Joan always kept orchid plants, and liked to linger in the greenhouse of a grower in Malibu, Amado Vazquez, who would name a pink-and-white-striped orchid Phal. Joan Didion Dunne. When everything looked as she wished, Joan, John and I went to get dressed and then gathered in her study. Wearing a rose-print batiste dress (one of a matching pair she'd bought for Quintana and herself in the children's department at Bonwit's), Joan lit a Pall Mall. "We're ready for the party," she said, adding that she was always nervous before dinner was served. Hired help arrived to tend bar and set up the buffet, and I remember Joan [...]
While the lawsuit apparently filed today by the parent company of Nikki Finke's Deadline against the parent company of the Hollywood Reporter is largely about "misappropriating wholesale content" from Deadline, the fun begins when you see they accused the Reporter of straight up stealing code from their site TVLine. (The copyright infringement on the code seems pretty cut and dry. [PDF]) BUT THEN there's also a section on how the Reporter tried to "lure away" Deadline's employee, Ms. Finke, with a decent salary and a "ONE MILLION DOLLAR MALIBU HOME." Then there are like a thousand examples of stories that Deadline posted first and then the [...]
A chicken-and-waffle cupcake served from a food truck is some kind of recipe for a fatal hipster orgasm, right? I mean, I hope so. [Via]
Save the date, Los Angeles: There's a Matthew Gallaway reading on Thursday, May 19th, at 7p.m., at Book Soup, with a Q&A with Natasha Vargas-Cooper; this will be followed by drinks with everyone in the known universe at the Parlour Room.
Most frequently, people in Hollywood read a magazine article and buy the rights! In a "fun" reversal, this time book editors in New York read a magazine article about people out in L.A. and bought a book from the subject. Even though the subject—Barry Michels, shrink of the unproductive scriptwriter set—is… well, let's call him "unusual"? Looking forward to a new, darker take on pop psychology.
Across the street from Scientology's fabled Celebrity Centre, on Franklin Avenue in Hollywood, there is a coffee house called The Bourgeois Pig. It is super dark in there but the coffee isn't bad, and you can sit outside. There's something like a miniature High Street atmosphere in this pleasant neighborhood; the Upright Citizens Brigade is a few doors down, and there's a good bookstore, too.
There is a pretty apartment building just to the west of the Bourgeois Pig. We met one of its residents over coffee there one day many years ago, a young hipsterish guy recently arrived in L.A. and trying to break into screenwriting, he said. [...]
Chaos followed, as guests fought over pieces cut by the bare-chested pallbearers. “I want the breast! Give me the vagina!” they screamed, hardly noticing that Tilda Swinton had arrived for photo ops, looking very much like David Bowie in his Thin White Duke phase. When it was all over, the cut-up cakes resembled mutilated bodies that made for a ghoulish sight.
A man I didn’t know accosted me. “Is it me or was this all about violence against women?” he asked. “It’s you,” I said. “Look at that cake!” he exclaimed. “It’s a horribly mutilated woman with knives in her chest. Doesn’t that bother you?” “It’s a cake,” [...]
You’re standing at the intersection of Wilshire and Highland. What neighborhood are you in? The sign on the corner says you’re somewhere called Brookside. The sign on the other corner says you’re in Park Mile. The sign a block away, in full view of the other signs, says you’re in Sycamore Square.
Google Maps doesn’t mention any of these. Google Maps calls this neighborhood Dockweiler. Where it gets this from, I have no idea. Los Angeles does have a Dockweiler—but it’s Dockweiler State Beach, 15 miles away, by the airport. Google Maps calls the adjoining neighborhood Sanford. But that’s Koreatown. Google Maps is just making stuff up.
Talk to someone [...]
"The number of children between the ages of 5 and 9 in the county decreased by 21% from 2000 to 2010"—and demographers are panicking about how that's going to impact the local workforce in the future. But that seems a remarkably old-world way to think about population trends. This isn't Ames, Iowa, with a brain drain and nobody about to take care of aging parents! With 15 million people in the metro area, around a city where 40% of the population is foreign-born, it's not the children who are going to be doing the future working. It's a city of transience and immigration, and Los Angeles has become [...]
The Los Angeles Review of Books has come into existence, with an opening salvo from Awl pal Ben Ehrenreich, with a very recent history of the death of the book, a proposition regarding which you can imagine both author and publication are "con." It's a bit more philosophical than might readily be embraced elsewhere on the Internet, addressing as it does "bibilionecrophilia: the retreat of the print-faithful into a sort of autistic fetishization of the book-as-object—as if Jeff Bezos could be convinced to lay e-profits aside by recalling for a moment the soft, woody aroma of a yellow-paged Grove Press paperback; as if there were nothing more [...]
Proposition M! Charter Amendment G! There's so much to know to be an informed citizen today in Los Angeles, and yes, it is time for you to go vote. But look out, there's a feud between the library and the police department! (If you like something more straightforward, here's the League of Women Voters.)
Egypt: "The army also assured the 'honourable' protesters that they won't be persecuted by the army when the crisis is over."
Los Angeles: "City Atty. Carmen Trutanich is throwing the book at dozens of people arrested during recent political demonstrations…. Some of the activists arrested, including eight college students and one military veteran who took part in a Westwood rally last year in support of the DREAM Act, face up to one year in county jail." (via)
When I was a kid we'd escape the Seattle winter gloom and rain and roll down Interstate 5 to California. Descending from the Shasta National Forest into California's Central Valley, I'd always put down the window and stick my hand gleefully into the warm, rushing air. "It feels like California, mom! It feels like California!" Not long ago but many years later, I found myself traveling that same stretch of highway. Windows down, a hot and dry wind tousled my hair as I reached my hand out into the sun. It sure felt like California alright, and I couldn't help but notice that this realization had left a very [...]
Around 8 p.m. on Wednesday night, the 300 people who have been occupying the lawn of Los Angeles City Hall for the past three weeks split themselves into two hostile camps.
Occupy LA’s decision-making body, the General Assembly, has been responsible for conducting the encampment’s business. As in most other cities, the participating members handle everything from ensuring the nightly meeting take place to doing financial research on Los Angeles-based bankers to cleaning up the trash. But on Wednesday, a large group of dissenters decided to occupy the General Assembly’s usual outdoor meeting space and assert themselves as the new regime. One man, standing at the center of the swirling [...]
As much as I hate Los Angeles—and, believe me, I go to bed each night praying for the city's imminent destruction even as I beseech the Lord to have mercy on the benighted souls of those pathetic creatures trapped within its confines because of ignorance, delusion or the simple lack of courage or resources that would make any sane person flee in horror, never to return or even speak of one's time there again were one able to make a safe escape—I have to admit, this is pretty cool.
Tonight! Unless you're going to The Hairpin's drink session tonight in New York, then you must be in Los Angeles, because no one lives anywhere else, and so good news!
• 7:00p.m.: Matthew Gallaway reads at Book Soup, plus a Q&A with Natasha Vargas-Cooper, 8818 Sunset, West Hollywood.
It's very likely that you don't live in Los Angeles! So many people don't these days. But it's a fascinating city, and even nonresidents can play along with this Twitter feed of LA history. What I love about it is it tells little stories.