Carioca Outpost: Los Angeles
We all have an internal vision of Los Angeles, whether or not we’ve ever been. Mine was somewhere between Pulp Fiction and Sunset Boulevard. Yours is probably built on other films you’ve seen, loved, hated, maybe even your favourite ones. But is that mental Los Angeles anything like the real one? How can it be when every film that shows the city seems to show a different place?
When everything feels like a film set, the best thing to do is embrace it and make it your own. Expect a near-constant sense of déjà-vu, but take it as the backdrop for your own cinematic adventure.
From Rebel Without A Cause to La La Land, the Griffith Observatory is a quintessential symbol of LA. Time your visit in the evening to coincide with sunset(closing time is 10pm), and enjoy some of the best views of Los Angeles and the iconic Hollywood sign. It’s a cliché of course, but an essential one, along with the Walk of Fame, Rodeo Drive, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. Get your photo ops done early, and then focus on absorbing the atmosphere of the city.
When it comes to accommodation, Chateau Marmont provides a legendary experience in a shabby-chic setting that feels as though it hasn’t changed since the visits of Humphrey Bogart, Marilyn Monroe, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. As well as hosting the stars, it’s featured prominently in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere, and cameos in many others.
For overblown opulence, you’ll need the Beverly Wilshire, host to Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, as well as royalty and the Dalai Lama in reality. You could spend your entire stay just instagramming this building and its interiors, and its got the staff, spa, and restaurants to live up to the décor.
Take a break from the constant film sets, and visit a new Los Angeles icon at The Broad. Opened in September 2015, this museum houses the personal collection of Eli and Edythe Broad and its heart-stopping architecture, combined with an extremely impressive art collection, means it won’t be long before this building becomes another LA movie landmark. More than 2,000 artworks are on view, from artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat to Cindy Sherman and Jeff Koons. Currently on display is Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, a one-at-a-time experience that gives you 45 seconds alone in a chamber of endless twinkling LED lights.
For dinner, it’s the two-Michelin star Providence that blows us away every time. The interior is dark, romantic, and atmospheric, and the food sublime. Usually, we like to recommend some menu highlights, but from start to finish, everything we tasted was artfully-prepared, balanced and delicious. For a casual coffee try Dinosaur on Sunset Boulevard, it’s got everything; a perfect place to relax, the elusive cool-but-friendly staff, and really, really good coffee. Sit, and people-watch LA’s beautiful and characterful denizens. That’s what this city’s all about really.