my l.a. story

January 3, 2011

It was a bust – going to LA. At least kind of. And it all seemed so good on paper. We had a free place to stay. Our tickets weren’t over priced. Dear friends were in town and the record rains had mostly let up. We did  a bunch of research before we left. There were promises of great food, good art, interesting sites and the potential for some relaxation.

It started out nicely, as noted below. And even though RU’s phone died on our second day and then she got saddled with a lemon when she bought a new one, it was more nuisance than anything else. It didn’t put any real dents on our day trip out past Pasadena to tour the Huntington Gardens and the LA County Arboretum and take a second look at LA’s new Chinatown.

That night my stomach started hurting, but I figured I was having too much coffee and shouldn’t have had ice cream for dinner. Go to sleep I told myself – tomorrow promises to be sunny. Instead I woke up sick at 2am, didn’t go back to bed until 7am and then spent the whole next day and night lying down, sleeping on and off, reading and watching a couple bad movies. I barely drank more than a glass of water in 24 hours. And couldn’t eat more than a couple crumbs of a rice cake. I tired to not notice that I was missing the nicest day of the week, weather wise.

After that, I really never got fully back on my feet and RU and I struggled to make the right choices about where to go and what to eat and what to do for the rest of the week. Everything seemed kind of off even though we did some cool things, like we went to Venice Beach and walked along the canals and it was amazing to see inside some of the houses — they looked like something you’d see in a magazine. We didn’t stay out as long as I’d have liked and I had to walk slowly because I still felt crappy, just like I did when we went to Griffith Park one day and back up to the Observatory the next.

We tried to go to MOCA and LACMA but we’d not paid close enough attention to their schedules and they weren’t open when we went. We tried to go the Getty, but the line to park was insane and we left. We did get to to see the Hayden Tract development project even though we didn’t know what it was, when we went to visit our friend’s art studio. And we got to see a couple of our friend’s sculptures, which was a treat.

We had lunch at a hip LA top 100 place on Highland and went for a slow walk on Melrose. We took our time making our way back to the car, taking side streets and looking at houses, killing time before going to a movie. Sadly, we’d not checked the parking sign in front of the restaurant and when we got back our car had been towed. We spent more money getting the car out the impound and dealing with the associated ticket than it cost us to rent the car.

On our last night, we tried to go to dinner with our friend at a cool Korean izakaya. We didn’t get his texts that it was a bar that allowed smoking. We were late getting there and by the time we found the place, he’d already eaten and then the person two tables over lit up a cigarette and we had to leave because the smoke was too much for RU. Our friend bid us farewell and good luck in finding some where else and we went to another place that we’d read about but were turned away because it was closing. We finally ended up at the place we’d been before and after two days of barely eating anything and shuffling around town I didn’t still want to be sick and I ate too much food. Come the middle of the night I felt nauseous. Again.

It was beautiful weather when we left. Cold, but clear and sunny and hardly any smog. We drove around some. RU had a nice breakfast and I tried to eat a bagel. The flight home was uneventful. We read bad magazines and slept.

Coming home, our house looked so nice to me. And I didn’t mind being in Portland at all even though it was way cold.

Oh, I did read the one of the absolute best books I’ve read in a long time. Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. I could not put it down. A brilliant and moving novel.

No Comments »

leave a reply