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Ronald Kidd - August 13, 2020

Notes from the Pandemic

Pastrami and Freedom

When I was a teenager, my friend Phil Freshman introduced me to Jewish delicatessens, specifically to the deli generally regarded as L.A.’s best—Langer’s, on Alvarado Street across from MacArthur Park in the Westlake district.  

The two of us, often in the group of five friends who called ourselves the Asses Anonymous, would bus to Langer’s before or after seeing a movie in Hollywood, maybe “Lawrence of Arabia” or “Dr. Strangelove,” then settle into a booth and soak in the smell of pastrami and the sound of chaos. A gruff waitress—they always were gruff—would come by, take our orders, and distribute insults.  

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