Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.



facebook Canyon News twitter Canyon News

Canyon News

Bel Air News

Beverly Hills News

Brentwood News

Hollywood Hills News

Laurel Canyon News

Los Angeles News

Los Feliz News

Malibu News

Melrose News

Pacific Palisades News

Santa Monica News

Sherman Oaks News

Studio City News

Topanga Canyon News

West Hollywood News

Westwood News

Woodland Hills

Celebrity News

State News

National News

World Headlines

Deaf News





On the Industry

Star Gazing

St. John's Confidential File

Theatrical Musings

Life & Style

Event Listings

Tech Talk

Looking Good For Lots Less

Spirit & Creativity

Miller Time


View from the Hill


Chrystal's Recipe Corner

Career and Life Coaching

Gardening With Tony

Life According To Lenson

Real Estate Realities



Marathon Running

Keeping It Bruin: A Look Into UCLA Athletics






Vi's Corner

Pet Tips

Point of View

John Armor

Message to America

Critic At Large... Ruta Lee

Labor Week


10 Degrees Cooler

McConnors corner

Edge of the west

The Physics Wizard


Kyle's Kars


Susan Michelle's Compass


Ask Deanna

Dear Lily

Ask Oona


Dancing with Earthquakes


Sports Schedules

Traveling Beyond the Canyon

Edge of the West

Law Man

Ask Us

Nathan Tabor

The Angry Economist

Truth Probe

As I See It


Truth Conquers

The Live Wire

Notes from Exile

Letters to the Editor

Dog Training by Anthony

Canyon Mews



America's Most Wanted Dogs

World Recipes

Vegetarian Lifestyle


News Briefs

Local News



Canyon Fodder

Bad Movie Night

Critical Projection

Ed's on the Town

Fitness Quests

Flashback Films

Stories of the Strange

Gourmet Grandma

He Said/She Said

Home Matters with Yvonne

L.A. Etch-a-Sketch

L.A. Ruminations

McConnor's Corner

Mommy Minute

Musically Speaking

My Back Pages

Publisher's Pages


Scene and Heard in L.A.

Silly...But Wise!

Sunset Diaries

Table Options

The Paws Cause

TV Stuff

Cartoon of the Week

Miller Time

The Duel
Posted by Grady Miller on May 24, 2013 - 7:51:00 AM

Rosa Parks was no wimp. I was.
HOLLYWOOD—Its Friday in downtown Los Angeles, due to a postponed rendezvous in the lobby of the Hotel Biltmore I became heir to that uniquely human delusion of having time to kill (fact is: we don’t kill time—it is killing us). Migrated from the noisy lobby to the restroom—itself a porcelain-glazed oasis of peace and stillness where I could relieve my kidneys and douse water on my face. Now I had reading material to devote my eyes to, and upon exiting from the men’s restroom, disembarked from a hallway into an isolated loggia. Perfect. Not a soul in sight, plush carpeting spread gaudily at my feet below a medallioned ceiling, nor were there chairs handy; nevertheless, I elected to sit myself down forthwith in the loggia that gave the dingy appearance nobody had passed this way in many moons.


Indian fashion, I sat, cross legged, and commenced to read in the sepia light. Before long, a tall man strolled into the precinct. There was a sudden tension in the air, suddenly, as when two walkers approach on an isolated midnight sidewalk. I stared up at the figure in a worsted navy blue suit and off-off-the-rack tie, set off by a clean but cheap white shirt, dreading that he had come to mess with me and yet half-entertained awaited signals that his path was going to swerve away from an encounter with me and leave me in peace.


“What are you doing here?” he asked, capsizing my cheerful anticipation of preserved solitude.

Reading and resting,” I replied. His name was Eric. His voice had a foreign lilt that belied either the Virgin Islands or an African Republic. At any rate, my position in the duel was leveraged by knowledge the Eric came from a place where it is no crime to sit one’s carcass down on the ground or plush carpet, as the case may be.

“Are you a guest at the hotel?”


“I’m here with the film festival people.”


“The lobby is that way, and there are chairs you can sit in.” Eric pointed to where I’d come from. If the Biltmore had road signs, the sign would read: Lobby ¼ mile ahead.


“I wanted to go to a bookstore corner,” I advancing cheerfully, hoping that Eric might be able to confirm its existence. I stood my ground, that is, I continued sitting. I stood just at that point when he was about to say, “You can’t be here,” and soon we were strolling amicably down the descending carpeted stairs and the faint cloud of light coming in from Grand Ave. I stopped midstride and said, “We really need to correct the world and make it possible for people to sit down where they like.”


He looked at me, truly listening, and said after a reflective pause, “I just do what they tell me to do.” That chestnut, betrayer of petty tyrants, and people incongruent with their jobs, fell effortlessly from the tree of abominations. I hadn’t really pressed the point, and there it was, reminiscent of the oft-voice rationale at Nurenberg: I was just following orders.  I was both amazed and embarrassed for Eric.


“I understand,” I said, implying I knew he had a job to do and feeling wimpy for not holding my ground till security ejected me, kicking and screaming from the deserted loggia.


“There is a Starbucks around the corner,” Eric suggested sunnily. “And there’s the Central Library across the street.” He succeeded in opening my eyes to an amazing bibliophile’s temple a few short steps from where I was being rousted. We parted on a cheery note at the glass door on Grand Avenue, genuinely happy to refuge in the library and yet woefully aware of my complicity in a sinful injustice: being deprived of the sacred right to sit where I damn well please.


Grady Miller can be reached at


Cliffside Malibu




Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.