On a recent quick trip to Los Angeles, I crossed paths with John at Swingers — a modish diner on the bottom floor of the Beverly Laurel Hotel. Sitting at the counter (the wait for tables after midnight is pretty epic), we hit it off over our late-night fried snacks and PBR. (Side note: if you’re out late in Hollywood, there isn’t much that can beat a Swingers stuffed grilled cheese sandwich.) Turned out I was staying in the Rita Hayworth room, and he was in the Lana Turner room, and… well, let’s just say it wasn’t much of a coincidence that we ran into each other in the morning.
Armed with fresh coffee from downstairs, John and his stylish ensemble represented what I think is one of California’s fashion bests: the perfect balance between scenesterdom and casual Friday. His jeans and belt came from the Levi’s store, his shirt from a thrift store in LA, his hoodie from H&M, and — the real clincher of an already irresistible outfit — the saddle shoes came from none other than Oakland’s Pretty Penny. Leaning on the railing of the Beverly Laurel, John summed up exactly what I love about urban life on the West Coast.