Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On My Spring Wish List

Spring/Summer is creeping up on us in LA.  It is in like a lamb in the form of brighter moods, bronzer skin, warmer air, lighter clothes, and longer daysI am beginning to theorize that Los Angeles has two seasons: gray and well. . . not gray.  The former being the season we are breezing into, thank goodness!

With the changing of the seasons comes the relentless need to make some additions to my closet. My wishlist of things and threads includes, but is not limited, to the following:

Striped bikini from J. Crew in the sailor classic navy & blue
A weekender bag for those quick summer getaways.  
This one is from Burberry. 
Summer slip-ons.  
I like Soludo's Dali in black. 
A collection of camp blankets for impromptu picnics
and snooze/read fests in the great outdoors. My favorite
setting for an outdoor summer nap is Barnsdall Park. 
A distressed tee that is soft as skin.  
This one is from Heist. The more thread-bare the better. 

A hoodie. This patriotic one is perfect for the Fourth of July. 
Ps. Friends on the East Coast--I am planning a little LONG weekend
homecoming. Break out the BBQ and some beers--I am coming HOME!
A beer tote for my bike. This is genius! 
This is the perfect way to get to an outdoor concert. 
Speaking of which, my first concert of the season is this weekend. Holla!

Monday, March 25, 2013

On Piers

Santa Barbara Pier, photo by author
I love the coast and most things associated with the coast--lighthouses, sailboats, fishermen's sweaters, lobster traps, buoys, ropes, anchors, oh and piers.  I love me some piers. Today I read that there are three types of piers: working piers (intended for hunky fisherman and longshoremen), pleasure piers (wouldn't you like to know?!), and fishing piers (again think sexy men-types).  Despite piers' somewhat impracticality-- being a dead-end walkway over the water-- I am delighted to visit them. They are simple, robust structures that smell of tar and wooden beams.  They are solid and reminiscent of a strong, hard-working man with calloused hands.  I like to walk out to the end of a pier and gaze out into the sea.  I will stay out there until I am ready to go back to being a landlubber--sometimes that means I will stay at the pier's end for a really long time thinking about my fantasy life as a seasoned sailor.  When I am at the end of a pier suspended over the salty water thinking about boats and salt and sea, life is so simple. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

On Lena Dunham

I watch very limited TV. I do not own a television set so everything I catch is off of my Mac from Hulu+ or HBO Go or at a friend's house. Every Sunday, I make it a point to watch GIRLS.  My sis and I text commentary (mostly Emojis) back and forth while I hack into my bro-in-law's DirectTv account.  Lena Dunham has brilliantly captured what it is like to be twenty-something desperate for approval, moody, and self-entitled while, in reality, she actually is a twenty-something experiencing the same painful reality that she does on the show  (Lena Dunham certainly must not endure a painful reality these days considering that she regularly gets attention from Judd Apatow, appears on popular late night talk shows, signed a honking book deal, and probably has committed a few more seasons to HBO). Despite her prosperous state of affairs, Lena Dunham manages to write/produce/act with an insightful view into the awkward,loathful phase of being a twenty-something-year-old-women. 

Addendum: onscreen, Lena as Hannah needs to find some pants.  She needs to find some underwear that isn't Hanes her Way.  She need to invest in some  serious tattoo removal.  Most importantly, she needs to spend her time with more worthy male counterparts, but I do give her helpless/hopeless character credit. She carries the show (Can you even imagine a show centered around Shos? That would be a bantering headache).  I especially loved it when Hannah told Josh/Joshua that she liked the satisfying feel of throwing away garbage in the wrong place.  That is just so. . . . odd, and f'ed up, yet also so refreshingly and humorously real. . . well for TV.  Don't even get me started on the mesh top/cocaine incident. 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013

On My Ever Growing List

I have been in LA for close to three years.  Wow, that is weird to even type, let alone, think about. Three years went by with the blink of an eye.  One of the ways that I have gotten to know my sprawling urban home is by eating out.  Food lures me out of my KTown enclave and ushers me to locations far and wide.  My restaurants-to-visit list is growing longer and longer.  One would think after being here for a bit that it would shrink.  Not the case. Right before my very eyes, Los Angeles is getting better and better by the minute and its restaurant scene is just ka-boom blowing up.  I like it here because you can see, feel, hear, and well. . . eat new things each and every day.  It is the city that never ends.   

I will spare you from listing my each and every restaurant-to-try.  I have a honking list on my IPhone which I scroll through with at least 35 flicks of my thumb.  The highlights include: 

Plan Check :(West Los Angeles) As an urban planner-by-trade, I am drawn to the name of this place.  It seems like the perfect setting to grab a burger and a beer after pushing permits all day.  Not to mention its sleek, minimalist design and its unassuming location.

