LA is a state of mind

On a recent trip I got to spend just over a day in Los Angeles. Previously my entire experience was of the airport as a transit point for other places in the world.

But of course LA has beaches too and I was delighted to find out that I would be staying near one of the best – Santa Monica. Growing up in New Zealand I am never far from the water and when travelling I always try to find new places to swim.

As luck would have it I had to go to the beach where a friend has an office. Of course an office at the beach – why wouldn’t you ? The shot below was taken from the famous pier which in the summer hosts concerts and other local events. It was a Friday morning which is probably why there is plenty of space on the sand.

Santa Monica Beach

The real reason for being in LA was to visit some friends and have a brief catch up. Mark Tierney and Jennifer “Precious” Finch are creative legends in that space between music, photography and modern life.

Both Mark and Jenn are great photographers and that makes them great observers of the human condition in all its forms and great company for anthropological field trips like this one for dr pepper and hickory tweaked burgers.

Mark Tierney & Jennifer "Precious" Finch

We went to the Apple Pan on West Pico. This burger place has been open since 1947 and is largely unchanged. Wrapping a burger in lettuce is something I had never heard of before and is something we should do in NZ.

I liked that neither Mark nor Jennifer could tell me what this neighbourhood was called.

It is just Pico something -named after the main street and this seemed the perfect metaphor for Los Angeles. It seems to be a city whose imagery is malleable and flowing in any direction you want it to go.

The local picture theatre / multiplex across the street seemed to be a reference point – landmark of sorts, which seemed very apt for a city where image making is part of the local DNA.

The Los Angeles I saw in my brief visit was not what I imagined at all and I will go back for a more extensive field trip.