LA Redux

So Hello Again California!

The PMA (Production Music Association) is an organization that is fairly integral to the mechanics of my new business and they hosted a seminar on Thursday night in Los Angeles entitled “What Is The Value of Music?”.  There was a similar event in New York in November which I elected not to attend and I have regretted it ever since.  I angsted over attending this one as it meant cashing in ALL of my travel points, but here I am.  I couldn’t be more glad I made the decision I did.

After an uneventful (and chilly) flight from Toronto I landed in Los Angeles.  The first thing that happened was I got an unasked for upgrade at the rental car place from a rather down-at-heel black Nissan Versa to a brand new silver Mustang convertible.  The second thing that happened was a high of 80 degrees fahrenheit.  The roof came off and the games began.  I had some time to kill before my first meeting of the trip so I drove to the Rose Cafe in Venice for lunch, which has long been one of my favorite places in town.  I ate, went to the Marina and had an absolutely brilliant meeting where I met the owners an operators of a great music library that will now be added to my stable of suppliers.  I drove into Hollywood with the top down, whistling a happy tune and checked into The Magic Castle Hotel.  I have long been fascinated by The Magic Castle which was built in 1909 and opened as a private club for magicians and sleight of hand performers in 1963.  I discovered upon my arrival that my room was not in the Castle itself but in a converted apartment building just adjacent to it.  My disappointment in not having a coffin in which to saw someone in half strategically placed in the living room was quickly assuaged by the fact that my room is bigger than either my apartment in LA or my current living space in Toronto.

I lolled about for a bit then drove up to Mulholland Blvd for a scenic drive that wound through Topanga Canyon to the ocean.  I drove along the coast for a bit and back down through Santa Monica, ending up in Venice again for a lovely dinner in a cozy Spanish restaurant.  Diver scallops, risotto and tea.

Thursday I ran errands and found myself on Hollywood Blvd, drinking in the most exquisite juice (a Fruit Rainbow – fresh squeezed oranges with water melon, strawberry and blackberry juices with a bit of honey) while I wandered over to see what my favorite mannequins were wearing for Valentine’s Day.

They never disappoint.

I had another meeting in Santa Monica which went beautifully (another library for the collection!) and I headed up to the Valley for the seminar.  It is always a tough call with these things.  They can be dry-as-a-bone dull, or absolutely fascinating and fortunately this was the latter.  I was amused to discover a few weeks ago that one of the panelists was a Torontonian guy called Steve Pecile who used to be Willard’s boss and I have known for 20 years.  “Great”, I thought. “I am flying 2000 miles to see a guy I could drive 20 minutes to visit”.  It was worth it.  He looks great – relaxed and happy and 10 years younger than the last time I saw him.  I reunited with some of the people I had met with before, met some great new people and left the seminar completely fired up with enthusiasm and renewed vigor.

Today is another beautiful day.  I had breakfast with my old neighbour Ethan and am about to head out for a walk before my next meeting in Burbank this afternoon.  My hotel is located in the heart of Hollywood and is perfectly located for jumping off to the different parts of the city.  And the Designer Show Warehouse is one block south.  I guess I know what I am doing this afternoon.

I have this last meeting then an evening of uncharted excitement.  Tomorrow holds lunch with my friend Anny, then dinner and a sleep over with Jessica in Santa Monica.  Then home on Sunday.  All in all a healthy, happy, profitable and inspiring trip.

Time to take the top down and go look at shoes.  Does it get any better than this?

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