There are plenty of cities I would like to visit again but LA is so accessible
My name: Rachel Wolfe
My City: Los Angeles
Profession: Visual & performing artist, designer, writer, photographer
Why visit L.A: To learn the sensation the earth inspires in the culture
Rachel Wolfe is an American artists working with themes of water, movement, and architecture. Her journeys are guided by artistic research and have taken her to places such as Japan, Norway, small villages in Italy, and swimming with whale sharks of the coast of Isla Mujeres, Mexico. She draws visual influences from Art Nouveau and Modern Japanese Ceramics, in her mixed media artist work. The Print Atelier in Montreal, Quebec, Canada represents her works.
Where do you live?I currently live in Oslo, Norway.
Where I grew up:I grew up between Byron and Oregon, Illinois. These are two small farming communities in the Rock River Valley.
Why L.A?:The only city I continue to visit, sometimes live in, over and over is Los Angeles. It seems to be a point of orientation. There are plenty of cities I would like to visit again but LA is so accessible. And friends. The place everyone from anywhere I’ve been, we have met in LA.
My first memory: Visiting LA my first time was with my friend. We stayed with her family, walked and took all the public transportation to see the art. It was in LA I learned the sensation of everything being possible and nothing mattering at the same time. Quite an existential experience.
My favourite place to eat:Food is a funny thing in LA because there is everything available and affordable. I love takeout from Thai Vegan in Santa Monica because it’s fresh, delicious, and never a long wait. www.thaivegansantamonica.com2400 Main St. Santa Monica, CA 90405
What do you eat there? Green Tofu Vegetable Curry
Meet the locals:I always go to Urth Café with my friends and to meet new people. It’s in walking distance to the beach, and has delicious coffees and matchas lattes.
My favorite bar: Going out for drinks isn’t something I ever do much of in LA as I was often always working. There are so many gallery events and opportunities to gather friends at eachothers’ places. The pre-and-after parties are often most fun in the backyard or patio.
Best for a date? An art museum like LACMA, a hike on Los Liones Trail, or the Jurassic Museum of Technology for the really adventurous.
My secret place:A walk at night. People who know me well, are bored by the excitement I return from a nightly walk on. Consequently I sleep better traversing part of the space most people are sleeping in with a walk. Most of these walks I encounter animals, and experience the greatest sense of safety. The things people have told me are most dangerous have turned out to be safe. And the places that were supposed to be safe turned out to be most dangerous.
My best advice: Get any driving done in LA during the morning or before 2pm and have plenty of music on hand.
My favorite shop: Fran’s Closet as my roommate called the Salvation Army. LA has amazing thrift store shopping. Brand new designs are common finds and it always fits well.
My favourite Event:Earth Wind and Fire at the Hollywood Bowl. I rode on the back of a moped to and from the event with a friend, and had a fantastic time singing, dancing, and talking over delicious picnic.
Taxi or other local transport? I have a taxi cab driver recommended to me by a friend. I like to call him direct. Uber was something I used for an employer would only reimburse the price of Uber. People seem to like Uber a lot, but I would rather stand for people to earn a liveable wage.
Need to know? People are late not that often for traffic but for finding parking.
Why do you travel? Research. The places I travel are often guided by inquiry to find out how people work there, what’s really going on versus the way things are portrayed in the news or the quality of life indices. I am also interested in studying the phenomenological materials there, such as the ways I can access various aspects of temporality, and time, as a confluence of future projections based on the past.
How to find places to eat? I ask a local or trust my instincts. I’m quite practical. I find a market and do most of my own shopping. Foodborne illness can ruin a trip, and I do not like to make that risk often
What are your travel essentials? Bose noise cancelling headphones, a physical book, knitting project, warm water, and herbs from the Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner.
Favorite city for nightlife? LA has a warm climate and relaxed people make going out feel natural.
Most adventurous experience? Either taking on climbing Kyrkja in Norway without any mountain hiking experience or running up various mountainsides in Matsuyama city, in Ehime Prefecture, on the Japanese island of Shikoku.
What do you need for a perfect holiday? Ease to do whatever I feel like doing with accessibility by foot, good markets, clean accommodations. If I have to do any driving or getting around, that the transportation be low stress. The definition of holiday alludes me a bit, as I still must read and photograph which is largely tied to my book. I suppose a holiday is going someplace now without a deadline.
Your worst travel experience? Visiting Venice, Italy. Staying in a hotel where the room ended up being decorated like the interior of a coffin, finding bed bugs, and then winding up with some kind of food poisoning in the span of three days. My physical experiences were terrible but the photographs I made turned out well.
Your best travel experience? Matsuyama-shi, Ehime prefecture, Japan. I travelled on the premise of a book project and social psychology study. The social structure in Japan being much different than the modernistic standards in Chicago, or postmodern in LA.
Where next: Germany, Croatia, Svalbard, Peru. I never know exactly how or when the travel will arrive, but I often gain the sense of where is next weeks or years in advance.
Visit Rachel Wolfe Studio