When attorney Dan Grunfeld left his job as deputy chief of staff for policy for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in September, he decided he needed a vacation before starting his new gig with Kaye Scholer LLP.

He and his wife, Colleen Regan, also a lawyer, planned a tripped to Italy. It didn’t work out; she had to stay in town for a case. “She said, ‘Go to a place that isn’t on my top five list.’ And I said, ‘Pedaling in the heat of Vietnam.’ She said, ‘Yeah, exactly,’” recalled Grunfeld, an avid bicyclist.

So Grunfeld, 50, spent three and a half weeks in October cycling across Vietnam. He met up with New Zealand bike riders on an organized trip and then spent about nine days cycling in the country’s central highlands and another day exploring a nearby island. In total, he rode about 300 miles.

He enjoyed the local hospitality.

“You’d ride into villages and kids would run out yelling hello and they’d line up to give high fives as you’d pass by. You’d be escorted out by kids and they’d talk about L.A.,” Grunfeld said. “Kobe is as popular in Vietnam as he seems to be very everywhere else.”

Reaching for the Stars

Entrepreneur Cynthia Stafford hosted a star-studded party two weeks ago to unveil her $30 million film fund and production company, Queen Nefertari Productions. Stafford, who won $112 million from the Mega Millions lottery in 2007 along with her father and brother, staged the soiree at the famed Sunset Tower Hotel on the Sunset Strip.

About 130 guests came out, including actor Chris Pine from the hit film “Star Trek”; actresses Tracey Edmonds and Sharon Lawrence; directors Werner Herzog and Uli Edel; comic book legend Stan Lee; Los Angeles Clippers star Baron Davis; Lions Gate Entertainment Chief Executive Jon Feltheimer; Endgame Entertainment Chief Executive James Stern; Gersh Agency’s David Gersh and Jay Cohen; and Queen Nefertari producers Lanre Idewu and Jeff Kalligheri.

Stafford said her love of movies led her into the entertainment industry.

“I particularly like romantic comedies,” she said. “I love comedies. They will take your mind off everything for a moment.”

Stafford, 47, has emerged on L.A.’s business and philanthropic scenes since winning the lottery. She donated $1 million to the Geffen Playhouse and joined its board last year.

Despite the attention Stafford is getting from Hollywood, she’s remained grounded.

“Some people call it a magical life,” she said. “I don’t attribute it to magic. I attribute it to the life of true possibilities.”


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