I had a lovely time this past weekend, despite my lifelong aversion to Los Angeles!

The weekend was a whirlwind of tasty restaurants, wrong turns, endless bus rides and glimpses of marginally famous people…

Spent Friday afternoon driving around Hollywood with my gregarious and ever-entertaining little cousin, stopping for lunch at a pretentious cafe where my decidedly un-L.A. appetite for ravioli slathered in mozzarella shocked and awed the whisper-thin actress/waitresses.

Then it was off to Koreatown, where an old friend from my London days offered to let me crash. I knew absolutely nothing about Koreatown, but made a reasonable assumption that it would be bustling with Korean people… not the case. In true L.A. fashion, it’s spread out, largely residential and very Mexican. The house (and the neighborhood) appeared a little rapey in the dusky light, but it redeemed itself completely in the morning when the sunlight glinted off the chrome rims of low-riders and each front yard was graced with a small grove of lemon trees.

Quick nap, then off to a delicious pan-asian dinner in Santa Monica with yet another London-L.A. transfer, my good pal Alden, whom I haven’t seen in about 5 years! Dinner was delicious, as was whatever German wine I was drinking, and I was zonked by midnight! Back to the then-unredeemed rapey ‘hood.

Woke up bright and early to a completely silent house.

I’m well aware that musicians do not wake up before noon, so I took the quiet time to re-pack, tidy up the room and then I headed out to explore Koreatown and also to find some donuts. My search took me through an adorable residential area, replete with tiny children on rollerskates and slightly sexually aggressive 20-somethings on very manly motorcycles. Walked for about half an hour or so until I came upon an unassuming strip mall housing an unassuming mom&pop donut shop called Daily Donut House, which had the most delicious coffee and maple bars, which are one of my favorite kind o’ donuts! Seriously, melt in your mouth magical! The coffee was actually a small (I hate when I just want a small and they basically give you a bucket!) and a half dozen of fluffy, wondrous donuts was only $3.75! I was so happy that I practically smiled during the entire walk back to the house!

Got back and spent the rest of the morning gorging on donuts, cuddling with the most adorable dog in L.A. and reading Lady Chatterley’s Lover in the most unintentionally whimsical mid-century kitchen. I know I’ve already posted these piccies, but they’re worth a second go:

Shyrynne, my pal who scored the Grammy tix and generously invited me along, arrived in L.A. earlier than expected, so I gathered up my things and was heading out the door just as Julian was waking up! Quick thank you’s and I hopped a bus downtown to meet up with Shyrynne at our hotel.

VERY leisurely day of snacking and giggling and exploring the hotel, the Biltmore, which is rumoured to have been the last place the Black Dahlia was seen alive. And then, at about 9pm, Ms. Shyrynne informed me that she’d never been to L.A. before!

That wouldn’t do! We’d just wasted a whole day in definitely-not-picturesque downtown! I couldn’t let my friend leave L.A. having only seen drab skycrapers and crackheads. And the next day was the Grammys, so we wouldn’t have a whole lot of time to play tourists! But we were determined; I put together an L.A. 101 itinerary for the next morning and set the alarm for butt ass early.


The next morning came uber quick! Got dressed superfast, hopped on the Red Line and before you could say L.A. in a day, we were on the Hollywood Walk of Fame! And oh, what a time we had:

Then we hopped a bus:

And got off in Santa Monica so Shyrynne could see the ocean!

We walked along the pier and stuffed ourselves full of corn dogs and sweet potato fries. Then I became obsessed with the Ferris Wheel…

And before we knew it, we had to catch the bus back downtown to beautify ourselves for the night’s festivities… Los Grammy’s!

It was real, Santa Monica.