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The LAist Interview: Laurie Pike

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Los Angeles based-editrix Laurie Pike shares her insights about living in Los Angeles and how she manages to tirelessly explore the city. Laurie is singularly well qualified to share the scoop about what's damn good in this town, given her extensive resume which includes editorial stints at Glue magazine and Movieline, as well as freelance contributions to Los Angeles Magazine, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, and British Vogue. In addition to writing for print and online publications, Laurie has also written and produced for television news programs. She is currently Editor-in-Chief of LA.com. 1. Age and Occupation:

Still kicking. Editor-in-Chief of LA.com.

2. How long have you lived in Los Angeles and in what neighborhood do you live?

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9 years. Rampart.

3. Where are you from?

Cincinnati

4. You've had an interesting career in various types of print and televised media. What attracted you to the world of online media?

It has the combination of immediacy, humor, independence, nuance, usability and freakiness that was hard to find in TV and print.

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5. What are the most significant differences between being Editor-in-Chief of LA.com and editing a print publication?

Immediacy, humor, indepen...oh, sorry.

The most significant differences are:

1. I can be first with a story more often.

2. I am not limited in volume of content that I can publish.

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3. I consider the user's experience with a whole different set of criteria. Magazine reading is passive, so as a magazine editor, for glossies at least, you create beautiful escapist environments. Web surfing is more active, so you aim to create an interactive experience that's multi-level. There's more science to it.

6. What's your strategy for finding "up-to-the-minute information about everything LA" for LA.com and the la.comfidential blog?

We do the usual research and outreach. But the real meat comes from going out at night. All five LA.com editors go out a lot. I always get my best information in the field, usually over a cocktail or two. And, like any editrix, I read a lot, and anything at all. There's lot of great info about LA to be found -- but it's not collected anywhere except on LA.com!

7. Please share some of your favorite local publications and other LA-themed websites.

Where to start? I love LA Innuendo, and I felt a new sort of hope for the city when I read the first issue. I love RJ Smith's pieces in Los Angeles magazine. Angeleno is underrated. I like the Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, though I don't always understand it.

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In blogland I'm living for theWOW Report, Funkyjenn Gazette and Dave White's blog. I can't start my day if I haven't read LA Observed, Defamer, Franklin Avenue and LAist. I also look at Richard Rushfield's blog, called Don Ricardo's Casa de Media, and Blogging LA and LA Blogs. I don't read many political or hard news blogs but I like LA Voice and Boi from Troy.

8. What's your preferred mode of transportation?

My roller skates for short trips. My '93 Volvo for most others. It was the last year they made the boxy 240 model.

9. What's your favorite LA-based movie or TV show?

Mildred Pierce. LA is all about reinvention, upward mobility, and will to power. And of course it was beautifully shot.

10. Best LA-themed book?

Slouching Towards Bethlehem, and the White Album by Joan Didion, though not every essay is about LA. Almost daily I experience something that makes me say, "This is so 'White Album.'"

11. In your opinion, what's the best alternate route to the 405?

Walking.

12. What's the best place to walk in LA?

Echo Park. I lived there 'til very recently, and did all my errands on foot, plus hiked in the neighborhood without having to drive to a park first.

13. If you could live in LA during any era, when would it be?
Everyone must say it, but the post-war era through about 1960.

14. What is the "center" of LA to you?

Silver Lake/Echo Park, because it feels the most glued-together and the most artistic and energetic. Before I lived here, I rented a car and drove around wondering where to move in. When I was in Echo Park I started screaming with excitement. I told my friends in New York that the east side of LA in the '90s felt like the way they talk about downtown New York in the '80s.

15. If you could live in any neighborhood or specific house in LA,
where/ which would you choose?

In some funky old house perched in the hills of Echo Park. I just love that it's a slice of rural heaven that's so close to glamorous restaurants and genius nightclubs.

16. What is the city's greatest secret?

That it's the cheapest and easiest US metropolis to not only live in, but also to hook up in.

17. Drinking, driving. They mix poorly, and yet they're inexorably linked. How do you handle this conflict?

Knowing my limit.

18. Describe your best LA dining experience.

Eating a chicken pot pie at Musso and Frank's, nursing my second martini, and my friend asking me from across the table, "Did I ever tell you that I was there the night Bobby Kennedy was shot?"

19. Do you find the threat of earthquakes preferable to the threat of hurricanes and long winters?

Oh, yes. I love earthquakes. They are psychically cleansing.

20. Where do you want to be when the Big One hits?

On holiday in Europe. My psyche's clean enough.