1.13.2012

Griffith Park + Local General Stores

The beautiful (and symmetrical) Griffith Park Observatory

Yesterday was Thursday. Since it wasn't yet Friday, and since it was a plain old Thursday, Andy and I decided to change it up. Thursday's generally start off with one of us waking up and poking the other to make sure our cars aren't parked in the Thursday morning sweep zone. Not fun waking up to a $65 ticket for parking in front of your house. But this morning we decided rather than to get up and race down in half sleep to move the car, to head out (before ticket happy street sweeper) for a morning hike at Griffith Park.

This park has become a bit of a sanctuary for me in the last six months. The views, the juniper and pine smells, the drive up the hill past all the gorgeous California mansions, the distant view at equal height of the Hollywood sign, the miles upon miles of dirt trail, and the (last but not least) Observatory. A stunning pieces of architecture that if I may say so, remains a bit mysterious to me.

Griffith Observatory with view towards the Pacific Ocean 

Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory
Maybe that's what I like about it. I haven't taken the tour, and stepped inside only once for a hot minute, but I absolutely love making fake screenplays about the stone sculptures of scientific men clad in robes on the front lawn opening up into a secret tunnel underneath the building and James Dean casually greeting us in perfect Rebel without a Cause character... The symmetry of the building grabs me - it's very graphic and a bit apocalyptic in a kind of Terry Gilliam Brazil sort of way.

Andy lounging with a view. Hollywood sign in the background. 

James Dean on location at Griffith Park. Photo found at artsmeme
In a way, Griffith Observatory has become my Austin's Mount Bonnell and Mayfield Park of Los Angeles. A place in the middle of a city, where you can tuck into nature and escape the sounds of freeways for a private moment.

Vintage Mount Bonnell, the highest point in Austin. Photo from Wikipedia

But this is also about local general stores. So after our hike, we stumbled upon Broome St. General Store in the cute neighborhood, Silver Lake. I can't say how underprepared I was for this unassuming place to offer me a live walk-through of all my favorite catalogs and dream vintage finds under one roof. It was like the cool local part from West Elm, and your favorite corner bakery, and that stationery store that you love, and the best spread kitchenware like in the Sur la Table displays.. but more original, hand built, and privately small. Oh, and coffee. That was our point in going here. For coffee. They brew using Gimme Coffee of NYC, and it was one of the best latte's I've had to date. Without the hefty price tag of other boutique coffee shops found in the same area... Something tells me I'll find myself here on the regular.

Photo from Broome St General Twitter

Beautiful display and goodies. Photo by Daily Candy

Yummy bread! Photo from Broome St General Twitter
Broome St. left me nostalgic for Austin (of course), but also left me thinking of our last few favorite general stores, and how good it feels when you walk out of a current day mom and pop with a few goodies under your arm. If you have the pleasure someday of visiting Barton Springs in Austin, be sure to drop by Thom's Market, where you will find an amazing selection of wine (they have a solid policy "If you don't like it, bring it back and we'll drink it!"), vintage gag gift candies, gluten free brownie mix, and local produce. Not to mention awesome stationery. I loved walking down there and picking up a bottle of Prosecco, a wedge of local cheese and fresh bread, paired with a few blank cards for old-fashioned letter writing. Happy to find our new General Store on the West Coast!

Cheers!
Jackie

ps - if you haven't yet spent two strange and curious hours watching Brazil, perhaps this will reel you in..


Happy weekend!
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