Sunday, September 5, 2010

Weekend update: Old familiar favorites and few new finds

This weekend, for me at least, feels a bit like the "last hurrah" as summer winds down and the school year shifts from neutral to fifth gear. Fortunately, we stayed close to home and planned few activities, which I needed after a quick trip to South Texas last weekend and then a week full of meetings at school. Despite no "major" structure, the weekend, per usual, has taken shape, and we have taken advantage of the three-days as a chance to really rest and relax while being somewhat social. We've delighted in a few "new" discoveries and have returned to some old haunts on the Westside, which is always a treat.
First of all, we met a friend-colleague for drinks and snacks on Friday night in Pasadena at a new place called Dish Bar and Bistro. I do sometimes despair that we live in a rather stodgy and boring area (seriously), and Pasadena offers some good options but also a lot of chain and mall-like places. So, this was a pleasant find for us! I'm not confident that it will survive in the long run, since there weren't too many people there, but I liked the atmosphere -low-key with pretty decent food and a great happy hour menu!
Yesterday included a run to the Pasadena Farmers' Market, a nap, and a new dish for dinner, "Shrimp and Grits" although it was more like "Shrimp and Polenta". It is a keeper - fast, easy and tasty!
TODAY, then, has been the banner day. To escape the heat of the Pasadena area (triple digit temperatures!), we headed west to Venice, CA for the morning. I do believe that if I were rich and really cool, I would totally pick Venice as the place to live. Since I'm neither rich nor
cool, I just visit the area and pretend that I don't care that I'm poor and kind of lame. Anyway, we arrived in Venice, and I thought that we might have to come all the way home since it was a BRISK (to me) 63 degrees! How does that happen? First, we stopped off at Intelligentsia for a latte and a pain au raisins (ALMOST as good as those that we had in France - you could definitely taste the butter!). There are all sorts of crazy people who frequent Intelligentsia, as you can see from the photo below:

From there, we wandered down to the beach and the boardwalk and spent some time ogling surfers and gawking at families and other people hanging out. If I had a family, I would definitely be packing the kids up to spend a day at the beach! Fortunately for me, I don't have children, so I don't have to force fun on myself or them.

Finally, we walked back to Abbot Kinney, one of my favorite places to poke around, especially places like Surfing Cowboys, where we picked up a Christmas present for a family member - total score!

We also saw a few of our favorite obsessions: Classic VWs!

Is it kind of sad that a VW van is my dream car? I'm seriously obsessed.

I can't say that the morning was entirely without "incidents". I stepped RIGHT INTO a big dog poop. I'm unsure whether it had been a "pile" before my foot squashed it, but you can see me trying to get some of it off below. I cursed myself and the dog, but then I decided that it was fortunate that I had on my Chaco sandals which I can just wash off. Imagine if I had been wearing some designer sandals?! Or flimsy little flip-flops? Ewww!

Finally, I made a purchase as one can see below. Sorry for the crappy photo quality,
but what can I do? Anyway, I'd been looking around for a casual but funky and very functional black purse for ages and I found one at some random store. The price tag was right and so is the look, and now I've sworn off any purchases for the next few months. Seriously! But I do like that it isn't a "brand". I don't know - I don't mind buy clothes that are from the usual suspects, but I really prefer purses and jewelry that are more unique. Maybe it's because I don't buy those pieces very often for myself?

And the grand finale will be tonight: Lotería Grill, one of my favorite Mexican food places in LA. I'm so psyched! It's been ages since Michael and I have eaten here. We are meeting up with some friends of his and gave them a few suggestions, and they opted for Lotería. Mexican Food Nirvana, here I come tonight!

Now, a few random questions for you, my random one or two reader/s:
  • Any random and non-utilitarian car obsessions or am I alone in that?
  • Purses, jewelry, shoes and other items that you prefer to NOT buy from a 'typical' store?
  • Have you ever stepped into a pile of dog shit?


Kim said...

Venice is such a cool area :) Glad you guys had fun. You really do seem to get out and explore so much. That's awesome.
I'm with you on wanting purses and cool accessories that are unique. My clothes are all kind of basic, but I go for neat shoes or jewelery or something like that. Very cute purse you got :)
My sister is also obsessed with VWs. I was until I dated a guy who had one. I'll spare you the details.
I don't think I've ever stepped in dog shit, but I've had birds shit on me more than once. I'm not sure what to think about this. Ha.

Kristina said...

In some cultures, so I hear, a bird shitting on you is supposed to represent good luck. Small comfort, it seems to me!

Jaya said...

I have stepped in a pile of dog shite for sure. In fact, I step into symbolic and metaphorical piles all the time!
I do love old volvo station wagons. I always loved them as a kid (for some unknown reason) but the new generation of volvos are not too hard on the eyes either. I'm kind of sad in a way that they went from being the kinds of cars driven by pragmatic, eccentric people to becoming trendy!
I usually stock up on cool handmade purses and jewelry while in India, but I never carry a purse. In the winter, I carry my wallet in my pocket and once indoors, I use my toque as a purse. In the summer, I just let Manski carry the cash. I just love going out with nothing but a water bottle, but I feel like I may be resisting the last typified trait of "womanhood". I'll have to give in eventually!
I love great coffee. We have an alarmingly great coffee scene in Calgary - tons of third wave coffee and a few places to drink really amazing single plantation stuff. I'll take you to a few when you come visit!

Kristina said...

I'm actually impressed that you totally eschew purses and the like. I admit that I don't consider my standard tote to be a traditional "purse" seeing that I beat it up and can stuff it full of bottles of sunscreen, travel documents, small camera, wallet, and at least one book. The "going out" bag, however, does have a different function. After buying this bag, I found out that I can use at least 5 different ways.
Still, I do sort of envy your laissez-faire attitude... And don't give in if you don't want to!
Love the symbolic and metaphorical piles of shite - those are usually more difficult than to clean up or off...
Finally, yes, the VW is a bit trendy, but not so much where I am. Most people drive obnoxiously (to me) nice cars. I would love a van for some major road trips. Like to Canada!