Wish I Had a Crystal Ball…
By the time you receive this I will have landed at Charles de Gaulle Airport ready to battle jet lag from the nine-hour difference between Los Angeles and Paris. It took a full week to recover from it while there, waking early every morning and crashing earlier at night, each day inching a bit toward normality. History will repeat itself until back on track on Paris time and while everyone has their own jet lag remedies, I find sleeping on the plane as much as possible makes a big difference, as well as landing in Paris later in the day so that bedtime arrives earlier, too.
Sunny Southern Californian mornings are naturally eye-opening and then once the sun goes down, L.A. gets pretty sleepy. Angelenos have had a pretty tough day battling traffic on their way to the gym. Battling traffic is a way of life in the City of Angels and I will tell you that it soured me on a city in which I really loved living. After living in cities with extraordinary public transportation, such as Paris or Nice, to sit in traffic with your foot on the brake while you inch down the freeway or wait through three traffic lights to make a turn, is what contributes to insanity. (At least mine.) It’s a shame, because L.A. has a lot going for it, but this acute problem is fairly unsolvable. I also found myself seriously hating getting in and out of a car, always searching for a place to park for every little errand. Please, please, please, give me urbanity! I am desperate to get out and walk from shop to shop within steps of one another…as is the case in the City of Light.
In spite of any complaining about such frivolities, being back in Los Angeles was a welcome wake-up call. Everyone in my circles is obsessed by the current political shenanigans, with fear that the society they have lived in all their lives is about to disintegrate before their very eyes. We all agree, however, that this has sparked a revolution in activism and awareness of politics and government like we have never seen before, as well as being a major boost to the kind of higher level equality that women will be experiencing in the political arena as a result. In essence, this is all healthy, as long as we can stop the damage being done to the erosion of the world we know as soon as possible.
For 24 hours, Erica and I had the total pleasure of visiting Joshua Tree and Palm Desert where friends live in a big house on a gorgeous golf course in a gated community. (See more about this from last week’s French Property Insider). On the ride back to Los Angeles from Palm Desert, stuck in traffic on Highway 10 (of course), we were immediately behind a truck plastered with bumper stickers supporting Trump/Pence and including “No Refugees,” “Where Has a Gun Law Reduced Crime?,” “One Clinton is Enough” and to top it all off, a swastika. After snapping a photo, my daughter said, “Please get away from this guy. It’s too scary.”
Questions about Marine Le Pen’s popularity popped up from those who have a connection with France and the people with whom I consulted during the week. Yes, she is showing promise in the polls, especially among women voters. This shows an indication that the French are following in the path of England’s Brexit and the U.S.’s support of right wing politics such as Donald Trump’s. I wish I had a crystal ball, but I can’t help but think that the French, who have high voter turn-out than the U.S. and who are on the whole, better educated, will see how Brexit and Trump have affected those two nations and vote accordingly.
(For interesting insight on the French elections, read this article in The Local.)
Erica and I did the “touristy thing” and spent Saturday in Downtown L.A. navigating the L.A. Central Market, visiting the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the new Broad Museum. One must have enormous patience (or at least lack of agoraphobia) to spend much time in the market, especially on a Saturday afternoon. After purchasing chile peppers and mole for my Mexican-cuisine-loving friend, we left quickly to have lunch outside of the market at a neighboring restaurant and then head over to the museums.
The home to the L.A. Philharmonic Orchestra, the Walt Disney Concert Hall (WDCH), designed by architect Frank Gehry, is simply the most beautiful building I have ever seen and looks stunning from every single angle…period. (Shoppers note that it has one of the best gift shops, ever!)
The Broad is on the small side as museums go, but is extraordinary in its contemporary art collection. It’s free, so be prepared to stand in line to get in, but once you’re in, you won’t regret the wait. It’s a wonderland of brilliant new ideas in art. Every room is fresh with creative thinking.
L.A. has always been so ahead of itself and everything else around it. It was the reason I moved to L.A. in 1987 — I wanted to be in the most progressive place on the face of the planet. It is that, I still believe. This is where the newest idea is what is most important.
Paris, is as different to L.A. as any two cities can get being very much diametrically opposed as Paris works hard to protect its history, provenance and heritage.
But, isn’t that, too, what we like so much about having both of them? Can we have our La La Land cake and eat it, too? Of course, we can. At least for now, while the borders aren’t fully shut to one another. God forbid that should happen. Wish I had my crystal ball…
A la prochaine…
Adrian Leeds Group
(with Erica at Joshua Tree)
P.S. Don’t forget to set your DVR for another episode of House Hunters International. Re-airing of “Paris with a Texas Accent” on March 2. Details available on our HHI page