los angeles: part 2

February 2, 2011


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!)
day 3: up semi-early for a delicious lunch at gjelina, a hip foo-foo place on abbott kinney in venice. we hadn’t been to the beach yet, so i was excited to finally catch a glimpse of those golden rays on the sapphire waves. venice was still crawling with all kinds of characters, just as i remembered it as a kid. we bought some rasta bracelets from a guy selling incense and imported scarves who declared, upon being asked how he was doing today, “just another day in paradise!”

we strolled the boardwalk, dodging rollerbladers, euro tourists, medical marijuana card hawkers, guys harnessing the power of the sun to “paint” with magnifying glasses, a few buff dudes pumping iron at muscle beach, tables of cheap chinese keychains, fortune tellers, and other awesome nutty people…

walking up abbot kinney, we stopped into the tortoise general store, a delightful showcase of well-merchandised and well-selected japanese home goods, paper goods, and an incredible studio in the back with pottery, fabric, notebooks and space for community classes. nico picked up some goodies and we went back to the beach to meet ursula and max for a brief walk before work.

reenergized with some lemonade and headed to opening ceremony, where michaelangelo, larry’s brother, gave us a much-needed tour of the overwhelming maze of rooms and rack after rack of unbelievable clothing. our minds were thoroughly blown by the selection, the friendliness of the staff, the merchandising! the new york store has nothing on la, people. it is just unbelievable what kind of stuff they have! a whole room for repetto, alex wang, acne, band of outsiders, nom de guerre, and hits by suno, vena cava, tsumori chisato, OMG i was in fashion forward heaven!

we wrestled traffic down sunset to meet my cousins for dinner in palms. we talked about a potential move to la, what it would be like without a car, whether or not we would survive on our bicycles. they seemed optimistic and we got even more excited thinking about moving there. we enjoyed some scoops for dessert (us and all the asian people in west la). too pooped to party and we fell asleep on the couch back at the apartment.

day 4: our last day to pack in some shopping before hitting the road. we brunched at a kitschy-cute little place in the editing district of hollywood called grub, with croissant french toast! did some damage and browsing at: creatures of comfort (dying); craft (japanese menswear line kapital was perfect, except prices were in yen- yikes!); rth (an amazing little wooden shop of house-made leather goods and vintage ralph lauren by rene); tenoversix (nothing special, sorry); and lead apron (pretentious and covetable gallery/book store).

of course we run into someone we know, micky from the wattis (who we recently ran into in bolinas- weird!) who tells us (as tracy did) to check out joan’s on 3rd: “it’s like dean & deluca on crack.” it totally is. hollywood luncherbrunchers are running around grabbing baggies of fresh cookies, vitamin waters, deli sandwiches, and the sidewalk tables are packed with pretty young salad eaters tossing their hair and sucking down iced teas.

we decide to check out new image gallery on the way out of town. the owner is there on the phone the whole time saying things like, “the show is FABulous, you have to see it, it’s paintings, figural, very shepard fairey. in fact, the artist worked with shepard fairey.”we’re vaguely impressed.

driving up through the grapevine we blast the radio (which is sooo la) and sing the whole way back to the city, lamenting our departure and promising to return more often…maybe even permanently? last stop before san francisco, a fruit stand in the valley with 5 huge avocados for $3! yesterday at the whole foods in chicago they were $4 for 2. god, i love california!

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