Before the shit hit the fan, me and Sam went on a gratuitous but many-splendored trip to Los Angeles. Feeling so wrecked after this political season it feels like a distant dream to recall our sun drenched exploits.
After meeting for a cosmic catch up with my girl Ali at ban.do, I awaited Sam's arrival at the Standard Hollywood in a delirium (the Cactus Lounge’s drinks are fun but the adjoining Alma’s are better). We got off to a good start with an amazing meal at Maré (go through the door in the back of the grilled cheese place to access their secret garden) — significant crudités and seafood (and the tidbits brought to the table gratis). We got manicures at Olive & June which made me want to do stuff like that more often.
We commenced with the eating of toasts and swimming every day, taking a few pictures to inspire Sam’s beatific paintings. It’s always an honor to be a subject in my friends’ art (not to mention appearing in my friends’ dreams — please keep telling me when I visit you subconsciously to proffer a cupcake, or ask a philosophical question, or am covered in yellow body paint on a float in a parade). The Standard’s pool zone is emblazoned with the work of one of my favorite illustrators, Geoff McFetridge, subtle and endearing. We explored neighborhoods on this trip that I haven’t made a focus of past visits (namely West Hollywood, Downtown, and the Arts District with some Highland Park mischief), beginning with a totally superficial but lovely trek around Melrose. I was duly dazzled by the design of the Rachel Comey store and the setup at Tenoversix. Also cool to see The Apartment by The Line's showroom, Clare V. always, Assembly, and Kelly Wearstler. Lunch at Jon & Vinny’s was sensational.
We crossed Mid–city en route to Downtown, stopping at Kayne Griffin Corcoran to see the work of Mika Tajima and Jean-Pascal Flavien, and Ochi Projects to see paintings and sculptures by Lilian Martinez (aka BFGF). Moving to the Ace was such a different face of LA. We did a studio visit with Blockshop Textiles (so good), prowled Grand Central Market, and saw some exceedingly essential stuff at The Broad. We hung out at the hotel’s rooftop bar before attending Jen Gotch’s birthday skating party at the Moonlight Rollerway which was very fun. Afterwards we landed at Block Party and bar hopped along York and I look forward to spending more time there in the light of day.
We checked out the refined goods of Formerly Yes + a MAST factory + more highly curated wares at The Good Liver, tasted spirits distilled from clementines at The Spirit Guild, browsed the Hennessey + Ingalls bookstore, were skeptical but got healed at Café Gratitude, experienced the cool Hauser Wirth & Schimmel compound (SO into the Book & Printed Matter Lab, I found some remarkable works in there), and bought things at Poketo. We visited exceptional calligrapher and artist friend Emily, then popped in to Ooga Booga (perennially awesome), Friend Mart (Tuesday’s cute new shop), and Building Block (where he gave me a fortune cookie and the message inside was: “Leaves”) in Chinatown before dining at Pok Pok. I’ve been making shrubs with their drinking vinegars all year so was really excited to eat there and it did not disappoint. Since it was our final night I forced Sam to accompany me to the men’s room at Cole's Pacific Electric Buffet to witness the “Charles Bukowski Pissed Here” plaque (thank you Ashkahn for turning me on to this landmark).
Before leaving town I finally made it to Julia’s backyard Either Way sale – cool mix of vintage finds and objets d’art. Took the Flyaway bus to the airport which I totally recommend. Had picked up a couple copies of Car.la when I recognized it at a gallery (my friend Haynes is the design director – bravo) and immersed myself in its smart articles while drunkenly getting nutella all over on the way home and it felt meaningful.
Been living way beyond my means with travel this year but I can’t stop. Can’t wait to share a crazy one coming right up.