Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Phoblographer and the City

cue catchy theme music . . . .

I love my city. Not enough people love my city like I love my city.

Tonight, I went out with Los Angeles. I attended a lecture at the Los Angeles Public Library (yeah, we have one, and it has books, I know, it was a nice surprise for me too - but if you haven't been, it's stunning. Too bad they defiled it by renaming it after former Mayor Riordan). It's a great series - too bad I've missed most of them so far this year. It's something my friend Greg Rodriguez sent me the invite for. You should be reading his stuff.

At any rate, the lecture itself was great - but that's not really what this post is about. It's more about a lovely courtyard in a lovely library in a lovely city on a lovely night. Too many lovelys? Yeah. But it's my blog. Deal.

The small courtyard is off the Mark Taper Forum. There are tiled planters, a random column in the center, and the street side of the square is adorned with various quotations from the great thinkers of our time. Including Dr. Suess. Who, frankly, isn't my favorite, but admit that to someone is akin to saying "yes, and I kick puppies too."

But the best part comes when you look up. The One Bunker Hill lights told me it was a warm 69 degress at 8:38, 8:49, 9:11pm in downtown Los Angeles. The Library Tower rises above - US Bank tower now - a travesty of signage the likes of which hasn't been seen since Paul Hastings nabbed it's 5 million point font ad sometime back. The Library steps, by the way, are a nice little field trip. At the top is a statute we lovingly called "Woman with Crabs" in high school - but that's probably not the real name. We hope. Check it out. Take the escalators if you're in heels.

It's a constellation of corporate America up there, swaying over the literature down here. Mellon Bank. Citibank. US Bank. KPMG, Bank of America. There's too many banks, it seems. There's the gas company tower with it's symbolic-of-a-flame top. There's the Biltmore Tower and, though I can't see it, the Biltmore Court where I worked last summer. There's the Standard - also blocked by the colorful library roof.

The palms from the tiled planters framed each view as I nursed my perrier (no lime, thanks) and anti-mingled for a bit.

When I did mingle, it started off poorly, but ended well. There was a "Meet her, she dates, or does she? Oh, she doesn't? Good friends, good friends. She has a blog!" Eek, talk about exposing a girl in polite company. I kid. Sorta.

At any rate, once the blog was out there, what could I do. It's nice that someone else dropped the blogbomb because I'd sooner die than toot my own e-horn. Sorta.

So I met some very interesting people. They work for well acronymed organizations like the ACLU and the LAT. Personal favorites actually.

Maybe they'll read this. Maybe they'll forget both "Phoblographer" and my name, rendering our conversation un-google-able and the night sort of a bust as networking goes. At any rate, if they do check in, hope they like it. Hope they don't notice what my mom diplomatically called a few "missed words." (I think she means typos).

This is veering into apologia, or just straight apology, territory. So before we get there, let me close, before getting back to the legitimate stuff.

Los Angeles was beautiful tonight. Later in the season there will be car chases or brush fires (er, more brush fires) or ugly political fights or police misconduct or an earthquake or a botched real estate deal or a celebrity murder (murdered or murderer) or shallow LA based pop cultural phenomenon or all of that - and in a single news cycle. But tonight my city was warm and soft. On the short walk down 5th Street to the parking garage there was no one there save one valet guarding the Cafe Pinot yellow umbrella of a carport.

Sappy love letters to men are a waste of time. Sappy love letters to cities, those are the stuff dreams are made of.

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