a shout out. for his tips and more, click here.
i got to talk to some of my favorite people — chefs! — for an article on tinseltown’s top caterers that i did for the hollywood reporter. one of my favorite parts of writing about people and the work they do is getting the chance to give them a shout out in print. yay heirloom! and i love hearing behind the scenes stories, like the one jon shook from animal and son of a gun (who is just as vivid and animated as you’d expect him to be from his food) told me about the time that he handled what could’ve been a disastrous and potentially evening destroying plumbing issue while also serving an impeccable meal at benedikt taschen’s house (aka jon lautner’s chemosphere). it’s no surprise that taschen later became an investor in animal. while not every story makes it into print, or even into my final draft, they all contribute to the — excuse the pun — flavor of the piece. see if you agree; here’s the story.
nobody famous ever lived here is an ironic title for a documentary about one of the most iconic houses ever built. the director steve slomkowski and i met at stumptown coffee roasters in downtown la to talk about how he came to do a film about it. they say that everyone has a doppelganger. steve’s is the brother of one of my close friends so talking to him was at once disconcerting and very familiar. and yes, stumptown’s coffee is as good as they say. for the whole interview, click here.
one of the things that i love about my job is that i’m never bored. of course there are awful parts of my job (hello, transcribing, i’m looking at you!) but those parts are more than balanced out by the fact that every new piece has its own unusual challenges. certainly, coming up with the best and most over the top homes that are done up in high style for halloween was a wild goose chase of scouring the internet, word of mouth, and discovering a whole subdivision of people in la who live to decorate their homes in the spirit of the season. then, as quickly as I’d jumped in, I was out and on to the next thing. Here’s the printed piece.
mixing history into this story of a cocktail was on my list of assignments for my wild week of writing for domaine home. as i said, i never know what i’m going to be writing about but i’m always up for learning something new. even if it’s just a great recipe for a new drink. find the story and the instructions on how to shake up a batch of your own here.