Day 1: 4 December
- My plane landed at about 12 midnight. I got my bags relativelyquickly, and then headed to the car rental shuttle area. After 20 minutes of waiting, the Dollar Rent-A-Car shuttle finally arrived and took me to car rental joint.
- Had drama with the car people. Basically, I rented an economy car and they only had minivans available. I felt like I was in Seinfeld..."You can take the reservation, but you can't keep the reservation..." After a lot of talking, I ended up with a convertible (a Chrysler Sebring). I got it for the same price as the economy!
- Drove to my friend Karen's house and slept. Can I just say, it was freezing in Los Angeles that night! As in 30 degrees in the living room! Colder than in NYC (but the weather got better the next day). I woke up at 8:30 am PST.
- Had lunch with my friends Steven and Brian from high school. We chilled over dim-sum (amazing dim-sum!) and talked shit about other peepz we went to school with. Hee-hee.
Brian, Me, and Steven
- Went out to dinner at Buca di Peppo with Karen, Babs, Eric (Karen's cousin who I went to junior high with as well), and her friends Pam and Richard.
Group dinner pic
- Went out to Lounge 217 in Santa Monica. Had an excellent time. Incidentally, bars/lounges in L.A. close at about 2 am!
Chilling at the Club
Day 2: 5 December
- Woke up early and got ready to go. Had a coffee "date" with my old high school teacher Mr. Carnovsky and his wife at their home.
- Showed up at 10:30 am and stayed for about an hour or so. I forgot to bring my camera! So I didn't have any pictures of my reunion with my old teacher. He was the best! I haven't seen him since my highschool graduation in June 1995. He, his wife, and I chatted about life, books, travel, etc. They had a menagerie of pets as well: 2 cats and 4 dogs. They had an amazing house with a beautiful garden. Too bad it was raining because they would've served coffee outside. All in all, it was great to catch-up with Mr. C.
- Went to lunch with Karen, her mom, her sis, and her sis' boyfriend.
- Watched 'National Treasure' with Karen.
- Got home, stayed with Bubbles (their dog) while Karen and Babs went to a wake.
- Went out to dinner and had the best damn pho ever.
Day 3: 6 December
- While Karen and Babs went to work, I went to visit my old high school, Pilgrim. Pilgrim School is a non-denominational college prep school from Kindergarten to 12th grade. It is very small; my graduating class in 1995 was only 19 students. I graduated 7th out of 19. Needless to say, I was not in the top 10! Hahaha...
Entrance of Pilgrim School
Pilgrim in all it's glory
- I went to my old art classroom and chatted with my old art teacher, Ms. Porter. She was the coolest teacher ever. In high school, she'd let me do my own projects and often gave us free reign over the art supplies. When I was a senior, she'd even let me and the other art kids (like my friends Steven and Alex) leave early. She spoke her mind, was anti-establishment, and gave us a lot of freedom. Ms. Porter looks exactly the same as she did when I was in high school (sans the long, flowy hair).
Ms. Porter and my art room
Ms. P and Me
- I also had a brief chat with Dr. Moon, formerly my AP English teacher who is now the headmaster of the school. He looks the same as well.
- Afterwards, I went to the Beverly Center for a little shopping. Beverly Center is near Beverly Hills. My first job ever was at Eddie Bauer in the Beverly Center while I was a senior. I have not been to this mall since 1995 either. It looks the same but with different stores. The Eddie Bauer there has since closed.
- On my way to the Beverly Center, I passed by my old street. We used to live on Hobart off Third Street. Looks the same!
Third and Hobart
- I also hit Melrose Avenue, a shopping area I used to chill at back in the day. The area used to feature cool, cutting-edge stores and tons of thrift-shops. They still have similar stores but it's no longer cutting-edge. Here's a store that survived from my high school days:
- Got home, had dinner at a Filipino joint with Karen and Babs. Had chicharron bulaklak --ye gods, my arteries!
- Then we got ready to see a show at the Knitting Factory.
- Saw a bunch of bands at the Knitting Factory and walked around Hollywood Blvd.
David Bowie's Star on Hollywood Blvd.
- Afterwards, we had dessert at IHOP.
Day 4: 7 December
- Time to go home! I landed in JFK at 7 pm. Home sweet home.
Thanks Karen and Babs for letting me crash with you!
Karen and Bubbles