Stringing my Life Together: Purishpa takini, takishpa purini.


I should be doing homework (update about when Lauren was here)
2009/02/25, 08:20
Filed under: Uncategorized

Okay, so it has been forever, there are so many ideas and words of wisdom about Los Angeles to share, but I promised Lauren I would eventually update on our journey around town.

So, here we go with the original outline, with fun memories about them.  Later I will include pictures…but that will be just too much procrastination at this point…Sorry this is massive!!

Mission:  The Laurenster and the Jessinator trek L.A. in a DAY (battling threatening rain, thunderstorms, and the metro bus in the name of tacky tourism!)

It ended up being pleasantly sunny (Lauren couldn’t help but bring sunshine to L.A.!!)…no thunderstorms or rain as predicted! I even brought along the dollar store umbrella I bought for my freshman year at Potsdam…but MURPHY’S LAW!!  🙂

Itinerary (subject to change):

1. Wachovia/CVS

Mission successful.

2. UCLA and Schoenberg music building (viewing the Bad News Bear field on the way, while riding the Green Monster: Culver City Bus #6).

Lauren enjoyed the erhu playing, and totally educated me about the names of the athletic and health complexes. We sat outside of the Pauley Pavillion to listen to the UCLA Bruins play Notre Dame, and Lauren posed with the Bruin bear (Fierce!!) Now, if I were visiting UCLA, I would say, “Wow, Schoenberg Music Building…do you know who that is named after Lauren?!”, she totally did the opposite about the John Wooden Center (Gym) and the Arthur Ashe Center (Health Center). Like an ignorant fool, I was just giving her a tour of “that’s where I play racquet ball”, and “that’s my health center”, and Lauren had to explain why they are important! Go Lauren!!

[Pictures of us at the Pauley Pavillion, Lauren with the Bruin, and Lauren with the CC#6]

3. Conquering dragons in Chinatown, via Metro#2 (the Orange Beast).

Oh man, what a trip! So, we’re trying to get to China Town ont he #2, and around Hollywood, this guy gets on.  Lauren and I refer to him as Whiskey Joe now, because he got on the bus with a giant flask that he was showing to the other people at the front of the bus. Lauren and I watch from halfway across the bus as this guy sappily talks about whatever to the woman next to him.  When she left, he gave her a hug, placed his hands in a somewhat inappropriate way (aka on her rear!) and then when a woman got on the bus with her daughter, he yelled out “BABY!!!!!” and picked up the young girl. The woman (who spoke Spanish) took her daughter back and sat a couple rows behind Lauren and I. Then Whiskey Joe started yelling whatever Spanish terms he could remember in his stupor, like “MAMACITA!!!” to the woman, the grandmother, and the child. As he became louder, people moved further to the back of the bus. Whiskey Joe inched a few seats towards Lauren and I and started harassing an Asian woman, so before he cold talk with us, Lauren and I got off the bus. We got on a separate line (the 704 I believe), only to have him get on a few stops later. Lauren and I were dumbfounded..what were the odds!?  Clearly, he had been kicked off the last bus. By that point he was angry, walked down infront of Lauren and I (we were sitting in seats facing the aisle, not the front of the bus) and he started saying racist things about Latino boys sitting in the back (who were cute little middle schoolers and did not deserve it). Then, he recognized Lauren and I, stood right up to us where his legs were touching ours and started mumbling REALLY inappropriate things. Worried that he was a) drunk, and b) much larger than Lauren and I put together, we BOOKED off the bus ASAP. Advice #9: If you find yourself in this situation, call the cops. I think Lauren and I were just so stunned. In all of my experience with public transit in Los Angeles, New York City, Madrid, Paris, and even the ones in Syracuse…NEVER have I EVER had an experience like that. Neither has Gio, who grew up in Queens. Go figure…it is Lauren’s first day/time using public transit like this, and we have to deal with a guy like Whiskey Joe. And what is really strange is that I rarely run into anyone when I run my own errands around town, and if anyone acts crazy, they usually leave you alone or don’t harass you anymore than they harass anyone else. Crazy.

So moving on from Whiskey Joe, we got to Chinatown where we were going to switch buses. Saw a small parade for the Lunar New Year, and got some Chinese desserts (dumplings? I’m not sure what they’re called)…They were giant balls made out of rice dough with a sweet bean paste center (I chose pastel green, because it looked interesting)…Lauren picked something she thought was like a donut, but ended up being a shrimp ball (she hates fish). She valiantly tried the green ball, but lo and behold, I was a trooper and ate all three. For what it’s worth, I did like the green ball thing…but one was plenty.

