Monday, August 8, 2011

UkuAdventures in LA: The Bong District, Burning Man of Book Sales & Highland Park!

PHOTOS: Mista Cookie Jar & Ukulad, Orange-Themed Meal, Meepcake!

Dear Blob,
UkuAdventures in LA Driving:

With 15 million people in LA and the environs, bad drivers are as much a fact of stereotypical LA living as smog, the Hollywood sign and red carpet.

Instinctually, when a bad driver executes some ridiculous automotive move, Lad & I ask, "What Are You Thinking?!"

Ukulad's answers to what Angelenos are thinking while they drive:

1. Hmmm... Should I take the 3 year old to yoga or pilates?
2. Hmmmm... Should I carry the dog or put him in the basket?
3. Hmmmm.... Sushi or Korean Tacos... protein shake?

In other driving-news, I mistakenly honked at a slow-moving mini-van in front of me the other day. I was Mentally urging the fatty mini-van, the blobby, slothy, Sea-Cow of the road, to pick up the pace, when I accidentally leaned on the horn, like a schmucky LA driver, impatient to get 10 feet further, faster.

The mini-van, probably cursing at my horn-honking-douchebaggyness, got in another lane and let me pass. We were at a stoplight and now side-by-side. I was so embarrassed to be one of the horrible drivers of LA, I turned on a side-street, taking a different way home, which, of course, took longer. Instant-driver-karma.

Meanwhile, Ukulad and I had a ukubusy weekend, with adventures in Little Tokyo, Highland Park & an Orange-themed potluck.

Saturday's Little Tokyo adventure included a fabulous Mista-Cookie Jar music show with the Lad playing banjo & mandolin. It was the first gig I've actually watched the Lad play, as he usually plays with me; I was a puffed-up-proud mother-duck, taking photos & being an audience person, a pleasantly relaxing change.

In LA, when one is in a neighborhood far from one's home-hood, it's handy to combine adventure-task-errand-events. Like all cities, LA is full of Pockets; visitors sometimes think LA has no neighborhoods or character, which is ridiculous. LA is dozens of mini-villages, attached by car-byways, rather than subways, which make cities feel more connected, with all the citizens packed into 1 subway car.

LA's disconnectedness comes from our individual car-time; we are not face-to-face with our fellow Angelenos, but far-enough away to say mean things to each other like, "What a Meeping Meep! Learn how to drive, you Meeep!" This kind of dialogue rarely happens on subways. Angelenos utilize the ingrained-politeness & fellow-citizenship-connection less than other city-dwellers because we do not travel together.

However, once one arrives in a neighborhood, polite-fellow-citizenship abounds. After the music shows, The Lad and I walked through the Toy District, stumbling upon the wholesale Bong-district, a street of a dozen shops packed with crates of hundreds of bongs, to historic Spring Street, with it's ornate highrises from the 1930's questing for a purported booksale, which we found in a hot parking lot.

It was the Burning Man of Book Sales: total over-stimulation, with thousands of books on dozens of tables in no particular order, 1 book for $1 or a box for $15. We ended up with packed-box including ridiculous titles like Cheeses of the World & Cheese Cookery (mine), The Encyclopedia of Woodcarving Techniques (Lad) and Christmas in Catland & Fantastic Boats! (gifts for a cat 'n' boat-loving pals). We then carried the box of books 10 blocks. I felt like a New Yorker, walking in the shadows of actual city-buildings, schlepping cheap-used-treasures, until we got in our car and drove 10 miles home to Mar Vista, cursing at the bad drivers.

Sunday's UkuAdventures led us to Highland Park for a brief Ukulad-centric-work meeting, which I combined with a Quest for Handmade Tortillas. Highland Park, a historic,neighborhood of gorgeous 'n' run-down craftsmans, is where the artists are moving since being priced out of Echo Park. It's Mexico/Latin America in LA. We found incredible homemade corn & flour tortillas at the Super A, not to be confused with El Super, down the street.

The handmade tortillas were a hit at the evening's Orange-Themed potluck, complete with Ukulady-made enchiladas in 3 variations: vegetarian, onion/pepper-free & grain-free. Other orange-themed offerings included velveeta-cheese-dip, mango salsa & a Meepcake!

Love The Ukulady

ps: In the car, Lad & I played Boring Reality Shows: Admin Assistants! Paralegals! No offense to my paralegal & admin-assistant readerpals.

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