Archived entries for Los Angeles

Hotel Maya

After JetPride we all stayed at the awesome Hotel Maya in Long Beach. Very secluded spot, just across the water from downtown. Very stylish and very friendly…huge recommendation for it.

The Queen Mary, now a floating hotel, is very close by…

Protesting the LDS Church

The passing of Prop 8 in California has been universally characterized as the worst setback for the equal rights movement in recent memory. Fortunately, the masses are pissed (!) and launching protests everywhere. The main focus: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which encouraged its members to contribute to the campaign, much as it did in the 2000 Prop 22 battle. Donations from Mormons are estimated at anywhere from $15-25 million of the $70 million or so spent on the ballot initiative.

A few photos from last night’s protest in at the Mormon Temple in Los Angeles…including one (immediately below) in which a protestor’s bullhorn just so happens to be oriented precisely like the Angel Moroni’s.

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My fav signs:
• When do I get to vote on your marriage?
• Keep Mormon hate out of my state
• Mormons go to hell

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Groceries

Last week in Los Angeles I had the pleasure of stopping by a gargantuan grocery store, one with a massive parking lot and miles upon miles of food. Oh, how I miss those! It almost brought me to tears (of joy!). Living in New York, I’ve come to appreciate real grocery stores more than ever since what we have here leaves a lot to be desired. Fortunately, I live around the corner from Whole Foods, which has become my ‘basic’ grocery store.

Some people poo-poo the cost of Whole Foods, but when you live in New York, it is the cheap grocery store. Case in point: Poland Springs fizzy water, a staple of my diet is $0.99 at Whole Foods, but $1.99 at the run-of-the-mill Gristedes. I’ll take the inevitable chaos of WFM over grimy Gristedes any day! The New York Times recently ran a piece on the slipping standards of the Gristedes chain, which currently offers 35 outlets throughout Manhattan.

L.A.

I spent this week in Los Angeles and had a blast! Stayed at the Mondrian, whose all-white coolness freaked me out a little bit. It was almost like I was in one of those film scenes that portrays heaven as a lily-white world. (Or am I just thinking of a Fleetwood Mac video?).

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No visit to L.A. is complete without a night (or three) of cocktails at the venerable Abbey, whose Dale Chihuly-lookalike (or is it real?) light over the bar is super cool:

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I have an addiction

A couple weeks ago I was in the American Riviera (yes, some people call Orange County that, ditto for Santa Barbara), and realized I hadn’t yet blogged about one of its most spectacular exports: MTV’s “Newport Harbor: The Real Orange County“, the show featuring a group of kids from Newport Beach High School and my new addiction.

To understand the depth of my addiction to said reality show, you must first understand that it’s the one and only show (well, besides Kathy Griffin’s “My Life on the D List”) that I watch. I will literally not turn my TV for a week at a time, but when Wednesday night rolls around I’m primed or at least my TiVo is.

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Variety mag called Newport’s reality TV-twin (“The Hills”) “an exercise in unrelenting vacuity…that’s like ‘The Simple Life’…but with less substance”…and I agree. The Hills is pure ridiculousness. Blonde girls in Benzes in Beverly Hills working fake jobs at Teen Vogue. Who can relate. Newport Harbor is different! At least the high school kids of Newport Harbor are only driving Bimmers and are not pretending to have jobs. They surf and play tennis and throw fabulous parties in their fabulous town and let their parents foot the bill without hiding it.

Last week’s prom episode almost made me cry. (Of course, “Pretty Woman” kills me every time I see it, too, so clearly I’m a sap.) But anyway, the prom featured an amazing Maroon 5 song that I’ve now been playing on loop for days: “Not Falling Apart…download it! Gotta go…episode six is on at 10:30 tonight!

Related: Heidi from “The Hills” gets called out for her bitchy ways

Where parking doesn’t come cheap

The other night in Los Angeles, as I walked past a $8 park-all-day lot, I was ranting to my friend about the embarrasingly low cost of parking there. A new survey out this week highlights the continents most expensive places to park, and L.A. is at the bottom. The top three are no surprise: NYC, Boston, and SF. But Calgary, at no. 4, surprised me.

New York, Midtown $630.00
New York, Downtown $500.00
Boston $460.00
San Francisco $350.00
Calgary $329.00
Philadelphia $297.50
Chicago $285.00
Toronto $284.00
Seattle $275.00
Montreal $246.34
Washington $240.00
Honolulu $209.42
Sacramento, Calif. $205.00
Charleston, S.C. $200.00
Vancouver $196.00
Los Angeles $192.00
Ottawa $183.28

Randomness

It takes a lot to get me excited about celebrity, but last night I flew from Vancouver to Los Angeles on an Alaska Airlines flight that was carrying some precious cargo: tape of the show “The L Word,” which is filmed in Vancouver but set in L.A. It doesn’t take much to amuse me!

LAPD to recruit at, sponsor Gay Games

In a neat partnership, organizers of Gay Games in Chicago announced today that the Los Angeles Police Department will help sponsor next year’s event.

Written in the scars

hollywood_scarsEver wondered what L.A. people talk about? “It’s a stereotype that people in Los Angeles sit around at dinner parties and discuss cosmetic surgery,” Nell Scovell writes in the New York Times. “And, of course, it’s true.”

