Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
these photos are for reid, because i promised him i'd put some up for him. it only took me a year after i took them :)
i used to spend a lot of time on this pier, because i worked just up on broadway, next to all the old nana's, at texas hotel records (anyone remember that place?). i think it's now a merrill lynch office block. but back in the days when the third street outdoor mall was dying, the santa monica place (pink mall) was new, and like, you didn't want to be walking around there at night, i used to spend all my time down there. there was something magical about the light, the breeze, the fog...and sleepiness. beautiful and decrepit all at the same time.
now of course, it's all cleaned up and gentrified. there's still a large homeless population, but for the most part, the streets are clean, and the place is thriving. however, i'm glad to see that there's still a bit of the loucheness and everyman on the pier. people fishing (!), playing hooky, acting a bit surly, shady, and hungover.
my friend, caroline, recently had her bag stolen while she was playing air hockey. from between her legs. the nerve! secretly, i think the guy was just looking up her skirt, and saw a more profitable opportunity. really, the little amusement park and arcade on the pier could be in the middle of hollywood, it's so suspect.
but the carousel is as charming as ever, and on a bright breezy day, there's nothing like the sun sparkling off the water, and watching the children play in the sand.
i once saw a barefooted miss get a jaywalking ticket in front of the store. i think the police thought she was homeless, so they asked us to vouch for her, so we did. i think of a song that girl that she was once wrote when i look back on these photos:
I draw a jackal-headed woman in the sand,
sing of a lover's fate sealed by jealous hate
then wash my hand in the sea....
Holidays must end as you know.
All is memory taken home with me:
the opera, the stolen tea, the sand drawing, the verging sea,
all years ago.
Monday, November 14, 2005
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
Thursday, February 24, 2005
Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Friday, February 18, 2005
whenever i find myself downtown, late at night, and hungry, i'm most likely going to end up at suehiro café in little tokyo. it's certainly not the best food in town, but it's open until 1 am on weekdays and 3am on weekends, the food is decent and inexpensive, and the atmosphere is that of a favourite, if somewhat worn, diner. there's only 49 seats--some at the counter, but most at formica'd tables that you might end up sharing if it gets busy. and it does, even in the middle of the night. the crowd is varied but mostly a loyal group--folks who live and work around little tokyo, artists from the loft districts nearby, museum visitors, even a group of elderly bruins fans the last time i was there.
the lighting is low, but warm, and when you first enter, you are greeted with one of those "please wait to be seated" signs i always see at family diners and chain restaurants. okay, i'll wait, but i've got a tableful of manga, magazines, and books to distract me, and i'll probably bring one to my seat if i'm alone, and not in the mood for people-watching. the menu is actually quite large--lots of combinations and sets, ramen with different toppings, and rice bowls to choose from, but everything is quite homey and home-cooked looking. comfort food. i usually end up with a katsu of some sort, or maybe a big bowl of noodles. despite the crowds, there is never the urge to hurry, to rush through the meal. perhaps this is one of the reasons i like coming here. time slows just a little, and no one expects anything of you, except that you have a full belly and a smile on your face when you leave.
337 east first street
Wednesday, February 16, 2005
the ambassador hotel, built in 1921. the home of the legendary cocoanut grove nightclub, and in its prime, the home away from home for celebrities, royalty, and presidents. it is where the oscar first debuted at the third academy awards held in the hotel in 1930, and where robert kennedy was gunned down in 1968. ishidoro.com has a list of movies filmed at the ambassador.
although the hotel had been closed since 1989, it has only been recently scheduled for demolition in the near future. you can read about it on franklin avenue and the latest in the effort to save the main building via los angeles conservancy.
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
Friday, January 07, 2005
i never thought this was a secret, but everyone seems surprised when i show it to them. so, just in case you didn't know....
if you've been the market, you know how difficult finding a table can be. or, if you find one, it's in a crowded, cramped area, with a zillion people looking at you and what you ate, or near the plate depository. not nice. anyway, there really are tons of tables but they're upstairs.
there are two separate eating areas upstairs in the market, both accessible by stairway. there's a small, odd space that used to house the Saddest Art Display In The World you can get to above the west patio, where the gumbo pot and tony's is, but i prefer the space above the east patio, which is bright and light, quiet, and perfect for people watching.
my favourite tables are the ones by the north-facing windows--settle yourself in one of these and you get a perfect view of the comings and goings in the parking lot, the clock tower, and the patio area around it. if it's a little chilly, you might find yourself lucky and the community room will be open and a fire roaring the fireplace. in the afternoon it's almost deserted, so you can bring up a book and a cuppa, and relax to the sound of the hubbub below and the birds singing in the trees above. ah. a moment of peace before you have to head out into the craze of conspicuous consumption and traffic again.