So it’s been a while, & by a while I mean a really long while. I’m guessing the last time I visited LA must be 7 or 8 years ago; things move pretty fast in a city like LA so I’m sure I’ll have missed a lot..
I’m there for work & contrary to popular belief my work is not as fabulous & glamorous as everyone expects it to be. I mean I’m arriving from a 4 day stint in Portland, jet lagged, flying economy, always economy… I did however manage to avoid the ridiculously overpriced, underwhelming hotel situation with Air bnb (obviously) & although Air bnb isnt always perfect, it does usually get you a sweet deal in a good area & this time is no exception.. check out my little trailer! CUTE OVERLOAD
Not only was this trailer on the adorable end of the hospitality spectrum, it was also a super convenient 1 minute walk from Melrose & my my Melrose you have CHANGED!
So I should say that most people seem to think for my job I just go around different cities, take random pictures of things & have a wonderful time. They don’t consider that I probably walk around 25 km every day, dodging in & out of shops chased by slightly terrifying, angry shop assistants who don’t want me taking photos in their store￼. Always on the search for the new, niche, original, special next big thing.￼ You can’t (in my opinion) get insight about anything or anywhere unless you can see the big picture. If I just take pictures of shoes it tells you nothing about the city, of its people, its culture, what people are wearing, the feel of the place, so it’s devoid of any value. I have to take on an entirely different persona, try to blend in as much as possible with my surroundings, it’s not always easy sometimes my surroundings are alien￼, I usually travel alone, ￼& I’m not a naturally outgoing, confident individual. I mean I’m British so I’m socially awkward & no matter how hard I try a little crumpled & rough around the edges… Still – LA I’m ready for you!
Normally when I travel & I stay in an Airbnb & I cook – many reasons for this; it’s convenient when you’re tired, travelling alone you don’t always feel like eating out by yourself, I’m vegan, so depending on where I’m travelling it can be quite difficult to eat decent food & a lot of the time, LA is no exception; the place will be stuffed full of exciting Vegan food that I can’t buy in Vietnam, & I enjoy cooking & trying all the stuff out.. However, I’ve only just got to Los Angeles, I’m tired and I can’t be bothered to cook; also I didn’t get a chance to go to Veggie Grill in Portland this time, & it’s not too far from the house, I mean trailer.￼￼ So I think fuck it let’s do that, and I put on my little string sandals and off I go.￼ I should mention my string sandals are from ‘nomadic state of mind’ I am telling you this because they always get a lot of comments & they are very comfortable they also look awesome.￼￼
Actually these are not my favourite pair, my favourite pair are mint & wearing them guarantees many conversation starters…. So anyway, I digress, at Veggie Grill I have some kind of fake crab sandwich thing, & oh my God it’s amazing! One of the things I love about Veggie Grill (aside from the food) wherever you go, is the super diverse crowd you get in there, it’s a bit of an institution from what I can work out, which is pretty awesome for a plant based fast food chain. The staff & customers never fail to entertain & the food is always epic. So after that, stuffed, I trot back off to my trailer to get a decent night’s sleep before the epic day I have planned for tomorrow.￼
On my journey to and from Veggie Grill I couldn’t help but notice that now Melrose seems to have turned into the epicentre of vintage, 2nd hand & thrift shopping. This is kind of surprising to me because the last time I came to LA most of the vintage stores seem to be centred around Venice Beach, with a few of the bigger consignment places on Sunset. I hadn’t really factored in going to vintage shops, as it’s not really super relevant to my business, but as it seems to make up a pretty big proportion of the shopping on Melrose, with a spattering of specialist sneaker stores, it sort of makes itself relevant, this gets me pretty excited & I’m wondering how I’m going to fit all of this in, I’m on a time crunch of 3 days…