Posted by: Gregoryno6 | March 5, 2018

Recalling my trip to Los Angeles.

Hard to believe that five years ago I was preparing to head back from the west coast to the other west coast.

Five years! God, it makes me feel so Charles Aznavour.

I covered the adventure in several posts, grouped under the G6inLA tag. But there were a few stories that didn’t get space at the time…

Taxi Drivers of the Wild West.

Los Angeles and I got off on the wrong foot. Once I was through Customs at LAX I hailed a cab and said ‘The Ambrose, 20th Street Santa Monica, please.’ But somewhere along the way, up around 7th street as I recall, the driver just ceased to give a damn. He didn’t take me the long way round; he just pulled to the kerb and said ‘That’s it right there.’ Wherever I was, I definitely was not outside my hotel. But the cabbie was already taking my bag out of the boot – sorry, the trunk. I had enough of the map in my head to find my way, dragging my luggage behind me at 7 in the morning. Hooray for wheeled suitcases! As for the cabbie, I guess he realised he was late for an appointment with the neighbour’s wife. Or maybe that voice inside his head whispered ‘Fuck this – I’m ready for breakfast.’

Cabbie number 2 was Russian. And just my luck, he’d originally applied to migrate to Australia. ‘I WANted to go there but you reJECTed me,’ he said. But he only said that once. Most of his verbal output was ‘Urrrr, this fucking traffic… it’s going to be a fucking long drive to your hotel. Where is it? Fuck, I can’t take a fare from Santa Monica. It’s against the rules. Fuuuck…’

It was a long drive back to the hotel, all right. I had taken a day trip down to San Diego – this amounted to roughly two and a half hours in the city, sandwiched between three hours each way on the train. It was well dark by the time I walked out of Union Station and I figured on a quick ride back to the hotel. I was about to get a lesson in LA traffic. Peak hour? There ain’t no peak hour. The freeways were packed like it was 7:30 am, not pm. I stared out the window at this river of steel and asked What the fuck are you people doing here? Why aren’t you at home? Haven’t you got families and dinners and pets waiting for you?

‘Urrrr… this fucking traffic.’

Cabbie 3 was the model driver. Cheerful, polite, well groomed. He knew a little about Australia too. It was a pleasure to shake his hand and say farewell when he dropped me at LAX.

jAdis, and the fine art of making an impression before you’ve even arrived.

Los Angeles. Hollywood, right? Studio tours, right?

Me, not so much. The closest I got to the dream factory was Book Soup on Sunset Boulevard.

The Museum of Jurassic Technology was on my list of ‘unusual’ places to see.

As was jAdis.

jAdis was not too distant from The Ambrose, but it wasn’t open for visitors until my second last day in town. Gina Elise and her friend Cheryl graciously accompanied (chauffeured) me and we had an interesting hour looking around.

A few days earlier I’d sent Susan Lieberman an email to confirm the premises would be open on Sunday. And, as is my wont, I’d enquired if there were any spare limbs for sale. Asking for a friend, you know. No reply. So, there was Gina and Cheryl over in one corner while Susan and I chatted. I must have recognised a few pieces from movies. It was all going fine until I mentioned the email. Susan’s eye’s grew to the size of saucers and she took half a step back.

“Oh my God……… that was YOU!”

My lady companions whipped around. I didn’t know whether I was going to be thrown out on the street or maced. Either seemed possible.

Apparently my dark style of humour is unfamiliar to prop shop ladies in Los Angeles. Yeah – like I’d be the weirdest guy who ever walked in there. Sure. But Susan realised that I must be relatively harmless if I was travelling with female company and recovered her composure. The email had freaked her out to the point that she’d shown it fo a friend. Friend’s advice had been to not answer and hope the loony sender would go away.

Luckily, as they say in the classics, we all saw the funny side. But Susan looked quite relieved when we said our goodbyes.

The Canals and the Aeroplanes.

After we left jAdis, Gina suggested a drive down to Venice Beach. There are three things I remember about that. One, if you like tattoo parlours you’d be spoiled for choice there. Two, Venice isn’t just a name.

Three:

Gina was on my mind too when I visited the Museum of Flying. Gina posed for a calendar pic here that was used in the Bruce Willis movie RED.  Gina needs to make a return visit to the Museum, to strike a pose or two in the Douglas Aircraft Boardroom.

And with that, my ramble of memory closes. Just a final word of thanks to one who cannot be forgotten here: Mick Mock, aka many other names, my pre-Uber Uber to the Getty and LACMA and assorted points across the map, and presenter at Strange Cousin Susan.

Coming back one day, LA.

 


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