We're new to this town. Thankfully, we have some pretty cool friends willing to overlook my mispronunciations of places (Pace and Palihouse to start), and take me out on their town on Saturday night. I don't doubt that this is just one piece of the puzzle to conquering the LA scene. But, it's a good start..
We started the evening with dinner at Pace, a restaurant hidden in the folds of Laurel Canyon. Here we learned an important lesson: boys will be boys, whether they're world famous movie stars or not. Take for example, our encounter with Ryan Gosling. Preface: I'm not obsessed with Ryan though I did happen to catch the Notebook on TBS last week, so I could be quite sure the man with his back up against me at my booth was indeed Ryan Gosling. It's L.A., famous people are just part of the decorations here. That I would see someone famous that night was totally expected. What was not expected? Said famous person actually prompting encounters with me. To be fair, I was at a table of 5 attractive females. Alas, after leaning over and INSISTING he needed my plate, Ryan Gosling held our curiosity in his hands the rest of the meal. Not even the entrance of the Jonas Brothers stalled our attempts to take stabs at guessing what in the world this "boy" was doing with the damn thing. It was, you have to admit, a bit bizarre.
We soon found out that the plate was needed for Ryan to draw a perfect arch with on his table cloth. The perfect arch, you see, was necessary to not only house the skeleton losing his multiple heads, but to serve as a horizon for the bird he decided to draw crying broken hearts. In case we missed it, he made sure to write "This bird is crying broken hearts for you." How thoughtful of him to spell it out. And they say actors are just normal people, put their pants on with the rest of us? Anyway, the drawing is blurry but on the left.
Next stop was Voyeur nightclub.
This place is like a cross between the Box and PM (the now defunct club in meatpacking). Opened this past October by David Koral and Matt Bendik, the waitstaff here are dressed after Natalie Portman's character in "Closer." And, even though there's a certain cliche burlesque feel of the place (there's naked woman hanging in nets from the ceiling, others topless in glass cages), make no mistake, this is just like any other "of the moment" nightclub I've been to. It goes without saying that the "no hard alcohol" policy at Pace failed to adequately prepare me for Voyeur. I tend to get anxious at nightclubs that have mostly naked women as part of their decor.
"Am I supposed to look at her? I am right? Okay. Oh God. Oh shit, I think we made eye contact, look away! look away! Fuck did anyone else see that. Okay do NOT look over at her again. Ahh stop it, stop it!"
It's an exhausting mental game.
Says one Yelper: "I was actually walking by on the PUBLIC sidewalk one night and the bouncers attempted to bounce me - from walking on the sidewalk." Sounds pretty accurate. Also unsurprising: Entourage's Turtle was there, with his very own entourage. Me and mine bounced in 10 mins top. I'll break here to say how much New Yorkers take advantage of their situation with cabs. Really, when is the last time we have had to worry about having cash for a $20 valet, or picking an unlucky sober driver (thanks Amanda)? You don't know what you've got til it's gone...on to Sunset Marquis.
Sunset Marquis is a place where, "on any given night, musicians recording in NightBird Recording Studio downstairs have been known to sample their latest tracks for BAR 1200 patrons." I, the novice got lucky. I happened to be wearing a leather jacket to cover up my insecurities on what's "hot" in the music scene crowds. After hearing our new friend we picked up tell my companion that she looked identical to the girl on American Idol (people watch that still!?), I didn't feel so inadequate after all. There for a drink then down the street to Palihouse.
The NY Times called Palihouse "Los Angeles' answer to Soho House, without the private membership." I'm curious to see what happens when Soho House actually opens up shop here next weekend. Regardless it is where we closed out our night...mainly because we were forced to (bars close at 2am here, remember). I haven't really thought about it until now, but this place almost reminds you of Socialista, when Socialista was open, and if it had about 4000 more square feet at its disposal. It was by far my favorite place of the night. We spotted Jessica Alba and Cash Warren ordering drinks next to us at the bar - but don't start thinking these two are deadbeat parents, the following day they were out and about with their family at a park in Beverly Hills. Also spotted was Anne Hathaway. She was in an outfit that screamed "I am trying very hard to look like I don't care what I look like." She looked like Jennifer Aniston's character from "Office Space," suspenders, flare, the whole bit. And, not that I need to justify myself for spending half of this post talking about celebrity spottings, I find both the unimpressive nature of celebs, as well as the fact that everyone takes obvious notice of them only to then unsurprisingly pretend not to care....well, quite frankly...fascinating.
Here I ran into Carter Reum, founder of Veev and someone who I have exchanged countless emails with. It was exciting to meet IRL. He and his girlfriend were coming from the Chateau where we had just missed a gay florists birthday party. Demi and Ashton, Gwen Stefani, Jennifer Aniston, and a host of other "names" were there that we missed out on pretending to not care about watching. Next time....
Wednesday, June 19
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.