welcome to snowball


Welcome to the “Los Angeles, I’m Yours!” staircase painted by local artist Evelyn Leigh and commissioned by the Silver Lake City Council.  There should be two of you here, so give yourselves a big hug once you recognize each other!




Your challenge today, Snowballers and Angelenos, is to stand on the stairs and perform the below excerpts and declarations of love to Los Angeles.  Have a fellow Snowballer film it if you’d like and tap into your inner orator!  


There are three excerpts to select from.  After you are done, take the provided paper and pen and write a letter to yourself at the age you moved to LA.  Tell yourself about how much you’ve learned, the lifelong friends you’ve met, give yourself some advice (always take Fountain!) and tell them why you love our city.  



“Los Angeles I’m Yours” lyrics by The Decemberists


There is a city by the sea

A gentle company

I don't suppose you want to?


And as it tells its sorry tale

In harrowing detail

Its hollowness will haunt you


Its streets and boulevards

Orphans and oligarchs

And here's a plaintive melody

A truncated symphony.

An ocean's garbled vomit on the shore:

Los Angeles, I'm yours


O ladies, pleasant and demure

Hollow-cheek'd and sure

I can see your undies)

And all the boys you drag about

On empty, fallow fount

From Saturdays to Mondays.


You bridge and tunnel crowd

Hanging your trousers down at heel.

This is the realest thing

As ancient choirs sing

A rushing rabble revels from above

Los Angeles, my love.


O what…



Excerpt from “Ask the Dust” by author John Fante


And so I went down on Fifth and Olive, where the big street cars chewed your ears with their noise, and the smell of gasoline made the sight of the palm trees seem sad, and the black pavement still wet from the fog the night before.


Then a great deal of time passed as I stood in front of a pipe shop and looked, and the whole world faded except that window and I stood and smoked them all, and saw myself a great author with my natty Italian briar, and a cane, stepping out of a big black car, and she was there too, proud as hell of me, the lady in the silver fox fur.  We registered and then we had cocktails and then we danced a while, and then we had another cocktail and I recited some lines from Sanskrit, and the world was so wonderful, because every two minutes some gorgeous one gazed at me, the great author, and nothing would do but I had to autograph her menu, and the silver fox girl was very jealous.


Los Angeles give me some of you! Los Angeles come to me the way I came to you, my feet over your streets, you pretty town I loved you so much, you sad flower in the sand, you pretty town.



Excerpt from “Love Poem to Los Angeles” by poet laureate Luis J. Rodriguez


L.A. is also lovers’ embraces,

the most magnificent lies,

the largest commercial ports,

graveyard shifts,

poetry readings,


lowriding culture,


a sound that hybridized

black, Mexican, as well as Asian

and white migrant cultures.


You wouldn’t have musicians like

Ritchie Valens, The Doors, War,

Los Lobos, Charles Wright &

the Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band,

Hiroshima, Motley Crue, NWA, or Quetzal

without Los Angeles.


Or John Fante, Chester Himes, Charles Bukowski,

Marisela Norte, and Wanda Coleman as its jester poets.


I love L.A., I can’t forget its smells,

I love to make love in L.A.,

it’s a great city, a city without a handle,

the world’s most mixed metropolis,

of intolerance and divisions,

how I love it, how I hate it,

Zootsuit “riots,”

can’t stay away,

city of hungers, city of angers,

Ruben Salazar, Rodney King,

I’d like to kick its face in,

bone city, dried blood on walls,

wildfires, taunting dove wails,

car fumes and oil derricks,

water thievery,

with every industry possible

and still a “one-industry town,”

lined by those majestic palm trees

and like its people

with solid roots, supple trunks,