Nine Lives artist Lisa Anne Auerbach shares her reflections on Los Angeles, art-making and commuting by bicycle in this weekly blog.
Pink Seats and Dirty Feet
Monday, March 16
Went to the Hammer twice last week and both times went looking at shoes on the way home. On Thursday I went to check out Erin Cosgrove’s video piece. I know I shouldn’t brag about such things, but this was probably the first time that I ever went to a museum and sat down for nearly an hour to watch a projection. I am usually a pacer, an impatient viewer, or I’m hungry or tired, or whatever. Plus it makes my eyes feel weird and sometimes gives me a headache. This time I was prepared, well fed, knew what I was getting into, and in fact made a superspecial trip to the museum to see her piece. And, wow, totally worth it. Beautiful and epic and smart and funny and wild. I probably should have posted this sooner, since now if you read it, you’re in a snooze-you-lose situation. The show’s over. I don’t know Erin’s email address, so I’ll just say it loud and clear on the international network: Erin, you rock!
After the Hammer, I stopped by a little espresso place in Westwood for this very beautiful cappuccino at Espresso Profeta. Cappuccinos are supposedly named after an order of monks, the Capuchin. It’s unclear why exactly, but I’m thinking if this whole art thing doesn’t work out, maybe I should go to divinity school. Anyhow, it’s quite lovely at this place, which I’d seen while walking around Westwood one afternoon taking photos to demonstrate concepts of “depth of field” and overexposure to show my beginning digital photography students. I thought it looked yummy, but it was too late in the afternoon to drink espresso at the time. So I went back and wasn’t disappointed. It’s on Glendon, if you’re wondering.
So brain satiated with images of Yoder and Troyer and blood rushing from caffeine, I boarded the 720 bus east to Beverly Hills, where I went on a full-on shoe mission that ended in disappointment. Without getting into too many specifics, I will say that shopping is not my strong suit. I am easily confused and I do not like wearing what other people want me to wear. This is especially true when it comes to these gladiator style shoes that are so popular these days. They are so low to the ground that they invite debris, while being visually distracting and quite ugly. The alternative at the high-end department stores in Bev Hills is the high heel, which I’m all for, but I have a two hour limit on actually wearing them before I have an attack of the vapors and am forced to retreat to a lounge for the remainder of whatever event I’ve sprouted that extra five inches for.
There is something wonderful about taking the bus, or maybe many wonderful things. Not having to park. No road rage. Hitching a ride with someone already going in your direction, the opportunity to read a book while in motion, etc. But the sucky thing is when you just want to get HOME NOW and you gotta wait and hang out and then stand in the bus while the driver is lurching all over the place and you’re about to fall down. So I walked around Bev Hills a bit and then headed back to Wilshire, where a couple very crowded number 720 buses came by and I guess I wasn’t in that much of a hurry cause I just kept standing there. There was a guy with a dog in a box who was very upset with buses that would stop and then leave right as he was about to board. The dog was really small and tucked into this cardboard box, so not sure if the drivers knew about the dog or if they just thought the guy was nuts. He was screaming expletives at the top of his lungs.
The 920 bus is an express service on Wilshire that is super fast and barely stops anywhere. Not sure when they started this one, but it’s brilliant. I think we only stopped at Fairfax and Western, which is where I switched routes. I usually take the Western bus south to my neighborhood but it’s often super crowded, so I got on the Crenshaw bus instead and there was barely anyone on it and I’d rather walk a mile than have to sit next to some stinky person who’s yelling on their cel phone or slapping their child or just sitting there quietly with the smell of their perfume. Walked home past the usual neighborhood sites, which seemed a little more somber and scary after the murder that happened nearby the previous evening.
Saturday I rode my bike to a picnic in Elysian Park and I brought a sandwich and everyone laughed at me.
On Sunday, Kaari and Charlie and Michael and I had a “conversation” or was it a “discussion” on the stage of the Billy Wilder Theater, which is such a lovely space with those hot pink seats. From the stage when the theater is empty you can see that some seats have worn more than others, some have more of a permanent depression in the upholstery. I was 100% nervous and have forgotten everything I said during the hour or so we were up onstage. I regained consciousness over a plate of shishito peppers and a glass of beer and then went shoe shopping at DSW which is right nearby the museum and has many many many pairs of practical shoes. I met my husband over at Whole Foods and hitched a ride home with him.
Today I fixed the toilet.
If anyone has any questions about taking the bus in Los Angeles, please get in touch. It’s not scary and can be really fun and they take $1.25, exact change only and are in the middle of switching to TAP cards, but I haven’t really dealt with that yet.