Wednesday, March 02, 2011

At home he feels like a tourist

From Mar 4, 2011

Over the last two weeks, two parental visits have led Amy and I through more local culture than we usually see in six months. We even managed to watch the Oscars on TV, out of some reflexive LA suckle.

From Mar 4, 2011

Amy's parents got in two Sundays ago, late in the afternoon, so our first day out was on Monday. We headed out to Altadena for the Eaton Canyon Nature Area hike, taking us up into the Eaton Falls along the Mount Wilson Toll Road.

The park was packed for President's day, and the recent rains had swelled the arroyo from mostly-dry ditch to a respectable stream, and in getting to the falls there were roughly 15 crossings that had to be made, leaping from rock to rock, which meant usually a wait from five to fifteen minutes as the unprepared tourists squealed and shimmied across wet rocks. Luckily, the hiking boots Amy bought me prior to Yosemite still had plenty of grip, though she ended up taking a splash or two toward the end.

Thanks to Target, LACMA was free too — that and their latest tete a tete with Gaga has me reconsidering my generalized boycott, though their shitty service still sticks in my craw — so got to see the newly-opened Art of the Ancient Americas. I'm not usually that big a fan of ancient artwork; the accumulation of artifacts doesn't interest me much and the vast distance between modern cultures and ancient ones makes pulling meaning out of the work highly suspect, but I will say that the craft was amazing and that I had really under-rated the painting skill of the Maya, even if I still find the whole human sacrifice thing deeply fucked.

We also took another tour through the Lucknow exhibit, and I have to write up something on it for the time-travel blog. Sooner or later, but that's the trouble with time travel, right?

After that, we buffaloed Amy's parents into eating at Loteria, where I had some fantastic mole negro chilaquiles, and Amy had decent potato enchiladas with mole verde — the tortillas and fluffy potatoes felt soggy drenched in the green sauce, but the sauce itself was really tasty. Being stupid tourists, we didn't have a reservation and Amy's folks were moderately surprised at the wait, but it ended up being a blessing — we got seated at the bar, and the 'tender was noticeably quicker than the waitstaff, though it did mean suffering through a douche of brahs maximizing their social media leverage or some shit, one of whom tried to draw me into a conversation about whatever the lime-tequila-beer drink is and how it was the best thing ever, and after I was shruggo (dude, I'm eating here), made some crack about how I looked like I'd drank a lot of beers. Gave him a fuck-you-cheers with my bottle of Chupacabras, which was better than it had any right to be.

From Mar 4, 2011

On Tuesday, we ate breakfast at Home, who shouldn't be judged on their slow, cluttered flash website. I went with the chilaquiles again, this time with red sauce and soyrizo, because I'm a firm believer in the idea of chilaquiles for every meal. We watched Keith Morris eat oatmeal, and luckily, I avoided having to explain who the Circle Jerks were.

After breakfast, we went to Descanso Gardens, a country estate that was planted full of camellias (over 34,000) in order to sell cut flowers; it's now a park and preserve and absolutely gorgeous. We managed to hit the camellias in full bloom, which seems to be the way to go, though neither roses nor lilacs (which they also have) are in yet.

Then we swung down to see Santee Alley, which bills itself as LA's "premier outdoor shopping experience," which is one way of saying, "Full of designer knock-offs, bongs and bootlegs." We managed to pick up a pretty lovely rug for $150 that's already fraying around the edges. You pays your money, you takes your chances, I guess.

For dinner, we hit up Cheech's Pizza, which was decent, and the two-for-one they've got is nice. Solid, average pizza, which Amy's folks appreciated after being threatened with Indian or vegan food, and huge salads. The first time we had Cheech's, about six months ago, it was fantastic, but it's been hit and miss for us ever since. Just glad it came out well while the folks were here.

From Mar 4, 2011

Amy left on Wednesday to go to a conference, leaving me all on my lonesome with Pete and Candy. We went on a leisurely stroll up to Griffith Park Observatory, took in a show at the planetarium (which was a delightful mix of campy, cheesy, science-y goodness), and saw the awesome power of Tesla:

From Mar 4, 2011

I talked Amy's folks into trying Thai food for the first time, and took them to Tub Tim, meeting up with our pal Amanda. I picked Tub Tim mostly because the Yelp reviews emphasized that their mild dishes were still tasty — Amy's parents don't like spices in general, so I didn't want them to have a full-on Thai pepper freak out. I went with Panang, Amanda got prik king; neither were anything to write home about, but were solid and tasty. I got the mango sticky rice dessert, and it was OK. In general, their sticky rice (which I also got with Panang) was a bit dry. Outside of that, pretty unremarkable.

I then spent Thursday in an insomniac haze…

The next weekend, my folks came in. Which I'll write about next.

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