PERSON OF LA 17: The Dream Big

A classic stereotype of the performer is the small town boy or girl who packed up everything they own in a small suitcase, hitchhiked West with a kindly truck drive, to be dropped off on Hollywood Boulevard, where they were quickly discovered and introduced to a life of luxury and fame. This classic stereotype is a great myth of yore.

(Today, the only thing that comes remotely close is the small town boy or girl who is forced to pack up his or her life because they have a parent with a savvy business sense and lack of shame that will drive them to exploit their child for profit. This is the modern version of the myth.)

Yet, people still move to Los Angeles with that mindset. Many become professional extras, some get caught up working in the system behind the scenes, some are derailed from their aspirations and forgot what they even came here for, some move back, some die, and some actually “make it.” These people who do this are the Dream Bigs. They have and know their dream and want so much for it to come true.

However, in an ever changing and greedy industry, a lack of knowledge and prowess leaves these hopefuls washing up before they ever were. They become street performers on Hollywood Boulevard. They become secretaries for production houses. They get caught up in avant gardist theatre when they just want to do film. They cycle through classes upon classes upon classes because their “break is just around the corner.” They have a doggedness that is admirable but an inability to grasp reality that is so big, it proves detrimental.

Dream Bigs are in the pursuit for good. They are here to act or sing or dance or tell jokes. They aren’t going anywhere. Some have been here for twenty, thirty, forty years still trying to stick their square peg in Hollywood’s round hole.

The Dream Big represents the reason why everyone moves to Los Angeles: to follow his or her dreams of success on the big screen. These people are hopeless but also quite the source of inspiration. They are sad but also innocent. They are unfazed and unjaded and unbiased. They still have hope and, because they still believe they can do it, so do others. Their drive is infectious. They are nice, genuine people (albeit mildly stupid).

It’s hard knowing a Dream Big: you just want to help them and, for whatever reason, they won’t take it or they will fuck it up. It’s not that they don’t want the help: they just want that discovery—they want someone to love them for who they are and who wants to turn who they are into a movie star.


These people aren’t mean or rude or disgusting like other sixes. However, they are just so sad and helpless and “self-sufficient” that having relationships with them is extremely difficult. You just will just end up annoyed, depressed, and angry. It is best to keep these people at arms length. That way, you can still find them inspiring and helpful, rather than sad Never Wases.


WORTH THE HYPE? Venice Beach

Gist: Ahhhh: the beach—one of the most alluring qualities about Los Angeles. There are several beaches to chose from, all of which are very different. There’s the carnivalesque Santa Monica beach, the zooming Marina Del Rey, the laid back appeal of Hermosa and Manhattan, and—the most popular—Venice Beach. Venice Beach is known for the sites it has to offer, the board walk-ey atmosphere, muscle clad iron men, and it’s history of being an arts mecca in mid twentieth century. Venice is full of a lot of characters and a lot of attractions—its definitely a site to see.

Pros: Well, it’s a beach! That’s always exciting! You can get a Thai massage for $10! You can get your palm read for $5! You can take a dip in the Pacific for free! You can score some marijuana and smoke with your friends! Want to work out? Go to their beachside Gold’s Gym! There are plenty of places to eat, hang out, and congregate: Venice has the best of everything!

Cons: But, the “best of everything” attracts the worst of everyone. The area is riddled with tourists, thus making a trip there for a local unbearable. Homeless persons and strung-out twenty somethings march up and down the walk, conversing with colorful street vendors and booth owners. The feel is that of a sunnier, prettier, and more alive Wildwood, NJ boardwalk—but inhabited by crazies. Things in the area can be cheap; however, you get what you paid for. Keep that in mind.

Verdict: NOT WORTH IT. This may be a bit of anti-popularity on the writers behalf, but we feel it would be best to travel a little further south and hang out in Hermosa/Manhattan. They are so much prettier and a lot more fun (as they don’t have the crowds). Venice may be more convenient to get to. Just remember: with convenience come costs. Do you want to pay that price? No. You don’t. You’re better than that. And, we warned you.



I know we haven’t talked in a while, but I wanted to send you a message to see how things are going for you. I had dinner with Tommy earlier this week and, funny story, he mentioned that you were in town last week and you guys hung out. Is that true? I find that pretty hard to believe because you swore to me before I moved to Los Angeles that you would "only come to Los Angeles to see me—but, I’d have to get over hate for Los Angeles if I ever want to see you again.” Now, I don’t know what foul play is going on, but I’m suspecting that you got over you’re hate for Los Angeles! I understand that my getting a new cellular phone number for work may have thrown you off, but I’ve texted you before (and you’ve texted back), so I thought you had my number. Maybe you thought I was out of town or didn’t want to be too begrudging because we both know I have a terrifically busy schedule. I hope you had a great time out here in Los Angeles and, next time you are in town for vacation, let me know, as I’d like to grab some coffee with you and catch up and show you all the good things LA has to offer :) Hope all is well. Miss you <3



Labor Day Is Less Than A Month Away...YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?


PERSON OF LA 16: The Cross Bearing Assistant

There are a lot of important people in this world. And, for every important person, is a less-important person who greases the gears and allows for the important person to tend to his or her occupation and life—these greasers are called “assistants.”

For most celebrities, executives, or anyone who feels they have enough money to buy self-importance, he or she will hire an assistant. And, to quote a friend who is a personal assistant, “[His or Her] life is my life.” Assistants are like guide dogs: they are responsible for getting their boss from place to place and arrange their boss’ meetings and events. They do all the legwork and sleep even less and get paid next to nothing.

Depending on where and who the assistant is working for, it may not be all that bad. For example, many agents’ and lawyers’ assistants only are permitted to work from 9AM to 6PM and not on the weekends (mainly because the economy has forced them to cut costs; thus, assistant’s work less, as to prevent overtime pay). However, for most normal assistants, such grace is not granted. Many work on measly weekly wages, which is a means to justify internalized white-collar slavery.

These assistants do the majority of their boss’ work. At first, it can be “fun”: you feel liberated, excited to have such freedom, and motivated to make your boss proud. After six months of doing this multiple times a day and realizing your boss does 15% less work (masked in driving and sitting in meetings looking pretty), the assistant begins to become jaded and angry and ready to move on: they’ve come to the realization that they have been taken advantage of.

