Over Thanksgiving, I booked a quick little getaway to Los Angeles after hearing my cousin was having her biggest art installation to date. Lisa Solberg is a contemporary artist, a former big time skier in Colorado (I watched her perform at the X Games on my 16th birthday), and also a visionary. Her brilliance and her dedication to her work is not only inspiring, but fascinating. Each of her pieces explores a concept. Mister Lee’s Shangri-LA works to strip away the value of money as we know it. There are many more concepts to Lisa’s show. Upon entrance, there’s a message “What can we control but Ourselves?” Her art implores you to think. To reevaluate. If you would like to read more about Mister Lee’s Shangri-La, head here and here.
The above picture is not from Mister Lee’s Shangri-La, but one of my favorites of Lisa taken at a previous show
Our grandmother Tommy also flew out to LA to see Lisa’s show. Neither of us knew what to expect (if you clicked on either link, you realize pole dancing was part of the show)– but we were absolutely blown away. Lisa is one of those people who embodies the meaning of ‘cool’ and walking through her exhibition and getting an explanation on each moving part helped us to understand all the concepts. It all fell together and made sense. And then reiterated Lisa’s brilliance. It was so neat to see her in her element.
We arrived Thursday along with my Aunt Deedee who flew out to drive her son Tommy home for the holidays. We shopped at the Grove, a staple mall that gets decked out for Christmas.
After shopping, we met up with Lisa and Joseph and all dined at Terroni, a fabulous Italian restaurant downtown. The ambiance, food, and wine was amazing.
Lisa’s husband Joseph is an entrepreneur and restaurant owner. We got up Friday and ate at his coffee shop Blacktop where we had the best poached egg on avocado toast accompanied by ‘pretty coffee’… When I say best, I mean best. I could eat it all day every day. Tommy agreed and said it was the best thing she’s ever had for breakfast too…
Then we got a brief tour of Joseph’s office located next door… Getting inside their creative minds was such a treat.
DeeDee and cousin Tommy departed for their trip and while Lisa and Joseph worked, Grandma Tommy and I took an uber out to Venice Beach. The strip was awful (I mean, c’mon people) but I loved seeing the ocean. A lovely woman who overheard us talking recommended we walk over to Abbey Kinney Road. Abbey Kinney is filled with little shops and restaurants and was a breath of fresh air next to the crowded tourism by the beach. We walked in a few stores and finished our afternoon with a lunch at Gjelina.
YOU GUYS. Gjelina. Wow. I discovered my new favorite food: PARSNIPS?! Tommy and I split them and each got a salad. We finished with a delicious date cake with ginger gelato…. I might as well have licked the plate. It was outstanding.
After an eventful afternoon, Tommy and I took cat naps before having a cocktail at a new trendy spot called Zinc. It’s just around the corner from Mama’s Gallery where Lisa was having her show rehearsal. It’s a cafe and market combined with awesome interior and exterior design… I bought an ornament before we sat down ;)
After Zinc, we stopped by the Rehearsal and got all the insight that I described at the beginning of this post. We originally booked our flights with the intention of seeing her show on the 17th, but it got moved to Saturday and we had flights leaving that day. So Lisa gave us a walk through at the Rehearsal.
We ate dinner at Joseph’s restaurant Wurstkuche and enjoyed exotic sausages and great beer. If you’re ever in LA, this is a must-see restaurant. They now have a location open in Denver as well ;) Lisa is a vegetarian, so I can promise you they have vegetarian options! Equally as delicious :)
WHAT A FUN TRIP. So quick. But action packed. Tommy and I left early the next morning but felt we got a ton accomplished in that short window of time. And we had so much fun adventuring together :)
I can’t believe Christmas is just four days away! I’m off to finish shopping and start packing. Have a great Monday!