This Place

Sunday, October 18, 2020 – This Place

I could hear everything, together with the hum of my hotel neon. I never felt sadder in my life. L.A. is the loneliest and most brutal of American cities; New York gets godawful cold in the winter but there’s a feeling of wacky comradeship somewhere in some streets. LA is a jungle. ~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Los Angeles is like a beauty parlor at the end of the universe. ~ Emily Mortimer

Los Angeles is a large city-like area surrounding the Beverly Hills Hotel. ~ Fran Lebowitz

Los Angeles is just New York lying down. ~ Quentin Crisp

Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles. ~ Frank Lloyd Wright

Los Angeles gives one the feeling of the future more strongly than any city I know of. A bad future, too, like something out of Fritz Lang’s feeble imagination. ~ Henry Miller

Los Angeles was the kind of place where everybody was from somewhere else and nobody really dropped anchor. It was a transient place. People drawn by the dream, people running from the nightmare. Twelve million people and all of them ready to make a break for it if necessary. Figuratively, literally, metaphorically – any way you want to look at it – everybody in L.A. keeps a bag packed. Just in case. ~ Michael Connelly

The old folk from Indiana and Iowa and Illinois, from Boston and Kansas City and Des Moines, they sold their homes and their stores, and they came here by train and by automobile to the land of sunshine, to die in the sun, with just enough money to live until the sun killed them, tore themselves out by the roots in their last days, deserted the smug prosperity of Kansas City and Chicago and Peoria to find a place in the sun. And when they got here they found that other and greater thieves had already taken possession, that even the sun belonged to the others; Smith and Jones and Parker, druggist, banker, baker, dust of Chicago and Cincinnati and Cleveland on their shoes, doomed to die in the sun, a few dollars in the bank, enough to subscribe to the Los Angeles Times, enough to keep alive the illusion that this was paradise, that their little papier-mâché homes were castles. ~ John Fante, Ask the Dust

There are times when Los Angeles is the most magical city on Earth. When the Santa Ana winds sweep through and the air is warm and so, so clear. When the jacaranda trees bloom in the most brilliant lilac violet. When the ocean sparkles on a warm February day and you’re pushing fine grains of sand through your bare toes while the rest of the country is hunkered down under blankets slurping soup. But other times, like when the jacaranda trees drop their blossoms in an eerie purple rain, Los Angeles feels like only a half-formed dream. Like perhaps the city was founded as a strip mall in the early 1970s and has no real reason to exist. An afterthought from the designer of some other, better city. A playground made only for attractive people to eat expensive salads. ~ Steven Rowley

A good part of any day in Los Angeles is spent driving, alone, through streets devoid of meaning to the driver, which is one reason the place exhilarates some people, and floods others with an amorphous unease. ~ Joan Didion

There are two modes of transport in Los Angeles: car and ambulance. Visitors who wish to remain inconspicuous are advised to choose the latter. ~ Fran Lebowitz

It is redundant to die in Los Angeles. ~ Truman Capote

Los Angeles remains the most photographed and least remembered city in the world. ~ Norman M. Klein

There is a theory that almost anything that’s fun is going to be ruined sooner or later by people from California. They tend to bring seriousness to subjects that don’t deserve it, and they tend to get very good at things that weren’t very important in the first place. ~ Calvin Trillin

I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic. ~ Andy Warhol

The violet hush of twilight was descending over Los Angeles as my hostess, Violet Hush, and I left its suburbs headed towards Hollywood. In the distance a glow of huge piles of burning motion-picture scripts lit up the sky. The crisp tang of frying writers and directors whetted my appetite. How good it was to be alive, I thought, inhaling deep lungfuls of carbon monoxide. ~ S. J. Perelman

Hollywood is wonderful. Anyone who doesn’t like it is either crazy or sober. ~ Raymond Chandler

If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better, I should not have come. ~ Raymond Chandler

Hollywood held this double lure for me, tremendous sums of money for work that required no more effort than a game of pinochle. ~ Ben Hecht

It’s a scientific fact. For every year a person lives in Hollywood, they lose two points of their IQ. ~ Truman Capote

Hollywood is like being nowhere and talking to nobody about nothing. ~ Michelangelo Antonioni

I’ve been asked if I ever get the DT’s. I don’t know; it’s hard to tell where Hollywood ends and the DT’s begin. ~ W. C. Fields

I just want to tell y’all not to worry – them people in New York and Hollywood are not going to change me none. ~ Elvis Presley

It’s a great place to live, but I wouldn’t want to visit there. ~ Will Rogers

It’s the movies that have really been running things in America ever since they were invented. They show you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, how to feel about it, and how to look how you feel about it. Everybody has their own America, and then they have the pieces of a fantasy America that they think is out there but they can’t see. ~ Andy Warhol

After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood. ~ Fred Thompson, speech before the Commonwealth Club of California

You can’t find any true closeness in Hollywood, because everybody does the fake closeness so well. ~ Carrie Fisher

Hollywood is like Picasso’s bathroom. ~ Candice Bergen

Los Angeles makes the rest of California seem authentic. ~ Jonathan Culler

There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California. ~ Edward Abbey

Soon it got dusk, a grapy dusk, a purple dusk over tangerine groves and long melon fields; the sun the color of pressed grapes, slashed with burgundy red, the fields the color of love and Spanish mysteries. ~ Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Out yonder they may curse, revile, and torture one another, defile all the human instincts, make a shambles of creation (if it were in their power), but here, no, here, it is unthinkable, here there is abiding peace, the peace of God, and the serene security created by a handful of good neighbors living at one with the creature world. ~ Henry Miller, Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch

I was awakened by a tremendous earthquake, and though I hadn’t ever before enjoyed a storm of this sort, the strange thrilling motion could not be mistaken, and I ran out of my cabin, both glad and frightened, shouting, “A noble earthquake! A noble earthquake” feeling sure I was going to learn something. ~ John Muir

If you’ve had good gin on a hot day in Southern California with the people you love, you forget Nebraska. The two things cannot coexist. The stronger, better of the two wins. ~ Ann Patchett

An afternoon drive from Los Angeles will take you up into the high mountains, where eagles circle above the forests and the cold blue lakes, or out over the Mojave Desert, with its weird vegetation and immense vistas. Not very far away are Death Valley, and Yosemite, and Sequoia Forest with its giant trees which were growing long before the Parthenon was built; they are the oldest living things in the world. One should visit such places often, and be conscious, in the midst of the city, of their surrounding presence. For this is the real nature of California and the secret of its fascination; this untamed, undomesticated, aloof, prehistoric landscape which relentlessly reminds the traveler of his human condition and the circumstances of his tenure upon the earth. “You are perfectly welcome,” it tells him, “during your short visit. Everything is at your disposal. Only, I must warn you, if things go wrong, don’t blame me. I accept no responsibility. I am not part of your neurosis. Don’t cry to me for safety. There is no home here. There is no security in your mansions or your fortresses, your family vaults or your banks or your double beds. Understand this fact, and you will be free. Accept it, and you will be happy.” ~ Christopher Isherwood, Exhumations