Don’t know the History of the “City of Angels”, but despite some reports that were less than positive, I enjoyed my 26 days in Los Angeles. Only the weather was disappointing. I would say that half the time was cloudy and cold and rainy. When I say cold, I mean under 70. I didn’t have room to pack a wide variety of clothes, so I packed for warm weather. I am a mom, so I had a jacket, but I hated having to use it! Maybe the angels are all the clouds in the sky?
My son’s apartment is in an exciting part of town. Surrounded by the Fashion District, Gallery District and Jewelry District and within any 2 blocks on any given day, you could find film crews. I didn’t see any movie stars, but I did meet an actress that I am sure that I have seen on 24 since my husband was addicted to it a couple seasons. She was running a gallery on the first floor of my son’s apartment building. I am looking forward to building on the relationships that I started there and plan to be there frequently over the next 3 years or so while my son is in school there. And while many would say, “fly!”, I enjoyed the drive sooo much, I MUST do it again.
His roommates are an Asian Fashion Designer and an Indian woman who already has a Masters Degree in Marketing and was taking courses to specialize in Fashion Merchandising. It was so interesting meeting them and learning new things from them about how to market my jewelry, I am putting them into practice right away.
Since my life in PA pretty much fell apart or , from a more positive perspective, became open to a complete redesign, I wasn’t in any hurry to return to PA. I had a couple goals for my stay in LA: move my son and be sure he is settled in; make contacts to further art and jewelry marketing for myself and the Collective artists; and see my cousin that I haven’t seen in about 23 years. I accomplished these. I would have loved to paint on Venice Beach for a week and the last week I was there when I was going to do it, it rained every day – 8 days in a row. It was a huge disappointment and my only resolve is that I may not have come back at all if I had enjoyed it too much!
I cannot say that I liked it so much that I would want to live there, but I am looking forward to seeing more of California. Actually, when I explored Malibu one day, I definitely wanted to live there and I could, if I buy an RV and live in it. Then, somebody clued me in that you can house sit there while people that live there trot the globe. But, with 2 young boys, I am not sure that would be a good idea. Maybe in several years, when they are all out of the nest, I can be a full time gypsy.
I had planned to be in Los Angeles at least until my son’s 19th birthday. That worked out nicely since they have a gallery walk on the 2nd Thursday each month which draws 20,000-30,000 people into the city. I had the opportunity to meet the man who started the event. I would say that I know that change is a hard thing. When he started it, not a lot of people lived in the city. People worked in the city and left the city to go home, so an evening of galleries staying open after work made sense to him. As people moved into the city and could frequent the galleries during the day and on weekends, another group got involved to make the gallery walk a bigger event and get the bars and other businesses involved. I even saw a dry cleaner/gallery. As an outsider, I think it’s great! He closed his gallery early.
Now, it was interesting to think about other people’s perspectives. I was told that Los Angeles was one big suburbia after suburbia. I certainly didn’t see it that way. But, people who have lived in big cities surely see things differently. I have lived in the same small town for most of my life, which is way too long! I lived in Pittsburgh for 2 years while I attended art school and I wouldn’t call either of the other 2 places that I lived for about a year each, a big city, even though Colorado Springs has a pretty large population. I would call that one big suburbia. At least 15 years ago, I would havce called it that. I have heard it has changed. It seems odd to me since my little town doesn’t change. Did I say that I have lived there too long?
There are 2 Los Angeleses. The City and the County. I think that is where the confusion comes in. On the drive to Venice Beach, we passed another city. It was Santa Monica. I was told that Santa Monica was a part of Los Angeles. While it may be in the same county and even somewhat connected, it was definitely a different city. It had a very different feel, much cleaner. It expanded to the beach, which was quite beautiful! There were the most unusual trees that I have seen on a cliff overlooking the beach and pier. I had my palms read there. Quite interesting, but nothing earth shattering to report. If they gave me any guidance it was to be creative in more ways than I have been before! Like, I needed that encouragement. I can’t help myself and I certainly can’t stop. People around me think that I should be much more responsible. I am definitely to the point where I have to figure out how to make a living being creative or die trying. I know that I will succeed, it is already happening. The best part is that as I become more successful making a living being creative, I will be able to help others to do the same.
Well, after the gallery walk and the birthday, Pierce’s fashion designer roommate was going to be involved with a fashion show. He asked me to stay, so I couldn’t refuse. The fashion show was part of a T shirt design competition and he was announced as the winner that evening. There was a lot of excitement in the apartment for the couple weeks leading up to the event, so it was quite fun. Way too much fun!! I cannot tell you how hard it was to leave.
I found out that a friend of mine from back east was coming out to Pasadena on business the following Monday, so that gave me one more excuse to stay a couple more days. I may have been able to come up with more. The roommates thought I should stay for Halloween, but that would have led to Thanksgiving, then Christmas and I could be living and working out there by now. Do you ever feel like you made the wrong decision? I may be home now, but I will be going back and it will be another long trip. I may take a slightly different route for the next Artventure or I may just expand on this one. There are definitely a few stops that I wanted to make but just didn’t have time for. And some of the stops I did make will require more time next trip.
While some people think that LA is a dangerous place, like every big city. The scariest experience I had in Los Angeles was when I went to the parking garage where I parked the whole time and my car (actually, my husband’s car – the one who decided he wanted a divorce just before I was leaving on the trip, but was nice enough to still let me use his car that gets 44 mi per gallon) was NOT in its parking spot. I just about had a heart attack fearing that it had been stolen. Turned out, I parked on the wrong level. I hadn’t even been drinking the night before. And, thankfully the person whose spot I parked in, must have gone away for the weekend, so I didn’t get towed out of it!