Category Archives: Sundays in Lalaland

Happy Birthday, Babycakes.

We recently celebrated a dear friend’s birthday on a Sunday at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery, situating ourselves amongst the tombstones to nosh on cupcakes and bagels. All reservations aside, the afternoon was incredibly peaceful and surprisingly joyful as we loved on our birthday girl. Despite a near-death experience with an aggressive swan, I walked away feeling like cemeteries might actually be the perfect locales for a quiet afternoon with friends.

I guess I’m 2 for 2 with cheerful jaunts through cemeteries!

 

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Happy birthday, babycakes.

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Sundays in the Arts District

The Arts District of Los Angeles is quickly becoming one of my favorite nooks in the city. We spent a recent Sunday meandering around its streets for a bit of urban exploration. And of course, no trip to the Arts District is complete without a stop at Urth Caffé.

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I love juice!! 🙂

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Having grown up in a city that pushes cookie-cutter suburbia to the extreme, the Arts District is always such a welcome reminder of creativity and culture in an urban setting. Rather than tearing down historic buildings to replace them with modern conveniences, the structures in the Arts District are re-purposed and upcycled to evolve with the culture around them. I love this. A shining example is the old National Biscuit Company (NABISCO) warehouse on Industrial, now converted into luxury lofts. The coveted French bistro Church & State resides on the ground floor and is most assuredly calling my name…..hoping to pay that one a visit soon!

 

If you’re heading Los Angeles definitely plan some time to stop by this area! Some of my other favorite eateries and drinkeries are:

The Pie Hole | 714 Traction Ave  Los Angeles, CA 90013

Wurstküche | 800 E 3rd St  Los Angeles, CA 90013

The Daily Dose | 1820 Industrial Street #104  Los Angeles, CA 90021

Angel City Brewery | 216 South Alameda Street  Los Angeles, CA 90012

What are your favorite places?

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Angel City

Angel City Brewery is doing cool things. Not only are they participating in the burgeoning Los Angeles craft beer scene, but they are playing an active role in their community. Located in the Arts District of downtown LA, Angel City is dedicated to the growth and development of this neighborhood by hosting events, food trucks, and art exhibits. I’m particularly stoked about an event coming up later this month: Barks, Bubbles & Brews…a dog wash and mini pet adoption to benefit Much Love Animal Rescue. If you happen to be in the Arts District definitely stop by for a good beer and good company. The bartenders are friendly and very well-educated on their craft. Also, they offer free beer…tours.

I can’t really comment on the beer since I’m definitely no connoisseur. You know what I can comment on though? The light. So many rays of beautiful diffused light streaming in all over the place!

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Angel City Brewery & Public House
216 South Alameda Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012

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Birthday Presence

“What do you want for your birthday?” I paused to let The Question sink in. Another year, another birthday. I internally asked myself the same question my friend had just posed. That’s when I realized it happened. I had reached the age at which material things no longer carry the same hope of satisfaction and gratification that they used to. Perhaps this is because I have accepted the truth that they won’t, in fact, sustain my soul. Neither will they retain the same excitement factor they once held when they were shiny and new. But if I didn’t want a present what was it then that I really wanted?

If there’s one thing I’ve longed for the most during this transition season it’s community. I definitely experienced a period of restlessness and discomfort while struggling to grow into life after graduating, and a huge part of this was exacerbated by the fact that in the aftermath of change my friends and I were pretty scattered while we figured out how to piece the puzzle back together. Now that the dust has settled I can confidently and gratefully say that God has blessed me abundantly with the restoration of old communities and the birth of new ones.

So, in response to The Question, I decided that all I really wanted for my birthday was to set aside a day with close friends going to church and doing all of my favorite things in the great city of Los Angeles. Instead of presents from my friends I wanted the presence of my friends.

What resulted was the best gift I could have ever received. A day spent with wonderful people eating our way through LA. Moreover, it was a day drenched in Love. I am so indescribably thankful for each and every moment I have with these people and I am in awe of the work God is orchestrating in our lives both separately and together. As I looked around the table at dinner and the night drew to a close I was overcome by the awareness that we are all threads in the tapestry of life and together we are being woven into a great and perfect design.

