Starting today at the Los Angeles Review of Books, LA luminaries, such as writer D.J Waldie and filmmaker Thom Andersen discuss the ontology and history of some of L.A.’s most famous hotels and the theory and function of the hotel itself.
But in the meantime, do you remember this?
This is such an excellent idea.
Timelapse video of Endeavour’s trip through Los Angeles.
So what’s the next huge fucking thing set to be transported through the streets of Los Angeles? This game is really fun!
Mark Bittman is undeniably an Important Voice in that bleeding area of journalism that exists between hedonistic food writing and wonky policy analysis. That he has shifted from the former to the later is, I think, a great thing, and the fact that readers who once turned to him for dinner-recipe recommendations are getting into the nitty-gritty of sustainability issues in farming, etc., bodes well for foodieism (for lack of a better word) making the jump from consumerist fad to social-change agent.
So I was very much looking forward to reading his piece in Sunday’s New York Times Magazine about farming in the San Joaquin Valley. Plenty of hype popped up around the story when it was posted late last week, but I did my best to hold out for my print copy to hit the doorstep so that I could enjoy reading it on the weekend. And what a let down it ended up being.
The premise—of looking at different approaches to farming on different types of farms in one of the world’s prime agricultural regions—is a compelling one, but it read more like an undesirable travelogue than anything else. Yes, there were the many fascinating attempts at comparing the amount of carrots grown at Bolthouse to somewhat conceivable things, like the mass of the Empire State Building. And yes, Bittman brought a non-ideological approach to covering the middle-ground approach of Paul Buxman, who thinks a hybrid model of “organic” farming and conventional treatments could be the future.
This asshole is guest-editing Tasting Table’s Facebook page this week. If you want to read about places he likes to go in Los Angeles, what he cooks at home
and a list of his favorite metal bands, stay tuned throughout the week.
Gardening in my back yard, a nominally triangular piece of land that’s mainly covered in shitty concrete and gravel, involves starting on the back foot. There’s little actual dirt to work with, and most of that soil is occupied either by the rose bushes we planted or what generic landscaping I haven’t torn up yet. I’ve built boxes and hauled in earth—be it in bags of potting soil purchased at the nursery or Craigslist dirt giveaways I’ve to driven to throughout L.A.—to deal with the lack of growing space, but the fundamental problem that hinders my gardening the most is the fucking ficus tree. The branches loom over the entire yard, the tree’s many glossy leaves blocking the sunlight for long stretches of the day. And when its reach extends rampantly in the growth spurt brought on by the heat of late summer, spider mites drop from the tree’s branches onto my tomato plants.
When my girlfriend sold her last two YA books, to
Penguin Putnam, her agent explicitly said that she could get more money out of the deal because of 50 Shades of Grey. A flush, excited publishing industry, even if only fleetingly so, is your friend.
Today, tomorrow, for the next while, people are going to exhaust themselves as they worry about Lena Dunham’s incredible book deal.
1. This is reality. This is the business. This is not the end of the world. This is is actually just one of many such deals. There will be another and another and…
Here’s a cold, hard truth about publishing: If Dunham’s book meets the promise of her massive advance in terms of sales, then there’s that much more money in the industry to buy other, smaller books with. Literary fiction, criticism, poetry, etc., are financed by the backlist and the blockbusters, so while the chances of *you* getting a $3.5 million advance are very, very slim, every book that sells through its multimillion-dollar advance makes it that much more likely that you can score a reasonable advance for a book. So at the end of the day, being jealous of more successful writers like Dunham, ones who are getting rich in this money-starved game, is to your own detriment.