Oscar Weekend

Trip Start Oct 11, 2009
Trip End Mar 18, 2010

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Where I stayed
Brian and Dryden's wonderful guesthouse

Flag of United States  , California
Friday, March 5, 2010

Geologically, California is rarely put in the "stable" category, but it was great to touch down on terra firma again – a crisp spring day in LA - and spend a few days not being rocked by earthquakes.

We added one more temple to our list with an early morning stop at Whole Foods – if they didn't create it, they certainly support a religion of food and we are avid disciples. I did resist a rack of ribs for breakfast, but only just.

The wonderful hospitality of Brian and Dryden – who knew there was another Wharton grad and McKinseyite with as much of a passion for wine, food and plants – made for a very fun and indulgent weekend of fabulous home-cooked meals, good wines and long conversations while getting a crash course in parenthood.

We caught up with Suzie Gilbert and attended the Oscar’s Foreign Film Director’s panel discussion about the 5 nominees – fascinating insights into the working of movies and five new movies to add to the list of things to see. We ended up at A Prophet in the afternoon – an amazing edge of the seat movie… but very violent.

The new Andreas Gursky at the LA Gagosian was well worth the detour, not least as we could spot most of our destinations on his new works using giant satellite images of the world’s oceans.

Melora also took me to the Huntington in Pasadena – essentially LA’s answer to the Wallace, Frick or Jacquemart-Andre, or even all three, with a mini-Kew thrown in for good measure. We were there mainly for the gardens, especially the incredible cactus garden which Huntington planted with specimens he collected as he extended his railway empire across Mexico, As and when it rained, the library – Gutenberg bible, Shakespeare folios, Chaucer collections etc and the art gallery were reasonable places to see out a rain shower. There was also an impressive new Chinese garden – the camellias were pretty much done but great cherry blossom – which Brian’s company helped develop.

It was also fun to meet a few of the friends with whom Melora shared her life in LA, all at different stages of starting a family.
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