Travel Anecdote: The Return to LA
Never would I have imagined myself traveling to New York as often as I do now. It’s a kid’s dream, now a reality. It’s the place I call my second home – the precise location being my room at The Mark Hotel – and the place where some of my closest clients live. But while I fly to New York on a monthly basis, the last time I visited Los Angeles had been 15 years ago. All that changed thanks to my recent Mr. Blue event in collaboration with F.P. Journe at the LA location of the Chateau Marmont. And with more than a decade apart, it was inevitable that I brought back an anecdote or two.
The journey started in New York, where I caught up with my Greek friends. We visited the Lobster Club, a reboot of the old Brasserie located in the iconic Seagram Building. It was an incredible location to visit – its walls clad with Picasso paintings and Picasso-inspired sculptures – and possibly a great place to host a future Mr. Blue event. As expected, the food was incredible. Former Azabu chef Tasuku Murakami is not shy of changing the contemporary sushi scene.
At the Mark Hotel, I met up with clients and went to work. At night, I found a moment to meditate on the day and grab a drink. This is how I met the charismatic Izak Senbahar. We met at the bar, where the Istanbul-born business magnet simply introduced himself as someone in development. Later I would come to find out that the man was actually the owner and visionary behind The Mark Hotel – someone who is seen as the leader of luxury development and someone who shares my vision that you should treat people the way you should want them to be treated.
We spoke about how I see The Mark Hotel as my home away from home, how service is still one of the most important and understated aspects that few can master – leaving for LA with a newfound appreciation for The Mark Hotel.
Mr. Blue Invited by F.P. Journe: an LA story
LA is unconventionally hot, which was why I changed my New York attire for a Seersucker suit (read more about the beauty of Seersucker suits in this article). In partnership with F.P. Journe, we invited over 60 people for drinks, food and an introduction of the Mr. Blue flying tailor service.
The location was classic LA. Chateau Marmont is an idyllic hotel that housed and welcomed some of America’s greatest artists to date: Annie Leibovits, Hunter S. Thompson, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Sofia Coppola. After connecting with people and getting a few new clients out of it, I was approached by someone who out of nowhere mentioned that I “looked like a real gentleman – like James Bond”.
This happened to be Brooklyn Weaver. We spoke about his life as a producer, I told him about my son in Berlin – who is a sound engineer – and he told me about a friend of his who would love to work with him. It might surprise you, but this happened to be no one other than A$AP Rocky. Weaver and I also decided a special suit together during my stay in LA – a party jacket with camo lining and classic blue on the outside.
Both my talk with Mr. Senbahar and Mr. Weaver were memorable moments that redefined the way I looked at both New York and LA – and it’s that power that great conversation can have on your surroundings. A great conversation can turn a bad restaurant into an incredible experience, but a bad companion can truly ruin every experience. After stepping on the plane to New York to meet up with a few clients, I looked out of the window of the plane and meditated on my experience.