We made it out of California and across the country safe and sound. All of our previous unfounded prejudices against L.A. seem to have been surprisingly founded, but we did manage to have a great time in spite of traffic, smog, mansions, aspiring Hollywood flakes, and all the other stereotypes that northerners like us love. I have to admit, though, there is a certain shameful appeal in tooling through Hollywood at 9:30pm in a black convertible with the top down and music blaring, as Adam showed us on Sunday night. We went to jazz night at The Cat & Fiddle, an extremely cute Hollywood bar/music joint with a lovely courtyard, which is apparently filled with rock and rollers every other night of the week, but gets positively mellow on jazz night. Just our style.
On Monday we went to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art for the special Klimt exhibit, and didn't stay for nearly enough time to see everything else there. Another highly recommended Los Angeles locale. We lunched with Adam at the Farmer's Market, then went back to his house where he got us addicted to "Arrested Development" (stupid hilarious tv shows that just make me want to watch more). We spent the evening playing games with his housemates, and I volunteered to edit the most boring document I've ever laid eyes on: his housemate Brandon's 75-page sports-merger memo that he had to distribute the following day. (I got through 11 pages and then gave up... even grammar nerds have their limits.)
The next day we rented a car and drove down to San Diego. On the way we made the mistake of stopping in Del Mar for something to eat... definitely the worst white-bread rich-people chain-store township I've set foot in since Breckenridge. But we did manage to eat at an unexpectedly Jewish cafe, decked out with posters of Israel, matzoh ball soup, and free copies of Southern California Senior Living magazine... catering to all the rich bubbes and zaydes who want to retire by the sea, I suppose. In San Diego we checked into our hostel, walked around the Gaslamp District, and then went to our Radiohead show at the marine park behind the massive space-age Convention Center. The concert was great... I'm not a Radiohead fan like R, but Thom Yorke is one SERIOUSLY mesmerizing guy, and they even played 4-5 songs that I actually knew, which is always exciting.
(Let me pause here for a public service announcement: If you check into a hostel and they put you in a 10-bed dorm in the corner bunkbed next to two floor-to-ceiling windows with translucent curtains and streetlamps right outside and the windows are open because of the heat and you're right in the heart of drinking-and-clubbing territory, you're probably not going to sleep a wink. Just so you know. If the hostel has free make-em-yourself pancakes in the morning, though, you might be able to sort of forgive them.)
The next day we went to the famed Balboa Park, a great big beautiful complex with 2398746 or so museums, theaters, and cultural centers. We mostly walked around and went to the free places, although we did indulge in tickets to the Natural History Museum - possibly not the wisest choice since half of it was closed for exhibit installation (only a few days later and we could have seen the DEAD SEA SCROLLS, for heaven's sake... worst timing ever? Perhaps).
Back in L.A. we took turns napping at Adam's in preparation for our neverending night... "Superman" in the country's most famous theater (again with the shameful appeal) and then 4:30am departure to return our rental car in time to fly out of LAX. "Superman" was thoroughly enjoyable; whatshisface who played the Man of Steel was great, Kevin Spacey made a close-to-perfect Lex, the directing was great, the understated humor was terrifically old-school, and even the annoying and way-too-young actress who played Lois was okay. (Look at me with my Rebecca-style movie review...)
A day of flying, a night in New York, and a Pioneer Valley All-Day Sing later, here we are at my parents' house doing what we do best: lazing around, reading books, letting my mother pamper us, and schmoozing with our singer friends. On today's docket: Amherst sing, my brother's friend is coming over to cut his hair to an unspecified length (!!!!!!!), and I'll hopefully finish reading Jurassic Park. We're obsessed with the cool nights and 80-something days, and R has never been as fond of New England as he has been this weekend. We should go to Texas more often. (Do we have to go back?)
Oh yeah, and click here for pictures.