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Booty Call

(Illustration by Ronald Kurniawan)

Ahoy mateys, scalawags and scurvy dogs! Imagine Los Angeles as a treasure island. ?A place where no matter how long you’ve lived here, be it years or weeks or days, there is endless bounty to be pillaged and plundered. Some of it is buried. Some of it is hiding in plain sight. In our hunt for booty, it’s the spirit of discovery and irreverence that matters, of mutinous rebellion against the dull and timeworn.

We explored the city’s many houses of ill and majestic repute: its nightclubs, cafés, salons, restaurants, bars, stores and techno-geek lairs. We hunted for long-lost desert trails and buried skeleton ships, shopped for bootylicious dresses and old-school video games. We found the best in Chinatown crap. We sought out music and art and hideaways for romantic weekends. We braved the most dangerous and delectable foods, then relaxed in a laid-back diner — the perfect setting for seducing a pretty young lass. Even a chorus of frogs who croaked out their version of Shakespeare had their say.

Last but not least, we revisited things that are gone but not forgotten — old, dirty Hollywood, for instance, and free pirate radio— as well as those ineffable things that make life livable. Because true treasure should tickle both the body and the mind. It is the smell of jasmine wafting through the warm nighttime air, the glorious purple explosion of jacaranda petals, the glint of serious bling shining through a storefront window, a trove so gorgeous it would make Holly Golightly gasp with delight. We even railed at the stuff in this city that pisses us off, the stuff we all love to hate — the crazy freeways, the ?psychotic parking lots.

Seizing upon the current skull-and-?crossbones zeitgeist, we considered the historical pirate within his or her socio-geopolitical context. Then, for kicks, we sent out our man — dressed in a cardboard pirate costume — for a lazy afternoon at Pirate’s Cove. No respectable treasure hunt would be complete without a hearty dash of pirate “aargh!”

All of that and not a single mention of ?Captain Jack Sparrow. (Okay, maybe one.) So ?go forth and plunder. Heed the Best of L.A. booty call. The city awaits you. It’s time to fall in love with her all over again.


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