CicLAvia, KBBQ, KTown, LACMA, CAFAM, Petersen Museum, iconic Wilshire Blvd… Yep, just another day in LA.

narrown wilshire view at start

me on bike.ciclaviaRiding my Nerve beach cruiser along the iconic Wilshire blvd without cars seems crazy, but not when it’s CicLAvia. A wonderful program started by CARs (community arts resources). A completely free event open to the public even if you don’t own a bike.

losangeleswalks.org

losangeleswalks.org

It welcomes walkers like the LosAngelesWalker.org group, skateboarders, roller-bladers, roller-skaters, unicyclists, tricyclists, and a lot of other types of creative inventions on wheels. Riding with over a 100,000 people easily, I was bound to run into someone I knew, like Mike Mendoza of @ VeganBeastMode.

Veganbeastmode and I

Yesterday’s ride started at the beginning of Wilshire Blvd in DTLA with plenty of pedestrian zones and mandatory dismantle zones to get you ready for the ride west to Fairfax. Tern set up camp showcasing their amazing foldable lightweight bikes that I so desperately want!! The Eclipse S11(i) is such a beauty!

tern eclipse s11i

Another vender who set up camp was REI, complete with a rock wall! Plus, CicLAvia had multiple first aid tents all along Wilshire in case people needed water to hydrate or bandages for their falls. I didn’t see any wipeout, but I did see a cyclist riding way too fast through an intersection and almost taking out a lady stationary on her bike and a traffic cop! yeah, that was nutty.

KBBQ meal

CoCoHoDo is located 3500 w.6th st. 90020.

K-Town had the right idea with programming their yearly KBBQ festival on the same day as CicLAia so we (boyfriend, friend [also bloggers] & I, ) stopped for a look around. Thanks K-Town! I’m not a meat eater so finding vegan food was tricky. I settled with a vegetarian meal of… Samkak, Gimbab, and two cocohodos. Cocohodos are a walnut pastry. Basically walnuts in bean paste wrapped in a pancake or at least that’s what it tasted like to me.

Riding west on Wilshire we entered into Miracle Mile where LACMA, CAFAM, the new Academy Museum, The Petersen Automotive Museum and the La Brea tar pits are located. Everywhere you looked there were people! A sea of people out enjoying their Sunday thanks to CicLAvia. LACMA set up shop with tents that offered temporary tattoos, spin art, a photo booth and an informational booth.

LACMA full view

Across from LACMA was CAFAM which I am sure if you have driven or taken the bus along Wilshire you will have recognized the colorful crocheted building. Yarn bombers parked themselves in front selling their “bombs” to the many cyclist that promote this noble cause. You can read more about it here.

sewing bike

sewing machine is run by this bike.

yarn bombers

lovely lady yarn bombers

yarn bombs

yarn bombs anyone?

In the middle between the Petersen Museum and the new Academy Museum were these huge Oscar statues standing on none other than red carpet. Everyone was taking their photo with them. Why not, right?

oscar statues

Thanks to The Petersen Museum everyone was able to make their very own license plate. Super cute for all ages!

license plate

If you have never taken part in CicLAvia you are indeed missing out! Come any way you can with anyone you want. Families, couples, friends, foreigners, and your pets! I am still trying to figure out how I can bring my cat. I saw so many dogs of all sizes and even birds!

Los Angeles truly has so many fun free events that I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Today was such a great day. I can’t wait for the next CicLAvia!

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Fresh food in your ‘hood. (organic)

People seem to think because we live in downtown Los Angeles we have little to no access to fresh foods and produce. Which, I think is silly. Sure we have no Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Co-Op, Sprouts, Erewhon or even VP Discount Health and Food Mart (though I must say, I trek it here every now and then for amazing deals, they truely are discounted from their competitors), but we have MANY farmers markets that offer an amazing spread of fresh produce and meats. And to top it off, we have organic markets located in the heart of our community. Two Bits, Om Nom Organics, The Artisan and soon to be Urban Radish opening in a couple of months. Plus, Ralph’s actually offers a huge variety of organic produce and pre-packaged foods.

