I don't usually blog about places in North America. I live here, so it doesn't seem very exotic, but this time i thought: Los Angeles is blog worthy. It's not Ethiopia, but it still has much to see. So i cranked up a few choice songs from the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack and set out to explore.
I am here visiting my sister, D, who moved here from Miami Beach a few years ago. This is not the first time i have come here to visit, but it is the first time i have been here for more than a long weekend and the first time i have had days entirely on my own - on foot - to wander without aim, as is my preference.
As much as Los Angeles doesn't seem exciting it was the first and only proper vacation (as in: air travel required) we took as a family. I was 11 and we went to Disneyland and Hollywood and it was the highlight of my young life. There is still the memory of that childhood delight in seeing the landmarks, even if i no longer have a desire to stand in celebrity cement footprints and shop for plastic souvenirs.
More recent trips have involved drives down the coast, walks down Venice Beach, and cocktails at the Formosa.
This trip does have something of a purpose. D and i, both horror and Halloween fans, are centring many of activities around that theme. So far there has been horror movies and browsing in the sort of amazing year-round halloween stores that could only exist in Los Angeles (or more particularly, Burbank.)
One of the highlights of this trip happened yesterday when we attended a screening of one of our favourite child movies: The Monster Squad. This was ordinary screening, mind you. This was an event. A screening at the stunning United Artists theatre, which feels like a cross between a gothic cathedral and a haunted castle.
We shelled out for the vip tickets which gave us access to a pre-show reception with many members of the cast and crew. You just don't get to do this sort of thing in Vancouver. It was very cool to talk to people that had been in and created the movie we love so much. Everyone was so nice and generous with their time. Following the reception there was a Q&A and then the movie. It was a great experience. I also tried my first and last Twinkie (a snack featured in the movie). It was disgusting, but another once in a lifetime experience.
After that, still giddy, we had a cigar and coffee at a cafe on broadway in the glorious 100 degree heat before driving to Pasadena for dinner.
It was a great day that satisfied both childhood and adult me.