These pages are, I'm afraid, woefully out-of-date; links are not
guaranteed to work, or to reflect my current whims. For a more current
collection of projects 'n' stuff, please see RoseAuerbach.com.
Ah, Los Angeles--land of the freaked, home of the crazed,
incidentally the place of my birth. Yes, people do actually live here.
And apart from a few blissful years in
Santa Cruz, I've lived
here all my life.
Early on, I developed a sort of love-hate relat
ionship with the
place. Sure, Andy
Partridge called it a "soulless, sequined, showbiz moon."
No argument from me there. But it's also wonderfully surreal,
a place where movie crews crowd the side streets, wher
substance and style blend, where a little black dress can
keep you full of hors d'oeuvres as long as there are cocktail
parties. It's also a place of great historical and cultural
richness, and I don't mean pre- and post-Brady.
So as long a
s you're here, check your notions at the door, grab
the cheapest sunglasses you can find, and go on a whirlwind
tour of the City of Angels (with dirty faces), Rose-style...
But first, some FAQs.
Is Southern Ca
lifornia really sunny and seventy degrees
Lemme check... Yep. Sure is.
So, wait, you've never had a White Chirstmas?
Nope. (Besides, I'm Jewish). And before you ask, I've never made
a snow angel, either, but I g
et to bodysurf in the middle of January.
What's the difference between Hollywood and Los Angeles?
Hollywood is part of Los Angeles, except for the parts that aren't.
Most of the visual symbols--the Hollywood sign, the Chinese theater,
the corner of Sunset and Courtney--lie within L.A. proper. The
Sunset Strip is mostly in West Hollywood. The really snotty
clubs are in Beverly Hills, and won't tolerate being lumped in
with the very real slummy parts of Hollywood.
get right down to it, Hollywood is a state of mind that
starts in Downtown L.A. and extends north and west until people
start sneering at the notion.
What's with all those KROQ stickers?
Ah, KROQ (106
.7 FM). It's
not just a radio station, it's a way of life. Well, not really.
What it is, is probably the most influential commerical "alternative
rock" station in the country. Los Angeles also has what I figure
is one of the most influential publi
c stations in the country, KCRW(89.9 FM). Be sure to tune
in around 11:20 on weekdays; that's when the famous and infamous
play on "Morning Becomes Eclectic."
How do I get to Disneyland?
From Los Ang
eles, take the 5 South to Anaheim (actually in Orange
County). Get off at the first sign of giant bipedal rodents.
Where can I see celebrities?
The Trader Joe's on Hyperion in Silver Lake. If they have guests in
town, though, they'l
l probably be going to the same places you'll be
Marshall High School: It's been s
een as the college in
Raiders of the Lost Ark, the outside of the school in
Pretty in Pink, the football field in Grease, and
all over Buffy the Vampire Slayer, to name a few
appearances. On the corner of Tracy and St. Geo
the gaze of the Hollywood sign, it's the most Gothic-looking
school convenient to the major studios, which often makes it
hard for students to get to their lockers. I went there, the
1995 national Academic Decathlon champions went there,
ance Ito went there, Heidi Fleiss went there (but didn't
graduate), and it's on the way to...
- The Griffith Observatory:
It's been seen in... oh, trust me,
you'll know it when you see it,
especially if you've ever seen Rebel Without a Cause.
It was built as a plain-and-simple observatory (in function,
not form) back when architecture mattered. The exhibits
were moved under the domes later, and
now are crammed
into every marble nook and cranny. Outside, you can check
out the WPA-commissioned obelisk to astronomers throughout
history (all of whom looked the same except for the facial
hair), the bust of James Dean, and, if it's reasonably cle
one heck of a view. Many nights, the big telescope on the
roof is pointed towards interesting objects for visitors to
see. The Observatory is open until 10 most nights, and it's
- Los Angeles County Museum of Natural
History: Amazing architecture, and wonderful exhibits
to boot. Be sure to check out the Discovery Center and Insect
Zoo, where during high school I spent Saturdays talking about
ales and showing off Maggie the Tarantula.
- Los Angeles County
Museum of Art: As classical art museums go, it's one of
the good ones. Among the cash-strapped twentysomethings
of the city, LACMA is probably best
known for its weekly
free admissions, cheap membership, classical music
performances, and being next to the La Brea Tar Pits.
- The Museum of Jurassic
Technology: What do opera arias have to do with memory?
t was up with Noah's Ark? Why would anyone eat mouse
pie? What sort of letters got sent to the astronomers at the
old Mt. Wilson Observatory? And how did that bat get
embedded in lead, anyway? This museum has a little bit
of everything, all designed
to make you reconsider the
world around you. Exhibits change all the time; the current
highlight is a collection of micro-miniature sculptures.
I'm not entirely sure why a man felt compelled to put
Disney characters in the eyes of needles or etch d
etailed pictures on hairs, but the results are amazing.
If you go to one museum while you're in SoCal, go here.
Coming Soon... food, murals, public-access television, and the tackier side of the city...
Rose Ellen Auerbach