Saturday, April 30, 2011

50 Reasons I Love Los Angeles (Volume 1)

Here I am...

Living my LA life.  It took a long while to get here.  Some curious stops along the way.  Some life lessons.  Some dreadful people.  Some amazing people.

NOW - I am in a city of sun.  A city of passion.  A city of energy and creativity.  From warm sun-washed afternoons - to cool breezy evenings - this is my home.

LA is more than duck lips, boob jobs, scary frozen foreheads and the kind of vacuous, vapid people that are the stereotype.  This is a vibrant, throbbing metropolis - diverse, distinct, delicious.

It's been a bit more than a year and I thought I ought take a moment to reflect on what I've enjoyed - what I love - I what I have to see, do, eat or drink - and share that with you.

1. Grind House - my neighborhood caffeine fix
2. Coffee Commissary - stylish, friendly and fun on Fairfax.
3. LAMill Coffee Boutique - A Silverlake gem

4. Ahhhh... the patio at the Sunset Marquis.  Under the sun and stars...  beautiful drinks and the occasional celeb
5. The Library at Roosevelt Hotel - mixology at its best
6. Cafe Audrey - black and white, Audrey Hepburn-themed.  'Nuff said.

7. The Abbey.  Beautiful.  Outdoors.  Outrageous.
8. Edison, Varnish, and more...  Downtown's hip, tasty cocktail lounges
9. The Bar at La Boheme.  Cool room.  Great happy hour.
10. Dresden Room.  Marty and Elaine and a Manhattan.  Done.

11. Comme Ca.  My home away from home.  Gracious hospitality in a style-y room.  This amazing spot has made me feel welcome - LITERALLY since the day I arrived.
12. Cecconi's.  What's black and white and turquoise all over?  Well - not exactly - but this Italian spot that's open straight through from breakfast to dinner to late-night is a gorgeous stop to gobble up the best tuna tartare!
13. MMMMM...PIE!

14. St. Felix - a great bar - but fun and interesting vittles too

15. Mercantile.  Best.  Lunch.  Ever.
16. V. Cafe - a wonderful, friendly spot on Melrose with beautiful food

17. OK - once in a while - I will cop to In-N-Out - but - I am excited to know that there are two Portillo's here!  Hear that Chicagoans?!
18. Don't laugh - but Westfield Century City has THE grooviest and interesting (get ready for these two words - eep) FOOD COURT.  Seriously.
19. Lunch at Shutters on the Beach
20. Bottega Louie.  Downtown.  Soaring ceilings.  Fabulous.

21. Did I mention Comme Ca?  First time I ever had the Canadian delicacy poutine.  Naughty fun.
22. Lemonade.  Options, top-notch ingredients and just great taste.  A swell spot on Beverly near Doheny.  

23. Dig the Penguin shop on Melrose
24. Fitzsu is a cool, modern home shop across Melrose from
25. TART (or TableArt) - a posh tabletop shop also on Melrose
26. Grand Central Market.  You can just feel the pulse of this urban market.  Great produce.  Herbs.  Spices.  Butcher.  Carnitas.  So much bustle and flavor!

27. OK - I am not a VIP and I am not a big customer - but the Paul Smith store (also on Melrose) makes me VERY happy.
28. It's a Wrap!  While most celebs are tiny which makes finding things here a chore for me (bless you Alec Baldwin) - this movie/TV wardrobe resale shop is just plain fun
29. Joan's on Third.  A sexy food museum and/or occasional splurge opportunity.
30. H.D. Buttercup (mentioned below).  Home.  Also a nifty chef/foodie shop called Surfas.  
31. Bar Keeper - what a hot cocktail supply shop.  Loves it.  Silverlake [] 
32. Yolk.  Fun.  Gifty.  GREAT cards.  Silverlake. 

33. Mulholland Drive.  The quintessential LA drive - with stunning views of both the city and the valley
34. The palms.  All kinds.  Everywhere.
35. Proximity to the desert

36. Proximity to Sin
37. Proximity to them

38. The big lamp and chair at Pacific Design Center

39. Succulents.  EVERYWHERE!

40. Downtown Culver City - closeby and packed with restaurants and the west coast's take on ABC Carpet and Home - H.D. Buttercup
41. The coast and path along Santa Monica beach
42. Long Beach is LA's forgotten gem.  Alive with rockabilly kids and a strong bicycle culture, suprising shops and delicious restaurants - like Michael's on Naples and Starling Diner
43. Downtown Los Angeles.  Yes - it is a real city and downtown life is ever-changing and growing.  It's exciting and authentic.
44. Little surprises all around - Downtown Pasadena, the artwalk in Pomona, the coolest thing in Orange County - THE LAB/Anti-mall
45. Los Angeles County Museum of Art
46. The Getty
47. Frankly - every time I see the Hollywood sign I smile.
48. Dauveed & Clara.  Google them.
49. Sunset on the beach.  Any beach.  There are LOTS of them here. 
50. I love who I am becoming now that I'm home.  

I know that last one was a bit of a cheat - so - fear not - there's more to come.  But - that should whet your appetite for the city of angels.  Incidentally - I'm proud to say I took all the pics (well except the one of me) with my iPhone.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A different voice...

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Reminded me this morning...