My secret shames: Jordache bikini briefs and Los Angeles. I had so much irrational mistrust toward that city, before ever visiting it. I felt like I was the new, eager-to-impress member of a street gang (and my street gang was called "The East Coasters") so I always made sure I was the first to put down the city of angels quickly, sharply, whether I believed it or not. It's just what you do if you live over here. Sorry.
"No one reads in LA!" I'd exclaim, tossing to the floor my well-worn copy of Variety. (a publication i always referred to as "my book," as in "where's my book?" or "who ripped the weekly grosses out of my book?") It was stupid. I'd never even been to Los Angeles. What right did I have to be so completely derisive? I was just giving lip service to genetically-coded left coast resentment.
When I visited LA for the first time the thing that struck me most (and most poignantly) was how easy it was to find food that will kill you in an instant. It exploded all of my preconceived notions and, more importantly, it impressed me. LA's junk food staples kick any other city's ass handily. New York City has excellent pizza - yeah yeah yeah we know - but you can buy doughnuts in nearly any location in LA. You can probably get doughnuts in church, though I'm not sure LA has any churches. And, as if refusing to be outdone, LA is also the home of Roscoe's Chicken 'N' Waffles. If Pizza Hut's new Stuffed Crust Gold - cheese pizza with cheese hand-injected into the crust, and additional cheddar cheese draped on top of the crust - is a bold declaration of hatred in the face of America's struggle against its own crippling obesity - then Roscoe's Chicken 'N' Waffles is the "I'm sorry, baby" note left inside your Dodge Neon, with a single battery powered light-up silk rose carefully placed atop it.
I'm going to LA this weekend and I'm very eager to see friends. Especially those friends who are made of waffle batter and deep-fried for seven hours straight. And you know who you are...so start dipping. NOW.