Showing posts from May, 2014

the thin purple line

1. adventures in public transportation I got on the Purple Line at the Normandie Station. Linda and I had just spent an hour and a half drinking soju and nibbling on an immense potato pancake at a Koreatown bar called Toe Bang. (The other place we were considering was called School Food Blooming Roll. You gotta love K-Town.)  Toe Bang: best potato pancake east of Fairfax. The Purple Line was always quiet and relatively empty at this time of night. Those sharing my car included a guy muttering to himself and smoking a cigarette, and a very tall, very thin man with a pencil mustache, slouch boots, and a feminine V-neck sweater. He (she?) seemed like a proud character from a novel about the marginal lives of aging disco queens. For some reason, the Purple Line wasn’t running all the way to Union Station, and it took me lot of minutes and some backtracking to realize this. When I transferred at the MacArthur Park Station, a white-haired man shuffled up to me and mumbled so

writer, interrupted, or: what i read in march and april

Happy Cinco de Mayo, everyone. Today Angie at Homeboy Bakery was decked out in red, white and green, and almost announced the day’s pan dulce options in Spanish. At the last minute, she switched to English because she felt bad for all the non-Mexicans and non-Spanish-speaking Mexicans who wouldn’t understand her. I’ll be celebrating in my preferred crowd-averse way by having an Olvera Street margarita tomorrow. At least that’s the plan. An authentic Mexican who does not speak Spanish (that I know of). For now, here’s my bimonthly book roundup. I’m about two thirds of the way through Mermaid in Chelsea Creek by Michelle Tea, which is a great book—very sweet and magical—but I wasn’t in the mood to read it tonight because I saw her Facebook post about being pregnant. She’s written unflinchingly about the highs and lows of trying to get knocked up, and it’s taken her a long time, and she is an incredibly nice and generous person, and I am absolutely rooting for her and her baby-to

the griffin avenue preemptive nostalgia tour

1. take a walk My new thing is walking home. I’ve done it three times now, first because the Gold Line was broken, later because it seemed more efficient than driving to the gym. On Tuesday I took a new route up Griffin Avenue, which runs through Lincoln Heights, Montecito Heights , and the southeast side of Highland Park. The day was too hot, but the light was perfect, that pinkish gold that filmmakers love. The houses in Lincoln Heights wore their decades in layers. Shingles, stucco, rickety bedrooms built over carports. The makeovers got nicer and more up-to-code as I moved north. Walking a long street is always a series of ethnographic studies, as you make your way through waves of immigration and gentrification. House on haunted hill. I discovered that the grassy no-man’s-parkland near the Arroyo is where old TV’s go to die. The whole walk, I felt like I was witnessing the last of something. Maybe because history was so compressed all around me, maybe because re-urb