This roadtrip wasn’t much planned, they never are.
I’m not one to thoroughly seek adventures, I like that they gain a life of their own.
Good company makes all the difference; I believe life gains another sense when shared. When there is exchange. Give and take. And above all, when there is love.
I started in LA, Venice Beach, where I was immediately swept away by the kindness of the people, the warm light, the family environment and taste buds. It’s been a long time since I ate with such pleasure. From sunrise to sunset. There, contrary to the typical American fast-food, you eat really well, there’s a Vegan and organic culture that is based on the pleasure of eating. The restaurants remind you of art exhibitions where the menus look like books that eat everything up to the very last comma. Just reading the descriptions of the dishes makes you drool with awe. It’s worth every cent. I changed my naïf way of watching what I eat. Really.
I quickly realised it was there, around Abbot Kinney, Rose Avenue and Lincoln Boulevard, that everything happened and somehow we don’t want to go much further. There is a magnet that holds us down.
Also, there are still a few (almost all…) cool fashion stores, to which I, by virtue of my job and obligation to feel the Californian groove, had to go say hello. Working in fashion has this sort of privileges.
The entire coastline, from Santa Barbara to San Diego, is nice, pleasant, beautiful, the palm trees, the cacti and the old Ford trucks can do miracles but, I mean, when you grow up running off to the Costa Vicentina whenever you can, the bar is very high … still, it was well worth it, we stopped at all of the known and unknown beaches and, where there is a beach, there are waves, and there’s sand to spread a beach towel and read, so, you’re happy!
There’s magic in the conquest of kilometers that you’re not familiar with, a sound thirst of someone who wants to drink more and more and more; who thinks there’s still so much to see. To happen. Wandering. Having started this story so well led us to finishing off by returning to our American home, Venice, not in order to repeat moments but to say goodbye to those who hosted us so well. Yes, the argument was sentimental diplomacy.
I want to go back one day; one day I will go back.
I still have to go to the desert, I didn’t have enough time to get lost in LA, in the Arts District, in Downtown, in its warm rudeness, to enjoy the real life with the feeling you’re always in a movie… There’s always something left to do. I’m glad. That’s the way it should be.
I guess you could say… I got California and California got me…
Back in a moment…
Farmers Market, just at daybreak, perfect for buying good juices.
GTA to kick off, opens at 7:00 am, perfect for early birds like me.
GJUSTA for brunch (I ate the best scrambled eggs ever) and you can take with you fresh flowers from the farm of a friend of the owner, great visionary this owner.
Butcher’s Daughter and Gratitude for lunch every day.
Cerveteca or Zinque for good red wine at the end of the day, with the best flat breads in town (in fact: very thin irresistible pizzas).
Gjelina for dinner, book very much in advance (one week), something I didn’t do… or be lucky enough to get a place in one of the few long tables that are shared, without having a reservation… which actually happened.
NOTE: I would’ve never gone to any of these places if it weren’t for my dear Mafalda Pinto Leite!
The Piece Collective, Abbot Kinney
General Store, Lincoln Boulevard
LCD, Lincoln Boulevard
Golden State, Lincoln Boulevard
Isabel Marant LA, Melrose Place Avenue, oh my god, this store…
Anine Bing, LA, 3rd St. West Hollywood
Ragdoll, LA, 3rd St. West Hollywood
Among many, many others…
Rent a bike and cycle through the board walk up to Santa Monica, preferably in the evening to watch a real dusty sunset.
Venice canals, Italians do it better.
Try finding the “Dig Rig” trucks that sell really good vintage stuff in the area – we were unable to, which I really regret.