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My LA To Z: Charles Michael Davis
The newest of the CW’s toothsome vampires (he plays Marcel on “The Originals”) hails from The Buckeye State, but he bleeds Los Angeles. Here he tells us where to get an education in jazz, why he loves going to sleep, and the real reason he prefers yoga to CrossFit
Learning a new hobby was one of my New Year’s resolutions last year, so I picked up dancing. This is a studio in Silver Lake, and there’s a guy named Benjamin Allen who teaches a hip-hop class. There’s a live DJ, and he mixes all the music I grew up listening to—I’m dating myself, but he’ll throw in a track from SWV and then follow up with Puff Daddy when he was Puff Daddy; B.I.G, and then Janet Jackson mixed with a dance beat. My girlfriend Katrina Amato also teaches a beginner-level class there.
I used to work for the Clippers—I sold tickets—so I was in the Staples Center all the time. I’m a big Clippers fan. The last game I went to was Clippers vs. Sacramento and they ended up winning by one. I also got to see Nemo on Ice while working there—that was entertaining!
The W Hollywood
They have a weekly jazz thing on Sunday nights. We used to go when Brenna Whitaker would sing, but she’s gotten pretty popular now. It was this little hotspot, free and in the lobby. Everyone is well dressed, but they’re really into music. It’s not a social scene. Over time, when Brenna was still singing, Spike Lee was showing up, Justin Bieber, and then Stevie Wonder would show up and jump on stage with her. I went for a year straight trying to catch Stevie, and the one night I didn’t go, he was there.
The Farmers’ Market
What do I love about it? I love that they validate parking! Any time I’m in that area and I want something to eat but I’m undecided, I go to the Farmers’ Market—I love being around people, and I really like the little Brazilian spot they have in there. They also just opened a restaurant-bar between the mall and the Farmers’ Market.
They have a smoothie called Captain Coconut, and it is so good. There are dates in it, and they’re the best part. I took a buddy from out of town there and ordered him one, and when he tasted it, he was like, “Dude! This is like the best of everything! It’s like breakfast, it’s like Thanksgiving, I can taste cranberries, there are little pieces of chocolate in it…” and I was like no, those are the dates. I caught him buying another one on his way home.
Sweet Butter Kitchen
I love breakfast—I like going to sleep at night because I know I get to wake up and eat in the morning. Sweet Butter opened up recently right on Ventura. It’s a really beautiful café; the owners did a great job styling it, and the food is incredible. They pride themselves on the ingredients, and on the weekend they do chicken and waffles.
The Griffith Observatory
I only go for sunrises, and occasionally sunsets. My girlfriend introduced me to it. She wanted to take me on a date there, and I ended up getting food poising the first time we tried to go. I was sick until 2:45 in the morning and we were supposed to be there at 5 a.m., and I was worried she’d think I was a flake. We’ve been three or four times now, though. You go when it’s pitch dark, stand on the terrace level, and watch the sun come over the horizon.
ArcLight Hollywood and Century City AMC
I love Century City AMC because it’s in that mall. I like being around people, I like to see the Tesla cars and fantasize about owning one, and then I like to see movies and fantasize about something else. And ArcLight is a theatre for serious movie-goers. I asked my friend Ethan Peck, a tremendous actor, to go watch The Master there, and he came back at me with all these requirements about how close we’d sit to the screen and whether or not the sound was going to be the highest quality. I’m calling him out! To be fair, though, I saw World War Z three times at different theaters, and it was definitely scarier at the ArcLight because of the sound.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
I like that you can go there almost any time of day, as long as it’s not a Wednesday because they’re closed. They have really cool exhibitions like Stanley Kubrick and Tim Burton, but I always go into the contemporary space, where they have the Pollock, the Rothko. Ray’s and Stark Bar are really great, too.
Rising Lotus Yoga
A buddy of mine turned me onto yoga. He’s a really interesting dude, a practicing Buddhist, but he might not know it. He took me to Power Yoga in Santa Monica, and I took my first classes there. I like a lot of things about yoga—its an intro to good music; with each good teacher you study with you learn a lot about them personally; it’s not just about specific technique or poses. I also like Shavasana—not too many exercise routines let you nap at the end of them. You don’t see nap pods in CrossFit gyms. Well, I took a nap once at the end of a Crossfit class, but only because I couldn’t get up.
Photograph (1) courtesy youtube.com. Photograph (8) courtesy twitter.com. All other photographs courtesy facebook.com.