Friday, December 03, 2010

LA: the Other New York

In LA for a couple of days of this and that, I notice a couple of remarkable points of convergence with New York. 

One: the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion, where we saw a somewhat perfunctory Rigoletto. It's pleasant enough as a performanced space though it feels oddly cramped for so spacious a city.  And the chandeliers: they are huge: they more or less fill the open space outside the auditorium.  And then I thought: no, they are not huge; they are just too big for the space,  Looks to me like somebody decided they had to have chandeliers on the same order as the Met, and failed to take account ofd the fact that the Met has so much more room for display.

Another: Canter's, the deli on Fairfax.    I don't think I've been in here for 15 years, and I am surprised at how little has changed since I was first here  35 years ago.  This must not be an acccident: somebody must have decided that retro sells, and that it is good to keep lox and blintzes and latkes on the menu even if the waitresses no longer wear polyester uniforms with nylons and bobbie sox (I wonder when they started selling ham?).  I suppose it is in part a tourist destination although I don't see anything like the tourist crowds you see at Katz's in lower Manhattan--where they come hoping to see Meg Ryan and Bily Crystal.  So: Katz's without Harry and Sally.  So, Katz's west, just like with the chandeliers.

Update: Lunch with my friend John who tells me I am all wrong about the chandeliers.  He says the designer found two great chandeliers on a studio backlot and liked them so much he had a third built to match.  Says they don't look quite so crowded from below.

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