This type of assistant relationship represents about 65% of Hollywood. The remainder is usually healthy positive relationships. It just depends on if the boss and assistant “click.” As we said before, for an assistant “[his or her] life is my life.” And, if the life that you have taken on is not a good one, the relationship will be that of two employees that merely tolerate each other (despite the fact that they have to rely on each other). Such relationships are why suicide* is resorted to (11% of all assistants commit suicide each year*).

So, if you know an assistant, give them a hug and a pat on the back: they’re going through the shitter and have no exit. They’re very busy and very unhappy: try to put them in a good mood. And, most importantly, DO NOT ASK THEM ABOUT WORK: THEY DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT.


Like all other 2s, these people are just put in a really fucked up situation and really need help. They’re dying for a release and for a break and for a job that they actually want to do. They want to be achieving their own dreams, not wiping someone else’s ass. (Some of these assistants can be toxic, though: they’re just baby Hollywood types who will slash your throat. Or, they are so jaded that they will Debbie Downer you to death.)

*That statistic is a complete lie. But 100% have thought about killing themselves.


WORTH THE HYPE? The Hollywood Bowl

The Gist: Tucked between the hills of the Cahuenga Pass is one of the grandest amphitheatres in the West: the Hollywood Bowl. A concert and performance venue, this space is absolutely key to every Los Angelenos summers. They host a range of different shows, from musical reviews to full-fledged rock concerts.

Pros: $7 tickets? WHAAAAAT??? The great prices you can score on tickets are an absolute steal. Regardless of where you are in the Bowl, you can bring your own goodies (food, drinks, booze) and party down. The atmosphere is very friendly and open: it’s like you’ve been at a four-day music festival—without the sleeping in tents and not showering. The Bowl is very secure and an interesting piece of Los Angeles architecture and—regardless of where you sit—has fantastic sound. Thanks, ancient Greece!

Cons: $7 tickets that are so far from the stage you need a telescope? WHAAAAAT?? These steal of tickets are usually met with discomfort and disappointment. Parking is somewhat of a nightmare because, regardless of how you stack it, you’re in a bad situation: if you pay the money to park close, you’re met with the exodus congestion; if you park far, you have to walk quite a distance and get the runoff of the exodus traffic; and, if you park in one of their lots, you ride a bus, get your car, and run into to exodus traffic. The large amount of people in the Bowl can be a bit overwhelming, too. And, naturally, everything for purchase there is incredibly over priced ($21 for some stank ass Sangria in a plastic cup: come. the. shit. on.)

Verdict: TIE. The prices and acts the Bowl puts up are irrefutable: they’re stellar, they are fun, and they make an LA summer a true summer. It’s a headache to get to and leave from and usually ends with you spending more than you’d like, but it’s worth a go once or twice. If you live nearby or within walking distance: you’re in primetime. Buy a season pass and abuse the hell out of it!


(CELEBRITY) PERSON OF LA 15: The Real Pseudo-Celebrity and The Fake Pseudo-Celebrity

There are many celebrities in Los Angeles. And, like any social group, there are different tiers, classes, and airs associated with them. Here at Hollywood Field Guide, we will be detailing several types of celebrities. We kick off our celebrity entries with two different types of Pseudo-Celebrities: the Real and the Fake.

The basis for celebrity is being an entertainer or spectacle or at least some sort of public figure who has and maintains—be it intentional or not—a following. The Real Pseudo-Celebrity is a credible actor or musician who simply has not reached that high of a level of success. They are well known and coveted in certain circles but are too obscure or unknown to the masses to actually be classified as a “celebrity.” They are very well adjusted and normal. They’re great conversationists and very nice. You’ll be surprised to know they live even the vaguest of public lives.

You won’t know a Real Pseudo-Celebrity until after a few drinks and talking about “work,” where you have your “A-HA” moment of their celebrity. You may be at a party with friends and start socializing with a perfect stranger. After some time, the two of you start talking about dodge ball and how hard the sport is. He starts giving you tips and advice on how to be a better player. After a lengthy conversation with him, you excuse yourself to ask a friend, “How did he know so much about dodge ball?” Your friend laughs and looks back whispers, “He was the black guy in Dodgeball.” You try to play it cool but come to the realization: you had a run in with a Real Pseudo-Celebrity.

The Fake Pseudo-Celebrity is the exact opposite of the Real Pseudo-Celebrity: they have had a bigger run-in with public media, they are over the top, and they make their presence be known (mainly through their lack of intelligence). These persons are the flash-in-the-pan types of celebrity that should be long gone, invisible to the public eye. And, most are and should be, if it weren’t for these persons unhealthy attachment to attention. Instead of creatively reinventing or trying to harness their temporary fame into a long term investment (a la, producing, buying real estate, etc.), they instead make a livelihood from snowballing club appearances.

You will know a Fake Pseudo-Celebrity, because they will make it very well known that you are in their presence and that they were once a (that one girl—you won’t remember her “name”) from Rock of Love III: Bus or that guy from Daisy of Love. These people will likely drive you in the opposite direction and won’t engage you enough to even talk to them (unless you are of the smaller mindset that enjoys them, thus coddling their fame) (NOTE: it is okay to talk to them if one is trying to be ironic—but do not stroke their ego. Your conversation/interaction should be like their career: flash-in-the-pan). You’ll most likely leave the restaurant or club or bar you were at because of this person. Then, you’ll realize: you had a run in with a Fake Pseudo-Celebrity.

Now, both of these types can interchange: a seemingly Real Pseudo-Celebrity may be a megalomaniac asshole who you cannot even think to look at and a Fake Pseudo-Celebrity may be an intelligent, sweet, and well intentioned individual. Take everything in strides with celebrities. They’re all different and all confusing. It’s always good to proceed with caution and many grains of salt.


The Real Pseudo-Celebrity is a joy. They are a breath of fresh air and a Los Angeleno you hope to encounter and hang out with again. They really are great people. The Fake Pseudo-Celebrity makes you want to claw your eyes out. Being in their presence is like subjecting yourself to nails on a chalkboard.


PERSON OF LA 14: The Gay Frat Boy

We’ve spoken about different groupings and how they border each other here in LA, but never have really taken two completely different groups and combined them. Well, hold on to your hats: here’s an interesting combination that is sweeping the town!

Take a Frat Boy, multiply his Bro loving ways to an erotic extent, add in some muscles, a low key (somewhat ashamed) demeanor, divide by a flawed fashion sense, and—Voila!—you have the Gay Frat Boy! These men are very interesting in that they are just like any other Fraternity brother—but they are not attracted to men.

