I sent my friends and family a questionnaire about their hometowns. Travis was quick to respond with
pretentious eloquent answers on Los Angeles.
Where do you live and how long have you lived there? Los Angeles. 10 years.
Describe the city in three words. Sodium-vapor streetlights.
Favorite restaurant? Swinger’s Diner, West Hollywood. Or, Tacos Arizas taco truck, corner of Sunset and Logan in Echo Park.
Favorite park? Hollywood Forever Cemetery screenings projected against the mausoleum.
Favorite museum? LACMA.
Favorite place to buy clothes? Oh, come on.
Favorite grocery store? Ralph’s.
Favorite bar? HMS Bounty in Koreatown.
Favorite neighborhood/spot? Neighborhood: West Hollywood (New Beverly Cinema, Cinefamily, Swinger’s Diner, Pacific Design Center, The Troubadour, Book Soup, Chateau Marmot, etc.) Spot: The New Beverly Cinema (High-art and gonzo-trash in 35 mm & 4-track mag sound).
Best way to get around the city? …to Mulholland, Mulholland to Sunset, Sunset to La Brea, La Brea to Beverly, Beverly to Fairfax, Fairfax to Wilshire…
What do you love? Moving through an aural soup of music (from oldies rock to hip-hop to pop to Hispanic polka) blasting out of surrounding car windows as you drive from home to the movies to watch something with friends that was made in your city.
The sun. The sprawl. The ocean. The weather. The mystery. The neon. The sidewalks. The women.
What do you hate? Hell is other people. Los Angeles holds 3,976,322 people.
Most overrated thing in the city? The neighborhood of Hollywood. It’s a series of Walk-of-Famed sidewalks covered in piss and come that smells like a garbage fire roasting beneath a dying sun, with Iowa families posing for pictures in front of a wax museum while a homeless man masturbates on the bus bench behind them.
Most underrated thing in the city? People think L.A. and they see this culturally half-assed and suntanned simulacrum of an idea of Hollywood. L.A. is far more like a Raymond Chandler novel than people realize: endless multicultural neighborhoods cat’s-cradled and bleeding into one another from the desert to the ocean, and dotted with an endless array of weirdos, crime, nightmares, mystery, dreams, hard nights, surreality, cruelty, monsters, filming locations, decent folk, surf-bums, seagulls, strange and run-down motels, Malibu, Sunset Strip burnouts, taco trucks, movie theaters, museums, diners, arterial freeways, and pretentious responses to cultural blogs.