Back in the USA for the holidays. It's hard to leave Florence, but fortunately I love to come back to LA. I live five steps from the beach, so my morning routine is a one hour bike along the beach, followed by a swim in the pool. This is instead of a stroll through Sant'Ambrogio market and cappuccino at Cibreo's. In fact, I refrain from coffee in LA.....why ruin a good thing?
Of course the best thing about LA is that I get to be with my husband (the kids are in Santa Fe and Florida....and I get to see them,too on each trip). That whole 'unconditional' loved and cherished thing can't be overrated. So I'm basking in the sun and love.
But the other part of LA....the 'glam' never fails to fascinate me. I love going to Barney's in Beverly Hills and seeing the 'scene'. No where else do you see people so 'done'. Every woman is skinny, with unmoveable, non-detachable boobs with long blond straight hair (of indeterminate age), and a face that is stretched, ironed and implanted.....and no one looks real but everyone looks the same. Of course, I admit that I'm a member of this movement, albeit an amateur, and enjoy observing the 'pro's' as well as appreciate the danger of going where fortunately I don't have enough money to go.
As far as relating this to Italy.....there is one glaring difference (among many others) that never fails to amaze me. All through Barney's, Neiman's, Sak's and down Rodeo Drive, you fine, women trying on and buying $2,000 a pair shoes, or a skirt on sale for $1,000, or a $2500 little jacket, and what they are wearing to shop are sweat pants and tennis shoes. I know they are buying magnificent clothes, but I failed to see one person wearing them!!
In Italy, I'm the only one who goes to my gym in my workout clothes. Everyone else there comes to the gym dressed in normal work/street clothes (which doesn't even include wearing jeans), then changes into gym clothes, works out and then changes back into street clothes. After 4 years in Italy, I still can't do that. I just quickly get back on my bike and go home to change. I used to stop for a cafe on the way home, but now I even feel like a 'freak' doing that. I 'dress' before I go for coffee.
So to see someone walking down Rodeo Drive, not just one person, but everybody, dressed in a manner I can't get away with for at my neighborhood bar (coffee bar) is quite shocking to me.....as well as amusing. And just wait another couple of weeks, I'll be in sweats at Starbucks.
The Johnny Depp reference was not just a tease. I have some wonderful friends here who are in 'the business' and love to invite me to 'screenings' and any other event because they get a 'kick' out of how much I get a 'kick' out of what everyone else here has to pretend to be 'blase' about. In this 'pre-award' season, I'm getting invited to 3 or 4 screenings a week. Usually, these are just small screenings for the press or academy members to get advance reviews,etc. and no one famous is there. But last week, Dreamworks put on a big event at Paramount Studios for the film, Sweeney Todd by Tim Burton and starring Johnny Depp.
I was in heaven......the Paramount lot was sparkling with Christmas lights, and as we walked in I saw Steven Spielberg, Tom Hanks, Mira Sorvino, Martin Short......and standing in a corner with his 'classic' bowler hat was my angel, Johnny Depp.
The movie was starting in moments, so no time to catch up and chat, and besides I was too distracted by catching all the other stars in the seats besides me.
After the film (which I didn't like....I'm not a Tim Burton fan, too gory, and Johnny in white face/Goth is not my favorite look on him), there was the glamourous reception. Johnny was surrounded by 'admirers' which included other stars. I knew that I had to speak to him, but what to say?
"I have to thank you for the gift that you work has been to me"
and he took my hand, and he looked at me, and when he talked to me, there was no one else in the room, or in the city or in the world.
I don't remember what he said, something like 'that's so kind of you to say', because I was lost not in his eyes, but plunged into the purity of his soul. I know this sounds stupid, like the 'love/star-struck' fool that I am, but his inner beauty, grace and kindness overwhelmed me.
God, I love LA!!