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Notebook on Cities and Culture S1E22: The Discerning Cosmopolitan Cartographer with Eric Brightwell

Colin Marshall sits down in Silver Lake with Eric Brightwell, proprietor of both Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography, which offers hand-drawn maps of neighborhoods in Los Angeles and beyond (and posts them to Amoeba Music’s Amoeblog), and Brightwell, which offers luxury and craft items to the discerning cosmopolitan gentleman. They discuss the days when Silver Lake was Ivanhoe; the distinctively shifting and disputed nature of Los Angeles neighborhoods; the differences between neighborhood mapping by Google Maps, by Yahoo Maps, on subway station walls, and by hand; the unintended Berlin Wall effect of freeway construction; his attracting of angry, all-caps comments from the gangs of Frogtown; longtime Angelenos’ lack of awareness about the neighborhoods that surround them, and their need to believe that their own has gone to the dogs; Hollywood’s retailers of pimp-geared $169 three-suit deals; how an authenticity jones can ruin your experience of Los Angeles; his discovery of microsubcultures in unexpected places, and the larger fact that no one part of the city is more interesting than any other; Hitler’s Pacific Palisades bunker; and the advanced art of entering a neighborhood, exploring it, and documenting it without knowing anything at all going in.

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

(Photo: Fern)

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