In Los Angeles there were hipsters. I will not lie to you. I also will not lie and say I saw these hipsters as invading some pristine unspoiled place that should have been “mine” since on the general local likability scale Tourists rank below Hipsters. I’m pretty sure. We don’t get many tourists here so I could be wrong. No, when I saw them invading some habitat like Clifton’s Cafeteria we were both invaders. My Dodgers cap probably branded me a Tourist though.
Clifton’s was a pretty neat place though. It served cafeteria type food (I had baked macaroni and cheese and a Boston cream pie with a glass of pink lemonade) and was kitschy as all hell. The main area (two floors) was done up like a wodsy area with a waterfall and smiling bears fishing and an animatronic raccoon (that only went in and out of its hole) and illegal Mexican balladeers. You know, like the woods. The third floor was all red carpet and chandeliers and stuff.
The hipster quotient in there was probably around 15%, with most of the rest being large familial groups. There were a couple of birthday parties too. Back in the Depression this place downtown was a pay what you can for all you can eat kind of deal. There was another one that was done up in an underwater theme closer to the coast I think.
The middle aged guy who was playing guitar and singing came around to our table (it was just Kate and me at this point because Tiago had to talk to someone about an apartment) and asked if we wanted a song. Kate asked for a specific tune and he sang (for more dollars than I would have paid but he’s got a lot of mouths depending on that money so whatever). He wasn’t very good and didn’t know all the words but with these Mexican love songs all you need is the same few words tossed in there: a few corazons and everyone’s happy.
After lunch we went to Olvera street which is the oldest inhabited part of Los Angeles. Kate had billed it as the oldest Mexican part of town and I think we were both disappointed in that aspect of it. It was stuffed with tourist junk and overpriced margaritas. But there was a good busker there at the end of the street, singing with feeling. I tossed her a couple of coins (were you aware that Americans have gold-coloured dollar coins too? With all sorts of different presidents on them? I had no idea) even though she didn’t need them like the guy at Clifton’s did.busker clifton's cafeteria coins depression dodgers food hipsters illegal kate kitsch los angeles olvera street restaurant tiago tourists