Los Angeles is a place that is too big, too deep, spread too thin under the marine layer and above the concrete culverts to give you, the visitor, any idea of what the hell is really going on. I didn’t know that the first half-dozen or times I came, and I didn’t understand the place at all. And if I’ve learned anything in the decades since, it’s that you need your people. The ones who have found their place in the basin and can bring you along and communicate their vision of what Los Angeles means to them. So now I’ve got JR in Manhattan Beach, Mike in West Hollywood, Yukio in South Central, and, increasingly Carolina Miranda--my former colleague at Time Magazine--for everything east of the 110. In the next few weeks, you’ll meet some of these people—my people—in Los Angeles, and I couldn’t be happier starting here in East LA with Carolina. She is deeply influential writer, culture hawk and collective bargainer at the resurgent Los Angeles Times. We’re drinking this juice from her front yard, spiked with prosecco, and talking about porn theaters, old-school donut shops, and what Latinos in the southland have to teach us all.
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