On living in L.A.

You might think of director Sydney Pollack as a New Yorker, but he has been here for thirty years. He answered questions for the blog of the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan. It's a mix of stereotypes and local wisdom. Some highlights:

Since no one actually lives “in” L.A. , how would you describe your geographical relationship with the area?
A great place to return to, to relax after the energy and activity of an ‘outdoor’ city like NY.

What’s your best (or worst) freeway story?
The best is how you can get five times the length of Manhattan in five or six minutes when there’s no traffic, the worst is trying to get anywhere in rush hour.

What era, day or event in L.A.’s history would you like to re-live?
The big studio era of the ‘40s and ‘50s. Sure looks like fun.

What’s your L.A. motto?

Don’t go to any event, party, lunch or dinner you aren’t really passionate to go to.

What was your best dining experience in L.A. ?
The very first days of the very first Spago.

With a nod to Randy Newman, how much do you really love L.A. ?

As a permanent place - OK, but as a place to come back to - a lot. It’s getting better and better.

Of all the movies made about or highly associated with L.A. , what role would you have liked to be cast in?
William Holden in Sunset Blvd. Or maybe Kirk Douglas in The Bad and the Beautiful.

If you could change one thing about L.A., what would it be?

His documentary Sketches of Frank Gehry screens there next week.

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