Julius Shulman on
Wilshire Boulevard

In its October issue, Los Angeles magazine asked 94-year-old architectural photographer Julius Shulman to give spur-of-the-moment reviews of a half-dozen fall books about the city, including Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles. It was a fun idea. The magazine charitably describes the great photographer as "irascible," and in June Shulman had famously (or notoriously) trashed the photo book Looking at Los Angeles during a panel discussion with its co-editor Ben Stiller.

Shulman pronounced one of the books for Los Angeles "borderline" and said of another, "Jayne Mansfield is a nice piece of ham." We're honored that he sort of liked ours, and feel confident he'll go all the way when he sits down with it.

"Every Picture Tells a Story," Los Angeles October 2005 (pg. 56)

Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles, by Kevin Roderick and J. Eric Lynxwiler

Our first impressions: Los Angeles magazine contributor Kevin Roderick follows the boulevard over the past century, including the genesis of Westwood and the Miracle Mile. A tour of breakneck development that takes us from bean fields to high-rises.

How big: 208 pages; 2 pounds, 8.8 ounces; $40

Shulman weighs in: "Wilshire is the heart of Los Angeles. Show the buildings in context. The history pictures are great, but they didn't relate present-day Wilshire to the history of Wilshire."

That will be the next book, Julius! By the way, a show of Shulman's photographs opens this month at the Getty, which acquired his archives earlier this year.