Tehrangeles, Pt. II

One of the most extraordinary and exciting things about living in Los Angeles is the diversity of people and cultures you are exposed to. Over the years, I have dated women from Sri Lanka, Japan, Peru and Afghanistan. I’ve had friends from Malaysia, Brazil, Germany, South Africa, Egypt, New Zealand, Morocco, Norway, China, India, Australia, Fiji, Ukraine, Ireland, Israel, Argentina, France and nearly every region of Mexico. And of course, from Iran.

Three generations — Alex, Miles & Reza Tehrani

Sometime after college, while I was living in Santa Monica, I met Roxanna. She was funny and awkward and beautiful and innocent, and she was from Iran. We were not romantic — she dated Iranian men. But people could be forgiven — and often were — for assuming that we were, seeing us leave one another’s apartments late at night. We were, however, only talking. And eating. More

Tehrangeles, Pt. I

In the waning years of my pre-pubescent childhood in the quiet and sunny westlands of suburban Los Angeles, a strange thing happened. At 11 or 12, I was only vaguely aware of geopolitical events happening in far away places. But what I did know was that there was quite suddenly a lot more Middle Eastern people in my sphere than there had been the year before.

Why Iranians fleeing the Islamic Revolution wound up in the west San Fernando Valley I would never figure out. But arrive they did, evidenced by the abrupt abundance of columns and marble lions in front of 1950s ranch-style houses. Not your traditional poor huddled immigrants, they purchased liquor stores, dentistry offices and Italian restaurants, and by way of integration took western names. My friend, Gary, worked at the neighborhood liquor store — Greene’s Liquor — recently sold by old Mr. Greene to a pair of 30-something brothers, “Jock” and “Ben.” (“Your name’s not really Jock, is it??” I remember asking him once.) More