Getting to philosophizin’

On one of my Laurel Canyon driving expeditions, I passed by this residence:


Now, I didn’t stop more than a few seconds as I was driving by (because 1. I am a little afraid of all the CIA ops/occult/random psychos in the area, and 2. there is no parking anywhere on those streets) but I could have sworn that there was some sort of plaque that said “this is the European philosophers’ house” on the right side of the building along with the names of the faces on the front of the building. I of course cannot find any reference to philosophers or Europeans in the photos I took.

But still, is this not the face of a philosopher?

Okay, perhaps that’s the face of Robin Hood. Still, this one here:


(hermmm) … is probably renowned noseless astronomer Tycho Brahe. Okay; zero for two so far. But now, this face:


Okay, that’s Kenneth Branagh. Maybe this place has nothing to do with philosophers after all. You would think a place like this would have some footprint on the internet, but the only result that pops up when I do a search for “philosopher laurel canyon” is a humorous article written by an old acquaintance of mine casting aspersions on Simone de Beauvoir’s refrigerator hygiene which, well, was rather strange to come across, I have to say.

Hunting party

I’ve lived in Los Angeles for over 23 years, but I’ve never really spent much time poking around Laurel Canyon. I don’t know why, really. I know there’s more to Laurel Canyon than just rich hippies, but I just never had the urge to explore the neighborhood until recently.

This weekend I drove around looking for Neil Young’s old “shack” up in the hills and got pretty lost. It’s a bigger area than I thought. There are a lot of roads that are marked “Private” only after you’ve followed them around for quite some time, and I kept losing my GPS signal so I couldn’t find myself on the map. I’m not sure what happened after a while, except that I’m pretty sure that at some point I wound up in France outside someone’s hunting lodge.

Things I have learned this week so far

  1. Jack LaLanne was addicted to sugar as a child and may have set fire to his house and chased his brother with an axe as a result
  2. I think I visited the infamous secret army propaganda film studio at Lookout Mountain without realizing it back in the ’90s
  3. Squirrel monkeys are either vegans or they haven’t learned the fine art of sifting Jell-o through one’s teeth

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