On the second day I woke up late, slightly jetlagged (like I usually woke up earlier). Catch up with Gary, get to the restaurant of the standard hotel, exchange a few text messages with Estevan Oriol, wait for him to arrive to order our lunch. Estevan arrives, gives me a copy of his stunning “LA women” book, we exchange friendly introductory words on business, life, Hip Hop, Art and fashion while having our hamburgers. Then Estevan offers to take us on a trip to his shop “Last Laugh”. We accept, get to a pick up of a size probably violates any european limitation, drive through downtown as we discover Estevan’s taste for british urban music. Last Laugh is an impressively tastefully set up local where Mr Cartoon sells a selection of classic LA urban items such as pendelton shirts and customized baby buggies. A second room is dedicated to Estevan’s “Joker” brand and a backroom hosts a tattoo studio. We are introduced to Estevan’s exquisitely serviceable assistant Flaco and Estevan offers to take us to the infamous S.A. studio. Like degenerated Alices, Gary and myself fall through a delirious rabbit hole as Estevan drives through LA’s very own Skid Row, zigzagging among crackheads while Jamma’s sub-basses tickle our sinuses. As we park in front of the SA studios, I start to realize what SA studios are. Estevan and Mr cartoon’s office, but I am still very far from imagining what is coming next. As we enter, and roam the ground floor, Estevan introduces us to his own and Mr Cartoon’s collection of low riders. If anyone had asked me before that day if I had already seen a real Low Rider, I would have certainly negligently given the answer “yes”, but the truth would have been “no”. What the two european kids discovered there would probably a Dan Graham’s delirium tremens, but it most certainly was for the a dozen years of hip hop- and americano-mania’s (read: “obsession”) once-in-a-lifetime pinnacle. Then i notice that I didn’t take my newly acquired Mark II and that my old G10 is about to run out of battery. Shit
I must stop writing now, it is 100degrees Fahrenheit in NY, my computer is burning. The journey goes on, more soon.