BEST PLACE TO SCORE GRASS AT 4 A.M.
Pico and (Note: Drugs are bad. Don’t do them. They will eat away at your seemingly perfect life, turning your precious angelic spawn into underachieving little bed-hoppers, and punch you a one-way ticket to Jerry Springerville. They are the number-one cause of pretentious bad art and ridiculous homemade jewelry and clothing. JUST SAY NO. But then again, should you weaken . . .) Magnolia. The predicament: It’s four a.m., you’re out of grass and you’ve just discovered that the friendly neighborhood dealer is out running errands. For the next four years. What to do? The solution: a quick trip to the intersection of Pico and Magnolia in the Pico-Union district! The stretch of Magnolia just north of Pico is like a 24-hour Pic-N-Save that sells only pot. The, ahem, vendors are eager to do business with you, so say the magic word (“mota“) and have your $20 in hand. Browsing and dickering is generally frowned upon, so grab your shit and go. Besides, that mono copy of Sgt. Pepper’s is awaiting your safe return home. Ain’t free enterprise grand? And you thought that high school Spanish class was a waste of time . . . (Chris Checkman)
THANKS, HON! THOSE G-STRINGS REALLY HIT THE SPOT!
Dream Dresser. With the boldest and sexiest window displays in the city, this factory of fantasy is as playful as its exterior suggests. Offering erotic apparel in a sophisticated atmosphere, the 3-year-old shop attracts everyone from conservative-looking straight couples to vampiric dominatrixes to Hollywood stylists to the surrounding gay community. Whether you’re looking for traditional lacy lingerie, a body-enhancing patent-leather getup or a provocative satin corset, Dream Dresser has it. Explore the sensual feel of latex with the vast selection of rubber pieces (the hottest sellers), including nippleless bras, cat suits, and skirts and hoods in red, black ã and beige. Bondage wear is in abundance, with a wide variety of harnesses, chained peek-a-boo bras and G-strings, along with S&M tools such as whips,
paddles and slappers. If that stuff’s a little too hardcore for you, there’s always the demure French-maid outfits (in
pristine pink), streetwalkeresque thigh-high boots or studded leather underwear sets. 8444-50 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hollywood; (213) 848-3480. (Lina Lecaro)
SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL
SAN FERNANDO VALLEY
Video Liquidators. Are those ’70s porn videos you stole from your dad’s garage rubbing you the wrong way? Then get new ones — cheap too, starting at $2.99 a title. If what you need is not in stock, the clerk will be glad to order it. Start a collection. I did. (I had no idea how long this dry spell would last.) There are always deals, like the “Bald Guy Special,” where you bring in a Bald Guy and get a free Jaguar and a pair of edible underwear. Or the “Big Sweaty Black Man” promotion. Bring in a Big Sweaty Black Man (a photo will do) and get a free trip to Europe and a can of Crisco. And then there’s the “Buy Two and Get the Third Video Free.” (This one is for real.) You can also rent practically any title for 99 cents. 1657 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, (213) 463-7310; other locations, too. (Rick Earlye)
I LIGHT THE BONGS THAT MAKE THE WHOLE WORLD SING
Galaxy Gallery. It used to be if you wanted to purchase a smoking utensil for use with something other than tobacco, you’d have to sneak into some dark hole of a shop cloaked in Grateful Dead posters and reeking of bad incense. Then you’d participate in a game of don’t say this, do say that: “water pipe,” not “bong”; “tobacco,” not “weed.” Well, it hasn’t been completely legalized (yet), but
the image of marijuana, its paraphernalia and its users is definitely start-
ing to change, thanks to the passage
of Proposition 215 and to intelligent, unapologetic establishments such as Galaxy Gallery. This new store/café/art gallery has the largest selection of exotic pipes and smoking accessories in the country and quite possibly the world (Amsterdam included). With literally thousands of pipes and bongs decorating the shelves, it’s impossible not to find something you’ll want to strap to your face and suck. Choose from plastic, ceramic and handblown-glass smoking vessels. (A glass-blower comes in daily to create his wares and entertain customers.) In addition to the retail shop, Galaxy’s café offers tasty refreshments and rotating art displays from local talent, occasional Saturday-night acid-jazz shows, and space to hang out with open-minded, creative, over-18 individuals. 7224 Melrose Ave.; (213) 938-6500. (Lina Lecaro) ã
SATAN SEZ: BEST DESSERT!