Goldie's (Mid-City) Modern California Cuisine which means all things earthy, nutty, and crunchy.  The eatery was inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright design--wood is likely to be ubiquitous.  Created by Nick Mathers, the man behind Eveleigh, Goldie's will be mine to dine for brunch.  I heard the menu is short which usually entails quality in simplicity. 

Bestia: (Arts District) A girlfriend with impeccable taste in food suggested that we go to this place for dinner to celebrate our long-past mutual birthday.  Bestia is a return to-its-roots Italian place that occupies an old warehouse in one of my favorite neighborhoods in all the land.  The urban-industrial feel of the Arts D. gets me every time.  Rumor has it the restaurant smells of smoked meat. Delish!

Mess Hall : (Los Feliz) Summer camp pastimes taken to a whole new level.  Mess Hall adds kale, aioli,pomegranate vinagrette, and crème to your fond memories of the camp cafeteria--not to mention booze.  They serve some cocktails in campy tin mugs.  Reader beware: this place has gotten mixed reviews, regardless, I am a fan of the concept. 

Palihouse Courtyard Brasserie: (West Hollywood) The atmosphere of this brasserie looks like it will whisk you away from urban malaise any day of the week.  I would love to grab a Friday night dinner with friends and just spend hours kibitzing with bottles of red wine and steak frites. 

If you have been to any of the above, please enlighten me and tell me what you thought of your experience! Xo. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

On Glamping

This weekend I am going to Big Sur for the first time ever--not to mention-- I am going glamping for the first time ever.  
"Glamping?" -you ask. . 
 Glamping is well . . . glamour camping.  It is camping in the sense that you get away from it all and venture out to a remote setting--but it is less latrine, less Swiss Army, less pocket rocket camp stove and meh tasting half-cooked food.  Glamping entails french presses, day beds, full functioning grills, and the miracle of running water.  You still spend the weekend hiking, swimming, exploring the great outdoors, eating s'mores, and wearing all things Patagonia BUT you get to do so knowing you will sleep somewhere kinda fab.  Camping typically entails a stone cold sleeping bag whereas the world's most craggy stump/rock/who knows what manages to lodge itself into your back for the entire night.  Glamping. .  .just well. . . . isn't that. 
When it comes to glamping there are many options--Trailers, Treehouses, Safari Tents, Tipis, and Yurts.  My pick for the weekend is a refabbed Airstream.  Ain't nothing rough about that.

To learn more about glamping, The New York Times wrote an article.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

On Blue Suede Shoes

Isabel Marant lo-top Bobby wedge sneaker in hot blue
On the eve of my monthly payday, I am itching for some sha-sha-sha shopping.  Spring is prematurely in the Los Angeles air, Topshop just opened at the Grove, and my closet is looking way too full of black these days--I am ready for some retail! What tops the must-have-shopping list but a brand new pair of kicks.

Friday, February 22, 2013

On the Embellished Caesar

Typical caesar salads tend not to do it for me, but if you add embellishments to this culinary classic--the results can be quite delightful. I take the typical caesar and give it a good dousing of lemon, add hard boiled eggs, avocado, and corn.  Sometimes I will substitute kale (well massaged) for the lettuce base and go big and make peppery homemade croutons.  Today I had an embellished caesar for lunch. With an Arnold Palmer, it was perfection. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

On Faking a Girlfriend

The most interesting news is usually a scandal in some form or another--the Manti Te'o story: OMG what a gem!  

For those of you that live under a rock, lemme give you an update:
September: Manti (Notre Dame linebacker) reported that his grandmother and girlfriend had died on the same day.  His alleged girl, Lennay, had died of leukemia.  The media was all over this tragic story-- Te'o had promised Lennay that if anything happened to her, he would play on.  The media ate it up as he played like a champ-- qualifying for a Heisman.  
January (week of 14th): Deadspin fact checked and broke the news that no such person exists. His GF is a hoax. 

Conflicting information from interviews with Manti are all over the news and the details are hilarious They may have even met at a USC game according to a lie he told his father. Ha! This young man couldn't keep his facts straight--and clearly didn't know how to back his way out of of a pathetic lie (which sounds like most men I know--just plain stupid bad at lying).  Now some are thinking a Californian, Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, is behind the hoax and is (well was) a family friend of Te'o. Wha? 

