Culver City Street Art, Los Angeles Brewing Company, Dessert by Candlelight and a South Pasadena Stroll

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The weather in December in Southern California is fickle. I woke up to about 76 degrees of sunlight and fresh air and decided to take a day off from my work and projects. At the same time, my good friend DK decided to do the same. He called me up early in the morning (by early, I mean 10am) to see what I had planned for the day. Nothing, I told him. He suggested on meeting up for some urban exploration or hiking, but I didn’t want him to drive clear across the 405/101 to meet me, so I decided we meet at the Culver Metro station. There, there are some gorgeous pieces of street art, that had honored that area for years. He and I both appreciate that kind of thing so I knew he’d jump at the chance.

When we arrived, it was a sad scene. Demolition had started on these abandoned buildings and already half of the murals had come down. Parts were boarded-up, surrounded by fence, and painted over. We did our best to climb over the fences, hop the walls, but my sandals and my hand suffered a couple casualties. We analyzed and discussed what once was, recreating the images in our minds.

Despite the dust, blood, and broken sandals, we wandered around the streets and alleys in CC, only to find some amazing walls down abandoned corridors in Helm’s Bakery District. Around there we debated on eating lunch or waiting til we got into Los Angeles. In the end, we opted for LA Brewing Company (I heard they make this beer-flavored cheese), since DK knew that place and its history. From the Expo line to downtown, we walked to LABC. There, we ate a huge plate of chicken & waffles and nachos with their beer cheese, along with tall glasses of this rich apricot ale (which I can’t remember the name of~), and talked about the parallels of our universes. He’s a talented business owner, and a deeply conscientious being. He is someone I learn from everyday, and has become my business & life mentor of sorts too. Earlier in the month, he made me realize that my time with C was good for growth, but that it left me longing in the end, as DK knows that I thrive with clear communication.

After eating, we soaked in the downtown dusk, meandering through the alleys and shops in LA. Eventually, we stumbled across a beautiful French bakery/restaurant called Figaro. Between the chocolate yule log, the Champagne, the AMAZING single-malt scotch (courtesy of the bartender), the real candles, and the modern French ambience, I was in LA heaven. It took some helping off my stool after the bubbly, and I braced myself for the long walk back.

Then we found ourselves on the Gold line to Pasadena. We wandered the Christmas lighted streets, perused through a rad video shop (got myself an Ai WeiWei doc!), and headed back to Pershing Square. Here at our last stop before home, we flowed through the crowd that gathered for outdoor ice skating, tamale-eating, picnic-ing, and star-gazing. Life felt grand here next the Grand avenue, and I credit having such great friends in a lovely city.

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