Thursday, 11 August 2005. Killing time, I visit the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. This is coming to the end of a tour of the Arthur Murray dance studios up and down the West Coast. It is a hot break coming at the end of a month’s dance fieldwork in Sacramento. Rather than fly back to Belfast from San Francisco, I opted for LAX and bookended my research with a personal journey driving up and down the state. I had gone up through Death Valley where I had solo hiked into the desert and made a souvenir vial of Death Valley sand. Then inland north to get through Yosemite, living in my rental car, sleeping in motels. Back south, I was sampling the dance studios along the coast—waltz in San Francisco, rumba in Hayward, foxtrot in Redwood City, tango in San Jose, salsa in chic Santa Barbara, merengue in Beverley Hills. Along the way, I was taking in the tourist attractions: the boardwalk in Santa Cruz where the movie Lost Boys was filmed; Cannery Row, Monterey, described long ago by John Steinbeck; Hearst Castle, which had inspired Orson Welles’s Citizen Kane.
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