Los Angeles Palm Trees

I Like L.A.

I’m in business class on a plane headed to Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Palm Trees
Welcome to L.A.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

This is a “spoiling” trip for me: I imagine myself getting a “break” by visiting the West coast, and of course it’s completely indulgent. That’s ok. I’m more or less on schedule with my videos and I want to be in time for the November open studios.

Los Angeles International Airport
Los Angeles International Airport

By coincidence, my seat mate is an actor with whom I was on speech team in high school. It all seems so long ago. Of course, he has no idea of who I am, but as our mediated world would have it, I’ve always has a special fan-like appreciation for this person. He was in the original cast of Rent and has done many movies and television. He was successful right out of high school as an actor. Strange that I’m still attempting to pursue dreams, while others achieved them decades ago. Still, it’s a privilege to be here, healthy and relatively happy and on this journey. It’s most certainly a journey, for me, and not a destination.

My first stop in L.A. is a a place called Kushmart. It’s in a half-but-not-completely sketchy place but it’s a place where I can get “prescriptions” that one cannot yet get in New York.

Grand Central Market, Los Angeles
Grand Central Market, Los Angeles
A Meal at Grand Central Market, Los Angeles
A Meal at Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

Now I’m at Grand Central Market, a favorite Los Angeles locale. It’s a market and food court-style covered garage-like area. Obviously, it’s difficult to describe, but it feels very local and lively. I can’t say that I know L.A. so very well, and I mainly hang around the areas that have to do with my interests (the museums, Amoeba records, Arclight theatre). I like the food at a Vietnamese place called Sticky Rice in the food court. The food is hot, fresh, and tasty.

Chris Burden: "Exposing The Foundation of the Museum," 1986
Chris Burden, “Exposing The Foundation of the Museum,” 1986

From the Market I walked to the Museum of Contemporary Art on Grand Avenue to look at the work of a well-known African American female artist whose work looks similar to that of other African-American female artists. It’s not her fault, but the system seems to reward formula and familiar tropes over really intriguing or unique works, even around tried subject such as race. Just pulling and arranging YouTube clips isn’t a unique idea, anymore. I’d like to see artists try harder, but as I mentioned, mediocrity seems to be held in high regard.

Mickalene Thomas, "Do I Look Like A Lady?"
Mickalene Thomas, “Do I Look Like A Lady?”

After MoCA and a quick stop at the Broad Museum across the street, I took a car to Hollywood to shop at Amoeba records on Sunset. I considered watching a movie but decided against it. My bad eating habits then got the best of me, as I had an enjoyable snack at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, which is exactly what I ate.

Amoeba Records, Los Angeles
Amoeba Records, Los Angeles
Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, Los Angeles
Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, Los Angeles
Sketchy L. A.
Sketchy L. A.

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