By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Photo by OCW staffAren't you glad you don't live in Silver Lake? Sure, it has still managed to remain funky and bohemian even after the chic moneyed folk took over those pretty hills. And, yeah, there's a club for every four people. But if you were at one of those clubs, watching a really terrific band (which Silver Lake also has in spades), do you know what you would be doing? You would be standing, hands in pockets, nodding to the music. Give me the idiot sorority girls shakin' that ass! at Fullerton's Rockin' Taco Cantina any night. The Rockin' Taco is so stuffed with grindin' honeys, it's now exporting overflow to other Fullerton bars, like the suave Continental.
Yes, the Continental, which heretofore had been for people like us—you know, drunks of refinement—is getting too cool for its own good. Lucky, lucky Continental! But there are still times—like, say, Thursdays—when the jam-packed velveteen lounge has an audience that's still mostly homegrown, aging Fullerton punks. You don't have to be a beat-impaired blonde to get groovy when you're an aging Fullerton punk. Aging Fullerton punks, just like Tri-Delts, have very few inhibitions.
And so it was Nov. 14, when hometown heroes The Busstop Hurricanes put the aural hammer down on all our sensibilities. (Mick, the singer, was down on his knees growling like "el puma." He's like that.) Though only a few folk were dancing by 11 p.m., they more than made up for the rest of us. The most fabulous of these was a guy in a suit and trench, with a briefcase, who looked like he'd just stepped off a commuter train. He stood at the front, his knees like jelly as he whipped them this way and that in a manner that was simultaneously spastic and rhythmic. I say, "Brava!"
Friday, we herded our refinements down to Laguna Beach for Fitz Maurice's invite-only opening at Len's Wine Bar. A wine bar! Back in my drunken student days in New York, where the Royalton Hotel had a padded womb of a Vodka Barand the juice bar on my street sold only weed (they didn't even pretend they had fruit for smoothies, and if you went in, they would stare you down until you stammered something and left), there was a tasteful and refined wine bar on the Upper West side. It was one of the rootin'-tootinest, snide-and-snootiest places I've ever been. And I've been to Corona del Mar's Snob! Okay, so it wasn't as snide as Snob.
However! Len's? It's totally not like that. You could go in and buy some wine if you wanted. They'll be nice. If you go during an opening, though? Prepare to see some of the most outlandish plastic surgery since Jocelyne Wildenstein went all Martian kitty. And the plastic surgery? It's on the men.
Four different gay guys looked just like Liza Minnelli's nightmare groom, David Gest. I was scared—okay, I was bored—so I left.
Saturday, we were refined again, as we hit the Greenwood/Chebithes Gallery for its inaugural exhibit! The work was good, the place was packed, and there was salmon on little pancakes. So we went across the street to the Royal Hawaiian, which the Los Angeles Timesmysteriously named one of its top dive bars. The Royal Hawaiian? What kind of dives is the Times going to? The Ritz?
The Lapu Lapus, to be shared between friends, were delightful, though sadly no drinks arrived in giant conch shells you could suck on for hours. Dinner, though? Not so "good." I'm not saying it was food poisoning—I'm not Chemist Girl—just that the nausea followed the eating with remarkable swiftness.
Hey, wait! I forgot Friday! Oh, wait! No, I didn't! It's right there before Saturday! I got thrown off there a minute, my head and heart still full and warm from talking to the nicest bill collector in the universe. How charming was he? I didn't want him to hang up. It must be some kind of mistake, he assured me; he knew I wasn't the type to let a broken-finger bill go for, let's see, six months. Then he urged me to call my insurance company and make sure I owed the money before paying a thing. "I never pay a medical bill without talking to my insurance company first!" he said soothingly, before giving me—unsolicited—my insurance company's phone number and the date of service. "Of course, if the check's in the mail already, that's wonderful, too! But if not, go ahead and call that number, and I'll hear back from you when you're ready!" said he. Wow! I want to put a little something extra in the envelope now for his trouble. Right. Friday.
So after the plastic-surgery dudes, we hopped up to diPiazza's, right in the heart of SnoopTown. Why? Wonderlove, naturally.
Now, I'm as sick of Wonderlove as y'all are. But Linda Jemison manages 'em, so I often get charmed into going, plus my boyfriend's a pathetic Wonderlove fanboy, and he gets these big, brown, puppy-dog eyes whenever he hears they're playing somewhere, which is all the time.