Joe Dungan's column will end on Monday. Some parting thoughts...
As long-time Angelenos, explaining our hometown is always a challenge. To some, it is a place of movie studios and wannabe actors, to others it's all about the beaches and perfect weather, and yet still, it can be the noir-setting for Raymond Chandler and the Black Dahlia. Los Angeles is so many different things to so many people: It's one of the more indefinable places in the world. We suppose that's part of its charm, but also what can make it frustratingly elusive.
Over the last two years, Joe Dungan has explored Los Angeles through his experiences with various characters he encounters on his daily travels. We've been introduced to neurotic actresses and paranoid scientologists, doll-mutilating joggers and compulsive liars. Joe also put into comic perspective experiences that are all painfully familiar to those of us who inhabit the city: navigating the airports or parking laws or recycling. And all of this has been done via Joe's uniquely wry and observant voice. Without irony or sarcasm, and with wisdom and insight, he made us see both the universality of the Los Angeles experience, but also kept it personal, giving us a glimpses of his own life and worldview. He defined the indefinable, on his own terms.
On Monday, we will run the final installment of L.A. Nuts. It's been a wild ride, Joe, like careening down the Arroyo Parkway at high speed. They say that Los Angeles is a transient city -- buildings never last long and people come and go quickly. We hope that you'll visit us again -- that The Simon isn't something you see just in your rearview mirror.