Monday, February 11, 2008


I Really REALLY like LA...

(Or at least Santa Monica :)...)

This might be a long post...but I promise to use lots of pictures so the flow stays quick.

I had a job for Acura on Friday which shot in Venice.
I had to fly to LA the night before, and after a long
US Airways flight, we finally arrived.

My great friend Bueller from Bueller's Kitchen
was so cool and picked me up at the airport and
brought Juliano's! What a way to start my time here...

I had their Thai soup, the curry noodles,
and the raviolis. All were delicious.
Ive heard alot of people trash on Juliano's saying
that the food is too transitional or something like that.

Hmm...well....if you dont want transitional food,
order a friggin' salad and stop complaining!
Yeesh! cant please everyone I guess.
Focus on the POSITIVE things people! Jeez...humans!

I loved the curry noodles...and its something we can make at home too.
Take a zuchinni, put a carrot peeler to it and make wide noodles
that look like egg noodles. Put them in a dish with olive oil,
SEA salt, and curry powder...maybe a little honey.
Add some raisins if you'd like...experiment a bit. Lots of options.


I went to the hotel gym at 1:30am...did some arm exercises, then went to bed.
I woke up at 5:30, then did some more chest exercises.
Only took 15 minutes. I dont do the gym here in NYC anymore,
so I try to take advantage while I have it on hand.

I had to be on at the shoot in Venice by 7:45 so I took the cab at 7am.
After only a 10 min ride, I was there. Oh well...early is better than later.
When you read books and have an ipod on hand,
dealing with excess time becomes a non-issue.

However...something was calling me.
I wondered down a back street off of Lincoln Blvd,
and found paradise. I just gravitated to it.

In the warm California sun, I found a beautiful
orange tree, wild greens EVERYWHERE,
and the cherry on top of the raw cake...
WILD Aloe Vera. A massive one.
One that no one has touched probably ever.

While everyone on the shoot was eating eggs and sausage
with potatoes and who knows what else...
Im sitting in the side street eating oranges, greens, and aloe vera.
All unwashed...but I somehow made it through.

They asked me if I was ok with the catering at the photoshoot,
knowing that I'm raw and possibly a little picky.
I said "Don't worry, Ive been chomping on weeds out in the alley."
They all laughed, thinking that I was joking. I laughed harder to myself.

I didnt even peel the aloe vera. Just chomped on the whole leaf.
After that meal...I felt amazing. Very happy and alert. Vibrant.

The shoot was great. I only had to work from 10am till 1pm,
and then I was let loose onto the streets of Venice.
I headed directly for the beach (after picking a ton of wild greens and alot more aloe).

Dont worry, I picked the aloe from the bottom, and left most of it untouched.
This plant was very huge though, so I was able to load up.

I walked west to the beach, then directly north to Santa Monica.

The weather was soooo good, and I kept asking myself:
"Why the hell do I continue to live in NY?"

So cold and dirty and grey...full of so many unnatural things.
Sorry to seem negative, but really...there is a vast
difference in the feel of these two very different areas.

I headed up Strand Street off the beach, and POW!
There is was...Euphoria.

And better yet, there was a
Community Garden right there as well!

Again...why do I live in NY?

Euphoria is a great bright and happy.

I had the coco-phoria and the jalapeno poppers...

then finished it up with some blueberry cake.
(It was pretty good...the pic doesn't do it justice really.)

I basically live on green smoothies, so I have to indulge
while I can. Everything was wonderful,
but honestly, I enjoyed my breakfast of wild aloe and
oranges in the Venice side street 10000x more.

Call me crazy...but there is just something so much more pure about it.
I felt so connected to that breakfast...just picking it right away and placing
it into my mouth. No transitional foods...just pure goodness.

I walked around the community garden a bit, then headed to the beach to
listen to the water and do some deep breathing. I dug myself a
little spot to sit and just marveled at how beautiful it all is.

People that talk trash about LA need to stop hanging out with negative
people and just get over to Santa Monica.

I breathed in that fresh salty air that I love so much,
and even did some sun-gazing.

It was all really great.
I was going to read while I was sitting there, but I figured
that I can read on the stinking plane...
why not be in the present moment on the beach while I have it??

