Monday, September 22, 2008

Autumntime, 31.

- I'm transitioning the blog from the Summer to the Winter template again, so it might look a little dusty in here for the next week.

- What a week! On Wednesday I was at work super!late but it paid off over the next couple days. On Thursday I went to the Benin exhibit at the Art Institute, and on Friday I took the Blue Line out to O'Hare and got on a plane to LaLa Land. For Armand and Vivian's wedding. In LA I took the Green Line to Imperial, and the train made a cool chiming sound at every stop. Which didn't quite make up for the 20-30 minute wait on every transfer. L.A.'s public transit seems to be less to Chicago than Chicago's is to New Yorks... if that makes any sense. But I got in a little bit after ten, PST and met up with Judd, Mel, Ben, Chris, Armand, Dan, and Vivian on the roof of the hotel, with a beautiful view overlooking the city.
I like Los Angeles, but downtown Los Angeles is weird. It's the same size, or smaller, in extent than Detroit and is about the only downtown I know of anywhere that isn't defined by some particular geographical feature. The is no lake, no river or water. There are a few hills and an overwhelming number of expressways. The buildings there are tall, but there are not many of them.
I caught up with people for a bit, but I was sleep deprived, and passed out at about two. I was sharing a room with Mel and Chris and Judd, which was very convenient.
The next morning (Saturday) the sun woke us up at about eight and we had a whole day, and decided to do some light sightseeing before the wedding. First we went to a nearby market... I don't think "farmer's market" is quite right, but lost of stands with Mexican and Hawai'ian and Chinese and American food. I was indecisive so I got some eggs and potatoes and pineapple juice.
The weather was identical to Chicago, both on departure and arrive, but of course LA has palm trees and Chicago does not (except for those things on the Oak Street beach).
Chris made the comment that palm trees were not indiginous to LA and the city wanted to get rid of them (apparently they're messy and difficult to maintain in such a dry climate), but they're so associated with LA there's nothing to be done. This led Judd to make the comment "Isn't that what L.A. is all about? Taking things and putting them where they don't belong, but they look really good there anyway?" We all agreed this pretty much summed things up.
We saw some of a movie shoot and took the Metro out to Hollywood, where we saw the Chinese and Kodak Theaters and got a couple shots of the Hollywood sign. Nothing I hadn't seen before but nice anyway. We walked down Sunset Boulvard and caught the Metro again at Hollywood and Vine, where the walls are painted to look like film strips and the ceiling is made out of metal reels. From there we went downtown again, and stopped to take a look at the cathedral. It's comparable in size to Chicago's Holy Name, but couldn't be more different in effect. I usually have mixed feelings about concrete churches, but this church was so precisely assembled and deliberately assymetrical that the effect wasn't negative at all. Also, there were photographs and articles alongside the shrines, so it was a little bit like a gallery space as well.
From there we walked past the Mark Taper Forum and walked up and in and around the Disney Concert Hall, which you're allowed to climb to a height of about forty feet. Mel wanted to stop at the Museum of Contemporary Art, but the rest of us thought that the price was a bit steep for what would amount to a fifteen minute visit, so we grabbed a cup of coffee instead. We returned to the hotel and changed into our fance clothes. Then: on to the main event! Judd had rented a Ford Mustang for the weekend, so we left the hotel late and arrived at the wedding early.
The First Congregational Church was a huge, and very dark, church, which is probably nice on hot summer California nights. The ceremony was quite brief, and not very religious, but there was nothing trite or frivolous about it. The minister teased Armand, and tried to get him to loosen up, but the real emphasis was on the moment, on apprehending it then and preserving it for the future. On the way to the reception, Judd pointed out a woman wearing a transparent dress, evident by her zebra-striped thong, but I did not notice this. The reception was held at the California Club, a big rectangular building with big rectangular rooms and dark wood paneling and engravings. A beautiful space. I spent most of the evening with Judd, Mel, and Chris, but we also got to visit some with Whet and Liz, and the food was delicious. After we got home, we stopped off briefly at an afterparty at the hotel, but we were all very tire and went to bed shortly.
The next morning I went back to the cathedral for mass and said goodbye to my friends before taking public trans back to LAX. In the airport I met up with some other people from the wedding. I also saw Jessica Simpson.

Jessica Simpson was the famous person I saw.

Then it was a smooth and beautiful flight back, a malfunctioning Blue Line and a packed Lawrence bus ride back home.

I finally got home about ten, and the rest of the night was relaxing.

I took some photos from this trip. I'll try to post some sooner.

The Detroit Free Press: Dems want pay limits, loan aid in bailout.

Where were the last three weddings you attended?


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