DAY ONE, Los Angeles
9:00 A.M. Arrived at LAX late last night. Woke up shivering cold to gray skies in my mod jumbo suite at the super friendly no-fuss Hollywood Standard Hotel on Sunset. After a week of torrential rain, LA was damn cold. I was there for a quickie four-day stint and had fish to fry, so I dragged my ass out of bed, hiked across the street to Enterprise, grabbed a rental Camry and headed to my friend Robert’s Los Feliz craftsman bungalow for brunch and a catch-up.10:35 A.M. Heading east on Beverly, I stopped in to check out my friends Robin and Cathy Petrovic’s fabulous Heath Ceramics store just past Fairfax. This extraordinary shop is filled with the wonderful dishes and tiles of Sausalito-based pottery-maker Heath, as well as great collaborations with other like-minded artists and artisans.
11:30 A.M. After turning left on Avocado Street, I passed Little Doms, the Los Feliz watering hole, and drove in circles looking for parking. I finally pulled up the steep hill outside my friend’s house and cracked hard into the car in front of me. Thank God for bumpers.
5:00 P.M. Back in Hollywood to meet up with my dear friend Ford Wheeler, a production designer, who’s in LA for twenty-four hours scouting for the new David Chase film he’s been working on. Funny how it takes coming to LA to see friends from New York. We hung out at the hotel for a few hours catching up on life and excitedly checking out an early copy of the spring design issue of T Magazine. His art-filled homes are featured on a six-page spread.
8:15 P.M. I drag Ford to dinner at my old favorite Silver Lake Thai restaurant, Sompun, with one of my most insane old artist friends Erik Brunetti, the legendary founder and cult hero of the label FUCT. Erik brings his beautiful wife, Emile, and gifts me a FUCT bag that has GOD IS A DRUG ADDICT scribbled all over it. Typical Brunetti madness. We drink hot sake and eat Mee Krob and mint chicken. Erik is one of my all-time favorite artists. He is in the midst of installing a huge piece—a wall of lost-animal flyers—at MoCA for Jeffrey Deitch’s much-buzzed-about hated/loved upcoming “Art on the Streets” exhibition that will open on April 14. He rants all evening about how much he hates BAN-SKY. (Yes, BANSKY not BANKSY.) Hilarious.
In bed by eleven, but it feels like 2 A.M. Which for me, it is.
10:00 A.M. E-mail from Jeffrey Deitch inviting me to stop downtown and check out his “Art on the Streets” installation-in-progress this afternoon. Dying to see it. Hope I can squeeze in time to do this, as my nephew Max (aka the street artist Ripo), who is flying in for the day from San Francisco on his way back to Barcelona (where he lives), would cream in his pants to see this.12:13 P.M. Waiting for Max. I find myself sitting, listening to Ethel Merman’s disco album in the holding lot. I love that LAX has this area. Instead of driving in circles you can just park and relax and wait til your traveler is ready with bags for pickup. Genius.
1:30 P.M. Take Lincoln Boulevard to Abbot Kinney in Venice, where Max and I meet my friends (and the Bill Cunningham New York) director and producer Richard Press and Philip Gefter for brunch at Gjelina, my number-one favorite restaurant on earth. After a half-hour wait for a table, I have eggs on polenta and the best cauliflower and potatoes I have ever eaten. We are all licking our chops. YUM. I run into designer Minnie Mortimer, the sister of Paper editor Peter Davis.3:30 P.M. Race to the Fairfax “dreidel district” to meet up with Aussie David Jacob Kramer, the co-owner of the Family Bookstore, a cultural collective that guest-edited our March LA issue. Across from Canters Deli and its late-night Kibbutz room and next door to a Menorah shop, Family is a super-interesting emporium and gallery filled with hard to find artist books, zines, comics, artist films, and other cultural treasures. I bought Max the new Barry McGee book and a Chris Johanson book for his birthday, then we headed across the street to check out the new Supreme collaboration with Playboy. It is really good. Ran into the RVCA shop a few doors down and snatched Max a Barry McGee T-shirt to go with his book. He was in heaven. But shit. DAMN! No time to make it downtown to MoCA.
