261 Columbus Avenue

THIS IS probably one of my favorite corners  to stand on on the planet.  Crossing Columbus Avenue, facing City Lights Books & Publishers.

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Over the weekend, City Lights’ co-founder, the poet and publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti, marked his 100th birthday and there was much noise and celebration throughout North Beach and beyond.

I have been visiting the store since before college, I would guess. Dragging friends along to wander among the many floors of books, later to pose outside under the signage. But always what was the most magical thing about this place was happening upon its founder, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, walking along Columbus or holding forth in one of the sunny cafes. This store is one of the important points on my personal map. I wouldn’t be who I was without it.

I wrote  piece for the Los Angeles Times Op-Ed section that ran yesterday about both Ferlinghetti and the store’s legacy and impact. You can find it here.

Out and About

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TWO EVENTS this week as we ease into the end of the year:

On Thursday evening,  I’ll be heading over to the Pasadena Central Library to join our lively and opinionated crew for a far-ranging conversation. We’ll be discussing and reading from the anthology:  L.A. Baseball: From the Pacific Coast League to the Major Leagues. We get started at 6:30pm in the beautiful Donald R. Wright Auditorium. There will be a reception afterward and we’ll be  signing books.

On Sunday afternoon, Angel City Press will be hosting a holiday party and signing, featuring books honoring Los Angeles’s rich history and culture.

Authors include:

  • Bill Bradley, Los Angeles Union Station: Tracks to the FutureAfterImageCover

  • Stephen Gee, Los Angeles City Hall: An American Icon, Iconic Vision: John Parkinson, Architect of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Central Library: A History of its Art and Architecture

  • Rachel Surls and Judith Gerber, From Cows to Concrete: The Rise and Fall of Farming in Los Angeles

  • Jim Harris, Santa Monica Pier

  • Robert Landau, Rock ‘n’ Roll Billboard of the Sunset Strip,  Hollywood Poolside, Tales from The Strip: A Century in the Fast Lane

 

And, I  will be there as well signing and discussing After/Image: Los Angeles Outside the Frame.

Join us from 2 to 4pm at Traxx Restaurant in Union Station (we’ll be gathering inside, adjacent to the concourse) near the Alameda entrance to the terminal).