Archive for the ‘Los Angeles’ Category
Light it up, baby!
The picture is of one of my favorite cigar stores in L.A. The Lone Wolf in Santa Monica. See the leather chairs and table? For years, it used to be the nicest thing to go down there and select a cigar from the humidor and have a smoke and a chat. The crowd was men and women, teachers, cops, filmmakers, tourists, businessmen, deadbeats, the whole melting pot. It was a smokers’ café, a very civilized situation. No more. Despite the huge open windows ventilating the place, the store had to close its smoking lounge. And it is not the first one to go.
The behind-the-scenes scam the PC police schmucks foisted to lean on these long established smoking venues? They did it by pressuring the landlords. Here’s how it worked. The people upstairs complain about smoking at just the time the leases come up. Complain about smoking? The stores have been there for a decade or more. Why the hell did they move upstairs if they didn’t like smoke? I might accept this as an anomaly, but another friendly cigar shop, SMP in Westwood, with a place to sit and talk and smoke, also had to close their smoking area recently. Reason? You got it. People upstairs complained about smoking when the lease came up. Do I detect a conspiracy here with those sneaky nanny government city council dweebs? Damn straight.
The Santa Monica PC police got a nerve using our tax dollars to infringe on our liberties instead of doing what we pay them for. Smoking ban on the Third Street Promenade, an outdoor mall? Kiss my ass. There’s still nothing I like better than going down an enjoying a stogie on one of the benches with a Starbucks, and watching the world, and the cops, pass by. It’s a dumb, unenforceable law.
And I ain’t been ticketed yet.
“THE END OF WESTWOOD”
The National Movie Theatre in Westwood is gone. They tore it down. That’s the end of an era for me since we premiered “THE HITCHER” there back in ’86. More importantly, it was a magnificent movie theatre with a state of the art projection and sound system and it was where you go to see a movie. Heartbreaking. And just the latest developer carelessness that threatens to turn one of the great fun neighborhoods of Los Angeles into a faceless no class condo subdivision.
For most of the last 20 years I’ve lived walking distance–well, walking distance for me since I’m from New York City–from Westwood. Over the last few years, I’ve watched with sadness as four of the major movie theatres and film multiplexes in Westwood were torn down to make way for a Save On, a Whole Foods and a expensive condo complex. Goodbye Coronet. Goodbye Festival. Goodbye Westwood theatres. That’s quality of life for you. You go to Westwood to see a film, eat at a restaurant, check out a bookstore. Tear that stuff down who wants to live there? Oh right, U.C.L.A. students. Who are really going to be able to afford these pricey condos. Not.
What are the money-grubbing bribe paying zoning morons thinking? To quote Walter Matthau in one of my fav films, “Why would anybody go there for Italian when we got Chuck E. Cheese right here?”
There goes the neighborhood.