• out out out of the house!,  urban life

    The Last Bookstore!


    I heard about The Last Bookstore from a friend a while back but never ventured all the way to LA to visit it until Lubna and I went to The Happy Place. (You know how we are about LA traffic…) Since The Happy Place was a little lack-luster we wanted to maximize our day in LA and this was just the thing. I punched it into my google maps and away we went!

    Parking was about $10 in a lot down the block and around the corner but I think it was totally worth it. What a wonderland we discovered!


    Wandering the downtown streets of Los Angeles to find the bookstore was an adventure in itself. Side story: my phone was dying and I could swear we picked up a few colorful characters just following us around. It kind of gave me the heebie-jeebies.


    But we made it to the bookstore and we were so amazed! Look at that book arch hallway? What the what?!! Lubna and I weren’t really there for the books so we sort of continued our photographer-model date and took pictures of each other.


    It was a blast.


    So naturally a week later when we took to the kids to the King Tut exhibition for Payam’s mom’s mother’s day gift, we HAD to visit it again!

    But hold up. Let’s look at some pictures from our trip to the museums:


    Awwww…. Happy Family Bonding time! Payam’s brother, Ramin, is visiting from out-of-town so he came too. As you can see, Bug got quite a kick out of being taller than him with the help of a curb. They are doing this now. This morning Bug says, Mom, I think you are getting smaller. To which I say, No daughter, you are getting bigger etc etc etc…


    Here’s Bug being moody in the garden outside of the Natural History Museum. You know how it is… Tweenagers, hormones, moods bla bla bla. She cheered up eventually.


    They LOVED The Last Bookstore! It was like exploring Hogwarts Library. Long corridors going every which way, secret rooms, weird art installations, stacks and stacks and stacks of books piled every way you can imagine: color order, vertical, horizontal, in an arc… you get the picture.

    Payam actually really enjoyed the books and found quite a few to take home. I’ve been on a no-spending spree so I didn’t find any but I could have and as soon as I start spending again it is definitely on my list of places to stop. They had a whole room just full of art books and coffee table books that I could seriously get lost in.


    We wandered and wandered. There are art galleries upstairs. The girls bought a few artsy pencils with the words “nope,” “not a people person,” “I can’t even” on the side. That was a fun laugh.


    We perused the vinyl section, admired the vintage clocks and radios turned succulent planters and went on our merry way feeling very cultured and amused. Then we sat in traffic for fifty-two hours to get home. The end.







  • Bug,  heavy on photos,  out out out of the house!,  photography,  urban life

    Another Trip to LA: Minefaire and Chinatown


    It seems like ages ago we went to LA for Minefaire. It was snoresville but we did have a great time in Los Angeles afterwards. I always love a day in LA for adventure. Traffic not so much but adventure, yes. Everything there is charmingly different from Orange County and it always feels like an infusion of much needed variety.


    We don’t have graffiti where we live. If so much as the tiniest tag goes up on a wall or a fence it is gone the next day, no questions asked. I guess that is a good thing but I do love street art, especially really good street art. Sometimes I just want to paint my house purple in rebellion but I’m all hot air.


    Minefair and Minecon are not the same thing at all. Payam bought these tickets for the girls a long time ago before we even knew there was a difference. I’m sure to die-hard gamers it was pretty cool but to me it was just a giant conference room  filled with computers where kids were zoning out. We can do that at home. The store was pretty cool I guess. If you need another stuffed creeper, which we don’t. I did find a reason to have a pumpkin headed snowman of course. Gotta throw that in for seasonal decorations.


    The funny part was that we went to Minefair ON Payam’s birthday. Driving to LA in horrible traffic and then hanging out with gamers is not exactly his favorite thing to do but I guess he loves his girls. I add myself into that group because of how much I love adventure in LA, even if it does include a lame convention for a game that I’m not that into.

    Bug is into Minecraft and she’s really good at creating these really cool houses and buildings. She’s thinking she might want to be an architect when she grows up and I am heartily encouraging that. I wanted to be an architect too way back in the day but I got discouraged by all the math.


    The best part of Minefair was going outside and eating street food. I love fresh tacos made on an industrial-sized cookie sheet over a propane tank. I am ever amazed at how ingenious street vendors are. And to think I wouldn’t rent an apartment because it had a hot plate and not a real stove! I should have taken some lessons from these guys.

    I especially love the fresh fruit in cups. Coconut, mangos, cantaloupe, cucumbers…a squeeze of lime and some chili powder–yum! I always worry about getting food poisoning because surely things can’t be that clean but we never do. Street germs are good I guess.


    After our lunch in the street we decided we weren’t ready to go home yet so we took a quick trip to Chinatown. We love ducking into the little shops and discovering new things.


    I feel privileged that I get to follow Bug and Joon around and take pictures. They are getting prettier and prettier every day. I feel like I have my own models constantly walking around with me just asking me to take their picture. I need to take my real camera out more often. Whenever I do I always have such a good time with it.


    After Chinatown we rushed home to go to a violin concert that Bug’s new violin teacher was starring in. Her teacher is really really good. Like ripping up the violin in a floor-length red velvet dress good. The girls sat there mesmerized, not even bored at all.  Sadly I have no photos of that. I wish I could have but I was shy to take my camera into the theatre.

    I didn’t even tell you that we hired a private tutor for violin lessons for Bug. She’s getting serious about violin and unfortunately her class at school is kinda stuck and not progressing so she’s forging on ahead with private lessons. I’m really proud of her. Of course getting her to practice regularly is a challenge but that’s really what this whole thing is about anyway. I’m really happy that she is not giving up on something that she is good at.

    After the concert the girls and I stopped by a grocery store and bought Payam a cake. He didn’t go to the concert so it was our little surprise.


    Which he wholeheartedly deserved.

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