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Notebook on Cities and Culture S4E3: Constellation of Villages with Lynn Garrett

Colin Marshall sits down at the top of the Hotel Wilshire with Lynn Garrett, proprietor of popular online community Hidden Los Angeles and fifth-generation Angeleno. They discuss how best to prepare Germans for their Los Angeles vacation, since their guidebooks have failed; which human needs the many persistent myths about this city fulfill; how here, you are your own salvation; the revitalization of the Los Angeles River, as against the notion that “all it is is dead bodies and gang members”; Los Angeles as reflector of the observer’s own particular hatreds; getting to know the city not as a city, but as a constellation of villages; her art-school exploration of the city back when she “didn’t know not to”; who hangs out and talks on Hidden Los Angeles, and which topics get them most fired up; the human tendency to get upset about change of any kind, whether positive or negative, and to adjust perceptions accordingly; what happened when Hidden Los Angeles went viral, attracting 250,000 followers; Caine’s Arcade, Skid Row charities, and all the other ways she’s found the community can help (when not arguing); what the followers teach her about Los Angeles, the city no one person can possibly know; and what she learns from leaving the city, as well as how she makes herself an outsider when in it.

Download the interview from Notebook on Cities and Culture’s feed or on iTunes.

(Photo: James Acomb)

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