At the moment I’m looking at an old menu from a restaurant called the Brown Derby. On its cover is an imaginary map of Los Angeles with Hollywood at its center. It’s scattered with cartoon depictions of movie cameras, musical notes winging out of the Hollywood Bowl, crooners broadcasting from NBC Radio Studios, and roadsters zipping down Franklin Avenue.
It’s an extremely impressionistic guide to L.A.
This vast city (really a collection of towns) tends to be represented in its spatial relationship to Hollywood. Please note, the map is not to scale, it highlights the locations (there are several) of a once legendary and now gone restaurant: as I said, it was called the Brown Derby, a nexus of the dream factory drones and queen bees, so to speak.
USC, Mid City, Leimert Park, Koreatown, and South Central lie well beyond its margins. I will add sometimes a map is a map, and other times it’s a state of mind.
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