Sharon and Rita’s

Excellent Adventure in Tinsel Town

By Sharon DeWitt

(as printed in the Gazette)

     A couple of months ago I had an interesting proposal.  Another member invited me on a trip to LA to experience a weekend of cross dressing among the general public.  I have been going through a bit of rebirth the last several months and this trip sounded right up my alley. I didn’t know what to expect out of a trip to Los Angeles but promised myself I would seize the moment and enjoy any new experiences that came my way.

     After an uneventful flight and trip to the Days Inn on Ventura Blvd., I was anxious to start a weekend of cross dressing.  Unfortunately, neither my room or Rita’s had running water and I wasn’t desperate enough to cut myself up trying to shave without.  So we popped across the street for a quick lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  After lunch with water now flowing I readied myself for an afternoon of running.

     First stop was a resale shop with vintage clothing and jewelry.  Nothing out of the ordinary but, we did run into Gina Lance of Girl talk magazine.  Gina started Girl Talk a few years ago and was most likely there on business, as Rita had found an ad for the store in Girl Talk.   Gina invited us to a photo shoot the next day to be male stand-ins but I wasn’t about to dress male mode for any of the weekend so we respectively declined.  After leaving we squeezed in a couple more places and headed for a 4 PM salon appointment.  The salon also had an ad in Girl Talk and Rita having been to LA before had tentative plans mapped for the whole weekend.

     The salon offered quite a variety of pampering services even mini massages were available.   Rita took in a manicure, pedicure and hair restyling and I enjoyed a manicure and brow reshaping.  The ladies were very friendly but having never been a client of a salon before for me the experience was more unique than relaxing.  Tracey the lady who did my nails also makes custom removable acrylic nails.  This is something I would definitely want to check out on a return trip but time was short and the whole Sharon DeWitt in Los Angelesnight was still ahead of us so we took a couple group photos and said our farewells.  Next stop was Jim Bridges Boutique.

     We just stopped by to say hello and see if he was available for dinner but as it turned out he had plans for the evening but would be available for Saturday night.  While we were there Jim offered to poof my hair a bit.  Had I been Rita I would have been a bit perturbed as she had just paid to have hers done at the salon.  I guess mine must have looked a mess and Jim felt sorry for me. ( I don’t know if I will ever exactly understand the wig versus hair issue.  Hair looks more real because in part there is less volume but a wig and hair both look better when proofed up which makes them look as if they have more volume.  Seems like a catch 22.   )  

     For nightlife don’t miss the Queen Mary.  If you like women, men or drag shows or just want to drink and talk or dance with someone or by yourself its all at the Queen Mary.  But don’t go to long beach looking for the ocean liner or you’ll miss the boat.

     The Queen Mary Club is on Ventura Blvd and has been in LA long before the QM came from England.  Truly great drag shows with some queens doing live singing.  But I can only take so much at drag shows then I start looking at and talking to the customers for some real color and flair.  Whether it be a interesting conversation with a horror film critic or brushing off several dance and other offers from males females and others, or talking with a she-male showing her pic in a recent magazine ad.  It was also apparent many of the individuals I met were aspiring actors, during the evening I took some pics of the very gg bartender and she was more than willing to put on her charms. And if you want to get away from the music for some more serious conversations just step outside into an alcove with the smokers for this is California, the Land of Oz, and Oz says no smoking inside. But who cares the weather is great so who needs to be inside. Needless to say, we spent several nights at the Queen each night offering a different experience.  Did I mention pole dancing?  Yes that was a lot of fun especially for someone who likes to show off a little.  And a great photo op.  My only regret for Friday night was that I did not pace my dancing.  My feet were killing me and were a bit tender all weekend. 

     Saturday was a shopping day and what a town to shop in.  First stop Hollywood Blvd and Fredericks of Hollywood.   They even have a museum in the store but unfortunately I did not see it as I was having too much fun digging through the clearance racks.  Around Fredericks I saw three or four blocks of stores offering unique attire, jewelry, makeup, wigs, shoes and lingerie.  If there is a cross-dresser heaven it has to be just like this.  After Rita dragged me out of Fredericks we browsed through several of the other stores.  I found some eye and lip glitter make-up that I had looked everywhere for in St. Louis with no luck.    For those of us who are into shoes (Linda) this is the place to be.  Colors galore of 5" high heels($25) and the clear acrylic heels, many with platforms, seems to be real popular.   I think I could have spent several days just trying on things and looking in all the shops but this was to be a experience filled weekend so I had to keep moving.   We threw our packages in the car and headed off to Melrose Place.

