Thursday, June 7, 2007

Learning L.A.: Part I

Given that this is my 5th or 6th trip out to Los Angeles for the summer, you'd think I would know a thing or two about the city by now. And I guess I do - but only one or two things.

Los Angeles blows my mind.

And, just like New York- even like State College, to some extent- there's just a lot there to get to know and understand. And given that most of the people I know are east-coast, I thought it might be nice to share. And, you know, I think it might help keep my head from spinning so much. And tonight my head is really spinning.

Somehow, without really specifically knowing how, Warren (my uncle) is on a list where he gets invited to HBO show premiers every so often. Liz (my aunt) wasn't interested in going, so tonight I got the chance to go to the 2nd season premier of HBO's Big Love. Just like so many other well-done HBO programs, Big Love explores a dramatic topic in a cinematic way - in this case, a polygamist, mormon family trying to get by in Utah (it's interesting, check it out).

It wasn't an ultra-glitzy event, but it was definitely my introduction to Hollywood. And thereby, well, weird (I didn't really see it coming).

There was a red carpet.
There were paparazzi.
There was a huge, totally reserved theater.
With a gigantic screen.
And surround sound.
And free popcorn and soda and reserved seats.
And afterward, there was a swanky party in an up-scale location with shuttles, countless tasty hor d'oeuvres, and a woman dressed like a bird in a big, guilded cage.

I'm going to repeat that - there was a woman in a guilded cage. Paid to sit on a swing as an animated decoration all evening.

So I ate all the tasty food, drank my cranberry juice from the free bar, snagged a "Voss" (oo, designer) bottle of water from one of an astounding number of almost over-attentive banquet servers, and sat on the balcony, looking down on the scene: the lady in the cage atop the large food display, and seats reserved for the show's main actors and executive producer, Tom Hanks.

I feel like in L.A. a situation like this one was bound to happen sometime, but it's a little strange after just having graduated, then spending a week in a hostel, and another week with less than $200 to my name. And one way or another, the scene will take some getting used to. The idea of so much wealth, well, I don't know what to do with it. So I'm taking on mentors. The first is Warren, then I'll try to spread out from there. About L.A., he said something along the lines of this:

Los Angeles is like no other city. It is the most international and integrated city in the nation. Everybody, from everywhere imaginable, lives in these pockets. They stick together and have their own communities - but then they go to work. And then all of these different people and different cultures get mixed in together and yet are independent of one another. And the beauty of living here is that there you really can do whatever it is that you want to do. You can drive 2 hours in any direction on every single night of the year and eat at a different restaurant, with authentic food from any part of the world. You can drive a few hours and be able to do any type of recreation you want, all year round: skiing, water sports, desert sports, anything. It is an incredibly diverse, complex city, with endless possibilities.

So there you go, L.A. 101.
Next on the agenda: How to get where you need to go, by highway, rail, and social network.


Anonymous said...

How professional! you even have a quote.

anyway so i'm SO jealous b/c I LOVE Big Love, and I've been waiting so nicely for the June 11th season premiere, and you got to see it first hand. You know the only thing you forgot to mention in your blog was celebrities. Did you see any? Now that you're a big fancy LA star? Just don't forget the little ppl.

Anonymous said...

That was from me btw. -Kelley

Heather said...


Yes, Bill Paxton and the woman who plays wife #1 were definitely there. I didn't see anyone else though.

Anonymous said...

A fresh start. I'm still trying for that. And I am lurking around on the blog circuit, someday I'll actually have internet and be able to update people on my life. Utah is ambivalent about Big Love, having not seen it myself (no Cable TV, no Internet, No HBO at home), I'm not sure how I feel about it. Going to rent the dvds of the first season this summer some time. Give me a call sometime and good luck this summer.


Anonymous said...

OOOOOO I wish I could see pics of this premier. All the fashion and glitz and then simple heather dressed as a hobo being delightfully critical! (your criticalism is very delightful believe it or not, just when its aimed at the right subject)