Thursday, October 25, 2007

Los Angeles




Crossing the country for the first time this week, we flew from Miami to Los Angeles on Tuesday. From the plane, we could see the smoke from the wildfires raging all around southern California. Once we landed, it was hazy and, as the cab driver noted, ash from the fires could be seen drifting lazily in the hot, still air. (Photo to the right, from the plane...)

The Sofitel chain says it prides itself on the notion that every location is different. We’ve now stayed in three, and it couldn’t be truer. When we checked into the Sofitel in Beverly Hills, it felt very L.A. as we were checked in by a guy with leading-man. Painfully thin women teetered by in stiletto boots, huge sunglasses and arms laden with shopping bags from high-end stores nearby. A heart-breakingly beautiful woman stood behind the sundries counter; she could have been in an ad for any of the perfumes she was selling.

The Sofitel LA is home to Simon LA, a hang out for LA hipsters, a portion of which was set aside for our second event with Women & Wine. As I signed my books, they were slid into glossy black bags lined up in perfect rows in the tastefully lit private dining room as a photographer kept taking my photo every 20 seconds. (She also took the one above of me and Julie Brosterman, the founder of Women & Wine.) The wines were lovely, as was the crowd, about 110 were turned out for the event.

I always have mixed feeling about coming to LA; I never feel pretty or thin enough. I was so relieved to find real women at this event, some still glamorous yet down to earth nonetheless. Sophie Gayot also arrived, fabulous and fashionable in the way that only a French woman can.

My friend Karina, known as “Isabella” recently moved to Los Angeles from Paris, where she was working as the personal chef for a Russian paper baron. (She's the lovely brunette above.) He wanted her to shift to work in another of his many homes, this one in Asia. But Karina is in love with a Frenchman named Sebastian. He works in the film industry and thus, they decided to move to LA for his career. Gorgeous and Brazilian, she fits right in here in LA, and it would seem that she will have no trouble finding work as a private chef…

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