June Gloom? No Way!

We arrived in Los Angeles to clouds and cool temperatures. The local TV weather men (and women) refer to this as the June Gloom. I’ve got nothing to be gloomy about so I didn’t mind waiting for the sun to burn off the morning clouds.

In the evening we met up with our nephew Nick, (the movie director and producer) who cooked dinner for us and talked non-stop about film projects, production values, forty foot booms and organic food. The best company makes for the best of times and we could have easily gone on talking until dawn but it’s off to bed for him and back to the ultra hip Avalon Hotel for us.

I had a good day taking photos and driving all over North Hollywood, Burbank and Beverly Hills. I was able to complete a couple of pilgrimages that I have wanted to make for a very long time.

The nex day the clouds persisted even longer. We started by eating a huge breakfast and then I went for a walk while my lovely assistant read a book by the pool. The light was flat and dull in the morning and produced few photographs of value. Next we headed off in the direction of the Third Street Farmers Market to do some shopping and celebrity spotting. The market was a blast and an interesting oasis in the middle of the big city.

Our next stop was to shop for vintage couture, which was an interesting experience except for the high prices. That excursion led to more photo opportunities thanks to a large pink wall and a yellow Range Rover. Yes, we love LA.

Our next stop was Culver City. On the way we had to make a pit stop and though neither one of us was especially hungry, Johnnies Pastramie was directly ahead of us. We stopped and ordered a couple of soft drinks and decided we would split a sandwich, which arrived on our table in what seemed like less than sixty seconds.

Though I said I wasn’t starving, I tore into the my half of the sandwich (which incidentally was really huge) like a man who had been stranded on an island for a couple of years. In my haste I managed to get hot mustard in my eye and that has caused me some grief over the last twenty four hours. As we we leaving we ran into Johnnie, who was eating his lunch outside. Pastrami must be good for you because he looks great.

Dodging fast moving traffic with a belly load of pastrami is no easy task. I got my motel photos with a blank overcast sky in the background and then we headed North on the Pacific Coast Highway to Malibu to do some birthday shopping.

It felt good to get out of the car again and to walk around the shops. I took some photos as I wandered and no one seemed to object. The sun finally broke through and we had a great time driving back towards Santa Monica. Another full day and time to return to the hotel to watch people and eat half price happy hour appetizers by the pool. The waiter dropped off a pizza that was not the one we ordered but we started eating it right away. He realizes his mistake and brings another along with the rest of our order. Now we have too much food but the leftovers will make a good snack on the long flight home tomorrow. One of our waiters has just returned from a trip to Chicago so we sit and chat about the odd Midwest weather, tornados and the Zen of deep dish pizza. Life is good.

This morning there was a bad accident that closed the highway so we had to take a deture but still arrived in time to make the flight. The iPhone has been very handy for getting around. You still need one person to navigate because you can’t really look at the phone while you drive. Maybe an iPad mounted to the dash of the car would be worth considering. After all it is magical according to Steve Jobs.

As always, I wish this could have been a longer trip. We managed to get a lot done because we knew time was limited but there is so much more to do and see. Next time…