The final leg of my journey was Los Angeles. I have a bit of a love-hate relationships with LA in that I find it a fascinating place to visit, but also find it an unattractive and somewhat unfriendly city. Having said that I really like Santa Monica, where I choose to stay.
The weather was fantastic – hot and humid – which was a pleasant change after the bracingly cold winds in New York. There is some great scenery around Malibu and Santa Monica, and the Venice Canals are just lovely. Which is more than I can say for Venice Beach, which seems to be occupied by pot-smoking hippies, low-life petty criminals, bogan/chav tourists, fortune tellers, greasy takeaways, and crappy souvenir shops (handy if you want a plastic dreamcatcher or singlet top with “Number 1 bitch” or “Drunk Hoe” on it – guess my friends know what they are getting for Christmas now).
From a people watching point of view I saw an abundance of examples of really bad/excessive plastic surgery including a proliferation of trout pouts (over siliconised lips), cats eyes (I am surprised that some of these people can see at all), and unpickable noses (you know good rhinoplasty can change someone’s life, bad rhinoplasty and you look like a horse or worse an ant-eater). There also seems to be a really scary looking set of cookie-cutter, Stepford-wife, African American women too. Be yourselves ladies, you are fine as you are!
As for bookstores, I really only had time to go to Barnes and Nobel in Santa Monica (https://stores.barnesandnoble.com/store/2575). I couldn’t seem to find Book Soup this time, but they did have a branch at the airport so I was still able to have a browse.
I don’t see myself going back to LA in any hurry – unless it is for business or a book launch.