It’s so easy to get caught in our own little bubble in the cheerful and compact urban village that is West Hollywood. That’s especially true this time of year, when the slow pace of the holiday season and the chill weather makes us just want to cuddle up indoors with Netflix or that highly addictive mobile phone.
So we at WEHOville thought we would brighten your holiday week by bringing to you some fascinating aspects of West Hollywood life as seen by others over the years and shared on Vimeo and YouTube. Warning: Some of these videos are a bit explicit. But as City Councilmember John Duran proudly proclaimed to a lawyer when he was questioned about sexual peccadillos at City Hall during the Michelle Rex trial this year: “This is West Hollywood, not West Covina.”
Each of the videos can be found on one of the pages below. Here’s a guide to what you’ll see:
You didn’t know that we missed the Rapture that was prophesied to arrive in West Hollywood on Sept. 23 2013? (Or could it just be that none of us were innocent enough to get lifted to Heaven on that Monday?) Sister Barbara devotes much of this video from her “End Time Prophecy Channel” to forecasting the demise of West Hollywood. “Be prepared,” she warns. “The Lord takes care of his children. He is coming. You want to repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus. You will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
You’ll need to be patient because it takes Sister Barbara almost three minutes to get to the point about WeHo. And even then she’s a bit confused as to what WHCC, the image that appears in her dream, really means. She decides its West Hollywood. But could it have been the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce? God only knows.
You aren’t one of those 36,000 or so gay men in West Hollywood who claims to remember dancing at Studio One in 1988 (and who was upset about Jason Illoulian’s initial plans — since changed — to tear down the Factory building on Robertson Boulevard that housed it?) This video will show you, sort of, what you missed. The creator of the video, who is listed as “CABrooks2000,” acknowledges that it’s a bit dark and noisy. He offers this apology: “I think I shot this early on a Saturday night – forgive the quality – its the 80’s!” And it clearly isn’t West Covina.
Another look at gay life in West Hollywood is offered by Lew Irwin in “West Hollywood 1980.” In a reference to West Hollywood’s incorporation, Irwin says, “wo years before it was born, I was contributing a monthly feature about streets in L.A. to ‘Two on the Town,’ a local series broadcast by KCBS-TV hosted by Steve Edwards and Connie Chung and directed byJoel Tator. One of the streets that I profiled was Santa Monica Boulevard in the area of what was then an unincorporated area of L.A. County.” It was, Irwin says, a “gay ghetto.”
We’re betting you also never got inside Voyeur, the bondage-themed heterosexual nightclub at 7969 Santa Monica Blvd. that was famous for having the city’s only official stripper license and infamous for the disclosure that members of the Republican Party National Committee spent almost $2,000 on a visit there on Feb. 4, 2010. This is the only videographer who got an inside look at the club that now is the much more upscale and demure Delilah, where you can get a burger for $22 if they decide at the door to let you in. This video definitely is NSFW, unless you’re working at Hustler or Pleasure Chest.
Have you ever wondered how a hip straight guy would view WeHo’s Boystown? And where he would have to go and what it would cost him to get laid on the Sunset Strip? This 2012 episode of Doug Hawk’s “Doing Sh-t with Doug” answers those questions and more. And note that it offers this ironic warning: “The following film may contain sex references, explicit language, drug innuendo, strong crude/suggestive humor, mature/political themes, moderately long horror moments and /or moderate action violence. But we’re not making any promises!”
You haven’t spent a few hours in the jail at the West Hollywood Sheriff’s Station? And don’t have plans to in the future? Here’s what you’re missing. (Note, this video is from 2009 and the gays no longer get their own cell).
Having trouble remembering what West Hollywood Park was like before those construction barricades went up? This video (taken by a drone before the city made them illegal) is likely to bring back memories (although the back ground noise also is likely to annoy you).
Did you know that we once had our own “Hollywood” sign? It was, of course, the “West Hollywood” sign. EZTV’s Michael J. Masucci’s large scale work of ‘sculptural graffiti,’ was erected in 1986 on the hill behind the parking lot at 8555 Santa Monica Blvd. next to Collar and Leash. “The work stood from 1986-1991,” says EZTV. “People would keep stealing letters from the sign, which EZTV would continue to replace, until they became bored with making new letters, and as the letters continued to be stolen, the sign slowly disappeared.”
Everyone finally seems to be speaking out against abuse of women. But did you know that West Hollywood was somewhat of a pioneer in that with its decision to host the 2011 Slut Walk? In this video by Young Turks, a few of our proud and self-proclaimed sluts stress that “Yes Means Yes. No Means No.”