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Deborah Vankin

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Finding the Center

Intern/fact checker, editorial assistant 1998-1999Associate arts editor 2000-2002Books/food/lifestyle editor 2002-2005 It was a single issue, February 6, 1998, that led me to the Weekly. I’d just moved to Los Angeles from the East Coast and was answering phones at the now defunct Buzz Magazine, a glossy celebrity-heavy monthly not entirely......

Radio Waves

Pop culture is all about specifics and subsets these days (subsets of subsets and blogs devoted to blogs about subsets): You’re not just a fan of comics, you’re a die-hard collector of shojo manga, unbearably cute Japanese comics for teenage girls. You don’t just listen to hip-hop, you live for......

The Night Belonged to (Music) Lovers

If you’d had two gin and tonics and squinted real hard, it could have been 1976. Patti Smith, blissful sneer and all, was onstage with longtime guitarist Lenny Kaye, laying into the mike like an angry teenager: “G. L. O. R. I. A. Glooorria!” She must be 60 now, and......

House of Glass

Peppermint-blue bottles and candy-striped cats; plum and bubblegum balls; frosted “chipped ice” crystal and black-licorice-streaked bowls. This isn’t Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. It’s Laura Friedman’s PlanetGlass, which deals in midcentury modernist art glass ranging from the more affordable $100 pieces to rare museum-quality items worth up to $10,000. There’s no......

My Way or the Highway

Here’s a good party trick: Glibly mention your imminent travel arrangements at a crowded cocktail gathering — maybe a 4 p.m. flight out of LAX — and then openly question your sense of direction. “Freeways or surface streets?” you might muse. “Slauson or Stocker? Caribbean Treehouse or Pann’s Coffee Shop......

Thai Town After Dark

Photos by Kevin ScanlonThe entrance to Thai Town — the six blocks of Hollywood Boulevard between Western and Normandie, according to a 1999 City Council decision — is unofficially marked by an enormous, supine hot dog the size of a submarine resting atop a bright red Thai takeout window. That’s......
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Catnip for your Inner Otaku

Pop culture is all about specifics and subsets these days (subsets of subsets and blogs devoted to blogs about subsets): You’re not just a fan of comics, you’re a die-hard collector of shojo manga, unbearably cute Japanese comics for teenage girls. You don’t just listen to hip-hop, you live for......

Sofas and the City

Photo by Ted SoquiIf, in your quest for that perfect living-room showpiece, it’s the art of the chase that excites you — scanning Craigslist for advance garage-sale listings, verbal sparring for markdowns at bustling flea markets or racing to a Saturday-morning sample sale in the Beachwood Canyon back yard of......
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Beauty and Beasts

Photo by Wild Don Lewis“If you are not intrigued by both the beautiful and the grotesque,” reads the handwritten sign near the front door, “and you do not have a sense of humor, then you may not like our store/gallery. However, if you have all of the above . ......
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High Fashion

Photos by Wild Don LewisYou’re 60 feet above ground, meandering the open-air rooftop of Sunset Gower Studios, with panorama views that, on a clear day, rival the evocative urban vistas in Collateral. To your left: the Capitol Records tower and the Hollywood sign at eye level. To your right: the......