Check out those prices! Those people! Cue up the Beegees and John Travolta. It was a great place back then, just tacky enough not to be spoiled. It was the right degree of gaudy, without the latte set and J Crew logos. The inline skaters had not arrived and Arnold was in his first residence at Gold’s Gym. There were real body-builders at Muscle Beach and it was free! There was crewing gum on the sidewalk and people smoked. It still had the scent of sin that disgusted Raymond Chandler back in the 1930s, when he was thrown out of work and gathered up animus for Farewell, My Lovely. Back then the honky tonks, poolrooms, and cheap hotels were the epitome of SIN for the prurient Irishman. Hookers! Gambling! A character named Red Norrgard, with violet eyes, who takes Marlowe out to the gambling ships.
The only thing resembling Chandler’s world these days is the guy with the two signs explaining how the pyramids on U.S. currency are signs of a worldwide Masonic conspiracy.