Showing posts with label hollywood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hollywood. Show all posts


March Madness

My time here has flown by, and this time next week my feet will be firmly on the ground back in London. Well not firmly, as lets face it, they never are, and even less so when I have been drinking (Bambi on ice springs to mind)...something which I hope I will be doing a lot of when I return. Not from drowning my sorrows, but from catching up with ALL my friends (*cough*cough* everyone I'm coming home!).

This last month has gone even quicker then normal, probably as it's just been one big holiday. The clean-living and daily swimming routine I had going on went straight out the window the minute I left Mama Linda's (corn-chowder recipe in hand of course), moved to Santa Monica, and picked up my boyfriend from the airport. The lack of gym, pool, and eating burgers for ten days straight will kinda do that to you. Not to mention an impromptu trip to Las Vegas and copious amounts of Bacardi 151 (the devil in drink form *shudder*).

After waving goodbye to my love (with the promise that it's salads all the way for us back in London) I was re-united with my sister and a good friend, and a day later I can honestly say I don't think The Getty Art Gallery has ever seen three quite so hungover souls. A highlight of their time here was our visit to Disneyland as the 'Three Mouseketeers'. At the age of 26 I dressed as a giant Minnie Mouse for the day, and yes, I loved it. The greatest acheivement of the week however, had to be when we got enough stamps on our froyo loyalty card to receive a free 8oz of frozen yogurt. It was a proud moment for all involved.

I've been lucky enough to be with people the last month who have been brave enough to drive on the right hand-side of the road. And the only slightly hairy moment of the whole time has to be when my friend straddled three lanes of traffic oncoming at 70mph and casually asked 'Is this legal ?'. Needless to say there was a small amount of hyperventilating coming from myself on the backseat.

March has brought along two more new snack obsessions. First, Recces Peanut Buttercups. For some bizarre reason I've always believed I disliked them, without even trying them. However, try them I did, and it was as though my mouth had just bitten into a small part of heaven and all its creamy, nutty glory. Since then I have been eating at least one Reece's a day, with the justification that I cannot get these back home. When my friend pointed out I could indeed buy them back in the UK, I shushed her and proceeded to buy a pack of four. The other new fad in my life is 7/11's Slurpee. It's like I've reverted back into a second childhood where instead of being allowed to drink one a year, I can drink a x-large 44oz one a day. And I do. The only reported side effect so far is a blue tongue.

My suitcase is already straining from all my thrift shop purchases out here, so I was highly relieved (if not embarrassed) when my sister rather incredulously informed me that ranch dressing is available in England, so there is no need for me to bulk buy out here. 'How have you never tried it?? You wrote a whole blog about it, and they sell it in Subway Emily.' Ok, so I've never been a sandwich kinda-gal, but now I know that's where the ranch is at... Subway, hello.

Since I've been out here I've found myself really influenced by the creativity, and the get-up-and-go attitude of the Los Angele's people. The American Dream is truly alive and kicking, and if someone wants to achieve something, well, hell they go out and do it. Us Brits are notorious for talking down dreams we have and putting aside projects we would love to do. When I get back home I have several exciting work projects in the pipeline, but a sideline venture which I am really excited to get started on is my own clothing brand. I've been really inspired by all the self-made brands out here, and look forward to putting my own stamp on things.

My final two days are going to be spent chomping Reece's, shooting one last fashion shoot, and stuffing as much froyo as possible without suffering from brain-freeze. Oh, and of course looking out for the elusive Mr Gosling.

LAX I'll see you soon, Ryan hopefully sooner...

Emily x


California Soul...

It's been a long time coming, but here is it, my first blog from sunny California.

I touched down just over a month ago, raring and ready to start this adventure to immediately be put to at an abrupt halt in New York airport. Due to bad snow conditions the airport was at a standstill, and my connecting flight to the sunshine of L.A looked like a distant dream. Told I could not get a seat on another flight for three days, and with no hotels available I received my meal tickets, made friends with the caretaker, and took up residency on the airport floor. New Yorkers are notoriously rude, and the ones I encountered were no different. Apart from one. A young woman at the flight desk offered me her spare room to use after she finished her second job at the hospital that night. I was touched by a strangers kindness. (Obviously I didn't take her up on the offer....she could have been an axe-murderer for all I knew), but it warmed my heart in a somewhat chilly airport.

