Conversational journeys over cups of chai, at home and abroad.

Archive for February, 2011

Angel’s Flight Adventure

What Alyssa taught me today:  A Los Angeles Metro adventure can be had for $6.00 round trip, $1.80 for seniors (unlimited stops) — plus a few bucks for lunch.

My mom and I met Alyssa at Union Station, quickly wolfed down a cinnamon Wetzel’s Pretzel, and then caught the Red Line to Angel’s Flight.   I’ve wanted to check this out since it re-opened back in 1996.  I waited and missed my window of opportunity when it closed after an accident in 2001… but I’m happy to report that it re-opened again in 2010.

It’s really neat, very old-fashioned and nestled in-between several skyscrapers.  We rode it up the hill, then stumbled upon The Museum of Contemporary Art — where we were granted free admission for President’s Day. Most striking to me was the sculpture outside the museum, constructed from spent airplane pieces.  Probably not an encouraging sight for this phobic flyer, but impressive just the same.

From there we wandered across the street through Grand Central Market, and then headed east two blocks to Pete’s Cafe and Bar.  The mac & cheese was fantastic.  So was the grilled cheese sandwich.  And the tomato basil soup.  Oh, and the apple and walnut salad.  And I think there were some french fries thrown in there as well.

We waddled down Main Street, and evidently we hadn’t eaten quite enough because we had to try some Big Man Bakes cupcakes.  Yum!!  I wanted to just peek inside and see the big man in action, but then once I saw the cupcakes I had to treat everybody.  We never saw the big man.

Pershing Square was next.  From there we hopped back on the Metro and made a stop in Chinatown.  A little shopping was in order.  Did you know you can get 12 pairs of cotton socks for $6.00?  Quite a bargain.

We Metro-ed home, and there was talk of another trip in a few weeks.  We’ll keep you posted. — Patty

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Perfect Pair

I was part of the busy Monday afternoon traffic crowd along Los Feliz, waiting for a stoplight to let me through.  Along the sidewalk to my right I saw a 40-ish man in blue hospital scrubs, patiently walking an elderly dog.  The dog took very ginger steps, and kept stopping every few seconds to look over his shoulder.  About 20 feet behind them, an elderly gentleman shuffled along with his aluminum walker, keeping pace, obviously the dog’s owner.  Clearly evident was the fact that they meant the world to each other.  The stoplight turned green, and I caught one last glimpse of the dog looking over his shoulder again. — Patty


Welcome Home!

PATTY: Alyssa arrived home from Tanzania a few weeks ago.  I picked her up from my mom’s on a Monday afternoon and we hit Chado first thing.

ALYSSA: Chado was just as I remembered it.  Great food, great tea, and great conversation with my tia.

PATTY: Afterward, we headed straight to the grocery store for some more tea provisions.

ALYSSA: As if one tea time wasn’t enough, we decided that during my short visit we would have tea and all the fixings again and again.  A true indulgence to welcome me home.

PATTY: A few hours later, I was hungry again.

ALYSSA: I wasn’t actually hungry, but am never one to turn down great food.

PATTY: I said, “You realize that we’re having tea again, don’t you?”

ALYSSA: We actually ended up having 3 full tea times within a 48 hour period…

PATTY: … and did lots of catching up.

ALYSSA: But the whole time it felt like I had never been gone.  We easily fell back into the good food, fun conversation, and drinking so much tea that I got the shakes.  It sure is good to be home!

PATTY: Yeah, and I got some really cool souvenirs as well!  A beaded African spoon, a tin of delicious black tea with some traditional Middle Eastern teacups and saucers to enjoy it in, and a really interesting book about life in Tanzania called In Our Village. For more info about that, check our Reading page.

FAVORITE QUOTE OVER TEA, PATTY TO ALYSSA: “One day you may become famous.  If you do, remember who you are right this minute. And don’t become a little f@#ker.”  This was in regards to separate incidents that we’d both had with celebrity run-ins over the past year, in different parts of the globe.

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