Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The ghosts in these streets

For some reason I find myself thinking about Charlie Chaplin a lot these days. We watched City Lights the other night and I loved its humour, Chaplin's romantic score, and its simple means of creating poignancy. But most of all I loved its backdrop of old LA.

That's one of the treats of living here. The East has a different history - the emergence from Europe, a political history. But here it's the thrill of knowing every so often that you're standing where Chaplin positioned his camera in 1931, walking past the steps that Laurel and Hardy tried to take the piano up in 1932, meeting a guy who lived in the apartment around the corner on North Kingsley where Walter Neff (Fred McMurray) supposedly lived in Double Indemnity.

It's not always an immediate awareness of the ghosts. I passed this building on Wilshire Boulevard a number of times before learning that street level is where the millionaire is supposed to live in City Lights.

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