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My Favorite Weekend: Catherine Opie

From nightlife to kid stuff, loving all of L.A.'s charms

March 04, 2004|Robin Rauzi

Fine art photographer Catherine Opie is best known for her landscapes, including a series on L.A. freeways and a recent set of surfing seascapes. Her own work is in the permanent collections of MOCA and LACMA, and she curated the Robert Mapplethorpe retrospective currently on view at Marc Selwyn Fine Arts gallery. Opie and her partner, painter Julie Burleigh, live in the historic West Adams district with their son, Oliver.

Dinner and a show

Friday night for dinner, I'd go to Cafe Stella in Silver Lake. It's a great restaurant with wonderful atmosphere and an excellent wine list. It's a very comfortable place to sit and actually hear each other while you're having dinner. The pork roast is fantastic, and the pecan-encrusted goat cheese salad is too.

If I wanted to go for the other kind of funky L.A., I always like going to the Dresden Room once in a while or Taix, the French restaurant on Sunset. Then I'd go to Vaginal Cream Davis' club -- whatever she's running now. She'll probably have some wacky performance going on, maybe Ron Athey, and a big group of queer people. If I'm out really late I go for breakfast at Fred 62, which is open 24 hours.

Taking the air

Saturday morning Julie and I go for a walk in Griffith Park with the dog and our kid, Oliver, who's not quite 2 yet. I usually do the trail above the Greek Theatre. I love the sense of space, that you're up above the city, looking down on it. You get a very good sense of seasons by walking in the park on a regular basis; summer nights are very different from winter mornings. It makes you in touch with Los Angeles in this really great way.

With the baby, we also go do the pony rides and the train in Griffith Park, which are fantastic. There's a wonderful kids' park called Shane's Inspiration, which is for handicapped children. It's great. We've been there when busloads of kids with disabilities come to have a picnic.

The art scene

If there are art openings on Saturday night, we dash around. Fun openings always happen in Chinatown and the Wilshire galleries -- there are several galleries in those places, so lots of activity. If there weren't art openings, we'd probably go see a movie. We prefer going to ArcLight, with the hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.

Flora and fauna

Sunday is the Hollywood Farmers Market. Julie is quite the gardener, so she peruses the plants while I gather the lettuce. We go to get organic produce and support local farmers, but it's also about the scene. You get the nice tamales from Corn Maiden, you sit down. Most Sundays it's beautiful weather for some reason, so it's nice to go and just poke around.

In the afternoon, Oliver really likes the Natural History Museum. They have a really fantastic discovery room for kids and a good insect museum for kids. He's still a little young for the Science Center, but he also loves the Huntington Gardens.

Sunday night we're at home, cooking, having friends over and watching HBO -- "Sex and the City" or "Six Feet Under" or something like that.

-- Robin Rauzi

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