A new feature here at OG: posts from the Octopus's personal print journal. We used to just scan our written entries, until Mrs. Octopus started scaring us with possible identity theft schemes. As I've mentioned, the OG has maintained written journals pretty much continuously for twelve and a half years or so. This relatively recent post comes out of my current journal. It's from last summer, just after we had taken the bar, when we were looking for a place in Los Angeles and the process was getting me down. It features the OG seething through his very generic strain of hipster angst:
In Echo Park, driniking iced coffee and worrying about several things, but mostly about finding an apartment. Dragging ourselves from miserable to mediocre listings across the Hipster Empire, which surges eastward across Los Feliz, Silverlake, and Echo Park, and crashes up against the glass and gloom of downtown. One gets the sense that this hipster amoeba yearns to ooze around and through new downtown to reach and unite with the lost glory of old downtown. A horrific purple park lies in its path.From the Private Journal of Octopus Grigori, July 31, 2005.
We are in a coffee shop called "Chango" on Echo Park Avenue. It's on a short block of fancy hipster boutiques -- a hair salon offering $50 haircuts for men, another offering "mani/pedis" on a menu of "hair/nail" options. In the middle, a bodega that holds on, for now. Just like home on scenic and fabulous Smith Street. Feel no guilt, complain about Bush, vote for John Kerry, pick at your $26 entree, and wake up early to make it to yoga class. We all in this ambitious, envious, and anxious class hate ourselves so much. We hate the compromises we make; we hate that we feel like we have to make those compromises (viz., work to live the lifestyle, etc.); we hate the other people like us with whom we compare ourselves, who make us feel as if we have to be a certain way.
Well, anyway, what I meant to say in the last paragraph is that we are trying to make this "Chango" place feel like the Fall Cafe back on Smith Street -- and it does feature the same slightly cooler-than-thou and supercilious waitstaff, the original self-consciously edgy art on the walls, and a cultivated grunginess.
Time to go look at a very trendy and modern duplex on Cerro Gordo. No doubt we will be among a throng of other wannabes at the audition.
We in fact were among a throng of other wannabes at the Cerro Gordo duplex. The very nice and offensively stylish landlords very politely handed us a 10-page application, asking us to explain why they should rent their fabulous apartment to us. We didn't get the place.