In our encounters in other cities, we’ve met Frat boys who go from man’s man to full queen, but never the types that LA have. They keep most of their Frat Boy identity intact and even tell stories from “their college days”—but never really make it known that they are gay.

These guys are usually on the fast track to monetary success (in agency or PR fields, if young; executives in film and television, if older; sometimes, they pop up in creative arenas) and keep their machismo façade at the forefront of all activity. When you do find out they are gay, you don’t get it and won’t get it because these guys are clearly heterosexual and you just think “it’s the alcohol talking.” But, like any other gay man, they enjoy a good penis every now and again.

But, unlike other Los Angeles gay men, they do not ever go to West Hollywood to gay it up or to a gay bar. Ever. It simply is not their style. They are very clean cut and very proper and very hetero. They are—essentially—every gay man’s fantasy: the straight man who is actually gay.

It seems that their lack of participation in gay lifestyle may be that they aren’t fully comfortable with their identity or they feel that it threatens their career. Thus, these men keep things under wrap. They usually move to LA because they can be “themselves” and because they’ve followed courses of life that require them to be out here (mainly business ventures).

These men are very guarded and very, very hard to crack. They are nice, they are bro-ish, and they don’t like attention. They do not hang out with gay men and do not really know how to meet them. They come in all ages and are all markedly successful: they are—essentially—Frat Boys gone right.


These guys are truly perplexing, harmless, and enjoyable. And, if you really want them to talk about boys, get them a Jack and coke and you are set: the gay floodgate has been opened! (But, they still won’t accompany you to WeHo to gay it up. It just is not them.)

TIP: For all you gays wondering how to crack these guys, you have to play it cool: don’t over gay it, play hard to get, and ignore them. They’ll come to you if you don’t come on to them.

WORTH THE HYPE? American Apparel Factory Store

The Gist: American Apparel is a Los Angeles institution. It originated in LA, it rules a few LA fashion scenes, and it definitely is as omnipotent as Starbucks is in Seattle. Because American Apparel is based in Los Angeles, we are blessed to have the company’s factory downtown in the garment district, which has the attached American Apparel Factory Store, a haven for those cheaply made clothes you love discounted to about 30% cheaper than retail price!

Pros: The store is fairly large and everything is discounted. You can rummage through some $5 bins, if you like, which usually contains some experiments gone wrong (sometimes right). The Factory Store also has many items that have not hit stores for dirt, dirt-cheap. If you scope certain price tags, you can find items that have highlighter marks, which denote an extra discount. The store also has a generous sized California Select vintage section. Definitely worth a peek.

Cons: It’s downtown and a hassle to get to. Things really aren’t that much cheaper and there are no returns. You are also quite likely to spend more than you intended to spend when coming because everything is so. damn. cheap. The company has also taken a turn for the ridiculous, which makes finding the clothes you actually want (or need) hard. We also advise that you try everything on: the sizings are all fucked up in this store.

Verdict: WORTH IT. Admit it: you like American Apparel, but not the price. This cuts out all guilt. You can also put together 2 - 5 days worth of outfits with clothes from this store by only spending $120! That’s pretty great. It’s also a good place to go if you want to rub in your Williamsburg friends that LA is still more awesome than New York. Take that, Brookyln!

LETTERS FROM THE WEST: High-School-Friend-Turned-College-Roommate

Dear Neal,

So, I understand that you are thinking about moving to Los Angeles, yes? My mom mentioned that to me when we last spoke. She also mentioned she ran into your mom, who asked her to ask me for some advice regarding moving to Los Angeles. She said you wanted to go to USC for graduate school for film--is that right? (Or, am I making this all up?)

In any event, I don't think your moving out here would be a good thing. Now, I know you may feel ready and prepared to "make the move," but it wouldn't be right for you. Remember in college when you were a freshman and lived with me for your first year? And, at the end of that year, you transferred back home to the university my mother now attends for "continuing studies," because you couldn't "handle the big city"? You remember that?

Well, if you don't remember, I do. I remember you whining about how you hated living in the city and how you would drive home every weekend to see your family and how you never left the apartment to explore or do anything but watch television and play with action figures. Now--call me crazy--but for someone who couldn't handle the "big city" in a small city for six months , I don't think you are going to fair well in Los Angeles at all.

Yes, you can drive. Yes, you enjoy movies. Yes, you may even know a thing or two about working a mini-DV camera. But--I'm sorry, Neal--city living is likely not for you. And, Los Angeles is a huge fucking city on the opposite end of the United States, so you will not be able to drive back home so your mother can do laundry for you and make you "feel better" about yourself and your life choices. That doesn't happen.

I recommend you hanging back home with your family and to keep dressing up with James, Barbie, and Morgan to see those comic book films at the Regal 16. Maybe fly out West for Comic-Con one day. However, don't get too attached: I do not recommend your moving out here. LA is a dog-eat-dog alternate universe--and you are a runt. Don't even think about it.

In Christ's Love,

PS. How about them Dodgers?


PERSON OF LA 12: The Small Town Airhead

Most Los Angelenos are not from Los Angeles. As most urban centers are, the city’s citizens are a mish mash of cultures and people from across the nation and world. Rarely is the question “Where in California are you from?” posed to a Los Angeleno. Instead, “How long have you been in LA?” is the more fitting question, since no one is really from here.

That being said, many of the Groups of LA are just geographical communities that have found each other in Los Angeles. One particularly surprising, innocent, and aloof group is the Small Town Airhead. These persons are a little bit Celebrastalker, a little bit Dream Big, and a little bit sorority girl: they move to LA hoping to “hit the big time,” but are too caught up in the glitz and glam of Hollywood that they never actually leave their small town mindset to graduate to something more mature and suitable for the city. Instead, they lose focus of their own aspirations and team up with another STA (or Celebrastaker or Dream Big or Worldly Frat Boy) and decide to be in awe of the city together—but never to actually make a mark on it.

This type of country mouse are usually women. They come to LA after finishing their small town college to either “get into entertainment” or “to get famous.” The ones hoping to get into entertainment studied "TV" but don't know how to actually use a camera. They settle into a talk show production job or land a healthy gig on Lifetime, before they leave the show to take care of their baby. The fame seeking STAs usually want to act or model and have wanted to since season 6 of America’s Next Top Model. They are usually hold jobs as a hostess at a restaurant and will get okay work until they leave their pursuits to take care of their baby.

