There are huge brush fires burning here in Southern California, mostly north and west of us. The winds had been blowing from the east, so the smoke wasn’t coming in this direction. (What was happening, though, was the heat from the desert was blowing in this direction, bringing the temperature to the 90s yesterday. No humidity, so 90 degrees wasn’t as repressive as it is back on the east coast, but it’s still unpleasant.) Last night, the winds changed, and it suddenly smelled like somebody was burning wood in our living room. It took us a few minutes to realize it wasn’t a cookout, but was the fire in the Burbank area, now blowing smoke into Silverlake.

Speaking of the ‘hood, Silverlake, there’s a new TV show called “Sex, Love & Secrets” on UPN, and it’s set right here in Silverlake. Here’s the full review in the LA Times, and it’s a hilarious primer on this neighborhood, but here are a few choice excerpts…

” ‘Sex, Love & Secrets’ wants to be a guilty pleasure for the Trader Joe’s-burrito-for-dinner American Apparel crowd. OK, but I wanted less Silver Lake as Fox soap and more Circus of Books. I wanted to smell the BO of the Beck wannabe, I wanted to covet thy gay neighbor’s house. Sadly, this show makes a mess of its neighborhood-centric premise. Because the camera tells you so in quick establishing montage, the supposed nerve center on “Sex, Love & Secrets” (you want it to be sex and lies, I know) is Sunset Junction and surrounding Silver Lake hangs. The characters are ensconced in TV-style referred-to careers — the celebrity journalist (German), the publicist (Richards) — and lifestyles that need a follow-up question. The ob-gyn resident, for instance, can afford the Silver Lake traditional? Maybe the voice-over lady can talk less about the group dynamic of the human species and clarify point of purchase. None of these people, strangely, has a dog. Isn’t Silver Lake the twentysomething dog owner capital of the world? Perhaps that’s for next season’s drama-like-this-one, set in Venice, called “Abbot Kinney.”

To be honest, we didn’t even watch the show, but we’re going to check it out next week. It sounds awful. We’re looking forward to it.

Speaking again of the ‘hood, we had a bit of a celebrity sighting last night. We were having dinner at a small neighborhood Mexican place called Alegria, and who walks in but Jason Robert Brown, Tony-winning composer of “Parade” and “The Last Five Years.” I fully agree with Newman’s admiration of this guy’s music, and it was a fun sighting, especially since it was so close to our new home. I wanted to say something, but didn’t want to be “that guy” who bugs celebrities while they eat dinner. Granted, Brown, like most composers, is a celebrity to a smaller percentage of the population than, say, Dr. Phil, so he might have considered it flattering, but still, he was eating, so we left him alone.

Tomorrow is my birthday, and we’re thinking of spending the day at the Los Angeles County Fair. That’s right, LA has a fair. This brilliant TV commercial nails the absurdity. If we go, I promise to take lots of pictures. I’m a little bummed that we missed our chance to go last night, though, because that’s when they held the demolition derby. I loves me a good demolition derby. I wonder if they use LA-centric cars, like BMW’s and Prius’s. That would rule.


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