Sometimes people forget that traveling can be done without leaving your hometown, especially if you live in a large city like Los Angeles. Last year, a group of my friends and I decided that we wanted to devote some time to discovering parts of our city that we hadn’t explored. We named our group the “Day Trippers,” and we set out to travel on daytime excursions. This month we visited the home of Cheri Pann and Gonzalo Duran in Venice, California, also known as The Mosaic Tile House http://www.cheripann.com. Cheri and Gonzalo are both artists and they bought the “ugly” house, as they describe it, over twenty years ago. They decided to cover the house with mosaic tiles to make it more interesting. Soon, they were placing tiles and found objects in the interior as well. It is a work in progress, as they continue to add to the decor daily.
“Both Cheri and Gonzalo, who are happily married, have their separate studios in the back of the home. They both paint and do sculpture. Cheri says the key to a happy marriage is to “kiss a lot.” She met Gonzalo in a paint store, and kissed him that day before she left the store with her paint!
The Mosaic Tile House is available for tours. For $12, either Cheri or Gonzalo will walk you through the exterior, interior, and both studios for about an hour. They will tell you all about the project, answer your questions, and allow you to take as many photos as you’d like. If you are anything like me, you will feel inspired, joyful, happy, and childlike the whole time. I cannot wait to go back!
For lunch afterwards, we hit a Caribbean cafe called The Sunny Spot http://www.sunnyspotvenice.com which has a great patio as well as a comfy dining room. Roy Choi is the chef and his motto is for “people to eat with their souls, not with their brains.” He’s accomplished that at this innovative spot. The food is spicy, so order your sauce on the side if need be. Welcome to the West Indies, West Los Angeles style.