This group is the type who lives in LA and still purchases Us Weekly, People Magazine, OK Magazine, National Enquirer, and like magazines. The still read TMZ on the daily and are definitely members of the Church of Perez Hilton. Now, there is nothing wrong with reading any of those publications; however, reading all these entertainment gossip magazines in Los Angeles instead of Daily Variety is like working in Paris trying to get into fashion and reading Allure, Cosmopolitan, Lucky, Self, and Redbook--instead of WWD, Vogue, Apparel News, and JC Report. The disconnect is clear.

Small Town Airheads enjoy going to Beverly Hills when they want to “go somewhere nice” or to Hollywood when they “want to go out.” They have a terrible cheese ballness to them that makes them utterly unbearable: they want so badly to live Paris Hilton's life and be her contemporary, but do not have the means or intelligence to do so. Instead, they live life how they think she lives hers, which leaves them going to the places that the girls on The Hills hang out (or the girls on Paris Hilton: My New BFF or the girls on Beverly Hills: 90210). They all end up marrying Worldly Frat Boys.

The Small Town Airhead means well but is one of the most annoying LA wannabes. They are quite depressing and really should just return to their small town instead of longing for this unattainable life. They want so badly to be a part of Hollywood, but can’t even act like a functional human being when they spot a cast member from Project Runway at their local supermarket. The STA is a sad Person of LA—even though they have no idea they are.


They are pathetic, they are annoying, they are unbearable to talk to, and they just do not belong in Los Angeles. They’re a type of person that really want, want, wants but will never “get it.” They’re worse than what you may thinka Valley Girl is.


PERSON OF LA 11: The HGMV (Hipster Gay Male Vegan)

The hipster is quite a rife creature in Los Angeles, which makes it a surprise we are just hitting our first entry on them (mainly bcause we feel Robert Lanham’s The Hipster Handbook covered this best, as it tactfully predicted and—it can be argued—created the twentysomethings who predominate urban hot spots today). However, one male hipster sub-group that crosses into a hipster dietary group that entered the hipster homosexual group is most fascinating: The HGMV, or “Hipster Gay Male Vegan.”

These guys are at a cultural clashing point that makes a lot of sense but makes zero sense. These guys are absolutely repulsed by the thought of eating meat for reasons that "make them better people" and "prove they have morals." They aren’t raging PETA people, but carry that same annoying “Oh, you actually eat animals?” chip on their shoulder. They won’t ever chastise you for eating meat but—like all hipsters—will judge you with their eyes. You’ll know they disagree, even though they assure you they “don’t care what you eat.”

Similarly, that hipster vibe just ups the ante when it comes to irony: they are gay men who don’t eat meat but willingly eat “meat.” These guys secretly find it very funny that they will gladly suck a dick but would never even think about adding a thimble of cream to their Fair Trade Coffee.

Thus, we are brought to the point of their existence in all of their communities: they clash against everything in the most successful of ways. They clash against their veganism in their pseudo-cannibalistic eating of male flesh, they clash against gay culture in their naturalism and desire to be anti-perfect diet, and they clash against hipster ideals in that they actually stand for something without being plagued by vapidity. These men are the best and worst of all they ascribe to. They are a very specific urban creature that is to be loved and hated.

In Los Angeles, these guys are creating a new market, where they have found a creative outlet through their dietary beliefs and creative urges: catering and dining. They also are good people to point you to the best vegan cuisine in town as well as dispensing advice on alternative meal ideas. (However, they are a bitch to work around, if they are invited to a dinner party.)

These guys are, generally, “nice,” but—as mentioned before—have some major chips on their shoulders. They are fun and inventive and may also get you caught in their mindset. This hipster/gay/male/vegan subset is gaining ground and growing: expect a lot more fabulously snobbish vegan restaurants to be opening in the near future.


These guys really aren’t bad. You’ll think they are perfectly normal and swell. However, like most normal people, once you hear the “vegan” bomb, you’ll think differently of them. (Which is why they are a 4, instead of a 3)

PERSON OF LA 10: The One-Degree

It’s all too common to hear about someone’s “famous” friend or relative out in Los Angeles. Everyone is trying to brag and one-up each other on how semi-famous they are by association. People in LA are in a perpetual pissing contest, trying to win the title of having seen, met, or known the most famous celebrity in their social group. (See: Celebrastalker)

However, for every desperate famous friend seeker, there is someone who is actually in with a celebrity. These people are the One-Degree, a people that actually are one degree away from a famous celebrity. These people know a celebrity personally and are fairly involved in the celebrity’s life (just in a non-professional arena). They are sometimes related to said celebrity or were friends before they were famous. These people don’t even really notice or realize this friend is famous: the celebrity they are one degree away from is just like anyone else they know.

One-Degrees are quite nonchalant about their being close to a celebrity. They do not brag or gloat or rub being close to a celebrity in people’s faces (the One-Degree who does this is called the I KNOW SOMEONE YOU DON’T—post to come). They usually are fairly close in level of success and lifestyle as the celebrity—they just aren’t as high of profile. Thus, the celebrity they are close to are commonplace: their celebrity friend is normal.

These people can sometimes have a chip on their shoulder because—lets face it—they aren’t poor and aren’t uncultured. They easily turn down their nose to a 99¢ Store and refuse to eat anywhere else but Lucques or the like. These people almost have a celebrity mentality, just without the celebrity. There is nothing wrong with that.

The One-Degree are tolerable and usually are or end up becoming West Coast Yuppies. They function on a higher level, outside of the Los Angeles, because of this famous person they are close to. Even if they haven’t actually done everything their celebrity friend has, they have definitely learned from them and know exactly how to walk the walk and talk the talk.


The One-Degree is harmless. They may have an icy façade, but they are by no means mean or harsh or unbearable. They are just trying to live their life—a life that involves a celebrity.


The Fourth of July...YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?

Thanks America

WORTH THEY HYPE? Amoeba Records

The Gist: Amoeba Records is the Criminal Records or Hyde Park Records or Virgin Megastore (RIP) of Los Angeles. It his humungous, has tons of music and DVDs, and puts on nightly concerts. It is truly a spiritual place: music and movie buffs spend hours there scouring through CDs and DVDs and records and books hunting for music relics. The prices aren’t ridiculous and it is close to a lot of cool attractions (Hollywood and Vine, Arclight, that new Urban Outfitters, and some bars). If you are visiting Los Angeles, it is worth a peek in just to get a sense of the environment. You won’t regret it.

