Photos: Venice Homeless Man Romances Mannequin

Homeless Casanova Gets Friendly with American Appearel Plastic Siren

Last summer, A.W.O.L. and I were meandering around the Venice Beach Boardwalk, like we do, when we came across a scene too bizarre for even Venice Beach: A bleary-eyed homeless Casanova cozied up to a plastic American Apparel siren (not played by Kim Cattrall.) Yes, I know, after writing that down it actually seems pretty normal for men in this town to cozy up to plastic things. But I’m hoping this photo is worth more than a 12 word description:

[Read more…]

Strange Days in the City: No One Gets Out of Here Alive

The iconic Morrison Mural in Venice, CA

Hello, my pretty pretties and welcome to my column “Strange Days” — where I promise to update you every Wednesday about my stranger days in this city of weird, misshapen angels.

Obviously the title of this column is borrowed by The Doors I.P. “Strange Days.” Jim Morrison was one of those few souls who seemed totally at ease with his own strangeness. In fact, he celebrated it and embraced the surrealism within him — and around him. And isn’t that what this blog is all about? Finding some kind of rusty beauty and truth in scenes like this:

In the spirit of the Lizard King, I’d like to share some of my anecdotes from my first night as an Angelino. So, grab your morning cup of Joe, update your Facebook status, sit back in your swivel chair, and get ready to ride the snake all the way into Surreal L.A.

[Read more…]

Cain Motter’s Demonology and the Art of Debt

In the Mouth of Debt Madness

When artist and activist Cain Motter looks at a credit card, he doesn’t see a shopping spree on Melrose or a lost weekend in Vegas. He sees the face of a demon.

[Read more…]

The Ballad of L.A.’s Withered Flowers


This is Zipporah. She’s rich, loves life, has traveled the world — and is certain she will be famous some day. Oh, and she thinks you’re cute and wants to know all about your heritage.


Why? . . . Why are you asking? You’re in Surreal LA.


In a city so preoccupied with beauty and youth, Los Angeles is home to a small army of eccentric older ladies whose eyes still sparkle with a young starlet’s dreams of fame, fortune and love.


If you’ve spent anytime roaming the streets of Hollywood proper or Beverly Hills, you’ve seen them: older women in their sixties and seventies dressed to the nines in all kinds of theatrical assembles begging for your attention. I’ve seen eighty year-old pink-haired old punks standing in line for band auditions, a wheelchair-bound Cinderella buying Depends in a CVS — and a grandmother wearing an ornate feathered mask in a Ralph’s.


Some people call them crazy. I’d like to think of them as withered flowers.


[Read more…]