Tag Archives: los angeles

Fanzine Publishes Parks on Strawberry

In the late summer of 2005 I met Casey McKinney, a quietly bruised character at Maxfield’s coffee house on Dolores in San Francisco.  We drove up to Muir Woods in a 1990 325i and stood in the fog and talked about my moving to the Bay Area and his potential escape to Europe and possibly New York City.  I wasn’t sure what to think.  But McKinney did it, and in doing so created the Fanzine; an everything and everyman culture magazine, which allows, or rather encourages, longer form writing that blurs the boundaries of fiction/non-fiction and every other genre encapsulation to which we might confine prose.

Today on the Fanzine, McKinney published a piece of writing that perfectly fits the bill of the Fanzine’s mission.  In “Strawberry Jamming: Darryl’s Dodger Days, Memories of a Young Fan,” Richard Parks laces together the narrative of Darryl Strawberry’s self-destruction with urban malaise and tragedy of Los Angeles in the early 1990’s, all told (both) through the large innocent eyes of a nine-year-old fan and a 20-something’s hindsight.

It would behoove you to read it, in toto.  You can let me know what you think.

darryl

Image from dingedcorners.com

Like all great arts organizations, the Fanzine is struggling right now.  You can help by sponsoring them.  Click here for more information.

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NYC Part 1

After throwing on some curls and pearls we headed over the Brooklyn Bridge down to the Financial district to the Forever Young Party.  It was the perfect New York night.  Not too cold and the Empire State was in my favorite decor: all white lights.  So classic.  The city got dressed for the Jans that night.  

night_empire_state

We stopped at a Citibank on Broadway for some cash and in perfect NYC style I got hit on by a bum.  Men in New York.  Honestly.  Even the bums think they can get the hot chick.  

When we arrived at China Chalet it wasn’t yet 10.  My people had already been in place, decorating and setting up for the fete.  It was a beautiful reunion.  We all had time to hang out and get drinks in the relative quiet before the storm.  I got to meet the sassy and sexy proprietess of Beach House, the fabulous Miss Vicky B.  She soothes to insane levels and WAS FUCKING WEARING SADDLE SHOES.  HELLO!  It was love at first sight.

Things got rolling quickly though.  Before I knew it guests were pouring in.  I saw my Marlborough girls, Soph, Ash, Remy, Camille, Michelle, Lauren, Christina.  Damn.  They were looking great.  I swear the most grounded people I know in NYC are those who transplanted there from LA. 

One of the Jan’s mom was there, and the other Jan’s bro was on site.  It was a total family affair.  There was the fabulous Gelardi clan in all its glory, and looking sharp.  

There was a photo booth, photographers, and props.  Here are our hosts and the honorees of the evening; on the left, Jan Philippe and P, on the right Jan Edward in the glasses and tie:

forever-young-alt5

Double

There were so many people there I saw people I haven’t seen in three, four, five years.  Wade, Justin, Ken, Noah, Kate.  Damn.  Amazing that I’ve gotten to the age where I can say that I saw people I haven’t seen in five years.  

The space was huge.  There was a huge bar/lounge area, a dining room with banquettes, a long hallway with mini booths along the side, and a big dance floor in the back with a second bar.

My best man Devotion was there with Kiss Me I’m Polish and I set up fort at one end of the main bar in the front.  We laughed and drank beers that we had to order four and five at a time since the bartenders were so damn old and slow, doublefisting at a double birthday party was the only way to go.

forever-young-party-13Double

bestman

Trouble

The music was the best I’ve ever heard in NYC–honestly.   Courtesy of DJs Tim Sweeney (DFA) & Scott Anderson.  I didn’t dance as much as I usually would because I was too busy screaming and yelling catching up in the front bar but I did hit it for a little and all I remember was dancing to Tony Toni Tone “Let’s Get Down” and never loving anything more.  

There were so many beautiful people there.  It was as if the world was glittery and shining that night and someone had sprinkled fairy dust over the whole evening. There was even a second girl wearing saddle shoes–Red ones!!!  The only thing that brought anyone back (or further from) Earth was the ghostly image of Michael Stipe(!) waiting outside the double glass doors for a late entrance when the club was at capacity.  

I was running around telling everyone how good they looked.  Handing out compliments like it was my job.  Sorry Bay, NYC makes you look ugly!  You need to sharpen up and learn how to dress!  People in NYC are tight!  Even the uglies are looking good over there. 

We closed the place down around 4 or so and a big group of us headed down Wall Street to a deli to grab a bite.  We got egg and cheese sandwiches and slices and nothing ever tasted so good.  A good, generic NYC deli.  Dime a dozen in the city, impossible to get anywhere else.  The big cases of prepared food, neon lights, guys in blue and white aprons, and unbelievably flawless slices and bagels.  [You don’t understand the issue I had Tuesday morning in Rockridge when I was craving a bagel.  OY VE!  Problem.  The craving was so intense.  My husband went and got me Noah’s.  I protested, but ultimately gave in.  He didn’t want to drive all the way to Manhattan Bagels on 4th Street, which I haven’t tried but is supposed to be great.  When he brought it to me and asked me how it was I didn’t even have the heart to tell him how incredibly bland that thing was.]

We moved the after hours party to Brooklyn where I ended my night–just tearing myself away knowing I really didn’t want to see sunrise all that much–dancing to Biggie rap “Juicy.”  Very symbolic as I had left the West Coast years before, abandoned the riotous streets of L.A. and its segregation and its fearless leader Pac for the in-your-face East Coast where I converted wholeheartedly to Biggie:

I live out there, so don’t go there, but that don’t mean a — can’t rest in the West, see some nice breasts in the West, smoke some nice cess in the West, y’all — is a mess thinking I’m gon stop givin LA props, all I got is beef with those who violate me, I shall annihilate thee…

pacbiggie1

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Dinwiddie Pearl, Hang Ten

Van Dyke Parks, Sunset Boulevard, 1976

Fashion: “Sandman” airbrushed tank designed by Sara Rightor Parks for Harry Nilsson’s album of the same name

I just couldn’t resist.

The original context.

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“Call it the ‘Heartbeat of L.A.'”*

Brian Wilson has a new album out. His voice still absolutely ruins me.

I’d like to celebrate Mr. Wilson’s effort to “Live Let Live.”

The song:

Live Let Live / That Lucky Old Sun Reprise

And next an unabashed plug for what I think is more accurately expresses the “Heartbeat of L.A.” and everywhere else in California:

Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks: Orange Crate Art. Three songs from the album that strangely foreshadowed the course of events of my life:

San Francisco

I tend to like any song that enables you to use a pantomime of riding a horse with which to dance. This number fully embodies the Wild West Manifest Destiny.

Movies is Magic

Now watch “A Persistent Vision” at territimely.com

The finale is Orange Crate Art.

*from Pitchfork.com

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