Archive for LA

Ready… Aim… Mis-fire?

Top 5 Reasons Why It’s Better Not to Plan Ahead

You ever have one of those days where everything that happens is kind of a misfire? Well that was my whole weekend.  After a whole week of talking about plans and fun activities for the weekend and despite L.A.’s never ending possibilities for amusement last weekend kind of ended up a bust.  Luckily my friends and I are the types to make fun no matter what gets thrown our way!

1.  Americana Opening Has Too Many People = eating at a smelly Islands with pissed off waiters/bartenders.   I received a text Friday after I got off work saying that a bunch of the group were heading over to the new Americana at Brand shopping center for opening day.  Right up my alley, I am showered, dressed, and ready to go in a matter of minutes.  We all meet up and head over to Glendale… where we find that we have to wade through the masses of people who have turned up to see the amazing new Grove look-a-like.  Parking wasn’t as difficult as we thought it might be, I think they can probably pack in the entire city of Glendale’s cars in to this structure! After wandering around and checking out what fabulous stores have graced this side of town we decided we should get our names on a list for somewhere to eat since this place is jam packed.  We figured the Cheesecake Factory was our best bet and head in (or rather fight and struggle our way in) to put our names on the list… for a TWO. HOUR. WAIT.  At 9:30 at night! After wandering around for awhile trying to find a shorter wait, we walk into an Island’s which promised 15 minutes until our table was ready and an empty bar.  Although the place smelled like an old wet sponge we figured it was our best bet.  With 10 indecisive people ordering, canceling orders, and re-ordering I’m pretty sure we got a heavy dose of waiter spit along with our fries and drinks.

2.  Saying We’re Going to Have the Best Night Ever = no one can decide what to do and we end up going back and forth between Barney’s and E Bar in Old Town (plus see a couple having sex against a bar in NeoMezz).  Throughout our hours long dinner everyone talked about how great it was going to be to go out after and have some fun after the long week.  However no one talked about what we were actually going to do so we spent a good 20 minutes standing outside in the cold trying to come up with something that everyone wanted to do.  Finally half of the group drifted off to the movies, while the other half headed over to Old Town Pasadena (after deciding to go to the movies with the rest, no wait we should go out, but no it’s too late now, but yes, but no, okay we’ll go to a bar).  Truth be told we probably should have just gone home because no one really wanted to be in Barney’s, and by the time we decided it would be fun to dance at E Bar they wouldn’t let us in.  We wandered down to NeoMezz where we witnessed the most interesting thing of the entire evening…  the gift of one cheap rose being enough for a session public grinding and/or sex up against the bar in a near empty room.  Classy.

3.  Joking/Sarcasm Does Not Work Through Texting = continued lateness and more waiting in the cold for the group to decide on something to do.  Saturday’s group indecisiveness started early with the texting games and back-and-forth about where we were all going to meet, if we were meeting, who was going with who, etc etc etc.  In the end we made it to the performance one of my friends’ cousin (she plays guitar and sings, check her out…link below!) for the last 2 songs.  Then we did our usual stand around in the cold routine while figuring out where everyone wanted to eat (the top priority in this group).  This time we actually had some goooood food (although kept up with the pissed off waiters somehow… this time any simple request of more water or an extra napkin was met with a glare of death) at this little cafe in Beverly Hills where they make the BEST paninis I have ever had.  And I’ve had some good paninis.  We stopped in at Nic’s Martini Lounge across the street where there was some more hemming and hawing about where the night was going to take us, but at least this time we were struggling over decisions with drinks in hand.  After a bunch of people dropped out of the party a couple of us headed over to the W in Westwood (of course at the last minute possible) and danced our little booties off despite the dodgy DJ’s strange mixture of music and the older (or shall we say, more ‘mature’) guests kinky dance moves.

4.  Trying to Be All “LA” and Go to the Beach Even Though You Wake Up and Can Only See Gray Skies = windy, cold, and all-around miserable day (plus gross BBQ because drunk people can’t cook).  This also apparently leads to being the cover for your friend who is trying to carry out an affair with a married man.  Which then leads to waiting around in Long Beach for said “relationship” to carry out (and we all know what that means…) while you just want to make the drive back to LA and get to bed after a strange weekend.  Apparently this then leads to frustration and yelling like white trash on the front porch (ahem, in front of the entire neighborhood) about how disgusting some people are.  This is not necessarily advisable if you’re trying to maintain the appearance of not actually living in a trailer park, but I have to say it can feel realllllly good.  And it was probably the dramatic finish that this mis-fired weekend deserved!

So with no extravagant plans made for this coming weekend I’m thinking it could turn out a lot better! Spontaneity is the way to go in this town…

 

Last weekend’s fabulous roundup:

The Americana at Brand

Barney’s Beanery

NeoMeze

Hear some good local music here

Nic’s Martini Lounge

The W Bar and Hotel

Won’t Go Home Without You

Catchphrase of this past weekend… “Wow I can’t believe you are actually in MY hometown this time!”

It was such a surreal few days having one of my best friends from Liverpool (who now lives in London) come out to LA to see what all the fuss was about.  After getting lost trying to back to this side of town from LAX (how confusing are the exits out of airports??), I finally got P back to my house so he could change before dinner.  I took him to El Cholo in Pasadena for a taste of some real Mexican food, not whatever the Brits come up with as Mexican haha… He took a picture of the sheer amount of food we were given and said it was tasty but that guacamole has a weird texture.  I’ll have to bring him around to how amazing it actually is, we have time!

