Saturday, August 1, 2009

A Woman with a Mission

I've discovered on this trip to Southern California that sightseeing is more fun if I create some kind of mission for myself. My mission yesterday was to see all the Frank Gehry architectural sites that I could find in Santa Monica and Venice Beach. Part of the fun of the mission is the satisfaction (which appeals only to a certain sort of sensibility) of crossing things off a list. If there's anything I love, it's making a list and then checking things off on it. The other part of the fun of the mission is going places you wouldn't have gone otherwise, which Magellan and Vasco da Gama and Balboa certainly understood.

In my early morning walk down to Venice Beach, while Gregory and Sierra were still sleeping, I found the Venice Beach House, unmarked, at 2509 Ocean Front Walk, appropriately designed to look like a lifeguard stand. Then, once my sleepers were roused and we had set off in the rental car, we drove to the Gehry house at the corner of Washington and 22nd in Santa Monica (my Internet source said Washington and 20th, but the house at 22nd HAD to be it). The final stop was the Chiat Day Building, at 340 Main Street in Venice, the famous one with the big black binoculars in front: also unmarked, and somewhat dilapidated and dreary looking, but hey, I found it. Check! Check! Check!

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