Los Angeles – My Soul City: A travel diary penned by actor Sonam Kapoor
Books have always besotted me; from a very young age, I have been known as the bookworm of the family.
Stories, anecdotes and poetry were consumed at a swift and rapid pace.
And as I leafed through pages, I wandered across the globe walking in the shoes of literary characters, living out their lives and seeing the world through their lens.
Needless to say, libraries felt like home.
The name of the place was chosen with irony but now seems more appropriate as e-books and digital copies flood the scene.
This iconic and quaint bookstore, branded one of the ‘20 Most Beautiful Bookstores in the World’, is a haven for book lovers like me.
As Anand and I strolled under tunnels built from books at one of LA’s most Instagram-ed locations, encountered flying books, explored hidden side rooms and inhaled the ink-filled musty aroma
of vintage books, a wave of nostalgia hit me.
The usual situation then played out – I wanted to buy all the books, and had to be pulled away from the place with just a few select ones in tow!
Providentially, The Last Bookstore is not the only place in LA to house stories and create memories.
Anand lived out his Batman fantasy by riding a Batmobile through the virtual world of Gotham when we visited Warner Bros.
Studio Tour Hollywood – the look on his face was priceless!
I had my fan-girl moment too, as I rode the Harry Potter’s Quidditch broomstick and soared through the skies above Hogwarts.
A Gryfinndor at heart, should we ever have a game of Quidditch, I am quite positive my side would win!
The cherry on the cake, however, was sharing coffee, conversation and laughter with Anand and our dear friend Vidya Vox on the F.R.I.E.N.D.S couch.
Countless hours spent binge watching Joey, Phoebe, Monica, Chandler, Rachel and Ross all culminated to this moment. How YOU doin’, Anand?
Our tryst with coffee did not end on the Central Perk couch as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art had a stunning exhibition called ‘Coffee, Tea and Chocolate’.
Initially considered the height of sophistication by the aristocratic elite, these caffeine-laced beverages inspired craftsman and artists over the ages to create beautiful wares which were on display.
We were left mesmerised as we took in other treats including the Rauschenberg exhibit and the famous neon installation lighting to the Renaissance Art Mosaic.
With gratified souls, we headed to Chef Esdras Ochoa’s Salazar to fill our bellies as well.
Tacos, quesadillas and tortillas accompanied a Mexican barbeque with smoky beans and vegetable side dishes – the finger-licking, healthy food coupled with just the right ambience on a colourful and expansive patio was the ideal formula for a memorable afternoon.
With its treasure chest of unique, harmonious flavours, this diner has rightfully carved a niche for itself amongst the multitude of Mexican restaurants dotting LA.
The only experience that could possibly make our trip even more epic would be watching a Los Angeles Lakers game (Anand has GOT to be their biggest fan!) at the Staples Centre and bumping into one of my favourite television personalities, Mindy Kaling, there. Both materialised!
If my life were a book, our trip to Los Angeles would probably be under the chapter, Dreams Do Come True.
Without doubt, this is one dream that I would want to live over and over again.
(Penned by Sonam Kapoor)