I decided to get Hollywood out of the way on Friday, before it got too packed on the weekend.  We went on the Dearly Departed Tour, which I thought would be a much better idea than me trying to drive around showing him the sites (we all know my history of driving in Hollywood.. and if you don’t then GOOD, that’s one less person that will make a comment on my driving skills!).  The creator of www.findagrave.com is the tour guide, so you know you’re in for some scandalous sites on the Hollywood’s Tragical History Tour.  In the three hour tour we saw tons of LA and movie history, from the street where Halloween was filmed to the restroom where George Michael was arrested for uhh ‘indecent exposure.’  We didn’t come across any celebrities, but we did see Sylvester Stallone’s car and Christina Aguilera’s house… I’m obviously not hanging out in the right circles if in all my years of living in Los Angeles I’ve only seen a couple of famous people!

Once the tour was over we got P posed with all the usual tourist photo ops at Hollywood and Highland and Grauman’s Chinese Theater.  We’ve got about a dozen pictures of a famous person’s handprints and P’s foot, or P’s hand pointing at a celebrity’s signature in the cement.  We wandered down Hollywood Blvd to find P a souvenier out of one of the many seedy little shops and then ventured in to Ripley’s Believe It or Not, a classic!  It seems a little old and out of place next to all the development going on in that area, but it still manages to amuse (and gross out) with its strange collection.

That night we had a few drinks at The Chalet, my local neighborhood bar in Eagle Rock.  We chilled out, played our favorites from the jukebox, and remembered funny/embarrassing nights out from college.  P was amazed that there was actually Guinness on tap at some place in the US — and that it actually tasted alright!  Haha yes.. Americans can drink real beer too (although the next night P was affirmed in his idea that all Americans are lightweights).

Saturday we went to Universal Studios, something I haven’t done in YEARS.  Last time I went it was pretty empty and I don’t remember there being that much to do.  But we had a blast, despite the fact that I might have given P some bruising out of terror walking through the House of Horrors and going down the drop in the Jurassic Park ride!  We went on the Studio Tour, which I thought would be neat for an out-of-towner to see but I ended up exclaiming “Oh wow that’s cool” every five minutes too.

After we had recovered from walking around all day, we ventured to a club called Elevate, located in the 21st floor penthouse of an office building in Downtown LA (along with Takami Sushi and Robata Restaurant).  It had a great view of Los Angeles from its outdoor areas and a DJ who played all kinds of fun music to dance to.  It was a classic night for me and P, filled with an intense mixture of tequila shots, crazy dancing, lost ATM cards, weird conversations with strangers, a few tears, but ultimately a lot of fun (and a LOT of funny memories).  Random little bits of that night have been coming back to us all week, cracking us up with each one.  

After that crazy night we spent the rest of the weekend chilling out.  Sunday afternoon we drove all the way down Sunset Blvd to the beach, looking at all the different parts of LA from Echo Park to Malibu.  From there we wandered around Santa Monica Pier and the 3rd St Promenade.  We got some interesting people watching in and I made P stand in the Pacific ocean and pose for all kinds of touristy photos.  Too bad the weather wasn’t nice enough for actually lying out in the sand somewhere, I don’t think P even went back to freezing England with any kind of a tan! 

For a five day trip I think we hit all the major tourist spots of LA.  We’ve got a list going of less touristy things to do for the next time he comes out to visit, it’s already pretty long but I’m sure there is loads that needs to be added.  If you have any ideas for what has to be shown to people from outside the LA bubble,  drop me a line!

 

Avon Walk Los Angeles

 I may be crazy, but I’ve decided to do the Avon Walk for breast cancer this year.  A marathon and a half over two days… just thinking about it is more than a little daunting! But, I think this is the year to do what my mom described as a “life changing experience.”  She’ll be training and doing the Big Walk with me this year too.  So far she’s in the lead for fundraising, and reminding me of it every day! 

Oh yeah, that’s another big part of the walk… fundraising.  To participate you have to fundraise at least $1800 for the Avon Foundation, which will go towards providing access to care for those that most need it, fund educational programs, and accelerate research into new treatments and potential cures.  I’ve got a lot of ideas, the trick is putting them into action!

 This is such an important cause to me because this year, an estimated 40,000 women will die from the disease. Breast cancer takes another life every 14 minutes. Another woman is diagnosed with breast cancer every 3 minutes. An estimated three million women are living with breast cancer. One million of them don’t yet know it.  Everyone has probably been affected by this disease at some point, whether through a personal health scare or witnessing a friend or loved one go through it.

The walk starts and ends in Long Beach.  I’ll complete a marathon (26 miles) on Saturday, camp out over night, then complete a half marathon (13 miles) on Sunday.  Then I’ll get the longest massage I can afford…

If you want to help, or have any questions for me, feel free to ask!

Hoooome sweet home

I have a friend from England coming to visit me for the first time in a couple of weeks.  Every day he asks me questions about what we’re going to do, where we’re going to go, what I’m going to show him of this city that I’ve raved about as long as he has known me.  And every day I answer “Uhh uhh I’ll have to look some stuff up.  I’ll have to get directions to places.”  I’ve come to the realization that I don’t even know that much about the city that I couldn’t wait to get back to the whole time I was away at college. 

So, with my out-of-town visitor showing up my knowledge of why L.A. IS the best city in the world, I’ve decided that I need to get in touch with my hometown.  The next time someone asks me why I’ll never leave I’ll be able to list in detail the reasons why L.A. will always be my home!