Pros: IT’S HUGE!!! Everything is laid out neatly and is well organized. They have a great system going and 123487459726876182734 employees there to help you—and none of them are antagonizing. You never will have a problem checking out, since there are tons of people working the checkout counter. They also validate your parking, if you park in the Arclight complex. Their discount bins usually hold GREAT finds. They also get some stellar acts to come and play their free concerts (Pop Levi, Abe Vigoda, Mandy Moore, Jill Sobule, Yo Gabba Gabba!, etc.).

Cons: IT’S HUGE!!! This is bad because even after the hundredth time you visit Amoeba, you will not have conquered the store. You also will spend more than you anticipated because your mind will only be thinking “MAN THESE ARE GREAT DEALS!!!!” Parking also sucks; however, just park at the Arclight complex: Amoeba validates your tickets. It’s not worth the hassle of trying to park in Amoeba’s lot. Impossible. Also, if you aren’t into record, CD, or DVD culture, you may be annoyed by the people who hove over one area for long periods of time searching: they’re busy scouring for their relics. Don’t bother them. Just kindly move around them and revisit that area later.

Verdict: WORTH IT. This article was flawed from the start. There is nothing bad about Amoeba. It’s perfect. It is the reason to live in—or just visit—Los Angeles.

PERSON OF LA 9: The West Coast Yuppie

There’s a lot of money floating around Los Angeles. For many citizens over the age of thirty, they did not move to Los Angeles until later in life, after they had broken into The Biz in New York City or Seattle or Miami or Atlanta. These people reached the peak of their success in the late nineties and finally shipped out here in the early 2000s.

These are the West Coast Yuppies. They aren’t that different from East Coast Yuppies (see: Parker Posey and Michael Hitchcock’s characters in Best In Show); however, they have something with them that the Easterners don’t have: they are incredibly jaded regarding their city. They’re just over it and, as a result, over their jobs, the lifestyle, and The Biz in general. And, since the culture of Los Angeles is like no other, their object obsession manifests itself differently than other cities’ Yups, which is based in their attempting to live vicariously in other cities.

The junction between LA Yups isn’t that surprising and is all an attempt to capture the glories of cities they deem "better" but in the confines of Los Angeles: they want a cute low-key, modernist house in the hills, they want their Prius, they want their mailed diet-food, they want to fly Virgin Air, they want their cocktail and dinner parties, they want reservations at The Hungry Cat, they want their Sunday New York Times, they want to go to Sur La Table, they want tickets to see Away We Go at The Arclight, they want their vacation in Laos, they want their Friday nights to be at Cobras and Matadors, they want to maybe dabble with Botox, they want their kitchenware from William-Sonoma Home, they want their Netflix with Cassevetes films, etc. Their mindset is a combination of late 1970s bohemian (which is a desire to be their age in that decade in NYC), 1980s materialist, 1990s grunge kids, and 2000s aged hipsters.

And, the best part: they obsess over their hate for Los Angeles. When they first moved here, they were spry, fresh, and excited about LA since it was new to them. Now, they’re still spry and fresh, but Los Angeles isn’t that new to them. They’ve seen it all before. They now are sitting on a nice cushion of cash and—frankly—want to be in New York City or Seattle or Miami or Atlanta: back home. They’re tired of the constant sun, the lack of rain, the palm trees, the celebrity culture, the prices (well, actually they don’t care about that)—they just want something more low key.

The West Coast Yuppie wants a city that matches their mindset: they all want to be in New York City, which is the Mecca of pop culture, fashion, design, and logic. They all want to leave, but they won’t. Their work is in Los Angeles. They also secretly want to be the old lady who lives on their block in the Hills who is boho chic well into her nineties.


The West Coast Yuppies aren’t bad people and are actually some of the best people in the city since they are so NOT LA. They are well-connected, fun, dry, and know how to have a good time. However, they can be easily mistaken for the California Native Yuppie. It is very, very important to note the difference. The WCY are angels to encounter compared to the CNY.


PERSON OF LA 8: The Lie-To-You

One thing you will learn when moving to Los Angeles, California and get involved in The Biz is that there is a certain type that—in the words of Marilyn Monroe—will “pay you a thousand dollars for a kiss and fifty cents for your soul.” These people are the Lie-To-Yous and they will charm the pants off of you in order to exploit something about you. They aren’t malicious people (mostly), but they could have sold a large flatscreen television to Helen Keller.

These Hollywood citizens have been in LA since talking pictures were first introduced to the world. They were once movie producers and turned into band managers and now are back to producers, mostly. However, now these “producers” lurk in the shallow, murky waters of reality television: they are the masters at selling--literall--shit.

Back in the olden days, the producers would steal up kids with stars in their eyes who were the Marilyn Monroes and the Cary Grants (and later the Britney Spears and the Lindsay Lohans). These people see that a person (usually young and naïve—or just stupid) has “something” they need: a product--be it beauty, hilarity, music, or an attractive vagina. They convince them that they will be a “star,” get the person that stardom, and run them ragged until they are forgotten or meet a tragic ending due to their overexposure.

In that case, things have changed now. Today it's more akin to juicing a lemon: rough, quick, sour, and disposable. Since fame and media has become so super saturated in the world (thank you, Internet), commoners and boys/girls-next-door are trying to jump into the action without any experience or reason: they just want to be known and loved and celebrated, which manifest itself as a need for a camera on their face. That being the case, many Craiglist ads now solicit for reality shows, which are bought and sold everyday. Thus, a sucker snatched up every minute.

The producers of these shows look for manipulability in these personalities, which means they want someone with a body or who is laughable but have zero brain power. The “zero brain power” is the most important part because the Lie-To-You is there to fill in the emptiness between the ears. When these persons who are their victims finally come to from their brainwash (which happens frequently on set--which is why The Biz has on set Story Producers), they are talked back into the hoax: “Don’t you want to show them what you are made of? You need to explain that you are worth it! Don’t go down without a fight!”

Thus, a fight on Flavor Of Love occurs, a person has 15 minutes on The Soup, does one or two interviews on a few channels, person gets an agent, person gets dropped by an agent, and producers laugh in their offices about that girl a few months ago who did that thing a few seasons ago—what was her name? "I don’t know, but I have a dinner at Mastro’s now. I need to hop in my Mazeratti. Later, bro."

