Tuesday, February 15, 2005

L.A. Story

My trip to L.A. got off on the wrong foot because my plane was delayed about two hours. So I didn't end up leaving Seattle until almost when I was supposed to arrive at Burbank (I flew into the Bob Hope Airport instead of LAX because it's right next to Jen's work). The flight finally left, though, and I arrived in L.A. around 6:30 on Thursday.

That night we had a quick dinner with her brother at a (lame) little "French Market" near their home that they'd never been to. I doubt they'll go back; the service wasn't so good, the food was only okay, and it was really not a comfortable or attractive place to eat. At least, I didn't like it. Afterwards it was pretty late, so we went home, unpacked and relaxed a bit.

Friday we slept in, went to a cool farmer's market at a mall called The Grove. We looked around a bit, had some very good crepes, and picked up some things at a couple of the more traditional stores in the mall (as opposed to at the farmers market). Oh, I picked up a goofy little gift for Scott that I have to send him sometime soon. I also bought some new shoes at Nordstrom's. These are they. When we were done there we drove to the "local" Ikea. I put local in quotes because one of the things you learn very quickly about L.A. is that nothing it local in the usual sense of the word. The city is too spread out for anything to be truly local.

We picked up a new bed frame and exchanged a dresser -- and we actually managed to load them both into her Volvo with very little effort. Woohoo! The rest of the afternoon and much of the evening was taken up with putting them together. I think I wrapped up around nine that evening. We had a very good dinner that night (ordered in) from a Brazilian place called Bossa Nova.

Saturday Jen, her brother, and I went to breakfast at Norm's (basically Denny's), toured Mulholland Drive and its scenic overlook (very cool), then drove to La Brea to see the La Brea Tar Pits and the Page Museum. Like all children, I was a big fan of dinosaurs and I remember hearing of the tar pits and thinking they were awfully cool -- and that I'd love to see them if I ever had the chance. And, luckily, Jen was also pretty keen on it, so we strolled through the park that contains the pits and the museum dedicated to the finds from the site. It was a quick visit, but like I said, it was cool. Things like it awe me because they allow me to see evidence of life from tens of thousands of years ago, in addition to marvelling at the fact that the pits themselves have existed in basically the same form for a like period of time. Pretty damn cool.

Afterward to drove through Beverly Hills, checked out Rodeo Drive, and stopped by the hardware store. I love that sentence.

Saturday evening Jen and I went to dinner at Flavor of India. The food was great and we had a really good time just chatting, but the service was a little comical because it seemed like we were in a no man's land of waiters because none of them seemed to want to actuallly claim the table as theirs, so we had four different people wait on us and we had to ask for help whenever a waiter happened by. Weird considering how good the place was otherwise -- and how good the service was for the table next to ours.

After dinner we went out for a night on the town with her brother and another couple. We walked down to an area in West Hollywood with a number of bars, picked one and off we went! Actually, we had a good time drinking and chatting until closing time. Then we got to play doctor to a very, very drunk young woman. Along with her roommates we kept her on her feet, got her some water, made her throw up, and eventually got her in a sober roommate's car so she could get home where she could sleep it off and suffer through the next day's hangover. We were all a little drunk, too, so then we walked home and slept.

Sunday none of us felt so good, but Jen and I still went with a friend of her's for a walk along Hermosa Beach. By the time we were done I felt much better, but Jen was still a little rough around the edges, so when we got home she took a nap while I finished reading The Hot Rock. That evening we were all very lazy and had dinner in front of the t.v. while we watched the Grammys. Fun and relaxing.

So, my impressions of L.A. after my first real visit? I like it. Actually, I like it more than I thought I would. It's much too spread out for my liking, but as a result of its sprawl all, or at least most, of it is filled with interesting, creative businesses that have to stand out or perish. Sure, there's an Ikea, but all the boutique furniture stores are very specialized -- this one covers the 50's, that one the 70's. That sort of thing. Plus, like New York, there are a lot of important businesses, people, and organizations in the city which leads to a lot of interesting events (like, say, the Grammys). So, yeah, L.A. is fun. I liked it. I'd go again, and maybe this time I'd make it the half-mile down the street to see the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Mann's Chinese Theatre. I can't beleive we forgot to do that.

It was a great weekend overall.


At February 17, 2005 3:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience with NYC, Jon. Thought I would hate it, but after a couple of days realized that I could be happy living there. (Provided I was close to Central Park.)



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