After spending two days in Melbourne checking out the David Bowie Is exhibition, catching up with friends and eating lots of delicious food, we boarded our plane with our friends Mark and Monique for a loooong 14 hour flight to Los Angeles. Completely wrecked, we picked up the rental car and drove the intimidating LA freeways to our Silverlake AirBnB where we were greeted by our patient hosts and shown around. The Spanish-styled house had views over the Hollywood hills, a badminton court and an outdoor setting which was perfect for eating cheese and sipping gin while watching the sun set.
After a slow morning of wandering down to buy coffee at Go Get Em Tiger and eating breakfast in the glorious backyard, we caught an Uber to Abbott Kinney Boulevard to check out the shops in sunshine. Mon and I were so excited to visit Urbanic Paper and be able to see their huge range of stationery, and check out the very cute Piece Collective where we, of course, took a few snaps at the yellow facade.
We stopped for lunch at an organic restaurant (we wanted to stop at Gjelina’s but the wait time was insane), grabbed a fresh juice and people watched for a few hours. We took a quick visit to Venice Beach where we were pretty overwhelmed by all the people and noise – something totally different from our quiet Perth beaches!
We grabbed our car and drove to the Hollywood Hills for a sunset tour of the dreamy mid-century 1959 Stahl House, designed by architect Pierre Koenig. I would have given anything to jump into the pool and watch the sun go down, but sitting on their Bertoia chairs satisfied. Overlooking the sprawling LA vista was the most perfect way to end our first day in Los Angeles.
A visit to LACMA, one of the best contemporary art galleries in the world (in my opinion) was in order for the next day. We put our name down to see James Turrell’s Breathing Light installation (which was stunning and yes, felt just like being in Drake’s music video) before exploring the art collection, playing in the fun yellow tubes, giant light posts and walking underneath the giant boulder, Levitated Mass. We refueled at food trucks across the street before driving to Griffith Observatory to view a foggy Los Angeles and the Hollywood sign. That night we drank a nice bottle of red at Chateau Marmont like true tourists before heading home for another jet-lagged sleep.
The following morning we headed out in search of coffee and pastries at Bottega Louie and were not disappointed; my salted caramel eclair was to die for. I could have spent hours in there looking at all the beautiful packaging while enjoying the goods. If I had more time I would have loved to have stopped by in the evening for a sneaky gin and tonic.
We spent the rest of the morning wandering the Downtown Arts District, checking out the street art, warehouse buildings, cute cafes and boutique shops. Ryan spoiled me with a beautiful leather camera strap from Apolis and I spoiled myself with a necklace from the super cool art and design store, Poketo.
Lunch was served at the veggie-focussed restaurant Commissary at the Line Hotel. I was a bit dubious when the waiter recommended the grilled lettuce and carrots, but honestly, it was the right choice – it was by far my favourite meal in Los Angeles.
We said goodbye to Los Angeles in style, drinking cocktails on the rooftop of the Ace Hotel and jumping in the photobooth for a fun memento. We had the full LA experience when we realised we were sharing the rooftop with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon (who turns out, were there for the world premiere of The Leisure Class). I obviously stayed cool, calm and collected and didn’t act like a total fool… sort of. We pulled ourselves together and headed home to pack for our road trip up the coast the next day.
Even though I’ve now been to LA twice, there is about 100 more things I’d still like to do. I’ll have to start planning for the next trip, right?
Airbnb in Silverlake