These people are the grease that makes the Hollywood Shit Machine run. They make a lot of money, aren’t the brightest, but can manipulate the shit out of anyone because they can convince you of anything. Unless you want to be a featured player on a one season run of a reality show, try to stay away from these people and ads on Craigslist.


We really wanted to give these a ten, but some are actually tolerable. Most are not. Most are just mean. Most will make you want to stab your eyes out and deafen yourself as to avoid their evil.


PERSON OF LA 7: The West Hollywood Groupie

Los Angeles is home to many gay men and women. However, there is a unique breed of gays and fag hags who frequent the mecca of the Los Angeles known as West Hollywood. These are the West Hollywood Groupies, who are gay men and their women, who exclusively frequent going out on the town multiple nights of the week to WeHo’s Santa Monica strip, roaming from gay bar to gay bar to gay bar.

If you’ve lived in Hollywood, you’ve done it before: been to The Abbey and walked over to Here then left for Rage, stopped at Cactus Cantina, and then don’t remember anything beyond that. You woke up the next morning stinking of cigarettes, a little greasy, and with a headache. But, on the brightside, you only spent $20!

The attraction to WeHo is that it is a sort of 365/24/7 Spring Break for gay men, women, and their corresponding peoples. For the West Hollywood Groupie, this is like a dream come true. These men and women (mostly men) find it liberating. They usually came out of the closet later than you would imagine and are making up for lost time by buying $3 margaritas every other night and frequenting wet boxer nights and drag shows. They typically aren’t the svelte West Hollywood gays who have washboard abs, are in their twenties, and have tans: they are the slightly older, slightly chubby, slightly balding guys (and gals) who are the 21st century, non-heteronormative answer to a bar fly.

Now, there is nothing wrong with going to WeHo occasionally—but exclusively and multiple times a week? And with your boyfriend because that is "going out"? Give it a rest and be creative, guys. Also, the market is so saturated there, everyone knows who you are, that you roll with the same group all the time, and have very little going for you besides the new blood (who oftentimes are discerned from their getting very drunk very fast or their being super uncomfortable with the atmosphere) and Tuesday and Thursday’s drink specials.

There is nothing wrong with having your “place” and your own little Cheers but WeHo can be downright skanky. The West Hollywood Groupies are oftentimes the reason it can be that way, as they are on the prowl, hunting or just "watching." If you are an outsider, they definitely make you know it, because you can feel their eyes rubbing up against the back of your legs.

We don’t want to dissuade you from going to West Hollywood, we just want to give you a kind warning before you get a semi-kind—mostly aggressive—tap on the ass. In any event, we recommend bars in Thai Town, Silverlake, and even Echo Park. You may even want to try The Valley for more fun gay bars.


Always bring a friend when going on these outings to West Hollywood: the WHG can definitely spot new blood and will do their damnedst to get you liq’d up and loosey goosey. It’s always good to have a friend at your back.

WORTH THE HYPE? Runyon Canyon

The Gist: Runyon Canyon is a series of nice hiking trails and paths that go through the Hollywood Hills. They do not run near the Hollywood sign, but are directly above Hollywood Blvd. This is a very popular spot to hike for younger Los Angelenos and those who want to go hiking with a group. It’s definitely a very social scene, where you can experience Los Angeles’ outdoor beauty whilst being in the middle of it all.

Pros: You are in the middle of Hollywood—literally. You get to the top and are looking down La Brea. It’s a pretty captivating view. There are frequently celebrities who hike this canyon. Also, many people with adorable dogs. When you are done hiking, you can also easily walk down to Cantaloop or Pinkberry to get a refresher. (And, for all ya'll in the gay community, this is the canyon of choice. Holllllla!!)

Cons: It’s right in the middle of Hollywood: there is no fucking parking. It is hard to find and usually mobbed. You don’t really feel like you’ve “escaped” the city, since it is so close. The hike is okay and it can be super saturated by locals who all know that this is the hot, cool canyon.

Verdict: NOT WORTH IT. Go to Bronson Canyon or Ferndell: they are nearby and have a little more of true outdoor feel to them. There are always less people, more parking, and better views. They’re also closer to the Hollywood sign and have countless different paths to take. Also, check out Trails when at Ferndell.

PERSON OF LA 6: The American Apparel Employee

Now, people in Hollywood dream big. However, the biggest dreams belong to that of the American Apparel employee. They have such high hopes and desires. They want to be actors and models and writers and doctors (yes, doctors). Some even go on to pursue these dreams. Most, to be quite frank, don’t.

It isn’t because they lack the will or drive or motivation: it is because they are a slave to the trends. To their credit, American Apparel is still “cool,” as it is on the decline from being the cat’s meow since it is infiltrating the suburbs and betrays its own roots of being nonchalant, elitist, and fundamental. The company’s stock has devolved from clever referentials to cheaply made high-end knock offs that are highly expensive. No one is buying their bullshit anymore.

Anyway, there are three types of employees at the store: the Here-For-A-Days, the Going Nowheres, and the Nevergonnaleaves. The Here-For-A-Days are just that: they work there for a day, week, maybe even a month and quit. That is because they are in between jobs and want cheap clothes, realize that the job has nothing remotely upwardly mobile, and that the lightning Dov Charney caught in a bottle is quickly fizzling out. They usually go on to jobs that aren’t quite this slave labor intensive after they took the advice from a sassy, job-hating manager who said “Fuck this job: you have bigger shit to take care of!”

The Going Nowheres work at the Apparel for a while and always talk about wanting to quit and about how they are doing “well” at modeling and/or acting. The truth is, yes, they do want to quit and, no, they aren’t doing any acting or modeling (and by “acting or modeling” they mean “No, I haven’t been in an American Apparel ad yet”). They will leave (eventually), but they aren’t going to be doing bigger or better things: they’re going to do more of the same. These people always want sugar on their tongues and the next fix. They don’t really see the future: they see the now. And, now, it is all about clothes and being trendy.

The Nevergonnaleaves are those job-hating managers and giddy sales floor people and those grumpy backroom stock who have been there for months and months and months: they aren’t leaving any time soon. They’re entranced by the clothes, keep dreaming of what they could be doing, and lose track of time. They know they could be doing better and want to do better but are just stuck. They have a love/hate relationship with the company and, eventually, will quit when they’ve been pushed too far. They are the ones to feel sorry for. They are in the direst of straits.

