Thursday, February 28, 2013

Malo, and Space too

Oh, Malo Malo Malo!  Thank the lord I found ye!  I don't know why it took me so long either, because after my very favorite restaurant Cobras and Matadors closed, I was absolutely intent on checking it out since it's the same owners, but for some reason it just didn't happen until one fated night.  

Zooey was in town again, thank the lucky stars, and when we were invited out to dinner there, I was basically jumping for joy.  

I do that sometimes. 

First off, the atmosphere is perfect.  Dim reddish lighting, wooden tables.  To me, it felt like a bigger Cobras and Matadors, like they may have used the same tables and chairs and everything.  Which is just an interpretation based on distant cloudy foggy memories, from the corners of my mind, but I loved feeling that way, in any case.  I can get sentimental about pretty much anything, though, even chairs.

As to dinner, we started off with the creamy Habanero salsa and soft chips. Wow!  That was something else!  I think they have a variety of salsas to choose from, but I really can't imagine there being a better salsa in the universe, so I'd be hard pressed to try a different one next time.  And soft chips.  Well, now, those things are just a little bit of heaven in a handbasket.  I could have dined on those alone and been one happy girl.  

But, then, all of dinner was amazing.  Mine, squash blossom tacos.  Theirs, some spectacular looking carnitas.  And I was one happy girl.  And we were one happy crew.  And I'm real glad I finally found that place.

Plus, it's just good to get out, in this, the era of my unemployment.  Lest I forget how you don't wear sweatpants all the time.

Then it was a glorious Sunday afternoon and Zooey and I decided to venture up to the Observatory.  I've long loved that place, and usually hike up to it, but this time we drove and, incidentally, still sort of had to hike up to it anyway since the parking lot was overflowing about a mile down the hill.  So we walked up there in that crisp air, the hills and city spanning out around us.

We wandered into the Observatory and did some observing.  There's so much to see in there and it overwhelmed me at times because, well, I think too much is the main reason.  We checked out the panel of existence.  I mean, that's the only way I can think to title it.  Just a long walkway with a small model of time along the wall, the Big Bang and the almost 14 billion years that passed before we people arrived here.  Insane.  Insane.  This universe.

Me, being existence, contemplating its magnificence. And what it is.  It's magnificence, and so are we.  

And then we walked outside and the sun was about to set and the half moon was floating above us.  And we were in space there.  Zooey and I, standing on the earth, circling around the sun, the moon overhead.  I couldn't quite get my mind around it all.  Naturally, I suppose.  That's some serious business to consider.  Where are we?  What is this?  How did this come from an explosion in the middle of nothing?  But in those questions, there was sincere awe.  And my heart so full of gratitude that it could just about break.  And somehow, I knew that it all had meaning.

The hills were spanning off from dark and close to pale and distant and the sky was orange and bright and then the sun just crept lower and lower softly behind those hills and became an enormous red ball in the brightest golden sky and, for a split second, there was silence.  Just everywhere.  All of LA.  It was quiet.  And then the sun disappeared as we rotated and spun around it.  And there we were, side by side, just standing on planet Earth.  
14 billion years to get here.  

And all I could think was, we're in space.  And, also, this is the best Observatory ever!  

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Grand Park

Another beautiful detour, just the other day. My friend Brad and I went Downtown to go see an art show at the Convention Center, but it happened to be on a Sunday when there was a Lakers' game so that whole area was bustling like Downtown only bustles when there's a Lakers' game.  We drove around for a while trying to decide if we wanted to see the art show that much, to brave the mayhem and pay $30 to park, and came to the conclusion that we did not.  More than that, we decided we could find something just as fun to do on that clear winter day in a different Downtown area.  So it was decided.  We were off to explore with no particular plan or destination.  And I think we both felt relieved with that verdict. 

As it turns out, Brad had heard of this park that was recently built and we had really been wanting to check it out.  It was supposedly constructed to be like the Central Park of Downtown LA to accommodate, I suppose, the burgeoning, ever so slowly, I might add, populace of successful artsy sorts.  So we got Siri on the mission, circling around looking for Grand Park.  

Once located, we parked near Grand Central Market.  We popped in there for a minute, just so I could show it to Brad.  I've always been fond of that bizarre bazaar.  That's another place I hear rumor is going to be getting a multimillion dollar makeover, which, on the one hand, I'm sure I'll love.  On the other, I've always found a certain appeal and charm in how grubby and strange that place is.  So, I imagine, where once you could get a bottle of tequila, a cheap plastic toy and a slab of beef tongue, you'll be able to get a microbrew and a yoga mat. 

Anyway, after that short stop at one of my favorite little downtown treasures, we walked over to see what that park was all about.  Hm.  Um.  Well.

First, I think I need to look up the definition of park, maybe.  I mean, it's possibly the weirdest park in the world.  It takes up four blocks and is mostly patches of grass in concrete, nary a tree to be seen, and a bunch of fuchsia benches, metal benches, not even wooden, and a fountain.  It was just about the furthest thing from nature that I could imagine.  It might actually be what I would imagine if someone asked me to imagine the furthest thing from nature.  I'm still kind of registering that place.  Maybe it's not done.  That's what I'm hoping.  Because Grand it was not.

But, as we stood there in that peculiar desolation, the clouds and the light and the world were all so perfect that it hardly mattered.  Looking up, we found our nature.  The sky was incredible that day. It really was.  Bright and serene with abnormally puffy clouds perched just so over the Civic Center. And the park was empty, all four blocks of it, and it was quite peaceful then.

After that, we decided to see how much ticket prices were at the MOCA.  We walked over there and up to the ticket booth and for some reason it was free that day so we got to go in and look at all of this modern art that I don't understand (yet? ever?) and it was all really quite beautiful, in its strange way.  The MOCA suddenly being free.  We got our art show after all.  And we whispered a lot.  And giggled.  But every so often, we stopped and were silent.  So, there's always something that gets you.  

And then coming back home, the sky was that quintessential LA sky color.  For me at least.  All golden and white and bright and vast.  And when we were at my door, it began to rain and when I got out of the car and felt the raindrops hit my face, I felt so happy.  So happy for all of the years here and that I have found that I truly love this place and that every day is an exploration.  And I love it for being that.  Sincerely.