Mickey Cohen sweet talks "girlfriend," legendary stripper, Candy Barr. Sunset Strip, 1959. Photograph by Fred Tschantre / Los Angeles Times
For those awaiting my forthcoming book,Mickey Cohen: The Life and Crimes of L.A.’s Notorious Mobster, publication date is May 1, 2012. I’m happy to shamelessly proclaim: This is a book I’d want to read! Filledwith provocative revelations about Hollywood, and it’s self-promoting mob boss, (circa late 1940s-76,) you will learn much juicy info about many prominent figures of the mid-20th century (including Shirley Temple’s encounter w/ MC!) and how Mickey Cohen, a hyperphobic, asexual tough guy, learned to manipulate the media so well, that among other things, he managed to be acknowledged as a bonafide ladies-man—bogus history that still holds. The high drama that constitutes the material is so operatic, I would love for it to become one! Check out MickeyCohenBook.com
I’m currently interested in the New York City Ballet’s upcoming Call Me Ben, a ballet about Bugsy Siegel, as conceived by Angeleno dancer and choreographer, Melissa Barack.
Speaking of Siegel,Warren Beatty is Bugsy-obsessed. (Examples: He lived in Siegel’s penthouse at the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel for years; did not just make Bugsy, a movie about the handsome gangster, he also married the leading lady; he titled Bulworth, another of his cinematic efforts, after a Siegel horse; and most tellingly, his first-born son is named Ben.)
but this is the first time I’ve gotten a real feel for Chicago. I’m impressed! Staying at the small, chic Talbott Hotel, we were on a beautiful tree-lined street, right in the middle of the Gold Coast action. Although time was short, we managed a tour of the Loop, seeing many significant skyscrapers, from early buildings of 19th C. architect Louis Sullivan, to contemporary showpieces. The multitude of European-style parks and Beaux-Arts public buildings, near Lake Michigan, were standouts. Big and bold, downtown Chicago, boasting both the Chicago River and the great lake, makes even Manhattan pale in comparison; our struggling downtown L.A. seems all the more sad–unplanned, provincial–unfortunately neglected. Driving north on Lake Shore Drive, which turns into bucolic Sheridan Road, we saw luxury high-rises turn into forty-miles of lakeside mansions; the sightseeing ended in the platinum village of Glencoe. No time for the Frank Lloyd Wrights–they were in another direction–but dinner at Il Mulino, a terrific Italian in the Victorian Biggs mansion, was a special treat. I will be back. BTW: Read the new book, Get Capone, by Jonathan Eig, while there.
I’m not quite sure what to make of them, but Isabella Rossellini’s Green Porno, a series of short films about the mating habits of animals, on Sundance Channel, is really outrageous. She takes great delight in announcing the most intimate specifics of beastie anatomy, while appearing in simulated breeding rituals with construction paper animals. Coy, camp and filled with inter-species soft core, the shorts have won film awards (???) and, more fittingly, made “clip of the week” on Talk Soup, twice!