My new friend Joyce picked me up after sunset,
took me to another LA gem called Leaf!

I had a Mediterranean Wrap with Collard Leaves,
and it was great.


We talked about being with a partner who isnt raw,
raising raw kids, permaculture and composting, relationships...
why are raw foodists such good conversationalists???
Shared interests I suppose....

I enjoyed every minute of my stay here, and I urge all of you
LA folks to really sit back and realize how good you have it.
Sure, there is traffic, fantastically plastic people,
and the whole hob-nobbing scene...
but just focus on the good stuff and
you'll realize just how lucky you all are.
I just had dinner at Pure with a good friend from LA
(HE LOVED the food at Pure...never had anything like it before...)
and he said that the human disconnect is so strong in LA.
I can totally see where he is coming from...but isnt it
up to us to create good communities, especially
with the online resources we have these days?

Have a nice sit on the beach for me and take in the fresh air for the rest of
us stuck in the concrete jungles. Im hacking away at my shackles as I type this...



Seema said...

I agree- if you have the right attitude and are happy and are surrounded with a positive community then you will be in a good spot wherever you are, but I got to say Cali Sunshine is mighty amazing. I look forward to returning back to my home state, drinking fresh fruit juice, soaking in the sun like a chameleon, do some cartwheels and just play in the warm space that is rare in NYC. Thank you for sharing.

Linda Salas said...

I totally get what you mean, Venisce Beach is one of my favorite places on earth, I´m planning to be there again next month, first time raw, so I just know I will enjoy it even more! This was a great read for me, an loved that it was all illustrated too!


prinsesskat said...

you should go to Norway.

stephanie said...

What can i say everything you said is right on...
i recently moved here to LA from the west coast, and everyday i remind myself how lucky I am to have this opportunity....I feel sooo appreciative...everyday is a new experience that i love experiencing and exploring....for the first time in my life i have a big organic abundant garden complete with citrus trees, avocado trees, all sorts of greens and melons, even tonss of aloe! Which i am actually looking into right now, do you know if all varieties are equally medicinal? for instance like the large leaf variety we buy in health food stores?
These past few days have been so sunny and bright and warm..actually kind of hot!! I love this weather! You came at a great time..unfortunetly I totally must of just missed you at Euphoria...i was there at 4pm for their anniversary was a good time and I got to meet some other rawfood friends from giveittomeraw!! well even though you had a quick time here you def seemed to of made the most out of it! Next time youll have to try CRU if you havent been before, its another raw rest. right near my house, small and quaint....I've written a book here, i think its time to go,
goodnight Anthony

Anisha said...

Loved this post! I have been a bit behind due to traveling, but I plan on catching up. (=

The smell of salty air by the ocean, I love that smell.

Question: So when you eat aloe vera straight from the plant, did you at first have to get use to the taste? Or did you use the liquid from bottles?


Gala said...

Ah, I love your blog so much! Especially the story about chomping on weeds... haha. You're right when you say Californians have it good. I would go nuts for a raw restaurant here in Melbourne, Australia! How is the raw scene in NYC? That's where I'm going to be next :>

wyldegirl said...

welcome back to the cold. . .i went for a run in the frozen windchill yesterday and had to keep reminding myself that it was ENERGIZING!! brrr. the winter i spent in LA flashes back with your photos and posts. . . i thought the same thing when i was there. . . WHY do i live on the east coast?!?! and i wasn't even raw then. . .

i adore santa monica. . . and culver city had the most lovely farmer's market. . . and it felt light and chill. . . and the beach was beautiful. . . the aloe plants everywhere were perfect- i love that you were munching on them- i wish i had some now to throw into the green juices i've been adoring lately!

warmth, good conversations, delicious food. . .i'm so glad you savored every minute of your weekend.
i have a friend in san fran who wants me to come visit. . . my fingers keep hovering over the "buy tickets now" button. . .

xx jenny

yardsnacker said...

I don't know where to start, somewhere between joy for you and jealousy for me lol.
I agree with the food police, people just need to embrace healthier lifestyles and leave the judging at home.

California is a calling!

Craig said...

