Monday, April 16, 2012
Good luck, heart & soul
Chinatown in Los Angeles is a good place to spend some time. I painted there on Saturday. I stood outside a store that didn't open until 11; the store had a gong to strike for luck. An older Chinese man helped me set up my easel. I can handle it myself but help was nice. A young man stopped by before I really got started and showed me his sketchbook; it had the most excruciatingly beautiful drawings of books that he wanted to make. I had my picture taken with a man from China, presumably just because I was painting. A woman asked for a restaurant recommendation, and I sent her to Yang Chow. She will never forget me, I think, because it is that good.
There is a piano near where I stood. It is part of the "Play me I'm yours" Los Angeles installation. I was entertained by little kids pounding keys, classical music, classic rock, rockin' boogie woogie, and Heart and Soul about a hundred times. I ran into my sister-in-law; a city of 3.8 million, and only one sister-in-law. I packed up my painting stuff and went shopping for a big straw hat for my kid who's going to Cochella, a messenger bag with a dragon on it, tiger balm, and savory baked pork bao.
I was pretty disappointed with my painting, but it has grown on me. It has kind of a sweet simplicity. So much, perhaps, that someone on facebook thought it was Chinatown of a time longer past. The tall pagoda is Hop Louie, a restaurant. Right out of view is a wishing well where you can choose your fortune with the toss of a coin.