The City of Angles: Day Zero

Welcome to the City of Angles — I say “angles” not because I’m misspelling “angels,” but because from the sky, everything looks like a series of brown boxes smashed together. A sprawl of corners. A tangle of angles.

Actually, from the sky and from the ground, Los Angeles isn’t the prettiest little whore in the brothel. From the air, you sweep in and see what might be, I dunno, Baghdad? And it’s cast beneath this ochre haze, as if the city is sitting in a dirty recliner, smoking cigarettes in pinched, jaundiced fingers.

Then you land, and you think, this looks a little like Hawaii, if someone took Hawaii into a seedy motel room and shot it in the back of the head. You get your palm trees, ferns, orchids. Except, a lot of them are dead. In fact, a lot of the greenery is at least half-dead, withered brown. So, yeah. Someone murdered Hawaii. And then paved over the body with a Celtic knot made of highways.

What else?

Let’s see.

  • In & Out Burger is clearly a nexus of city life in this town. All walks attending. Children and their parents. What may have been prostitutes. What may have been roller derby queens. What may have been Crips, or Bloods. What may have been studio executives. Really, anybody you can imagine living here was represented in some form last night at the In & Out. (I wonder if they get together at nights to hold some kind of Grand Council where they decide what’s cool and not-cool amongst their tribes.) Anyway. It’s a dang delicious burger, and lives up to its reputation. Don’t expect anything but a burger, though. That’s what they have. That’s it. Don’t think you’re getting a chicken sandwich. Fuck you and your chicken sandwiches. You get a burger. Maybe with cheese. Maybe no cheese. But burger, and nothing else. (Well, fries, but, really, fries are just part of a burger in the same way that the dog’s tail isn’t the dog, but it’s always attached.)
  • Saw a movie at the Arclight. The Arclight on Sunset is essentially a cinematic temple. Big churchy steps, reverent (and super-comfy!) pews, an “usher priest” who comes out before the film and gives you his reverent film spiel… it’s a lot of pomp and circumstance. Oh, and it requires you tithe big money. It’s not the most expensive movie I’ve ever been to (I’m lookin’ at you, London-from-10-years-ago), but it’s nipping at its heels. And you have to pick your seats like it’s the actual Capital-T-Theater. Anyway. Saw the Hurt Locker. Which you should see. That paired with District 9 are the movies to beat this summer. Bingo.
  • I’ve seen a number of micro-celebrities. I’ve seen Toad from Gran Torino. I’ve seen Abby from Harper’s Island. And TV’s Rob Huebel! Okay, I’m not actually sure I saw Toad from Gran Torino. Maybe I’m just racist. But, the plane had a bunch of Asians, and it’s not like I’m thinking, “Oh my god! Look! It’s four clones of that kid from Gran Torino. And I think he’s also Sulu. And Harold without Kumar! And that dude from Lost who talks to dead people.” Interesting point of fact: the kid from Gran Torino’s name is “Bee Vang.” Which is a pretty great name. But maybe I’m racist for saying that, too. Damnit.
  • Sleep came late. Wakey-wakey came early. I just ate bacon that tasted like a laminated bookmark. More tomorrow, when Day One is complete.