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Saturday , January 10, 2009
Best of Five: LA/CA VIA LJ
To call Los Angeles a CITY is a stretch; I think it is way apt-er to simply call it a PLACE. New York and Toronto and Boston and Chicago and Paris are cities: grey-ey, jam-packed, sardine-style urbantropolises, locales wherein you walk out your (or somebody else's) front door and are immediately bombarded with approx. seven trillion cafes, twelve H&Ms, thirty bars, around nine hundred Starbuxxxes and maybe nine hundred-and-ten crappy Japanese restaurants. Maybe there is some neighbourhood of Los Angeles that feels like that (like, where Ari Gold works?), but if there is, I didn't go there, and I never felt it. I felt a lot of things, but one thing I can safely say I never felt was like I was in A City.
Now that all is said and done, I did it, and thusly can officially say: LJ LOVES L.A. Los Angeles is at once weird, tough, hazy, magickal, flighty, and totally badass. Los Angeles is not a city; LA is a Place, or, maybe it'd way apt-er to say that LA is A Hundred Places. I spent a scant nine day in Shangri-L.A; over the course of those nine days, I lived a hundred lives. I sat atop Laurel Canyon and told a camera how to live its life. I got stoned with a beyond-adorable green-hoodied so-so-SoCal dude in Silver Lake, staring dumbfounded at fairy lights and types of trees I've never seen before. I lived on a boat and I tried on complexgeometries at Creatures of Comfort. I drank wine and I drank Corona and I drank Boone's (hells yeah, boy!). I charmed the Madden brothers (for reals!); I rode a grimy-as-Helter-Skelter city bus through parts of town that made Bushwick look like the goddamned Ritz. I stuck my shoes in Cary Grant's footprints and bought new shoes and killed my feet and shopped 'til I dropped and dropped 'til I shopped.
I came to L.A. for a lot of reasons, but the best reason to go to a place is, in my opinion, as follows: I wanted the shit of it to get shook up, and it did. I grew and I changed. I did a lot of somethings, which, as always, is a whole lot better than a lot of nothings, or even just one (nothing).
Au revoir, my sweet L.A. See you soon I hope!!!!
LJ'S TAKE-AGE OF LA: IT WAS THE BEST (OF FIVE) OF TIMES:
The best things in life are always happenstancical. You can be your silly little self, sitting in your icy-cold Toronto bedroom a week before flying to Los Angeles, imagining how great it'll be to go to all your best friends' and/or John Lennon's favourite bars- they all ended up being pretty great, of course- but, in the end, nothing beats chancing upon some place really adorable and magical that you had no idea existed. That was Froma for me. Froma is a nookish, teeny-tiny Franco-Italo bistro/cafe/wine bar/food shop conveniently located across the street from Creatures of Comfort. Right after my jaunt to C of C- and right before celeb-spotting Ryan Phillipe (sans his little bitch daughter) at the Santa Monica Boulevard Whole Foods- I sat at a barstool by the Froma window, gazing out at palm tree-y hills against a pink, orange and black sunset, reading John Lennon: The Life, and sipping at a glass of the most delicious white wine I ever did drunked. Then I walked up Fairfax Avenue (only the tiniest, sweetest bit tipsy) and took the #704 bus up to Sunset Boulevard en route to Chez Liz Barker, which dropped me off at the corner of Alvarado Street, at the precise location of...
The Burrito King, and its precious logo! I never actually ate at Burrito King, and probably wouldn't, because it looks kind of gross. BUT: if I were one of those people who has like eighteen trillion hundred tattoos and will get pretty much anything inked permanently on their body forever, I obvsduh would've gotten a tattoo of this sassy lil' snookums to commemorate my legendary take-age of L.A. This is my favourite logo of all time, I think- I'm pretty sure it was designed by Paul Rand in secret. It's probable.
My favourite thing about this logo, besides everything about it, is how it reminds you that the word "burrito" means "little donkey" in Mexican, I mean Spanish (ha ha ha!). It also reminds you that baby animals are cute, and that you are five minutes away from Chez Liz Barker. Which are always good things to be reminded of, LA-style.
