Thumbs up

My walk around the Silver Lake reservoir this morning was a little bit of the same, yet a whole lot more.

I saw some familiar faces running around the ‘lake’. Not people I know, but people I’ve seen doing the same before. One of them was a guy with a big nose, 80’s style haircut and runners legs who I’d seen lap me a couple of time previously. This time he was out there with a girl and they were doing some cool down jogs. He was fully kitted in a running singlet and shirt and my guess is he’ll be taking part in the LA Marathon this week. The marathon starts not far from here at Dodger Stadium and then they run all the way to Santa Monica. Yes, it is about 40km to Santa Monica from here, which is unexpected when you’re looking at a map and a really long way away.

As I was getting to the last stretches of my lap, a shiny blue pick up truck drove past. The driver was hanging out the window looking at me, and then as the road curved ahead, he drove around the corner with giving me the thumbs up. I put it down to my new exercise outfit. I’ve graduated from being the dork in the t-shirt to the trim thing in fitted gym gear.

Found: one good coffee

My neighbour had offered to provide tips and insights on the area, so I took him up on the offer and invited him to coffee.

I explained my pickiness over coffee and how I’d been fairly disappointed with what I’d found so far, and that I was keen to find a great coffee in LA. As he is a former barista, he was a good person to ask. However, I’d already been to top two he was suggesting, LA Mill and Intelligentsia.

Instead, we rolled on down to Silverlake Coffee which I had passed a number of times on my way to the supermarket. I had wondered what it would be like as from the outside it has a little front yard surrounded by greenery and little metal tables for two with umbrellas. Inside was a completely different vibe. As soon as I stepped in, I saw leather couches and then it looked like I’d walked into an office. All the tables were occupied with people typing at a computer. Apparently they have free wi-fi, and it seems that a lot of people take advantage of it.

My coffee was lovely. I’d say about a 9 out of 10, although the interesting conversation probably boosted it another half a point or so. I’ll be going back there again, maybe when my new MacBook arrives, so I can sit down there with my shiny new toy, sip coffee and hang out with the artsy kids.

A Silver Lake sojourn

Today we met our new apartment in the trendy suburb Silver Lake.

I almost had a heart attack when I saw the hill that our place is perched on top of. Virtually either side of the apartment block are steep drops. I’m talking a San Francisco style hill that is so steep I seriously doubt my ability to ride a bike down it without careering into a car and catapulting over the fence of the dog park at the bottom of the street. On the plus side, we are going to have the best looking legs and butts ever.

The owner of the apartment is still in the process of moving out, so despite the clutter, mess and dirty carpets, we liked what we saw. The kitchen tiles had been pulled up and will be replaced, and the loft space was fabulous, if a bit hot from the direct sunshine, although that can be fixed with the air con on. The best thing though was the big window like the arch window on Playschool. It has amazing views out across LA.

After writing a check (or as we would call it a cheque) where I almost thought I’d written it incorrectly because I’ve never had my own personal cheques to write, we handed over our security deposit (known in Australia as a bond). Then we set off to explore our new area.

The reservoir has a running track around it that looks good. I guess we’ll be working up to that knowing that the climb home will sap the last ounces of our energy.

Getting feisty outside the Red Lion

Then we found the Red Lion Pub. It is apparently one of the best bars in LA and it looks like a typical pub from back home, except that it’s themed German style. They even had a beer garden and free chilli. I think it’s going to become our local.

Next up we moved to Malo, a groovy bar restaurant that has $1 tacos on a Monday night and is located in the Sunset Junction area. We gorged on all sorts of different tacos and the girls had sangria that came served out of big glass canisters that sat on the bar. After a tasteless soda, lime and bitters, I ordered a lemonade thinking a Sprite would come out. I was rapt when it was real lemonade and I think that’s going to become my US equivalent of lemon, lime and bitters.

The feeling of discovery and wonder is so amazing. I love marvelling at things and constantly going ‘wow’. I hope I never forget this feeling because it makes you so alive and so appreciative to be where you are.