My office was the living room closet in a huge one-bedroom in a 1920s East Hollywood apartment court, across the street from the big blue Scientology headquarters in the old Cedars of Lebanon Hospital. There were built-in bookshelves and just enough space for a chair and a laptop and an ashtray. The neighbor lady's rescued pit bulls romped outside in the overgrown garden, and that electric L.A. sunlight came filtered through the grimy old French windows to the hardwood floors. It was a very pleasant place to work, my friends lived within walking distance in other cheap apartments in Los Feliz, and I had a bad case of being in [...]
Staffers and free-lancers at two West Coast alt-weeklies are nervously awaiting whatever unpleasant news comes with the sale of those papers to local conglomerates. Like all of the once-mighty urban weekly papers, the SF Weekly and Seattle Weekly are struggling to survive in a time when it's not at all clear what these kind of publications are supposed to do when all of their one-time informational and advertising monopolies—music and movie listings, sex personals, roommate ads, alternative news, restaurant reviews, anti-Republican ranting—have moved online.
Tonight at midnight, the three-year contract at the Village Voice expires, so Voice workers held a strike benefit at Williamsburg's Public Assembly last night. The bands were really loud and the crowd drank a lot.
The crowd was heavy with, yes, Village Voice staffers and their friends, as well as a handful of former-Voice employees there to show their support. Ex-employees in attendance included: Zach Baron (who left The Voice for The Daily back in March), Foster Kamer (of the New York Observer), and Tom Robbins (the influential writer who left the paper after the departure of long time columnist Wayne Barrett). Robbins' appearance was perhaps the biggest [...]