On the one hand, I consider it highly tragic that I do not live in Los Angeles, California, and therefore cannot attend The Melrose Trading Post every single Sunday of my life. On the other hand, I think that if I lived in LA and actually did attend the Melrose Trading Post every Sunday, my life would become a literal (as opposed to facetious) tragedy, because I would spend every last penny I earned there, and then would lose my home and die of starvation, which would suck for both me and my loved ones.
The Melrose Trading Post is a big open-air market with tons of stalls selling (relatively) affordable vintage clothing, knick-knacks, crap, head shop-style hippie shit, antiques, and all that kinda good stuff that makes life worth living. However, when I talk about My New Favourite Store In The World, I am referring to one particular corner of the Trading Post, pictured at right. This stall consists of a bunch of glass cases, which store countless weird relics from the past: baby spoons, bottle openers, old family photographs, baubles, keys, cutlery, etc etc forevs; its wares are pretty much an olio of everything forgotten and left behind from the entire 20th century.
This stall is owned by a possibly-crazy but totally-rad old man who wears a fishing cap. I found myself fascinated with a little dime bank advertising the US Capitol from the 1940s or 50s (you put in a dime, the bank locks itself, and then opens up when you've filled it with $5 worth of dimes). I asked the dude about it, and he said "It's from a time when money was worth something." That statement was poignant and hit me in the heart, and I told him so. In return, he gave me a free brooch of a naked woman holding a heart ("for being so nice"). My eyes teared up; it was an unforgettable moment. This is why I love vintage so much! It's the midpoint between destiny and capitalism.
Not since Harry Nilsson and John Lennon Lost Weekend-ed it up in the mid-1970s has Los Angeles experienced a drunken duo so utterly bewitching, fascinating, boisterous and well-dressed as Laura Jane Faulds and Elizabeth Barker. It was ridiculous, yo; dudes actually fainted, had brain aneurysms and occasionally even died when we walked into bars and shit. We felt sort of bad, but, like, whatevs: obvsduh bros were just Not Dude Enough For Us. Howevs, the best part about Getting Drunk With Elizabeth Barker is that, post-going out and dude-killing the town red, the twos of us could go back to her place, drink a bottle of Strawberry Hill Boone's Farm, and totally BFF/ngfm out all night long! PAAAAARRRTYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!
It is so obvious to me that I would be a way happier human being if my life took place amid the plentiful, bizarre and, um, jolie-laide vegetation that makes its home in Los Angeles, California. When I arrived at LAX, met up with Emmers, walked outside and saw PALM TREES, I nearly had a coronary (sort of like the dudes that freaked out and Liz & I's hotness later that week). I mean, I knew there were going to be palm trees in LA, but, like, whoa, bro! Palm trees! PALM TREES! Imagine spending you life beneath PALM TREES, as opposed to spending your life beneath falling flakes of dumb ice that annoy you and make you shiver! What a wonderful world that would be.
Tags: alcoholism, baby animals, Burrito King logo, Creatures of Comfort, Emily Richmond, Froma, Harry Nilsson, John Lennon, Laura Jane Faulds, Liz Barker, LJ TAKES LA, Los Angeles, palm trees, Pillz the Cat, vintage
Friday , December 12, 2008
Best of Five: BATTLE OF THE CUTESY ANIMAL WINES
If there are two things I love in this world, they're the Beatles and myself. But, if I had to pick another two, they'd definitely be animals and wine. This month's installment of Best of Five with Laura Jane investigates the recent influx of animal-themed wine that have hit the consumer market. Sure, they're cute; sure, they get you drunk. But which, my friends, is the cutest and the drunkest? I am happy to report that you will find out soon enough.
Location of Origin:California
Classification: Pinot Grigio
Year: 2006 (Wine is weird. Before this exact second, I'd never really considered how creepy it is that when I drink wine, I am essentially consuming rotten fruit from two years ago. Barf!)