All in all, the American Apparel employees aren’t bad people: their dream just got caught up in a trance that is now a sunken reality. Like any retail or F&B employee, they want to be current but they also want a life. At some point, they have to draw a line. Because American Apparel is so hot and it is created and manufactured in Los Angeles, it is very hard to quit. The company is like a bad drug habit: bad pay and shitty hours, but you get freeeeee clothesssss and you are coooooooooool.

Our Father who art Dov Charney: Let our people go.


These people have it pretty rough. They’ve grown cynical from having their egos and realities bruised. They need to break those shackles and be free. Escape consumerist trends. Work at Fred Segal, kids.


WORTH THE HYPE? The Arclight Hollywood

The Gist: Word on the street in Los Angeles is that Arclight is “the movie buff’s type of theatre.” They goal at Arclight is to provide the best possible movie watching experience possible, without providing any sexual favors. They serve booze, they have a gift shop, they have events—they even have real ushers who will seat you, should you not be able to read your ticket and find your own reserved seat. There are only two Arclight locations at the moment and there doesn't seem to be any plans for any others at the moment. Arclight strives to steal away yuppie viewers from Laemmle's or Landmark and seems to be very successful at the job. Next time you want to go see a movie with all the hassle of seeing a movie at any old theatre, but crave a 20% increase in luxurious atmosphere, check out Arclight Hollywood!

Pros: Okay, it’s pretty much all pros. We tried to stay even keeled in the Gist, everything about this place is great. You can reserve a seat ahead, you can grab a cocktail or meal (not snack) at their in house restaurant and bar, there is always memorabilia used in the films they are showcasing on display, and you always get that extra personal touch through the ushers, who give a brief intro to the movie as well as do anything to help make your movie watching experience even better. Plus, does the word Cinerama mean anything to you?

Cons: Well, of course, people are first going to whine about the price: “$12—that’s so absurd! Who wants to pay that much for a movie!” Considering that’s how much it costs to see a movie anywhere you go, $12 isn’t that that bad. The biggest con, though, is the reserved seating. Seems like a great idea, but when you want to see a movie alone, you cannot just pick a seat by yourself, alone in a corner. No: Arclight’s computers make it mandatory for you to sit next to someone, as to provide the best viewing experience (while setting you up for a reminder that no one wanted to go see Moon with you last Saturday afternoon). The place is always frequently packed and has turned into quite a scene. Saturdays and Sundays are like hot lava.

Verdict: WORTH IT. There isn’t any reason why you should be seeing movies anywhere else in Los Angeles. This is where God himself would see a movie.


PERSON OF LA 5: The Worldly Frat Boy

Prepare to be perplexed: this one is a modern anomaly.

The Worldly Frat Boy is a very common type of Person of LA. Obviously, these are men. They range from recent college graduates who are agent’s assistants to fortysomething executive producers in television. They all went to middle-of-the-road schools or party schools and were actual fraternity boys. They don’t hang their Sig Ep paddle in their office, but you will catch them talking to an old bud on the phone talking about the last ASU baseball game. Many times, where they work is inundated with at least four other guys from their school’s frat (all of them from different generations). They all help each other out.

The aforementioned is what the average American views the standard for frat boy behavior to be. The thing that sets apart LA’s own Worldly Frat Boy from your common keg tapping, beer bellied, good old boy is that these guys try their hardest to maintain a façade of empathy, feigning intellectualism. They feel the pressures of Los Angeles weighing down on their small town upbringing and conservative college’s teaching: they feel they have to be “current.”

The best example of this is the recent fight in Los Angeles against Prop 8 and the gay community’s civil rights campaign. Let’s think: how would a frat boy—who was the bullying oaf in elementary school, who called the arty kid a “faggot” in the halls—react to such a movement? If you guessed, “Try their hardest to get Prop 8 repealed,” you would be correct! These guys make it a point to be overly politically correct and savvy on this issue as to seem “on top of things,” so their front of intellectualism will not be destroyed. They were the guys at your 2008 election party who—after Obama won—announced to the crowd, “This was a historic victory, but we have to see what happens with Prop 8. Anyone want some more beer?”

These guys were the first in the office to mention Natasha Richardson’s passing away and noting, “Who the hell was she? This death is probably the most famous thing to happen to her!” These men are a product of Variety.com and the LA Times. They have subscriptions to The New Yorker, but only read the comics. When you go to their houses, it’s decorated as if a La-Z-Boy catalogue fucked an Ikea model. Do not be surprised if the music of choice in the household is Maroon 5 or Jason Mraz (to stay “sensitive”). There will also be a non-sensical vanity purchase somewhere in the house, like a monogrammed pool table or muraled ping-pong table.

The Worldly Frat Boy only shops at Whole Foods with his Small Town Airhead (entry coming soon) girlfriend or wife, because they only eat “organic” and “healthy” foods (they’re also too nervous to go the market alone, since the West Hollywood location is full of gay men). They listen to left-of-center music that aren’t left-of-center anymore: they’re just now getting into Modest Mouse, the Postal Service, Feist, etc.—they wear their listening to this as an all access pass to things current. They saw The Hangover and told friends they DIDN’T like it, they only drink Pelligrino (but refer to it as “bubbly water”), and joined the Academy just for the screeners.

The Worldly Frat Boy is an all too common form of man that stems from the more common Douche (entry coming soon). And, from perusing Facebook and tapping the national pulse, it seems the World Frat Boy is catching on, since it is such a great mask to hide any 20 – 50 year old man’s embedded homophobia, racism, sexism, etc.: because they are worldly and “current,” they care.


These guys are just really, really annoying. They can be tolerated, but are best handled in mixed company. A one-on-one with a WFB is asking for an altercation. And, if you work for one, you’re going to lose brain cells. There is no doubt about that.


PERSON OF LA 4: The Fame Hungry Youth

We all know Miley Cyrus, the Jonas Brothers, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, blah, blah, and blah. These tween stars are the current “it” stars and, for every decade, a new and refashioned tween pop outfit is created for mass consumption. However, it is important to note that for every Miley and Joe Jonas, there are at least 1,271 other thirteen to twenty year olds trying to pursue the same goal: tween pop stardom.

