L.A. Alum: Jon Robin Baitz

The New York-based playwright, whose Broadway hit Other Desert Cities ended a run at the Mark Taper Forum this month, fills out our questionnaire for Angelenos who flew the coop

Class of:

Current location and vocation:
New York, playwright

L.A. taught me:
That the sense of well being L.A. provides is illusory, but that the mirage is sexy.

The Pacific Coast Highway is magic.

How to drive—well.

Never ever fight with cops.

Cities tear down their most important architecture.

What I miss most about L.A. is:
Taco trucks.

KCRW (but I listen online).

Du-par’s’ pancakes.

The upstairs room at the Farmer’s Market.

I’d return to L.A. if:
The film industry could be rewound back to the ethos of the 1960s ‘70s and make long shots cheap and no blockbusters, just people making movies and not terrified executives gambling on superheroes

The San Andreas Fault were tamed.

I could live at The Chateau Marmont full time.

Kiddieland was reopened and the Beverly Center torn down.

The Daisy was re-opened. Ma Maison too.

Hunters Books returned to the corner of Rodeo and Little Santa Monica.

Konditori, Chasen’s, Hamburger Hamlet, and Robinson’s department store were put back just as they were.

The food was edible at Musso’s.

Book Soup still stayed open late like it did when I worked there from 1984-87.

We still had FilmEx.

Abbott Kinney was still West Washington.

Joe Allen was still on W. 3rd St.

What L.A. should or could learn from NY:
How to have a more powerful, nationally visible theatre scene, with more places like The Public, New York Theatre Workshop, and Playwrights Horizons. We have the actors [in L.A.] Why does that not happen?