After sobbing to flight desks and sobbing to my boyfriend back in London (o2 phone-bill LOVED that one!) I finally managed to get a standby seat on a flight a day later. Heavy heart lifted, I arrived in L.A, got to my hostel....and then it sank again.

I was on Hollywood Blvd. At night. Now if you guys have ever been to Hollywood, you will know it ain't like the movies! It's not a good place to be at night, and the colorful mix of crackheads and prostitutes make it even the more uninviting.

I kicked myself into action (after all I was not going to leave the sunshine for cold back home quite so easily) and I quickly found myself a place to live. With a heated pool, jacuzzi, gym and my own balcony I finally started to feel like I was in L.A. And the best bit about it all? The woman I live with. 'Moma' Linda is like my black American mom. She listens loudly to Aretha Franklin, cooks the best homemade burgers, gives me donuts for breakfast, and when I get a job says things like 'Baby Gurl I am so proud of you!'.

And I have been working hard. On my tan. Bearing in mind the last time I was properly in the sunshine was one whole year ago when I was living in Australia, this has been a welcome break. L.A has peak tanning from 12 - 2pm so regardless of wherever I am, I try to get out at this point and expose any flesh I can to the sunlight. Envision baby turtles scuttling to the sea to survive...well that's me at midday running into the last patch of sunlight on pavement. The Californians think I'm stark raving mad... "it's the winter dude?!" but they just don't understand what its like for us sun-deprived Brits. 

But apart from the tanning I quite seriously have been working too. On a few American Film Institute short films, a 'tinder' documentary (which co-incidentally is filming back in London in March... if anyone wants to be on it hit me up!), and had several exciting meetings with Production Houses out here. I have also been working with some lovely L.A photographers on several fashion shoots (pictures soon to be on the blog!)

One thing which has come to me as a huge eyeopener is the large gulf between the rich and the poor in America. Due to my fear of driving on the right hand side of the road, I've been exposed to it more then most whilst taking the public transport. And let me tell you, taking public transport out here can be a rather scary experience. Unlike in London where everyone and anyone uses the tube, out here only crazies, drug-dealers and Mexican cleaners seem to be on the bus. And that is no exaggeration. The bus drivers are like the toughest people I've ever seen (especially the ones with the Hollywood and Downtown LA routes), and they have to be.

When I'm not getting harassed at the bus-stop for cigarettes, or trying to ward off the weed fumes coming from the gangs hanging around, I witnessed a rapping man the other day. He just would not stop rapping. To no-one and everyone. I couldn't figure out if I was impressed or scared (a little of both I think) but all I kept thinking in my head is 'this is so #america right now Emily'. Yes, I hash-tagged in my own head. I kind of wanted to look, but I didn't want to be drawn into like a bus rap-battle as I didn't need to show him up with my own rapping skillz. (I see my friends rolling there eyes here...oh god is white middle-class Emily drunk and trying to rap again?)...moving on anyway....

Macklemore was not lying, I've been popping tags in the thrift shops out here! They are awesome, and before my time is up I plan on dedicating a post to the best thrifty's here in this big ol' city. And there is a lot of them. You can tell a good one by the smell of bad breath... the worse the smell, the better the bargains.

It's taken its damn time and a lot of frozen yogurt, but L.A living has seriously won me round. The sunshine each day is just so uplifting, as is the positive attitude of most of the people out here. The TV is trash, there's a Starbucks on every corner, and there are free refills on giant size sodas. Everywhere. I also have come across quite possibly my new favorite food. I use the term 'food' rather loosely here (I could eat a plate of it) but I'm sure most other people would see it as a *ahem* dressing. Ladies and gents I present, RANCH DIP. Creamy, garlicky and oh so good (bad), I will be filling my suitcase home with bottles. To every other American its just 'raaaanch man', but to me...well its been an eye-opener let me tell you. On what us Europeans are missing out on! (friends you will be re-educated back home).

My hair has gone darker yet again due to the hair-dyes 'ash brown' color coming out jet-black, and due to me using a permanent dye, well there isn't really much I can do about it. But now I'm tanning the color of what I'd describe as 'stained wood' I figure looking more Mexican can only aid me on my frequent bus rides out here. So really, the positives outweigh my hair faux pas (although my forehead still has a black-stain a week on...)

I guess I'm kind of on a sabbatical out here, and I tell you what....I thoroughly recommend it. Book that ticket, and get on that plane. Life is just too short. You have a dream, chase it. It's that simple. Or at least it was to me.

And I don't regret it yet...
Emily x