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The Silliest Piece Ever About L.A.?

Even though there’s a bit of silliness involved with Variety TV editor Michael Schneider‘s sideline blog Franklin Avenue, still named in honor of a neighborhood he and his wife left long ago, it’s nothing compared to the level of ridiculousness to be found in a Sunday, October 17th article in the San Francisco Chronicle, which the journalist rightly deems to be “the silliest piece I’ve ever seen about L.A.”

Entitled L.A.: Walking Where Few Have Walked Before, the travelogue takes the form of a first-person pedestrian panorama of downtown Los Angeles as recently undertaken by the very cranky Steve Rubenstein. If he hates our fair city this much, why did he choose to accept the assignment in the first place?

From the get-go, Rubenstein trips over his trying-to-be-funny, put-down tone and by the second paragraph has managed to insult the city’s destitute, aspiring actors and non-assignment driven tourists. It’s quickly downhill from there, and not just because Rubenstein finds time to ride and ridicule the Angels Flight streetcar.

Throughout the piece, if Rubenstein is not denigrating downtown L.A. landmarks because of their association to famous films and TV shows, he is slamming concert halls and parks that fail to measure up to those of the Bay Area. But Rubenstein’s greatest sin is arguably one of omission.

Certainly, because his is a ‘walking tour’, the mention of a trendy restaurant such as Church & State at the foot of the Biscuit Lofts is too much to expect. Still, this curmudgeonly Chronicler must have surely walked by a few more worthwhile restaurants and bars than the single one he lists at article’s end, Philippe’s.

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