Price: $13.95 CAD
Alcohol Percentage: 12.5%
Cuteness Quotient: This shit is a little too much, even for me. Oh, is this "Patches'" Pinot? Well, whoop-de-doo. How invalidating. I'm not even allowed to own my own drunkenness; according to the "Dog House" vineyard, my current state of inebriation "belongs" to some dog from NoCal. Well, fuck that. I'm sure the real Patches is pretty cool, but the haute-adorable, sketchily-rendered little pupsqueak staring at me from my wine bottle is annoying the Helen Keller-vetica outta me right now. I thought Patches' Pinot was kinda cute back when I was sober, but what the fuck did I know? Sober Laura also thought it was a good idea to wear a faux-fur jacket in the pouring rain, and had the audacity to contemplate purchasing a $15 Christmas ornament shaped like a grasshopper from Pottery Barn. I hate Patches. Ew. This wine SUCKS. TOTALLY NOT CUTE. 19/100
Taste: Dude, I don't know! I drink to get drunk. Actually, fuck. Yes I do. This wine tastes like shit. It's really acidic, and not in the LSD way. I think I hate Pinot Grigio. How is this grapes? I can tell they're rotten. I feel terrible about my life right now. Some stupid dog from California is forcing me to drink battery acid; stop laughing at me, Patches! Patches is making me feel like an alcoholic because he tastes nast, yet I am continuing to drink him. Patches is an enabler. Patches could not taste worse if he tried. I hate you, Patches. 0/100
Quality of Drunkenness: Hi, Patches! Have I told you lately that I love you? Because I do. You're adorable, not to mention delicious. It is now three hours and half a bottle of you later, and I feel really chill. Patches-brand drunk feels like a really lovely midpoint between drunk and stoned. Maybe this has nothing to do with Patches and everything to do with my general fatigue, but then again, maybe it has everything to do with Patches. I fear that Patches and my relationship is becoming unnecessarily complicated. Do or don't I love Patches? God- or maybe Patches- only knows. 62/100
OVERALL SCORE: 27%
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Saturday , July 26, 2008
Best of Five: Toronto Thai Food!
My name is Laura Jane, and I am both lazy and useless in the kitchen. As nogoodforme.com continues its ascent into Total Universe Takeover by venturing into the endlessly entertaining realm of food blogging, my culinary no-how has left me feeling like a bit of an outcast. But whatever- I may be a crap cook, but I'm damned awesome at eating and spending money!
My new agenda is to eat whatever the hell I feel like eating whenever the hell I feel like eating it, but all-the-while always making sure to photograph my meals out, because eventually I will eat the same general thing five times, and when I do, what have you got? One of nogoodforme.com's "Best of Five with Laura Jane" posts! The concept is self-explanatory, and if you honestly can't grasp what I'm going for here, well, I'm sure you'll put two and two together in about three sentences' time.
Order: Thai Spicy Eggplant (Phad Ma Kuna); sticky rice; glass of house white wine
Price: $7.95; $1.95; $4.95
What it should have cost: I would say that this meal was adequately priced, except for that I am constantly irritated by having to pay extra for sticky rice. It should come free with the meal.
Food Wrap-up: The quality of my meal at Bangkok Paradise really epitomized the ever-familiar Thai food category of "on the good side of mediocre". I mean, whatevs. It was kind of good; it was vaguely bad. The eggplant was dank ("dank" means "tasty as all-get-out" in my books; I stole that phrasing from my NoCal roommates a couple years ago and never looked back), but the green peppers were undercooked. It was a nice amount of spicy, but the sticky rice coagulated too fast. Etc.
Notes on Ambiance: Ambiance? More like non-ambiance. The inside of this restaurant looks like absolutely nothing. I know that according to Charles Eames or somebody similar, the best design is invisible, but I don't think this is what t/he/y meant. Nevertheless, the service was pretty good, and the staff was all about making sure our meals were spiced to our exact preferred level of spiciness. I appreciated that; who wouldn't?
Apex of Meal: The presence of a house white, duh.
Abyss of Meal: There was no salt on the table! I over-salt my food worse than anybody you've ever met in your life, so that is total blasphemy in my books.
Likeliest Context of Next Visit: I would eat here any time I was in the Queen/Bathurst area and felt like eating Thai food. So next week, probably. And then probably again the week after that, and so on and so forth for the rest of the time I live in Toronto.
Overall Rating (out of 100%): 81%: the solidest B minus you ever tasted.
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