This weekend, I was lucky enough to partake in all three. You see, I went on a Vermont trip. No, not to the actual state. Vermont Avenue, the street.
"Vermont Avenue is one of the longest running north/south streets in Los Angeles, California with a length of about 23.3 miles." (from our trusty, loveable wikipedia)A couple months back, I was driving to Long Beach and on the fwy, I noticed a Vermont exit. Any other street, I wouldn't have given a second glance. But Vermont, I've had a very special relationship with. I lived on Vermont, near USC, for 4 years of my life, which is a heck of a lot of time for this perpetual nomad. Vermont Avenue was the center of my universe for those 4 years. It's where I ate, where I biked, where I walked, where I cried, where I met my ex, where I met a lot of my close friends, where I went grocery shopping, where I exited the 10 fwy, where I met up with friends. After moving away from Vermont, I still visited fairly often, because that's when I went through my Koreatown phase. I discovered new Korean restaurants near Vermont, my nonprofit group meetings were always held near Vermont, and my friend from Korea who didn't have a car lived in Ktown near Vermont. Then there was my hiking phase, where I went to Griffith Park, which is also on Vermont, once a week with my dog.
So when I saw "Vermont Ave Exit" in Long Beach, my eyes widened. And the wheels in my head turned a little faster. Then I stroked my nonexistent beard.
"Whoa. Vermont Ave is longer than I thought! I wonder what else is on Vermont Ave... I should dedicate a whole day to Vermont! Vermont Vermont Vermont!"
Fastforward a couple months.
I google mapped Vermont. It started at Griffith Park ending in San Pedro. Looking at the map, my plan got even more exciting. Like super duper uber exciting. Here's what I did with my new partner in crime (I'll tell you about him later. That's a whole nother story).
Mini hike from car to Griffith Observatory. We had orginally planned to hike up to the observatory but we woke up too late, and didn't want to push back the rest of our schedule. So we drove part (hehe...maybe most) of the way and walked the rest.
Picnic @ Griffith Observatory. We brought bacon mushroom coucous, fresh pasta salad and dessert, all made the night before. Drizzled with awesomely aged balsamic vinegar, (so aged it was thick and sweet!) and olive oil, the pasta was tossed with sweet baby tomatoes and basil from my own edible garden. The weather was perfect. Sun shining, slight breeze, vibrant green grass, blue skies, good food. Oh! By the way, it's cantaloupe season. Go buy some and eat it. Then send me a thank you card. You're welcome.
Partner in Crime, I'll call him Mr. P, and I ate, walked, held hands, and did writing exercises. His poems slaughtered mine. At least I beat him at paper-rock-scissors.
We wanted to stop by the Skylight Bookstore in Los Feliz but we opted to come back for it another time. Becawse! Me, in a bookstore, especially a really cool bookstore, requires a minimum of 2 to 3 hours. It'll be a waste and a tease to just walk in and look for a couple minutes. Kinda like how I feel about strip clu....just kidding.
So! instead of bookstores, we went to Scoops! For ice cream! For alcoholic ice cream. I wanted to show Mr. P what ingenious ice cream was. And I showed him alright. He enjoyed it. Anyone who doesn't enjoy Scoops is not human. And every time I go to Scoops, I think of my favorite artist.
Yes, I know it's not ON Vermont, but it's ice cream (and it's only one street off of Vermont)!!!
Driving between 2nd and 3rd stops:
We passed by ktown and the two places I lived during my college years as well as the college itself. If it wasn't for college, I may never have known of Vermont Avenue, and if I didn't know of Vermont, I would've definitely not lived on Vermont, and if I never lived on Vermont, I may have never made this Vermont trip! Life!
For the longest time, I had wanted to visit this place. The reason why we didn't spend the time hiking and looking at books is because I wanted to make it in time for this. And this! Is The Watts Towers tour. Do it. Don't just go and look at it. Take the tour. Do it. Go. If you live in Los Angeles. Please. Then write me a second thank you card. You're welcome, again.
The Korean Friendship Bell. Whoohoo. I've always wanted to go ever since I watched The Usual Suspects. If you have not seen the movie, please do. And then proceed to send me another thank you card along with some candy. You're welcome, forever. I love this movie so much I have two copies. One to lend to people who haven't watched it and a special one for myself that's signed by Brian Singer. If you've seen the movie, love it and live in Los Angeles, let me know. I want to reenact the scene!
Oh yeah, and this place is ideal for kite-flying and picture taking. I made a mental note to visit again with friends.
Though not exactly on Vermont, we decided to visit our friend, Mister Ryan Suda, at Blacklava, because well, he's our friend. Plus, I wanted a tour of the warehouse. Mr. P and Ryan shared some interesting stories of their time in theatre. We also talked about perpendicular universes. And pho.
Casa de Yulree. Bow chica bow wow. Uh-huh. We did it alright. Yeah, that's right. We did our own rendition of The Moth. A story-telling time, where we have themes and we tell 5-minute stories. We wrote down random words and put it in a hat, drew it and then proceeded to each tell a 5-minute story related to the word. We really timed it and everything! I think it was one of my favorite times with Mr. P.
I think this was my longest post ever. I hope I've convinced you to go outside, look at what's around you, and appreciate, enjoy and discover.