     Melrose Place goes on for miles and the shopping was fun but the clothing was trendier than on Hollywood Blvd.  In both areas, the people on the street and the shop owners were very accepting of us.   We had a few glances from people on the street but I felt very comfortable.  I did not see any other cross dressers while we were there.  We had no problem trying on clothing while we were shopping and always the complements about how well something fits or how great it looks.  Can’t trust a sales clerk, they will say anything for a sale.  A real test is to find the ugliest, worst fitting outfit and then ask the clerk how it looks.  Rita talked me into a tee shirt "miss kitty’s pussy cat lounge."    It went with my skirt so I paid for it and wore it out of the store.  I haven’t a clue when I will get to wear that again.

     Our final shopping stop for the day was Syren’s on Beverly Blvd.  Syren’s is a latex clothing shop, another first and very unique experience for me.  There is definitely nothing like trying on a latex outfit.  Be sure to take your vitamins and be ready for some aerobics because there is quit a bit of wiggling and squirming involved.  Depending on the outfit, it can be quit warm to wear but the look is sensational and sensual.  The material is unforgiving as far panty and bra lines but I could envision breast forms with no bra because the latex is skintight anyway.   This store seems to be a must if and when I return to LA.

     After a day full of shopping it was time to unwind have a few drinks and a bit of food before getting ready for dinner and the evening.  We went back to Venture Inn an upscale gay restaurant and bar located on Ventura Blvd. where we had eaten the evening before. The food was excellent as was the service.

     We met Jim at his boutique at 9 and walked to Mezzomondo Caffe a quaint restaurant with an Italian flair. At least that is what it says on their advertising.  The food was very tasty and Jim is a very entertaining dinner companion and he always seems up to date regarding the community.   After a enjoyable and leisurely dinner Jim walked us back to the Queen Mary and slipped us in after introducing us to the owner’s son.  The place was even more alive on Saturday than Friday.  From what I was told by one of the patrons, a lot of working girls show up on Saturday’s. That would explain all of the nearly bare breast that were bouncing around..  Well I looked around for Eddie Murphy but didn’t see him.  He must have been out of town. 

     Sunday is a good day for a brunch and a trip to Venice beach.  Rita preferred to go in male mode to the beach but I wanted to take in the whole experience.  Where else will I get a picture of Sharon walking on a boardwalk?   What a rush.  I had some looks but all seemed accepting.  I started the walk with a tennis skirt but bought a long flowing colorful beach skirt about half way through. The skirt was very comfortable but titillating as the light breeze blew the hem against my calves.  The boardwalk was quit long lined with shops on the land side and street venders on the beach side.  I knew I was going to have trouble packing to come home after I checked out a few of the stores but couldn’t help myself.  One crocheted dress at The Seahorse was absolutely stunning.  It was just calling to me as it hung there in the store "Sharon take me home, I’ll fit perfect. Take me, take me."  I tried, but just couldn’t say no.  I also found a few other bargains that I just could not pass up.  Next time I’ll pack lighter and fill up while in California.

     Sunday evening was our last evening of fun in tinsel town and guess what bar we picked. Yes the QM.  There are other bars but the QM is within a couple of miles from the hotel, they provide security, and there is a variety of simultaneous entertainment so it will not get boring even for us blondes with attention deficit disorder.  My evening was very fulfilling and I ended up with some great photos, memories and sore feet.  Just a word about the security.  Even though the neighborhood is much tamer than anything we have around here I’m sure they have had their incidences in the past because as we all know our acceptance level is far from 100%.   

     Monday arrived all to soon and our last few hours in LA and a few more stops.  Wilshire Wigs was a must check out sight.  They claim to have over 100,000 wigs on hand.  It was a bit overwhelming and I would suggest to anyone contemplating going, to use the web sight to narrow down their choices first.  They also have a discontinued bin but allow time if you plan on digging through it and don’t set your hopes to high. We made one final stop to pick up some shoes and then back to the hotel to pack and checkout. 

     I  looked at my watch and realized it would be 7 or 8 hours before the plane landed in St. Louis.   So rather than change and ruin a perfectly good day, I decided to let Sharon stay and enjoy the rest of the day and flight back. 

     Wow what a place for a cross-dressed weekend getaway or vacation.   Los Angeles is he city of the different.  I believe having ventured there with a veteran made the trip very enjoyable and safe, well as safe as one can be with our sport if a CD wants to leave the house. Thank you Rita for being a bud.



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