I used to live in LA and it always feel like home when I return. I'm lucky that I get to go back quite often, so often I can't even remember the last time I was there, or for what reason. I always say LA never changes. I'm sure it does, but it never does for me.
There's something about driving down the 10, palm trees blurred, sky full, KCRW blasting, that just feels right. Every time I walk out of LAX I feel a rush of memories and a part of me is found.
It's hard to plan time to see everyone I want to see, and usually I just have to pick a few people or plan a 'meet me at this bar', which only works sometimes given all my friends' busy schedules. I met my friend at the bar with a martini in hand. We finished it together and caught up. So much has happened since the last time we saw each other -- at Día de los Muertos pop up shop in San Francisco. She moved out of SF first, then I moved. Now we are on opposite sides of the country. Maybe it's because I spent my formative years in Los Angeles, maybe it's because I fell in love in Los Angeles, maybe it's because some of my favorite moments happened in Los Angeles ... firecrackers in San Pedro, backyard concerts in Echo Park, late nights studying on campus, bonfires in Bolsa Chica, picnics at the Hollywood Bowl, sipping Starbucks on the Promenade, speeding through the canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains, dancing at parties before they were parties, developing a habit of making friends with strangers, jazz pickup nights, hotel cafe, places that don't exist anymore, places that will always exist, maybe I just fell in love with a city, and that, I know, will never change.
home away from home
After dinner at the Alcove, we headed out to Hollywood where we reserved an air bnb -- something I've never done before (even though I'm a huge fan of couchsurfing and have done that in a few different countries). The space was wonderful and the handmade furniture was gorgeous. Our host said he created it himself, which of course made us swoon. He was nice enough to go out and get us a fan as it was terribly hot the first evening.
out and about
First stop -- the Dresden. My absolute favorite place to start the night, or spend an entire evening. Psychobabble (now closed) - Greek restaurant/Alcove - movie theatre on the corner - Dresden - Fred 62s was a pretty regular habit of mine circa 2006. My tastes haven't changed all that much.
We met up with friends and ended up downtown, after passing a club called rhonda and the short stop--places I used to frequent but that now have lines that wrap around the buildings and are filled with people that don't dance.
The apparent ease of California life is an illusion, and those who believe the illusion will live here in only the most temporary way.--Joan Didion
The Bloody Mary Bar
The next day we headed to Santa Monica for brunch at Brick + Mortar. We needed bloody marys and some fuel for the day, as well as some ocean breeze. The bloody mary bar was by far the most amazing bloody mary bar I have ever seen. The food was great and the staff was nice enough, but the club-music and Marina-esque scene was a little much for our old souls. Nothing a bit of ocean-side driving could not cure.
Next stops -- The Row showroom + other Melrose Place locales. We had to check out The Row's new showroom. I was so in love I didn't even take photos (luckily, K.Mala did -- check out her instagram). Everything was so perfectly curated and the center pool centered the space and the room. The clothes were smooth and sleek and dripping in chic elegance. I loved them, but also knew none of them would fit my body type. We needed coffee.
xoxo These two photos are by K.Mala Studios.
The Meat Dancer
After first going to the old location of Kohn gallery and being really, really, confused, we eventually found the current location. The Mark Ryden show was spectacular, two full rooms with detailed oil paintings that will make your skin curl, and opulent custom-designed frames that will make you wish you knew a metalsmith. There's was even a collection of cover songs, a penny-to-play old school arcade carousel thing (don't know how to explain this) and sketches of Ryden's pre-painting work. Everything he does is so precise and so inspiring.
Making Friends on Sunset
We went to our new favorite stores: Reform School and Bucks & Does and made some friends. Bucks & Does was having an anniversary party and Reform School gave us some good bar recommendations. We ended up having dinner at La Poubelle and retiring to bed (after some instagram time -- we now have an instagram!). We were beat.
back to the east coast
The next day I had to pack. I hate packing, but luckily my Cuyana tote and Etxe wallet make it fun because I like putting things in pretty things. They are really the only two things I need to get onto an airplain painlessly - I just put my id in my wallet and everything else in my tote. I never have to dig in my tote when I'm passing security. We stopped for breakfast at food lab and this song ironically played as my friend dropped me off at the curb.
Until next time Los Angeles ...
Here's a playlist that reminds me of LA; It's only half finished.