Santa Monica Place, just opened this past August

You know, it’s just a 2 hour drive to LA and an additional 20 minutes to Santa Monica, from the desert, so when you’re in the mood for the excitement of the city or the refreshment of being on the beach, just hop in your car! Hopefully you won’t encounter any traffic on the way.

I just decided on a whim to check out the new shopping mall in Santa Monica called Santa Monica Place located on Colorado at 4th St. It has one of my favorite stores, Bloomingdales, along with many upscale boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Burbury and Coach as well as unusual boutiques such as AllSaints Spitalfields, a very hip London clothing store, and Bird Pick, a great place to explore and buy gourment teas and utensils for making the best tea.

AllSaints Spitalfields has hip fashions from London

After I did a bit of shopping, I rushed over to downtown LA to go to the new Grammy Museum, which is really worth a look, if you love music.  There is quite the tribute to John Lennon there, and many interesting momentos from rock greats such as Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin, and many, many others from other genres such as Jazz, Latin Music, and more.

Janis Joplin's colorful Porsche

I noticed all the parking lot attendants hawking special parking rates for an event, so I asked what the event was. LO and BEHOLD, it was a concert by Roger Waters of Pink Floyd!  Well, well, I got to thinking I just might want to see that concert.

But first I wanted to check out the sexy new building of the Ritz Carleton & JW Marriott, since I am a fan of fantastic architecture, which is one of the reasons I travelled all the way to Dubai and Shanghai.  So I explored their lobbies and took an elevator to the bar and restaurant on the 24th floor of the Ritz Carleton, where I sat down and took in a glorious view of the City of Angels.  While nibbling on my Peking Duck wraps and sipping on a glass of a South African Sauvignon Blanc, I also people-watched and over heard some of their conversations.  They were all going to the Roger Waters concert!  I decided to definitely go to the concert myself as well. 

So after paying my bill, I hustled out down to the Staples Center and immediately found someone who was selling a ticket for $50, although the face value on the ticket was $75 plus $12 processing fee, so I made out pretty well, and rushed in to find my seat which had an excellent view.

Staples Center in downtown LA

The Roger Waters concert was awesome, and was really quite the experience, due to the impressive multimedia presentation and crowd participation, not to mention the bold political statements.  It was a joyous event and I’m so glad I got to participate.

The area around the Staples Center is becoming like Times Square, full of huge video billboards and surrounded by glitzy hotels, restaurants and boutiques and is now quite the destination.  There are still the older hotels, such as the Moroccan-themed Hotel Figueroa and old nostalgic cafes, too, to add extra flavor and character to the area.

After the show, I went to my car, and drove back home to the desert  in two hours.  It was a great day and night in LA.  And it’s always nice to get back home to the beautiful desert!