Returning to LA-normal after a brief hiatus has proven to be much more overwhelming than I expected. Pulling my computer out of hibernation feels slightly like a personal resurrection. Even though we are only approaching three months into the year, my absence from writing was beginning to feel like eternal doom. The gap between posts quite frankly stresses me out. Obviously, I have little to no committed schedule in all of this so my anxiety is purely self-inflicted. I suppose my unwarranted work ethic is half an intent to hold an audience and half selfish satisfaction for having a creative outlet that I shamelessly enjoy. Regardless of the motive, it’s been awhile, so let’s catch up.
January became my favorite month of the year in 2012 when Ryan and I rang in the 7th of the month by becoming Mr. and Mrs. Since we have a knack for road trips and will use any excuse to return to Los Angeles, we returned to the original hood, where our dreaded long distance relationship that clearly ended in a happy ever after, began. Unfortunately, the notorious brutal winter cold of 2016 possessed our immune systems and we spent seventy percent of our getaway held up in our hotel room. Fortunately, we had a high spirits and were able to make the most of the remaining percent.
Arriving too early on Friday to check in, we decided to kill time at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts (LACMA). To be honest, we selected LACMA as the trip kick-off by error, my error. Ryan, who was quickly catching up to the level of death that I was undergoing, just wanted to see The Broad, a new contemporary art museum in downtown LA. I, unaware of the actual location, took him to LACMA and proudly found the building with the same name, not the same thing. Dismay and embarrassment quickly ensued. Luckily, being who we are, we pulled ourselves out of gloom and became determined to enjoy what we had just bought admission for. The main exhibit that we wanted to see, an interactive installation, Rain Room, was sold out, naturally. All other exhibits were wide open and we were going to see as many as we could before our bodies gave out. LACMA never disappoints. You are guaranteed to see something that will reach some level of pure fascination, that will stick with you forever. We experienced numerous fascinating moments.
We started in the New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919–1933 exhibit. It was surreal but it was also a camera free zone so you will have to take my word for it. Diana Thater: The Sympathetic Imagination was our next stop. Neither of us are professional or even amateur art critics by any means, however, we are humans with emotions who judge most things by the level of effect they have on us. The Diana Thater exhibit is hard to explain. Imagine standing before a floor to ceiling scrolling projection of birds of prey, so all-consuming that you know there must be a political statement in there somewhere but all you can do is watch in awe and puzzlement, a classic state of mine. Each room was a different show, a different feeling. My favorite was “Life is a Time-Based Medium” which presented a projection of a huge structure, reminiscent of a scene from Aladdin, that had an entrance into a private theater showing a loop of monkeys. Something I can only describe as thought provoking.
If anything could be worthy of following up such a curious display, Metropolis II, a “never ending, kinetic city sculpture” with thousands of toy cars flying around the intricate roadway system would be a strong contender. The noise was mind-numbing, a constant buzzing that was almost intolerable. However, the visual stimulation was addictive. I couldn’t stop staring. I get excited if I can keep a matchbox car on a circular track long enough for a lap or two so, for me, this was surreal. An upstairs walkway allowed you to look down and see the inner workings of conveyer belts, constantly pushing the cars to the top so they could speed their way down. When we walked out I felt exhausted, as if I had been one of the tiny wheels.
Our last LACMA hooray proved to be the best in show. To 1960s architect geeks, like us, the Frank Gehry exhibit was an unexpected life-changing event. Sketches that had never been shared and his insanely fantastic models created a sea of Gehry bliss. It is so hard for me to critique or review the work of someone that is so admirable, so influential. To be fortunate to have happened upon LACMA during the time that we did was deeply rewarding. It was like stumbling upon exclusive access to the work room of a genius. I strongly suggest that you take the time to view the link for LACMA’s summaries of each exhibit.
