To be honest, I might have overdone it, as I gingerly sip coffee and crave my bed, but this weekend was absolutely so fun. Partly, because I challenged myself to actually do more things. I wanted to depart from my regular routine and to try out a few places in Los Angeles, that had been on my list for an embarrassingly long time.
Beauty and the Beast at Highland Theater: I’m not a Disney addict. Years of feminist and cultural studies tarnished the older movies for me (though Lion King is still the best #hakunamatata). But I’d heard such wonderful things about Beauty and the Beast, in particular, Emma Watson’s feminist push and the star-studded cast. Angie and I caught a showing at the tiny, vintage theater on Figueroa and it did not disappoint. The movie reformulated the storyline ever so slightly, emphasizing Belle’s independence and strength. The cast was diverse, including people of color and of the LGBT community, and of course, the performances by Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Emma Thompson and the like just blew me away. I totally wept like a baby.
Drinks at Highland Park Bowl: This abandoned old bowling alley had been restored to it’s glory and opened a few months ago. It is absolutely breath-taking, even if you just take a quick peek. I wanted Angie to see it and we ended up having a drink there, which was my first time actually sitting down in the alley. Complete with chandeliers made of vintage bowling pins, impressive wood-paneled bars, and full of curios from a different era, Highland Park Bowl is a work of art.
Post-Drink Drinks at Good Housekeeping: Another place on my list for a while has been Good Housekeeping, the tiny speakeasy behind Cafe Birdie with an entrance from the back alley. A retro, twenties style dark wood bar, with attentive and creative bartenders, this might be one of my new favorite haunts.
Neighborhood Wandering: After my spin class and a load of laundry, I decided to take Sophie on a little date. I’ve been feeling a bit reclusive and had a rather dumb epiphany that I could easily do my weekend writing out and about, rather than bundled up on the couch, which has oft been the case. So Sophie and I grabbed a Reuben from Trencher (though the fried chicken banh mi is still my favorite) and a coffee at Blue Bottle and sat by the lake and enjoyed the sunshine for a couple of hours.
LA Opera – Placido Domingo: So LA Opera has the 30/30/30 club. For most of their performances, if you are under the age of 30, you can get amazing tickets in the Founders Circle for the low price of $30 plus fees (so its like $40). But these tickets generally go for over $250, which is a little rich for my blood (at least outside the realm of music festivals). I grabbed tickets for a one-night only show, showcasing greats like Placido (who is also the conductor this season) and Sondra Radvanovsky, but also new talent including Joshua Guerrero and Hyesang Park among others. So many magical performances of major hits, it was a lot of fun and I’m so glad Haley could join me!
Au Lac for a post-theater dinner: We hadn’t eaten dinner and felt famished so Haley and I just yelped a dinner place that was still open and seating. We ended up at Au Lac, which now I am annoyed I haven’t tried before. Plant-based with a ton of raw options, this Vietnamese restaurant, buried in a strip mall, yet lush and well-appointed, was amazing. I highly recommend the Salt & Peppered Yam Shrimp and the Tostada with crisp corn meal, cabbage, macadamia cheese, mushroom, dill-ranch, salsa, avocado and side of spring mix salad with balsamic vinaigrette and hemp seeds.
The Regs: Walk the pups, hit up a spin class at YAS, do some grocery shopping, a quick brunch with Annie to catch up, clean the house, force Cassi over to the Eastside for some beers at Mohawk Bend
Try a new yoga instructor at Yogala: After a very full and indulgent weekend, (so much spin, so much beer!), I needed to zen out for a while. I took a lovely sunset restore yoga class with Allison and almost immediately fell asleep. Well, not really, but I was definitely in a zen state. Using a range of bolsters, blocks and blankets, the class is designed to loosen your muscles, heal your fascia and just provide some quiet time to meditate. A great way to start the week.
Sunday night at The Grand Ole Echo: Yay! One of the best parts of summer in Echo Park is back! The Grand Ole Echo is a series of free summer Sunday concerts at the Echo featuring mostly folk artists. It’s an all-day event, super family friendly and always features unique talent, including the wonderful Leslie Stevens last night. I was so glad to introduce Haley and Avideh to it and I’m definitely going to go a few more Sundays over the coming months.