: preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/sarahd/la-anatomia.dthroughz.com/wp-includes/formatting.php
on line 82
The day started out as one where things go wrong, and yet, it had moments where things go right so much so that the right things negate the bad things, and I just realize how much I love living in Los Angeles.
Early morning was just chores. Go here. Go there. Wait in line. Wait in line some more. Spend money. Spend money some more. Put that back to pretend that I save money.
And then a golden moment: While wandering the shoe racks in a Ross clothing store, I came across a father helping his teenage daughter buy wedges. The man was throwing his heart into the moment. He took an active interest in what she was buying, and his daughter (who probably was just a girl learning that high heel shoes make her “hot”) was adorable in wanting his sincere opinion. You could tell he was a man at the crossroads for fatherhood; his little girl was growing up. She wanted to wear hot-pink wedges because they made her feet look cute. And he, well if she was going to do it, was going to make sure they were the “safest” heels a girl could wear. He stopped a nearby female customer and asked whether his daughter should start with wedges before graduating to stilettos. And then, he got into a very serious conversation about inserts. The daughter, so new to this realm of elevated footwear, nodded her head–she’d heard of this before and oh! Didn’t her feet look cute! And oh! Weren’t they so comfortable.
I had to leave. I was smiling too much. Way too much.
Then came more boring things. Get home late. Be late to meet friends. Have trouble looking up directions to get to Downtown LA. Get on freeway. Stop and go traffic. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. Stop. Go. For an hour and a half. There was a weird limo too, which had a trunk like a truck and three suited men sitting in it with a canvas canopy over there heads. Stop. Go. GET OFF THE FREEWAY AND TEXT MSG FRIENDS TO LET THEM KNOW I’M ALMOST THERE! WHEE! And then a really, really, really long train. 10-minutes long. Followed by a search for parking on itty-bitty downtown streets. Restaurants who refused to give me money for the meter and a kind lady in a market who didn’t speak English as I was in Chinatown.
I met the friends at Phillippe’s, as recommended by a friend. They boast the best French dip in Los Angeles. I’ve never had French dip before, and when I got there, my sandwich was cold. I asked the friends what there opinion was, and they said they were so hungry that anything tasted good. They also had to agree with my opinion about the weird day. They had taken the metro (missed it) to the Civic Center station to see a tapestry exhibition (which was already closed) then came here to meet me at 12:30 (but i arrived at 1:30).
Speaking of which, it was scorching hot today.
So why were we here? We had met up in Downtown Los Angeles to go and see the twice-a-year “open house” at the Brewery, which is the largest art community in Los Angeles. All we knew about the Brewery was that it existed in Lincoln Heights, which was in no part of Downtown any of us had visited. Now we know that the Brewery is in an old brewery. All the buildings have been converted into individual lofts in which artists can rent them like regular apartments for a contracted period. We met artists who’d lived in the brewery for 5+ years and others who had just moved in. The spaces are completely empty. Each artist receives a space that is literally an empty room with four white walls. They build from there. For the most part, each loft is divided into two floors. The downstairs seems to be the “workspace” while the upstairs is the “living space.” Any further division seems to depend on the individual artist. One told us that you couldn’t even depend on there being a sink upon moving in. That’s up to you.
The Brewery contains approximately 600 artists in old warehouse and factory buildings. When walking around it, it looks like a shantytown. A real bohemia. Each gallery/residence has an entrance. Some artists decorate their outside with potted plants, picket fences, metal walls, tall wooden gates, climbing ivy, bird baths. Each is marked with a number to delineate addresses. And some have signs outside, identifying specific galleries.
600 galleries is overwhelming, especially on a hot April day. We (I) was done in two hours. But before I was woe-is-me tired, we met some interesting artists and saw some interesting pieces. The ones I recall are:
Andre Miripolsky (?) who’s desiging a really huge, thousand-something feet mural for the LA Convention center in stain glass.
Then there was Sam Kopels who’d just finished a series of Downtown landscapes in industrial paints, the kind you see trucks, buildings and factories painted with. He’d sold two but wasn’t sure if he was done with the series. He is a paint supplier on the side. When he wants to paint, sometimes he just throws his huge wooden canvases on the back of his truck and drives them somewhere to sketch.
We next entered the realm of Victoria J. Sebanz, whose business card reads poet, photographer, dance/art educator. She also has a separate card if you’re interested in her travel adventures. (It’s interesting how the artists were moonlighting as other professionals or were clark-kenting their way through the world.) Generally, I’m skeptical of artists who claim to be poets, but Sebanz had beautiful poetry mixed in with her very feminist photos and mixed-media pieces. I always like to talk to artists/actors/creative types and tell them if I like their work. They appreciate it, and Sebanz was no different.
It wasn’t just artist artists in the Brewery. We saw jewelers, tailors, sculptors, refurbishers and all kinds of craftsmen. The art just went on and on. And I will definitely need to return to the Brewery for it’s next open house because we barely tapped the surface of it.
Golden moment: While sitting in patio chairs in front of the kid’s galleries at the Brewery, another father chased after his two golden-haired children. As they settled in chairs, we noticed a guy stop to take a picture of my two friends, me, the kids, the father and his wife. He said he just wanted a picture of people sitting at the Brewery to make into a Youtube video. I asked him if he was an artist here. He said no and anxiously showed us the nonthreatening picture so we didn’t think he was creepy. I said, we didn’t mind. We just wanted to know if he knew any ice cream places nearby. He didn’t. Neither did the family. We didn’t have ice cream.
Before leaving Downtown, I dropped the friends off at Union Station, then I drove to get back on the 5 Freeway. The thing about Downtown is that freeway entrances and exits aren’t uniform, so before I found my entrance, I drove through Lincoln Heights and into the more notorious Boyle Heights and passed several car junkyards. When I got on the freeway, it was more traffic, and that’s when I decided I wasn’t going to deal with. I was somehow going to bypass it and use my LA-traffic sense and travel skills to avoid it all. I got on the 110 North, which is unknown territory for me and just decided to drive until I hit Pasadena. Then I would go from there.
I drove past really beautiful-looking houses in disreputable parts of LA. When I got closer to the more reputable Pasadena, the houses looked smaller and more dilapidated. But then I remembered not to judge anything by its cover because Los Angeles has a habit of surprising you.
When I hit Pasadena, the freeway announced it would end. I had no idea where I was.
Remembering that I had passed a sign for the Norton Simon (a famous art museum in Los Angeles), I decided I’d find my way through surface streets to the museum. Someone had to know how to direct me from there. But before I could even enact that plan, I got distracted by the appearance of Wild Thyme the restaurant. Wild Thyme only means anything to me because I once had an amazing piece of carrot cake from it before it closed in my part of Los Angeles. Being the foodie I am, I couldn’t go back without stopping in. I parked, wandered in, got the staff to draw me a map and then sat down to order. While waiting for my food, I looked out the window and what should I espy? A kumquat tree! Which is when I knew I had to write about this day to all of you!