Now, the automatic response is to blame an obsessive stage mother or father, which once was an easy answer to who and what made these tween stars. Currently, in the age of YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Perez Hilton, celebrity has become a language that many are DYING to speak. Most of the people dying to speak it are under twenty—a lot of them live in Los Angeles, where such aspirations can become reality. These children are driven, obsessed, and fame hungry: they are their own stage parent.

These “children,” if you will, no longer attend proper school, spend their days and nights on film sets and recording studios, are constantly on the go, and eagerly await for the time when they will be chased by paparazzi whilst exiting their new, bright white Maserati. They talk about the SATs and going to prom and boyfriends/girlfriends as excitedly as any other teenager, but are plagued by such a vapidity that their view of these events is devalued, having morphed into another option they can tell their parent on set “No, I’d rather be filming.” It is neither sad nor cool: it represents a lost youth and loss of innocence that cannot be reclaimed.

Okay: it actually is a little sad.

These children aren’t terrible and can’t really help it: they are a product of technology, easy access, and the twenty-first century. In their mind, in this moment, it is all about trying to get that starring role or land that record contract or anything else in the business. Their goals of fame are right around the corner and they subconsciously can tell that their time is ticking: the doorway to child stardom is closing, while the door to twentysomething-wannabe is opening.

For them it isn’t about money: it is all about fame. Their jaded (albeit very honest and helpful) elders in the industry will tell them, “Are you sure this is what you want? One day you’re going to wish you didn’t have this fame.” They will reply that they really do want it and that they are excited for it to come. And, many years later (likely their early twenties), this revelation will set in: what happened to my youth?

In a world where popularity in school has reached a global scale, these fame-obsessed youth aren’t to be helped or hated: they are going to do this whether or not you care. You will run into them at the Beverly Center or on Melrose or Hollywood & Highland and know them when you see them: the glaze over their eyes is their future.


Now, these children aren’t that bad or that terrible: it’s just so sad. It’s like watching a beautiful flower wilt and not being able to get it water. And, when you do get to give it water, the flower’s already dead, asking if the paps have arrived to get shots of its corpse.

PERSON(S) OF LA 3: The Church of Perez Hilton

Let’s open this entry with a disclaimer: the writers of this blog do not ascribe or follow The Church of Perez Hilton. We like to keep at arms distance from things too innately Los Angeles.

To greater America, Perez Hilton is a one-man freak show/faggot genius. He has single-handedly reshaped how the world views blogs and how the world views celebrities. He has turned the idea of paparazzi on its head as well as the idea of bottom feeding for fortune. And, he’s done a fine job turning a common Mexican surname into a badge of cultural witticism. You go girl!

In Los Angeles, Perez Hilton is a demigod of sorts. He is a power just as great—if not greater than—Scientology. It is very common for dinner table conversation or tea with a friend to kick off with the “OH MY GAW DID YOU READ PEREZ TODAY.” If you did read Perez, you and your friends will laugh, guffaw, and pat each other on the ass. If you didn’t read Perez, be prepared for the backlash: you are going to be viewed as a crazy person and likely looked down upon by your friends. Just a kind warning, dear reader.

The reason why Perez has such a grip of Los Angelenos kitty cats and cucumbers is because he’s nationally topical and geographically topical, making Los Angelenos feel directly connected to his writings. When Perez posts about a free Mika concert at The Echo (or wherever—this is all hearsay. And, Mika sucks.), expect to get at least five text messages about “PEREZ SAID FREE MIKA CONCERT WE HAVE TO GO!! LOL!!”

Now, we are recessionistas—we understand the value of free concerts, events, etc. However, going to a free Perez endorsed event is asking for trouble. Since most of the city reads the blog with the fervency of a rabid Alexa Chung fan, you are likely to incur swarms of people, zero parking, and hidden fees. It just isn’t worth it.

However, Perez has done some good. As a gay Los Angeleno, he has fought the good fight and has crusaded against Prop 8. He’s listed walks and protests and ways that locals can get into the action. He has pushed gay rights into the minds of Middle America and will probably go down in the history books as the lingering fart of an annoying gay activist. He is even responsible for making Carrie Prejean a superstar.

Yes, this is all well and good and has helped the chosen people. However, most civic minded and intellectual gays have condoned his spirit—but not his actions. He has taken the “MOMMY I WANT MY BLANKETTTT” (well, “MAMA YO QUIERO MI MANTAAAA”) form of protest to heart. He has done a good part of spreading the fight to younger generations but has become a blemish on the gay community’s moisturized and chiseled face. His “whine until you win” activism has made him the face that many Middle Americans view as all gay men. He has become the epitome of why they hate gays: they are annoying, flamboyant, sedentary, and vicious bitches.

Now, let’s digress from politics and move into dealing with followers of the Church of Perez Hilton. Since there are so many followers in Los Angeles, it’s not a good idea to give yourself away as a non-reader unless you want to be greeted by chastisement. However, there is something to be said about the person who stands up and aligns him or herself with the Church of Michael K. of Dlisted.com or Followers of Pink Is the New Blog or even Brothers and Sisters of Scandalist.com: these people are cultural warriors, expanding their minds to other bitchy bloggers.

When caught in the “Did you read Perez?” trap, you have three options:

1. “No, I don’t read Perez Hilton”—this is followed by a barrage of “WHAT YOU DON’T READ PEREZ??” and “WHO ARE YOU??” and likely a bludgeon to the head with a wine bottle.

2. “No, I didn’t catch Perez. Today. What did he say?”—whether your statement is fact or fiction, this is always a good avoid. Remember: lying that you didn’t have a chance to get online is a good exit from anything.

3. “Yes, I ‘did’ read Perez today.”—this is the highest recommended response, by pretending to have read it. The churchgoer is going to divulge the information whether or not you actually read it, so just say yes, let them spill the cultural beans, and then agree with them/match their excitement. (And, nine times out of ten, you probably heard about this cultural tidbit well before it hit Perez because you read better blogs. This option is fool proof.)

Perez Hilton’s site is a lot of good, a lot of bad, and a lot of STFU. Please read with caution. And, if you have an addiction and would like to wean yourself off of it, we can make an entry on how to quit Perez. It won’t be that hard for you (we quit BestWeekEver.tv—it was remarkably eas).


These people are generally harmless and sometimes go unnoticed. Some are more fervent for others. However, they can all be duped into thinking you are a follower as well. Never forget that information.