Hate Is a Drug

I live in an area of West Hollywood that is on the hill well above the three blocks of back-to-back gay bars known as the ‘Fruit Loop’, a block below the super-straight Sunset Strip — infamous rocker lounge The Viper Room abuts my corner store. The residents make an eclectic demographic. On the corner of my street and Palm Avenue is an ugly mid-century apartment building, elderly housing for Russians. The cheap fabrics and sad bric-a-brac in the windows give it the appearance of those dwellings beloved by photojournalists who snap willfully dreary reportages of the faces of Chernobyl twenty years after the nuclear meltdown. Across from that indifferent edifice is a wee compound

West Hollywood Halloween

Streakers and Sluts: Halloween in Los Angeles

Gentle reader,

Most holidays seem to have a spiritual home.  Anyone who’s walked past Liberty of London in December knows that London owns Christmas, probably due to our concept of Yuletide having been entirely invented by Charles Dickens.  Thanksgiving, on the other hand, seems very Eastern Seaboard because of the changing leaves and pilgrims, neither of which are plentiful in Southern California.  Mardi Gras is observed in drastically different ways in three places around the world: in New Orleans it’s about partying; in Sydney it’s about the gays; in Rio it’s all about sex.  On second thought, maybe those don’t sound that different after all.

Me back in the day.

Me back in the day.

It’s hard to say for certain what makes Halloween the quintessential Los Angeles holiday but it probably has a lot to do with the fact that most Angelinos came here to be somebody else.