Start with Nicole Kidman. Her ubiquitous and strangely frozen forehead kicks off the discussion with the insoluble question:

What the heck did Nicole Kidman do to her face?

The theories start to fly.

“She definitely had a brow lift.”

“No, no, it was an eye job plus Botox.”

“It looks to me like she had a liquid nitrogen peel.”

“I heard she no longer has expression in her face, so she had to change her acting style, and now she has to act more with her body.”

Many more hilarious examples online…

Westward Ho!

Slow postings for the next couple days. I’m hopping around the West a bit. Watch mymoblog for instant updates from the road. I’ll do my best to keep up, so be sure to keep sending me news tips.

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Especially for the person miffed that I did not originally have my Great Circle Mapposted, here goes:

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Arnold to veto gay marriage

schwarzeneggar_shriverI’m guessing things are not cheery in the Shriver-Schwarzenegger household at the moment as Arnold hasvowed to veto California’s same-sex marriage bill, sayinghis hands are tied and he’s only honoring the wishes of California voters who enacted Prop 22, a defense of marriage act, in 2000.

In a rally in San Francisco last night, the leader of the city’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Center told the crowd, “This guy ran as someone who was a different and fair politician, and he stabbed us in the back.”

For those who missed Schwarzenegger’s speech at the Republican National Convention last summer, Shriver was clearly not amused. How these two manage to keep up their marriage despite their political differences is constant fodder for gossip pages and Vanity Fair. I believe Maria has said in the past that great sex has something to do with it.

Most affordable city in North America: Ottawa

According to an annual survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, Ottawa is North America’s most affordable big city, while New York is the most expensive. Worldwide, out of 144 cities ranked, Ottawa placed 122nd. New York was 13th, while Tokyo, Osaka, and London topped the list.

Most expensive cities in Canada:
1. Toronto
2. Vancouver
3. Calgary
4. Montreal
5. Ottawa

Most expensive cities in the U.S.:
1. New York
2. Los Angeles
3. White Plains
4. San Francisco

Happy New Year!

New California law gives benefits to gay couples. Law takes effect today and gives gay couples who register as domestic partners nearly the same responsibilities and benefits as married spouses.

Ziv Launches New Album

Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles

Went to Beverly Hills last night and did some shopping before meeting up with Mannyin West Hollywood. He was taking his grand old time getting ready for our evening out on the town, so I stopped in at The Abbey to partake in the bathroom’s shrine to candy.

We dined at Fat Fish where we had some really funky valentine’s special cocktails. Mine had rose petals in it and was very romantic. His was nasty. Had some great food, hilarious conversation (of course) and then we headed off for more drinking at Hot Dog.

What a quiet and relaxing weekend! This is just what I needed!

Santa Monica

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I got up super early this morning since I’m still on East Coast time and ran up to Pacific Palisades. On the return, I ran along the beach (that is, actually in the sand not the boardwalk), which was a great workout – but it kicked my ass. Later on I went shopping on Montana and on Third Street and found the hottest purple shirt at Tommy, perfect for clubbing or just looking über trendy at work.

As I was stepping out onto the street, I spotted Abe from Road Rules Latin America(for those of you fanatics out there: the cute 18-year old kid with two mommies who was slapped by Gladys from Boston). He was in a hoodie and jeans taking pictures around the Promenade…very cute…I think we’re fated to be together because an hour later we ran into each other again.

My new favourite singer is Ziv, whom I saw performing on the Promenade today.  He and his voice are both beautiful. I bought his CD on the spot and told him I am in love with him.  He just laughed.

Boston to Los Angeles

After a long week at work, Grace and I left for LA this afternoon. With one-way tickets, we didn’t exactly zoom through the airport, but soon enough we were relaxing in theAA flagship lounge and preparing for our six-hour transcon hop. Call me a snob, but it’s always great kicking my feet up on the bulkhead in the first row of the plane, prime location for non-stop service from the flight attendant–lots of wine and Haagen-Dazs. We read the whole way and arrived in LA just as the sun was setting over the Pacific.  Sunsets here are so much more dramatic and awe-inspiring than they are in the East.

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We were whisked off to Santa Monica and checked into our great rooms overlooking the ocean at the Hotel Oceana. Funky decor, great Melrose Place-esque courtyard, and expansive views up and down the coast. The weather is – surprise! – perfect. So good to be out of snowy Boston for a week.

36 hours in L.A.

After a fog-bound Bay Area holiday, Los Angeles is a tropical change.  I flew to Burbank yesterday, and checked into Le Meridien in Beverly Hills.  The Meridien has a special wing exclusively for discreet pampering of plastic surgery “victims,” one of the more pitiful aspects of life in southern California.  They wheel them in, knock ‘em out, and let their chemical face peels go to work.  (As my friend Alison observes, why don’t they just send the women of southern California to Bangladesh, where they’ll throw sulfuric acid in your face and achieve the same results, at significantly reduced cost.)  But they do have a great pool, with views of LA, which I was able to enjoy at twilight, all by myself.

Last night I met up with Manny and headed to O-Bar in West Hollywood for endless drinks and fantastic dinner.  He cracks me up.  Today I walked (yes, walked!) around Beverly Hills and West Hollywood for shopping and cafe-ing, before heading to LAX, where I am now awaiting my red-eye home to Boston.



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