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Tuesday , December 14, 2010
A Day in the Life: Where the (Blogging) Magic Happens
LIZ'S FAVE SPOTS WITH DECENT COFFEE AND THE OCCASIONAL HALFWAY-DECENT CELEBRITY
(l to r: Cow's End in Venice, Intelligentsia in Silver Lake, Rob Lowe in St. Elmo's Fire. When I saw the Robster at Starbucks I happened to have the above glossy photo in my backpack, and he so graciously autographed it for me. I'M LYING.)
I'm a freelance magazine writer and work from home, which means most of my blogging magic happens on the floor of my studio apartment. Since you already know what the floor of my studio apartment looks like, thanks to Laura Jane, let's talk about the coffee-peddling places around town where I most like to type beautiful words onto my lovely little MacBook:
1. The best thing about COFFEE POT is it's exactly 0.1 miles from my front door, so it's a really sweet option on those days when I'm feeling like a big lazybones. The coffee's pretty all right and I'm always amused by the weird collage-o'-magazine-photos-of-famous-people that covers the wall opposite the register (pregnant Stella McCartney! Brad Pitt and his 87 kids! John Malkovich!). I wish they sold their rose petal lemonade more often, but I know I can't ask for the world.
2. STORIES is a newish cafe/bookstore in Echo Park; I'm already so attached. It's exactly 0.5 miles from my front door but totally worth the extra effort, as there's free refills on coffee and it's so nice to browse the fiction section instead of actually working. DEAR STORIES: DON'T EVER CHANGE.
3. The STARBUCKS AT MALIBU COUNTRY MART is a major hike (approximately 29.7 miles from my front door) but even way more worth the extra-extra effort than Stories. The Country Mart is my Neighborhood of Make Believe, and the soy London Fog just tastes sweeter than it does at the Starbucks in Atwater Village (aka my Backup 'Bux, I guess). One time I saw Rob Lowe here; it was magical magic and everyone in the place bugged the hell out as soon as he left. We all lose our cool for Rob Lowe.
4. ABBOT'S HABIT in Venice has great coffee and it's perpetually full of total weirdos and I always feel supernerdy with my stupid laptop but oh well. One time I saw David Wain here.
5. I hardly ever go to INTELLIGENTSIA anymore, albeit for no particular reason. I do not believe the coffee to be the BEST COFFEE EVER as so many East Siders seem to claim, but it's still a nice space. One time I saw Giovanni Ribisi here.
6. I hardly ever go to CHANGO anymore either, but the chai soy latte I had Sunday afternoon (after visiting Show Pony's going-out-of-business sale, sigh) was a dream. Plus it's great for people-watching all the bearded and/or hippie-ishly costumed creatures who crawl down from the Echo Park Hills. One time I saw the dude who played Wallace's mom's psycho neighbor on Veronica Mars here.
7. GROUNDWORK is probably the best coffee I've ever had in L.A. I go to the one at Sunset & Cahuenga and they always play really good music and the "baristas" (ewww, sorry) are wicked nice and I'm fond of their big wooden communal table. Nine thumbs up.
8. And COW'S END is my new favorite coffee place to loiter for hours and hours in the midst of the workday. It's a hop, skip, and a jump from Venice Pier, which means you're never far from my favorite surfer-spying spot and there's always lots of kooky characters around. The other day a dude sitting out front had a parrot on his shoulder; it was distracting but I so appreciated the wackiness of it all. (Liz)
LAURA JANE: BEFORE TWO WEEKS AGO, MY DESK WAS A TUPPERWARE BIN
Unlike Liz & Kat, I blog only in my bedroom. I'm really "traditional" that way. This entry is proof that BLOGGING HAPPENS IN REAL TIME, BITCHES- as I write these words, I am sitting at the exact desk you see at left! I am even drinking a bottle of Diet Coke! Whoa! TRIPPY!
1. WRANGLER & JOBRIATH: Wrangler is a lucky-bunny friend of mine with a penny baked into his tummy. He was made by Sonja Ahlers, and is a very grounding presence in my life. Seated next to Wrangler is his best friend, Jobriath. Jobriath is a member of the String Doll Gang. He is only a baby-devil, so he's not very evil yet. God, Laura Jane, you really need to grow the fuck up.
