los angeles: part 1

January 22, 2011

ever since i was kid, i harbored this midwestern dream of moving to southern california, becoming a marine biologist (save the whales!) having a surfer boyfriend and just chilling on the beach. but since living in the bay area, i’ve developed a slightly more jaded view of all things so-cal: hollywood, smog, porn, fake boobs, fake blondes, driving, driving, and driving. my expectations were relatively low when nico and i drove down for a long weekend in los angeles…..but what we saw was neither a teenage beach paradise nor a bimbo wasteland. it was a thriving community of creatives and artists “getting shit done.” of course the chiller & dingbat elements all exist, but as my good friend ursula pointed out, you just have to grab each point on the blanket map of the sprawling city and extract the good stuff. then it totally rules. we fell head over heels and we’re actually considering making my dreams come true….and nico wants to start surfing :) . here’s a look at our itinerary:

day 0: post-work drive south in our trusty “canary” & camping on the beach at refugio state beach in tracy’s junior size sleeping bag; freezing cold but waking up right on the beach was worth it.

day 1: croissant breakfast and quick drive through santa barbara’s downtown strip flanked by vans, pac sun, rip curl, billabong shops…..our first taste of southern california! we arrive in la around noon and yelp our way to santouka ramen in the mitsuwa japanese grocery store/food court. our first realization that food in strip malls here does not indicate sketchiness! get the keys to josh’s place, shower, and meet up with david & friends at a gallery/cafe in culver city. group trip to ooga booga in chinatown, where i fall in love with an arielle de pinto necklace and this alexandra cassaniti newsprint backpack. max the shopkeeper is so nice and recommends iko iko for more shopping and tells us to meet him at m bar later that night……..diner dinner at the brite spot in silver lake….

drinks at david’s childhood home in beverly hills with his parents. i chat forever with his mother who exclaimed, “you have the passion that i had when i was young!” when telling her about the shop. in her younger days, she had a store in venice and would run around the city buying stuff at fleamarkets and selling it for more on the beach. eventually she started doing costumes for robert welch (fleetwood mac!), friends, and movies. talk about inspiration!!! david’s sisters and friends also proved that the 90s trend is alive and kicking in la- floor-length skirts, maroon lipstick, penciled-in brows, chokers, frosted tips….who knew??

cruised across the whole damn city to m bar, somewhere near downtown? a weirdo late 80s japanese mobster bar completely mirrored over with a sunken bar tended by blade-runner-esque japanese chicks and a cheap framed poster of some pastel impressionist painting hung crookedly and non-ironically in the girl’s powder room. just remembered that there was also a giant keyboard painted on the ceiling. we sparked a major dance revolution to some bumpin house music and ended up leaving at 3am, grabbing shakes and burgers at kitschy swingers and crashing at the pad back in westwood. wowlongday!

day 2: attempting to meet at moca at 11 failed. picking up matt and meeting david and brian at urrth cafe in b. hills. we overhear some lady (with a possibly famous friend) say the most epic la comment ever: “i’ve just been working for jews for too long.” WOW! a great start to another day! fresh juice and cookies fuel our epic search for parking around moca in downtown la. not cool. the museum was humid and dark and i didn’t really enjoy the show too much until we went to the geffen contemporary center down the road. much easier to breath. a cool, yet small show that i’d been meaning to see with 60s/70s light and space artists from latin america, suprasensorial. there’s a POOL in the show, so we swam around the chilly, waist high, supra-chlorinated water to the sounds and images of john cage…

…meet sonya back in echo park for delicious-kinda-fancy mexican food at alegria on sunset. again, strip-mall restaurant proves its worth! we were STARVING from swimming and matt and nico requested “the largest item on the menu.” back in the westwood/ucla area, we chomped our $1.50 ice cream sandwiches (choose the cookies! choose the ice cream!) from perennial college stoner favorite, diddy riese. so tired, time for bed!

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2 Responses to los angeles: part 1

  1. julia on January 22, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    Dude! You were at my Mitsuwa! Best food court around. I could have lunch with you too. : ( We jews, like the food. ; )

  2. los angeles: part 2 | BIG THINGS on February 2, 2011 at 11:10 am

    [...] it’s quite odd to be thinking about being in LA a few weeks ago when your front porch is completely buried in a snowdrift! i’m writing from chicago and figured if i’m snowed in, i might as well think of somewhere warm…so here goes part 2 of our trip to la. (don’t miss part 1 here!) [...]

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