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So Socal / Goes Hollywood

Does 'Anonymous' Work the Strip?

August 25, 1996

Ask the guy who peddles star maps from a lawn chair on the Strip where, exactly, his maps come from, and you're likely to be greeted with shrugged "I dunno" shoulders or hands raised to indicate "Stop right there." Indeed, the Charles Foster Kane of these street-vended star maps--which appear to be produced by a single source--is as elusive as J.D. Salinger. An edition purchased early this summer was printed with the name "Hollywood Map Co." and a telephone number that turned out to be disconnected ("Never heard of them," muttered directory assistance.) The same map purchased in August listed a new publisher's name and number, also disconnected. At $7.50, one would expect that this most expensive of star maps (others retail for less than $5) might offer a bit more than surrealistically low-quality printing and listings that predate Watergate. The tourists, like tourists everywhere, don't seem to mind, but at least one competitor who sells at retail shops has gone so far as to claim the mysterious cartographer's map is a bootlegged version of his own. "He's being pursued very heavily right now," the disgruntled competitor says. "So far he's been like Teflon--nothing has stuck to him."

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