It took over two years and thousands of hours of research, writing, and web design, but last month my new website L.A. Street Names finally launched. As you might guess, this project is about the origins of Los Angeles street names – not just in the city itself, but across all of L.A. County: Beverly Hills, Compton, Pomona, Pasadena, you name it. I investigate each street from scratch, finding out who or what it's named for, when it was laid out, and so forth. Then I write up a tidy little paragraph: everything you need to know about the street and its namesake. Sounds wonky? Maybe. But it's enormous fun. I get to play detective all day and unearth all kinds of forgotten L.A. history and residents. It's truly a dream project.
The site currently has just under 1,300 finished street writeups, out of more than 50,000 streets in the county. I hope to maintain enough sanity to keep plugging away for many years on this thing. It would be great to reach 5,000 streets.
Since I'm so in love with L.A. Street Names right now, my filmmaking – we must call it a "hobby" at this point, it's not really a "career" – is dormant. I'm certainly not averse to making films again, but I don't know how long it will be before I come up with a truly great idea for a short or a feature that I can feasibly finance.
Meanwhile, I'd like to mention the recent successes of some of my past collaborators: Tricia Fukuhara, who costarred in my most recent short film Words to Live by, is in the principal cast of the upcoming Paramount+ series Grease: Rise of the Pink Ladies. Words to Live by's editor Cheryl Campsmith won an Emmy for her work on One Day at a Time. Speaking of Emmys, Melanie Lynskey, who starred in my features Foreign Correspondents and Claustrophobia, just received a Best Actress (Drama) nomination for the Showtime series Yellowjackets. Caroline B. Marx, costume designer on Foreign Correspondents, also works on that show, so it's a mini-reunion for them. Congratulations, ladies.