Sunday, February 28, 2016

Day 2: LA

Day 2: LA

Weather: Very pleasant, mostly in 60s and just a bit of the day in the low 70s
J's former building (the sale of her condo just closed)

Old joke: What are the two things Los Angelenos always lie about?

Answer: How long their commute is and how much smog there is at their house

What is today? Today is Saturday, nice and easy, nobody going to work

What was the weather really like in LA today: SMOGGGGG-EEEEEEEE 

What was the traffic really like today (Saturday): HELL

THB is up early to snag the NYT and a couple of decafs with steamed milk at the Starbucks a few blocks away. The coffee goes great with the pastries from Milo/Olive ($7).

THB recommends The People vs OJ Simpson: An American Crime

Around 7:15 we take off for Tavern, what THB likes to think of as a great bakery with a decent restaurant attached. It's 45 minutes walking mostly along Wilshire, and even at this hour there's plenty of traffic pouring on to the 405. Not pleasant...or is that my tinnitus acting up?
On San Vicente

Monkey Bread, THB does not get one today, tho highly recommended

Ask them to warm it up for you

THB's half

DB's half

DB goes for scrambled eggs, crispy (very crispy as it turns out) bacon, potatoes and toast. THB has a walnut pocket and does not have the monkey bread, the fruit salad, and several other of his regular items because he eats DB's toast and half her bacon and potatoes. Two more decafs....$35.

Stroll back partway through the VA center and cut off Wilshire one block shorter this time. Do some research and we're off to hunt art, one of THB's passions. 

We've mapped out the day starting just south of the 10 on La Cienaga (traffic ranging from mildly terrible to "thank goodness we're not going the other direction, they're at a standstill"). There's a clumping of galleries, with Blum & Poe being the most upscale. They've got a minimalist show and Lee Ufan (he has his own museum on Naoshima) is the highlight along with some young Korean artists.

Carl Andre piece on the floor
The floor, it's okay to walk on this "piece"

Two Lee Ufan pieces

From there we visit a gallery that DB spent quite a bit of time with at the Fog design and art show in San Francisco a month ago. The work is intriguing: small ceramic pieces layered  and built up in a metal frame. Prices for smaller pieces are very reasonable. The one THB likes: sold!
Edward Cella carries David Hicks work


Roam around a bit, not seeing anything of note and then stop for lunch at Mexican place, El Rio Bravo: tacos for DB, chile relleno and enchilada verdes con pollo for THB, share a beer, $35.

Back walking the area and mostly mediocre galleries until the last two: Samuel Freeman (we buy a small ceramic bowl by a Japanese artist, Mineo Mizuno, who has settled in N. California) and Walter Manciel Gallery. 

We bought a smaller bowl by Mineo Mizuno

Walter Manciel represents Hung, he knows her well

A Mills graduate student's work that Hung recommended Walter carry, this is a small one, the bigger pieces can be 8' tall

Walter used to be in Bay Area before starting his own gallery, and carries Hung Liu. He tells us that Hung's great glass installation in the Oakland Airport was damaged a few years ago (Please do not touch the art!) and was recently repaired. 

Walter helps sort out our next set of gallery visits, in a heavily industrial part just south of downtown LA. The first set of three galleries includes work that THB and DB both thought amazing, at CB1: painting on industrial felt. Even the maquettes are great. 
At lease one of these also is in NY


Maybe this was THB's fave of the day

Or this one?

From there we move a bit north, up and over the LA River to another little pocket of galleries, in an even more destitute part of industrial LA, where we see two great shows: Venus over Los Angeles (they have a gallery in NY) with railroad tracks and giant "railroad" ties stacked up; and at Nicodim and exhibition of off-kilter playground equipment by a Polish artist now living in Berlin and pricing his pieces in euros, a good deal for us as the dollar is killing almost every other currency now.

Lots of graffiti in this part of town

One last shift, to a small gallery selling what mostly looks like things you'd fine in a small specialty design store and a huge (HUGE!) gallery, Maccarone (also from NY) that is featuring Keith Sonnier, a guy that uses neon soooooooooo much better than Dan Flavin. THB and DB had never heard of him nor seen his work before. These are NY prices: $120,000 and up, sorry euros not accepted.

What's cooking out back of Chimento

A well balanced meal: huge pig (or it is lamb) and four half ears of corn

Also in NY, now in the industrial innerlands of downtown LA (there are lofts/signs of life about a mile away)

For an extra $10k, we'll hide the electrical connection

Or not, they seem to be part of the pieces

Drive back in clear air and empty freeways (nope, still smoggy and clogged) to the W for a short rest up. THB and DB are wondering if the W has been sold, things are so off-kilter (THB has some playground equipment to recommend) from prior visits. 

For example:

They've remodeled so the cafe is now out by the pool (true, that's where the cafe is, so people going to the pool now wander through the people eating in the cafe). We decide to have soft drinks, outside at the cafe: there's not a waitron to be found. THB goes up to the bar to order soft drinks. No check arrives, so THB goes up to the bar to pay for the soft drinks, $10.

Murphy, up and down

A bolt is missing on the cover, the white bar doesn't quite function on the pull down and set-up

Another way to solve the "how can I turn the water on in the shower to hot without getting scalded" problem

So far, in about 25 hours: they seemingly gave away our room as we were standing there waiting to check in; someone came into the room to deliver "fresh" glasses while we were there resting up (his "list" said the room was vacant); the murphy bed (yes, that empty room has a murphy bed) needs repairing; no decaf out in the morning; the mini-bar had a half-empty wine bottle (we took it to the front desk to make sure we weren't charged for it; DB found it when we emptied some of the bottles to put our salads away in the fridge)...and, enough....the room is lovely!! It is a truly a great set-up for us...or for anyone (it's also most likely the most expensive room here, on no-discount Oscars weekend). 

Oh, and the floor vibrates...wait, maybe that's a benefit!

Dinner at Mori Sushi with sistah L (as she would refer to herself). We've been coming for years, J found it and Mori (he was behind the sushi counter then) made every meal a treat. Moru bought the place from Mori when Mori retired 3-4 years ago, and he runs the counter and now is always our guy for the night (or lunch). 
Moru hard at work as the small place fills up

A few great appetizers, and then it is fish on rice from thereon out, and it is fabulous. The best. Terrific. Unbelievable. L even manages to out-eat THB (not by much). THB and DB share the house sake (DB manages to out-drink THB, that contest isn't too close). $615 for three, which includes a very generous tip. Moru was very fond of J and has asked L to send a pic of her for his office. THB tells Moru he will make sure middle child will complete this task. 

Tomorrow the three of us (L, not Moru) are off for a pastrami sandwich, the Broad and the symphony. 

No comments:

Post a Comment