July 5, 2009

Palm Trees and Power Lines: My L.A. Vacation in Photos

What a long, strange week it's been. J and I headed back to L.A. for a much-needed escape from reality. Pull up a chair, sit back, and enjoy the highlights of our misadventures en la ciudad de los angeles...

A day at the beach was at the top of my list. The cruel Portland winter had left me with a sickly yellow pallor, which I was desperate to erase. An afternoon of Vitamin D left me with a healthy, sun-kissed bronze glow. Aaahhhh...

J was desperate for some quality saddle time. He borrowed his old Cinelli road bike from my uncle, and navigated PCH with vigor. Canyons, scenery, sun, and the crisp sea salt air...

We scheduled a reunion with our former roommate and Jamie's best friend, Bryon. When we lived together, I always said it was like "Three's Company: The Dyslexic Version."

The Parentals.

No L.A. trip is complete without the obligatory stop here.

We went to the drive-up In N Out on Ventura Blvd., which has been around since I was a kid. For some reason, the burgers just taste better here.

Burger bliss.

Commuting. View from the Hollywood Freeway.


Capitol Records building.


We stopped at Touch gallery in Culver City to visit our friends Zoe and Peter. They were hosting a cool exhibit called "Indisposed." The premise was to creatively intermix art and design with a strong message of sustainability. We viewed some very clever forms of environmentally friendly, chic product design.

Firewall. Reclaimed pine firewood is CNC-milled and stacked into an integral architectural sculpture. Using the logs as kindling alters the shape and form, resulting in a continuously evolving art project.

The Auto-Cannibalistic table. It's made from paper egg cups, flour paste, soil, and seeds. Just add water, and the seeds germinate, eventually causing the table to eat itself.

Pleated Paper Can, made from recycled and folded paper cups. No need for a trash bag - just use until it's full, then take the whole thing out with the garbage.

TRASH: anycoloryoulike. Biodegradable trash bags are dressed up in fun, bright colors and create visually arresting images when heaped in piles on the streets and sidewalks.

Wasabi. So Takahashi creates chic paper plates so you don't have to suffer the indignities of generic floral print. Wouldn't you think twice before throwing these away?

Furniture To Go. Lego-shaped take-out containers are reused as furniture components so the user can assemble their own custom designs. Eat and build, build and eat.

We had to visit our old Santa Monica neighborhood hangout, The Daily Pint. They have an impressive selection of about 180 bottles of single malt scotch...

...and cask-conditioned English IPA.

More beach time. On our way back through Malibu, we stopped at Moonshadows Blue Lounge for some cocktails. This was our view from the deck.

J lounging on a cabana.

Ah, summer vacation.

Mojito madness...

...and delectable Ahi tuna tartare with wasabi cream and avocado. Yum.

It was one of those picture-perfect afternoons on the coast. The sky was crystal clear, the ocean bright blue. Don't the clouds look like a map of Hawaii hanging in the sky?

Cute new sandals, courtesy of Mesh & Lace in Silverlake.

Self-portrait, snapped in the car. "Smile with the eyes."

J got in more coastal bike riding, while I (of course) strapped on running shoes and hit the pavement.

Cycling, running, yoga...all that activity sure builds up an appetite. This looks like a job for...

...The Godmother, courtesy of Bay Cities Italian Deli. Throw in a Coke and you've got quite possibly the best lunch on the Westside.

And that concludes our trip to L.A. Even though I only moved a year ago, it no longer feels like home to me...but it does make for a pretty nice visit.

So glad to be back in Portland and ready to run on!


  1. What?! What about your OTHER reunion? ;)

  2. When my mom sleeps off her hangover and emails the photos to me, you'll get your very own post!