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
One of those people was the photographer Garry Winogrand, who was at the Belgian waffle place when I reminded him of our meeting a few weeks prior. ”Yeah,“ he said in his Bronx accent, ”you were lookin’ familiar.“ That‘s what the Market is all about to me. Lookin’ familiar.
Some of the familiar are extraordinary, like the ethereal Lava Lady or the Tattooed Cake-Decorating Man or June the Squeaky-Voiced Waffle ‘n’ Bobby Pin Lady (said to be the model for Lily Tomlin‘s character Ernestine, the telephone operator). But mostly the regulars are regular: Last week, I spoke for the first time to a guy who has been at the waffle, now crepe, place at the Market every time I have ever been there, I think. His name is Paul, and he was with his friend Richard, who was also looking familiar to me. How did they meet? ”We bummed so many cigarettes off each other over the years, one day we just started talking,“ says Richard. ”And we figured out we had kids the same age, in Little League.“ And so it goes.
”Everything just gets worse,“ Paul Bowles said, and I tend to agree. Change happens, and most of it sucks. But some of it doesn’t. In recent years, the Market replaced its old metal silverware with plastic (sucks), but brought in alcohol and music (doesn‘t). The arrival of Starbucks forced out the Belgian waffle and coffee people, which sucks, but Starbucks’ coffee doesn‘t. Johnny Rockets also sucks if you ask me, but then, how different is it from Du-par’s, which doesn‘t suck? Sur La Table and its elitist cooking utensils? Please. But then, I happen to like Sur La Table and its elitist cooking utensils, and don’t always want to drive to Pasadena. The Grove? It‘s a nightmare, of course. A travesty. A cultural embarrassment. On the other hand, I have a young daughter who, when asked to write an essay on a place where she feels at peace, wrote of an imaginary world called ”Girls’ Shopping Paradise.“ She and her brother always want to go to the mall. I hate going to the mall; I always want to go to the Market. You see what I‘m thinking here? One adapts.
And in any case, as with Jayne Meadows, what are you going to do? The fucking mall comes with the place now.
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