Sunday, April 24, 2011

Los Angeles, chapter 1

I spent this past week in not-as-sunny-as-usual Los Angeles visiting my dear dear friend and soulmate Ms. Mary King.  She writes a great blog about the restaurant biz, Where the Sidework Ends.  Even though we hadn't seen each other in almost 6 years, we picked up right where we left off, reading each others' minds, finishing each others' sentences, etc.  Lucky for me, she got off of work for most of the time that I was in town, but during the few hours that she had to work on Tuesday at her restaurant, Border Grill, I had a great future architect plan for the morning.
            For the previous week or so I had been emailing back and forth with Laura Massino to schedule a tour with her company, Architecture Tours L.A.  When I met up with her on Tuesday morning, I was pleased to find that I was the only person on the tour, and the next 3 hours were spent getting all of my own questions answered and being chauffeured around downtown Los Angeles.  What I found was a city full of buildings that were conglomerations of different styles: Gothic mixed with Mayan, Japanese mixed with Italian, etc.  And I was glad to see that, even though LA is a pretty young city, it has a great sense of history and preservation.  Some of my favorite buildings were:
The Eastern Building, where Johnny Depp resides when in LA.  I loved this polychromed art deco look; not to say I would build something like this, but it was so fun to look at.
The new California Department of Transportation building, which was one of the newest buildings on my tour, finished in 2004.  The architect Thom Mayne was awarded the 2005 Pritzker Prize for this design, and it has a silver LEED rating.
The tour wrapped up in the cutest little neighborhood, which was originally a suburb of LA that got swallowed up by the city.  Thanks to the historic guidelines, this neighborhood is very true to its past and the houses that have been restored and/or kept up are true gems.  It also is a great neighborhood for filming, I would expect.
            After I had had my fill of architecture for the day (improbable) I met up with Mary back at Border Grill where she sated my other appetite, for food, with just about every dish that they had at the restaurant that she thought I would like. The cucumber margarita was delish, as was the little taste of the jalapeno margarita that the bartender sent over with it.  And I have to say, the fish taco I ate there was the first fish taco I have ever liked, which is to say it's surprising that I even ventured to try it, but I was glad that I did!  If you'd like to hear more about what I ate while in LA, check out my tweets @hmwick (or right on this page).
            Once Mary was off of work, we did an impromptu pub crawl of sorts around downtown LA, stopping in at Chaya, and ogling their cool chandelier, made by British sculptor Stuart Haygarth.  We also had a good dinner (and macaroons) at Bottega Louie.  The night ended at Mas Malo, where we befriended a bartender who showed us the inner sanctum, AKA the safe in the back (the bar used to be a jewelry shop) which is full of tequila.
To be continued.

No comments:

Post a Comment