Chocolate Croissant Pudding at Pinot. Don’t ask. Don’t let them tell you what’s in it. Just accept that a couple of servings of the chocolate croissant pudding with Wild Turkey sauce at Pinot would have clogged even Pritikin’s arteries. One bite and you’ll understand that clean arteries are overrated anyway. Two bites and you’ll realize that those PVC pants would look better — actually better — with a few more bulges. After that, you won’t be thinking much. They tried to take this stuff off the menu, but there were too many customer complaints. So now it’s back. You will be, too. 1448 N. Gower St., Hollywood; (213) 461-8800. (Sue Horton)
PUNK WILL SET YOU FREE
Billy Persons All State Bail Bonds. Maybe you were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or maybe you had one too many “cans of courage,” in the words of Chris Bailey, grand pooh-bah of the legendary Water Buffalo Lodge punk-rock fraternity, now a bail bondsman. The appropriately named Bailey works at a family-owned bail-bonds business started in 1950 by Billy Persons, and taken over by Billy Jr. in ’79. Why turn to Persons when you need to be freed? Because he’s open “25 hours a day,” will meet you anywhere anytime, and, as long as the risk is not too great, he’ll find a way to get you out, even if you don’t own property. Persons Bail Bonds may be part of the legal racket, but they run an honest business and don’t mislead clients like many of their competitors. The West L.A. office, an old brick building straight out of a Sam Spade movie, is conveniently located across from the West L.A. courthouse. 1674 Corinth Ave., West L.A., (310) 478-5611. 18750 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, (310) 327-0950. (Miriam Jacobson)
MIND IF I SET A SPELL?
The Sorcerer’s Shop. Before New Age crystal-gazers and reincarnated Native American medicine women were as common as manicurists, the Sorcerer’s Shop was here. For more than 25 years, the shop has been not only a fine place to purchase product, but a good place to answer the nagging question, “Dragon’s Blood or High John the Conqueror incense — which is most efficacious in legal disputes?” Driven by one Babetta, publicity dynamo and
wiccan spin doctor extraordinaire, the enterprise offers workshops, private lessons and prepackaged “spell kits.” Babetta’s oft-repeated message on the need to cleanse the craft of demonology might be less compelling were it not paired with her bigger-than-life sense of showmanship. Always the public figure, her grand-opening ritual for the Hollywood Wax Museum in the late ’70s earned her a wax doppelgänger cast from her very shapely body. And those same bewitching curves once found their way onto the pages of Penthouse in a five-page spread about the witch and her wares. Ask her about her consultation work on Starsky and Hutch — but just don’t ask her how to blight your neighbor’s crops! 8246½ Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hollywood; (213) 656-1563. (Reverend Al Cacophony)
TV’S REAL FRIENDS
Colin’s Sleazy Friends. Tucked away in the shady nether regions of late-night cable access, Colin’s Sleazy Friends is a 14-year-old boy’s wet dream. The hosts of this raunchy gab fest — the shaggy-haired, shit-talking L.A. comic Colin Malone and his video-store buddy Dino Everett — are as close to a real-life Beavis and Butt-head as two guys can get. Their guests, a parade of female porn stars, cavort topless onstage while rapping candidly about their profession. Clips from their films are also given generous airtime. How does Colin manage to keep his cool ã amid all that flesh? “I’m like their big brother or their boyfriend,” he tries to explain. It helps that he’s been doing the show for four and a half years,
taping in various cable-access studios around L.A. (He did the first episode in his unwitting mother’s back yard.) Early guests included Ron Jeremy
and Tiffany Million, who pulled a string of pearls out of her, well,
you get the idea. “I put myself on TV because nobody else would,” says Malone. It’s a dirty job, as they say — and much cheaper than the Spice channel. Wednesdays at midnight
on Century, Media One, Warner, TCI, Exotica, True Blue. (Andrew Sargent)
EVERYONE HERE GETS OUT ALIVE: BEST METHADONE CLINIC
Tri City Institute. Having problems with heroin? Do you suffer from the disease of addiction? Has a spiritual awakening (as the direct result of the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous) thus far eluded you? Have all treatment and detox attempts failed? If opiates are your drug of choice and you can’t get high anymore because you’re too tolerant, you might be a candidate for methadone maintenance. With heroin addiction rapidly on the rise, methadone is being re-evaluated, and the results are favorable. This much-maligned form of treatment has been called everything from “substitute addiction” to “government slavery,” while the reality is methadone remains hands down the most effective form of treatment for people with intractable heroin addiction. The
bottom line is methadone saves lives, cuts down on the spread of AIDS,
gets addicts off the needle, gets junkies off the street and into treatment, and finally stops the downward spiral of junk addiction. An oral long-acting opiate, methadone is used once a day, eliminates craving for and obsession with heroin, and completely wards off all withdrawal symptoms.
