I'm in LA this past few days, visiting the brother, having a some down time, and seeing a play.
So far, the ratings are good, good, and excellent.
There is even less parking in LA than there is in New York, so, the play issue was a bit difficult....it was held at the Geffen theater. I won the tickets last summer when I attended a session on critics and film at the Hammer Museum...the play was delayed from March 'til now, and with not seeing my brother for a year, points expiring on my frequent flier miles, it seemed a good idea to put it all together.
The best thing about flying out of New York is you can take the train. The worst thing about landing in LA is you can't. It cost $7.00 to get to the airport, and $75 to get to his house.
He doesn't believe in picking people up.
The terrier and I slept most of the flight, arriving at 11P LA time and the wee hours of the morning on our body clock time...with that in mind, I'm glad we did the driver thing on arrival.. I'd have fallen asleep on the freeway somewhere. As it is, I get lost every time I come here, and that's when I'm wide awake.
Yesterday was spent adjusting, renting a car...always a fun time...and spending an hour to drive 16 miles into Westwood. There are signs everywhere saying "Public Parking".
Around and around I drove in my little rented car, every single parking space filled...some cars with an inch or two of dust on them, they'd been there so long. Like New York, once you find a good spot, you tend to buy the house near there rather than move the car.
Spying a Ralph's...my favourite name ever for a store...I parked, in spite of the huge sign saying "THIS IS NOT PARKING FOR THE GEFFEN!! VIOLATORS WILL BE TOWED!!" Sometimes, I live on the edge.
To be safe, though, I bought a book, to show I was, indeed, a patron of Ralph's. I even used to restroom, to double my claim of the space.
Trying to look nonchalant, and as if I wasn't moving towards the Geffen next door, I moved towards the street, catching up with a nice man...Marvin. We fell into conversation, and it turns out he was from Queens. He'd moved to LA because he was tired of New York winters. He just upped and moved one day, he told me... had a yard sale, packed his bags and moved. Well, first, he'd gone to Florida, to help out his Momma. She'd had a stroke, and needed some care. I asked if she was okay, and he said, yes, she'd recovered nicely. With that, he'd moved here, and was happy. We walked along the block, chatting about the differences of the two cities. I commented I noticed I walked slower here in LA.. he said that was the first thing he had noticed when he moved, he automatically moved at a slower pace. He did miss the train system, though. We shook hands at the corner, and he complimented me on my shoes one more time as he crossed the street.
I had time to kill, wandering down Westwood towards the Hammer, remembering the last time I'd been here, the amusing, dry, entertaining two hours I'd spent in the talk there with the LA Times film critic and a well known playwright/director/screenwriter.
Time to go collect my ticket... we mingled about in the courtyard... there was a nice man who was writing a book and needed information on graveyards in Boston. For some reason, he asked me if I knew anything. I know I'm aging, but, please. He was older than I.... still, he was entertaining, and the five of us, two friends...one from Bulgaria and one from the UK.. the man, his wife, and a woman from Topanga Canyon...all chatted about film and the cost of apartments in LA vs New York, the Kennedy assassination (which the man said would have a huge bit of information coming out next year), and had anyone ever seen any of this playwrights work before. I said I had, and I thought they would like the work...but, as always, enjoyment of work is subjective.
It was an hour and forty minutes, no intermission. It was cathartic for me...allowing me to close doors and open windows on a personal level. I laughed and spent a goodly part with silent tears. The lead actress wore the skin of her character so perfectly, you forgot it was a play. I forgot to look...almost...for tech glitches. Her closing monologue came from my heart. It was smart and dry and the words were rich. It cut so close to me personally, I hope to never see it or hear it again.
There are times in your life, when you stand at a crossroads, wondering where to go...what should I do, how do I handle this pain in my heart? And, out of nowhere, a word or a song or a book...or a play....hands you the answer.
The universe is funny that way.