22 April 2010

A Shared Lover

My Italian had only been back in Italy for two weeks when I spoke to him on the phone from the adorable shabby-chic apartment I was visiting in L.A.

He asked me: “How is my lover?” and I knew he wasn't asking about me.
I replied: “sexier than ever”.

In truth, his lover is also my lover and neither of us can get her out of our minds--and we're not the only ones. Our lover has inspired songs, films, novels and poems. She can be your most influential muse or the cause of your own destruction.

More songs have been written about her than anyone else--more movies have been filmed about her than anyone else. She attracts all kinds, from the destitute dreamers to the rich and famous; from low-life gangsters to Hindu gurus. She is Bold & Beautiful, famous and infamous--but also coy and secretive. Not everyone who meets her will know her--she doesn’t give it all up at once. You have to get to know her really well before she shares her real glory with you.

So who is this enigmatic diva?? 
She has been called many things, from "La La Land" to "Tinsel Town"; from "The City of Angels" to "The City of Broken Dreams". But perhaps she is best known by just her initials:

I had only left her a few months ago, but seeing her again makes me wonder why I ever left. She’s so beautiful and so much fun to hang out with--how could we have been so stupid???

I think of all the great times we could have if we got back together again. But this time, I would do it right--I would appreciate her more and take more advantage of all she has to offer. More evenings at great restaurants; more nights at the Hollywood Bowl; more lazy afternoons on cafe patios; more sunsets at the Getty; more hiking spots, more live shows, more days at the beach, more drinks by rooftop pools, more Sunday mornings at the farmer's markets...

Her allure is intoxicating and her food tantalizes my senses.

In our few short days together, I slowly checked off my list of favorites: late night coffee and cake at Urth Cafe; the special rolls at Boss Sushi on La Cienega; Thai spicy eggplant at Pink Pepper on La Brea, the BEST brunch at the Alcove on Hilhurst, the BEST veggie burger, "The Big Macro", and at M Cafe, freshly mashed guacamole and L.A. Lemonade at El Cholo. Oh, my list could go on forever...


But what is it about L.A.? 

What is that voodoo that she do?

Is it all the shiny, beautiful people? 

No. For me, it is much more than that. For me, it is all her beautiful neighborhoods with quiet, tree-lined streets and the only the sound of chirping birds. It is hearing at least five languages every time I leave the house. It is knowing that I am surrounded by artists actively being artistic at all hours of the day and night. It is laying on the couch, in the afternoon sun with all the windows open, feeling the cool, ocean breeze and hearing nothing but the song of birds--okay, maybe also helicopters, but after a while, you don't notice them anymore.

It is sitting in Susina Bakery on Beverly, surrounded by the glowing apples of MacBook Pros quietly writing scripts that just might get green-lighted; watching the Hacids walk by with little boys’ curls bouncing abruptly as they try to keep up with their dad’s stride; smiling to myself as a group of incredibly muscular West Hollywood bike cops come in for croissants and cappuccinos.

It is having more health food stores and holistic clinics per square mile than anywhere else in the world. It is Sunday afternoons on Urth Cafe’s patio on Melrose, sipping a matcha latte and watching the Aston Martins, Ferraris and Lamborghinis drive by. It is feeling giddy as I stand in line behind Billy Crystal to order ice cream at Milk on Beverly. It is running to the store to pick something up and getting caught in the middle of Oscar preparations.

It is the moment I stop and take in the incredible silence amongst the tall trees on Sycamore Ave. before going to a yoga class just one street over on busy La Brea Blvd. It is driving up Mullholland at dawn to watch the sunrise over downtown and color the hills and the Hollywood sign the most amazing pinkish-orange color. It is being able to eat everything organic and healthy, no matter where I go in the city and not being forced to eat at corporate chains. It is the deep, moving sound and vibration of the third OM at the beginning of my yoga class when you can feel that we are all in-tune and aligned.

Los Angeles is my lover, and I have to share her with about 18 million other people. She made her way deep into my heart and I will always think fondly of the good times we shared.

Sure, we had our ups and downs...the traffic, the parking tickets, the $45 breakfasts...but I still love her...and I always will.

♫ Los Angeleeeeez, I’m yours.......... ♫


Vernazza Updates:

Vernazza is well on its way to normalcy and while I no longer write updates on their status, you can learn about the devastating floods of 2011 by clicking the label "Vernazza Updates". For the latest information from the organizations in Vernazza and Monterosso, visit SaveVernazza and Rebuild Monterosso.

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