“Places like the public library are crucial to the day-to-day survival strategies of the $2-a-day poor. They offer a warm place to sit, a clean and safe bathroom, and a way to get online to complete a job application. They provide free educational programs for kids. Perhaps most important, they can help struggling families feel they are a part of society instead of cast aside by it.”
From $2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America, Kathryn J. Edin and Luke Shaefer, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt 2015
“You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.” (John Wooden)
Saturday I wrote about how lucky I was–celebrating my landmark birthday with kids and grandkids. Yesterday a priest talked to us about compassion. Later, I took leftover Easter eggs and made several egg salad sandwiches–I thought maybe today in dtla I’d run across someone who might want one. Not to worry–I gave away two sandwiches within four minutes, one to a Vietnam vet who said he hadn’t tasted homemade egg salad for longer than he could remember, and another to a young man who was incredibly grateful for the food. I wish I had brought more sandwiches, but there’s always tomorrow, right? Annie tells us, “Tomorrow’s another day.”
What a great place to have a “significant birthday” right in the heart of South Park, dtla. This bowling alley in LA Live gave us two hours, two lanes, lots of drinks and hearty appetizers. Even more special were my kids and grandkids, there to sing the birthday song and watch me blow out all the candles–I loved every minute!
DTLA is lucky to have this fab Mexican restaurant on Seventh and Grand. My sister and I met there for lunch, and by the time I arrived she was well into their famous chewy chips and guacamole, but I quickly battled it out for my fair share.
Chef Robert Luna was raised on hearty East LA Mexican food, and he knows how to cook it. I decided to pace myself and order what proved a scrumptious kale salad with pistachio dressing. I wanted to try the Angelina, one of their signature drinks, made of tequila and hibiscus juice, but I decided against this pleasure since I needed to survive the freeway.
Sis and I munched, caught up with respective lives, and gawked at the arched ceilings and hip diners. We didn’t have time to visit Mas Malo’s famed tequila tasting vault, but there’s always next time. LA Times food critic Jessica Gelt said, “It takes a certain ironic chutzpah to name a restaurant ‘bad,’ and even more to call it ‘more bad.'” But I say it’s even better than good that we have such a more bad spot right here!
Have you tried the Stocking Frame on Hill Street? This cool gastropub has been open a couple of years now on the ground floor of a 1917 brick building. Where did the owners get the weird restaurant name? Long ago, the place used to function as a dtla garment factory, and a stocking frame is a mechanical knitting machine used in the textiles industry!
In fact, if you like trivia, the guy that invented the frame, William Lee, tried to convince Queen Elizabeth I to issue him a patent, but Elizabeth refused, fearing the frame’s effects on hand-knitting industries. Smart lady–she turned out to be correct, but that didn’t stop other frame users from modifying and experimenting with the machine. Finally there were over 25,000 frames in use.
Flash forward to the present: here we sit in today’s Stocking Frame, having had a pretty great meal, including what you see in the center of our table: killer bread pudding that could have fed more than the four of us. I urge you to try this friendly “bar and refuge,” as the owners refer to it–I don’t think you’ll regret it!