All across town, similar situations are undoubtedly playing out as I type. I've already been engaged in numerous workplace conversations on the events that occurred in Downtown Los Angeles last night. It goes a little something like this:
11:09:37 AM: Derrick: enjoy the game? 11:09:45 AM: shannon: f* you 11:09:54 AM: Derrick: big hugs! 11:10:00 AM: shannon: bye bye 11:10:55 AM: Derrick: Mr Bryant, can you identify the man that stole your ring?
11:11:48 AM: shannon: ok, now that was funny. you need to forward that to XXXX...he apparently has ice and bandages for all of us because according to him "that must have hurt" 11:12:29 AM: Derrick: Haaaa 11:12:37 AM: Derrick: nice
Tomorrow night is the 2nd Thursday of the month and what does that mean? It's time for the Downtown ArtWalk!!!
As you can see, they have a brand spankin' new logo and if you clicked on the link you'll notice a revamped website too. Go ahead, click that link above and troll around, I'll wait.
Now wasn't that fun!?! Being there in person is even more fun and I highly suggest you check it out if you haven't yet. But a fair warning if you do decide to go...Downtown is gonna be a busy place so plan your route carefully and be sure to read the street signs. In addition to the flocks of people coming for the ArtWalk there will be those that shun the arts and prefer sports more, with game 4 of the NBA finals at the Staples Center. And finally, the most brilliant move of all - FilmLA ok'ing a humongous TV shoot tomorrow evening that effectively cuts a wide swath through the ArtWalk boundaries. So like I warned, be sure to look for and read any added No Parking signs if you decide to do the street parking thing, or better yet - go Metro!
One more thing, if you choose ArtWalk over BBall then do not miss the 3 shows by Winstead Adams Project. I'm just sayin'...
This past weekend I went back to the DMV area (D.C., Maryland, Virginia) to attend my 20th high school reunion from Largo High School. Nothing earth shattering happened, it was your typical "wow, has it really been that long" type of event with the requisite exchange of info and "see you in 10 years." I went to the dinner on Friday night and planned on going to the picnic on Saturday but I had an incorrect address, hence an incorrect google map and no GPS, so I decided to call it quits after driving around the back roads of rural Maryland for about 20 minutes. I'm truly a city girl at heart - give me a grid street structure any day of the week over single lane roads and tons of trees. It all looked familiar but I had no clue how to troubleshoot the fact that I was on the back side of a very large park, far away from where the "official" entrance was located.
So I cut my losses on the picnic and decided to visit my old neighborhood and the family that I grew up next door to for 18 years. We caught up and laughed about the good old days when I was this goofy little girl (guess I still am actually).
[telling Cedric the neighborhood boxer dog to "go home" - he frequently would jump the gate and run around the neighborhood. bossy then, bossy now. change much?]
That evening I had tickets to the Nationals/Giants game and prior to leaving L.A. had no one to offer my extra ticket to...until the plane ride to D.C. There I am at LAX, waiting to get on the plane when I bump into a friend that I haven't seen in about 10 years. A friend that I know from L.A. but who happened to be traveling back to D.C. with his wife on the same flight as me. Then he mentions a mutual friend of ours who lives in D.C. that I haven't seen in about the same amount of time and a little light bulb turns on in my head. Bingo!
I met Khalil at his coffee shop, Pound, and from there we took the subway to the beautiful new Nationals Park where we proceeded to sweat our a$$es off. Mind you, there was a small little heat wave happening with temperatures soaring near 100 degrees during the day with something like 100% humidity, making it feel like an oven-sauna. D.C. is not like L.A. where the temperature breaks in the evening, it stays hot and muggy and in a word...disgusting. At the game we pulled up weather.com on his iPhone and it said the temperature was "88 but feels like 98." With no scoring well into the 7th along with no breeze we did the L.A. thing and left. Turns out S.F. got 6 runs in the 8th so we didn't miss much. We thought about going and getting a drink but the heat had done us in and we parted ways at the Chinatown/Gallery Place metro stop.
[Khalil at his coffee shop]
[This is what you see upon entering Nationals Park. It's a beautiful stadium, by the way, I just wish it hadn't been so freaking hot!]
[the "W" in the grass]
[the largest HD jumbotron in the league]
[you know me, gotta get my "art shot" in]
[the view from our seats]
[another shot of K - the t-shirt he's wearing will be explained in a forthcoming post]
[Goodbye, off to find AC!!!]
To add insult to injury, all weekend long my phone was peppered with text messages from my L.A. friends telling me of the "beautiful 75 degree and sunny weather with not a cloud in the sky." Bastards.
I'm not a huge fan of the idiot box but mid-season last year I, for some reason, began watching Grey's Anatomy. It helps that abc.com has a kickin' media player that allows you to watch shows if you happen to miss them when they originally air because I am rarely home on Thursday evenings.
During the writer's strike T.R. Knight came to see a show (Anything) that I was stage managing at the theatre. At first I thought he looked familiar because maybe I had P.A.'ed with him or something years ago until it hit me as to who it really was. Yeah, I can be a bit dense sometimes like that. They are people too, just like you and me, and I never make a big deal of it, I just go about my business as usual.
On my Virgin America flight out of LAX to D.C. on Thursday night I had a run in with yet another G.A. actor - James Pickens, Jr.
And if you wanna go one step even further, I stage managed Loretta Devine many, many years ago at the theatre during a very successful run of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. She was wonderful to work with, completely respectful and an ultimate professional.
At this rate I'll have randomly bumped into the entire cast by mid-next summer.
Leaving tonight to go back to D.C. again - this time for my 20th high school reunion. Most people question why I'd want to subject myself to this odd type of torture to which my only reply is "I have no clue but it'll be interesting!"
The exciting part of this trip will be the Nationals/Giants game that I'll be going to on Saturday evening. I can actually route against the Giants without fearing for my life like at Dodger Stadium. Go Nats!
The only bummer in regards to this trip...the fact that if I were staying in town this weekend I'd be able to go to the Dodgers game tonight (my work has a free extra luxury box ticket) and tomorrow night (it's the annual Bergins Blue/Brew Crew outing).
Now to leave you with something truly embarassing:
On March 26th the LAHD stopped by for your typical post-fire inspection of the building. Notices went up on the back 2 units declaring them unsafe for occupancy. A bit more than 2 months passed with nary a construction worker to be seen, then this past Monday the good old LAHD came back to make sure a few minor repairs to the livable units in the building had been made (a requirement from their previous visit).
Funnily enough, construction workers showed up bright and early this past Monday morning as well, presumably to make it look like the owner is taking active steps to repair the aforementioned uninhabitable units.
Wonder when they will return...perhaps another 2 months down the road? I feel so bad for my neighbors who have been displaced. I know I would have gone postal by now if I were in the same position.
We are heading into the 9th month, post-fire and here are a few visuals on the sloooooow pace of recovery.
[Monday morning 6/2/08 - holes still in the walls, floor has been ripped up recently, kitchen and bathroom gutted months ago]
[Evening 6/2/08 - yay for insulation (finally) on the exterior of my apartment]
[Evening 6/2/08 - yay for insulation (finally) on rear exterior of damaged units]
So there you have it. My mini update on the homestead. My place is stellar, if not a tad bit warmer...