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City of Gold
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  • City of Gold

    Post #1 - March 28th, 2016, 11:11 am
    Post #1 - March 28th, 2016, 11:11 am Post #1 - March 28th, 2016, 11:11 am
    Unlike many of you, I had never read anything from Pulitzer Prize winning critic, Jonathan Gold.

    After seeing City of Gold this weekend, I want to read more of his work especially “The Year I Ate Pico Boulevard,” his 1998 piece recapping his year of eating at the GNR-type places along this 15-mile stretch in LA.

    I loved seeing the role art and music played in Gold's life. A cellist, he describes one of his favorites, John Dowland’s Flow My Tears as “the Stairway to Heaven of 1620”. Books are found everywhere in his house, filling shelves, tables, and crowding every step of the stairways.

    I enjoyed the movie’s take on what it means to be an excellent critic. Though a prolific writer, Gold approaches his pieces with procrastination and the theatergoers laughed when he explained why he refrains from note-taking while eating. (I won’t ruin the punch-line.)

    Gold’s reviews determine the future fortunes for the owners of many off the beaten path restaurants and we are introduced to some of these wonderful families. He chronicles the culinary and the cultural and you can feel his passion for both subjects as he shares his story. I’ve never been to LA, but what a treat to see it through Gold’s eyes.


    From the LTH Forum Total Media Domination Thread
    David Hammond wrote:
    “Chicago has the best, healthiest Internet food scene in the entire country,” he said, “LTH (the Chicago-based food forum) is amazing. The attention paid to the meals of marginal cultures. I wish we had something like that here in LA.”

    So says Jonathan Gold in Trib article by Louisa Chu: http://www.chicagotribune.com/dining/ct ... story.html

    BR wrote: Thanks for posting David. A really nice thing to read from one of my favorite food writers ever . . . love Jonathan Gold and can't wait to watch City of Gold.

    Louisa Chu:
    Thanks for posting David. A really nice thing to read from one of my favorite food writers ever . . . love Jonathan Gold and can't wait to watch City of Gold.
  • Post #2 - April 4th, 2016, 10:36 pm
    Post #2 - April 4th, 2016, 10:36 pm Post #2 - April 4th, 2016, 10:36 pm
    Hi,

    Erik M's final post on LTHforum was on Jitlada Thai Cuisine, which Gold visited in the film. Erik M was the original source for Gold on this restaurant.

    There were several great impressions from this movie:
    - The books stacked and stored on the stairs in his home.
    - His issues with writer's block, which nobody took very seriously when he spits out 120,000 words a year.
    - Driving down the street with an ongoing narrative of the various strengths and weaknesses of various food establishments.

    It was better than I expected.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - April 5th, 2016, 9:00 am
    Post #3 - April 5th, 2016, 9:00 am Post #3 - April 5th, 2016, 9:00 am
    At Louisa's very well-managed interview with Gold at Arclight, he spoke a little about what it takes to write well about food, and one of his thoughts was "Humility. Have humility about your subject." This is a valuable attitude.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #4 - April 10th, 2016, 4:00 pm
    Post #4 - April 10th, 2016, 4:00 pm Post #4 - April 10th, 2016, 4:00 pm
    Gold.jpg


    Internal monologues:

    Hammond: He seems to be grasping my fine distinction between "traditional" and "authentic"!
    Gold: O Lord, take me now. I wonder if I can fall asleep with my eyes open.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #5 - April 12th, 2016, 1:04 pm
    Post #5 - April 12th, 2016, 1:04 pm Post #5 - April 12th, 2016, 1:04 pm
    What Happened When I Approached Jonathan Gold