After our morning at the museum, we managed to close out day one with a bout of boulevard shopping. It would have been a sin to not at least make it to DSW. With the worlds largest display of roses adorning our room, thanks to Ryan and a very good hotel concierge, the traditional gift of flowers for year four was extremely well-represented. Our night cap was an unexpected, personalized tray of desserts, compliments of room service, and a champagne toast to ourselves because you’re never too sick for champs. Despite not being 100% and truthfully missing the comfort of our own bed, the friendliness of the hotel staff and the peacefulness of our off-season cabana room (intentional and brilliant) reminded us why we jokingly call The Hollywood Roosevelt our “LA apartment”. They know how and when to outdo themselves and always call us by name, whether they remember us or not, it still feels nice.
Waking up Saturday, our spirits were high even though our health seemed to be rounding an all time low. We tootled around Silver Lake, brunched at a brewery (bacon waffle, it was alright) and strolled along Sunset Blvd., popping in and out of local boutiques. The bright colored murals that cover anything with a surface became abnormally vibrant as the sky grew dark. Rain was coming and we had a committed mission to fulfill before our DayQuil wore off.
One of the most over used film locations in Los Angeles has run its course. The world famous Sixth Street Bridge, featured in almost every Hollywood movie that has ever called for a scene with a bridge, has begun to deteriorate and has left the city no choice but to take it down. Numerous films, television shows, music videos even video games have used the notable bridge as its backdrop or forefront. It’s been in everything from Gone in 60 Seconds to the pilot of Melrose Place. A variation of artists including Madonna, Foo Fighters and even Future have used it in their music videos. I watched my husband steal a semi truck and drive off the side of it in Grand Theft Auto V. My personal favorite cameo and first memory I have of the iconic image was when it served as the backdrop to Cha Cha dropping her scarf and green-lighting Danny Zuko to inevitably beat Leo Balmudo in a drag race down Thunder Road. If you don’t recognize that as a Grease reference then we can’t be friends.
Needless to say, the bridge is a popular location for photographers. The view in either direction is the epitome of a concrete jungle. To someone who seeks a connection to the heart and history of Los Angeles and the enigma of Hollywood, it’s a concrete oasis. As I crept along the deteriorating mass, decorated with graffiti and a few other cars with their hazards flashing, Ryan ran from side to side and took in his first and only chance to shoot where so many have shot before. The bridge was set to be torn down just one week after our stay. Watching him eagerly take camera to eye, knowingly standing on what was destined to be a monument that will only live through films and photos, I felt above all things, sadness. It was a moment where the harsh reminder of nothing lasting forever was so prevalent that by the time Ryan was safely back in the car all I could do was sit in silence, as we took or last drive, up and over.
Pizza, wine, a visit from my younger, cooler and super awesome cousin and a live car chase on local news put an end to our weekend away. You have no idea how much I love a really good live car chase. I felt like it was LA’s way of saying, “I know you guys don’t feel good but I’m so happy you came anyway.” Four years was under our belt and as always, it was an anniversary we will never forget.
The rest of January was spent on the mend. Our colds seemed to last forever and then cleared up only to return again. We pretty much lost an entire month and a half to tissues and really bad daytime TV. February however, took an unexpected turn. Randomly, with no premediated intention (how we happen upon most of our major life decisions), we decided we were ready to be homeowners. Although we are not officially owners as of yet, we have spent a solid month enjoying the hunt. The most important decision we have made since we said “I do” and by far the most emotional and overwhelming process we have ever been through together, our optimism has carried us well. Hopefully, the next time you hear from me it will be from the cozy living room in our very own home. Should that not be the case, trust that my next post will be a full review of the best wines to consume during the tumultuous task of house shopping.
Knowing that Ryan and I are facing a very large change in possibly the very near future has been expectedly thrilling and scary at the same time. The dream of where we could be headed causes occasional sleepless nights. Will we have a fireplace? Will there be a laundry room? Are there going to be stairs? How is the cat going to handle stairs? Questions, false scenarios and remodels of fictional living rooms have become all-consuming. The intrigue of the unknown is enough to drive someone crazy. Fortunately, we have the luxury of taking our time through this. We are far from homeless and have no push to settle. The right house will find us and as long as we stay positive we will recognize it when it does.
Cheers to uncertainty, to our prospective home, wherever you may be and whatever you may look like. Cheers, to the future.