Colin Marshall sits down nine stories above Westlake with Jesse Thorn, host of Public Radio International’s Bullseye, proprietor of the Maximum Fun radio and podcast empire, and host of the men’s style web series Put This On. They discuss what it takes for GQ to introduce you as a guy who hates Los Angeles; the points of starkest division between northern and southern California, including burritos and new-aginess; his time growing up in San Francisco’s inner Mission district, where he was spoiled by the ease of getting around and much else besides; coming of age amid the city’s crack epidemic, nearly witnessing shootings, and dodging batteries thrown from rooftops; neighborhoods as extensions of your home into the outside world; the vast distances one must traverse in Los Angeles, and the toll they takes on one’s ability to “pop on over” anywhere; Put This On‘s exploration of the great men’s style cities, including New York, London, and Milan (“the Los Angeles of Italy”); the utilitarianism of dress in America, and the prevalence of surfer and skater traditions in southern California; the twin tendencies of white Angelenos to expensively project the image of not caring about clothes and to nevertheless pay close, anxious attention to their physical attractiveness; and the knowledge that neither he nor anyone else can never go home again to the old now-gentrified San Francisco neighborhood.
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