Going Back To Cali

(I suggest we learn to love ourselves before it's made illegal...warning, don't ever let life pass you by.- B. Boyd)

Visiting Los Angeles again. This time because my friend Joanna is having baby number two, and I figured I would go a see her before the baby's arrival.

I always try to make her a CD before I go to see her. Here's what's on it this time.

"Help I'm Alive" - Metric
"Zero" - Yeah Yeah Yeahs
"Get Myself Into It" - The Rapture
"Two Weeks" - Grizzly Bear
"Something Is Not Right With Me" - Cold War Kids
"I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked" - Ida Maria
"Black Heart Inertia" - Incubus
"Electric Feel" - MGMT
"Caravan Girl" - Goldfrapp
"Poker Face" - Lady Gaga
"Sunday Girl" - Blondie
"French Navy" - Camera Obscura
"The Opposite of Hallelujah" - Jens Lekman
"Relator" - Pete Yorn & Scarlett Johansson
"Summertime" - The Sundays

I love Los Angeles. My goal is to go there once a year. We'll see how that goes. But I don't do fancy pants LA. I'm not hanging out at Chateau Marmont or The Standard. I do laid back, easy-going LA.

Favorite LA Things

1. Amoeba Records - The biggest and best record store ever. And when I say record, I mean vinyl. You can get some great stuff here at very affordable prices. I still need a Jimi Hendrix picture disc to go with my Led Zeppelin and David Bowie discs that are on my wall. Hmmm...

2. Beach/Weather - Going to Zuma beach this time, which is supposed to be the best beach in LA. 70, 80, 90 degrees... whatever, I'll take it compared to Texas heat.

3. Vintage Stores Galore - Los Angeles is a vintage store paradise. I could spend all day going through the racks.

4. Farmer's Market at The Grove - I get Waffles with Strawberries every time.

5. Fish tacos - I like cheap, from a stand, on the street fish tacos. Sometimes they even have shrimp, too.

6. Silverlake - The houses on the hill, I want one. There are quaint coffee shops and cute, little boutiques. It's like Austin or Seattle in LA.

7. View from Griffith Observatory - At night, of course, is terrific. It will be the only time you can stand looking at the traffic in Los Angeles. The lights are fantastic.

8. The Originals - In-N-Out Burger, Pinkberry and Sprinkles. The start of some of the best food chains in America.

Day 1
June 18, 2009

Los Angeles and your Spanish bungalows, how I adore thee despite your love of the Lakers. Ninety degrees here isn't like in Texas. A cool breeze comes along and makes everything alright again, and at night it's chilly enough for a jacket. Can I take you home with me? I'm staying in La Brea which is close to Hollywood. My hotel of choice is this time is Farmer's Daughter, which isn't too far from Joanna. It's across the street from the Price is Right building and the Farmer's Market/Grove. This is a perfect location if you have a car. It's near some of the touristy things and some type of everyday, normal LA life. I've noticed...1. People love to walk their dogs all the time here. 2. Women wear boots with everything (skirts, pants and even shorts). Maybe shoes are a cultural thing and people should do more studies regarding people's choice of footwear and region. Footnotes: a)White people like to wear flip flops in 30 degree weather. b) LA women wear boots summer, spring, winter and fall. Met up with Joanna after doing some thrift store shopping. You can read about what I found here. We went to Amoeba Records after catching up (dishing about Facebook) I picked up 2 remix singles and latest Strokes album on vinyl. I think some things are meant to listen to on vinyl. Classics like Bowie or old 60s-70s R&B. Somehow I think the Strokes fit that bill, too. Gabriella is so big, and she still smiles all the time. Definitely an explorer. She likes to run around and pick up things. We went to go see the Hangover. Very funny. A nice combination of physical comedy and "what in the world" moments. Day 1, Success.

(view from hotel room window)

Day 2
June 19, 2009

Went to Zuma Beach. It's very relaxing to look at the waves even in cloudy weather. In the random way the world works, I look up at a light while we are driving and see a street named "Morning View." Then I realize that this is the street that Incubus named their album after, which makes me smile on the inside. Went to Duke's to eat lunch. You can look out at the ocean while you eat and big seagulls will walk pass on the window ledge. Later in the evening we saw Grizzly Bear at The Wiltern. It's a nice theater - a little old Hollywood. The sound was really good. Normally, I don't go see mellow bands in concert, but the band was great. The way they blend melodies is amazing. Their sound is attention grabbing yet beautiful enough to lull you to sleep. I thought weird mustaches were so last year, but apparently some guys are still rockin them. It was a bit like being surrounded by a bunch of Ryan Goslings from Lars and the Real Girl. Day 2, Accomplished and tired.

Day 3
June 20, 2009

Walked around town a lot today. I didn't realize how close I was to Melrose where a bunch of vintage stores are located. I also didn't realize that most of the stores don't open until noon on Saturday. What are these people doing on Friday nights that half the day goes by before they open a store? I think I could handle driving a car out here. I'm starting to put locations and streets somewhat together, and I now know that you don't have to take the 405 to the airport. I did stop by, The Way We Wore, a very famous vintage shop where celebs like to shop. Prices are definitely to high for my taste, but I could see how some Hollywood celebutante could clean up in there or someones stylist - the customer de jour of the day. The Way We Wore - Expensive vintage. Melrose Thrift Stores - Retail Vintage. Thrift Stores - Cheaper Vintage. Day 3 - Satisfied until next time.