While federal and state laws insist on confidentiality for the clinic client, most public methadone clinics are rather seedy places and unwittingly serve as meeting places for junkies
to be junkies — that is, to sell needles, to buy crack or to provide up-to-the-minute reports on where the best and cheapest heroin may be procured. No wonder methadone has such a bad
reputation. Many of the same people who abuse welfare, food stamps and unemployment benefits abuse their access to methadone by selling their take-home doses to other addicts. Drug addiction is an illness; for some reason, our government treats it as a crime. While it’s true that many criminals
are drug addicts, the overwhelming majority of addicts have committed no crime other than being sick.
Fortunately, functioning junkies who have avoided methadone clinics
for the above-mentioned reasons now have a private clinic to take advantage of. The Tri City Institute is located in
the penthouse of the Century City medical building, treats no more than 30 addicts at a time (compared to other places around town that have client slots of 300 or more) and provides five separate waiting rooms (so no one there
sees anyone else who is there, eliminating the congregation of addicts on or near the premises) to assure confidentiality and safety. The clinic is clean, the décor impeccable. The staff is the best — compassionate, experienced, helpful and nonjudgmental. Whether you
are addicted to pain killers as a result
of surgery or hooked on smack and contemplating your third or fourth detox, this place offers not only help, but hope in an otherwise desolate landscape. Tri City also offers methadone detox. What does this special care cost? Only $300 a month, about $100 more than the average clinic and about a tenth of what a junkie pays a month to support his habit. Before you get busted, OD, lose your job or die, you might want to consider the alternative. (310) 553-9500. (Danny Sugerman)
BEST POLE CAT
Raven at Cheetah’s. One of the things that sets Cheetah’s apart from other strip clubs is the female-friendly atmosphere — you see more women patronizing the place. The music the girls dance to is hip, current and interesting, and the drinks are strong, not watered down. The other thing that sets it apart is Raven, a tall, androgynous redhead who looks like the love child of David Bowie and Juliet Prowse. A talented, professionally trained dancer, Raven strides down the runway with authority, hangs from the poles near the ceilings, defying gravity, while performing slow arabesques and effortlessly controlled moves that require superhuman upper-body strength. Her facial expressions are an exercise in erotic entertainment on their own as she sucks her fingers, runs her hands through her hair and looks like she’s experiencing some sort of sensual nirvana — all this without ever looking theatrical or tacky. R-r-r-r-r-r-r-r-ow! 4600 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (213) 660-6733. (Pleasant Gehman)
“I GET TO BE BAD.”
“NO, I GET TO BE BAD.”
“NO, YOU WERE BAD LAST TIME.”
The Chateau. The Chateau is L.A.’s oldest private club for anyone interested in the sexual arts of sadomasochism or bondage & discipline. Dominatrixes, switches and submissives are at the ready to participate or train couples and singles in fetishes and role-playing fantasies. Discreet, hotel-clean and state-licensed, the club offers more cages, stocks, racks, whips, handcuffs, etc., than Bally’s. The rates are seemingly reasonable (compared to what?) at $80 per half-hour and $140 per hour. The club offers total nudity, room rentals, private sessions, parties, shows and, very soon, live interactive cybersessions. 7407 Fulton Ave., N. Hollywood; (800) 696-4414. (Liam Finn) ã
THE SHARPER IMAGE
FOR THE PARANOID
Spy Shop. Want to create a foolproof new identity, overthrow the government or just spy on your nanny? You might think a spy store in West Hollywood would cater only to paranoid celebrities and former dictators on the lam; after all, what spy gear could be available to bargain-basement Bonds? Actually, plenty! Spy Shop’s bug detectors and tap detectors, night vision and surveillance equipment, scramblers and other covert gadgets are available for rent or purchase, as are their recording briefcases, stuffed animals, neckties, mirrors and shirt buttons. (Their ever-popular VCR-cam rents for only $93 for two nights.) Secretly record conversations with their pen microphone, or fool your mother with a telephone voice changer ($79 to $140). For do-it-yourselfers, their selection of books (such as Kill or Be Killed, The Complete Book of Dirty Tricks and The Original Poor Man’s James Bond) is excellent; bone up on wiretapping, surveillance, bounty hunting, computer hacking! Stock up on safety items like stun guns, “body alarms,” bullet-proof vests and theft-detection powders to safeguard your missions. Spy Shop also offers investigative services, an engineering department (for special jobs) and personal appointments. And remember their motto: “Knowledge is power — don’t have it used against you!” 8519 Sunset Blvd., W. Hollywood; (310) 657-6333. (Skylaire Alfvegren)
WHAT’S SO FUNNY ’BOUT PEACE, LOVE AND NYMPHOMANIA?
