first stop, LA

Here I am, back to blogging. It’s hard to keep up when you’re on the move, especially when you’re coughing, sneezing and in bed (London) and navigating severe weather (Dorset). At last I’m in one place for a while: Brooklyn, NY, combing through my photos and wondering what anyone might want to see from my travels.

I’ll start with Los Angeles, that much-maligned and misunderstood city. It’s been variously described to me as a place where everyone wears Uggs and short denim skirts over fake-tanned legs, and a “sewer pit – how can you live there?” I’ve come to think that those so opinionated have not spent much time there, or have seen only Disneyland and outlying  outlets stores with a dash of Vegas thrown in. LA fans admire the glitz of “tinseltown” (I’ve never figured out where that place actually is) but there’s more to it than glamor: scratch the surface of LA and you find wonderful people and cultural riches.

This is always the point where I get excited nearing the end of the long flight from NZ: the plane cruises toward the city framed by the grand coastline and the Santa Monica mountains:

and here is where you sigh, and wish it wasn’t quite such a car-dominated place:

But you arrive, the immigration man is very friendly, you spot your first LA icon, the Encounter restaurant, and you’re on your way:

You go directly to Santa Monica beach, and the pretty walk streets dotted with craftsman houses:

cute little rentals and motels where noir novels and screenplays have most certainly been written over full ashtrays:

and it wouldn’t be LA without palm trees and Beverly Hills:

My workshops at the gorgeous Knitculture were very fun.

Here are the knitters at the stranded knitting class, intrepid types all:

and here I am with Allyson, who was knitting the Tangerine Tights in black (!) for her 18-year-old daughter. They’re a little hard to see here, but she was almost to the waist:

I also had a most enjoyable morning meeting knitters and old friends at Compatto Yarn Salon in Santa Monica. No photos from there, but it’s a lovely store with a beautiful selection of yarns and very friendly staff.

In between workshops, David and I drove to some favorite places. Folks, this is not a Prius dealership, it is a parking lot in Topanga Canyon. LA loves the Prius, I’m pleased to say, because I love it too:

One evening we drove up to Santa Barbara to see The Wrecking Crew, a documentary David was itching to see, about the brilliant session musicians who played on most of the hit records of the 60s. I was especially thrilled that it contained interviews with Carol Kaye, the only woman in the bunch, whose bass lines make songs like Sonny and Cher’s The Beat Goes On, the Beach Boys’ Good Vibrations and Help me Rhonda recognizable from the first notes.

The movie screened in a quintessential Santa Barbara Spanish Revival building:

 My next mini adventure was in in England. Coming soon…..

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