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KatieKat and me at the good old Mercantile. A staple and forever favorite.

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The Hollywood Christmas Parade happened to be that evening, so we camped out on Hollywood Boulevard and patiently awaited Santa Clause. We never actually saw him, but in the meantime several Batmobiles, the Ectomobile (Ghostbusters, anyone?), the Scooby Doo van, a Tatooine land speeder complete with Jawas, and many other iconic film vehicles cruised by. …and of course the occasional supersized Elmo or Kermit the Frog.

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IMG_0747_1IMG_0743_1IMG_0754_1Dinner at Figaro Bistrot could not have been more perfect. This is one of my absolute favorite places because it truly feels like France whenever I’m there. Totally and completely.

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(Thanks Kimmie for taking the camera to capture some of the above images! Check out all the interesting and lovely things going on over at her bloggity)

It was pretty fitting that my actual birthday fell on Thanksgiving this year. I was able to stop and truly appreciate God’s provision, faithfulness, and undeserved, unbelievably abundant grace in my life.

Thank you to everyone who made my birthday special whether or not you were in LA with us! You are loved!

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Architecture.

The room was abuzz with Sunday morning patrons eagerly anticipating the consumption of French delicacies and brunchtime delights. We were seated in the front section at Bottega Louie, and although so much activity was swirling around us time seemed to stand still. I think time always stands still on Sundays. For a brief moment I see a glimpse of the Architect at work constructing my life and the lives of those around me. This is most clearly evidenced by the community He has blessed me with, for no brick means anything if it stands alone. I am so grateful for the other bricks in my life and the greater building we are a small part of.

Les macarons pour tout le monde.

^ Sassypants T-Pain.

Hangin’ with the dudes.

As I looked down my aisle at Reality LA I realized I was about to spend the entire Sunday with boys. I knew I was in for an adventure. An adventure involving food, spontaneity, and climbing things. Boys always have to climb things.

Our first excursion was to the Old Zoo at Griffith Park. We spent about an hour roaming the grounds while the guys imitated lions and I followed with my camera.

Then pie happened. I’ve been wanting to go to House of Pies in Los Feliz forever and the day finally came.

After pie-ing up we felt energized enough to staircase, and we came across a beautiful Craftsman house for sale at the beginning of our walk. They happened to be having an open house that day, so we invited ourselves in for a look around.

My mom grew up going to the church in the center of the above image. I forget sometimes how much of my family’s history is based in LA. I think it explains the strong pull I feel towards this beautiful city.

I’ve always admired Craftsmans for their juxtaposition of orderly, clean lines and “cozy-homeyness,” but this was the first time I’ve actually been able to appreciate the interior as well. Now I want one for myself.

We ended the day downtown for refreshing beverages at Caffe Primo. I love days spent bouncing around Los Angeles.

Bonnes aventures.

Although the wedding festivities were over, the weekend most certainly was not. I arrived home to Tera after the reception and was so happy to be able to spend a couple days with her. Sunday was the usual: Reality LA and adventures in the City of Angels. After church I took her to Caffe Primo. Definitely one of my new favorites. We spent the afternoon exploring the city, lounging at the Bonaventure, and eating our way through downtown LA…lunch at Primo, ice cream and boba at the Grand Central Market, and I was helpless to a Bavarian Pretzel at Bottega Louie.

Each bite into this almond croissant was a tiny glimpse of France. I thought about it for the rest of the week. France and the croissant.

Tera had to test out the indoor running track.

Chariots of Fire status.

If there’s one thing I knew Tera would love, it was the funicular at Angel’s Plaza. I think the image below definitely confirms that.

I loved sharing this part of LA with Tera! Downtown is one of my favorite areas, especially on Sundays. I know I’ve said it before, but it is so incredibly serene on Sunday afternoons. Nothing like it is during the week when businesspeople are bustling about.