Diamond Life: Sun and sex in LA

2012-02-11 20:24

City Press’ Mokgadi Seabi returns to Los Angeles for the Grammys and finds sun, sex and “strokes”.

LA and I are kindred spirits. We’re fun – and like having it, we’re perpetually sunny and we sleep late – or never.

I arrived on a balmy Tuesday afternoon and got a little bit worried because yours truly had packed for “summer weather” even though it was officially winter in Los Angeles.

The first day was spent readjusting my body clock to the local clock after leaving Dubai eight hours before and arriving in the US city of fun. A quick dinner at a sushi spot on Sunset Boulevard called Sushiya and a window-shopping moment took care of my night.

The next morning, I picked up the pace, getting up bright and early for a jog along the famous Sunset strip, past the biggest Hustler Shop I’ve ever seen. It even comes with a coffee shop and a books and magazines section.

The day officially kicked off with a limo ride to the University of Southern California where there was a Grammy Training Camp. I found Channel O and Vuzu presenter Dineo Moeketsi ready and waiting – with perfect make-up on, I might add – to shoot for her shows. The event was hosted to encourage people to be interested in music careers. Honestly, as if they need to do that ...

There were various seminars chaired by industry professionals like Janet Jackson’s producer, Jimmy Jam, who talked about what it takes to make it. He told the young audience to always be ready for their big break. They should carry demos or be able to produce a sample of their work at any given time – even if it’s to sing on the spot.

Songwriter Eman, who contributed to Rihanna’s Grammy-nominated album Loud, said the one lesson he’d learnt was to take rejection. He told the youngsters to not give up until they get their break because the rejection builds their career up for the quality standards in the business.

By midday, I was ready to see the rest of the town, starting with a little stroll down The Strip to look for a lunch spot.

We found the perfect place to eat on Santa Monica Boulevard, called Kitchen 24, which I discovered had only been open for business for three days. New or not, the food was delicious.

Before I knew it, it was time to head back to our fabulous and fancy apartment hotel, Le Montrose, to get ready for the night life.

This started off with drinks at a hotel I stayed in when I was in LA for the BET awards. The SLS hotel has one of the best eating and drinking spots in town called The Bazaar. Everyone there is a “stroke”, as in waitress-stroke-writer, bartender-stroke-actor, singer-stroke-producer. And they’re also very, very beautiful.

As someone put it, all the beautiful people in America leave their small towns to chase the fame dream in Hollywood, only to find that they’re not the only beautiful person in town, hence the “stroke”.

After the Bazaar, we went to the popular Bar Marmont but along the way, we stopped at a 24-hour adult shop called The Pleasure Chest. Usually I would have been cringing and dodging my way into the place but this place looked like an elegant coffee shop.

Even more interesting was that there was a room full of people listening to an expert lecturing on oral sex. And trust me, they were all concentrating like they were about to write an exam!

At Bar Marmont, with its beautiful interior that resembles a Parisian bordello, I expected to see a celebrity or two.

But I later realised that as much as I wanted to stay up and do everything, I’d need to sleep so I could do more the next day.

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