Thursday, October 16, 2008

Shiloe's List of 10 Things
to Love About Los Angeles

Ken and I both grew up in southern California, and we have a special place in our hearts for the oft-misunderstood city of Los Angeles. While it may be "cool" to hate on L.A. in certain circles, we think there's a lot to love about the sprawling metropolis that serves as Shiloe's home base. So, as a public service of sorts, here is our list of 10 Things to Love About Los Angeles:

01. The food. The massive population and remarkable cultural diversity of L.A. leads to a huge variety of tasty cuisine. Thai, Vietnamese pho, the best sushi this side of Japan (Sushi Zo, I'm lookin' at you)...yes, New Yorkers, there is even delicious pizza, if you know where to look. Earlier tonight we ate at a vegetarian restaurant called Pure Luck where they serve awesome sandwiches stuffed with shredded jackfruit in place of carnitas. Fruit doing its best pork impression? Only in L.A.!

02. Cinespia's Cemetery Screenings at Hollywood Forever. From mid-May to early September, you can pack a picnic (booze too!) and head over to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to sit outside on a balmy summer evening and view a movie projected onto the side of a mausoleum. In August, we watched Phantasm a few hundred feet away from Johnny Ramone's grave. Completely worth the $10 admission.

03. L.A. is a horror and/or Halloween enthusiast's paradise! From fantastic specialty stores like Halloween Town and Dark Delicacies to the elaborate house haunts that pop up every year around October 31st to independent movie theaters like the Nuart or the New Beverly that show films you won't see anywhere else, if it's spooky, you can find it in L.A. 

04. The great art that Los Angeles has inspired. This ranges from songs ("California Dreamin'," duh) to albums (Los Angeles by X) to books (Raymond Chandler, Francesca Lia Block, Janet Fitch), and especially to films - I would say everything from L.A. Confidential to The Karate Kid benefits from having L.A. as a backdrop.

05. The Valley! Uh-oh, now we're getting controversial. Some people hate the Valley; I think they see it as a too-hot, too-flat, too-crowded suburban wasteland. Which it very well may be - but that's part of the charm! The Valley has character.

06. The radio stations. We firmly believe that people who complain about radio in L.A. have been spoiled by the radio in L.A. Not only do the big, mainstream broadcast stations have local shows (Indie 103.1, KROQ), but we also have independent broadcast radio (KXLU, KCRW) and a ton of excellent online stations. If you have the music, you can find a show that will play it - and that's a beautiful thing.

07. The venues. Let's dispel some myths that might be lingering from the hair metal '80s: L.A. is more than just the Sunset Strip. There are cool venues all over Silver Lake, Echo Park, Highland Park, downtown and beyond. Want to play a 21 & over club with a built-in crowd and awesome sound? Try the Echo or Spaceland. Looking for a small all-ages venue with a true DIY philosophy and aesthetic? Check out Pehrspace or the Echo Curio. Want to play in a bowling alley that is no longer a bowling alley? Mr. T's Bowl is the ticket! Want to play in a circus sideshow? Yeah, we've got that too.

08. The bands. Another L.A. myth: That the music scene is full of bitchy, competitive, cutthroat bands. After playing well over 100 shows, we could count the bands we've encountered like this on one hand. There are tons of amazing bands in Los Angeles, and they're all incredibly kind, fun, and supportive people to boot. For examples, check out any of the bands we have in our Top Friends on MySpace.

09. It may be a cliche, but the beaches are great. So are the mountains. And the desert. And the fact that all of them are easily accessible from L.A. proper. If you like variety, L.A. is your town.

10. And, finally, to get even more cliche...the weather isn't too shabby either. Hey, it may be a little too sunny for my taste (I do like a bit of rain now and then), but after a trip to Portland in January (brr!), we now realize how much L.A.'s mild, temperate climate actually rules.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well said. I was born oi England and now call California home. And BTW I have a book sigining at dark Delicacies next Friday...

P.S. Gifford