While Dung was heading to a vintage prefab house designed by Walter Gropius in the Hollywood Hills where he was weekending with some friends, I took the shuttle to the Hertz rental.
And here is my insider tip to LA: do not rent a car!
Traffic is insane, and car rental is expensive. Do you want to be stuck for hours with no other distraction than scanning through 50 Spanish radios on the FM band? Rent a bike instead. But get a GPS from Hertz. Yes, just the GPS, but not the car.
Once settled in my beach motel, I stroll down Venice to rent one of those cruise bikes.
Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the most tattooed guy will give you the best deal. Try different ones, and ask for their weekend packages. Some offers a surfboard on a trailer behind for another 5 bucks. Not to be missed.
Don’t even consider mountain bikes, go for the cruise: you ‘re almost on your back like in a dentist seat, and when you pedal, your knees climb higher than your chin which is very relaxing, on flat grounds at least.
I had not realized that there are some slight uphill inclines from the beach to the Geffen Contemporary, where the LA Art Book Fair is, and somehow these cruisers are heavier than you would think, and well, they have big tires too. I was missing the pencil-width wheels on my Brooklyn fixed gear when, with night falling, the GPS started repeating the good news of “approaching destination.”.
I had never been to the Geffen, but I was surprised they could fit a whole Art Book Fair in a tiny house, although it was endless rows of houses of a similar architecture, while each ones customized. It was not impossible than the Fair would spread in several pavilions, and knowing AA Bronson, the artist and founder of General Idea and organizer of the book fair event, you just assume that some unusual and challenging concept might be take place.
Knocking with high anticipation at the first door, it was not long after that I was pedaling away at maximum speed, closely followed by 2 enraged pit bulls. It turns out that I added an extra zero to the address on my GPS, and ended up in South Central LA.
It was late when I finally made to the Geffen, after circling the block several times in search of a safe parking spot for my bike.
I ran into the fair, hoping for some sandwiches and a glass of Champagne as I was starving from the intense exercise..
Spotting AA, I asked him where the buffet was, (promising to go straight to the art books and zones after eating), but it was closing time, and all he could do was to recommend a sushi restaurant in nearby Little Tokyo, “Better than in Japan,” he added.
A limited edition signed print of this snapshot of AA and me can be purchased from Bookmarc LA