Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welcome to P.A. Brown's guest blog

Los Angeles sets a fire in me. Maybe that sounds hokey, but it turns
out I'm not the only one it does this to. I recently returned from a 5
day stay in the city of Angels where I attended Left Coast Crime, a
mystery writer's convention. I met and spoke with some of the biggest
names in the industry and those who write about L.A. talked about
their passion for the city. She's a dark lady, but also a beautiful
one and my love for the city was renewed with this short visit.

I never really got out of the downtown area, aside from a bus trip in
from Culver City and dinner at the venerable Musso & Frank's Grill in
Hollywood, but the downtown was fascinating. It was a marvelous blend
of the strikingly new and beautiful towering skyscrapers and places
like the new Disney Concert Hall to some very elegant, old buildings
that have been maintained and restored to their original glory. Places
like the stunning Bradbury Building, which looks like nothing on the
outside but inside is beyond beautiful. We took a tour of the building
with mystery writer James Scott Bell, who is a third generation
Angeleno and knows his history and speaks of it with passion. We were
able to see parts of the Bradbury Building the public is not allowed
into when we were led up three very long flights of stairs to the
third floor. Most of the building has been leased by the LAPD and is
now the home of their Professional Standards Bureau, what used to be
called their Internal Affairs. We took the stairs because the only
working elevator is the original one, and while it works could not
accomodate the group. But it was worth the climb.

Another wonderful old building we walked through was the Millenium
Biltmore Hotel, opened in 1923. It was the site of the first Academy
Award Ceremony in 1933.

But probably the neatest thing of all was Angels Flight. This is
billed as the world's smallest railroad, at 278 feet. There are 152
stairs that run beside the little funicular train for those who don't
want to spend the 25 cents to ride either Sinai or Olivet, the two
cars. Officially Angels Flight reopened for business on Monday, March
15th, but it opened a day early for those of us attending Left Coast
Crime. We were served a box lunch from Cole's the Los Angeles
restaurant that claims to have invented the French Dip Sandwich and a
short speech by Michael Connelly whose book Angels Flight featured his
Harry Bosch investigating a murder on the train. A wonderful jazz band
played for us the whole time.

Since seeing is believing, here are some links to these places:

Bradbury Building

Millenium Biltmore Hotel

Angels Flight


Pat Brown is the author of the L.A series featuring gay LAPD homicide
detective David Eric Laine and his lover computer engineer Chris
Bellamere in L.A. Heat, L.A. Mischief and L.A. Boneyard as well as
several short erotic stories and the recently released Geography of
Murder. She wrote her first book at 17. She read her first positive
gay book, The Lord Won't Mind, by Gordon Merrick, in the late 70s and
had her eyes opened to a whole new world..

Pat Brown

Author of the award winning L.A. series of crime fiction

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