AT THIS MOMENT, I am on my way to La La Land, and afterwards San Francisco, for a few days of research and projects for All the Pretty Birds, and to spend time with some dearly-missed family and friends.
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to take my time and explore LA. Last year, I breezed through on my way to and from The Ranch in the hills of Malibu. Beyond the invaluable soul searching and introspection during my detox there, my only other exploration on that trip was at the Santa Monica Cooportunity Market and Deli, where I stocked up on yummy organic products that I can never find in Milan.
I don’t remember if I ever mentioned this to you – or if it just feels that way since I mention it to anyone who ever asks me about my feelings regarding California – but the Golden State holds as very special place in my heart. A space it won during my time at law school when I began making two week annual sojourns as a sort of therapy after the fall semester’s final exams. As is often the case for many California lovers, it was the light and the view along the coast from the PCH that warmed my heart and helped to sooth my frazzled nerves. That, and the spectacularly amazing experiences that I shared with my friends and family, solidify the notion that Cali-vibes are good for the soul.
There are many whom associate LA only with the vacuum of the complex world that is Hollywood – specifically how difficult and frustrating piercing the vapid surface where aspiring actors and industry professionals hover. To the naysayers, I always respond that I’ve been fortunate enough to meet amazing people with whom I’ve connected, and as many people from all over the country are converging on the city in search of a better lifestyle and creative inspiration, I imagine I’ll meet even more on this trip.
It is an especially brilliant time for me to travel there. Between my half-sister, who is expecting her first child at the end of the year, a very dear friend and her family still new to the city, and a few new connections who represent sheer excellence in the areas of television writing, dance and the culinary arts, I’ll be enjoying a highly-anticipated week of bonding and friendship building. I can’t wait to hear where each of these amazing friends is in their life, and especially their personal take on the current American political atmosphere. I’ve spent a good amount of time in New York since Donald Trump was elected exactly one year ago, and I feel totally in tune with my friends and colleagues there. I doubt the sentiment out west will be much different, but I still look forward to discussing the issues with likeminded Americans. I’m also very curious to hear the local reaction to the Weinstein and Spacey scandals.
But, relationship goals and current affair conversations sorted, on this trip I’ll also be on the hunt for the latest in food experiences; from street trucks, to new restos and especially anything organic and good for the body, I’m there with plate, knife and fork. I’ll be visiting a number of showrooms during my stay, and looking for up-and-coming designers to feature here on ATPB. And last but not least, I’ll be searching for independent beauty companies like personal favorite Shiva Rose. Over the past few years, I’ve become a big believer in natural and organic products and my quest for the best is never-ending. Hands up, I’m no expert and defer to friends like Crystal Greene at CAP Beauty (whose new LA shop in Fred Segal I can’t wait to visit) or experts like Bee Shapiro of Ellis Brooklyn, who we featured this week on the site in an interview by her friend Anja Tyson. My friends rave about the spas and boutiques in LA, so I’m bringing along an empty suitcase to stock my new go-to potions.
After my LA moment, I’ll be making my way to Oakland to join my friend Sherri McMullen as she celebrates the 10th year anniversary of her namesake boutique, McMullen. Sherri has organized a series of events that include an intimate dinner with her e-commerce partner Farfetch and a panel entitled “Influential Women in Fashion: A Conversation.” I will be participating in the panel alongside one of my biggest career influences, Tibi Founder Amy Smilovic, and highly respected friend, Teen Vogue Fashion Director, Rajni Jacques. I can’t think of a better way to cap off a trip out west than a sit down with these phenomenal career women.
And I’m looking for recommendations? What are your favorite places to eat, shop and unwind in LA and San Francisco? Please share so I can be sure to visit.
America, I’m coming. See you soon.
Photo By Tommy Ton