7/2-7/2009 | Los Angeles: I spent a solid week in the city of Los Angeles with grand ambitions in my mind. Of course, practically nothing I had imagined doing while there was accomplished and most of the week was spent lounging around, hanging with friends, watching movies and drinking plenty of Mexican beers with plenty of tacos on the side. Looking back, I have very few regrets.
One of the main reasons I decided to head out West for two weeks was to take some time out for street photography. LA is largely bad in this area, as simply walking from one interesting location to the next might take half your day and leave you sweating uncontrollably from the relentless un-intruding sun. That being said, I spent almost the entire week hanging with friends and not wandering the endless streets of LA shooting photos. I did get a few, just enough to leave me wanting to return, which is pretty much how all of my trips to Los Angeles play out. I've been meaning to document downtown LA for perhaps 3 years now. Next time, of course!
The 4th of July was spent hopping around town. We started at the Standard Hotel downtown pool party. This experience basically sums up the side of LA I hate. There was a 40 minute wait to get in (which we bypassed cause we are VIP or whatever). Then, the guy guarding the escalator refused to let me in with my backpack, or camera, or baseball hat. No baseball hats allowed, only cool guy hats. This is the most blatantly racist rule of them all--an obvious ploy to keep black people away. After checking all my belongings at the desk, I head up to the party and grab a Corona at the bar. I don't recall the price but I do recall a quick switch to the only reasonably priced option in the place, Rainer Beer.
Our group got the hell outta there after a few hours and went to another party over in Echo Park. After somebody nearly burnt down the neighborhood with a wayward Roman Candle-into-dry-brush-lot, we acted on a tip to a mansion party in the Pacific Palisades. Sure enough, we ended up at the rumored residence of film tycoon Michael Mann, which was amusing to me as many of my friends in Chicago had just recently finished working on his movie Public Enemies. Some kids were spinning old school hip hop, all vinyl, some kids were hanging out in the giant tee pee, some kids were skinny dipping in one of the many pools and I mostly opted to sit in a rocking chair and soak in the environment. It was a great night, actually.
I had some fun with a couple of DJ gigs while out there (Unfortunately, my flashes were broken/acting up so the nightlife shots I took kinda suffered). I played Mad Mondays at the Standard Hollywood for my friend Ellei of Shadowscene fame, who was of course out of town. The party was pretty lowkey and light on attendees (surely lots of 4th hangovers) but I had a blast regardless and was stoked to see quite a few friends come out. An old high school pal also happened to be in town and texted me looking for something to do. He convinced a dozen or so of his fellow co-workers to come out, all dudes, all in town for some mechanic convention or something. I had a fun time telling the door girl to let them all in. This is basically taboo in LA. Don't go to a club with a group of guys, you won't get in.
A few nights later I played an early set at Awesometown at Short Stop. This time the place was packed and pretty crazy. Again, got to hang with some friends, including my old roommate from Chicago who lives out there now. We stopped by Little Joy for a final PBR, at which point I grabbed my DJ payday and promptly headed for a taco truck from some amazing pastor tacos.
I hate to say it but next time I'm in LA, I need a car..