Monday, February 13, 2012
I went to another L.A. Literary Event last night. The daughter C. and I soaked up the neon atmosphere of Chinatown before we entered into the crimson cave that is The Mountain Bar. Hipster dive bar, I've heard it called. C. says all hipster bars are dive bars. But not all dive bars are hipster bars. In her line of work, there are always true dive bars in the neighborhood. Tall ship sailors hang out in ports, and ports are not the gentrified end of town. But in the sea of literary dive-y-ness that washed up in the Mountain Bar last night, there was literary gentry, and it was cool to think, hey, yeah, I'm in the the same lit mag those folks are in. It makes the beer taste better, anyway.
Sam Dunn was one of the readers last night. She said something about "the psychosis of place" as she prefaced her reading, and the phrase has been bumping around in my brain. Place effects me tremendously. In a new place I sometimes feel as if my old self could be taken over by a new me. As if something akin to the French concept of terroir might grow a new person.
Place is context. I couldn't help noticing that in the hundred or so people crammed into the reading, that I was the lone silver-haired woman. There were silver-haired men. They stood at the bar and ordered Cosmos for their wives or girlfriends and carried them back to women who were not gray. Ah, well--this is aging in the context of The City of Angels--even in a bar in Chinatown.