The Grove, Los Angeles

[Updated, Nov 5] Holy shit, Los Angeles is weird. I had dinner tonight with Daphne at a restaurant in The Grove (Daphne *loves* food!), and it was the most bizarre place I've been to in a long time. First of all, the place is lit like a fake-outdoor resort in Las Vegas, complete with a fake-looking cloudy night sky. The lighting is just... too even and dim and weird looking. There's even a mini-Bellagio fountain by Wet Design in the middle of the plaza, and every once in awhile the fountain goes berserk to cheesy music, which is actually kind of cool.

And then, there were the people. The majority of the people walking by were very good looking in the stereotypical TV/Hollywood sort of way, and I found it interesting that a visit to the area reinforced stereotypes of LA people that I can't help having (you know, since we're bombarded by it in media). The "look" was sort of homogeneous: super-thin women with legs that touch each other in exactly three places, with 25-inch waists and perfect skin and nice features, and square-jawed men with nicely groomed hair. I sat there, occasionally laughing out loud when the vibe became overwhelming ridiculous. Still, the people watching was very good. It's really too bad my camera was packed away in luggage.

Next to us sat an older couple who were clearly out on a date. When Daphne got up to go to the restroom, I overheard some of their conversation:

OLDER MAN: Sometimes I go for an hour and a half. You know, it takes me a long time to [whisper, whisper].

WOMAN: *laughs*

OLDER MAN: I spoke with my doctor and told him that sometimes it takes me an hour to... [whisper], and he said, "Your girlfriends must love you!"

Lovely conversation to go with our creamy pasta and profiteroles. ;)

*UPDATE* I experienced yet another Twilight Zone moment at a Thai restaurant in Silver Lake the next day. The guy at the next table was on some sort of date, and during the course of our 45-minute meal, we learned:

  1. that his father was a transvestite
  2. that his sister is adopting a 16-year old (physiological) male who is on her way to becoming a woman
  3. that his father was abusive to his mother, and to him
  4. that he had a kid with a woman while he was married to another. currently, he is unmarried.
  5. that he is a sculptor and taught at some arts thingie in Maine last summer. Coincidentally, Wendy's friend was there at that arts thingie as well.

None of those things really weird me out, but it is rare to sit down randomly and learn so much about a stranger simply because he is sharing his conversation with surrounding tables. And at the other table, some film types were discussing film sets and other film topic.

My day in L.A. was fun. Wendy's area is sort of Oakland-like, but filled with people who seemed only mildly "LA-like." Oh, and I got a $8 haircut from hair salon that I'm sure rarely gets non-Latino clientele. My hair is GONE. ;)

I also went to see The Incredibles with my sister at the Glendale Galleria. Go see it NOW. It was great! I love Pixar. They rule.