A Los Angeles story of madness and awakening, in twelve parts

Solstice Canyon, Malibu

Solstice Canyon, Malibu

Part XI: Time with friends, “Two Boys From Brooklyn” and a beautiful hike in Solstice Canyon

I was slowly coming out of a 10-day whirlwind, considering such heady issues as the role of fate in our lives, the soul’s journey, the seductive pull of despair and madness, the lives of struggling rock bands… I had the great fortune, while on this vision quest, to spend some quality time with old and new friends. It may just be me, or it may be that my internal rhythms just don’t jive with Boston’s internal rhythms, but this just doesn’t seem to happen here. It occurs to me, as I write this a startling two months later, that it’s the extensive effort required to connect with like-minded people in Boston that exhausts me and results, most of the time, in me being emotionally worn out and still alone. But I persist.

My 30-second therapy session at The CAMP, in the form of a succinct inspirational message -- you're welcome, no charge.

My 30-second therapy session at The CAMP, in the form of a succinct inspirational message -- you're welcome, no charge.

The morning after my strange experience at what I had thought would be one of the highlights of my trip, I had a very pleasant lunch at Native Foods, a wonderful vegan restaurant in an absolutely fantastic little alternative shopping center known as The CAMP. It was the antithesis of the Costa Mesa I had experienced the day before. My friend Tammy and I had a great lunch and “mutual debriefing” of the previous night’s Delta Spirit and Airborne show at the Wavelength Festival. Human nature and motivation continue to confound me, but it’s the ongoing search and struggle for understanding that’s most important.

Two Boys from Brooklyn… in Los Angeles

From Costa Mesa, it was back up to L.A., Studio City to be precise, to visit with an old friend. By “old” I don’t mean physical age. I mean that I haven’t seen Phyllis since I was 5 years old. I won’t say how long ago that was. Ok, maybe it is about physical age, but never mind about that. It was when we lived in a high-rise apartment building in Flushing, Queens, before my parents made their well-meaning but misguided decision to move to Connecticut. Grown up now and having lived half our lives, it’s amazing to see how similar we are in our general outlook, and it’s great to have reconnected. For all the mean things I say about you, Facebook, that was a lovely thing you did.

The evening I arrived, we went to a “play reading” for a new musical called Two Boys from Brooklyn. I had never been to anything like this before. It was a dramatic reading/singing of the complete play, by actors in their street clothes, sitting in chairs up on the stage of the wonderful historic Palace Theatre. Here’s a synopsis of the story, from their program: “Two Boys from Brooklyn is the profoundly touching and inspirational story of two brothers’ rise to success from the ashes of a tragically difficult upbringing in 1940s Brooklyn and how they came to be two of entertainment’s brightest successes. The multimedia ‘Dramatico Musical’ features classic and original numbers interwoven with the poignant and moving dramatic narrative of two time Academy Award winning Composer Al Kasha, and Tony Award winning Producer Larry Kasha’s rags-to-riches show business ‘fairy tale’ journey.” From their website, I don’t see any update as to its development, but if this indeed makes it to Broadway (or anywhere else, for that matter) it’s definitely worth seeing. For me, it was a surreal experience sitting in the audience with a fellow New Yorker in a sea of Angelinos, watching as this Brooklyn upbringing was starkly brought to life.

Solstice Canyon, Malibu

The next day, we took a drive up to Malibu for a long and beautiful hike in Solstice Canyon. There’s not a lot I can say that won’t be immediately evident from my handful of photos… highly recommended, if you’re anywhere in the area. There are bittersweet remnants of lovely stone houses from the “Corral Fire” that swept through in 2007. This proved to be the perfect way to not only get some exercise, but to clear my head.



Coming up next: my final installment: an Elysian Park sojourn, a little indie rock at The Satellite and lingering thoughts.

Late to the saga? Catch up on what you’ve missed ~ Lost and Found: A Los Angeles story of madness and awakening (in twelve parts) ~ Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X

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