Archive for April 23rd, 2009


The Standard, downtown LA: life from the rooftop pool

While my esteemed colleague oohlola writes about the troubles and travails of dating on the East Coast, I’m on the West soaking up the sun (though today, in L.A., is overcast) and pondering life in the city of angels.

Not real life, mind you—not the hard-scrabble existence of the city’s millions of migrant workers, menial day-jobbers, and aspiring actors. But life from a fairly privileged perspective, here on the ninth floor of the Standard Hotel.

Painfully hip, the downtown L.A. Standard (there’s another on Sunset, and more throughout the world) has kind of minimalist decor with splashes of retro design, although I’m sure someone with a better eye than me for this stuff would disagree. The room—I’m bunking with a Master of the Universe, Vancouver division—features several small, cool touches, like a mini-bar stocked with items such as Crackerjack, Mr. Bubble and Tahitian beer, and some not-so-cool touches, like a sticker on the toilet paper roll of an International Symbol Person squatting and excreting. It’s almost as if the makers of American Pie were in here to do some touch-ups. Plus there are a couple of compilation CDs (for purchase, of course) of Standard-endorsed tracks (some interesting choices, including a bunch of stuff I’ve never heard of).

But the hotel’s main feature, at least for me, is the rooftop bar (the hotel is 12 stories). With groovy furniture, astro-turf, lounge chairs, and a pool, it’s a pretty sweet deal. I had a chance to catch some rays for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon: it was a very LA moment when about 20 people in work-clothes (long-sleeved shirts, pants) show up. Turns out they were location scouts.

Last night we hit the town, which consisted of high-proof bourbon at a dark little bar called Seven Grand (for its address, and probably the cost of its most expensive whiskey) and a meal at a place called Wok-ano. Not the best meal in the world, but I’m going to try making the asparagus and prawns in black bean sauce dish when I get home.

The previous night we’d spent at a townhouse in the neighbourhood of Los Feliz, but since the little caged birds belonging to the person in the other unit woke up my traveling companion, we headed for quieter climes. That didn’t stop me from waking up in the middle of the night last night though, with troubled thoughts of the future in mind, and a sour whiskey stomach.

Today, home.

April 2009
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