I was having dinner at Canter’s Deli in Hollywood last night, an establishment notable for both it’s cured meat selection and the wide variety of patrons that can be found there. You’ve got your usual Hollywood types, young folks seeking out greasy food to sop up the alcohol floating around in their gullets late night, actors, musicians, entertainment executives and assistants alike, but then you’ve also got an array of people that you wouldn’t figure to be naturals in such a habitat, families, older Jewish folks, older people in general. They all descend upon this restaurant for the same reason, food, but food can be found all over the world, so why do these folks choose to seek their’s out in Hollywood? A place with just as many unlikable character flaws as it has likable ones. As I ate my pastrami and chopped liver sandwich I watched as an old woman dressed in clothes that must have been contemporary in 1975 made pleasantries with the waitress, it was obvious she was a regular, all I could think about was how out of place she seemed in that setting. Any other Jewish deli in the world she might have fit right in, but Canter’s is it’s own animal. On any given night the scene more resembles a frame from a Tarentino movie than it does one from JCC Bingo night.
That’s LA in a nutshell. People come out here with dreams, some of them stay dreaming, some of them wake up, we all grow old. You can find everything in this city. Even a girl who looks like she just stepped out of a Laura Ingalls Wilder novel, and strums out tunes that would be a fitting sound track to that very book within the confines of this urban wasteland. Yet somehow she fits in here, it works. Without folks like her, who knows what LA would be. One thing is certain, as long as I’m here dreaming, I don’t want to find out.