Most things we write come out of a moment of enthusiasm
It’s Saturday 15th June and I am on the train to New Orleans. We have been on track for about 17 hours now, and don’t get into NOLA (New Orleans, Louisiana) until Sunday night.
Been a little while since I posted, so this will be a bit of a recap. I’ve been having fairly lazy days in LA. Sleep in late, stay out late. Thursday I didn’t even leave Aaron’s place until about 2pm to head into the city. It was nice though, good to catch up on sleep and also keep up with my blog, and also organise other parts of my trip to come. So headed into downtown LA on the hunt for food. I think the food is my favourite part of travelling. You can share photos and movies and it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to guess what walking through LA is like, because it’s very similar to walking through a lot of other cities. But food is totally different, and every restaurant/eatery has a different vibe.
My late lunch was a big burrito from the Grand Central Markets (317 Broadway st, http://www.grandcentralsquare.com/). I never really know what I’m getting because each place makes the burritos different and their heavily accented questions about what I want on it (salads, sauces, etc) can be difficult to understand, so I usually just agree and see what I get! This burrito was very delicious though, lots of chicken, beans, tomato salad with coriander, and rice. And it was only $5.50, which is the most expensive burrito I’ve had here yet. Considering Zambrero’s in Adelaide is about $10, it’s a pretty sweet deal. Had a poke around the markets which had lots of fruit stalls and a mix of mainly chinese and Mexican food vendors. Not nearly as big or good as Adelaide Central Markets, but still nice to see.
I had yet to try any good dessert places so I took to Yelp to find something nearby. It sent me off to a cafe called Syrup (611 S Spring st). It took me a while to decide what to get, the whole menu looked thoroughly delicious. In the end I went with a strawberry shortcake sundae and hot chocolate, which turned out to be an excellent decision. There were big scoops of vanilla and strawberry ice cream and crumbled shortcake drizzled with strawberry syrup, topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. What more could you want? The hot chocolate did not have that super sweet taste either, so that was a plus. I liked the people there too. Friends chatting, a few students tucked in corners, people just relaxing and taking a few business calls. The staff were very friendly and happy too.
I wandered around Downtown a bit more and then head over to Hollywood area to meet up with Aaron.
In the evening Aaron and I went and saw some shows for the Hollywood Fringe. Aaron actually owns/runs his own theatre company, so this was his “thing”. We saw three shows; Me Rich, You Learn, Lemon Boots and Ceremony. Me Rich, You Learn wasn’t great. Two characters, lots of slapstick and making fun of the weedier guy to get a laugh out of their failings. The last ten minutes were the best, and ended with both male leads with ripped singlets, American flag underpants and dripping wet. Lemon Boots I liked better, it had lots of theatrics, a few dance elements and lots of using the body to create props and sets. Its only huge failing is that it didn’t seem to have a plot, or if it did they didn’t let the audience in on it. But they did some great things with shadow work, pitch dark + LED torches, and motion.
Last of all we saw Ceremony, which didn’t start until 11:30pm. It was actually sold out, and I only got in coz of no shows (plus Aaron knew the director, hehe). First impressive thing was they had free brownies out the front! Now, I know what you are thinking and it wasn’t like that at all, no bribe of chocolate cakey goodness was necessary. We got settled into the little tiny space (maybe 45 seats total) and waited. A gentleman came in from the lobby area carrying 12 colourful buckets, in case the brownies had gone bad. What ensued was the best theatre production I have ever seen, perhaps bar the Houdini insired magic show last year in Chicago. Michael the actor in grey casual clothes, a painted black background and the 12 coloured buckets which became characters, place markers and tools. His story telling was flawless and emotive, his writing heartbreaking and hope inspiring. Briefly, his one man show was about his journey to South America to experience a potent plant tea drug, in order to “have 20 years of therapy in six days” and also his life that lead up to doing this. By the end I wanted to hold him, and try and absorb some of his talent. We hung around afterwards and got to chat with him. He is just a beautiful soul, and I (strongly) encouraged him to come to our Fringe festival in Adelaide. We shall see!
My last day in LA was a non-day. We crawled into bed at 3am after theater so slept late, and it was pretty warm so didn’t really feel like doing a whole lot in general. We watched movies, and I continued my couch hunting. In the evening I went to catch my train to New Orleans. Grabbed some dinner in town (more mexican!) then it was off to start my very long ride to NOLA.
*Posted from New Orleans, sorry I’m running behind, been lacking internet 😦