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Andy Romanoff : Stories I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You #4 : California Stories – The Only Way I know to Beat the Rush Hour in LA


Andy Romanoff has been The Eye of Photography’s Los Angeles correspondent since its first days of publication. He has written about museums, galleries, festivals, and artists, always bringing his idiosyncratic viewpoint to bear.

But for all we knew about him it turns out there was much we had never suspected. Now he has revealed much in a memoir called Stories I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You. Starting today we are going to publish a chapter a month from his tales of criminal life, drugs and parties, San Francisco in the sixties and Los Angeles in the seventies and eighties, his life in the underbelly and at the top of the movie business and always, always his love of photography.


California Stories – The Only Way I know to Beat the Rush Hour in LA

Once we got to L.A. we grabbed a cheap motel on Sunset and went looking for a place to live. Looking through the Free Press we found a two-bedroom apartment on a quiet street at the east end of Hollywood and moved in.

It was unfurnished but that wouldn’t be a problem for us. We found a motel out in the valley that looked right for what we had in mind — the sign out front said “New But Not Expensive.” We got a ground floor room and waited till the office closed at midnight. Then we packed up the bed frames, the mattresses, the lamps, the TV, the towels, even the toilet paper, crammed it all in our car and headed for home. By daybreak we had a furnished apartment.

Now we were running short of cash though, so it was time to go to work.

The next night, we jumped into Larry’s convertible and drove east on the 10 looking for the right laundromat. We needed a place that stayed open all night but wasn’t likely to have any customers. In West Covina we found one in a shopping center right off of the freeway. Surrounded by a huge empty parking lot, it fit the bill perfectly…

Andy Romanoff


To read more,  Stories I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You is available as an eBook or a printed edition here

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