Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


You got Goop All Over My Plebes!

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.


For those of you too busy standing in line for unemployment checks to snark at celebs online, former LA resident and occasional actress Gwyneth Paltrow is now the full time proprietor of GOOP, the most unintentionally hilarious guide to better living since the 1970s edition of the Joy of Sex1. Each week, Gwyneth sends out a GOOP newsletter with helpful suggestions on how to live the good life. Clearly they're culled from a time capsule she prepared about a decade ago because one might think from reading that she has never even heard the word "recession". Or maybe she subscribes to The Secret and believes that if she pretends everything is great, maybe it really will be!2

For this week's letter, Gwyn's finally turned her razor dull sense of class and timing back to her former Los Angeles shopping grounds, and the result is pure Epic Fail. She begins thusly:

Los Angeles, where I was born and partially raised...
Support for LAist comes from

Okay, I was going to let the statement live free but right out the gate we're already hip deep in silly. I give you the following True Lifetm LAist conversation:

Beth Kopley: which part of her was raised in L.A.? snark, snark.

Elise Thompson: what part of her remains unraised?

Ross Lincoln: her brain

God: Zing!
DISCLAIMER: God didn't actually exist in time for this article. Everything else is true.

In the midst of a terrifying economic downturn that always seems to happen whenever Republicans are allowed to fuck up the country, there's nothing in the world quite like a well meaning but clueless person who comes from a ton of money and affects a bohemian outlook!3. The type of person who treats conventions that arise from relative poverty like an optional lark ("you should go thrifting!"4), offers career advice that assumes that everyone facing the end of their unemployment benefits can simply call up their Dad's tycoon friends and land themselves a plum job with the New York Times5, and most infuriatingly, assumes that their experience is common and will insist until the cows come home that they aren't rich at all.

The purest, most distilled form of this person is Gwyneth.

Los Angeles, where I was born and partially raised, will always hold a special place in my heart. Not the L.A. of Hollywood, but the old-school seventies beach vibe that which still lingers in corners. As strange, spread out and flatly lit as it can sometimes be, Los Angeles, with its bougainvillea, sea breezes, avocados and eccentric inhabitants, is like no other place and will always be in my soul.

What the hell is she talking about? I love LA a lot, it's my favorite place in all the land, but LA in the 70s was a terrifying dystopian nightmare. The economy sucked so much it tore a hole in the fabric of spacetime that led directly to the Hair Metal scene of the 80s. Smog was so bad CHiPs looked like it took place on a prairie. Fuck man, The Crips started in the 70s. And the beach vibe? We're talking about the Dogtown and Z-Boyz times, when the laid back beach people would beat the living shit out of you if you didn't know the territory6.

Then again, LA was and remains one of America's drugs and sex capitals, so I can see how, if you weren't suffocating, being thrashed with a skateboard, homeless, or being shot by gang members, even in the 70s was a pretty sweet place. And Gwyneth should know, since she was 8 when it ended. She's right about one thing though - that old school 70s vibe still lingers around the corners, particularly in MacArthur park after midnight.

Anyway, Gwyneth proceeds to the newsletter proper, and though the whole thing is just... too... long... to reprint here, we're happy to summarize. First up, some recommendations on places to stay:

Shutters on the Beach 1 Pico Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405

Quoth the Gwyneth:

Support for LAist comes from
Shutters is my favorite place to stay in L.A. Make sure you get a room with an ocean view. It has a beautiful, breezy vibe, big bathtubs, good sheets. I return to it again and again.

Look, I bet Shutters on the Beach is a great place to stay. I also bet nobody reading this will ever find out, you know why? Here's a quote from their website:

Rates From $425

Awesome! Thanks Palmar!7

The London West Hollywood 1020 N. San Vicente Blvd. West Hollywood, CA 90069
I haven't actually been here-

You haven't? Thanks! Guess I don't need to go. Things Gwyn hasn't done that she recommends also include: Deserving an Oscar; having a convincing English accent.

Another thing she recommends without first hand experience is where to eat8. Let's see where she sends us!

La Scala 434 N. Canon Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Gwyn tell us that

I am obsessed with chopped salad, and this place knows how to do it Italian style.

These two thoughts do not appear to belong in the same sentence. I'm going to leave it at that.