    From Diane Jacob's blog, among the topics discussed:

    cultural appropriation, an important topic in food writing
    his feud with Rick Bayless
    a memoir he’s behind on that’s due in August (see the movie regarding his legendary procrastination)
    how much he disliked the inclusion of his procrastination in the documentary
    the rise of women chefs in Los Angeles
    wearing disguises as a reviewer, and
    whether he should review the restaurants of people he’s friends with, particularly chef Nancy Silverton.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #6 - March 6th, 2017, 10:24 pm
    Post #6 - March 6th, 2017, 10:24 pm Post #6 - March 6th, 2017, 10:24 pm
    I'm finally watching (over and over again) City of Gold. I got the DVD from Netflix. The movie's worth the price of admission (or in this case the monthly charge) just to see the look on Ludo Lefebvre's face when Jonathan Gold walks in and sits down.

    I agree with all of janeyb's observations, and looking back through this thread, I can't help wondering, David Hammond, if you called his attention to our "Let's talk authentic" thread.

    I also found it interesting how the movie put Gold in the current context with respect to both traditional restaurant critics and the blogosphere. Gold talks about being inspired by Calvin Trillin. Many of today's food writers, both in print and online, seem to me to want to be Calvin Trillin and be Jonathan Gold the way an earlier generation of writers wanted to be Ernest Hemingway.

    As a civil engineer, I enjoyed the discussion of urban sprawl and its consequences in LA versus cities farther east that grew in different ways at different times, such as Chicago in the railroad era and Boston in the pre-automobile era. In a quick minute or two, the movie explains and illustrates the concept of sprawl -- I could go on with a pet peeve about how that term is often misused (not in the movie, but by others), but that's a topic for some other forum.

    I also liked the Pico Boulevard Project segment very much. I think sometimes that the only way I'll really learn the parts of Chicagoland that interest me the most would be to embark on a series of such projects.

    Thumbs up to the cinematography; I thought the movie itself was very well filmed. Certain moments like that paper plate floating away in the wind, that look on Lefebvre's face, that silent moment when Gold's fingers are on the keyboard while he's thinking about how to start writing about tacos, nighttime scenes, the books on the stairs, the man on the street corner who is hopping next to the lady who is standing while Gold talks about transience and permanence in neighborhoods, and others are really memorable. I've never been to LA, but I feel better equipped to approach it (someday, if I get a chance) after watching City of Gold.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"

    As Carl Sagan once said, to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. And sometimes I just don't have the time and energy to invent the universe. So I figure it's okay to buy some stuff.
  • Post #7 - March 6th, 2017, 10:50 pm
    Post #7 - March 6th, 2017, 10:50 pm Post #7 - March 6th, 2017, 10:50 pm
    Katie wrote:I agree with all of janeyb's observations, and looking back through this thread, I can't help wondering, David Hammond, if you called his attention to our "Let's talk authentic" thread.


    In a sense, we discussed it.

    Fun fact: his daughter, who planned the event last year, is doing her UC dissertation on "A theory of cuteness." Her purse was filled with cute stuff, much of it from Japan.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #8 - July 23rd, 2018, 11:04 pm
    Post #8 - July 23rd, 2018, 11:04 pm Post #8 - July 23rd, 2018, 11:04 pm
    I feel awfully sad about the passing of Jonathan Gold.

    Pancreatic cancer is terrible. People don't know they have it until it is to late to do anything about it.

    I saw a Chowhound post that called attention to the fact that the LA Times has lifted its paywall for articles by and about Jonathan Gold. It's a treasure to read.

    I will miss him.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"

    As Carl Sagan once said, to make an apple pie truly from scratch, you must first invent the universe. And sometimes I just don't have the time and energy to invent the universe. So I figure it's okay to buy some stuff.
  • Post #9 - July 24th, 2018, 11:34 am
    Post #9 - July 24th, 2018, 11:34 am Post #9 - July 24th, 2018, 11:34 am
    Katie,
    I didn't hear this on the news and I was so sad to discover this here today.
    Thanks for posting.

    http://www.latimes.com/local/obituaries/la-fo-jonathan-gold-obit-20180721-story.html#

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