2. DICTIONARIES & THESAURI: I have like fifteen different dictionaries atop my desk, but I ignore all of them in favor of dictionary.com and thesaurus.com. Except for my Penguin Pocket Rhyming Dictionary- that one I consult all the time. It comes in mega-handy when I'm writing rap songs.
3. BEATLES '65: There always needs to be some sort of Beatles focal point in my line of vision; this one is my desk's. The cover's cute 'cause it features the lads screwing around with umbrellas, which is always a charming thing to do.
4. THINGS SHAPED LIKE CATS: The big silver kitty is an ex-wine bottle. If you are obsessed with me, you may remember it from my Best of Five: Battle of the Cutesy Animal Wines post. To its left is a pink staple-free stapler, also shaped like a cat. My mom gave it to me for Christmas. It was one of those unprecedentedly validating moments when you realize, "Hey! Maybe my parents understand me after all!"
5. EVER-PRESENT BOTTLE OF DIET COKE: Does it gross you out that the vast majority of my nogoodforme posts are written as I swig backwashy Diet Coke straight out the (1.5 litre) bottle? Well, it should. It even grosses me out, and I'm the person doing it. I occasionally make the effort to drink Volvic in lieu of fizzy brown Aspartame juice, but comparatively, it just sucks.
6. SCRAPPY COMPUTER SITUATION: My computer is a PowerBook G4 with a broken screen. My dad rigged it up to a Dell monitor so I don't have to write blog posts while having flashing pink screen-induced epileptic fits. It really pays to have a computer-savvy dad sometimes; if I didn't, I'd be having a seizure right now! That would be no fun at all. (PS: My laptop is propped up with a copy of Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad, in case you're dying of curiosity)
7. BOX O' WINE: For those days when Diet Coke just isn't enough. (LJ)
KAT: WHAT'S BLOGGING WITHOUT THE PERFECT AMOUNT OF ECHO-Y AMBIENT NOISE?
Being a freelancer/film school grad student type with a million different other gigs going on, I am awaiting the day where I can blog for nogoodforme entirely from my mobile phone. I'm pretty much waiting for the day where I can do just about everything through my phone, to be honest -- I do love my phone way more than my laptop. Till that blessed day, I'll just have to make do with my trusty but clunky HP, which I lug to various places to stave off monotony and the impression that I am actually and unfortunately doing work. These various places tend to be anonymous, corporate affairs -- for some reason, I find really bland, light-filled environments to be the best places where I can just focus and crank out work, instead of fixating on the shoe choices of hipster undergrads or whatever. That said, I find myself occasionally at Hungarian Pastry Shop, which is just around the corner from where I live. Lately I have also discovered Max Caffe, which I am purely fond of on a foodie level, and they seem not to mind when you hunker down with your laptop for awhile. When the pretentious Columbia student quotient gets too high at Hungarian or Max, I hightail it to the neighborhood Starbucks, which is brighter, sunnier and less claustrophobic. Competition for a seat gets pretty fierce at this Starbucks, however, and I often prefer the food and drinks over at Cosi at 81st and Broadway, anyway, although recently management removed all the power outlets, which puts a cramp in my blogging style over there. When I don't feel like buying anything or taking the subway anywhere (a desire that increases as the winter goes endlessly on), I just go over to the glass-enclosed Lerner Hall at Columbia University and sit in the lounge and work while people practice the piano in one of the many student lounges. Lerner Hall has tons of food options, a good amount of echo-y ambient noise, mucho light and scroff holes you can hide out in and nap if needed. And of you're lucky, you can snag a free copy of the New York Times as well. So there you have it...pretty magical, right? (Kat)
Tags: alcohol, blogging happens in real time, cat wine, coffee, Cosi, David Wain, diet coke, echo-y ambient noise, getting to know us better, how we roll, L.A. rules, Malibu Country Mart, New York City, Peter Pan Syndrome, Rob Lowe, things shaped like cats, Venice Beach, wine
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