Two Bits Market located on 5th street (the nickel) is small, but offers fresh local organic foods, produce and organic packaged foods as well as organic coffee, cheeses, and made to order sandwiches. I am always finding my way to Two Bits for more avocados and day old bread for half the price. It’s a bargain!

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Two Bits Market~ Fresh. Local. Organic. on 5th between Broadway and Spring.

Om Nom Organics is a convenient mini market that offers all organic pre-packaged foods that are free of pesticides and toxins. Think mini Whole Foods. Everything for every meal. From pancake mix to pasta and sauces. They have a large assortment of organic teas, toddler goodies and needs, household cleaning products and needs, and even carry Babycakes! In addition to the market they have fresh foods to go! Conveniently located under the Eastern Columbia Building on 8th Street. Plus, they deliver! what? yes, they deliver in DTLA, so really there is no excuse for not eating healthy. click here for the menu.

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Om Nom Organics on 8th near Broadway.

The Artisan House located on Main Street and 6th is another mini market that offers only in-season local organic produce. As well as a variety of organic pre-packaged foods and local cheeses and meats. In addition, they house a mini liquor store of beer, wine and liquors. Plus, it’s attached to their restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating. Perfection! I say.

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Artisan House on Main and 5th.

Urban Radish is coming soon. Follow their story on facebook here. But with 8,200 sq.ft. of space, this is fantastic news. Said to be slated to open May 29th. Fingers crossed! This is going to be a great addition to the organic local fresh food movement.

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Designs of Urban Radish on Mateo

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Urban Radish on Mateo.

Ralph’s located on 9th between Flower and Hope Street is the largest of markets in the area. I am happy to say they offer a huge variety of organic fresh local produce as well as organic prepackaged foods. So if you find yourself in this gigantic market fear not, they have organic foods, too.

Grand Central Market located on Broadway has fresh local produce as well, though I am not sure about organic. I ask and ask, and every time I go I get a different answer. Oh well, at least it’s local right? Though it is heading into a revival with many retailers selling organic and free range foods like Sticky Rice.

Then we have our Farmer’s Markets!!!!!!

Monday~ Visit the mini markets 😉

Tuesday~ Grand Park 10am-2pm.

Wednesday~ Pershing Square 11:30am-2pm (my personal favorite).

Thursday~ Fig at 7th  9am- 3pm (Above Target) & City Hall 10am-2pm (on 1st and Spring St.).

Friday~ Bank of America Plaza 11:30am- 3pm

Saturday~ trek up to Echo Park‘s Farmer’s Market 3pm-7pm.

Sunday~ Historic Core on 5th street between Spring and Broadway. This is another treasure of farmer’s markets. 9am-1pm.

Beat the heat!

How are you finding ways to beat this heat? I have all my windows open and homemade ginger lemonade in the fridge to keep me going. I know in this heat our body just wants to lay around and be lazy. However, there are so many places to enjoy here in downtown Los Angeles especially now that summer is here and kiddies are out of school. It reminds of Alice Cooper’s song “Schools Out.” Though I haven’t been in school for ages it just seems fitting seeing more kids around town.

Here are a few ideas to get you out and about.

1. Go splash around in the big fountain at Grand Park. Be a kid again, roll up your pants and splash around side by side the chillin’s that are already there. They know what’s up. Follow their lead! There is nothing more fun then splashing in a giant fountain in the middle of a city. Remember Silvia from La Dolce Vita? Great movie.

Silvia in the fountain

Silvia in the fountain

grandpark4

Grand Park Fountain of Fun

2. Find a friend with a roof top pool! Take advantage of your friends and neighbors. There are so many buildings with pools and most residents don’t make use of them. So start asking everyone you know if they have a pool and if they don’t mind lending it to you.

Here are few I know that have pools. Do you have friends that reside in them?

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Eastern Columbia on Broadway.

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SB Properties along Spring St. and 6th Street

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Pegasus Apartments on Flower

3. Museums! I am always looking for excuses to head to a museum. Though I probably don’t need any excuses since I absolutely love museums. But museums have air conditioning and in this crazy heat you may want to escape the sun’s rays for a few hours. There is no better way than with culture indoors. In downtown, we are lucky to have a few in walking distance. For example: Museum of Contemporary Art, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Japanese American National Museum, California Science Center, Natural History Museum, California African American Museum, and come next year, the Broad.

