On Thursday evening, Chicken Corner fluttered downtown to a free ALOUD cultural-cartographic conversation that had been "sold out" for two weeks prior. It took some finagling, but I managed to get into a corner in the back to hear Glen Creason and D.J. Waldie talk maps, and four days later the event is still working in my thoughts -- in the map of my mind it has earned a site -- while Creason's book, Los Angeles in Maps, has been migrating around my house in the way only a very compelling book ever does -- doubly remarkable for the fact that it's an oversized book with color plates. I tend to look at those on one place. Some readers may remember the exhibition of Los Angeles maps at the Central Library that preceded the book.
At the Central Library's Taper Auditorium, it was a vibrant crowd -- history nerds, cartography nerds, Echo Park residents, writers, artists, creek freaks, friends of the Los Angeles River, secret-aqueduct enthusiasts, an elderly man in pink pants and jacket. Creason, who is a history deptartment librarian at Central as well as author, looked at the audience at one point and said he hadn't seen so many librarians in one place since the last time [someone] bought free pizza for the staff.