Sorry, F. Scott, you were wrong. There are second acts in American lives--and we just read one, the newly reissued and lough-out-loud-funny book Eve’s Hollywood.

Originally published in 1974, this memoir-in-stories is written by Eve Babitz, a novelist and album cover designer who was the life of the party in the ’60s and ’70s. She was known for her intelligence, irreverence and boyfriends including Ed Ruscha, Harrison Ford and Jim Morrison.

But reading Eve’s Hollywood for the name-dropping is like visiting the Coast and seeing only the palm trees; the real story is her unyielding first love, L.A. itself. More than 40 years later, her descriptions of these places still ring true.

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Eve Babitz's busty book portrait was photographed by her friend, 24-year-old Rolling Stone photographer Annie Leibovitz.

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Eve on the Pacific Palisades

“In the hot, open days of my 14th summer. Barefooted on the rough rubber steps, I’d jump from the bus and hurry past the old people on the Palisades, scramble down the cool cement steps to the bridge over the Pacific Coast Highway.”

Eve on the Chateau Marmont

“I spent the [Watts] riots in a penthouse at the Chateau Marmont with this ex-philosophy major from Stanford whose family owned all the more oily pieces of land in Arizona, Mexico and California.”

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Eve on the Troubadour

“At the Troubadour bar, a smart music business bar with hardly any Mafia, people sit around sometimes and recall their high school days.”

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Eve on the Central Market

“Unlike the Farmers Market, where tourists and Angelenos get cheerfully gypped daily, Central Market sells fresh produce and fresh fish and every kind of edible that could appeal to any faction of population minority that is in L.A., cheap.”

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Eve on Olvera Street

“When Janis Joplin O.D.’ed one Sunday at the Landmark Motel, John Carpenter wrote a piece for the L.A. Free Press which clung pretty much to the theory, ‘What else is Janis Joplin going to do on a Sunday afternoon alone in L.A?'…On the other hand, she could have gone to Olvera Street and gotten taquitos.”

 

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