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 SNOWBALL CHALLENGE
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.
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,
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,
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,
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,