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:

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Surreal L.A. Podcast #6: The Downtown Train, Tranny Hookers and Weird Band Stories


Venture down the rabbit hole with Shanon, Valley Girl and special guests Mr. Now the brooding blogger and Matty “B” Heintz from Los Angeles-based blues band, The Downtown Train. Injected with a jolt of testosterone not commonly found in most Surreal L.A. podcasts, the conversation meanders around subjects like seedy Hollywood strip clubs, tranny hookers and why Courtney Love is such a trainwreck. Buckle up, folks, this will be a bumpy ride.

Also – check out The Downtown Train at Harvard & Stone in Hollywood every Tuesday night during the month of October!



What the Occupy Movement Needs to Succeed

Photo via OccupyLA on Flikr

Valley Girl and I spent some time at Occupy LA’s tent city in front of City Hall over the weekend. I’m not going to lie to you. I have serious doubts about whether or not this movement will ever effect any sort of meaningful political or, more importantly, economic change without making some serious changes.

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Surreal L.A. Podcast #3: Crazy Cat People, Car Chases and Quentin Tarantino’s Foot Fetish

The Valley Girl drags Shanon into the weird claws of a Cat Show. They witness a Tarantino-esque car chase on their way to the Inglewood diner Pann’s — and discuss some of Los Angeles’ homeless celebrities, mental illness and their plans to find Clive Barker at the Magic Castle. That’s right, we like to keep it Surreal, L.A.!

Surreal L.A. Podcast #3: Crazy Cat People, Car Chases & Quentin Tarantino’s Foot Fetish


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.

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Forget Paris! Club Silencio Belongs in Surreal L.A.


David Lynch is the master of manifesting his dreams (and nightmares) into reality.  Take the opening of Silencio — the upscale bar inspired by Mulholland Drive‘s fictional theater Club Silencio.

Naturally, every little dark nerve in my body screamed with anticipation as I imagined listening to a Dorothy Valens look-a-like croon “Blue Velvet,” as a backwards speaking midget poured me a glass of garmanbozia in a lounge draped with deep red curtains.

Oh, we can dream . . . but sometimes we wake up and realize that our dreams are being built in Paris.

With all due respect, Mr. Lynch, that club belongs in the dark, dream-like tendrils of the greater Los Angeles area. [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.

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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.


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