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)


Princess Cupcake said...

I "have a BIG heart" for you my dear, now and always! LA will be unbearable without the comfort of your presence, but the joy this adventure will bring you is well worth the agony of letting SF have it's turn. And we are only a 45 min. plane ride apart anyhow. I love you D.

eggsquirrel said...

You've accomplished SO much out here Dara. More importanly it was SO fun. Ummm those lunches seem like yesterday but yet so far away.

jamie said...

You are loved. I love you.
-Teddykins Lee Silberhartz Mays

thecommissionerj said...

oh dear. Let's keep having fun! But in the meantime, I expect the first draft of my official biography on my desk by Thanksgiving.