Fran's 'It's LA, just DO IT' List

Good morning, Kitty,

How are things? I'm doing well. It's a Monday. I don't think I have a 'case of the mondays', but the weekend was so lovely and beautiful and fun that I don't want to let go of it! Yay to nature and meditation and good food and laying on the beach and movies and music and wine and brie and...cuddling. That's right. I have a cuddle bug. A special someone, if you will. That is all I'm going to say about it - considering the theme of this blog is not "Fran's love life." But you get the picture. It's grand!

Yesterday we spent some divine time laying on the beach in Santa Monica talking and reading the LA Times to each other. The birds were in flight, there was a light ocean breeze, and all was right with the world. Just another moment. There have been many since moving out here, where I just stop and feel so insanely grateful so happy so loved - there is something going on in my universe. I feel like I switched the gears on my life. I was going one way and it was safe and it felt good. Then I decided to go another way that didn't feel safe and it feels AMAZING. The quality of life after leaping towards your bliss with faith ablazing moves up immeasurably. There is a lightness a fearlessness a general knowing that all is right with the world - because your path is clear. And when you surrender to your body, to your heart, to your soul's purpose - the waves take over, God takes over. Things start happening to you without you really making them happen. That sense of hardened control over your destiny is gone, because you've lifted it up - you've opened your hands to the many possibilities and blessings - and in that state of surrender - you find them filled to the brim!

Amen. Yes!

So a few random things.

1. Listen to these albums from track one to the end. I did the other day driving back from the shore in San Diego and had a ball! I am sooooo glad all of my CDs are in my car. It's so fun to listen to them. It almost feels like I have a record player in there - after I've totally OD'd on ipod shuffle.

1. Johhny Cash, At Folsum Prison
this is a magic album. the perfect songs sung to the perfect crowd in the perfect place by the perfect guy. Something happened on this album. And it's tangible and so fun to listen and escape to.
2. B 52's, Cosmic Thing
totally underrated band. Every single song on this album is a pop hit - and all truly original!
3. Liz Phair, Exile in Guyville
any girl's anthem album. It's rude and crude and honest and hot- around 20 songs total and they are all poignant and singable (despite Phair's bass range)


Thing 2. I wanted to compile a short list of places I have been in LA so far that I highly recommend - for the tourist - but also so I don't forget and when people from the east come out to visit me (HINT HINT) we can refer to the original list of first loves.

My "It' LA, just DO IT!" List

- Kitchen 24 - on Cahuenga Blvd. In the heart of sleazy Hollywood lives this fabulous 24 hour, hip diner with a full bar and absolutely delicious food! I had a turkey burger with blue cheese, protein style and a glass of red. It was absolutely mouth watering. Plus, there are always cute hipsters to look at and the Real World guy at the bar.

-Yogurtland - fat free, deliciously flavored fro-yo with a HUGE toppings bar. Anyplace that has cheesecake and rootbeer flavored cold stuff that I can put candy on - is ok with me! It's cheap and it's right across from my apartment.

-The Hollywood Bowl - ok, obvious one. But it's beautiful. AND you can bring a picnic (don't buy food or wine there, it's a huge ripoff). It's so cool to see a concert with the mountains and setting sun in the background. The cheap seats aren't that bad either.

-Genghis Cohen - The fusion/asian restaurant on one side, cute sanctuary-type music room on the other side. I love the open mics here, the food is great, the people are nice, and the room is respectful and quiet with a beautiful, dark ambiance.

-The Self Realization Fellowship Lakeshrine - I've talked about this place before. I'm now attending regularly and love it. The lake and path around are reason enough to go if you are turned off by the whole meditation, Yogananda thing. It is peaceful, simple, spiritual, and beautiful escape from the city. The koi fish are a delight and the roses smell amazing!

-The Farmer's Market - This is also right by my house. It is a kitchy place with dozens of unique little places to eat - homemade everything, and absolutely anything you are in the mood for. It also has a great deli, fresh produce, antiques, a hot sauce store, and to my inner 5 year old's delight - a STICKER STORE. It's just fun. So go. I have never been disappointed.

-The Grove - is right by the Farmer's Market - it is the glitzy outdoor mall with a fountain that dances to a continuous loop of jazz standards. It is fun to walk around and shop in the sun and maybe stop for an iced tea and salad, people watch, and catch a movie. Not exactly a cheap day - but glamorous and fun!

- Amoeba Music - the Mecca of all record stores. I have not even scratched the surface here. But you better believe if I ever have extra bucks, I'm here, sifting through records, and buying them. It's amazing.

-Movies at Forever Cemetery - This is were I witnessed Pee Wee Herman tripping in front of hundreds of people. In the summer hipsters galore descend on this cemetary for outdoor movie screenings so they can smoke weed and drink and look cool while watching cult classics. We brought a very PC, non-party picnic and still managed to have a great time!

-Summer concerts at the Santa Monica Pier - outdoor music, chilled out people, backdrop of the beautiful, classic Ferris wheel and old-fashioned Pier - make for a great night out.

-Runyon Canyon - the classic Hollywood hike. Gorgeously cut runners and walkers traverse the deserty trails everyday. The view is breathtaking and the exercise is real. I was sore.

-C & O Trattoria - This awesome Italian restaurant in Venice was my first dining experience in LA. The food was delicious and cheap, the vino flowed, the service was friendly and funny, and the outdoor patio is the sort of place you could hang in for hours. I would go back any day!

-The Dresden Room - Marty and Elaine. Nuff said. I need to go back here, asap.

-Papa Cristo's - Amazing Greek restaurant. The mousakka made me want to die. The spinach pie is the best I have ever tasted. There is an adjacent greek market with olives, oil, feta, etc. galore - and this freaky guy with a huge mustache will be strumming guitar and staring at you while you eat. Glorious!

-Torrey Pines State Reserve - See previous blog. One of the most heavenly nature spots I've ever been to. The hikes are not too difficult and the rewards are breathtaking. Take the beach trail and foot doodle in the black and white sand! The ocean speaks to you here, so beware.

- The Gardenia - this place is so old school, they do not even have a website. It is a gorgeous piano bar/cabaret room with pink walls and an atmosphere from the days of yore. I will be having a show here in 2010, I'll keep you posted!

- Mel's Drive-In - A Hollywood staple. 24 hour grease-tastic food in a 50s setting.

I know there are more, but this is the working list for now. If you are from LA, used to live here, like visiting here, etc. and feel that I should visit/explore a spot that is not currently on the list, please let me know!!! I am in exploration mode and would adore your recommendations.

Thing 3. I am off to my voice lesson. I have my voice showcase this weekend for friends, family, and a casting director. I'm not quite sure what that means, but hopefully it means that I am going to kick ass and he is going to love me and have the perfect project for me. RIGHT? That's what I thought. I'm also going to check out the open mics again this week. Need to keep it fresh and saucy and get out there as much as possible. RIGHT?

Ok, so I am off. Have a wonderful day, readers. I wish I could hold you. haha.

Song and quote:

"Deadbeat Club" - The B-52's

"Hollywood always wanted me to be pretty, but I fought for realism." - Bette Davis


  1. Love bug *and* B-52's? You got it all!

  2. Yay kev! saw you moved?! Hope you found a great place! :)


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