Tuesday, October 31, 2017

have courage, and be kind

geez, i don't know when i last missed two blog posts in a row.  it's been a busy several days around here, so it got to be a little rough trying to find time to sit down and get 'er done.  did ya miss me?  heh.

last week, the old lady and i attended a local art installation that sounded pretty cool.  the focus was on "bias, bigotry and bullying" and i'd heard that parts of it were modeled after the museum of ice cream that we'd been to earlier this year.  so while the bean was at a halloween party with her cheer team, we headed over.


there was a bit of a line to get in, but it went pretty quickly and we were at the front of it in no time.


as we entered the building, the first thing we saw was this neon sign that said "silence is betrayal."  indeed.


we had learned as we waited in line that the exhibit was divided into seven rooms, each with a different theme.  we were given guide books to explain them in more detail, and each room also had an iPad that gave more information about the meaning behind each exhibit.  the first room was dark and kind of haunted house-like.



from there we entered room 2.  a beautifully set table was in the middle of another dark room, with a phone at each setting that showed what each member of the family was looking at...instead of focusing on quality time with each other.  i think a lot of us can relate to this, yes?



bench seats were placed in the middle of the third room, with large screens that played three videos of testimonies given by locals who had each experienced bias, bigotry and bullying.



the lit path to the next room was really cool, yet also a little haunted house-esque.


room 4 contained three booths that were meant to be entered by one person at a time.  inside, you were surrounded by mirrored walls where everyone could see you, but you only saw a reflection of yourself.


the mood changed drastically in the next room, where the instagram-worthy main attraction waited for you to enter and take pictures.  there are over 18,000 hearts hanging down here, and when you're inside you're literally surrounded by love.  obviously, this was our favorite part.







room 6 was really cool to look at.  it was almost as if we'd been through all of the darkest emotions in the earlier rooms, a little self-reflection, and then there was love and now purity and cleanliness.






the last room was even more fun, with this swing and a wall full of little notes written from kids aged anywhere from 4 to 14 with reminders of how you can spread love and kindness in the world.



there was a gift shop at the end, which reminded me a little of disneyland, and then outside on a patio there was live music and refreshments, plus food for sale.  we didn't have time to linger, but it looked like a great setup for a lovely evening.


we thought it was very well done, really attractive with some positive messages and lots of food for thought.  it was free and open to the public for two nights, and i hope that they got the reactions and responses that they were hoping for.

now, go out in the world and spread lots of love and kindness!  we need so much more of it.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

DTLA day date #1, check!

after our day date with the bean in downtown l.a. a couple of weeks ago, the hub and i decided that we'd head back out for a grown-up version and hit up some of the spots we'd seen as we drove around.  one of those spots was cole's, which is one of two local restaurants that claim to have invented the french dip sandwich (the other is philippe's, which we love and have been to several times).  we'd tried to get out there last week, but we had so much going on that it just didn't happen.  and then yesterday we found an opening in our schedules, just a couple of hours that gave us just the right amount of time we needed to get down there, enjoy some lunch together and rush it back home in time to pick up the bean from school.

the doors were still locked when we arrived just before noon.  we were afraid we'd wasted a trip until i opened my yelp app and found that they open right at 12.  so we loitered in front of the restaurant for about five minutes until someone opened the door and let us in, along with a few other patrons who'd arrived early.





we opted to sit at a table right in front of the bar and checked out the menu to decide what we wanted to order.


the hub got up to place our order with the bartender while i looked around a little.  this place has been here since 1908, and i love checking out historical crap like that.








 if you look on the back of the menu, you learn the proper way to eat a french dip:


and learn a little more about the history of the restaurant.


the hub ordered a coke float for me, knowing it's one of those things i rarely resist.


and then a few minutes later, the food came.  the hub had opted for cole slaw with his sandwich:


while i, predictably, opted for the tots.  they were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and perfectly seasoned.  so good.


here's the famous french dip:


the hub took that instruction graphic to heart, slathering the first half of his sandwich with that atomic mustard.  from the tears that instantly sprang to his eyes after his first bite, it definitely lived up to its name.  the pickle had a kick to it as well, so i only got one bite of it before i was like NOPE NOPE NOPE.  but the sandwich itself was really delicious.  everything about it was perfect, and i knew we'd have to take the girls here one day because they're both big french dip fans too.

by the time we were done, the place was pretty packed.


we were stuffed and happy.


thanks to the express lane, we managed to avoid all of the traffic on the freeway and got home in 25 minutes.  pretty amazing, huh?  and that even left me with a full hour to get more stuff done before i had to leave to pick up the bean from school.

it's always an adventure with the hub, and thank goodness he loves food as much as i do.  i can't wait until we get another chance for a day date.
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