Tuesday, August 12, 2014

LA highlights and Star Party





As for the week in LA with M. Lee's mom, Kathy, and Shane, other than not being able to connect with a blogger friend in the area, it went swimmingly. Every day was different and unique, all due to Lee's superb planning. He does a helluva job.

Breakfast at our Hollywood AirBnB - Shane and Kathy
I wish he enjoyed the trip as much as everyone else but his mom is 83 which leaves zero room for missteps or backtracking. Like a stage manager, he's too busy keeping an eye on things to simply enjoy the show. After a couple of days, we'd done and seen so many things that our attempts to recall details were laughable. It's even harder now, a month later, so this is just a rough sketch to remember things by.


Adventures along the way:

One of our first mornings there we popped into the Hollywood Bowl. In the morning the gates are open and entrance is free so we went in, sat in the shade and listened to the Los Angeles Philharmonic rehearse for their evening performance. Another day we went to Venice Beach and happened upon the Mr. and Ms. Muscle Beach Competition which was in full swing. Talk about a man-fest.




Of course, we went to Malibu and checked out the scene. Eventually we stopped at El Matador Beach where Shane swam, M. Lee grabbed a little sun and I photographed a seagull nibbling a bloated seal corpse. Which reminds me, I also photographed David Geffen's Malibu beach seaside mansion with it's row of garage doors along the street, several of them fake. Phony. Pretend. This dickhead had them installed and fake driveways put in just to keep people from parking in front of his house which is on Pacific Coast Hwy, a public street. Talk about cheesed-dick.

Minerva, Swami and Shane at Venice Beach

The seconded time we visited Venice beach Kathy stayed at the house. Shane swam, I took photos and, as we generallydo when people watching, M. Lee and I make up stories about people passing by. You may be vacationing Russian mafioso. Or perhaps you are a British aristocrat just out of treatment for cocaine addiction and we will debate whether or not you are at the beach to score or meditate. After that we walked to the Santa Monica Pier where, you guessed it, I took more pictures.



And, of course, we did several museum crawls, the Getty and LACMA, and saw work ranging from Rembrandt, Renoir, Van Gogh and Kandinsky to new artists in the Hammer's exhibit, "Made in LA 2014".

Me, lost in the ambient world again.

Then there was the flea market on Melrose and Fairfax. No one bought anything but it was fun to peruse the wares. Shane immediately fell in love with a vendor, a babe in baby blue short shorts. I couldn't get a good photo of her without being obvious. Other than that, I spent a lot of time photographing reflections in mirrors.


Vegan soul food with Shane, M. Lee andKathy

Restaurants:

Our go-to place for the week was Veggie Grill, good veggie and vegan food, hardy servings, good prices. There are several in LA and a couple near where we were staying so it was really handy. And among the highlights there were the adventures like El Huarique, Peruvian Cuisine. This was a tiny, lunch counter down a narrow walkway on Venice Beach. Their sign described the place as a "Hole in the Wall" but "Hole in the Wallet" would have been just as accurate. Four styrofoam plate lunches was $80. I didn't want the fish so my plate was basically a huge pile of rice and beans. Nice guys though. I wish them the best.

Shane at Stuff I Eat vegan soul food

We also tried Stuff I Eat, a vegan soul food place in Inglewood. It was, in every way, outstanding. I hightly recommend it. And we went to the vegetarian buffet at the Hsi Lai Buddhist Monastery with some old friends who used to be neighbors in Oregon. It's the first time we visited them since they moved to LA so, being Chinese, they insisted on tea at their new place, then a tour of the house before leaving for the buffet. Another evening just the four of us went to Dim Sum, Kathy's favorite and a first for Shane.

Dim Sum in San Gabriel Valley

Also, we had lunch at one of our regular stops, Govinda's. That's the vegetarian buffet at the Krsna Temple on Watseka Blvd.. Always good food at a great price. During the 60's I used to sleep on the floor of what is now that restaurant. At the time it was the Temple's women's quarters of what was then the new temple. Before that we all lived at at the original ISKCON temple on La Cienega Blvd. And, of course when we were in Malibu, we stopped at Malibu Seafood, an old LA favorite fish place across from the beach and had fish and chips. It wasn't healthy or vegetarian but it was tasty, even after just seeing the seal and the seagull. We also went to Rahel's Ethiopian Vegan Cuisine for their lunch buffet. I didn't care for it the first time we ate there. M. Lee does and was determined to prove to me that I actually do as well. While I'm sure Rahel's does a fine job, seems Ethiopian food just does't do it for me, or at least, I didn't care for their buffet. Perhaps items from the menu would be more to my liking. I dunno.

Heart of the Matter: 

The big deal, her post cancer treatment kick up your heels treat, the main event of the week was taking M. Lee's mom to the Jewish Women's Council Thrift Shops.

Kathy has been a thrift store junkie her entire life and has an excellent, well-honed eye for designer clothes and Chinese antiquities. She dresses like a million bucks on a dime and, over the years, amassed quite a collection of mostly Chinese artifacts. She loves the Council Thrift Shops and we did all five in LA. She scored some good ones. Designer clothing is not my thing but I did get one thing and took photos. M. Lee and Shane, on the other hand, became instant experts on couches. 


Star Party and secret spots:

And it just happened that the moon was in its first quarter the Saturday night we made it up to the Griffith Observatory in Griffith Park so we joined the Star Party hosted monthly by the Los Angeles Astronomical Society to celebrate the quarter moon, otherwise known as the half moon. The lawn in front of the observatory was filled with wonderful telescopes and hundreds of people were milling around, peeking into one, then another for delicious views of the moon,

No comments: