A room with a view

Waking up in a loft with windows that face the morning light is magical. Though at first I was not a fan of such early rising, I have now adapted to the light and learned to love it. My loft faces east with giant windows that take up our entire eastern facing wall. And to my luck, we only have a short building across the street that blocks half the view otherwise I can see Mt. Baldy on a clear day. myview

Today on the other hand is quite gloomy and cold. I can see the hills just barely as the fog is blanketing their grounds. I can see the cars in the distance chugging along the freeway trying to get somewhere in la. Not many birds out today, probably huddled together under a tree waiting out this weather. Normally I see a hawk flying around looking for its next meal. As for me, I am cuddled up in a blanket drinking tea, reading and watching my cat sitting on the ledge of our window seal watch all the people hurrying below. All bustled in their coats, hats and scarfs. You would think it’s going to snow, but it’s only California rain. The city always looks so crisp and clean after a good rain. I smile in anticipation for the rain to end when I get to see the city buildings in their glory of the sunshine. I always love a good rainy day. The sound of the drops on the window is beautiful, the smells are wonderful and the aftermath is even better.

What are you doing today? Where ever you are, if you are outside (if you aren’t, go outside) stop, close your eyes and breathe in to remind yourself that today is just one day of many. Make it a good one. Enjoy the cold Angelenos, summer will be here before you know it.

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A trip to Big Lots…

A trip to Big Lots always comes with a little excitement and trepidation. The chance to find really expensive goods for crazy cheap prices. I go with the intent to find exactly what I am looking for i.e. crackers, tea, shampoo… etc etc. However, I mostly come out with more than I went in for. BIG lots

The entrance is rather intimidating and dirty. With stairs that decline into a dusty glass door with a single security guard just inside, that seems to get younger and younger with every visit I take. The escalator works only half the time and there is only one sign that states where they are located. Just look for the large orange exclamation sign and you found it!

Once you get in, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the whole store. It doesn’t seem to have a rhyme or reason, but it does. It has almost everything you are looking for, sort of like  Target or K-Mart. Of course, Big Lots is neither, but you get the idea. Food and holiday goods to the right, home goods and tech stuff to the left, and long lines of customers waiting for the only 2 lines ever available to ring you up. FYI there is always a line! If you think you can walk in to Big Lots for a quick trip, it’s probably not going to happen, but who knows, maybe you are the lucky one. The cashiers are hardly forthcoming or friendly, expect 0% customer service, however, every now and then you get a smile from one of them.

I have however had amazing luck at finding organic foods that I would have purchased at Whole Foods and Co-op for three times the price. More so on the dry goods, like oatmeal, crackers, cereal, nuts, cookies, etc. I have even come across great finds like vitamins and shampoos from quality brands! Brooms, containers, cleaning products that are the exact same product for half the price, if not less.

I seriously recommend a trip to Big Lots. You may be pleasantly surprised.

Weekend Wonderland

Are you looking for something to do this weekend? A few great places to start would be the LA Art Book Fair at the The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. 36499_385407698219233_966874203_nHundreds of art books on display from oldies to goodies, prints to catalogs. A delight for your artistic side. Take a friend and wander the isles of art literature from all over the world. Pick up pretty prints for your sweetie or rocking awesome zines, Valentines day is on it’s way. They even have a few book signings, so check their schedule to not miss out.

 
 
 
 
Hours and Location:
The LA ART BOOK FAIR is free and open to the public.
Saturday, February 2, 11 am–6 pm
Sunday, February 3, 12 pm–6 pm
 
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA152 North Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-6222
moca.org
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday night at Space 727 Art will be all over the walls in the newest group exhibition  entitled LINES featuring artists, Matt Maust, Cody Comrie, and Harley Cortez. From floor to ceiling drawings, paintings and prints are on view for the art (and music *hint hint*)LINES lover in you. These are very talented men showing off their creative side off stage. I wouldn’t miss it if I were you. It’s only up for a week, so join the reception Saturday night February 2nd from 6:30-9:30pm. Space 727 Spring Street, DTLA.

And if that’s not enough…

PicnicGo for a walk in the city. Go for a long walk up to Vista Hermosa park. It might be a bit of a distance, but it proves to be such a gem. With views only wishes are made of. It’s 10 and half acres of walking trails, streams, kids playground, and hidden away picnic areas. Gorgeous meadows and the perfect city bench overlooking a vast meadow and the best view of DTLA! Scope out the perfect spot for your Valentines Day picnic. Romance is not lost in LA, certainly not DTLA. This park is really a treat. So much thought and heart went into creating such a beautiful retreat.

Vista Hermosa ParkBench
100 N Toluca St
Hours: Dawn to Dusk
 
 
 

It’s not “that” kind of Juicing.

My boyfriend and I have been juicing for a couple of months here and there. Nothing extreme, but definitely a change to our everyday habit. Mind you, we were already pretty healthy. I am one to prefer my foods to be all organic, local, sustainable, fair trade, seasonal, etc. You know, all the buzz words. We try to be eco-conscience, but nothing like the skit out of Portlandia.

So, when my boyfriend introduced me to this movie called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead (don’t freak out over the title), we ended up buying a juicer. Now, we juice all the time! It’s super easy, tastes great, we feel great, and we are losing weight.

For the days we are too lazy or havn’t gone out to buy fresh produce we walk to our favorite spot, Sustain Juicery. Conveniently located within a block of our loft, it is the best Juicery in DTLA. All their juices are certified locally organic and seasonally farm fresh. They also have some exotic ingredients, like the maca root.

As you walk in you will see all the vegetables in large wooden crates up against the wall filled with fruits roots and other colorful produce I am still learning the names to. Their menu is rather long and I have to say I haven’t tried all of them yet, but we are working our way through them happily.sustain juicery produce wall

My personal favorite is Koko which includes coconut water, kale, lemon and apple. It’s perfect for staying hydrated. Of course, one can never go wrong with The Classic Green which is made up of kale, spinach, apple, celery, cucumber and parsley. They also have shots, wellness cocktails, and smoothies if you so desire. Each 16oz cup is about $7 and their shots are about $2. It’s a great deal!

P.S. For $1 more they will give you your juice in a reusable glass jar!

Next time you are looking to grab a meal try out Sustain Juicery. Check out their yummy selections and enjoy! They have a bar to sit at and ask questions if you are clueless to the juicing routine, much like I was. They even have meal plans to inquire about if you want to go that extra step and juice strictly for an allotted time period. It’s perfect for detoxing, loosing weight, or just getting back to a healthier body.

Sustain Juicery
548 S. Spring Street
 
Hours:
m-f: 8am – 6pm
sat: 10am – 6pm
sun:10am – 4pm
Follow them on Twitter & like them on Facebook.
And for my Foursquare lovers… click here.

I know you will not be disappointed. I never am. Happy Juicing.

Did you say 50¢ ?

Living in downtown is great because you can more or less get anywhere within DTLA on foot or by bike. However, if you are in need of a ride take the DASHDASH sign

I normally can walk most everywhere within downtown. I live in the historic core which is in the middle of things, so walking around is easy peasy. For days where I am exhausted, it’s raining or way too damn hot DASH is the way to go.

Like say for instance… you want to head up to Chinatown and eat dim sum. Take bus/route B that circles the financial district (which is more or less on Grand Ave at 6th Street), it heads up Grand Ave to Alemeda St where you can get your picture taken with the Tijuana donkey on Olvera St, timeless! Then it zig zags through the eastern part of Chinatown near the Gold line station, Chinese Cultural Center and adjacent to the Los Angeles Historic State Park. A huge park located on Alemeda St. and my favorite, Nick’s! Bring your frisbee or go for a run, then back again to the Financial district. Easy!

Now let us say that you aren’t the best walker. The D bus/route is the best! It runs almost the entire “downtown”. DASH D is my friend when I just can’t walk anymore. It starts at Union Station (This train station hasn’t changed its interior since the 40’s!) and meanders through to City Hall where the new Grand Park is located. Definitely check it out! Then south on Spring St through the historic core past South Park close to LA Live and the Staples Center to Figueroa Street near Mount Saint Mary’s college and the expo line (USC route).

DASH D

Ok, now you know a few routes to get you by, but there are more! Routes A, B, D, E & F. Most routes run from 6- 6:30am or 7pm every 6-10 minutes Monday through Friday. Weekend E and F routes are slightly altered. E runs every 6 minutes from 6:30am-5pm on Saturday. However, on Sunday it runs every 15 minutes from 10am-5pm. Route F runs every 20 minutes both Saturday and Sunday from 10am-5pm.

And did I mention it’s only 50¢? Yeah, that is a deal! With comfy seats and A/C, too. Be sure to pick up a brochure when you get on the bus to ensure you have the map and route schedules. It’s very helpful until you learn the routes by memory which I still haven’t, sigh. Of course, you can also be eco-friendly and just look it up via the world wide web. GTS, yo! And, please have exact change the bus driver isn’t your banker.

You can check out their schedules and maps more closely by visiting~  http://www.ladottransit.com/dash/

And the winner is…

Congratulations to Debi Cable for winning a free VIP ticket to tonight’s Premier Party at the LA ART SHOW 2013. You can pick up your ticket at Space 727 South Spring Street in DTLA 90014 until 6:30pm.

I was actually able to get one more ticket, so Congrats Renee Warren, too.

Hope you ladies had a fantastic time! Till next time…

LA ART SHOW 2013

It’s contest time (contest ends today 4pm!)…

LA ART SHOW 2013

Win a FREE ticket (valid for one person) to tonight’s opening premier party (8-11pm) for the LA ART SHOW 2013. This Friend level ticket is valued at $125. Included with this VIP ticket you will receive the show’s catalog (valued at $20), Fine food, wine, and full bar at the premier party, opportunity to view (and purchase) art before the general public as well as unlimited admission to the LA Art Show throughout the show’s run. As well as unlimited access to the City National Bank VIP Lounge.