Chinois on Main 2709 Main St. Santa Monica, CA 90405
Chinois is another Los Angeles classic, one of Wolfgang Puck's first restaurants. It is what it sounds like, an amazing fusion of French and Chinese food.

I'm sorry, but did anyone out there read "Chinois" and think "fusion of French and Chinese"? If it is what it sounds like to me, then it's probably a French brand of Khakis.

Unsurprisingly, her taste in food isn't bad, so it's hard to really tear her apart except for the fact that she tends to say stupid things like:

For some reason, all great sushi spots in L.A. come in a mini-mall

Sure, that's what I think of when I think of "Little Tokyo". A mini mall.

This place constantly tests my friendship with [Restaurant Proprietor] because I am always asking for a table for myself or a loved one.

Translation: I make my friend angry because I act like a spoiled hollywood diva. Good to know.

Nate'n Al is THE place in L.A. for authentic deli food... Great quality and truly delish.

Is she saying "delish" as in "delicious" or "delish", as in "Like a deli"? You make the call!

Unfortunately, she ruins whatever goodwill built up by her taste in food by turning her gaze eastward. As she wraps up her e-mail, uncontent with the west side, she now commands her legions of readers to ruin the East Side as well.

Scoops 712 N. Heliotrope Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90029 (323) 906-2649

Dammit Gwyn, you stay the hell away from here! Scoops is practically the best thing in LA and it's already next to impossible to get in after 6 PM. DO NOT start sending an Army of zombies to ruin one of the last remaining things that still feels like that part of LA, pre-housing "boom".

Alegria on Sunset 3510 W. Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026 (323) 913-1422


Clean, fresh, delicious Mexican food in Silverlake - don't be afraid because it's hiding in a mini-mall!

Alegria is very good and while I hope this brings business to it, that doesn't change the fact that Gwyneth needs to cut back on the hash-brownies.

The rest is more of the same. Lots of sooper expensive Beverly Hills/West Side haunts with the occasional east side location (nothing west of Micheltoreno tho!) thrown in for good measure, and reference after reference to mini malls. Apparently, Gwyn really wants mini malls to be the new thrift stores when it comes to slumming it for the Bo-Ho set9. I predict that she'll be hipsterizing food stamps in 2015.

Look Gwyn, we at LAist appreciate your love for our city. We do. Most people spend their time dissing LA indiscriminately, usually without any real experience here10 aside from breezing through every 4 years or so. But sometimes, it just doesn't work out. Sometimes, you have no choice but to look at the "free spirit" hippie girl staying on your couch, who just brought home a crazy methed up biker guy without asking permission, and say "Look Riele Hunter, I mean Gwyn. It's not me, it's you. Specifically, they way you keep ruining everything I love."

Or in the wording of LA's abbreviated night life11: You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.


Photo: Orange Goop by phatcontroller via Flikr.


1) Sorry to steal this joke, but seriously, was it illegal back them to groom, even just a little trim? I'm shocked there's porn from that era not involving machetes and frontier woodsmen serving as local guides.

2) No it won't. We're fucked. Good job in 2000, Supreme Court. Good job in 2004, 51% of American voters.

3) The first person who uses the word "boho" around me gets kicked in the nuts. If you're a girl, I will wait until the freeze on stem cell research is lifted, get a doctorate in genetics, grow testacles from your own DNA, graft them to you, then kick the hell out of them.

4) Take for example the hipsterization of thrift stores that really began in the early 90s as much a rejection of consumerism as it was a direct result of the late 80s/early 90s recession, and has now metasticized into the urban blight of "vintage" stores selling thrift store clothing at Manhattan runway prices. Hopefully, this new terrifying depression temporary crippling recession will bring back the real thrift store ethos.

Hahahahacoughcoughcoughhahaha. Just kidding.

5) If you haven't seen Green Street Hooligans, I strongly reccomend it just so you can tell it to fuck off. Seriously, fuck that movie.

6) Whatayatalk, whatayatalk, whatayatalk talk talk?

7) Paltrow + Martin = Palmar

8) Hiyoooooo!

9)Yes, I just kicked myself there.

10) I'm looking at you, Dressy Bessy!

11) Two things: 1, we need 24 hour trains; 2) we need 24 hour bars.