It was one of my favorite places to take a visiting friend at night, Westminster Bridge. Maybe walk all the way from Trafalgar Square, down Whitehall, pointing out Downing Street, empty under the cover of dark.
I ate. With an abandon I hadn’t allowed myself in years. Mostly at people’s houses, experiencing a mix of the traditional and the new, but also at some restaurants – Italy has moved forward from the trattorias of old (that still exist and, especially in Rome, are mostly good), and the new food scene, with sleek and modernist establishments borrowing in look and fare from both Northern Europe and the USA, is vital and interesting. Because Italians will never be able to eradicate their culinary roots, with a maniacal attention to provenance and ingredients, the end result is worth seeking. These are places that caught my palate and left me wanting for more.
On my last night in Italy, before flying back to the States at an ungodly hour the following morning, my friends argued on where to give me a proper sendoff. Silvia, a woman I have known for over 50 years who is, inarguably, the life of whatever party she chooses to inhabit, suggested Osteria del Sole. We were all rather perplexed.
If you have lived in Los Angeles all your life, or just a very long time like me, it is easy to become complacent and fall into the same routines, even when it comes to our free time.
Traffic can be so chaotic it’s easy to stick to what is happening around where we live, but LA, like all large metropolis, is a bottomless pit of opportunities.
4:40 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. I look up and the sky is a perfect shade of intense blue, so velvety I think I could touch it. If I turn around, towards the mountains, the blue dissolves into a hazy white, fading into the rock. On the opposite side, the sky mingles with the ocean, creating a smattering of stripes, from grey to baby blue and every shade in between.
There was a time, not so long ago, that Malibu, despite its worldwide reputation, was nothing more than a sleepy residential coastal town: the beaches were beautiful, there were some celebrities out and about but, by and large, the place belonged to longtime residents and it was far from glitzy. The lack of fancy hotels kept it low-key: you went to Malibu to surf or enjoy a picnic at the beach.