Sunday, January 27, 2019

Fasten Your Seatbelts, It's Going to be a Bumpy Entry

(This entry refers, several times, to the 1950 Bette Davis film All About Eve. I felt the comparison was apt.)

As it happens, there are particular aspects of my life to which I would like to maintain sole and exclusive rights and privileges. For instance: all my hard work!

I will establish the facts with the following timeline.

Spring 2013: Began researching LA's lost French community.
Summer 2013: Began mapping French-linked locations in Southern California for personal reference (to date, I have mapped nearly 450).

May 15, 2016: After three years of researching dead French Angelenos, I officially launched this blog and posted my first entry.

Before the launch of "Frenchtown Confidential", the French and French-speaking section of Los Angeles wasn't written as a single word ANYWHERE (I did a LOT of Googling before coming up with the name). Where it had a specific name at all, it was normally called "the French Colony", or, in rare cases, "French Town" (two words). I changed it to one word because I thought it flowed better.

June, July, August, and September 2016: Contacted multiple media outlets in Los Angeles (and one in Paris) pitching an article on LA's lost French community. None of them responded.

I later realized that all but two of the media outlets in question have employed a writer I will refer to only as "Eve Harrington". (I would rather not have anyone Googling her real name, and you'll understand why soon enough. But if you look at the clues, you'll know who it is.)

August 3, 2016: Posted an entry calling out three local writers for making rather egregious omissions at the expense of some very important dead French Angelenos.

One of them - the worst offender, in fact - was Eve Harrington.

September 30, 2016: Posted this entry on Victor Ponet.

October 2016: One of the media outlets that I'd contacted over the summer ran an error-filled, sloppily-researched piece on the lost French community...written by Eve Harrington. (Please don't Google it. It's an inexcusable mess and it doesn't deserve whatever page views it got.)

I complained to said media outlet's editor and received no response.

November 16, 2016: Having received zero response, and having little other recourse, I posted this entry detailing the numerous factual errors Eve Harrington saw fit to put in print and calling her out for her actions.

Once again, no response of any kind.

May 27, 2017: Gave my first talk on Frenchtown. Mentioned early Hollywood's two most important French figures - René Blondeau and Paul de Longpré.

September 12, 2017: Appeared on episode 121 of You Can't Eat the Sunshine, discussing my research, blog, and upcoming LAVA Sunday Salon.

September 23, 2017: Presented my LAVA Sunday Salon (I gave the short version of my Frenchtown lecture) and walking tour of French-associated sites in the Plaza.

October 2017: Eve Harrington runs a piece on Paul de Longpré. (Please don't Google it. Also, I'm interviewing de Longpré's biographer in the future.)

February 17, 2018: Gave my second lecture on Frenchtown.

October 22, 2018: I posted the first in a series of entries on early LA's French restauranteurs.

November 26, 2018: I submitted a job application to the parent company of one of the previously mentioned media outlets. (I hadn't seen Eve's name on the site in months and hoped she wasn't working there anymore. Anything she can do, I can do honestly and without another writer's help.)

Last Week: My LAVA Sunday Salon debuted on YouTube.

Two Days Ago: Eve published a piece on the early history of Sunset Boulevard...including Victor Ponet.

This is especially creepy for three reasons: 1. My mother worked at a private school that was on the St. Victor's church property (donated by Ponet). I've mentioned this in lectures and in an Instagram post. 2. I'm a huge music fan and have spent many, MANY hours at Sunset Strip music clubs. I won't be surprised if she uses this a lead-in for a more recent history of the Strip...and I won't be the least bit surprised if she name-drops most of the bands in my vinyl collection ('60s rock up through '80s glam metal and beyond).* 3. This piece appeared just 12 days after I unveiled a working miniature Rainbow Bar & Grill sign I made.

There is no way she didn't do this on purpose. It hits too close to home, on three counts.

Also Two Days Ago: I received an email (hi Richard) informing me that Eve Harrington struck again, in a different publication.

Not only did Eve hijack my ongoing theme of French dining in early LA, she managed to use part of my blog title without asking me first OR properly crediting my blog (and I think it's pretty obvious she's reading it, since I'm the one who coined "Frenchtown"). She also persists in making the ridiculous claim that Frenchtown is now Chinatown. As I already explained the last time I detailed her various factual errors, that is inaccurate and a gross oversimplification of Frenchtown's geography. Hiistoric Frenchtown is NOT in modern-day Chinatown.  (Trust me on that, I'm the one who's spent 5 1/2 years on The Great Big Map of French Los Angeles!)

The fact that she's using my work for financial gain, when I LOSE money on this blog (rare old books and research trips aren't cheap), makes the whole thing even worse. I started this blog to share French Angelenos' stories, NOT so someone else could profit from it.

I'm well aware of the fact that I'm "just" a shy nerd with a blog. But these are MY people. I care very deeply about telling their stories properly and I don't want them tainted by association with someone who doesn't respect them enough to get the facts straight.

I was merely irritated by Eve's bratty antics at first. But she has now crossed the line and I am VERY creeped out by her latest stunts.

If you like this blog...if you like LA history...if you are as fed up with the Eve Harringtons of the world as I am...if you are a creative who has had their ideas stolen...please help a girl out and send this entry to Eve Harrington's editors.

They've ignored me, but they might listen to someone else. I don't need to talk to them; I just want them to know what kind of person she is. Everybody has a heart - except some people.

Lost LA:
LAist: Contact page
LA Weekly: Contact page
Curbed LA: Contact page
Atlas Obscura: Contact page

Eve Harrington, if you are reading this (and I know you will), you shouldn't be a writer if you can't come up with your own material. I suggest moving to Kansas and getting a secretarial job in a brewery.

Look closely, Eve. It's time you did. I am Charlotte de Vere. I am nobody's fool, least of all yours.

Goodnight from Frenchtown (which is NOT CHINATOWN),


P.S. I would like to politely, but firmly, remind anyone else who needs to be reminded that original blog content is protected by copyright law. There is a copyright notice in the footer (and even if there wasn't one, it's incredibly unprofessional to do this stuff).

P.P.S. *Update: she did that too. She has since "written" about the Wiltern Theatre (seriously?) which I first did in 2016. QUIT CREEPING ON ME, "EVE". I MEAN IT.