Long Beach Graffiti, Jurassic Culver City, Little Tokyo sings out Loud

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What a gorgeous Saturday here in Long Beach. It would have been a sin if this Socal-ette stayed indoors today. While my other half was at work, I walked several blocks down Redondo avenue to Ocean boulevard in order to catch the 121 bus to downtown. You could tell it was Saturday- the usual CSULB student bus population was replaced by the weekend travelers, tourists, and old folk. As we bussed by the beach, Long Beach Art museum, and several people walking their dogs or exercising, I mentally planned my day. And by “planned”, I meant loosely thought about. There were no real plans. The only thing to do: walk.

Downtown on Ocean boulevard, I fueled up at Rocco’s Italian Deli. This place makes the BEST in New York style Italian deli sandwiches. Everything is freshly sliced to order and the decor almost gives you a degenerate Bronx accent. I noshed on the “Arthur Avenue” sandwich. The combo of capicolla, prosciutto, sopressata meats, and fresh mozzarella, arugula, roasted red peppers, and balsamic vinagrette made me swoon. Soon after, I was wandering around 1st and Elm discovering some new street art. If you don’t know yet, you soon will- I ♥ graffiti art. It was a mishmash of colorful eyeballs looking out for downtown. The artist’s signature? A simple namaste sign in the lower right corner. It was as if JR met up with a box of crayons. Anyhow, onward…

The train’s new Expo line (light blue) was endeavor #1: See where it went, find the Museum of Jurassic Technology, find a tasty treat. The museum is this crazy mix abstract art based on trailer trash collections, weird-yet-true history, obsolete technology, old- wives’ tales around the U.S., and its own take on an alternate universe. All sprinkled with bits of sarcasm. You really have to visit it to believe this place exists. My favorite part had to be the exhibit on Hagop Sandaldjian’s micro miniatures. From the Culver city platform, it’s possible to see some of the most beautiful works of street art (will be displayed in a future post). Before I left CC, my sweet tooth started acting up so I put it to rest with an Argentinian sweet treat- Caramel dolloped cookie, drenched in chocolate from Grand Casino Bakery. There’s something for everyone there- single baked treats for $1-$2 or a box of 20 assorted for about $12.They also have full meals, beverages, and preserves. After my snack, the train took me back to LA while passing through USC’s campus, California Science Center, and Exposition Park.

 

Endeavor #2: Meet up with my bf in Little Tokyo for a sushi dinner. From the expo line, I got onto the red line to meet the gold line. While on the red, my phone was about to poop out so I stopped at the Civic Center stop. Here, I was thrown right onto Grand park, with its gorgeous new landscaping, pink chairs, and magnificent fountain. It’s absolutely invisible to people driving by so it’s a perfect walking trip with the family for an evening picnic. There are clean restrooms, a new Starbucks, and enough chairs and tables for a party. The fountain has a part where children (and kids at heart) can run through on steamy LA days. After a few minutes, I was back on the train to Gold line where I went south to Little Tokyo. As soon as the bf and I met up, I walked him over to the revolving sushi bar from last week. He was nearly crying with joy and excitement. Our mutual love for raw fish could make any fisherman wary- get us going and we’d probably get kicked out of Japan for eating as much as a family of 5. A stack of plates and two empty sake bottles later, we were in the square with the outdoor karaoke crowd. Ever Saturday til 9pm there’s open karaoke. I sang Jewel’s “You Were Meant for Me” as Bf’s cheeks rosied up.

Endeavor #3: After more Sake, we hopped onto the Gold line to get to the end of the red line in Koreatown for some Makkeoli (Korean rice wine) and Kimchi Pajeon (kimchi omelette, aka Drunk food). He’s not much of a kimchi guy but he noshed on the free pretzels. It was eerily quiet in the restaurant for a Saturday night but my guess is that it got busy after the clubs let out later. We talked, joked, drank, gazed, and headed back home. Lucky thing that on Friday and Saturday nights, the rail lines are open til 2 or 4am depending on construction.

Back in LBC, we caught the midnight bus back home, cuddled up, and I thanked the heavens for letting me be a SoCal-ette.

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