5:00 P.M. Back at the Standard pool, Max and I meet up with the Paper crew who flew in to work on our upcoming “Beautiful People” Los Angeles Party. Paper alumnus (and now T entertainment editor) Jacob Brown is also in tow. Time to get ready for our dinner with the Scissor Sisters.6:45 P.M. We have an early dinner (where we didn’t eat) for the Scissor Sisters, who are in town for one day to open for Lady Gaga. The chief rock star and bottle washer Jake Shears was being toasted for his new book by his friend Richard Stark, the founder of the iconic leather-daddy brand Chrome Hearts at their headquarters. This party was as LA as it gets. Lots of leather-clad pole dancers, Nobu sushi chefs, and familiar faces. Ran into Fergie there whom I adore and have known since her early days as a Paper Magazine fanatic. It was her birthday, and my nephew was smitten when she kissed him hello. The Scissor Sisters performed, then dragged Fergie on to sing, who then dragged Kate Hudson on to sing. So LA. I hate eating dinner standing up, so I dragged Max to my old hangout Magnolia on Sunset Blvd for a quiet late-night burger and a glass of California pinot noir.
I am asleep as soon as my head hits the pillow.
9:00 A.M. Early breakfast meeting with Drew at Joan’s on Third. What a great store. We went crazy buying Easter candy in amazing colors, then headed back the hotel where I read the paper, did the crossword puzzle, worked, tweeted, and hung with Max.
1:15 P.M. Walked (I swear) down Sunset (surreal) to meet our colleague Sheri Timmons (from Levis) for a chopped-salad lunch at the Chateau Marmont and were suddenly surrounded by recognizables: Zoe Saldano, Kate Bosworth, Chris Martin, and my favorite funny actress Pamela Adlon from Californication. Oy. So LA.Afterward, we hiked another block with Sheri to her office in a super-cute bungalow-style house a block away. They wanted me to look at the jeans but I just couldn’t tear myself away from the giant lemon trees (both meyer and regular) surrounding the house and simply laden with fruit. As a native New Yorker, I can never wrap my head around the notion of free fruit. I picked some lemons (why?) to bring back to New York with me. Sheri introduced us to Marcel Vigneron from Top Chef and gifted my delighted Max a couple of pairs of jeans before he left in a daze to catch his flight back to Barcelona. 3:00 P.M. Headed in the Camry with Drew and Katie to check out the legendary Freecity Supershop which recently opened on Highland. (I’m feeling a Highland moment happening lately in Los Angeles by the way.) I got goosebumps when I walked into this brightly painted auto-repair garage filled with customized bicycles, brightly colored art posters, clothes, shoes, hats, and more. Then there were the “seedbomb” vending machines. Seedbombs are the new LA rage. They sell them for a buck or two everywhere I looked. You’re meant to buy them and throw them anywhere in the city where you see a little bit of soil so as to spread the green. So LA. The visionary free-city creator Nina Garduno greeted us warmly and gave us a tour and fed us raw-chocolate almond milk.
4:00 P.M. Decided to head to check out the ever-expanding Opening Ceremony, on La Cienega. We passed an amazing pro-WikiLeaks billboard: “Giving us the TRUTH when everyone else refuses to.” Only in LA.7:00 P.M. Take Wilshire all the way downtown to a dinner party at Mas Malo Cantina in our honor hosted by Jeff Ellermeyer and Timothee Verrecchia celebrating our collaboration with the Family folks and the resulting LA issue. I have always adored Malo in Silverlake, and now they’ve just opened Mas Malo downtown on Seventh Street, which is one of LA’s newest bubbling hot-spot areas for bars and food and, of course, loft living. Dinner was so much fun because our LA issue of Paper came to life with all the writers, photogs, and super-interesting subjects in the mag attending. David Jacob Kramer, photographer Sarah Soquel Morhaim (who shot everyone), and I held court with friends new and old from Crazy Band, artists Ryan Trecartin, Katheryn Andrews, Chris Johanson, his wife, Jo Jackson, Rossen Crow, Paper Rad’s Ben Jones, Ed Fella, and Karen Kimmel, sneaker king James Bond, writer Trinie Dalton, photographer Autumn de Wilde, stylist Shirley Kurata, MoCA’s Jeffrey Deitch, designer Jeremy Scott, Rodarte’s Kate and Laura Mulleavy, and Libertine’s Johnson Hartig.
FUN. We partied, drank margaritas like they were going out of style, ate a seven-course meal including cactus, vegan ceviche, pickle tacos, the yummiest stewed pork I’ve ever eaten, and finished with Churros dipped in chocolate.
11:30 P.M. Head back to Hollywood. No traffic. Slept as if in a coma.
Kim Hastreiter is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Paper Magazine. Check back tomorrow for the second installment of her diary.