Los Angeles is a world class city. I was certain from the moment I saw the US Customs and Border Protection Service (?) describing itself as 'a world class law enforcement service' at immigration.
Everyone thinks I am gay, including gay guys and girls I am hitting on. A number of misconceptions have been quashed. For one, having seen a variety of corn-fed Americans in England, I have realised that Angelenos brown, white and black are largely shorter than me. It is true that LA Asians have achieved or exceeded height parity with their cohabitants, but that's pretty short.
Next, Angelenos are generally not fat. Taking the train (after a shuttle bus) into and out of the city to Hollywood, the relatively poor commuters were almost entirely well fit. The only particular concentration of fat people I have seen was in the Mission de Los Angelos de la Reina so on and so on puebla theme church on the site of the old Chinatown in the city. These presumably middleclass Latino families were pretty tubby, kids especially. I'm pretty sure the parents had me spotted as an overfriendly Irish priest, so I couldn't quiz them on their diet. I saw a freeway mural nearby with aspirational kids playing in a sort of zero sum ascent of man, two Latinos, two whites, two blacks and an Asian, which I would say would be about an accurate spread for LA County. The relocated Chinatown is the biggest and most Westernised Chinatown I have ever seen (I got some pho at a Vietnamese restaurant with some kind of capsicum or unpickled jalepenos on the side! No pizzle in 'the lot'); first I wondered what the point was, then I didn't.
LA is one of the most pedestrian friendly cities I have ever seen. Granted, this is because there's no-one else on the footpaths and I am yet to be mugged, but it's really easy to get around if you're after a scenic stroll.
Boganwear is very big in West Hollywood, LA's marginally gay area. The accountancy bogans of Richmond have plenty to look forward to when they exhaust supplies of Elwood, Lonsdale and Industrie kit. I think I saw a soft toy sewed onto a shirt.
People are strangely upfront about their tastes. I saw a black guy with all his windows open cranking G'n'f'n'R, for example. Jim Steinmann tribute hour is every hour in most restaurants. I read about the 'Soap Locks' of New York circa 1880, whom I think resonate in LA's many examples of the sort of kids you see around Melbourne dressing like people in 1994 dressing like punks in 1985 trying to evoke 1976.
Went for a walk up something steep called Hollywood Drive. Pretty intriguing; nobody else walking up it, but a few dicks on motorbikes.
I think they water down the already weak ales here. Hard to get drunk. LA food seems to have passed through first a process of dumbing down, then of weirding up. Think McDonald's Greek Lamb Souvlaki Wrap and apply it to any food you can think of. But that's fun. Pink's hotdog stand was extraordinary... a fifteen minute wait for a premasticated frankfurt on a sugary bun, but it was so crap it had to be authentic.
Saw a band play in a little bar on Melrose. Was impressed both by the essential crappiness of the music and the professionalism of the vocalists and players. They are certain to make it, they must do. Abominable outfit, the rhythm section with Morrisseyesque bouffants underlaid by bald patches. Met some cool people at another bar and talked Cheap Trick and GBV and Mexicans (two blokes recently and respectively mugged and jumped (a form of mugging with no financial transaction; purely for fun)) by some variant of Wabs that I couldn't understand. Told the qualified electrician to apply for skilled migration to Southeast Queensland ASAP.