Friday, September 24, 2010

Oh Empire State!

Although this blog is intended to be Angelenocentric to a great degree, I was born in New York, and that City and its State have always held their place in my heart. Right now I am reading "The World of Washington Irving" by Van Wyck Brooks. Apart from once again marvelling over the sheer beauty of the prose, my mind is wandering back to the skyscrapers and the vales of the Hudson where my memories begin. As a boy I was thrilled by Washington Irving's tales --- had they not happened, so many of them, near where we were? And the stories and weird lore of the Dutch settlers, the battles of the Revolution, the Loyalists, Major Andre, the beautiful old mansions between Albany and the Bronx, the colonial taverns and cemeteries, and so much more! All of these remained firmly in my head when we came out here, and linger still. The memories of Autumn and Winter, Hallowe'en and Christmas, buoyed me up in the withering heat of an L.A. Summer.

But that sense of exile is, perhaps, an integral part of being an Angeleno. For people born and raised here, the Southland is simply their home. But for the millions more who have come from elsewhere --- or who so came in the past, to include the first settlers --- the sense of being shipwrecked on an island, so to speak, is a defining one. Our Autumsn, although lacking the brilliant leaves, are dreamy and mellow in their own way. Now that Autumn is here at last --- enjoy it!


  1. Speaking of Dutch:

    a) your slang word for "coitum facere" is Dutch for breed, a "hondfokkerei" being a kennel

    b) peanut butter is pindakaas (pinda=peanut) and I am not sure which of you invented it or if it is Ethiopian

    c) I was just thinking if there was maybe another dish you got from Holland?

  2. Our Autumsn, although lacking the brilliant leaves - even in Central Park?

  3. "But that sense of exile is, perhaps, an integral part of being an Angeleno."

    As a Hawaiian Islander for the first 30 years of life, and now a Southern Californian for 26 years - with 2 years between in Texas - I concur.

  4. Thank you, Charles. That was lovely.