Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Midsummer Weeknight's Dream

Playing "L'aventure Fantastique" by The Fantastic Plastic Machine (aka Tomoyuki Tanaka of J-Pop/DJ fame)

Mzzz. Faboo (because she is ab-fab!) invited me to a midweeknight break at Maison 140, a boutique Beverly Hills hotel, for a wine and cheese tasting at their Bar Noir. The hotel is small and beautifully appointed with French and Far East-influenced decor, otherwise known as chinoiserie (one of my fave words for the way that it irreverently rolls off of my tongue with a self-satisfying superiority). The tasting was cozy and quiet, a perfect setting for us to catch up with each other.

After two hours of delicious vin et fromage, we stepped into the warm night...and walked around the corner to the Beverly Wilshire (yes, the former Reg-Bev-Wilsh). We made our way to sidebar, the lounge right across the foyer from Cut (Wolfgang Puck's famed eatery). The only available seating in the popular lounge was a quasi-comfy silver couch against one of their large windows overlooking the valet. We parked ourselves and ordered martinis. I saw steak tartare on the menu (a must-order for me) and we added a seared-ahi-something-yummy on mini wonton chips with wasabi paste and chives.

Perusing our surroundings, I noticed the usual cast of LA characters: a glut of attractive people who sort of looked familiar, but not really (commercial actors? bit-t.v.-role types?) and the sprinkling of average joes trying to fit in, but not really (vacationers? inlanders?). What piques my interest the most are when the twain meet (i.e., the relative-attractive majority who do not look famous or familiar, and who also don't mind suffering from the social constraints of living in LA while trying to survive first impressions).

Not two moments after we started sipping our classic 'tails, there were flashing lights outside. Mzzz. Faboo and I turned to look out the window joking with each other that someone was getting arrested in valet. We were trying not to look too earnestly because we wanted to maintain that modicum of cool, but someone loudly whispered "TomKat" and then everyone turned to look outside the window none too conspicuously. Sure enough, right underneath our little quasi-comfy silver couch stood Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes waving at the 'razzi and climbing into a large black tagless SUV, bodyguards in tow. Because we were so close (separated by a window pane), I had to look on TMZ the next day for those pics, and as I suspected, you could see me and Mzzz. Faboo in a video clip of the celeb power duo getting into their car. We were visible for about three seconds (an eternity on TMZ, mind you). Apparently they were having dinner at Cut that night with the Fresh Prince and his lovely wife (Will Smith and Jade Pinkett Smith) and Posh and Becks (David and Victoria Beckham). Nicknames for power couples...another LA trait.

After a few failed attempts at convo with us by well-dressed older men, Mzzz. Faboo and I decided to call it a night. As we walked back down Wilshire Blvd. towards our cars, we passed Saks Fifth Avenue and stopped to examine their display windows. Each display case had a row of headless mannequins wearing nondescript black prom dresses with their arms stretched out holding different pairs of Jimmy Choo shoes in their motionless hands. For a split second I felt like Holly Golightly in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" peering longingly into the Tiffany display case while (not really) eating a croissant. The shoes were very LA...and I loved them. Yet again, I was separated by a window pane from a lifestyle that I could hardly identify with, if at all, but looked on with slight envy.

Don't get me wrong. I am not turning this into a "poor me and my life as compared to theirs" essay. I love my life. I also choose to live in LA. And most assuredly my experiences tonight are no different than many others I've had while living here. They do in fact make up for me what is quintessential LA: that healthy mixture of bold, beautiful, insecure, and selfish. In LA, there is no split neighborhood where the railroad tracks divide the seedy side from the wealthy side. Everything, good, bad, and ugly, is kind of all mixed in together with its inhabitants agreeing to disagree at nearly every socioeconomic level. And therein lies the beauty of LA. I cannot think of anywhere else that has this dichotomy with such a prevalence, where everyone enjoys the status quo, is even fascinated by its fuzzy, yet deep groove in the sand.

Mzzz. Faboo woke me from my reverie with a tug on my arm. Time to stop dreaming, gorgeous. You've got the rest of your night for that.

I suppose that I do.

No comments: