Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Day in LA

"May this cement our Friendship"
The indomitable Ms Crawford and her imprint of 1929

A tribute to my favorite songstress

Me and my fabulous Lounger buddies

With Houston behind me, I headed to Los Angeles to meet up with a couple of my online buddies from the Fedora Lounge. Given that neither was named Ima Stalka, I figured that sounded like fun. So with two hours sleep under my belt, the alarm clock rang at 4.30am in time for me to make my flight. Indeed, that is a little rough, but given the (comparatively) short flight time, I wanted time to get fabulous before boarding. I had picked up this incredible 1950's number from yet another Houston vintage store, with thoughts of selling a few pieces on my return to pay for the trip. The problem is that I seem to have such a keen eye not only for style, but also size, colour and deliciousness, that I can't possibly part with a one! So all decked out, with hat box in hand, I headed out to meet the town car at 5.30am. The driver politely did not say anything about my attire, but his look said it all.

After meeting up with my new friends, we headed into Hollywood for a bit of a looky loo. So the three of us waltzed into lunch at a Hollywood diner (complete with photo wall of visiting stars of the Golden Era), where once again, the waitress wanted to know if we were involved in filming down the street. Of course the only answer to this is, " No, we just always look this fabulous!" And then if was off to Hollywood boulevard. I'm glad I went so I could see what all the fuss was about, but frankly I just don't see it. It was such a place of mixed emotions for me. Standing at the entrance to Grauman's Chinese Theater and following the concrete footsteps of Rosalind Russell, Betty Grable, Myrna Loy and Clark Gable; was an almost religious experience. That is if you can somehow create a paradigm shift between yourself and the 300 other tourists littering that hallowed ground. But the street itself was disturbing. Imagine this. Smoke shop, wig shop, tattoo shop, bum in a puddle of urine, stripper wear shop... and repeat... and repeat. And that smell, well it sure isn't magic in the air. So as I say, I am glad I went as I now have the scales ripped from my eyes.

However, the company was delightful and made the day a complete treat. We swapped anecdotes, tips and tricks, and even debated the merits of French Press coffee. And yes, we even managed to find one vintage shop on the street and ferret out a couple of treats. It's like a pig with truffles I tell you. Oink!

Aside- It is my opinion that America could not make a decent cup of coffee should their national pride depend on it. Even though the prevalence of Starbucks world wide would tend to indicate an overinflated sense of such pride. Tellingly, all but two of the Starbucks that have opened on our shores, have since been closed down. And to those rare and few individuals who have an understanding, and an aptitude for brewing this liquid gold, you have my undying gratitude.


Fashion Hayley said...

Oh it all seems so much fun. I can't wait to hear the goss about the Tokyo portion of your trip, I knew you would fall in love with it.

Kristen said...

Starbucks coffee is nothing but burnt swill. For really good coffee here in the states you have to find a small independent coffee shop that really cares about the coffee and the customers. Sadly, those shops are few and far between.

French presses are wonderful, but I switched to the regular old coffee pot years ago. I'm tempted to go back.

enc said...

Ahh, the beauty of LA: "Smoke shop, wig shop, tattoo shop, bum in a puddle of urine, stripper wear shop... and repeat... and repeat."


fashion herald said...

i felt similarly about LA - where's the glamour on the boulevard?!

Zelda Rose said...

Most coffee in America is watered-down swill. The exception seems to be my old home, New Orleans, where dark-roasted beans with chicory added gives you industrial-strength coffee. I am fortunate in that I can still find the brand I used back home (Community New Orleans Blend) and be reminded of what good coffee tastes like.

Starbucks is the McDonald's of coffee-it's always the same, no matter where you are. And that is a comfort to some people. I prefer independent coffee houses, run by people who care about what they brew.

Anonymous said...

The three of you look just gorgeous! and keep the dresses, keep ALL of the dresses!!

Hammie said...

Imelda mike sent me a picture of the Joan Crawford hands, a perfect fit of course. He also colored me in the details of the street.
You are looking fabulous, who knows you might get discovered while there?

Lana said...

I felt much the same the first time I went to New Orleans (this was back before Katrina.) I was in love with the city before I even got there but I soon realized it was just like any other big city. Bourbon Street smells like, piss, alcohol, BO, and pot. I was totally let down, until the sun went down of course. Glad to see you still managed to have such a great time!

Anonymous said...

What a lovely trio of ladies! When I was younger I dressed very much like you...any tips for an aging once-bombshell?

Love your blog!

Casey said...

Your dress is fabulous!!! :D

Anyway: I was in LA a couple years ago, was tempted to go to Hollywood and have a look around, but decided against it. ;) lol. Seeing the footprints/signatures would be fun, but oh well!

Haha--I have to agree with your rant about American coffee (despite the fact that I drink Starbucks because it's ubiquitous, and I rarely drink coffee anyway...)! The only good coffee is from tiny, locally-owned shops that are few and far between. :p I have to drive 35 minutes to get to my favorite one! ;)

*indie_queen* said...

you look sooo glamorous. I don't claim to know anything about coffee I'm afraid I will drink anything!!
Tea is another matter though

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Fashion Hayley: It was super short, but amazing. Review is on its way.
Kristen: I've never found one of those small shops in all my travels in the US. I guess you have to be a local and be in on the secret handshake.
Enc: Indeed.
Fashion herald: I think it is BYO glamour these days.
Zelda Rose: Coffee is such a fine art and when done well, can evoke all kinds of memories of comfort and warmth.
Cybill: I have some major rationalising of my closet to do to make room for it all. There is currently a pile on my chair big enough to fill half my wardrobe again!
Hammie: Discovered for what though? The roaming Palmist told me I'd be rich and famous and was rather unimpressed when I was like, "Well, yes, that's a given." I can be a facetious cow sometimes.
Lana: Like so many things, the romance is all in our minds and it is up to us to make of it what we will.
anon: Thank you! As for dressing tips, I personally don't buy into the whole "dressing your age" thing. I believe in dressing for your happiness and expressing your personality. However, one of the tricky things with vintage looks is that if you wore it the first time around, it can look as though you never updated. For a great example of what not to do - see Mame Van Dooren's website. She scares me. The trick is either to go completely over the top in a caricature of that style, or seek inspiration from vintage styles your grandmother would have worn. Personally I am in favour of the over the top, glamourous eccentric look. :)
Casey: The foot prints were amazing. those women had such tiny feet. I'm talking child like tiny!
Indie Queen: Thank you! Tea is another thing I am very particular about. I actually have a tea selection in my cupboard that borders on the obsessive, and tea pots that I will only allow particular teas to be brewed in as they take on the fragrance of that tea.

mamafabun said...

I love Peets coffee - it's harder to find but much better.

Super Kawaii Mama said...

Mamafabun: I wonder if someone has made a comprehensive list of where to get great coffee USA wide? Perhaps there could be a blog in that alone!

Make Do Style said...

Oh the glamour of it all!