Monday, July 19, 2010

San Francisco and LA

I ended the week in the city by the bay having gotten up at 4 am to catch a 7 am 45 minute flight from LA. I've been to San Francisco before and was able to see a bit of the city. There are more pictures and narrative under the San Francisco label. This trip was all of 24 hours and took in Oakland and Berkley. I didn't get much time to take pictures but my colleague did take me to a great vantage point from which I was able to get a cool perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The weather was cold- ish and windy.
Almost "Irish" in temperament.
San Fran is a world away from LA.
Though like all of California, the car is king, there's a downtown focus and jumping in a cab isn't a 40 minute/$70 ordeal.
You can walk places.
I guess the city is famous for being the Gay capital of the world though I didn't notice it as being particularly pink.
I have no gay-dar anyway so maybe that aspect was just lost on me.
I was in LA for the first part of the week.
Arriving on Sunday, I hooked up with my friend Manya and we went to Venice Beach.
Venice fancies itself as a sort of center of counter culture in LA.
There's a lot going on.
When I was there a basketball tournament complete with thumping DJ and microphone bearing rollerskating commentators was in full swing.
California has allowed the sale of "medical" marijuana.
What that means is if a doctor decides smoking pot is medically "beneficial" he will write you a prescription and sell you a dime bag.
In Venice beach this means there are guy's touting for " consultations"
I love the white jacket.
Nice "medical" touch.
I think this dude has been taking his medicine.
Only in LA.
There are many celebrities roaming the boardwalk.
The cliche in LA is that you never know who you'll see. Encounters with celebrities are common and going out for dinner can be very Hollywood.
If that's your thing then its something you will obviously relish.
I always thought this was a nonsense "tourist as sucker" line peddled by the same guys selling "maps to the star's homes".
Well, at dinner last Tuesday I ate my sculpture food 20 feet away from Sookie and Vampire Bill.
Think True Blood.
Oooooow how exciting.
My life is now complete
He's short and has a big head.
I finished up Sunday driving to Malibu.
Before I go I'll give you a few observations about LA:
  • Los Angels is a sprawling collection of 23 towns joined together by rivers of concrete motorways.
  • Yes the traffic really is insane.
  • The car is king. No car = no hope of doing anything
  • Valet parking isn't a convenience , its required. I find it a tad irritating to have to tip a guy $5 to move my car 10 ft from the lot in front of the hotel .
  • In restaurants or bars , EVERYONE is checking EVERYONE out.
  • It's odd........ If you're wearing a jacket its assumed you're some sort of movie producer guy. The look of disappointment on faces when you reveal the truth is almost comical.
  • Even though everyone drives everywhere, there's no reluctance to drink. I'm told people in LA have a higher "tolerance" to booze. Ya....right.
  • Smoking is considered on par with heroin addiction....unless of course its pot you're inhaling. That's sometimes medically necessary.
That's it for today.
Love to all


Anonymous said...

Hmm, I thought your gaydar was working pretty well in the hip hop rollerblading section of Venice Beach


Terry said...

Manya.....the black musclemen rollerskaters prancing to " I will survive" did not require tremendous insight into an alternative lifestyle. I said I had no "gay-dar" not that I was blind.

kserp said...

I was going to say something about the Gaydar comment...but see that it has been covered, as expected. Thanks for pics and update on my hometown T...Having lived in the San Fran Bay for most of my life, my Gaydar is nice xox. KGS :-)

Stay well!