We love LA
We were very lucky indeed, that first time we came to LA some 24 years ago. We had booked round-the-world air tickets as my hero was speaking to a conference in New Zealand and Edward and I flew out to join him. We’d decided to return home via Fiji on the Air New Zealand flight to Los Angeles and chatted to an Amercian travel agent we encountered about hotels. She looked at Edward - then aged 10 - and advised us to choose either a beach hotel or one by the studios; not to think about staying downtown. She recommended Shutters on the Beach, our primary choice of hotel for several years as a result of that initial conversation. Had we stayed downtown, we might have had an altogether different experience.
We were also lucky to have several friends here in LA who, over the years, have introduced us to their favourite places, have steered us away from the tacky parts of town (like the stretch of Hollywood Boulevard around Graumann’s Chinese Theatre above) and we feel privileged to have a better understanding of the place than many.
We still don’t get the celebrity culture thing though; we could pass any number of stars on the street without knowing who any of them are and are totally unfazed by crowds rubbernecking some “happening” on the pavement serious enough to require the LAPD presence such as happened this morning. Having said that, as we pass CBS I am quietly hoping that James Corden will appear and perform a crosswalk musical!
We do, however, love to drive along streets with familiar names on our way to breakfast at a long standing and totally unfancy deli which we came to on that very first visit.
The corned beef hash fan is hapy to be here even if the recipe has changed since we were last here. “Yes”, says Michael, the server, “it’s a brick now”. (His description was accurate!) As we enjoy our breakfast, the conversation on the next table is entertaining - the two chaps are chatting about contracts and songwriters and bringing in talent from the UK….not that I’m eavesdropping of course!
Clean plates were evidence of our enjoyment - my challah french toast was good too.
I love being able to visit my favourite stores here, to find clothes I enjoy wearing and which I know suit me.
In such a car-oriented city, it’s so easy to drive and leave the car in a parking garage free of charge with validation from the shop. A bit of artwork on the walls adds amusement too. We smile as the elevator doors open onto the street and we find ourselves just steps away from where we want to be. How neat is that?
It’s good that whilst I look around and try on a few things, my hero can sit comfortably and read. Not only that, but in this environmentally conscious city, one of my puchases has a history.
What’s not to love about that? (And those who are familiar with Eileen Fisher clothes will know how pleased I was to have such a lovely top for just $38!)
I am amused by the billboards here, many for TV programmes and new films. We are a little disconcerted by those advertising cannabis this time, however. Even on our hotel desk is a postcard with an ad for mail order weed.
And I always love looking out and spotting my favourite house up there on the top of the hill. I am told by my hero, however, that it will never be mine if I keep spending so much in Eileen Fisher…
We love the culture here too of course. The concert halls and the art galleries. Today, Diana had snagged us tickets for the Broad musuem downtown and she and Mary picked us up at our hotel this lunchtime to drive down the freeway, which was clogged with traffic (we don’t love the slow moving traffic!)
The architecture is spectacular. I guess it needs to be as it sits right alongside the Gehry designed concert hall next door. I love the way that “turned up corner” is reflected in the printed material inside - the maps and paper guides all have a cut off corner too.
Whilst on the subject of architecture, I love the confident approach to embracing the new and different. How about this high school building by the freeway entrance?
So much to love, then. But most of all, what makes this city special is the people who live here. In particular, the dear friends (and honorary family!) who share their city with us, who take us to places they know we will love and who plan special experiences for us. They welcome us into their homes and take over where we left off last time we saw them as it we’ve never been apart. It’s such fun to spend time in their company and we love them, one and all.