Friday, August 22, 2008

echo park

yesterday was fun. we headed up to echo park so I could check out show pony, a shop I've known about for years, but had yet to visit. I found three! great things on their bargain rack, and was really impressed with their collection of new items for fall. the shop has an airy feel to it, adorned with funky accessories and owner kime buzzelli's luscious artwork. show pony's located on a block tucked into echo park's residential area, and shared with like-minded businesses like hope gallery. after our visit, we explored sunset blvd. in echo park, which has come up a lot in the past few years. I am so, so glad to see that Los Angeles is getting hip to the idea of locally-run street level retail. so much of the city in the last few decades has been dominated by suburban-style shopping centers clogged with big-box chains. if they can work on the public transportation problem, as they seem to be doing, the city will greatly improve. car culture means that people zip right by tiny businesses. for now, that part of sunset is still a series of disjointed clusters of shops. making it into a walking destination would be awesome.

hungry for lunch, we headed over to Alegria on Sunset, upon b's suggestion. wow, it was fantastic. the freshest style of mexican food imaginable. I had "ensalada de aguacate y camarones" - mixed baby greens and romaine, a whole avocado, red potatoes, green beans, carrots, and large, seasoned shrimp. to drink, iced "cafe de la olla," coffee brewed with piloncillo (unrefined cane sugar) and cinnamon sticks. yum! the place is beautifully decorated with bright colors, and our waiter couldn't have been nicer.

continuing to hunt around sunset blvd. through echo park and silver lake, we explored some antique shops and found sumi's, a shop full of artisan goods and unique gifts. it reminded me of rare device. heading west on sunset, we hit up a silverlake institution, wacko. the enormous converted warehouse space houses the book shop and novelty store, stocks their line of soap plant products, and is home to la luz de jesus gallery. a must-see in silverlake.

after getting our fill of echo park and silverlake shops, galleries and restaurants, we drove into the neighborhood to catch a glimpse of dodger stadium. I was curious to see it, as it's hidden back in the canyons and somewhat of a mystery. then b headed north to glendale, another area of L.A. I had never seen. I was kind of surprised by how big and built up that area is. we drove around for a while, before winding our way to chinatown. we grabbed some vietnamese food, walked around the chinatown plaza and chung king road, and ended the day with treats from the phoenix bakery!

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