By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
They were an ultracool, funky set of chairs. They were outsider art. Kinda reminded me of Dr. Seuss. I was kid-at-the-candy-store gung-ho to buy them, but I knew they wouldn’t fit in my puny-fied pod of a car. And I had an 1,800-mile trip from Seattle ahead of me.
I’m doing the post-divorce thang. Just bought a large, gorgeous house and have furnished it with a $100 junkyard fridge and an old futon mattress that has my unmistakable indentation right down the middle: I endearingly refer to it as “Scoliosis Canyon.” Among other things — many other things — I need chairs. I politely asked the sales lady if the store could ship them to me.
“That really depends on how far away,” she said, then turned on a big neat-o smile. “Where do you live?”
“Los Angeles.” I casually replied.
Her smile turned into a sneer of disgust by the time “Los Ang” left my mouth and hit air.
“I’ve been there once,” she replied scornfully. “I didn’t like it.” Her smile had now tightened into a cat’s butthole. “Do you like it there?” She sneered at me as if there could be only one correct answer.
“I love it.”
By the shitty eyeball she stuck on me, I could tell I had flunked miserably. I thought she was going to make me stand in the corner.
I could have told her how I was born and raised on Fidalgo Island and Whidbey Island, in Washington state. But that wouldn’t have helped me. I was sporting old jeans, a T-shirt and a 5-year-old pair of Chuck Taylor tenny runners. I’m dang certain, though, that what she saw in me was more along the lines of a polyester’d, tassle-shoe’d, coke-spoon-’round-the-neck, slicked-down-Scientologist porn-film talent scout. I didn’t even ponder getting into the whole “The traffic in Seattle has sure gotten bad since I moved away. It’s worse than L.A.” rap. She probably would have loudly and unjustifiably blamed all Angelenos for all of her town’s (and the world’s) miseries, and then tied my dick into a square knot and stuffed it into my ear. Needless to say, I didn’t buy the chairs.
I’m now back home and am in the process of finding cheap chairs and turning them into my own personal folk-art projects. I’m oh-so-glad I saw those chairs in Seattle that day.Photo by Virginia Lee Hunter
Sunset & Vinyl: Record collectors Alon and Dennis spent $318 and $338, respectively, at last week’s long-anticipated opening of Amoeba Music in Hollywood. (Alon plans to return later to drop another $400.)
Mistaken Identity: J.Lo in the House?
In 1999, Cameron Silver, owner of the Melrose boutique Decades and habitué of the international fashion set, bought the Schindler-designed Elliot House directly across the street from me. With cranes and crews and what must have been a money pit of cash, Silver and boyfriend Jeff Snyder restored the somewhat dilapidated three-story structure to better-than-original splendor, garnering historic-monument status from the city of Los Angeles, and the fawning fascination of curious tourists, who creep up our dead-end block in Los Feliz to stare with pie-eyed reverence at the aviary of glass that is the Elliot House living room.
The house has also attracted some unwanted attention.
“Last month, somebody buzzes the gate at 12:30 on a Saturday night,” says Snyder. “I answer it through the intercom, and this perfectly coherent man says, ‘Hi, is Jennifer there?’ I tell him he has the wrong house, look out the window, see a figure going down the steps, and don’t think anything of it. The next morning, Cameron goes down to get the paper, and comes back saying, ‘There’s a man asleep in the carport.’”
Snyder went to speak with him. “I’m not afraid of people who are imbalanced; I’ll talk to them, see if I can help. I realize it’s the guy from the night before, and he looks all right — he’s around 50, his clothes are perfectly clean, but as soon as he sees me he starts having a mental breakdown, rocking and yelling, ‘MOM! DAD! JENNIFERRR!’”
Realizing the guy was beyond his reach, Snyder called the police. “They said for me to call an ambulance, because the guy can’t even get up and walk at this point. I thought it was so weird, because he sounded so normal on the intercom the night before, and the next morning, he’s completely incapacitated and psychotic.” The paramedics took the man away, inadvertently leaving behind a prescription bottle they’d taken from his pocket.
“It had the guy’s name on it, and I saw that the prescription was for Seroquel.” Snyder looked up Seroquel on the Internet, and found out it’s an antipsychotic given to schizophrenics. “I tossed the bottle in my glove compartment and forgot about it.”
Until last week, when the guy rang the buzzer.
“It was 3:30 in the morning, and when I saw it was him, I called the cops,” says Snyder. “They found him standing on the steps and asked what he was doing. ‘I’m here to see Jennifer Lopez,’ he said. I said to Cameron, ‘My god, he thinks Jennifer Lopez lives here.’ He was being really cooperative at this point, and the cops said there was nothing they could really do unless we wanted to press charges, which we didn’t. So I decided to talk to the guy. I’m standing there in my robe, with my hair all over the place, and I tell him, ‘Jennifer Lopez doesn’t live here, I don’t know her, you’ve got the wrong house, and you can’t come back.’ And the guy says, ‘I’m sorry, I understand, and I’d like to offer a written apology.’ I told him that wasn’t necessary, and the cops gave him a ride out of the neighborhood. Still, I had a feeling we hadn’t seen the last of him.”
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