We spent the morning by the pool after breakfast at the Westfield Century City Mall. It was breezy and a bit cool, but the pool at the Hyatt had very much the same vibe as poolside in Miami down to the cabanas, the nice chairs, the towel service etc. Different twist was that there were either bags of food delivered poolside from local restaurants, or families brought bags of stuff to each and dive into al fresco. A huge assortment of Penn State either alumni, football alumni, or even the players/cheerleaders themselves congregated poolside—amply filling up chairs, and filling up on snacks. No one but us in the water which was lovely. The Hyatt is the headquarters for the Nittany Lions, participants in this year’s Rose Bowl. So, you can imagine the excitement and the scale of people in the lobby. There are these enormous men, bursting out of their skin signing small white plastic football helmets for the under 12 set that are tagged with the group. Gloria says this thing is enormous. And from the looks of the activity this morning at the hotel, it promised to be so with champagne cocktails being pours, handfuls of bum I can agree if you just weigh it against the poundage and scale of the participants.
After the pool, we got rolling and went to the Farmer’s Market on Fairfax. This is a permanent, daily market around which a shopping extravaganza was developed, and developed in the totally blow down the doors theatrical way (foreshortened scale, false streets, etc) that they only understand here in Southern California. Lesson to all of us, hire theatrical designers if you want a run away success…in a time of quiet retail, this place was crowded and busy. But the market, the heart of this enterprise was California from the forties and fifties…and the real deal. As you could gather, there were tons of stands (just like Westwood) from which you could buy produce, meat, eggs, dairy and a tea stand that could heal any ailment or soothe any sadness. They sculpted the ground sausage in one booth to look like a pig. Nested into this were stands that sold no end to gorgeous things to eat from Pizza with a twisted crust, to a cited Mexican restaurant called Loteria (noted in the Farmer’s Market as one of the best places to eat in the City by Los Angeles Magazine as a for instance), to Chinese, Japanese, French and French Crepes (a wine bar with cheeses also was highly praised along with a Zagat’s rating) and Korean Barbeque (which we all had). The look and feel were stands smashed one up against the next with tables in the walkways and some areas bulging out a bit for more seating. Great offerings, world class---for a price that was totally concieveable. Then the shopping was essentially Disney with high end chain shops, a Nordstroms, movie theatres, sport stores etc. with restaurants spilling out on the sidewalks again in every flavor and style at moderate prices. The plantings were beautiful, and not a scrap of paper or trash on the ground. There was a trolley (albeit glitzy, but totally the real deal) to take you from one end of the shopping to the farmer’s market and back…along with a fountain with dancing water, gazebos…the works. R. found out there is a very cool new boutique hotel (which we saw from the outside) called the Farmer’s Daughter opposite the Farmer’s Market where one could stay and have this riot of food, produce and shopping within walking distance. Might be something I should propose to the Hartfordites as an option when they come to LA.
Then off to LACMA to see the Hearst Show and review the Latin American art (hoping and praying for more woodcutters). Then dinner at the BossaNova in Beverly Hills…fab, cheap and real…and..too, way too much food.