“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.

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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

 

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.

Chasing Flies

housefly

Does anyone else have an abundance of flies in their loft? I live 11 stories off the ground. I didn’t think they could hover this high. Are they that good at flying? I like to keep the windows open for fresh air, but when I do those annoying insects take it as an invitation to party in my home. ICK! What are your experiences with these pests? Let me know, I would like to remedy this issue. :/ Warmer days are ahead and I cannot leave the windows closed all the time.

The only silver lining I have found is that my indoor only cat is active all day. She is chasing the flies all over the place and I have to say she is quite good at it. At first, I was worried that the flies, usually carrying diseases, would make her sick, but apparently not. I read about it and it seems to be quite normal and not harmful, as long as no poison has been used in the area. I guess a kitty in the city is a must.

Tell me some of your experiences.

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.

Attention… all you thrifty folk read this!

regal cinemas seatingregal cinemasRegal Cinemas at LA Live is launching a nifty deal on the first Tuesday of every month. $7 Tuesdays! All movies, all day long. Even the premier house? Yes indeed, even their enormous 800 seat venue is up for grabs on $7 Tuesdays. What a deal! Tonight, February 5th is the beginning of a grand adventure for cinema lovers. Regal will be showing off in style complete with red-carpet, prize wheels and plenty of “pomp”. So, if you want a reason to dress up tonight and head to the cinemas, here is your excuse. I’m in!

 

 

Now let’s talk Shopping… 

After saving a few pennies from the $7 flick you are going to tonight, place those pennies in a special jar marked ShopWalkDTLA because this Thursday is the night of all nights. Retail stores are open and offering their best this Thursday, February 7th from 7pm – 11pm. A night full of Libations, Music, Food and the best deals and specials for your special someone, someone to be or for yourself. You deserve it! So, mark your calendars, you don’t want to miss this night. Just look at the people involved…

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~1 Man’s Trash… 50% off on selected women’s vintage clothing and shoes. serving wine, cookies, and pixie sticks.

~Buttons & Bows… 10% off the entire store Feb. 7th. One night only. serving complimentary cocktails, wine, and V-day candy.

~Crack Gallery… 10% off the entire store. Extra 5% when you tweet or instagram your purchase and tag them! Serving champagne for shoppers.

~angelo:HOME… 10% off all angelo:HOME branded products.

~Round2… 20% off entire store, 10% women’s and men’s sale rack. $40 Jeffrey Campbell Shoe sale blowout and raffle for a $50 gift certificate for any SHOPWALK DTLA business participant. *purchase required to join raffle.

~Wander Boutique… 15% off and 50% off sales rack!

~SixHundred… 15% off entire store.

~Kapsoul

~Arabella’s Professional Services

~Bark Avenue… Bark Avenue’s Pet Project- spend over $75 and receive on a FREE day of award winning cage free boarding at Bark Avenue. (Excludes Holidays)

~Pussy & Pooch… 15% off pet toys and treats. serving champagne and desserts for humans and their furry friends.

~Bring Something to the Party… 10% off greeting cards and chocolates. serving complimentary strawberry heart milkshake shooters.

~FLEA… 15% off furniture and 10% off collectibles. serving v-day spiked punch and sweets!

~Les Noces Du Figaro… Happy hour ALL night!

~Semi Sweet Bakery… 10% off all baked goods. offering mini cookies, peanut butter pretzel and triple chip (chocolate, butterscotch, and potato chips).

~Starry Kitchen… FREE appetizer with purchase of one entree. Mention ShopWalk DTLA.

~Ensenada Restaurant & Bar

~Glasswing Floral

 
~Spring Street Mac… 10% off headphones, 20% off iPhone and iPad cases, 30% off screen protectors.
 
~Living Room Smoke Shop
 
Here’s the map of sponsors and participants. More info click here and like on their facebook page. Happy Shopping! 
 
 
 
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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

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