PRINT May 2007



TAKING THE SIXTH STREET EXIT off the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles these days puts you square in front of an enormous mural featuring a group of well-dressed lovelies. When I saw it, my heart skipped a beat—was it the cast of The L Word, fittingly grown to Attack of the 50 Foot Woman proportions in their hometown? Nope, it was an ad for the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, the members all dressed in black tie—a uniformity that accounted for the freeway-enhanced gender confusion. It was as if all of LA, seen through the lens of The L Word, were engaging in a reconsideration of gender. One woman, with a sultry gaze and a mane of dark, wavy hair, stood apart from the group, jauntily holding a violin. Good thing for the company’s marketing department that the first violinist is a looker, I thought.

Such was, for me, the opening frame of a recent weekend spent in LA, the purpose of which was to

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