Wednesday, September 20, 2006


Fucking Los Angeles.

I lived in L.A. for three years, eating pupusas, kim chi, Tommy Burgers and shawarma the whole while and speaking Spanish, Korean, Russian and Armenian because I had no choice.

I had to listen to the English and Spanish speakers tell me how fucking great Vin Scully called a ballgame, how “The Penguin” was a better third baseman than Mike Schmidt, and how Tommy LaSorda’s turds were re-constituted as Dodger Dogs.

I had to listen to the Russian and Armenian speakers tell me how they made their meters run faster in their taxis, and that Americans were “too stupid” to know the difference. I called an ambulance for a pummeled cabdriver who ran into a customer greedy enough to know he was being ripped off.

I had to restrain myself from throttling my Korean landlord after he refused to fix the toilet. I had wondered why another tenant tried to run him over with his truck the day we moved in. I got my answer soon enough.

Fucking Los Angeles.

The local gang in my Koreatown neighborhood was the highly-promoted Mara Salvatrucha-13, a.k.a. MS-13, with chapters in El Salvador, Washington D.C., and for all I know, Shanghai. They wore Dodgers hats and wondered what gang I claimed when I wore my Phillies cap. “OG Carlton y OG Kruk’s set, essay,” I told them. They nodded as if they knew. I might just as well have answered them in Urdu. I’d like to see John Kruk try to put a pistol down his pants. It’d be a tight fit and he might lose his other testicle. Now Carlton…I think he already has a gun collection. Maybe he smokes crack with his wine. Who knows? He might be able to hang with those homies and convince them the bankers, not the police, are the real enemies. But he would need a translator.

Fucking Los Angeles.

I look at the standings and see L.A. a game up on the Phils and the memories come rushing back. Dodger Stadium is a ghetto adjacent to a rapidly hipsterizing ‘hood, Echo Park, that has gone from working class to Latino class and now Hollywood upper class. Sorta like Fishtown with colorful murals and tacos. The Old Lady and I looked at a “two bedroom apartment” there – that was a lie, it was two rooms with a kitchen in the middle – and the owner wanted to charge $1,100 a month. That’s a bargain in L.A., by the way. The view was terrific, if a homeless camp was your inspiration.

Fucking Los Angeles.

Their ballclub somehow attracts quality free agents who ignore the enormous hassle of the incessant traffic crawl, where a simple five-mile drive can turn into a two-hour time vampire without warning. I suppose you can bring a laptop to analyze the day’s starting pitcher, or marry a porn star wife like Kris Benson did and get a hummer on the way, or become a porn star yourself like Jeff Kent and plug in the auto-suck and run the camera to catch the action.

I am so glad to be back in the Holy Land of Philadelphia.

I eat cheesesteaks and speak English. Harry Kalas, for all his errors, still sounds soothing to the ears. Ron Cey is a nobody. Hatfield hot dogs don’t taste like turds; besides, the kielbasa in Bridesburg is sublime. The cabdrivers are less wont to thieve from their customers. And my landlord is grateful to get his check every month on time and fixes things promptly and apologizes if he can’t do it right away. When I wear my Phillies cap, I am not asked if I am a “Blood.” And most of all, when I look at the standings and see my team a game behind the fucking Dodgers, I know I can walk down the street and proudly exhort my fellow miserable, underachieving losers that if they do one thing this season that would be this:



Anonymous JG said...

Mierda Lou, you must be one hardened mother effer, tu tiene cojones! I just saw a show on MS-13, billed as the most dangerous gang in America. I've also heard that about "Chavez Ravine". Though appearing scenic on tv, one wrong turn out of the parking lot and you could be in a world of shit.

20/9/06 2:09 PM  
Anonymous ChuckM said...

Avenge Black Friday BEAT L.A.!!!!

21/9/06 6:05 PM  
Anonymous JDM in Jinkitown said...

F-A man! Fucking Dodgers. I spent six fucking months in the town and could only recall how limp the fucking handshakes were there. Burrell would fit in nicely.

22/9/06 10:01 PM  
Blogger Lety said...


so what brought you to LA anyway?

i am from LA (born and raised in South Central) and now i am moving to Philadelphia with my fiancee in a year or so.

I cant wait. i love that city.

LA makes me physically sick sometimes.

i cant wait to be able to actually buy a house i can afford.

26/8/07 6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't need people like you in LA, anyway. You come here to be actors and artists and whatever and then complain to other compatriots of Eastern seaboard and rust-belt decaying shitholes about how "fake" everyone is. Well, we didn't invite you anyway. Have fun speaking English (or your grating, ignorant dialect of it anyway), eating Cheez Whiz on your crappy, sloppy excuses for sandwiches, hole yourself up in a shanty with gas heating in the frigid winter, and ignore the crumbling blight outside as you dodge block after block of abandoned homeless enclaves of bonfires in trash cans. Even your Liberty Bell is broken and the US capital has long since moved away. I wouldn't be so proud of the failure of Philadelphia's sports teams -- they represent all you losers, and no one outside your pathetic city respects you. Rocky is pure fiction, guys. Wild fiction.

Go Dodgers!!

5/4/08 5:22 PM  

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