Fig Jam: The Key to Life

Brimming.

Precisely how I would describe today.

First, false courtesy from she who has offered me a roof. She and a friend leave for brunch with no invitation or inclination to include me. An obvious move to make an obvious statement. Certainly not the first time I’ve experienced this, so the disturbance is measured in ripples that spread through the shallows. But, beyond the surface, the calculated move bears no real penetration. Just merely skips off the periphery. My only concern is, after so many years of developing an intuition to avoid such superficial relationships, how did I let this one develop? How did I let this one slip through the cracks? Is it a weakness in my foundation? Or, was meeting me a necessity in the development of hers? My hunch is a little of both…

Moving on. The Italian-American takes me to the Beverly Hills farmers market. He collects blood “red” oranges, imported cheeses, cilantro basil pesto and a small purple orchid, which he gives to me. I love orchids. They are exquisite in their feminine delicacy. This one is petite, yet lavish with blossoms. Ten blossoms blushing with pink, speckled with a richer plum. Five more blossoms on the way. For me, her beauty is yet more striking in this realm thirsting for authentic refinement. Quickly, I find myself attached, jumping at her every shimmer and sway…. fussing over her blossoms like a mother fusses over a newborn.

[portfolio_slideshow include=”2265,2264,2263,2262,2271,2272,2274,2280″ size=”medium”]

The Doheny Mansion. He’s right. Only tourists with guide books delight in this peaceful escape. Would be an ideal location for lifestyle photography. Too bad you need a license to shoot anywhere in this city. It seems everything is marked with bureaucratic, bourgeois tape. Basically, anything worth anything has already been pissed on, marked by the dogs, 100 times over. Common grounds for the public? Dream on. The smell of rain-soaked lavender, so refreshing and soothing, softens my edge and lulls me to a calm…

[portfolio_slideshow include=”2282,2283,2284,2285,2286,2287,2288,2289,2290,2291″ size=”medium”]

A hidden trail finally leads up back to where we started, a small Coy pond…

[portfolio_slideshow include=”2298,2297,2296,2295″ size=”medium”]

Next we pass the Beverly Hills witch house. It looks as if it’s straight out of a Brother’s Grimm tale.

Another Beverly Hills oddity… this one a house inspired by Gaudi:

Quickly, we breeze through Santa Monica just after the rains, strolling along the broad boulevard as the sun begins to break through the clouds…

[portfolio_slideshow include=”2300,2301,2302,2303,2304,2305″ size=”medium”]

Venice… Despite six months in this city, this is the first time I’ve explored her charm. Wow… so there is hope. A far cry from so many of the hidden escapes I’ve come to adore, yet finally some true character! Bohemian flair, a few small canals that survived the city-wide larson, eclectic shops, sophisticated galleries. I will have to find a haven here if I shall make it for any length of time in this city. It’s so wonderful to breathe in the salty sea air… always she calls to me, the sea.

[portfolio_slideshow include=”2309,2308,2307″ size=”medium”]

Ducking into the Ritz Carlton, we seek a quick reprieve from the rainy weather and sip a glass of wine before the crackling fire.

[portfolio_slideshow include=”2315,2314,2313,2312″ size=”medium”]

Winding upwards to the tip top of the Pacific Palisades. We pass clearance and an automatic gate lets us into the clifftop mansion, home to the inventor of Sony PlayStation’s Crash Bandicoot. Fine wine. Homemade pizza after homemade pizza spill from the outside oven, barely hitting the granite counter top before we scarf them down. Imported cheeses, truffle oil, a bountiful selection of savory sauces, fig jam… the list of toppings seems endless. I hand toss, hand roll my first ever homemade pizza. Pesto sauce, chunky slices of Parmesan cheese imported from Italy, red onion, gobs of rictotta, drizzle of honey, crushed black pepper all sent to the outdoor oven. We dress the pizza with buffala, balsamic must and top quality olive oil before serving. The general consensus: mmmMMMMM. The pink panther is my friend’s creation. Can’t remember all the ingredients but wine saturated Manchego cheese, dates and fig jam were key ingredients. He has discovered that fig jam is the key to life.

Gelato to finish us off. Pistachio mixed with chocolate my favorite.

Throughout the night, my friend’s stories, impersonations and jokes carried the delightful evening and roused bouts of laughter. He, as well, a refreshing encounter with true character.

With simple ease, he revealed many of LA’s gems…

4 Replies to “Fig Jam: The Key to Life”

  1. Remember, I told you so, Venice Beach or Belmont Shore are the places for you. Each with its distinct appeal. Boy, you’re inspired, it shows in your prose.

  2. I love your writing and especially the way you described that delicious Italian evening, I can’t wait to have one those next. Do not worry, this too shall pass and when you settle into your new home we can celebrate at Locanda Veneta in style.

  3. So happy you had a great night…sounds absolutely delightful for the senses… bed and sleepy insomnia for me… too much laying around today was weird on my busy bee body… but oh so necessary. Besos linda linda lindaaaaaaaaaa – elocuence, fine writing – like fine dining but in words.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *