A friend of Kate and mine, Mike, got married this past weekend in LA, well Pasadena, and Kate and I arranged to vacation here after the wedding. Wednesday also was our 9th wedding anniversary.
I have extensive of history here in LA, and Kate and I met here in 1996, so we were both engaged and married here. Sunday we visited the church (St Marks Episcopal Church in Altadena) where we attended while we were engaged and where we were married. The parish was relatively diverse when we were there and it was cool to see that the trend has continued. It was also good to see evidence of growth and health. At first we were greeted with great anticipation two alternative somewhat young looking (few people think Kate and I are as old as we in fact are)people coming to church and familiar with the service was a hopeful sight. We had to disappoint, saying we were just visiting from Chicago, though we had been married there. Soon we did see people we know the 8 or 9 months we attended St Marks, they were at first hopeful that we were back in the area. Not surprisingly even as they thrive St. Marks is finding it difficult to attract that demographic of post college 20 to 30 something singles or couples without children.
Wednesday we visited Griffith observatory where we were engaged. The Observatory was closed in 1999 for renovations and no longer allow the public to simply drive up to the observatory. Now one must make shuttle reservations and be shuttled from a parking lot near the LA Zoo. The day of our engagement Valentines Day 1998, I had planned for us to go to the Huntington Library Gardens, but it was a very rainy day so we went instead to the Museum of Contemporary Art, the whole time I was thinking about where would be a good place to ask Kate to marry me. No place in the museum seemed terribly romantic. We finished up our time in the museum about twilight and the rain had stopped so I suggested we go up to the observatory. Thinking what could be more romantic than asking Kate to marry me on the mountain that is Griffith park and on a beautiful art deco building looking out over the lights of Los Angeles. At first I thought I had struck out, as we got to the observatory it was clear that as the skies cleared we were not the only ones to think that the observatory was a romantic spot to be on Valentines day. We wondered about the observatory and finally made it too the roof and there was a break in the crowds for a moment and there on the roof of the observatory the long straight lines of LA streets stretching out bellow us asked Kate to marry me. It was a little odd to think that such a last minute plan wouldn't have worked now almost 10 years latter. On Wednesday we were at the observatory at noon, the bright LA sun and a fairly clear day (though it has been relatively smog free most of our time here). There is nothing quite like looking out from Griffith park down onto the LA basin, the long straight streets that seem to lead endlessly away from the hill. We wandered about the observatory much like we had the night we were engaged and climbed to the roof and reminisced just who nervous we were, Kate suspected that I was going to ask her the question. Then we went out to Santa Monica for a late afternoon anniversary supper at the Ye Old Kings Head pub.
While waiting for our fish-n-chips, Kate realized she should make some calls about her next short film to be filmed at the end of October and make arrangements for the last pick up shot for a short film she worked on earlier this year and summer. So I sat at our table out door sipping my Guiness enjoying the gentle ocean breeze (the pub is only a blog from the beach) and I overheard the conversation behind me was a film business lunch between a producer for a production company and someone he appeared to be recruiting for some position on the crew of the producers next film or with the production company. So, it was very LA Moment here Kate was on her phone making arrangements for her next film and directly behind me was a producer talking about his production company and its film projects. It is always a little odd to think that we left LA to get into film, but so it is, and there Kate was being so very LA, on her cell.
Of course our time in LA would not have been complete without making to one of the Goth clubs of the Evil Club Empire. Wednesday nights are now called Damage at the Spider Bar in the Avalon on Vine within a block of Hollywood Blvd. Which means that outside the club are the sidewalks with the Hollywood stars. I forget how common place clubbing in Hollywood was, how frequently I would walk over those sidewalks on the way to a Goth night. Club Damage really is an over the top name, but that is a fraction of the fun of being Goth. We had a good time, the DJ. was pretty good but some of his transitions between sets were a bit awkward but I liked most of what he played. And except for a few here and there most at the club were there to have fun and visibly enjoying themselves without the uber-seriousness that seems to afflict a large number of Chicago Goths. There was the one droopy sad Trent Reznor circa 1990 look alike who sat entirely still in his own gloomy shadow. Aside from him there was the overall genuine sense that being Goth and going to a club is fun, without the need to take one self oh so seriously. It was a good night though I did miss not actually knowing or recognizing anyone at the club, no knowing nods and brief conversations with acquaintances, which I did have in the LA Goth scene and do have now in the Chicago Goth scene. And the DJ did make us realize just how good a DJ Scarry Lady Sarah is, as well as most of the DJ's who are or have been at Neo. (though I haven't been to Neo in while. We will go to one more Goth club before we leave LA, Bar Sinister, my friend Alex says its the best Goth club right now, so it should be fun, and we may see a few more uber-serious LA Goths there, we will see.