Hanging out in LA with Barby from “Geography Now!”

Mark and I flew to Los Angeles last night and one of the things we had planned to do while down here escaping the Canadian polar vortex was to meet Paul Barbato of the YouTube channel “Geography Now!”. We met at Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard. I had only fifteen minutes in the store before our planned meeting at 2 p.m. and as a vinylphile I was pretty overwhelmed when I first walked in there. It reminded me of my first ever visit to Schoenhof’s foreign language bookstore in Cambridge, Massachusetts where I was so excited I crisscrossed the store floor going randomly from language to language. I definitely needed to adopt some sense of order while there and likewise at Amoeba, otherwise I’d end up seeing and buying nothing.

For my first fifteen minutes I jumped from LP vinyl to CD’s, not really looking at anything since I was still so much in awe of everything around me. I looked at the collectibles on the walls as well as the vinyl all around me; this store was a blast to the senses. Paul was waiting at the entrance and we greeted each other. I walked around the store a while with him and we looked for the 45’s but I didn’t go through any of them. Mark came in–he was out getting change for the meter–and then we left to chat at a quieter, more intimate location. We chose Philz Coffee nearby.

Paul shared some plans he had for “Geography Now!” and some travelling in his future. After our meeting he was meeting up with Kaleb and Hannah to shoot the next episode of his show, for Nepal. He invited us to go to the post office with him to collect his Geogra-FanMail and I was just over the moon to accompany him there. He went to his post office box and claimed one package, from the Cook Islands. A viewer had sent him a postcard and many bamboo drinking straws. We all read the postcard outside and Paul gave Mark and me each a straw. Thanks Paul and the GN! viewer from Rarotonga. Tune in to a future episode to see Paul open up this package one more time.

Paul then drove us around Hollywood for a quick tour and we saw the Kodak Theatre and Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. I understand that both of these locations have new corporately-branded names yet I still call the Sears Tower the Sears Tower and I have never called the O’Keefe Centre anything but the O’Keefe Centre in spite of its past two incarnations (and its new one to come). Yet I do call Siam Thailand, Persia Iran and Ivory Coast Côte d’Ivoire, so I am not hopelessly living in the world of former nomenclature.

I was so happy finally to meet Paul, a/k/a Barby or Barbs. His channel has given me so much pleasure over the years and I look forward with such fondness to each country and flag episode. Tune in to Nepal’s episode, coming up next. Just know that only minutes before he shot it, he was hanging out with us.

Kiitos paljon sun kanadalaiselta kaverilta Craigilta
Thanks very much from your Canadian friend Craig

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