It would all start to change in a year or so. The death of JFK, the rise of the counterculture, the Fury of the Boomers - the entire cultural landscape would be gleefully razed and paved and replaced with new ideas, new music, new food, new social models. Everything below the surface would bubble up and crack through the crust. Goodbye post-war culture; hello, Age of Aquarius.
But that was still in the future. In June of 1962, a fellow checking into a motel or hotel in Los Angeles might wonder where he was going to have a bite to eat tonight, and pick up the booklet stacked in a wire rack on the counter, or on a table in the lobby. He might put it in his pocket, head up to his room, open the door, and take that first breath of Hotel Room Air - disinfectant, vague smoke, strenuous A/C breath. Maybe he’d light a cigarette, turn on the TV, put the suitcase on the low table, head to the bathroom. Splash his face with water. Take the seatbelt off the toilet and relieve himself. Later, sitting on the edge of the bed, finishing the Winston, he’d flip through the book.
All those joints. All those places. So much steak.
The following is a complete account of every single page in the June 14-21, 1962 Key guide to dining and entertainment in Southern California. It’s a different era - men smoked and drank Chivas, restaurants had plastic vines and straw-covered bottles, beef was King, and you snapped your fingers to music instead of waving your head up and down. You can hear the nylons go skrrr-skrrr-skrrr, the click of heels on tile; you can smell the hairspray and the Old Spice. It’s a world any of us could enter and understand right away. But sometimes it seems as distant as Rome.
Note: I'll be adding four pages a week in the latter half of 2010. The latest addition is here.