Fall is here, but Los Angeles does not seem to notice. I spent the weekend there wandering Echo Park, Downtown, Venice, Santa Monica, & Topanga Canyon. I was without a jacket in all these locations (except Topanga... bring layers). The primary reason was to visit friends, one of which is working at Brendan Ravenhill Studio. She's a friend from school (RISD), we caught up over sticky coconut rice at Night + Market Song. I stayed at an Airbnb that night in Echo Park, the place was decorated by the owner's paintings.
I could have stretched in the next day into four days worth of activities but why not squeeze them into one? Especially when parking in downtown L.A. My initial interest was in going to the Library to see, To Live and Dine in L.A. An exhibit highlighting menu's of old and displayed in a bright chartreuse scheme that gives yours eyes a lot to digest.
Since I was parked in MOCA a validated lot, that was included in the itinerary. I spent about an hour scoping the one level offerings... it was good. A nice preview of modern art. After this I went across the street to The Broad. I had heard one needed a reservation, the admission is free but booked way into 2016. I guessed they might make room for walk-ins - which they do! It was about a 20 minute wait but then voila! You're in. The building is a feature in itself, a honeycomb-like structure gives the space loads of natural light - displaying artwork in their most flattering.
Grand Central Market. Food time. If you have ever been to the San Francisco Ferry Building or Eataly, this is kind of what this feels like, but on a smaller, much more approachable scale. There are tons of Mexican offerings but I was craving something different, maybe healthy? I ordered a chicken salad, probably not the most popular item on their menu but it did the trick. Bombo - a spanish seafood inspired eatery.
My next destination took me to Venice. I met up with a friend from our banana slug days (UCSC) and window shopped on Abbot Kinney. Tortoise was hands down my favorite shop... I wanted to buy all the japanese home goods. Please go there. We ate lunch at Lemonade... too many choices, I was overwhelmed. Then a new orleans iced coffee at Blue Bottle. I purchased some beans for Mom and got my second jolt of caffeine for the day. We drove over the the promenade, Santa Monica. What a scene on a Saturday; street performers, strollers, underage mobs. The usual points of interest: Lush, Anthropologie, Madewell. Happy hour at East Borough (Culver City) followed, a vietnamese spot known for tasty cheapies like pho baguette, bao, and lettuce cups. The Saturday of Indulgence continued to AMC Theaters - Dine in. The movie was so-so, I miss you already, but the reclining seats were worth it.
Sunday morning at Menotti's Coffee Shop... so hipster, so cool. Reviews raved at the almond milk latte so I got the cappuccino version. They were right, it's spot on. It's near Venice beach Boulevard... a sketchy looking scene in the early morning light but probably harmless. My friend's baby shower in Topanga Canyon happened later that day - a nice Baby-Q as they say. L.A. was a fun visit and maybe one day I'll be convinced to lived there but until then, I'll stick to the Bay Area.