Saturday, 13 August 2011
more from the hills
I said I'd comment further on one of our visits during our time in Los Angeles.
We were staying in Hollywood and Vine, with the sidewalk stars literally going past our well-appointed and somewhat hip apartment.
I realised we were close to where Naomi of the Sittin in the Hills blog lives, but didn't know for sure.
Then I received an email from her - would we care to drop round for a while? After all we were 6000 miles closer than usual!
When we checked the address, we realised it was only a few blocks from where we were staying, in the hilly part north of Hollywood Boulevard.
The time duly arrived and we found her home, easily identified by the splendid cactus collection which extended out onto the sidewalk.
We parked our 'small' SUV on the drive and rang the bell...
Naomi answered the door, engrossed in a phone call. We saw ourselves in and waited for her to finish the call.
Then big hugs.
Like with so many bloggers,there was that strange 'knowing one another' experience, although we'd never actually met before.
And then we talked!
And it was all delightful.
As anyone who reads Naomi's blog will know, Naomi leads such an interesting life.
She's also had a 'big' birthday recently, which has been well described in her own blog, and there were still signs of the festivities around the house. A big balloon, some remaining decoration and cards. It was like stepping into part of Naomi's story.
But I haven't mentioned where Naomi lives. It's breathtaking. Naomi publishes her own pictures from time to time, but I can only say the the impact of being there is even more amazing.
Her balcony looks out onto pretty much the whole of Los Angeles.
All the way from downtown on the left, with Hollywood in the middle and right across to Century City on the right. Its like being in the middle of a vast and busy landscape with Naomi's home right at the heart.
Oh and if that's not enough, there's the hills in the foreground and the Pacific Ocean glittering in the background.
Naomi explained that she'd looked at a lot of places when seeking the right home and that when she finally found it she knew it was right.
And its clear when Naomi writes on so many subjects that there's so much inspiration around. From the vista, from the closer hillsides and the adjacent canyon with its walking trails, from the wildlife of everything from hunting birds to hummingbirds.
And that's just outside.
Inside there's all kinds of evidence from Naomi's rich sources of friendship and living. Naomi started out in New York and moved to the West Coast where she helped start Theater West. There could be many tales from that alone.
But additionally Naomi has written music, painted, sung on records and created art quality photographs. All of this is represented in the numerous pictures, books, and decor of the interior.
We chatted for hours, what we were each doing and covered films, theatre, travel, work, politics interspersed with Naomi's hospitality which included some delightful cookies she'd obtained from a marvellous baker somewhere nearby.
We took some pictures too, which required us to get to grips with the self timers on our respective cameras (no mean feat) but I'll let Naomi select any of those pictures suitable for publication...
The time just flew by.
Naomi had another visitor due in the early evening and we wanted to give her time to 'reset' from our visit, but even as we were leaving she was showing us around the garden and giving us suggestions for additional places to visit around Santa Barbara.
For us it was a superb and most enjoyable visit more like meeting an existing friend than making a new one. I guess that's part the power of the blogging relationships.
But it's mainly the joy of knowing someone as wonderful as Naomi.