Tuesday, March 07, 2006

City at night

My hosts in Los Angeles -- my old friend Rich Mele and his lovely cohort Leslie Bird -- were awesome. They absolutely rolled out the carpet rouge for me and showed me practically every interesting inch of Los Angeles, or at least the ones you can reach in four days' time.

From Laguna Beach to Malibu, Santa Monica to Hollywood, Burbank to Inglewood, Los Angeles is loaded with character and charm -- it's like a permanent weekend. Don't Angelenos feel like they're always on vacation? You have palm trees, sunshine, and salty air everywhere, and you can enjoy those things regardless of wealth, race, or creed. (Speaking of which, the time I've spent in the L.A. area just hammers home the idea that not only was "Crash" a shitty movie, but it's also wrong -- L.A. seems just as miscegenated as any polyglot American city... which isn't to say there aren't race issues, or course.)

People from the east coast aren't supposed to take well to the west -- so I'll just be suffering over here in my 1930s Spanish-influenced villa on Mulholland Drive, ordering sweet shrimp maki out from Yamashiro.

Perhaps oddly enough, I counted dogs as strange bedfellows for the first time in my life, having made pals out of two little boys named (above, left to right) Ace and Brazinho.