Thu, 7 June 2012
Colin Marshall sits down in Lakewood City Hall with D.J. Waldie, author of books like Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir and Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles, collaborator on books like Real City with photographer Marissa Roth, and a 34-year employee of the City of Lakewood as Public Information Officer and Deputy City Manager. They discuss the importance of Wallace Stevens' "work and walking" to his own writing; his advice to the latest wave of Los Angeles newcomers looking for solutions to the problem of how to live here; what it means to lead a "redemptive" suburban life, and whether "suburban" means the same thing to every writer; Lakewood and other rapidly built postwar tract-home communities as exciting, frightening experiments in living from which new democratic vistas could well; the meaning of Lakewood's motto that "Times Change, Values Don't"; how considerable variation can arise from built uniformity; his premise that there are no "good" places, and his ongoing interest in the question of what would happen if you fell in love with the place where you are; how knowledge of a place, if not quite love for it, can enrich the experience of that place; how the newest Angelenos seem to long to connect to and invest in their place; and how Los Angeles' resistance to its own history has contributed to bad choices over the years, leading to frustrations financial, racial, and otherwise.
(Photo: Tom Johnson)