Gotta say, Anthony,
Your message can be applied to ANY city. I love it. Just focus on what's around, here in Toronto, people can sometimes talk about the same sort of thing as NY, grey, drab, void of naturality. But where ever you are in the city, you're no more than 15 minutes from gorgeous green space, and serine winter wonderlands.
Glad to hear you had a great time!
Peace and Blessings!

Michelle J said...

Anthony, i love the fact that you can find a meal as simple as finding a tree and some bushes!! It's totally amazing to me!! So, for lunch on friday, lets discover some new trees and maybe a bush or two!!! :O)

KristinGoneRaw said...

Thanks so much for this post and all the pictures. I feel so refreshed after just reading it. And I've made one of the beach pictures by desktop background at work... Ahhhhh!

Hugh said...

Seems like I'm a couple of steps behind you, I'm in Hong Kong right now and in LA next week. Cheers for doing the recon on the raw lifestyle for me!

I'm so looking forward to Julianos.

Ariel Rubin said...

Thank you so much for being the model that eats weeds sitting in a side alley! That is one of the funniest scene descriptions I have heard in a long time. Here's to being in the moment, enjoying exactly where we are and finding that thing in every environment that makes it special and connects us to nature. You're an inspiration Anthony!

Bella said...

I'm here to represent for the East Coast love! What's with all the jealousy for Anthony spending time on the west coast?!? It IS a great place to visit, but I for one wouldn't trade the insanely beautiful four seasons we get in the northeast. I lived for a short time on the west coast, and although it was lovely, there is something enlivening about visually seeing the year turn, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. The blustery, and sometimes frigid winters help you to appreciate every little beautiful sprout and sprig of the spring coming to life! And the autumn can make you introspective and take stock of where you are going while you watch all the plants and trees change and go into hibernation. It's fantastic!

Just thought I'd point out some of what's to love, because I know it's pretty damn cold right now! xoxo!


Rebekah said...

Im SO jealous!

- From to Concrete Jungle on Dallas!

Anonymous said...

Hey Anthony,

Looks like you had a great time in L.A.! You lucked out, the last week or so was just gorgeous (lots of sun), before that it had been pretty rainy!

I thought you might enjoy reading this...(it's about how Deer Monastery, headed by Thich Nhat Hanh, has gone "green.") Enjoy! :)


Astroboylany said...

As a transplanted NYCer living in LA, you made me appreciate my new home city even more. We are blessed with sun and raw foods growing on our streets.

california girl said...

LOVE the image of you munching on weeds pre-shoot!! I have been (off and on) in the apparel industry and worked on some shoots. A cool, chill model makes all the difference so I'm sure people REALLY appreciate you. Yes, much to love in Cali- sometimes I am put off by the attitude but I just try to stick to the amazing environs and appreciate what's around me. I always connect with a similar mind set. That said, I do appreciate visiting places where there are true seasons. It's a refreshing change. Glad you got to experience the REAL California!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you enjoyed CA :) I love Juliano's. I know that their foods are generally very heavy and "transitional," but every now and then it's nice to have a treat! You made me crave the beach...I'll be heading out there in your honor on saturday!
Happy travels Raw Model. Acura, huh? Nice.

- Kyle

Anne said...

you hit up all the good spots =), yay for la!

Saralise (Sarah) said...

I love LA too, that's why I live here! ;)

We are very fortunate to have such incredible awareness here in LA.

I just moved into an Artist's loft downtown, and we need a RAW restaurant here!!!!!!


Hope your trip back to the city is relaxing~

Catch up with me at Agape on Sundays~

aka The Krystal Mermaid

debbiedoesraw said...

Anthony, Come on, just move here! There's plenty of modeling jobs...maybe start your own raw food or? biz...
Cali is calling you...

Dita said...

I love that you foraged for food. I'm on set almost every week and I bring my own organic fruits, salads and raw treats because I know craft service isn't going to have anything nutritious for me. I get a lot of stares but it's a great way to share the raw good news with people. Next time I'm in a bind though I will have to try the local weeds! I never thought of that. oh and you should definitely make the treck to Orange county for Au Lac and 118 next time you're in LA. So good.