Side note:the spelling of all the major characters in this saga is just plain ridiculous.  No wonder everyone is so freaking confused! 
Manti Malietau Louis Te'o
Lennay Kekua
Ronaiah Tuiasosopo

+Couric interview airs tomorrow
+SNL's opening skit, particularly its portrayal of Te'o, was ridiculously hilarious.

Thanks to Te'o, the dumb jock stereotype has newfound merit.   

Thursday, January 10, 2013

On the JR

Banksy and Shepard Fairey, I have moved on.  I have a new fav street artist and his name is JR.  Using large scale installations (for a video on the process watch the Wrinkles of Los Angeles vid), JR "links the memory of the elderly and the architecture of the cities".  Yep, that is right, a street artist with a focus on old people.  That is hipper than anything I have ever heard before. Here is some of JR's work.  I am sure if you reside in LA, you have seen it around. It is phenomenal. 

my all time fav
 + tags are not street art.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Saturday, January 5, 2013

On Public Radio

I am a NPR junkie.  You know that person that always tries to reference public radio in conversation? Yeah, that is me. The number of times I have said, " I was listening to this story on NPR the other day. . . . " is ridiculous. I don't expect that to change anytime soon. 

So the other day I was listening to NPR and I had to stop eating dinner because I was so enthralled by the broadcast.  I don't remember what it was called or if it was a spot on "the Story" or "this American Life" or what, but it was about a man named Ted who had a really bad speech impediment.  His whole life he was plagued with the inability to speak so he ended up working for the circus since no one at Barnum & Bailey's was phased by a stutter.  Anyways,the magical part of the radio story was this segment about when Ted was in a relationship.  When he was speaking with this girl, he didn't stutter. Ever. It was like. . . gone. CURED.  Unbelievable (especially if you heard this guy on the radio--his stutter was BAD). When the relationship started to turn sour, he began to stutter in her presence. I was just tenderly touched by this detail of the story. Our bodies know so much. We gotta listen up. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

On Promises, Promises

Another year has past, wha? I have concocted some resolutions of my own for 2013 and I would like to share them with the world wide web so that I may feel more accomplished when I follow-through and more guilty when I don't.  I am a list writer so sometimes, for me, plans do not exist if I don't write them down.  So here goes, a published list of my 2013 resolutions:

1.  Participate in more cultural events in and around LA.  I frequent museums enough, but I want to make it more of a habit of going to lectures, film screenings, museums exhibits, and other cultural events (like something at the Alliance Francaise) this year.  The first event on the list is First Fridays at the Natural History Museum.  It's January 4th for those of you who want to come along.
2. Use Skype and FaceTime more.  I want to take full advantage of my gadgets in the New Year so that I am better at keeping in touch.  I always forget I can not only call my friends who are across the country, but I can call and SEE my friends simultaneously.  I mean, it is 2013, after all.
3.  Metro to work more.  I got spoiled and started driving all the time in 2012, which is just absurd since I live 2 blocks from a Purple Line stop that can transport me into DT in 6 minutes.  Yes, 6 freaking minutes.  I took the Metro this morning.  I left Koreatown at 8:42 am and got off at the stop near my office at 8:48.  Including walk time the trip takes about 12 short minutes.  My stomach just hurts when I think I used to buy a monthly pass to park downtown.  Times are a-changing and my wallet is gonna luck out.  
4. Pack lunch.  This resolution goes hand-in-hand with #3.  I didn't take the time to make the right decisions that would help me begin to save some $$. So now, in 2013, I will buy some tupperware containers and put them to use.  This resolution might even help me get over my aversion to leftovers
5. Run more races.  I am a veteran runner--I used to compete on a far too regular basis and got burnt out.  Now, I am at a point where I have found joy in running again and would like to compete more often just for the mere challenge and fun of it.  When I got back into racing I was only signing up for an annual marathon.  Running one race a year put far too much pressure on me to perform on that single race dayThis year's race line-up includes the Vancouver Marathon (See you in May Laron, Rachel, and Londyn!) and it won't stop there.
6. As much as I want to enjoy more of LA (see reso #1) I also want to take my hard-earned income and travel.  There are so many places I have yet to see and experience. So I hope to leave LA at least once a month.  Some months I will pop on a jet plane when I have the extra dough (thanks to reso #3 & #4) and others I might just jump in my car and spend a day in Santa Barbara or Joshua Tree or somewhere near-by.  
7. Okay, this one is going to sound a little far-fetched and maybe even a little hokey not to mention cliche, but I want to try to treat each day like a NEW day.  I want to get better about giving each day its own undivided attention and make sure that I am contributing as fully as possible to the life that I want to lead every single damn day.