I don't like to see places like this close up, but just the same, I think it would be worse if some corporation bought out the current owners and turned it into a "Chuckie McGiggles Comedy Improv" or a sports bar that served $12.00 hamburgers. Better to send the old place off in style - to have one last blast under the same roof that Buk and Fante shared. These places always live on in the stories told at other (lesser) watering holes.
mjp's best friend is getting the word out about the closing... i heard tony millionaire was going to make a "crab-bird" print especially for the closing night (limited to 2500 copies, $65 apiece). it will be an entirely new character, since the bird will have a martini glass instead of a typewriter.
But of course. I for one have already ordered my limited edition TONY MILLIONAIRE CrabbyJoeBird hand silk-screened beach blanket and baby bib. Haven't you?
I only found out about the closing because LAist.com linked back to the site here.
I don't necessarily think it's a great tragedy that parts of downtown are being gentrified. For decades it's been a filthy, festering piss-hole, and an embarrassment to everyone in the city (with the exception of crack addicts and poor artists, of course).
I'm not saying, "Yay! Bulldoze every historical site in town so the rich can move in and feel comfortable!" Just that a city the size of Los Angeles should not have a downtown that most of the city residents haven't visited in decades (and those who have don't set foot West of Grand Ave.).
i agree with you this time. i don't think it's a huge tragedy when places that have been open for years finally close. i guess it's just not a cause i'm that interested in...
also, and this didn't occur to me originally when everyone (including me) was arguing about the bus tours, but bukowski hung out in some really depressed neighborhoods, where there is a lot of need... isn't there something kind of bizarre about going through it on an $85 bus trip as a cultural tourist? this kind of opens up a slippery slope for a lot of arguments like "well, why buy a $300 bukowski book instead of donating the money to a homeless shelter," but to me that's different than paying someone a shitload of money to drive you through a place where a bunch of homeless people live just so you can see the shitty bars that bukowski used to drink at back when he had no money either.
i also agree that i don't think the whole city of LA should be sanitized, but i'm curious how many anti-gentrification people actually live in the places they defend. i say this because so many parts of skid row really are piss-drenched shitholes, and it seems pretty easy to act all aghast that we can't go an a cultural tourism odyssey to craby joes from our loft in echo park, but honestly, the question should be, how is it to LIVE there, not to visit, provided you can get a parking space within a block of the place (you know, to minimize getting mugged). because any hipster fuckrag that laments the fact that he can't put on his $65 vintage tweed fedora and really tight jeans he got at the "independent" anti-mall bullshit strip along sunset in echo park and head out to craby joe's for the night isn't really lamenting gentrification or the loss of urban history, he's lamenting the loss of a place where he can flaunt his dumb ass to other dumbasses like himself. so what are we really getting upset about? that a landmark that saw a lot of literary icons come and go is finally closing its doors amid a changing urban landscape? (to which i say, hoist a drink and move on, and spare me your talk about the horrible process of modernization, given that there are shithole dives all over east LA that you can go to.) or are we lamenting that our neighborhood, that we populate and love, is changing and forcing us out of it with rising prices? somehow i doubt the latter is true.
it's frustrating in oakland, because there are TONS of people from san francisco that slum it at dive bars in oakland or come out to art galleries on friday and then head back to SoMa or wherever the fuck, and the go on and on about how gentrification is killing oakland, and it's taking away its charm. and i say, i got fucking robbed here in the first 3 months i lived here, people get mugged downtown at night all the time, and street crime is a serious concern, so much so that i can't walk home from the subway after 8 or 9. so would i mind if oakland gentrified a little bit and became safer? no. because i don't have a choice about living here... i don't drive, and i need to live as close as possible to my job, which is in a really dangerous, industrial, drug-ridden neighborhood in east oakland. i didn't come here to be hip and cool, but to live and work- and so the assholes from other places that want to make sure oakland keeps its gritty sheen and who get all up in arms every time a gap opens up on a block on which every other building has barred windows and neon signs, honestly, it doesn't bother me that much. go live on skid row for a half a year and then decide whether or not you'd like the city to get a little nicer.
you raise a good point, mullinax, although you seem to be going through an identity crisis of your own at the moment that makes me question your veracity, or if not that, at least your modus verandi ipsmus (as Locke describes it)... as you casually refer to cigarpipeman as external to your own self (or "sui"), i imagine it is him you are agreeing with in your above response with your tentative, but still altogether forceful declaration of affirmation, and him you see as the fictional inhabitant of such doomed locales as craby joes, or other haunts around the city (and i use the term "haunt" on purpose, as the spectral, fantasmagoric nature of your cigarpipeman alter ego, a rabid consumer, but also a tortured soul in his own right, consuming for the sake of establishing a greater sense of self (or "sui"), using the concept of "sui" that you can extract from hegel's later work (as he filters it through kant's second critique)).