The Yesss Center. You may have spied suspiciously swinging Arhata on the Venice Boardwalk, peddling confrontational messages about morality, religion, sex and spirituality. He takes his work home with him. In addition to being a “free conscious speech activist,” he runs the Yesss Center, an “international community for positive people” connected to India’s Osho movement. A free-love wrinkle in the currently sex-paranoid fabric of society, the Yesss Center urges visitors to abandon their “institutions” and “explore the art of loving openly and sensitively.” Resident matriarch Deva Canana is a champion Marilyn Monroe impersonator; her likeness hangs above the commune’s meditation room. Cleanse spiritual dysfunction and mix with New Age nymphos at their weekly meetings; the swingin’-est among these is Thursday’s “L.A. Let Go,” described as “the most stimulating meditations anywhere.” 344 Indiana Ave., Venice; (310) 399-0032. (Skylaire Alfvegren)
BEST SCOTTISH ILLEGAL ALIEN CRACKHEAD PHILOSOPHER
Scottish Dave. If there can be a breath of fresh air among the loopy, drugged-out denizens who roam our streets desperately in search of their next high, then that fresh malt-liquored breath would be that of Scottish Dave. Scottish Dave traverses the Westside like some sort of perpetual-motion 1950s kiddie-show host (albeit one taking furtive sips from an ever-present can of Colt .45). If you’ve got some change for him, great; if not, don’t worry. He certainly doesn’t. A lot of the time he’s just happy to spin some yarns about how he sneaked in from Scotland, the latest dumpster treasures he’s converted into quick thrift-store cash, etc., etc. He looks like a short, redhead action figure, and on a hot day that Scottish burr can make your head spin; but you’ll always walk away having been thoroughly entertained. Just yesterday, he was dancing up and down Venice Boulevard in overalls and a construction helmet he’d found somewhere, telling everyone he encountered, “Look at me — I’m in the Village People!!” West L.A., Mar Vista, Venice. (Chris Checkman)
Ben’s Smoke Shop. So you’re a little reluctant to support the tobacco industry, because it’s evil and deceptive and it’s been coercing infants to chain- ã smoke for years. Instead of continuing to thrust your hard-earned dimes toward filter cigarettes, why not make your own? Ben’s Smoke Shop is a virtual salad bar of tobacco. Mix and match the six different pipe tobaccos with loose tobacco to create a personalized hand-rolled cigarette blend. Rollies have the advantage of being cheaper and give you the control to vary the flavor and aroma. Try throwing rollies into a tin of Altoids, and presto, menthol rollies! Ben’s Smoke Shop, slightly larger than a cigar box, offers everything from spouse-approved vanilla-flavored cigars to 50 different brands of cigarettes, domestic and imported. The walls are adorned with prehistoric-looking dried tobacco leaves and antique cigarette advertisements that even predate 20-year customer Moosey. For the nonsmoker, there’s a corner filled with empty cigar boxes for sale — 50 cents for cardboard boxes and $2 for wood boxes. 6423 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood; (213) 467-5000. (Jaime Lowe)
INTO ORANGE COUNTY
Fit To Be Tied Boutique. No, you wouldn’t really expect to find it in Seal Beach. Not in this land of coconut-oiled physiques, gingham bric-a-brac, strutting white shorts and frogurt-lapping families. But there it is — a slithery black heap of rubber suits. And we’re not talking scuba. This is the one and only store on the West Coast dealing exclusively in latex garments for both men and women. Miniskirts, cat suits, trench coats, shoulder-length gloves, bust cups, crotch-zip tights, male briefs (pouch or sheath), V-cut panties, garter belts — just waiting to embrace and constrict the willing victim! All garments are handmade in small quantities by top latex designers here and abroad, and are imported under the FTBT label, among others, and are reasonably priced. The owners, Chris and Bill, are casual, accommodating and devoid of whatever fashion haughtiness you’d care to project on them. 222 Main St., Suite D, Seal Beach; (562) 597-1234. (Reverend Al Cacophony)
“WE AIM TO PLEASE.