[Lauren in Chinatown, Lauren eating the green ball, Dragon]

4. Off with the Red Hellion, Metro#84, to El Mercado for some mariachi sonic pleasures, guacamole, and tamales!!

El Mercado.  Well, Lauren and I were still shaken up from Whiskey Joe, though out in East L.A., despite it being notorious for certain things, everyone was calm…sober…polite…quiet…you name it. The intersection you get off on though, is kind of confusing, so we took a back street where there were plenty of guard dogs running up and making our hearts skip beats.  Finally we got to El Mercado. We gave it an A for atmosphere, D for food. I must say, it was quite the culinary disappointment. Advice #10: If you go to El Mercado, go for your favorite beverage (the horchata was good) and the mariachis duelling it out (if you can handle the volume and clashing of the occasional two mariachi tunes at once). DO NOT GO for authentic or even tasty Mexican cuisine. Before we left, Lauren took a photo with thet mariachis, and I played Las Mañanitas and Guadalajara with them. The crowd was baffled when I went up to play violin rather than sing.

[Pictures of Lauren and I with the mariachis]

5. A possible stop at Griffith Park/Observatory, with a brief confrontation with the Unhinged LADOT Griffith Shuttle.

We were exhausted and wanted to hit Hollywood first.

6. Onwards to Hollywood and Grauman’s Chinese Theater after our second trip on the Orange Beast Metro #2.

Lauren and I had fun here…visited the Chinese Theater, the Walk of Fame, took some photos with the stars of favorite celebrities…I got a photo with someone impersonating Elmo to send to the family I babysat for (Elmo hit on me….which was just flat out weird!!) We also visited the Guinness World Records and the Wax museum. Then, because Starbucks is evil, and did not have any seating, I took Lauren to my favorite find in Hollywood so far: Café Audrey. I must say though…Hollywood is a bit of a disappointment for what I imagined while growing up in New York, and unfortunately, is not a place to see celebrities very often (Lauren was hoping for it…but at least she saw the guy that looks like Gio from Los Lonely Boys on her plane here…he was most likely headed to to the Grammys).

This guy looks a lot like Gio, AND he plays guitar...Like Gio...

This guy looks a lot like Gio, AND he plays (bass) guitar...Kind of like Gio...

7. If time and energy permit, the Westside Pavillion (because we both were big fans of clueless), after fighting off the Orange Beast and reaching the Blue Devil Boss of Santa Monica BBB #8 or #12.

Home to hang out with Tara and rest up for a Sunday in San Diego :)

San Diego was awesome, and it was wonderful to see Jamie. The pictures from that will be posted. We actually had GOOD Mexican food for dinner, and we got to see the seals, among other things…To be continued…


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It’s that time of the quarter…
2009/02/07, 10:47
Filed under: Los Angeles, Travel

Yep,  just like last quarter when I went MIA for a couple weeks, despite many interesting things to chat about.  Again, I will have to postpone writing about (in no particular order) the mariachi and Chinese ensemble concerts, some teaching and musical insights I have gained from these ensembles, posting photos from my birthday, the destruction of my left knee while hurrying to the bus, and the hike I did with Tara in the Santa Monica Mountains!!  So….most of January.

What I hope to update about sometime tomorrow or Sunday is my galavanting around Los Angeles with Lauren (a best friend since 5th grade!!!) who came out to see me (and brought rain with her, which is great for Los Angeles, though not so great for touring Los Angeles by foot and bus).  But we’re upstate NY girls…we tough it out in weeks straight of rain, snow, sleet, etc., so I have faith we can withstand the craziness that will ensue later today (okay okay, so I’m not so great at going to bed early…it really only started when the school schedule got crazy…I WILL go back to earlier bed times and yoga, once the knee is healed) (it is possible this trek will become a ComicLife edition!!)

Anyways, a preview of what I will be doing following just a wee-bit of sleep (Lauren is already started on her jetlag).

Mission:  The Laurenster and the Jessinator trek L.A. in a DAY (battling threatening rain, thunderstorms, and the metro bus in the name of tacky tourism!)

Itinerary (subject to change):

1. Wachovia/CVS

2. UCLA and Schoenberg music building (viewing the Bad News Bear field on the way, while riding the Green Monster: Culver City Bus #6).

3. Conquering dragons in Chinatown, via Metro#2 (the Orange Beast).

4. Off with the Red Hellion, Metro#84, to El Mercado for some mariachi sonic pleasures, guacamole, and tamales!!

5. A possible stop at Griffith Park/Observatory, with a brief confrontation with the Unhinged LADOT Griffith Shuttle.

6. Onwards to Hollywood and Grauman’s Chinese Theater after our second trip on the Orange Beast Metro #2.

7. If time and energy permit, the Westside Pavillion (because we both were big fans of clueless), after fighting off the Orange Beast and reaching the Blue Devil Boss of Santa Monica BBB #8 or #12.

Home to hang out with Tara and rest up for a Sunday in San Diego 🙂

Estimated Cost of this trip (excluding food and souvenirs): $6.85 for Lauren and $5.50 for me.  Boo-yah.  Talk about tourism on a budget 🙂