Sunday, May 07, 2006


Dudes, I'm back in my beloved New York after five splendid days in LA, where it was colder than here. LA fascinates me and I want to go back to check out a bunch of places that I didn't have a chance to. We went by the unfortunately named Disney Symphony Hall, a magnificent Frank Gehry building that shimmers in the afternoon sun and a place where I would love to hear a concert. Somehow, Avery Fisher Hall or Carnegie Hall sound distinguished, whereas Disney Hall I'm afraid you walk in the door to be greeted by Goofy with cotton candy and a giant tub of popcorn. Not a name with distinguished cultural connotations.
Downtown LA is being revamped and that is great news for it feels like a proper downtown. There are hip restaurants and hotels and lots of old buildings are being turned into lofts. We did a quick car tour down Broadway, Downtown, with its beautiful delapidated old movie palace marquees and its tacky Mexican stores. Broadway is funky and I want to go back to explore more around there. I'd love to check out the Metro, their version of the subway. At least from outside those signs look like its fun. I took a peek at the H O L L Y W O O D sign. I love getting the creeps from that sign. I don't know if it's because they say some like to commit suicide there (probably urban legend) or because I associate it with the notorious book Hollywood Babylon that illustrates all kinds of sinister Hollywood stories.
Also, LA sports a bunch of interesting museums I haven't been to yet: LACMA, MOCA and other silly acronyms. The old Max Factor Museum in Hollywood has been turned into a Hollywood movie museum and you know I'm crazy for that stuff. Our friends from Altavista Films took us to an amazing CD and DVD store called Amoeba, which has a huge selection of new and used CDs, DVDs and LPs and amazing original rock posters from the Hippie age.
We ate splendidly well, as I've reported; from Matsuhisa, where we had the opportunity to meet Mr. Nobu himself who was quite charming, to Chaya Brasserie (superb), to a fantastic place called King Taco in East LA, (thanks again to David Lozano) and where we were in the upper reaches of heaven having $1.50 tacos: buche, carnitas, pastor, suadero, and a splendid agua de horchata (rice water with sugar and cinnammon).
The LA homeless are far more talkative than their NY counterparts. I guess when they see a lonesome pedestrian they take their chance to gab. They are also extremely disheveled and ragged. Ours seem a little bit more put together, if you can believe that. One day I saw a guy on the corner of Sunset and La Brea, who was wearing his extremely ratty hair down to his waist, had a long beard separated into two long cones and was dressed in a foul pijama-terry bathrobe combo. He was furiously scratching his head, probably giving the lice a nice workout. The next day I saw him strolling down Broadway in Santa Monica. I guess he must have taken the bus. We don't have bums like those here.
Next time, I'm going to LA for fun.

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