Monday, March 12, 2007

Looks like another perfect day. I love LA.


Yesterday morning a heat wave hit Los Angeles. Like in the 90s, folks.

No, I am not making that up to be spiteful to my northern clime friends.

I got up around 10 and made breakfast while listening to Harry Shearer’s Le Show, which is one of my favorite things to do on a Sunday morning. Then Spooney and I headed out to Sunland Water Gardens to get some water hyacinths for the pond to replace those that were killed in our recent freeze. Yeah, we’re experiencing just a little bit of swing in our weather recently. Let’s just say I spend a good part of my day either opening or closing windows.

Anyhoo, it was hot as fuck up in Sunland, which is at the tippy tippy top of the eastern San Fernando valley, in an area that Spooney and I call “little Mexico.” There are more taquerias and donut shops than you can count, and the while the young men all dress in the typical shaved-head-and-baggy-manpris style of dressing that all young men everywhere seem to have adopted, the older men still favor the look of gentlemen in rural Mexico, which is to say that they all sport a neatly styled pompadour, boot cut jeans, cowboy boots, large silver belt buckles, western-style shirts, and cowboy hats.

To pull off this look correctly, it is preferable for the hat to coordinate in color with the shirt, by the way.

I must say that I am instantly charmed by these guys and how much care they take in their dress. It is a source of pride to them that they are well-groomed, which is an invaluable asset in any culture, if you ask me. As we were admiring one particularly dapper gentleman outside the check-cashing store, Spooney wondered out loud if the young men of Sunland would always continue to dress like all other young American men, or whether they would, at some point, revert to the style of their elders. It was amusing to think that at some point they would be told “Today you are a man. You must wear your pants tight, now.”

I, for one, would find it a welcome change if young men no longer resembled their fat uncle’s clothesline.

After shooting the breeze with the salespeople at Sunland Water Gardens, and exchanging tales of the freeze and the thickness of the ice on our ponds, I tore Spooney away from the turtles (Spooney loves turtles!) and we headed home.

But not without stopping first at Sunland Produce. Awesomest. Grocery. Ever.

My friend Alana turned me on to this place, which not only sports a HUGE inexpensive produce section (Cilantro! 8 bunches for a dollar!) that actually smells like dirt, but features cheap goodies from Latin, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisines. We bought oil-cured olives, pickled eggplant and onions, orange blossom water, taramosalata, queso fresco, sheep’s milk feta, spices, nuts, wine, pomegranates, pears, and a proper pan ($6) for making Turkish, I mean Armenian, coffee.

We spent the rest of the afternoon working in the yard, and trying not to get too much sun. Around 5:30, when it started to cool off, we got out our bikes and tooled around the neighborhood. I showed Spooney the place down the block where the tree roots had pushed up the sidewalk and created a pretty decent jumping ramp. I’m sure the sight of two dorks in their forties riding over that and laughing was pretty funny. Then, on the next street over, we saw so many people driven outside by the weather. There were teenage girls sitting on a stoop, talking (and I don’t mean talking on their cell phones, I mean talking to each other), and a guy working in his driveway on his 60s-era Nova, and several boys playing stickball…we even saw our neighbors teaching their 3-year-old how to ride her tricycle for the first time. It was like freakin Norman Rockwell time, readers. I was even wearing pigtails.

Round about dusk we headed home. Spooney plated up some of our Sunland treats, and I found enough mint in the yard to whip up a couple of mojitos, and we sat by the pond, watching the fish and wondering what more one could possibly want from a day.



(thanks to Norman Walsh for the image)


15 comments:

Spooney said...

Damn, that was a nice day.

Alana said...

I LOVE Sunland Produce and I'm so glad you've fallen in love with it as well. I really need to come by sometime soon to enjoy your backyard. (I still owe you an I'm sorry for not making it to the bday bash! I still have a bunch of CD's for you.)

RandyLuvsPaiste said...

I've noticed Spooney likes turtles too. What's that about?

SJ said...

