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Myth No 1:

L.A. is an Intellectual Wasteland

It was the scientific frontiers of Cal Tech, not the weather that drew Albert Einstein to Southern California. Aldous Huxley, Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht, and F. Scott Fitzgerald dragged their Underwood typewriters to LA to write, not catch some waves.


EllroyLiterary noir icons Raymond Chandler, Walter Mosley and James Ellroy and James M. Cain did not revolutionize the American detective story in the canyons of Manhattan, but in the sun-scarred suburbs of Los Angeles. Joan Didion lashed into American bukowskimorals and cultural confusion from her steel-eyed vantage point in Southern California. Poet of dissipation Charles Bukowski didn't pen his gritty poems while working on his tan.


Physicist Richard Feynman came to Pasadena where he became both a pioneer and an explicator of Quantum Mechanics, declaring with typical brash understatement "I think I can safely say that no one understands quantum mechanics".


rushaPainters like Richard Diebenkorn, Ed Moses and Ed Ruscha, modernist architects Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler created their ground breaking work here, far from the cities of their birth.


Then of course there are movies and television, which operate half in the sphere of the intellect and half in the realm of feeling and grew up by both design and happenstance in the suburbs of L.A.


binocular buildingThe city of perpetual reinvention, LA has always offered unique thinkers wide open creative spaces and the freedom to try on, then discard new identities. Today, architect Frank Gehry explodes the concept of architecture into fluid, cascading folds, a free-flowing style that is impossible to imaginejonathan gold originating anywhere else. Jonathan Gold expands the notion of restaurant criticism into a county-wide quest for exotic menu items most of us can't even imagine. Gustavo Dudamel redefines classical conducting into a primal urge.


Writers like Michelle Huneven, Ruben Martinez, Aimee Bender, Janet Fitch, Nina Revoyr , Mark Danielewski and Michael Connelly win awards as they dissect the Southern California experience, past and present.

Amiee Bender Revoyer Teaching fitch and daniel

Hundreds of unknown artists, graphic designers, musicians, software engineers, novelists and essayists are frantically at work in lofts and warehouses and bougainvillea-bedecked bungalows, succeeding and failing valiantly because no one in LA would ever dare to tell them "you can't do that."



Return from Myth No 1 to Debunking Myths of LA






Guidebook to Los Angeles by Rail

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L.A. Adventures:

100 Fun Sights

15 Day Trips

3 Bicycle Tours

0 Gallons of Gas

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Debunking Myths of L.A.



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