According to an article in today’s Times by Emily Alpert Reyes and Nina Agrawal, the Los Angeles City Council is set to act today1 on Council File 15-0798, opened last June by Mitch O’Farrell and Tom LaBonge, ordering Mike Feuer’s office to write a draft ordinance regulating street characters on Hollywood Boulevard between Highland and Orange.
We have written many a post about Kerry Morrison’s weirdly obsessive hatred of the street characters at Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue and how she uses the power of her BID to attack them at every turn. Her surreality-based antipathy has at various times inspired her co-conspirators at the LAPD to crack down heavily on these performers, even to the point where Carol Sobel had to sue the cops in Federal Court to stop the neurotic vendetta.
She’s spent at least a decade railing against these characters and working with the City Attorney, the City Council, private attorneys, everyone in sight, without notable success, to ban their activities, to stop them wearing masks, to require them to wear identity badges, to conflate them with terrorists, and so on. Well, we’ve been looking into the matter a little more deeply, and today we’re here to tell you a story about street characters, the KKK, domestic terrorism, anti-mask laws, and property values in Hancock Park.1 First let’s take a little trip through 7 years worth of the minutes of the Board of Directors of the Hollywood Property Owners Alliance, concentrating on the street characters of Hollywood and Kerry Morrison’s efforts to thwart them by any means necessary:
June 2006—Morrison and Deputy City Attorney Bill Kysella have drafted a resolution for consideration by Council President Eric Garcetti that the City Attorney’s office work with the Hollywood Entertainment District and the Hollywood Division of the LAPD to evaluate potential solutions to document the identity of the street characters and performers, regulate their activities, and ban the use of masks in the interests of protecting public safety on the public right-of-way within the Hollywood Enterainment District.
In October 2015 we wrote about a number of cases where the Andrews International Hollywood BID Patrol collected intelligence information on its perceived enemies, mostly residents of Hollywood who opposed them in some manner. Among these instances of BID Patrol spying there was a mysterious case involving a man named Eric, pictured to the right. Our faithful correspondent has recently obtained a number of emails from the LAPD, which he’s preparing for publication and plans to make available quite soon. We jumped the queue on this email,1 though, because it explains a number of lacunae in our previous post.
It’s from Kerry Morrison to LAPD officer Mark Dibell about Eric, written in September 2014, 33 months after the January 2012 surveillance photographs of the man were taken by the BID Patrol. The subject line is “A matter for Vice.” TL;DR is that Eric “…had a routine of harassing and filming the BID patrol…” and so Kerry Morrison and A/I tracked his movements, photographed him, and almost three years later, wrote to the LAPD on behalf of his new landlord, Kelly Vickers of Eastown Apartments, reporting past, evidently unsupported, allegations of “sexual misconduct…and drug use” among other things. The subject line suggests that Kerry is trying to get this guy in trouble with the Vice squad as a service to one of the property owners in the BID.
How does anyone think this is OK? How does the BID carry on a three year vendetta against this guy for filming their security guards? Sure, Kerry claims it’s because of “sexual misconduct…and drug use,” but really, if the guy was provably up to those things why all the emails and subterfuge? Why not just call the actual cops and make an actual police report like actual non-creepy-zillionaires have to do in such circumstances? It’s pretty unlikely anyway that one can move into a fancy douchebag-serving apartment paradise like Eastown without a criminal background check, so the “allegations” remain only allegations. And even if he was or is guilty of “sexual misconduct…and drug use,” how is investigating that the business of the BID Patrol? They’re freaking security guards, not spies, not detectives.
We recently had occasion to write about the HPOA’s continent-spanning conspiracy with a bunch of their creepy counterparts in Manhattan to abuse intellectual property law, to violate California Penal Code §158, to constructively violate the first amendment, and both stridently and characteristically to act the fool with respect to the burning issue of street characters.
Today’s book is The School on 103rd Street, by Los Angeles author and psychiatrist Roland S. Jefferson. It seems reasonable to review it here for two reasons. First because it so vividly evokes the peculiar time and place of early 1970s Los Angeles, a spatiotemporal locality that’s dear to my heart and second because its subject matter, racial politics in Los Angeles (including a vast conspiracy the nature of which I can’t really reveal without spoiling the plot, which is something I’m not willing to do) aligns closely with the focus of this blog.
