So much of my trip to Los Angeles has been immortalized in pictures, but not everything can be captured in photos; thoughts and minute, significant details accompanying those experiences must be captured in words. I cannot rely on my memory to keep these recollections in my mind, because my memory is constantly refreshing and vacating space for the countless exciting moments that are to come.
Some moments may seem small and fleeting, yet they leave a deep imprint in the mind and stir the soul….
Day one, we explore Little Tokyo. We’re full from our first stop after leaving the airport – ktown, where we had two bowls of amazing stew and a plate of dumplings – and it’s raining. It’s only drizzling a little bit, and we don’t mind. I’m grateful to have a friend with whom I can explore without a single qualm in my mind; we have no concrete plan, but we know the pieces will fall in place in a serendipitous manner as always. We check into the airbnb and meet our lovely host and his adorable puppy, which honestly could be mistaken as a stuffed animal from a sweep of the eye. That night, we get slightly lost walking to the Broad and end up scaling a tunnel on the highway. The Broad is closed. We walk to the last bookstore and then to perch. While we’re waiting, a lady confides in us about her cheating boyfriend and boasts that she’s dining on his credit card – clearly some form of revenge. She seems proud in that moment, but you can tell that she’s torn up on the inside.
Day two, we start the day off with brunch at republique. The pastries there were unique and delectable; the special ingredients combined with the culinary prowess made the desserts there quite unforgettable. I ordered the wrong dessert, but the tres leches cake was still satisfying; I wish Frances could have tried some but it completely fell apart so I ate it all. The couple next to us were celebrating the wife’s birthday and they were both foodies so I liked them. We went to Melrose and didn’t buy anything but took a lot of pictures and did basic LA tourist instagrammer things. Alfred tea house was cute and grungey, but a disappointment to my taste buds. We actually made it to the Broad (with 5 minutes to spare) and almost froze to death taking pictures outside. This night, I had the best sushi of my life. Which really makes me question where my taste buds were when I was in Japan. The salmon belly roll is forever engraved in my mind. This night, I also saw my first live raccoon EVER. Our uber driver was chinese, and he had just arrived in the states three years ago with his young daughter. He asked me for advice on interacting with his daughter – quite a position to put me in. I feel that my father and I don’t have a very intimate relationship, so it’s hard for me to reflect on such topics. I told him to be more expressive about his love to his daughter because that is a large cultural difference between America and China. I hope that his daughter grows up feeling warm and loved at all times, and I’m sure she will – her father clearly loves her very, very much.
Day three, we explore the gardens and hike up to Griffith Observatory. It was cold, and I wore too little. The gardens were beautiful, and I would love to visit in the springtime. The highlight of my day was the sunset; we watched from above the entire city as the sky evolved from sweet grapefruit to blood orange. The periwinkle deepened into a deep navy. The sky is the most effortlessly beautiful in the whole universe, and every day it blesses us with an unique present. We go to a cute yam cafe and eat korean bbq and overstuff our bellies. Then, we go to LACMA and take an excessive amount of pictures. I enjoy being excessive with Frances because I understand that even when we partake in such shallow activities we have depth in our thoughts and conversations – there is balance, so I can have fun with her without feeling any guilt at all.
Day four, we venture to venice and santa monica. The ice cream at salt and straw was so delicious, and I am inspired to maintain a healthier diet after eating at urth. Santa monica beach is some sort of dream; the water is a bright aqua, and the scenic cliffs in the distance bridge the bright aqua with the vast skies. Was this a dream? The boardwalk is full of so much life and music. I wish I could pause this moment, save it in my mind, and revisit it whenever I want to escape.