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MOCA

4. Go find a restaurant you haven’t tried yet and order only desserts! Or better yet, go straight for dessert and skip the lunch altogether! You could always grab a veggie juice later so you still get some nutrients and then head on over to dessert land. Peddler’s Creamery opened on Main st. Made with organic, fair trade, local & exotic ingredients. They have ice cream, sorbet and even vegan desserts. YUMMM! Plus, 5% of their profits goes to social and environmental causes. Win win!

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Peddler’s Creamery

5. Head to the beach (much like everyone else) via the METRO 720.~ Everybody seems to have the same idea when the weather obliges. Getting caught in beach traffic is never fun, so get out earlier. Pack a lunch and picnic out under the sun. Of course, you will have your sunscreen and sun hats, right? Sun burns are never fun to deal with. So lather up! Nobody likes lobster skin.

vintage-beach

 

6. Go see a movie, but that’s a given right? I put this last since I’d rather do the prior 3 on my days off.

Enjoy and stay hydrated.

Spring is in the air… continued…

2 weeks later and here is my window sill garden. I am now looking into containers to transplant into organic non-toxic soil. Surprisingly my walk to Home Depot amazed me with such options. They now offer Non-GMO seeds and no pesticide, non-toxic, organic soil for seedlings and more mature plants. Phewww… In addition to Home Depot, since it is a giant corporation and I’d prefer to support more eco-conscious, Lassens the natural food and vitamin store in Los Feliz (only a small metro ride away) offers a large variety of Non-GMO organic seeds for about $2.50 a packet on average.

They've sprouted

They’ve sprouted

My grandmother has been helping me plant indoors via the telephone and old fashioned letters. Grams says any deep container will work if placed in the sun near a window. Look at thrift stores in your area for unwanted trash bins, buckets, etc. You can always save your food containers such coconut water cartons, nut milk cartons, larger yogurt containers, to-go containers, etc. My boyfriend laughs at me taking home “trash” as he calls it, while I say I am “UP”cycling which is way better than “RE”cycling, yes? All these work great for transplanting unless you have larger containers already that you can use right away.Once the sprouts reach a healthy 3-5 inches and the stems seem strong enough to move, go ahead and get your soil, containers and gently transplant them into your containers.

If you are planting tomatoes, they need deep containers to root and only one stem in each container. Tomatoes need a lot of room to spread their roots. Eventually they will need a good stick to keep them upright. A bamboo skewer works great or find a stick outside and give it a good rinse from the grime of the outdoors.

As for my avocado plant, I found out that I have to mate the seed. Otherwise my plant will only be that, a plant. No fruit will grow unless I find a male to my female seed or vice verses since I have no idea what sex my avocado seed is. More on this later. Avocado plants take a very long time to root, so if you don’t see anything happening for weeks, it’s normal.

Also, lavender takes a very long time to sprout too, so if you have planted lavender, don’t fret, they are growing slowly, but surely.

*Side note* Since I have direct morning sun, I covered my sprouts with either left over clear food containers that fit over the egg containers and snack size plastic zip lock bags over the tiny terra cotta planters to keep the warmth and moisture inside while the seeds are growing. I also water each container of seeds with about 1 TBSP every morning if the soil seemed dry. Lately the weather has been cold and drizzly, so the soil has stayed moist on it’s own.

Herbs and veggies

Herbs and veggies

top view of more herbs sprouting.

top view of more herbs sprouting.

They are about 2 inches tall.

They are about 2 inches tall.

herbs and veggies

herbs and veggies

The pit of my avocado has split to make room for the root.

The pit of my avocado has split to make room for the root.

Tell me how you are doing in your garden. As for the flies that a few of you experienced; it might be due to an abundance of water in your containers. Maybe try covering the seeds as well, this may help. I haven’t had any small flies in my house. Let me know how it goes.

Happy planting

“Nothing but blue skies do I see…”

The weather is warming up Angelenos. How do you spend your sunny SoCal days? Are you an early morning riser or a late night owl? My loft has huge windows that let in an insane amount of early morning light which has me waking earlier than I ever would have on my own. I used to consider myself a late night owl, but now a days I think I am swaying towards the early risers. Watching the sunrise or at least catching a glimpse of the sun just after it peaks the horizon is magical! The sky looks as if someone painted it with watercolors. As soon as I get up the first thing I do is open the windows wide and let in the morning air, so crisp and cool before the day takes over with its blanket of heat.

