Night Life

Night Life
Image: Christa Wittmier

Goodbye, Hollywood

Night Life / Something I’ve definitely taken for granted this past decade is the whole strangers gathered around the television thing. It’s a pretty significant occasion and thinking back, I’ve only experienced something like it maybe three times since the ’90s. This past Thursday was a bit late for us to watch the Royal Wedding with the rest of the world. I actually forgot it was even airing until I flipped through my Twitter stream and couldn’t understand what everyone was talking about. I knew they were all talking about the same thing, but it didn’t click at first. Then, when it finally did, I begged Daniel Gray to turn on the TV over the bar at Soho. Just in time too, as we got to sip our scotch and look at all the arrivals (and hats). After a while, I glanced behind me and saw a small crowd forming around the bar, and eyes from all the way across the room staring up at the screen. It looked like the entire kingdom of England was in the street for that. Cheering and waving and just displaying this unguarded patriotism. It was touching.

Then came our own American version event on Sunday when we were gathered in a lounge in Hollywood after a screening at the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. Then the music turned off, the bar got quiet and President Obama started telling us the news. Strangers immediately had common ground (America, f*ck yeah) and it gave way to one of the best, most random, totally Los Angeles nights I’ve ever had that I want to tell you about so badly, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to explain it properly.

Some people say it’s a bad thing that nothing is open past 2am in Hollywood. I say it invites more arbitrary adventures. There’s always someone in the bar that brings the party back to his or her place in the Hills or in some office slash film studio slash warehouse. It never fails. My only advice to anyone who’s going to travel to that town is to get in the mindset that wherever you go, that’s where you’re at. You are the party. What you are doing is the best possible thing you could be doing. The second you let your mind wander to the possibility of what’s happening somewhere else or that there might be something better going on, it’s all over. You can’t chase the party in Hollywood. I mean, you really shouldn’t do that anywhere. It gives off a vibe of desperation, and there are times when that hangs so thick in the air you can almost smell it. Yuck. Just enjoy yourself. Enjoy the music, enjoy your friends, the conversation, the drinks. The TV. Whatever.

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