Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography: Hand-Drawing All of Los Angeles, One Neighborhood at a Time

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The closer a form's digital version gets to perfection, the more we seem to value its analog version's imperfection. We've seen it happen (or rather, heard it happen) with music, where our love of the digital stuff on our computers and phones coexists with our love of the "warmth" of the analog stuff on our vinyl records. So it must go with maps: the higher-detailed and more quickly accessed our digital representations of the world around us, the more we value the idiosyncrasies (and even inaccuracies) of our analog ones.

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Enter Pendersleigh & Sons Cartography, a project of Los Angeles writer, geography enthusiast, and former gentleman's shop proprietor Eric Brightwell. Under the Pendersleigh & Sons banner, he's taken on the mission of meticulously exploring and hand-mapping the entirety of Los Angeles, neighborhood by neighborhood.

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Toronto may have laid claim first to the title "City of Neighborhoods," but Los Angeles — and the two cities, in my experience share a host of deep commonalities — could just as well hold it by its very nature. You can't really know either Toronto or Los Angeles as wholes, but you can at least try to know all their diverse parts.

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Brightwell has engaged in what may well turn out to be a lifelong mission to accomplish just that, not just through Pendersleigh and Sons' maps, but through his in-depth "California's Fools Gold" (you get it, Angelenos) pieces on such neighborhoods as my own home of Koreatown, his own home of Silver Lake, or even such non-Los-Angeles outlying territories as Anaheim, Disneyland's home.

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If you have a favorite part of greater Los Angeles, know that you can probably purchase a Pendersleigh and Sons map of it, suitable for framing, online from 1650 Gallery. Having planned to move to actual Korea later this year, I should probably buy one of Koreatown — y'know, so I don't forget where I came from.