Two days in LA

Well, first off I am posting from the patio outside my swank hotel room balcony. Jealous? You should be. The weather here is in the high-60s, a little chilly, but not as chilly as it is back home in Boston, where folks are digging out from yesterday's snow.

I'm here for a conference, but came in early to do a little sight-seeing, shopping, and to start my screenplay.

I haven't seen any stars, but I have reason to believe that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes were at my hotel room last night, based on the number of limos, burly men in dark suits, and the gaggle of scientology protesters, wearing masks that looked like Cruise if he were playing the title role in Phantom of the Opera.

I might have seen Wayne Brady, too, but I'm 90% sure I'm just making that up.

Arrived early (local time) on Friday, had sushi and a glass of wine on an outdoor patio near the pool, and listened to the local dealmakers pitching their promotions ... including a "rock the vote" event in which the young, beutiful,and unregistered Hollywood types would get free admission to the club of the moment if they registered to vote while swilling down Crystal (sp?).

Went window shopping at a fancy local outdoor mall, and amused myself by watching the tweens hit Sees candy store for their free samples, pointing to chocolates and scratching their chins as if in deep contemplation over what they'd like to purchase. And after carefully selecting and eating their free samples, skipping out of the chocolatier without spending a dime. And based on the way they were dressed, they could have spared the dime. Well, I got a free sample, too, but only because the lovely employees there, dressed in funny, old-fashioned outfits (a cross between nurse and French maid) insisted I take one.

I also went to the currently trendy Pinkberry--there was a line outside the door--and tried their famous fat free frozen yogurt. It was gross, but I ate it anyway.

Yesterday I rented a car and braved the LA freeways. I kept thinking of that scene from Clueless where the girls are driving a car and accidentally get on the freeway, screaming in panic and fear. Anyhow, aside frm a few near misses I did fine and managed to find my way to downtown LA.

I wanted to see the Walt Disney Concert Hall, which was designed by Frank Gehry--I was totally overwhelmed. Easily the most beautiful building I've ever seen. I couldn't stop looking at it, and took at least one million photos. Unfortunately, the computer I'm using won't read my memory card for some reason, so you'll have to wait to see all the spectacular photos I took. I also went to the MOCA and I'm so glad I did. The current exhibit (they do not do permanent displays, but rotate based on themes) was an overview called Collecting Collections. Pollock, Mondrian, deKooning and another artist, new to me, Fred Tomaselli, whose massive "Hangover" looks at first like just a pretty and somewhat staid painting of a tree draped in looping strings of beads and surrounded by little flowers but actually turns out to be, on closer inspection, a collage made up of a variety of objects embedded in lucite, including strands of pills. F-ing fabulous.

I took a lot of great photos, there, too, including some of people not looking at a piece called "This is not to be Looked At" by John Baldessari. The guards were very friendly and tried to keep out of my way, while still keeping a close eye on me.

But for me, the real highlight was seeing the four large photographs by Diane Arbus, including what is absolutely my favorite photograph of all time, "Child with a toy hand grenade in Central Park, N.Y.C."

The gift shop was pretty cool, too.

From there I drove to Beverly Hills, and hit Rodeo Drive, etc. I photographed a photographer photographing a model crossing the street. She had to cross the street about two dozen times, waiting in between for the cross signal, taking a big overdramatized step off the curb in her silver heels. Man, she was pretty, but she didn't walk too good. They drew a small crowd, really only about a half dozen people were watching, but you could tell she was pissed off about it. In between shots she furled her pretty brow at us. "Is it always like this?" she asked. The photographer didn't answer.

On the way back to the hotel, wondering where I would eat, I stumbled across a Whole Foods. Perfect! I got some fruit and cheese and crackers, some more sushi (yum) and a couple tiny bottles of champaign and went back to my hotel to have a picnic.

Anyway, it's back to work now, but I sure did have a fun couple of days. Pictures to come as soon as I get home!


Gienna said...

Edit: Katie and Tom were at my hotel last night. Not my hotel room.

But that would be something worth blogging about now, wouldn't it?

Gienna said...

Also, how come no one leaves me comments anymore?