Sunday, March 30, 2014

California Dreaming

Okay, last weekend at this time I was lying on the beach in Malibu.
Today, I write about it from rainy Brooklyn. It's ok, it is a little warmer here, at least :)
Above was shot by Melissa Zexter in Santa Monica. We travelled to LA together
to see my Subway Animals in the Illustration West 52 Exhibit  
and to visit her cousin Judy and family.

American Airlines got us there safely, but not without a snack issue. 
I purchased a sandwich which came with chips. Yay! 
Zexter wanted only a bag of chips, but with each attempt to buy a bag, our flight attendant 
held up a big bag of Chex mix and said, "NO! but I can sell you THIS!" 
She was a serious Chex Mix pusher. You had to see it to believe it.
Does anyone eat Chex mix? It's understandable when you're stuck alone 
anxious at a party with no other options? but this was vacation time!

The Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay helped lighten the blow and 
I shared my delicious kettle cooked chips.

Our hotel was terrific! I really enjoyed our stay at Le Meridien Delfina Santa Monica. 
Big comfy rooms, a little balcony and a heated pool. Plus, just a few blocks from the beach.

I liked these cushiony headboards, too.

We didn't bowl, but we did have a buttery english muffin in the diner :)

Friday was the 1st full day and it was like heaven to simply walk on the beach & feel the sun and sand. It wasn't that warm really, but as East Coasters know, it has been a rough winter. 

We picked up our car at Enterprise and bc they were out of economy, we scored a Jeep Cherokee.
I was happy, being the main driver, I felt safe in it and it didn't look like an obvious rental. 

We drove to Chateau Marmont, the iconic beautiful old hotel in
the Hollywood Hills. I had been years ago for drinks, but wanted to have lunch in the garden.
Below, is my quickie little sketch of it. Click here to see the real thing, if you haven't before.

Despite almost rolling down backwards into it from a hill above 
as we looked for parking, we made it! 
Well, had some trouble getting to the valet once we ditched the idea of street parking. 
Marmont is located off of a very busy street and one that reminded me of driving in New York 
 a couple of grumpy pushy drivers frightened me a little. 
When we finally reached the quite handsome valet, I rolled down my window 
admitting defeat, adding "we're from NYC"
He teased us about the Colorado plates & we learned that parking is free for 3 hours!

I only have a few photos and they're of the bathroom and hallway. 
I will ask Zexter to share some of hers here. She took several on the patio and inside.

The hallways are lined with large Annie Leibovitz photographs, like this one of Redford.
Lunch was delightful and we had a really great waiter. I have to say, folks in LA 
seem very friendly. People actually look at you and smile in the streets, on the beach, in shops,
restaurants, wherever. I sometimes forget just how guarded New Yorkers can be, 
although there are many friendly people here, once you crack that 1st layer.

I did a little photo shoot with my Doggie bag poolside, 
while Zex took a swim Saturday morning.

My show was up at Center Stage Gallery in Burbank.
That drive took some time and the area is not the prettiest, although
there are some splendid lemon trees in the surrounding neighborhood.

Here it is, my little buddies were still reading the paper, checking phones, 
napping, looking for snacks, treasure,  etc ;)

There was some nice work in the show and most of it was not art 
created for the children's market, although that's what I liked most, in general.

When we returned to Santa Monica, we popped the champagne and hung out on our tiny balcony.

Sure, it was midday, around 3pm, but remember it was already 6pm EST ;)

I love all the huge plants, palm trees, Seuss-style flowers and orange! Lots of orange all over :)

After wandering around lovely Santa Monica and buying  a few gifts, 
we enjoyed a cocktail and watched the sunset 
from the windows at Casa Del Mar, a lovely hotel on the beach.
My good friend, Margaret recommended it. I soon began texting her, 
asking just why again it was they ever left LA?
I'll get to her old neighborhood soon!

That IS bird sh*t on the window. I decided to leave it in as a reminder that nothing is perfect ;)

This is Wadsworth Ave. I'm posing in front of the very house my friends, 
Margaret and Scott shared an apartment for years. 
A bohemian Frenchman talks on the phone behind me, seemingly unaware 
of our oohing & awing at the charm of the street 
and it's nearness to the water. I guess he's used to it!

Zexter poses with plants that look as if they could wrap round her at any moment.

I didn't call.


This was our Sunday - off to Malibu :)
Driving Pacific Coast Highway - it doesn't get much better!

Delicious strawberries for sale by side of the road and fantastic signs to lead you there!

We went to El Matador State Park. You pay $8 and stay all day.

It was a perfect way to spend the last day. We packed a little picnic and lingered for hours.

I'm going to end abruptly here because that's how it felt having to leave Monday.
It was a quick trip, but so enjoyable. It only takes a few days to feel renewed really.
Melissa Zexter took time to work on her piece for a show in Milan this summer.
That just feels cool to say. 
I was happy to see my piece and I look forward to it's making it's 
return to Brooklyn. I did not offer it up for sale, 
since it's part of an ongoing series and possible children's story.

I offer you my few night shots ...
That is the Hotel California, below. Not as formidable as you might expect ;)

Here, I pose with shell by Chez Jay, apparently this was Dennis Wilson's favorite bar!

As for dinners, we spent two nights at Judy and Greg's lovely home in Santa Monica.
Besides graciously inviting us for dinners, I got to jump on their trampoline :D
The other two nights were spent at Blue Plate Taco, a block from the beach and very tasty! 
I can't recommend it enough. It's a lively spot, filled with some of the beautiful people for sure,
mostly it's the food that gets you and a fresh margarita :)

Farewell Cali ... sniff sniff  I'll be back.

Thanks for taking a look.
Have a great week!
xo, A


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