Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The U.S.A.

9-9-09 U.S.A.

Except for my extended visit to Holland, New Zealand and England, I have lived most of my 51 years in the U.S., California – to be exact. In and around Los Angeles. Up and down the west coast. I once went to Seattle to visit my friend Ken, but I haven’t been back there. It was at the time of grunge (post-grunge?), so the record stores there weren’t all that interesting.

I am a bit fonder of Portland, OR – the city where I had my 50th birthday party. Good food, good coffee, good record stores. Good friends, too. How many of you were at RK50PDX808? I know I was…

I have always enjoyed short visits to Las Vegas, NV. The record stores seem to come and go, don’t they? No more Tower, Big B’s, J-Mar, Benway Bop, The Underground… stores I patronized for years! These days, the big fun is at the 2 x Zia Record Stores (the Phoenix chain). And the food’s not too shabby in LV, either!

More recently, the GF & I have been having fun down in San Diego. We became members of the San Diego Zoo and really enjoy visiting the aviaries. We liked the new elephant attraction they have, too. Some really good food in SD, too – Basic Pizza downtown, some good Japanese places in Hillcrest and Kearny Mesa…gotta love Lou’s Records in Encinitas, Folk Arts in Normal Heights

Ventura, CA! My old friend Steve “Mott” Hernandez” still lives there. And you’ve got Grady Record Refuge, Salzer’s, Buffalo Records…hey, that’s more record stores than Santa Barbara! And I can stop in CD Trader in Reseda on my way home from Ventura!

S.F. Bay Area, with 2 x mighty Amoeba stores! And Dorothy’s sister, Ruth. And other good friends. And all that good food! Vik’s in Berkeley Marina, T. Rex BBQ on Gilman, Jupiter Pizza on Shattuck. Fun places to eat at. And the mighty Kinokuniya bookstore in Japantown Center in S.F.! Been going to S.F> bay area (and San Jose) for many years now – it’s like a home away from home for me. Santa Cruz!

But L.A. is home – yes, we have an Amoeba, the aforementioned CD Trader, Freakbeat in Sherman Oaks, Poo Bah Record Shop in Pasadena, Rockaway in Silverlake, the wonderful Record Surplus on Pico…and all my favorite restaurants! Zeke’s BBQ in Montrose, Taco Spot in Eagle Rock, Mae Ploy in Silverlake, Porto’s in Glendale, Elena’s in Glendale…home is where you gain weight (lose weight?), see the doctor – try to lose weight. Home is where my records are. Home is where I type all this stuff. It’s where I can listen and try to better understand Bob Dylan. Where else can I do that? Yeah, I know, but…(click of shoes) there’s no place like home.

Yep, I live in the U.S.A., I was born here – and I’ll probably die here. Unless I run afoul of the authorities in Kuala Lumpur or something… the U.S. is my home. We don’t always have the best government, do we? I mean, the dollar really sucks again most currencies these days…against the Yen, for instance. Yikes!

1 comment:

chas_m said...

re: the dollar -- it's doing okay against the Loonie. BTW, we have found several record and/or CD stores here in town. The best overall (IMO) is Lyle's Place. Reasonable prices, diverse selection, records as well as CDs, and about every poster ever made.

Turntable is run by hippies, and is THE place to go for blues, funk, jazz, and real r-n-r from decades past. Incredible HUGE wooden speakers ceiling mounted.

Ditch is the best place for current trends. They have a beautiful large file cabinet painted in the style of a classic (sacred, some might say) album cover. It's awesome. Prices are a little high tho.

We've just heard about a new record store so we'll check it out soon. We do have good local bands too!

Your blog entry reminded me of the song "San Diego Zoo" by (Stephen Merritt under the guise of "The Sixths").

As for the government: what I find fascinating is that almost without exception, the big "hot button" issues in the US are settled matters in Canada. It's very peaceful and civil, but of course not as passionate either.