Monday, August 24, 2009
Goodnight Hollywood Blvd
(downtown Los Angeles from the Griffith Park hike, by me)
Yesterday marked the beginning of my final week in Los Angeles. I knew this day would come- I've known it almost from the day I moved to LA 5 years ago- and now that it's here, it's less easy to wrap my mind around than my 22-year-old self could have anticipated.
Over the past couple of days, my LA life has been rushing back to me in spurts ....
...arriving at the Oakwood apartments to a dry heat in early January after a long, cold cross-country drive ; witnessing Josh and Jim lug a giant fridge up several flights of narrow stairs at their first apartment in Burbank, probably much to their physical detriment; meeting my mentor in styling and great friend, Tin, on a commercial for a bank, and the moment on that day when she said to me, "Have you done this before?" and I knew I wanted to "do this" for a long time; apartment hunting for weeks with Greg, who I barely knew, until finally he spotted the “for rent” sign in front of the place we would call home for the next 4 ½ years; our first Thanksgiving hosted at the Sherman Oaks apartment (we thought it was a big one- 15 people- little did we know!); an anniversary on the ferris wheel at the Santa Monica Pier; getting brunch at Frank’s Diner in Burbank with 20 other Emerson graduates every Sunday for months; the day Carol walked up to me after one of those brunches and said, “We should be friends;” the day Haley and I met at Literati Café and decided we were going to start our own clothing line; making Vans with cupcakes on them for her Princess Cupcake gigs at kid’s parties and making my Duchess shoes “just for fun;” the “prom” Meghan, Sarah and Diana hosted at our house, introducing a whole new wave of people into our absurdly tight-knit circle; Lucas and Sarah’s first date at a tea house;“old person” lunches with Greg when he worked the night shift and I had no freelance work coming in; the moment we knew Enchanted Royals was going to be the name of our business; the Thanksgiving where Josh sat in my room after everyone had left and talked about Carol for hours; the party three months into their relationship where Carol beamed at me and said, “Dara. It’s so great”; the day Carol, Haley and I had our first official production meeting at King’s Road Café for the first three Enchanted Royals videos; Haley asking me if I “had a heart” for Chris after months of constant platonic hang-outs; creating the Fun Guy shoes with him and writing a song for Greg’s birthday- the inception of Warm Air Telegraph;sitting in a car with Penny and admitting out loud for the first time that I “might like Chris;” driving with him to Las Vegas one month after we’d started dating and stopping for food at one of those crazy buffets and thinking to myself that I could talk with him for 5 hours straight and never get bored or run out of things to say (2 and a half years later, that fact still stands); sitting at the airport while waiting to fly back to LA after a month-long Japan/Europe trip and receiving a text informing me that the next day, I was going to assist Marjan- the high-profile stylist who I would assist nearly every day for the following 2 years; the day my first sketch for her became a real, honest-to-goodness costume; filming the 3rd Enchanted Royals video at “Unkie’s Ranch” in Santa Barbara and calling Robin, who had moved in to Chris's apartment 3 days prior and didn’t know any of us, to drive an hour and a half north to fill in as the Prince of Charm; screening the Enchanted Royals videos at Mountain Bar and playing Warm Air Telegraph’s first show; the day I walked in on Son Ark practicing with Chris on bass for the first time; the day Carol and Josh moved in together; the day Haley got her own place and the day she met Mike at the Starlight Lounge; copious “production meetings” (dinner parties) with Haley and Carol; our final Thanksgiving in Sherman Oaks (with 40 guests); Penny publishing her book; the day I was accepted to Academy of Art and knew my life was about to head in a very different direction.
That’s a lot of words up there; and of course it's barely the tip of the iceberg. I guess it’s no big surprise that all of that unfolded while I was making constant plans to escape.
Leaving Los Angeles is the right thing for me right now, but I don’t regret a moment I spent here- and I’m lucky enough to know that I will always have the people I spent them with in my life. I love you.
(the 1st Thanksgiving: 2004)
(the last Thanksgiving: 2008)