I was spoiled by Los Angeles. I probably should say Heather spoiled me while I was in Los Angles, though – she and her family were such wonderful guides to the city.
We spent our afternoons in museums, surrounded by beauty and surging with inspiration. Scandalous Belgian art and convergences in contemporary and historical photographs hung on the walls. At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Heather and I split in different directions – I made a b-line for the impressionists and Heather strolled through the hall of Pacific art. We met in the courtyard for an appointment to stand in a room of breathing light.
People watching, in museums and on the streets, also proved a lovely way to pass the time. We watched a man, who held a bouquet of flowers, wait impatiently as his soon-to-be fiancé came to the Getty. He stood in a crowd of his friends in the museum’s beautiful gardens, with everyone talking about how beautiful the moment would be – at that moment, the man’s friend received a call and rushed off to usher the woman to the garden instead of an exhibit hall.
I ate well in Los Angeles, too. The night Heather flew in from DC, we visited an In ‘N’ Out, according to family tradition. Normally I’d be fine with a simple burger (maybe some hot sauce), but Heather and her mom whispered options for upgrading my culinary experience into my ear – the Secret Menu. While I couldn’t move for a few hours, the experience was glorious.
There was also Mexican food on Mexican food on Mexican food – I tried all kinds of dishes and ate my weight in mole, a thick, slow-cooked sauce that’s sweet and savory and perfect all at once. Mole, sweet mole, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Seven? We made two trips to one restaurant, which had a cave room in the back – the darkness aids in the digestion process, I think. No good meal can end without dessert, though. Boba tea and twenty-cent cookies were great, but – hands down – cream puffs from Beard Daddy’s were my favorite sweet. Huge doughy pastries filled with a variety of creamy goodness – they were messy, but so so good.
On the night of the Super Moon, we took a picnic at the Griffith Observatory. Everyone else in the city apparently shared this idea, but despite the crowds, the night was magical. Heather’s brother showed us Mars and Saturn with a laser pointer that, I kid you not, reached all the way to the planets (or at least it appeared so). I shoved down my thoughts about light pollution and the irony of stargazing in Los Angeles rather than in rural Minnesota and appreciated the beauty of the city at night. From the overlook of the planetarium, the city sparkled – a bedazzled circuit board, of sorts.