I’ll move on to the serious matters below, but first, check this description of protagonists Elwin Carter and Sable having an evening out in 1973:They had dinner at Cyrano’s in Marina Del Rey and then went to the Name of the Game on Century Boulevard for some dancing. At midnight they went down to the Lighthouse to hear Gabor Zabo, and, on the way home, they dropped by Shelly’s Mann Hole and caught the last set by Gerald Wilson. Carter had taken the Ferrari, and, although Sable offered no resistance, she didn’t encourage him. From Shelly’s they headed down Highland toward Wilshire…3
Now, I don’t just read novels for Los Angeles geography porn, but I’m always happy to find it, especially when it has restaurants! Cyrano was a “fine dining” or “continental” sort of place, opened early on in Marina Del Rey. Given the character of the Marina in 1973, at the time Elwin and Sable had dinner there the joint was probably full of cocaine, swinging-in-the-worst-sense, disgusting 1970s facial hair, and gelatinous sleaze coating every surface.
The Name of the Game was a dance place in Inglewood at Century and Crenshaw. Here’s how the Los Angeles Sentinel described it on September 2, 1971:
It’s called The Name of The Game, and to many, many persons it’s the name of the place they find attractive and a lively cynosure for a truly good evening of pleasure. Located at 3000 W. Century boulevard, it has music by Dave Holden, and dancing space for frisky feet or those who just love to move and groove. There’s no cover charge, either. The Name of the Game also affords daily luncheon specials, and daily half-price cocktails. So what could be better for the jaded tastes than a visit to The Name of the Game?4
Unfortunately I can’t find a picture of the place. Note also that there was a sensational killing there in 1973. I don’t have space to go into it, but it was well covered in the Sentinel, starting here.11
Next they head off to the Lighthouse, a famous and still-active jazz club in Hermosa Beach which I’d discuss more if I gave even a fraction of a shit about either jazz or Hermosa Beach. Finally, “on the way home,” they head to Shelley’s Manne Hole which, coincidentally, played an important role in my last recommendation, so I won’t belabor it here. However, these two live in Baldwin Hills, meaning that the Manne Hole, at 1608 N. Cahuenga Blvd., is in no sense but the sense that this night should never end on the way home from Hermosa Beach. Ah, youth!
Now, despite my breathless temporogeographical musings, this novel is much more than a travelogue. It’s an immensely important document about the state of racial politics in Los Angeles eight years after the Watts Rebellion, with more than a little relevance for the present day (as well as being a bitchin’ thriller). Read on for details! Continue reading The School on 103rd Street→
Stories of the rich and powerful abusing intellectual property laws to stifle free expression, shut down criticism of their terroristic conspiracies against humanity, lock away little old ladies because their grandkids misuse bittorrent, wantonly slaughter cute lil bunnies, and so on, are as common in the tech press as dandelions on the expansive and suspiciously green lawns of Hancock Park before the gardeners show up on Thursday morning.
At their meeting on November 20, 2014, the Hollywood Media District BID expanded the size of its Board of Directors from 17 to 19 in order to accommodate two new members. You can watch here as one of them, Joseph Varet, introduces himself to the board.
Here’s the story. Joseph and his wife, Esther Kim, whose marriage was the subject of a surreally sycophantic New York Times article in 2011,1 moved here from Houston or some other place east of San Bernardino sometime roughly around last week, and started a gallery named after an Ed Ruscha project, Various Small Fires. “After all, these are two people who approach life as a kind of experiential art form.”1 First they ran it out of their big-ass house in Venice2 but more recently moved it to a newly-purchased and renovated building at 812 Highland.
It seems that, according to Joseph, all the best contemporary art galleries in the universe are moving to this neighborhood like a bunch of sheep in the wake of Regen Projects’s 2012 relocation to Highland and Santa Monica. Joseph speaks at length about the impending Weltreisezielmodernenkunstheit of the area, which is about 4 blocks from where the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition does its nightly mitzvah. The GWHFC is opposed in this by the Media District BID with lawsuits, subversive attempts to outlaw sharing food in public, whining, disgraceful letters to the editor, and probably any number of other shameful tactics. Of course, Joseph, whose wife has “never caught him in a lie,”1 mentions none of this. What, after all, do hunger, suffering, misery, have to do with “developing the district in a positive and sustainable way?” “It’s the damage that we do and never know. It’s the words that we don’t say that scare me so.”3