Here’s how you enter:

Share ANY of my stories on your Facebook or Twitter account. Tag @DTLAliving (so I know you posted). This ensures your name to be entered in the drawing. At 4pm (today) I will announce the winner on my Facebook and twitter pages.

Have you already “liked” my page on Facebook and followed me on twitter? If not, here is your chance for fun reads and a great prize. Also, you can follow my blog at www.DTLAliving.com to stay in the loop.

The WINNER can pick up their ticket at Space 727 Spring street DTLA 90014 between the hours of 4-7pm.

The LA ART SHOW 2013 is modeled after an art museum experience where collectors may view diverse genres of art under one roof, the LA Art Show features four distinct sections: The Modern & Contemporary Section, The Historic  & Traditional Contemporary Section, the Vintage Poster Section, and the Los Angeles IFPDA Fine Print Fair Section. The Show also features a special exhibition, China: FUSION, a 3,600 sq ft space highlighting contemporary Asian art from mainland China.

tn-1

Where to go:

LA convention Center/ South Hall

201 South Figueroa Street

Los Angeles, CA. 90015

A Secret Garden

I came upon a secret garden today right in the middle of the creative block consisting of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, MOCA, REDCAT, and the new (under construction) Broad Museum. Sandwiched between the Walt Disney Concert Hall and REDCAT is a beautiful, quiet garden consisting of plants from all over the world, like the Pink Ball Tree (Dombeya wallichii) from Madagascar. They look like upside down Hydrangeas.

The Blue Ribbon Garden is a gift from an organization of women devoted to the support of the music center and its resident companies. A large fountain that resembles a lotus flower with Mosaic Delft Blue Pottery with the inscription that reads “A Rose for Lilly. Frank Gehry’s tribute to Lillian Disney. A gift of her grandchildren and her great grandchildren” sits at the heart of the garden.Rose garden lotus flower

With a few tables and chairs dispersed throughout the garden, you can bring your lunch and a book or sketch book for my artist friends, and enjoy seclusion in the city. You can enter through the gates at the top of the stairs to the left of Walt Disney Concert Hall on Grand Ave. This way you can walk through the small outdoor amphitheater that not too many people know about either. Or walk through some of the sculpted exterior of the Walt Disney Concert Hall which can give you the feeling of walking through a maze. Either way, at the end of both paths, you come upon the garden that feels a little like the entrance into The Secret Garden. There is also an entrance off W. 1st Street that leads straight to the garden, which has an elevator for wheelchair access.

The Rose Garden

Happy discovering…

Once you find it smile, feel special because you now know a secret in the city of angels.

Hint if you have foursquare… click here.

Nick’s Cafe. What a treat for the best American diner food in downtown Los Angeles. Now completely packed on the weekends. Get there before 10 am or you will end up waiting a while to sit and hoping that the people eating at the counter scarf their food faster then John Belushi in Animal House.

You can probably find me almost every weekend, either Saturday or Sunday eating breakfast at Nick’s Cafe. A small traditional American diner that is nothing short of delicious. Known for their meats, every truck driver from the last 30 years has probably eaten at Nick’s as well as the “pioneers” of DTLA. Those few that have lived here 10+ years.

I was introduced to its glory a year ago and know that every time I go I will be happy with my free coffee & breakfast. (Free coffee on weekends) The list for eggs benedict is about 6-8 choices long with a special benedict seasonally! Order them early enough in the morning since they only make enough hollandaise sauce for the day and when they run out, that’s it! You are SOL. Another must have is their biscuits, OMG they are heavenly. Big and fluffy with their homemade tomato jam… Seriously, I think I just go to eat the biscuits, ha ha. They are too good for words. Though they are heavy so run or walk afterwards or consider yourself sitting like a couch potato the rest of the day.

Now, my personal favorite is to sit inside around their U-shaped counter. It seems more dinerish. However, if you feel the need to sit outside they have that option, too. Though, I think out there you are kind of on your own since all the action is going on inside. And please don’t be a brat and think that just because the atmosphere is low-key that you can bring your kids and make a mess. Be considerate! I have seen it happen way too much and it’s just disgraceful! (not talking to you responsible parents)

Best of the best!

best peeps

Nick’s Cafe
1300 N Spring St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 222-1450
http://www.nickscafela.com/

Foursquare lovers… click here

Kitty City

Have you ever walked by the new Grand Park late at night when nothing in particular is going on? Well if you haven’t, try it. Take a stroll one night on say a Tuesday. On the corners of Spring and Broadway at First Street if you are quiet and patient, stop and look around, you will notice many little eyes peeking up at you from under the shrubs. This… is Kitty City. A disheveled plot of land that used to be the grounds of an office building some decades ago. It’s gated off and closed to the public, however it is home to dozens of feral cats. So, next time you are out for a stroll, remember to watch for the eyes that are watching you. 

Inside this abandoned concrete structure is a cat community quietly plotting to take over DTLA


Under the grass mounds late at night be still and quiet… if you can wait… you will see cute little ears popping up to see what is going on or to hunt, remember they are feral.





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