LA: My Seedy Sweet Romance

Valise in Wonderland

When first I gazed upon the Hollywood Walk of Fame, averting my eyes from the expectorated fluids and bird droppings dotted across the names of the world’s most revered entertainers, I had a thought that I’ve learned is not uncommon upon a first visit to Hollywood: “This is it?”  Scruffy denizens and a sea of tourists shared the slightly soiled sidewalk in front of questionable-looking storefronts, plodding along together under an unmistakable hovering cloud of marijuana fume.  Welcome to Tinseltown.

Here’s the thing, though. After rendezvousing with this section of the behemoth that is Los Angeles, as well as some of its neighboring environs, I had the same feeling I did the first time I tried sushi many years ago. Back then I had left the restaurant unimpressed, not turned off, but not turned on, either, until three months later, when a sushi menu in the Spanish town in which I…

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