Celebrity City Guide: Rob Williams on Los Angeles, CA

By: Gay.com
7.29.2009

Name: Rob Williams
Profession: Filmmaker, Co-founder of Guest House Films
City: Los Angeles
Relationship Status: Long-Term Relationship
Sexuality: Gay

What is the best date you ever had in this town? Why?

My best date in Los Angeles has to be my first date with my partner. We met for brunch at Swingers on Beverly Boulevard, and then wandered through the Fairfax District perusing yard sales and talking for hours. The next day, we saw a double feature at the New Beverly Theater, and we've been together for 15 years since then.

What are some of the things you love most about your city?

Having grown up in a small town, I love that Los Angeles has just about everything - tons of things to do, day or night; amazing cultural attractions; a diverse group of people, etc. And being a filmmaker, this is the place to be.

What are some of your least favorite things about it?

Traffic, traffic, traffic. And traffic.

What are some great restaurants for a night out with gay friends there?

I love Home Restaurant in Silverlake. We go there a lot with friends, as it offers something for everyone, especially for our vegan friends. For brunch, you can't beat Eat Well.

Is there a particular best place to "people watch" that most people not familiar with your town would find helpful?

My favorite place to people watch is the annual Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Every April, tens of thousands of people descend on the UCLA campus to celebrate the written word, which is very encouraging. You can often get books signed by great authors like John Morgan Wilson and Christopher Rice, or discover new authors, all while practicing your best people watching skills.

Are there any famous people from your city?

Well, I live in Los Angeles, so yeah, there are a few famous people from here!

Akbar What are your favorite gay bars and/or dance clubs? What do you like about them?

I'm not much into the bar/dance club scene, but I love Akbar in Silverlake. Feels very much like a neighborhood bar.

What are your favorite gay parties or events, if any? What is the crowd or scene like at those places?

I always look forward to Outfest every July, to see the latest independent gay movies. The crowds are great and very supportive of gay cinema, and the parties are non-stop during the festival. There's always something for everyone there.

Where is the best public place for a gay person to make out?

Any place that straight people can see you, so they get used to it. Or offended by it. Either one.

What is the gay community like in your city? Do you consider yourself to be part of any particular "scene"?

I live in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles, which is very laid back and very gay friendly. I don't feel like there's a gay scene here because you see gay people everywhere you go, which gives you an extraordinary sense of freedom.

Are you involved with any LGBT community organizations there? Which ones? What do you like about those groups?

I recently became involved with the Point Foundation, which provides financial support and mentoring for LGBT students. It's an outstanding organization that really helps kids who might not otherwise be able to attend college.

Does your town have a LGBT pride celebration? Do you usually attend? What are the highlights for you? What do you like least about it?

LA Pride is huge! I try to attend every year, and I love watching the crowds and seeing all the different types of people there. It truly shows that LGBT people come from all walks of life. I also enjoy seeing which businesses are there supporting the LGBT community - and we should all support those businesses that support us!

Do you have a particular fashion style? Where do you shop for clothes?

I'm totally a jeans and T-shirt kind of guy. I'm happy at the Gap. But I can't wait for the day when designers offer me clothes for red-carpet movie premieres!

Where do you go for other forms of entertainment -- live theater, concerts, movies, art exhibits? Are there any local gay performance groups, bands, or artists that you're a fan of?

Rob_williams_1 I go to movies all the time - usually the Vista in Silverlake, the Grove or Arclight Hollywood. My partner and I have season tickets to the Ahmanson Theatre (gays and musical theater, who knew?), and I love seeing the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Disney Hall. And I always try to catch my actor friends whenever they're in plays. The Celebration Theatre is a great place to catch gay-themed plays.

If you had gay friends visiting from out of town for the first time, what are some "musts" that you'd recommend they see or do?

Skip all the touristy places - except for Disneyland! The Getty and LACMA are must-sees for art lovers. Of course, check out West Hollywood - have lunch at Hamburger Mary's, a drink at O Bar, then support gay filmmakers by seeing a gay movie at the Laemmle Sunset 5.

What city (or cities) in America would you most like to visit next, and why? Are there any specific spots there (theaters, nightclubs, historic sites, etc.) that you'd really like to see?

It's been years since I've been to Seattle, so I'd really like to go back there, and I love visiting New York whenever I can. In terms of places I haven't been, Portland is definitely on the list, along with New Orleans and Maui. And I'd love to travel the country to see the architecture of Frank Gehry and Frank Lloyd Wright. Outside the U.S., my partner and I are planning a trip to Sweden, which I'm very excited about, and I'm about to visit Toronto for the first time. I would love to travel more and see the world!

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