Did any of you guys grow up with The OC? An American TV semi-soap with lots of ridiculously good looking wealthy people with dramatic lives curated with one of the best up and coming alternative sound tracks ever.
I've been a New Yorker for the last 8 years. I came for college and then never left. I love New York. It's 24 hour subway system, dollar pizza every couple blocks (also 24 hours), the dive bars where they don't measure shots, the bar right next to it where you pay 80$ for a curated punchbowl with rose petals and some artisinal mezcal you've never heard of, the rats who steal the dollar pizza. All of it! There's always something to do, to see, and by the time you've tried everything more than half those places are closed and there's something new to try.
Some people feel differently. I feel like everyone I know is moving/ has moved to California. My brother, my sister, Alexi from @TwoofWands, my best friends from college, etc. It was time to pack my knits and visit. To see my people and see what the hubbub was about. What does California have that New York doesn't? My brother and I decided to visit 3 major cities down the coast. San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles.
The first stop was San Francisco, where I was forced to unveil my Truffle Sweater because it was so cold! It's like 85 degrees in New York and I showed up to San Francisco where the daytime was low 60's and the nighttime was in the 40s! In late July!
Keep a weather eye on the horizon, this pattern is being tested and will be released as part of my fall and winter line this year! It was also the only sweater I brought with me. Jokes. That picture to the right is Lombard street - a creaky crooked street that is famous and cars like to go down it. This was a huge problem for me and my brother, who drives a manual car. Noel, the beauty on the left of the photo, lives nearly at the top of the hill so we were stuck braking and trying not to roll down the hill every second. It was definitely exhilarating and I never want to drive manual on a steep hill in heavy traffic ever again.
However! San Francisco is so fun! Day one we explored the Ghiardelli square (where we got free chocolate sample!), clambered around Hyde Pier and explored the history of boats and how a cable/ rigging system bears heavy loads. If you were wondering, the number of loops around a pulley lessens the weight by a 1:3 ratio, so a pulley with two loops gives you 1/6 the weight! Following this, we had proper dim sum in the original Chinatown. I got told off for cursing near a family with young children and for 10 plates of food we spent just over 40$. With our tums full and some money still left in our wallets we visited the WhiteChapel - a gin bar that's built to look like an old subway train station (so cool!). For those of you who've been following along for awhile you know how much I love a good gin. I tried several new types including a special version of No. 209, and something i can't pronounce with lots of consonants that's apparently Scottish.
The second day included sitting and working at Southern Pacific Brewing Company. The spackled sunlight hit my work in between sips of beer and I think I finally relaxed about the whole manual car on hills thing. It was an unexpected find. Sitting squarely in the Mission District it feels almost like a secret garden behind the wire fences and industrial looking buildings around it. That night we ate by the sea in Sausalito in between people playing bocce and a huge fire pit, and I felt a little more of the tension in my shoulders leave. I didn't even know how much stress was packed up in there...
The next day we left for Santa Barbara. Almost 20 minutes after we left San Francisco the air got warmer and we hit the Pacific Coat Highway, or Route 1. The sky was blue, there were birds calling, and I decided this felt more like the California I had imagined. After a detour around where the PCH had apparently fallen right into the sea (glad we were not driving when that happened) we arrived in Santa Barbara.
The air was warm, it was sunny, it seemed a lot calmer than San Francisco, we went immediately to the beach with my friend Anne. You may remember her from my collaboration with AnneJamesNewYork last winter for NY Fashion week. True to form the generous and beautiful soul immediately took us to the beach with wine and gave me some birthday presents. These included a silk robe, and a dress, that she had not only designed, but also had made to my measurements that she "knew by heart". (Cue mild tearing up). Between sips of wine and some beach knitting some more pressure left my shoulder blades.
During our visit the city was celebrating "Fiesta" or 'Old Spanish Days'. The whole city was covered in color, flowing and ruffley clothes. There was live music and dancing each night and I had absolutely never heard of this holiday. I was incredibly pleased to have unknowingly come during such a fun time for the community. One of the fiesta tradition includes breaking eggs filled with confetti over each others heads' by surprise. These eggs are usually highly decorated... not like Easter eggs. Pretty sure I had a cowboy, a Mexican-style skull, and cartoon whale broken on my head. It was impossible to get the confetti out of my hair so honestly there may still be pieces in there...
After sunning our selves and dancing into the night for several days it was time for LA. Duncan and I planned to visit Harry Potter world before our LA introduction. I LOVE Harry Potter. I won't get into that for your sake's but here are some pictures from when I went to HP world Orlando (left) side by side with my trip to HP LA! <3 I stuck with the same style this time around. A cotton thread suited the boiling hot temperatures and allowed some air flow up through my chest!
After a day nearly devoid of sunburn we called it a night.
For my last day in LA I cycled around Santa Monica with my sister and her husband and I met up with some familiar faces! (heyyyy Alexi!) I swear there's nothing like beach knitting/ crocheting. I definitely got some idea how people can live here, but I never could. All of my makes would be covered in sand and my productivity would be at the bottom of a pit! I realized that while I generally resent all that stress in my shoulder blades, it almost acts as a prodding finger - " You have work to do! Get a move on!"
Thanks so much to everyone who made my Cali adventure such an inspiring and relaxing time. Stay tuned for some new designs coming your way soon!!