I was more than intrigued when Erik Morse proposed a series of interviews about the legacy and theory of hotels in this city. Beyond my personal recollections of happily eating grilled cheese sandwiches with my grandparents at the coffee shop counter in the Beverly Hills Hotel when they visited from the East Coast when I was a kid; or gazing at the hulking remains of the Ambassador Hotel before it was torn down, driving past on Wilshire Boulevard; or even sneaking into the Hollywood Regency — a former hotel (where the actor Divine was staying the night he died) turned apartment building, that had become a squat and skateboarding destination (the pool was drained) — for a one-day, illicit art show years ago, I had never fully considered the powerful symbolism and function the hotel has in the experience of Los Angeles. Reading over Erik’s drafts, though, I certainly began to. These interviews, with premiere writers of urban theory, history, memoir and fiction, as well as the filmmaker Thom Andersen and entertainer Sid Krofft, examine the topic from infinite angles. Erik was tireless in putting them together and the experience of editing them was immersive and illuminating; it has left me forever a subscriber to his particular idea of hotel theory.—Kate Wolf
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