los angeles is what’s happening

Thank you, Jurassic 5 for the title, and whoever it was you sampled in “Contact.”

Since it appears that J and I will be moving to Los Angeles in a few months, I thought that one way to wrap my head around the prospect would be to watch LA movies. Of course, since so many films are produced in LA, inevitably many films will at least ostensibly be set there. However, what I was looking for was not simply LA as backdrop, rather, I desired to see (or in many cases, re-visit) films that said something about the city. My starting point is an LA Times article from a few years back on “The 25 best L.A. films of the last 25 years.” This will inevitably exclude classic LA films such as “The Big Sleep” and “Sunset Boulevard” which are two of my favorite movies, but since we are moving to LA in 2011 and not 1951, films that reflect a more recent LA seemed most appropriate. (However, I suspect I will get to the older LA films soon enough.) Also on the to-view list is “Los Angeles Plays Itself,” a video essay from 2003 which examines the portrayal of the city in films.

Before I get to the films, I’d like to post here a few LA photographs that I came across in my interminable Google Image searches.

I visited my friend T in Koreatown a few years back when J and I were visiting her sister in Santa Barbara. Living in Koreatown is certainly an option for J and I, it seems to have both reasonably priced housing options as well as being a rather soft landing back in the U.S. for us after two years in Seoul.

Aside from the terrible Jjajangmyeon we ate in K-town, I liked the neighborhood. (And J and I both love jjajang, so we’ll have to find a good place or make it ourselves.)

My strongest memory from that trip to LA is Philippe’s, a marvelous French Dip restaurant downtown near Union Station. According to some sources I read online, the pronunciation of the restaurant’s name has transitioned from Anglo-French to Spanish. Fascinating stuff and perhaps not surprising.

These pictures also remind me that I  really enjoyed walking in LA. Although it certainly has the reputation of being very car-centric, it was very agreeable to this inveterate urban hiker.

I’ll close here with a few vintage photos from the 60s and 70s, and one from just a few years ago.


One thought on “los angeles is what’s happening


    I should get that tattooed on my knuckles as a present to myself when I pass the bar exam.

    These pics make me want to visit!

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