After laying supine for most of the previous three days, I felt confident enough to go out late yesterday evening to catch a screening of Benjamin Button. The flick finished shortly before 1, which meant I was in bed and asleep at closer to 2. No matter; I had nothing planned for the morning, and so I could sleep in as late as I wanted to. Hah — how naive of me.
The denizens of my neighborhood suffer from an affliction I like to call "Suburbitis." They're either single families or getting up there in years, so it's lights out by 10:00 each night, and lights on at Dark O'Thirty the following day. Sundays are particularly awful, as there are count 'em — three — separate individuals who like to put their trash cans out at 8:00 a.m., like the act of doing so was the highlight of their day and, oh boy, they just couldn't wait to amble out of bed and get this chore taken care of before the sun got too high! I, on the other hand, wait until the evening. The sound of the cheap plastic bin wheels rolling over gravel has the tendency to wake me prematurely. Scattered amongst the blocks of 1960s style tract homes are a few overzealous dog walkers who like to parade their pooches up and down the streets as early as 6:00 a.m. as well. Though their canines are well-behaved (i.e., they don't bark), their chains rattle as they romp from yard to yard and sniff every intervening tree. That has also been known to wake me on occasion; in fact, that's the very reason why I was up this morning at 6:00, instead of at 10 or 11 like I'd hoped.
Four hours of rest is just enough to keep my body from wanting to go back to sleep. I tossed under my blankets for 30 minutes before giving up and then flipping open my Mac to read the news for the day. I then made coffee because I figured, why not?
There was very little for me to do so early in the morning, so I grew bored fairly quickly. I lowered my eyes and cast my gaze out the window towards the sidewalk where my Disturber had walked by not 40 minutes prior. Mouth flat, eyebrows furrowed. I was annoyed. There's nothing intrinsically wrong with the occasional early morning rise, but I hadn't planned this. Furthermore, I'd just spent the past three days doing very little aside from working and sleeping, and now that I was feeling better, I was chomping at the bit to carpe the proverbial diem... but, again, it was early! So again I found myself doing nothing; that ate at me. Super Bowl kick-off time wasn't for another EIGHT HOURS, and it's not like I could've just pranced on over to the main drag, eaten and window-shopped. It.is.Sunday. Nothing to do, nothing open (yet), and nearly a whole half of the waking day until the game began!
Think. Think. Think.
What did I do the previous times this had happened? The very last time I was headed to Portland that day anyway, so I just flew up earlier. Obviously I wasn't going to go up north just for today, so that didn't help me. But what about the time before that? I went to Peet's in Studio City for a drink and then holed myself up at the library to work on my thesis. UGH, no. And in any event, I didn't feel like driving to Peet's, nor did I especially feel the need to spend approximately 6 hours going over my capstone paper with a fine-toothcomb. (Can't say that editing on very little sleep is a prudent idea, but perhaps I'm just rationalizing.)
While thinking about the days when I used to purposefully get up at 6:00 and hike through Runyan Canyon, and deliberating whether or not I should go do that, I almost skipped over a special memory. There was one other recent time when I got up especially early — last June when I left Los Angeles via Amtrak's Coast Starlight to get to a summer conference up in Portland. On that day I took the NoHo Red Line to Union Station because a $50 cab fare was absolutely out of the question. In remembering that morning, from schlepping my luggage up the street to catch the bus to the subway station, to later wishing I had more excuses to use the Los Angeles MTA, my brain started to layout what later became my plans for today.
It wasn't that long ago that I had said to Judy that I ought to take the Pasadena Gold Line and do a mini-tour of the city that way. It's been operation since 2004ish, and I hadn't ridden it yet. The more I thought about the possibility of doing a public transit adventure, the more excited I grew, the more the very idea made sense. The day was shaping up to be absolutely gorgeous — pristine clear skies with views as far east as the San Gabriel Mountains — and for once I could be a passenger and appreciate visual points of interest such as the aforementioned mountains, the arboreal Arroyo Canyon, and the Downtown Los Angeles skyline. All too often I miss a chance to catch those sites as I whiz along the 5, 110, 134, or 210. I could also visit Buster's Cafe for breakfast (conveniently located right at the Gold Line Mission stop in South Pasadena), and then pick up another train to take me the rest of the way to Old Town Pasadena where I could... visit Sur la Table! As of this morning, my current ramequin set was two short of being complete. Sur la Table has the best (and might I add, cheapest) selection available. I'd been meaning to go there, but the 20 mile roundtrip ride wasn't worth it gas and parking cost-wise. However, a $2.50 Metro pass removed both of those obstacles. Yes! Yes! Yes!
I was out of the house dressed and on my way to the NoHo station before 8. The photos below chronicle today's adventure.
End up here; transfer.
Go from Union Station to Mission.
And then from Mission to Memorial.
Book: check; iPhone with earbuds: check; inhaler: check; checkbook: check; wallet: check.
Descending into the depths of the NoHo Red Line Station.
The adventure's begun!
One of the many artists on the official Lindsay's On a Public Transit Adventure Playlist (or LOPTAP).
To know me is to know that I have a slightly irrational obsession with mosaic tiles (and paisley and polka dots, just to name a few).
Of course, no adventure is complete without a Facebook status update.
Crossing Mission, looking east.
Crossing Mission, looking west.
Breakfast is served. ChowHound.com says that Buster's has some of the best granola around (that's not La Brea Bakery granola).
Looking north towards the San Gabriels and Alta Dena. (Photo doesn't do the day justice.)
I had absolutely no idea that the Memorial exit practically puts you at the steps of the Pasadena City Hall building! Since I was playing today by spleen, I figured I'd brush up on my Southern California culture and give the place a looksie.
Barney's Beanery is one of my favorite places to eat at when I'm in the mood for a Lazy Sunday Bar Breakfast. However, it being Super Bowl Sunday and all, there was no way in hell I was going to set foot in that place.
Eater-LA has been logging the events surrounding the Fro-Yo melt of 2008/2009. While numerous Pinkberrys and Fakeberrys start to shutter, I predict 21 Flavors (a Pasadena institution) will be OK. And if it's not... then the economy doesn't have a chance in hell of recovering.
Items acquired: Two aluminum pixie muffin pans, four margarita glasses that look more like trifle bowls, two ramequins, a condiment bottle, and... I caved and got actual vanilla bean. $8.95 for two whole Nielson-Massey Bourbon beans is a steal; it's the same brand of bean used by the much lauded Vanilla Bakeshop. Many of the items were on clearance, so $27 got me all of the above.
Starting the trek back home.
Time when I departed from Pasadena.
Time when I returned to my car.
Today's unexpected start made for an awesome day afterall (nb: the Cardinals losing was not awesome). I got to sample some more of Los Angeles' good eats; I got to be a tourist in my own city; I got to cross off at least one more item off my 101 Things in 1001 Days; the size and quality of the kitchen arsenal was increased with the acquistion of a few inexpensive items; I also really enjoyed photodocumenting everything.
Girl Scouts Thin Mints Cereal Treats
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