Friday, November 20, 2009
File this one under “only-in-L.A.!”
Tim and I went to a book-signing last night at the fabulous streamline-moderne Crossroads of the World, Sunset Boulevard’s earliest (1936) outdoor mall. The centerpiece was Los Angeles: Portrait of a City, a gorgeous new coffeetable book by Jim Heimann and former state librarian Kevin Starr, whom I know professionally. We were greeted by klieg lights and some 200 people dressed like they were going to an old-time movie premier; but, unfortunately, no Dr. Starr.
Still, there was plenty of other local literati to ogle, including Diane Keaton, looking very much like her alter-ego Annie Hall, Rodney Bingenheimer, former rock DJ and subject of the excellent documentary Mayor of the Sunset Strip, and Hugh Hefner, wearing a suit and sporty fedora. Hef’s entourage did a good job of shielding him from the rest of the crowd—which was just as well since he’s looking pretty old and frail these days. At one point, we saw his attractive blonde assistant (girlfriend?) yelling in his ear, “DO YOU WANT TO WAIT HERE WHILE I CALL FOR THE CAR?,” so we figured he’s also now hard-of-hearing.
Champagne and several alcoholic beverages flowed freely, but there was nothing to eat. We milled around and chatted with colleagues, who also happened to be there, while keeping our eyes peeled for hors d’oeuvres. Finally, after about an hour, a young woman walked our way carrying a tray of square food.
“What are these?” Tim asked her.
“Focaccia,” she answered, as if we were children. “It’s like bread, but with truffles on top.”
I rolled my eyes and popped one in my mouth. Tasty, but hardly a meal.
We looked at each other and started heading toward the door. No use trying to be hip when your stomach’s growling! So we grabbed our book, bid Hollywood adieu and drove straight to our favorite pizza joint in Culver City. Two slices of cheese, please!