I'm still all pissy about Newt Gingrich being a fucking cheater and it going unnoticed. Also the big gay Republican who spouted moral superiority and was a big gay intern fucker... these people... oh, sorry, was I typing? Thought I was just mumbling in my head.

GETkristiLOVE said...

After a long, cold, snowy winter - the weather finally broke here too. Not 90 today, but it got up to 69.9999, which was awesome. I've never seen so many white legs out on the running trails...

SV said...

Let's hear it for daylight savings time, too. I love having light until 7:30PM. It might be Hoosier blasphemy, but I would be happy to be on DST all year long.

PS: the verification is ruhics.

Pops said...

to tell the truth our mum went off with someone else's father/went for two weeks' holiday in... taramosalata?

Totally changes the context of that song for me.

Pops said...

PS- Out here in 951, it was just mothereffin' hot. But I would like to note that we were NOT on fire. That was Anaheim Hills. Suck it, 714!

Anon. Blogger said...

I loved this post. I felt the relaxation. I'm feeling a post coming on... :-)

Phil said...

Thats it. I'm moving back.

CiscoKid said...

The Intro to your post should have had the "We love L.A." SOng...
Weather indeed is great in Vegas too. For now anyways.....

Johnny Yen said...

Very nice!

It's actually gorgeous here in Chicago-- I was able to take my stepdaughter out for a bike ride yesterday evening.

I had a chuckle when I read the part about the mint. My landlord's ex-wife planted a bunch of mint in the backyard years ago. Every year his current wife tears it out, and every year it grows back. It's hilarious.

For my part, I go out there and pick it to make a mint julep on Kentucky Derby Day.

We have similar place here in Chicago-- Cermak Produce. The original one was near my old school in Cicero and Cermak, aka 22nd st. They opened one up a new one a few blocks blocks from my place.

Skylers Dad said...

Sounds like a wonderful day! I hope you get many more to spend in your way cool backyard.

And GetKristilove, sorry about my legs, wear some shades next time...

vikkitikkitavi said...

Alana: If the weather stays warm we'll have to have a low-key pond gazing night soon.

Randy: Spooney loves all reptiles and fish. And insects. He's such a boy that way.

SJ: It's okay, I know people don't usually come to my blog for the "what a fun day I had post," so feel free to leave the angry political rant no matter what the content of the post. I don't mind. Oh, and can I just say if it had been a former DEMOCRATIC House Speaker...

Kristi: Almost 70 in Denver is like 90 here. People start hiking in bikini tops and shit. Y'all are crazy.

SV: What sucks about the switch is that just as I was starting to lose the sun in my eyes on the drive home from work, the sun is now in my eyes on the drive TO work. Which doesn't bother me that much, because I have, oh, some SUNGLASSES, and A VISOR in my car, but it seems to send other LA drivers over the edge and inspire them to new heights of brake-squealing stupidity.

Pops: First of all, you are ALWAYS welcome to post the EC lyrics. Fuck yeah. Secondly, I am glad you told me that the fire was not near you. Dammit, I try to learn the distinctions between various OC and RS county communities, but...okay, I don't really try.

AB: Nice post to you, too.

Phil: Please don't. It's already very crowded here.

CKid: I already referenced the damn song in the title, dude. You want it in the post, too? C'mon dude, it's a good song, and it really does capture Los Angeles pretty well, in that it seems all cheery but is really mostly nasty, but that song doesn't DEFINE us, okay?

And by the way, you live in Vegas, so...you know...yeeesh.

JohnnyY: Yeah, you have to keep the mint growing in a pot. It's invasive. And I cannot wait for Derby Day and the Watson Twins Annual Derby Day Party. All the mint juleps you can drink. Woo hoo!

SkyDad: I used to be what they call "fish belly white" when I lived in Chicago. Even though I don't sunbathe, In LA, you do build up a kind of cumulative tan eventually.

Jess said...

It WAS a beautiful day! Pibb & I went to the beach. Oh, and this is for Spooney. Probably the greatest YouTube EVER! http://youtube.com/watch?v=VLaev3wfeTI