I am reading a wonderful book right now about the artistic and cultural life of Silver Lake in the 20th Century. “Bohemian Los Angeles” by Daniel Hurewitz explores an area that was called Edendale, roughly from Echo Park to Los Feliz, where actors, writers, artists, and political leftists gathered to create literature, paintings, and politics that challenged the mainstream views of the time.
Hurewitz takes us into an intimate place, almost rural in isolation, but only minutes from downtown Los Angeles.
The LA Times reviewer wrote:
“Wooded and hilly, with some of the steepest streets in California, Edendale in the 1910s was the location of the first movie studios. Mack Sennett’s studios, Essanay Films, Pathé and nearly 70 other companies operated in the area. They soon moved west, but in their wake came a bohemian-progressive scene of exceptional vigor and influence. Woody Guthrie lived in Edendale; so did printmaker Paul Landacre, legendary bookseller Jake Zeitlin, writer Carey McWilliams, composer John Cage and thousands of other artists and activists. The result, Hurewitz notes, was “a movement wherein a new ideology of identity was constructed and elaborated around organized and mobilized constituencies.”
Hurewitz is coming to Los Angeles. His blog outlines his upcoming LA appearances:
Well, we’re flying to LA tomorrow for a bunch of book events: the schedule looks pretty exciting. And, encouraged by my old friend Sol, I want to spell it out for you…
Thursday, February 1, 7:30 pm. Reading & Signing at A Different Light Books in West Hollywood. It’s one of the last great gay bookstores around & a place where I gave a reading years ago, so I’m delighted to return there. Their address is 8853 Santa Monica Blvd and here’s a map.
Friday, February 2, 2 pm. Interview with Patt Morrison on KPCC, one of the Southland’s outstanding NPR stations — 89.3 on your FM dial. Patt Morrison has been writing and thinking about L.A. for several years & is one of the city’s leading commentators on things Angeleno. I’m really looking forward to talking with her about the book.
Saturday, February 3, 10 am. I’ll be recording an interview with a gay radio program called IMRU that runs on KPFK, 90.7 FM, the more lefty public radio station in town. It seems like a great show & I’m excited to get to discuss the book from a gay perspective! We’re going to record the interview that morning, but it will likely run on Monday evening, 7 – 8 pm.
Saturday, February 3, 5 pm. Reading & Reception at Skylight Books in Los Feliz. Skylight is a terrific place. They are the central bookstore in this part of the city that was once called Edendale — a name I love — and they are the kind of bookstore we all wish existed every where. Independently owned, staffed by thoughtful readers who offer good suggestions & opinions, and devoted to their local community. It’s going to be a wonderful evening there & I hope you’ll all try to make it. They’re located at 1818 N. Vermont Ave., just north of Hollywood Blvd: here’s a Google map to get you there.
Sunday, February 4, 2 pm. Conversation with the Echo Park Historical Society. This will be a more intimate gathering at somebody’s home. But these are the folks who already know so much about the area that I’ve been writing about. It will be a great chance to swap insights and comments about the area.
And then Monday, back to NYC. What do you think? Not bad for one week, right? I’m really excited!