i went shopping on state street. it's something i normally avoid doing but last friday was an exception; i was hosting the supa eggplant.
mirror fun at one of the boutiques
we hit pretty much every shop between figueroa and cota. that's not that many considering two thirds of the shops were closed by 6 pm.
knitted toys at anthropologie
and crocheted toys, same store
we had dinner at taiko, a new japanese joint on the 500 block. excellent food but no pictures.
on our way back to the car we passed by the coffee shop on figueroa. we were peeping through the window to watch a musician getting ready and look what we saw:
a knit group!
totally unfamiliar faces. i dragged mariko inside to talk to the knitting ladies, a group of long time friends. they unwittingly entertained my small talks. next thing they knew, i finagled a picture. hahahahahaha. blurry but nice crowd.
then we went home and crocheted.
skimima helped mariko count stitches
saturday we went to breakfast at xanadu, a bakery in montecito. we had cake and coffee, the high life. at 8 or so, we left for los angeles to meet my friend bean in the garment district.
egg+bean at michael levine
bean is the talented vietnamese australian babe whose knitting i used to feature on schmeebot. we've known each other for years but we had never met in person. it was neat to finally have a face to go with that funky accent.
we successfully identified each other on maple street and promptly commenced shopping. check out the fine novelty prints:
holy smokes, they have fabrics like you wouldn't believe! i was gasping left and right. it was so dizzying i didn't know which way to point the camera.
mariko inspecting the goods
bean getting a couple of cuts
some days later, we left michael levine to check out the rest of the district.
pinch me pinch me!
for sarah flores
ain't she super?
bayds, australian for beads
around noon we went to japantown for lunch. afterward we got green tea ice cream desserts and shopped at marukai the dollar fifty store.
after we each spent a small fortune, we went to the mall where they sell japanese crack (not cracked) ceramics, the sort bean is addicted to. we hit another dollar fifty store there where we found bamboo crochet hooks and knitting needles. it was way too exciting.
then we went to kinokuniya. you can guess what happend to us there. after an hour of flipping through craft books, bean went nuts. it's typical for kinokuniya first timers. we had to take her to the coffee shop and let her simmer down.
still leery of the
believe it or not, we continued shopping some more after that. i got some dubious matcha shortbread from a semi japanese adult store. we hit marukai the food market before we left for dinner.
the one with the wonky accent took us to her favorite joint for dinner: korean tofu. they served really large portions and i ate way too much. i must admit: i am not a fan of kimchee.
discussing bibimbap over bahlee* tea
* bean said to us, "you will love this tea, it's bahlee."
mariko: what is it?
bean: bahlee. it's really good.
mariko: and what is it again?
mariko: (still baffled)
thuy: oh! oh! barley! barley!
after dinner we went driving clear across town. i gave bean non stop grief by immitating her english until we hit the skirt shop.
what a terrific little boutique. the skirts are very cute and the prices are all reasonable. i got very inspired studying the fabrics and styles. i would like to sew.
our last stop of the day was an all australian shop a few doors down from ooh la la. mariko was hoping for some tim tams** but there was no such luck. we discovered uchi instead. amazing stuff.
** i have never had tim tams. i would like some tim tams.
sunday morning mariko went running bright and early. i believe she had gone to bed with her running shoes on.
avoiding the paparazzi
queue the rocky soundtrack here
i walked the tracks once and gave up. i went to sit on the bleachers and watched mariko run the tracks a few hundred times. then she ran up the bleachers and disappeared into the santa barbara city college campus. when she came back, i caught her doing this:
a million dollar picture
despite having to breathe the los angeles smog and exercise against will, i had loads of fun. we're planning on hitting torrance next, immediately after we recover financially from this excursion.