About a month ago, as soon as I pressed the book flight button, I got an angry call from my mom. “Emma, ANOTHER plane ticket?” She launched into a lecture about managing my funds, about how I need college money, laundry detergent, and food. I justified my purchase quite plainly: I haven’t bought clothes all year, I seldom go out to eat, and I would rather invest in experiences. I always need a trip marked on the calendar somewhere in the future or else I feel incomplete, like I only put one sock on or I forgot to have a cup of coffee in the morning. Last weekend my calendar finally flipped to the date of my latest trip, to sunny Los Angeles, CA.
Right after classes on Wednesday I was on my way. One layover, two cranberry juices, and 3 playlists later I was touching down after a very turbulent ride. Haley picked me up at the airport, I practically ran into her arms like I was returning home from boarding school or the war or some other prolonged absence. We spent the night planning, chatting, laughing, and starting the first of a series of sleepless nights and coffee-filled mornings.
DAY 1- THURSDAY. INNOCENCE, ALMOND LATTES, JEAN JACKETS
Haley lives in one of the best parts of LA, Silverlake. It is filled with quaint cozy coffee shops that pump you with inspiration and caffeine. We started our day at Cafecito Organico, which is really a spot you have to see for yourself. The outdoor seating area was charged with organic energy; plants tucked in corners and raw wood serving as both tables and art pieces. Their iced almond lattes will cure any lingering jet lag.
We hopped into a new vintage store down the street and flipped through racks. Each of us piled layer upon layer of clothes into the dressing room until we could both barely fit. I walked away with a beret, oversized denim jacket, and sweater. Haley snagged a very Fay Dunaway black coat. Oh, we also managed to break the dressing room curtain and a button off of some red flare pants- typical.
The middle of the day was filled with filming, vegan food, editing, and sitting around Haley’s circle table working on projects. Lexie met us for vegan thai food later that night (YUM) and we chatted about second guessing ourselves and the highs and lows of creating over curry and pad thai.
On the way back home, Haley and I stopped at a movie theater that only shows old films on 35 mm. The Age of Innocence was playing, so we got a small popcorn to split and sat in velvety seats. The best part of the experience was the opening clip, neon colors and cartoon dancing snacks prompting viewers to go to the lobby and get soft drinks or chocolate bars. We were mesmerized, mouths gaping, fingers pointed at the screen and nudging each other as the screen strobed green, yellow, blue, pink, red. Each frame slightly weathered by time, imperfections dancing on the screen. The feature film was less interesting, Haley was asleep with her body slumped over two seats about an hour into the movie.
DAY 2- FRIDAY. SUBDUED, RING GIRLS, OLD FASHIONED
2 cups of coffee, one drinken slowly in bed clutched in mugs and one to go in styrofoam printed cups. The car ride to Venice Beach was spent belting a mix of Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean, with sprinkles of Kendrick Lamar.
We arrived at the Subdued office, ready to shoot. I first learned about Subdued when I was abroad in Italy this past spring. It was post pesto gnocchi and pre gelato that I passed by their store window in Bologna. I walked in & walked out with a pair of checked pants that I wore all around Europe. They are opening their first US store next week and I was so excited to be a part of their journey and store launch. We shot with Larsen Thompson who was overall adorable and a little gem. She modeled unlike anyone I have seen before, moving through the poses the entire time, like she was dancing. After around 2/3 hours of shooting, we sat down at Kreation cafe for a well deserved lunch.
In a frenzy, we went home and got ready for the night. We had two events to attend: A black tie boxing match and Hailee Seinfeld’s EP release party. The look was 70s, velvety, huge coats, big hair, bare legs. Haley wore a black slip dress and the coat she had just picked up the other day, and I wore a long sleeve velvet romper with a luxe black wool coat. We got in the Uber with champagne in to go coffee cups and went to the boxing match at the LA Athletic center. Halfway through the event, somebody approached us asking if we wanted to be ring girls.. Uhm yes? Uhm no? Ok here we go. We ducked under the ropes, linked arms, and walked around twice holding a giant number 1. The crowd cheered, I felt equal parts objectified and awesome.
After we saw my friend win his round, we called an uber to our next location: Dirty Laundry bar for Haiz’s Ep release. It has an old salon type feel with dimly lit rooms, wood, books, candles and cushiony couches. We spent the first half of the night meeting people and the second half dancing to Blondie. 3 am rolled around, our eyes were getting starry and our feet were aching. We went home and collapsed into bed. What I learned that night: Shawn Mendes is so beautiful in person, the bathroom is the best place to meet people, and if you can only order one drink, get an Old Fashioned.
DAY 3- SATURDAY. GUACAMOLE, SOFIA, CRASHING & BURNING
Haley tried many many times to wake me up, and each time I replied “ten more minutes..” In one last attempt to get me out of bed she brought a cup of coffee with almond milk. I perked up about halfway through our drive just in time to start singing along to “King Kunta”. We met up with Sofia for brunch at Gracias Madre, one of my favorite restaurants. It is vegan Mexican food– what else could I ask for? We started with guacamole and an array of salsas and then caught up over the uno, dos, and tres bowls. After lunch we walked down the street to check out racks and racks of thrift clothes.
The weekend caught up to us, Haley and I went home and went from, “let’s just chill for a bit,” to “ok let’s just lay in bed” to “whoa we just slept four hours.”
DAY 4- SUNDAY. BRUNCH, TEA TIME, SEE YOU NEXT TIME
Rolled over and first thing I said was “I really want french toast.” Luckily there is a cafe three blocks from where Haley lives that serves vegan brunch. The choices were so overwhelming, but I finally settled on cranberry walnut french toast, potatoes, and a few bits of Haley’s breakfast burrito. The tea place across the street was also calling our name. We snagged the perfect bistro table outside and sat and watched people walk by until I had to catch my flight.
Thank you LA, I’ll be back sometime soon.
Have you ever met a frequent flyer
Dressed in all white attire
Sipping on a Gray’s Papaya
Wanna take you higher
Jet lag, you must be tired
Watch out, you might misfire
Anything your heart desires
Wanna take you higher
Influential, moving past your security
Presidential, real utensils, priority
(Higher, higher, higher)
One two three
You and me
Can you move at my velocity
(Higher, higher, higher)
Don’t miss a beat
First class seat upon my fleet
When you hear the beat
When you feel the need
Turn the cabin pressure on
Hurry, cause I’ll soon be gone
My instincts never lie
And you’re right up my aisle
I’ll be yours and you’ll be mine
Put the freak in the frequent flyer
Yup, it’s the boy with glasses
Giving you boarding passes
And if the flight’s delayed
You might miss all your morning classes