Reading Red Lights, by Georges Simenon, which is about a man and his wife driving up to Maine to get the kids from summer camp and the rift that develops when he insists on stopping at bars along the way. He's reading, appropriately, at the 500 Club, a favorite neighborhood dive bar. In a bit he has plans to head to the Uptown, another dive, just a few blocks away. He's here visiting his old hood since moving to LA.

Recently he read Southern California: An Island on the Land, by Carey McWilliams and How to See, by George Nelson, which is about recognizing design and patterns in manmade landscapes. The book includes pictures of numbers, arrows, things in print, designs, etc. and analysis of why it was designed the way it was. Apparently, in the 70's people started using a lot of arrows. He said you just have to look and they are everywhere. I was about to tell him about how, at the airport the day before, my sister and I had had an argument about the abundance of seemingly contradictory arrows directing us to the "airtrain" and when I looked up from my notebook to make eye contact there, right above him, was another arrow.

One of his favorite writers is a local, Rebecca Solnit.


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