YOU AIM TOO, PLEASE.”
Swisher Urinal Filters. Like most male residents of Los Angeles, I use public urinals. Almost 20 years ago, I noticed that the red plastic mat situated at the bottom of many pissoirs had a message on it: “SWISHER” (capitalized), “SAY NO TO DRUGS” (smaller caps) and a phone number: 1 (800) 444-4138. This has always piqued my drug-enhanced curiosity: How much pee-pee that would fail a mandatory drug test has splashed against these words of wisdom? (Writer Robert Anton Wilson actually made reference to these mats at Tim Leary’s memorial service.) Why would a company that supplies bathroom products make like Nancy Reagan? So I called the 800 number. After much confused runaround, I finally spoke to Laura Swisher, marketing coordinator, assistant to the president of Swisher International in Charlotte, N.C., and wife of CEO Pat Swisher. Beyond supplying the little red mats (which are called “urinal screens,” FYI), Swisher services and cleans public restrooms. “We get a lot of calls about this, usually prank calls,” says Ms. Swisher. “People give us a real hard time about this. We look at this as a public service. Our customers, whose restrooms we clean, like it. You do have to look there.” [laughs] “It’s just something positive to have out there, and it doesn’t hurt anybody. People call and say the craziest things like, ‘My mother’s on kidney medicine. Do you consider that a drug?’ It’s not fair, we don’t have any active campaign going on. We’ve had people call and report their boss doing drugs.” [laughs] “They think it’s an 800 help line. It’s just a message.” Restaurants, schools, churches, gas stations, movie theaters throughout the Southland. (Michael Simmons)
BEST SITE FOR AN ACID TRIP
Loyola Marymount Campus and Bluffs. So you’ve found a few hits of last year’s acid in the freezer under the box of Garden Burgers your girlfriend left when she took off last Christmas. Things are looking up. But do you really want to blow it, again, staring at a black-light poster of Jesus playing poker with chimps? No; and having to endure another submoronic discussion on the possible connection between The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wizard of Oz is way more trouble than it’s worth. Rather than waste another dose on a claustrophobic hippie mumblefest,
take your trip outside: Spend the evening at Loyola Marymount Univers-ity. A warm night by the fountain at Sullivan Hall is like those Laserium shows, minus the bad music and
balding old guys in tattered KWEST T-shirts. Acre upon God’s little acre of manicured lawns and well-lit pathways beckon you to explore — and don’t forget about the bluffs. Somewhat less accessible these days after major construction, these cliffs are still the prime tripping spot in the city; but keep your eyes open for the occasional security guard. My friend Hitchcock and I used to sometimes find ourselves there at
3 or 4 a.m., eyes glazed from the twinkling lights of the basin talking about Lou Reed, dinosaurs and baseball. Without the presence of Roger Waters, somehow it all seemed to make sense. 7900 Loyola Blvd., Westchester. (Chris Checkman) Please hallucinate responsibly.
BEST INTIMATE SERVICES PROVIDERS
Not Necessarily Licensed Massage Therapists. Kayla (beautiful blonde), Jenny and Sandy (Latin touch), Vanessa (hot wild brunette), Trina (classy & beautiful), Brandy & Nikki (Hawaiian beauty blonde dream), Kiki (exotic Asian beauty), Jennifer (busty young brunette), Catherine (. . . in lingerie), Buck and Ned (strong hands relieve tension), Monica & Cherelle (exotic Brazilians), Vanessa (a different Vanessa) (French black captivating Creole), Sylvester (cradle the balls, work the shaft, say my name), Tiffany (busty young blonde), Kelly (exotic busty island beauty, stunning tan, perfect 10), Kiana (busty Asian model), Daisy (very sensuous Southern girl), Lexi (naturally busty), Amanda (sinfully sensual Irish beauty), Beach Dude (beach dude), Jessica (body to die for), Danielle (pretty busty brunette), Linda (young blonde), Jason (man to man), Amber (busty, breathtaking), Amber (different Amber) (incredible body, warm personality), Madison (you deserve it), Candy (Penthouse model), Leanna (model babe), Nikki (of Brandy & Nikki), Suki, Anita, Samantha and more. And Kurt. Locations throughout the Southland. (Dave Shulman)