It's easy to spot Jay Leno around Studio City driving in one of his famous collection of antique cars on his way to work. Local resident Zach Fine and his girlfriend caught Leno driving along Coldwater Canyon Boulevard in the very early morning this summer, and they were surprised when Jay pulled out his cell phone camera and shot a photo of them taking his picture.
Leno is often driving around town to eat and hang out before and after his Tonight Show gig at NBC Studios in Burbank, but on weekends he is in more of a disguise because he is on his motorcycle. He joins in a big motorcycle brigade that rides around on Sunday mornings, or late Saturdays or other off-beat times when traffic is light and they can dominate the roads.
- No Doubt that Gwen Stefani and her husband Gavin Rossdale were making beautiful music together when they were spotted sans their two sons at Mexicali this week. E! reported that the pair were letting at least one of their boys get a bit out of control over the summer when the two stars were in a restaurant and one of their boys was playing in a plastic plant in the corner.
- How sad to hear that Cathy comic strip creator Cathy Guisewite, who has lived in Studio City for much of her fame and fortune, is retiring her comic strip on Oct. 2. Her daughter is in high school and she wants to spend more time with her family.
- Looking very much like he just walked off the beach, Matthew McConaughey was spotted wearing nothing but a beach towel while coming out the gym for his workout. OK! magazine caught McConaughey shirtless in shorts, sandals and wrapped in a colorful beach towel coming out of his Studio City gym swinging a bottle of water. He's also filming a new movie Lincoln Lawyer locally, where he gets to wear uncharacteristic nice suits.
- Local boy Zac Efron is gracing the cover of the September issue of Details magazine, where he talks about his girlfriend Vanessa Hudgens, and living in Studio City. (He went recently to see Vanessa perform in a special performance of Rent at the Hollywood Bowl with bi-coastal guy Neil Patrick Harris, who has digs in Studio City and the Big Apple.) Zac is obviously moving on from a few box office sputters and was spotted by the paparazzi pumping his own gas at a local gas station into his new Audi while reading a thick script. Zac also discusses in the article, his friendship with Tom Cruise, and how the superstar offered to teach him how to ride a motorcycle. Now, that would be a site to see down Ventura Boulevard!
- Spotted jogging through Fryman Canyon was Dylan McDermott, who is just about to begin the second season of Dark Blue on TV as an FBI agent. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times about fav spots to eat and drink, Dylan picked one of the funkiest sushi spots in The SC, Sushi Nozawa (one of my favorite places!) And he described it so well: "the chef has these signs that say, 'Trust Me.' So you don't order, he gives you what he thinks is appropriate. You eat it and you're happy." Happy indeed!
- Maggie Gyllenhaal may be trying to give an air of being all East-side, and certainly after her fantastic role as the over-stressed mom in the recent Nanny McPhee Returns, she talks a lot about wanting to live in the countryside. But, although some of the recent interviews talk about she and her husband, Peter Sarsgaard, and daughter Ramona living in Park Slope in Brooklyn, they also have a place in Studio City—their house abutting one of the most populated hiking spots in the area. Her husband may need a Flight Plan to figure out where they're staying one week to the next, but Maggie has expressed plans to take time off to enjoy family life. No, she's not planning on ever going back to being a Secretary any time soon, however, and her next gig is Hysteria, with Brit boys Hugh Dancy, Rupert Everett and Jonathan Pryce, a romantic comedy about the inventor of the vibrator.
Coolest Thing to do this Week in The SC. Check out the schedule of the amazing hole-in-the-wall jazz club, where former Tonight Show band leader Kevin Eubanks is jamming almost weekly. Kevin decided to take a break from the daily grind and Jay's tumultuous schedule, and he's concentrating on his music—especially jazz. It was very cool to see Kev and his band jam a few times this summer with the Walter Reed Middle School jazz band after they won a few state awards this past year. Eubanks says he's blown away by the talent of the young folk.
Coolest Drink: One of the more affordable bottles of wine at Pinot Bistro is a delicious Luca Mendoza chardonnay at $65. Is it a crime to order something other than a French wine at a French bistro? Not if it's Argentine wine.