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Today is Pershing Square’s Farmers Market. Nearly ever day somewhere in the city there is a farmer’s market. Pershing Square is close by and has a large assortment of fresh produce with some farmers selling goods without pesticides, or so they claim. I noticed lots of people taking advantage of the weather, lunching at the tables near the center of the square. I was pleased to see a brand new plot of grass in the center, though I am not sure how long it will last. I filled my reusable bag with as many veggies to last a few days of juicing and a quick lunch with my cousin. As I was walking home, the song Blue Skies was drifting through my head… “Blue Skies… Smiling at me… Nothing but blue skies… Do I see… ”

Here is Ella Fitzgerald singing her version…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epRXoS_P0lk

Enjoy the sun in whatever way you can. Even if it’s only for a moment to close your eyes and soak up the rays, take that moment for yourself, your soul will thank you. Happy Blue Skies to you all… enjoy the California sunshine.

Pershing Square of yesteryear.

Pershing Square of yesteryear.

Pershing Square today

Pershing Square’s only grassy area.

Pershing Square today.

Pershing Square today. What happened to all the greenery? It will be nice when they finally redesign the park. Too much is concrete.

Sans automobile in Los Angeles?

I recently sold my car… I know, I know… having a car in Los Angeles is really a must, but I have sold my car non the less in hopes that public transportation will deliver me to my destinations. I will lower my carbon footprint and demand more out of mass transit. Win win right?! So far, I have been pleasantly surprised as to what is available to people sans automobile.

Take for example yesterday, my boyfriend and I took a trip up to Griffith Park Observatory on Mt. Hollywood. We walked a few blocks to the underground Metro at Pershing Square, hopped on the RED LINE for $1.50 each, took it to the Vermont/Sunset stop, caught DASH’s weekend only Griffith Observatory Shuttle for .50 cents per person. The shuttle drops you off directly in front of the Observatory, how convenient! From there, we “hiked” (walked along) the Mt. Hollywood Hiking Trail to the tip top to view all of Los Angeles. The trail head is found just at the entrance of the parking lot. At the top you will see everything from the famous Hollywood sign, to downtown, Burbank and beyond. It was so gorgeous out even the butterflies were dancing in the breeze. Many people were out from all over! Some jogging, families brought their lunch to picnic,and some people rode on horseback to the top! The trail is moderately easy as far as hiking goes, but it’s a great outdoor walk if you feel like escaping the city for a day. It’s not far from downtown either, it probably took about 35 min from my house to the Observatory.

View from atop the Griffith Observatory overlooking the grounds, Mt Hollywood and the Hollywood sign.

View from atop the Griffith Observatory overlooking the grounds, Mt Hollywood and the Hollywood sign.

Inside the Dome of Griffith Observatory houses the Zeiss 12 inch refracting telescope.

Inside the Dome of Griffith Observatory houses the Zeiss 12 inch refracting telescope.

 

Recap… Metro RED line + DASH + Hike = perfect car free outing in LA!

.. and it was only $4 RT! what?! Plus, when we got up the mountain to the observatory I noticed many cars were idling waiting for a parking spot for 10+ minutes. So even if we had driven up there, it would have been a nightmare finding a parking spot. In addition, the DASH makes a few stops on it’s soute to and from the Observatory. So if you wanted to, you could stop over to see the latest art at La Luz de Jesus,  grab brunch from Figaro’s, lunch at Alcove and dinner after your “hike” at Home. It just seems so much easier to use public transportion then stress about parking and waisting gas looking for said parking spot. Besides traffic these days is an adventure unto its own. I for one am happy to toss out my car and use my legs to get around.

Hollywood sign in the distance.

Hollywood sign in the distance.

 

A view of the snow capped mountains way off in the distance.

A view of the snow capped mountains way off in the distance.

A view of downtown Los Angeles.

A view of downtown Los Angeles.

 

for more on LA Metro click here

for more on DASH click here

 

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.

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