Ruminations

How to properly mourn an overpass

The Alaskan Way Viaduct, a concrete conveyor belt that pushed traffic through downtown Seattle for more than 60 years, permanently closed to traffic at 10 p.m. on January 11. But the defunct wasn’t the only iconic span to meet its timely end this week. At 10:52 a.m. on Wednesday, “boomers” detonated the last vestiges of New York’s old Tappan Zee Bridge.

Read More

A Tale of Two Hollywood Cemeteries

When I close my eyes and picture Hollywood, I see grime and water-starved palm trees, white plastic sunglasses and discarded needles. For every Rodeo Drive, with its well-manicured streets, designed for beautiful cars and beautiful women, there are two or ten or twenty Melrose Avenues, the reason the descriptor "seedy" exists, slightly menacing, but mostly sad, where dreams of celebrity go to die and, from those ashes, give rise to cement, patchouli-scented sex shops, and Walgreen's staffed by more security attendants than cashiers. 

Read More

Why Tom Petty Was Hard to Kill

Killing Tom Petty wasn’t easy.

The formidable grunge wave of the nineties couldn’t make him irrelevant. The demise of a 22-year relationship that precipitated an oppressive depression and sent him retreating to an isolated cabin in the woods couldn’t do it. A father that “beat the shit” out of him couldn’t do it. Heroin failed. And an arsonist who burned down his house couldn’t do the trick.

In the end, some biological cowardice snuck up on Petty when he wasn’t looking: cardiac arrest.

Read More

Meaningful Media, Part 2

Last August, I was stuck in a rut, seemingly incapable of producing art, able only to consume it. I realized that while I yearned to create and chaffed at my apparent failure, being surrounded by wonderful films and TV shows and essays of the caliber I hoped to one day create actually wasn't the worst thing. So I settled into my role as consumer, and resigned myself to producing just a few worthwhile reflections on the art I liked. It helped me to create both a time capsule of the things that inspired me at the time, and ultimately helped me to get out of my rut. Today, some seven months later, I find myself in that place again -- totally stuck. But I've learned since then, so I'm skipping the whining and going straight to the appreciation of other's successes.

Read More