Friday, February 28, 2014

Los Angeles report

Note: I wrote a whole post on my time in LA, but apparently it didn't get saved correctly, so here's a recreation/summary:

I just got back from 10 days in Los Angeles. Well, I'm in LAX [not any more!] and of those 10 days, two were devoted to travel. That's my commitment to truth right there.

I came to LA partly as a vacation--a chance to do all the things that I don't get to do in my day-to-day life in San Angelo. So I went to some museums and planned to go see some limited-release films and ate lots of vegan Thai food. [I never actually went to see the films I wanted to see; also, I failed to ever go see improv.]

And partly I went there as a recon trip, to see if I found LA to be a livable place: after two year in San Angelo, would the crowds and the freeways overwhelm me? Would the people be nice? Would the weather be too pleasant?

But first, here's some highlights:

Sunday: After high school friend Christine picked me up at the airport, I bought tickets for the Nerdist Writers Panel and we raced over to that. We popped into a nearby cafe beforehand and they were doing standup in this tiny space for just a few people. [Thanks, Marc Maron--now everyone thinks they can do stand-up.] The Nerdist Writers Panel was a lot of fun and I wish I had the energy to stop afterwards to introduce myself. (Lesson: don't leave immediately after things, say hello.)

Monday: I went to LACMA, the LA County Museum of Art, which was having a free day from Target and a kid-full day thanks to Presidents Week. Also, for the first few days, I was car-less and taking mass transit and it worked out OK. I mean, I'm used to Chicago-style mass transit--cars and buses and some uncomfortable waits. At least in LA, you're not walking through freezing puddles and waiting in killer wind for the bus/train.

[Here's where my saved post ends; begin the summary:]

LACMA was fun, though all that walking took a toll on my feet. But that didn't stop me from walking to the "Farmers Market" (which is more like an outdoor mall) and the Trader Joe's (a recurring theme of my trip) and even walking around Amoeba Records.

Tuesday: A busy, social day: I met a screenwriter for lunch and had a really nice time; then I saw high school (and Hebrew school) friend Jason for coffee; then I went to a talk with the Molyneux sisters, who write on Bob's Burgers. (Though by that time, I was feeling a little antsy: listening to people talk is fine, but I had my own stuff to do.)

Wednesday: A neighborhood-focused day: I hiked up to the Griffith Park Observatory (great, hot), then walked around the Los Feliz area. Later, I rushed downtown to the Standard Hotel to see if they had this particular type of soap that Sarah likes (they didn't) and then went out for a night of bar trivia.

Thursday: Today I picked up my rental car, got all my stuff from Christine's place and got ready to drive to college-era friend Brendan's place. But first: The Getty! It's a fine museum in terms of exhibits and objects. (I have a weakness for ridiculously ornate and mechanical chairs/tables; I have less a weakness for all the Biblical scenes; and I nearly shouted with joy when I saw James Ensor's Christ's Entry into Brussels.) It does have an amazing guide system involving an iPod touch. And, more amazing than anything, the location gives a great view of the city (a sprawl) and the mountains.

Then, that night, due to another friend suddenly being in town, we had a dinner party at Brendan's, which was a lot of fun.

Friday: I had lunch on the Dreamworks lot, which was pretty amazing, but the rest of the day was a pretty low-key, recon-centered day: could I see myself doing work at these coffee shops and libraries? Answer: sure, why not.

Saturday: Drove to Santa Monica, saw an old friend of my brother's, which was pretty neat. Had a nice time at Brendan's birthday party.

Sunday: The Museum of Jurassic Technology is weird and wonderful and creepy. (They have this one exhibit on Athanasius Kircher, which is kept in a dark room with a cacaphony/euphony of bells. "Is this where I will be axe-murdered?" I wondered.) Then I saw that Lovecraft play (previously reviewed). Then had dinner with Jason and his girlfriend.

Monday: Switched from one Airbnb to another. Had fine experiences in both, though, honestly, by this time, I was getting a little lonely. Drove east to Pasadena, had coffee with an online friend, but spent the night at home getting stuff done.

Tuesday: Emergency! Got an email that there was an issue with my passport application, so I ran around (library, post office, CVS, post office) getting that worked out. Then, went to go see a taping of @midnight, which was interesting and funny. Though it mostly involved a lot of waiting around--and I only got in because someone with a priority ticket had an extra ticket and she noticed I was all alone on the regular ticket line.

Wednesday: All day travel! It was fine until I was stuck in DFW because our late plane had a problem. So instead of getting home at 10ish, I got home at 1ish.


  1. So, is it a place you could live?

    1. Short answer: sure. Long answer: Sure, sure. (Or if I think of more to say, I'll have a post up on Friday.)