LOS ANGELES – The first two years I lived in L.A., I moved seven and a half times. (Including an extended house-sitting situation in West Hollywood. If the postman knows your name, it counts) Then I heard that the best way to find a place to hang your hat is to live in the neighborhood where you want to spend your weekends. I settled in Silver Lake and never looked back. If you did the same, your Sundays would go a little something like this:
Timing depends on your activities the night before. One too many Medicina Latinas at Malo? An extra punch at Thirsty Crow? What?! You went to Los Globos?! You are crazy. Sleep in late. But if you get up early (I always do), you can beat the lines at the coffee shops and then head to Hollywood Farmers Market to shop for fruits and veggies and do some people-watching.
We're lucky on this side of town. We can go to Intelligentsia, where standing in line is part of the activity. We can go to Figaro to sit and play French. We can go to Bru for Blue Bottle. We can go to Proof in Atwater Village for Four Barrel and the best croissants. We can go to Fix in Echo Park to hide out. We can go to Broome Street General for Gimme! Coffee and a Cake Monkey muffin on the patio. We can go to La Mill and have a cuppa via siphon with a salty chocolate cookie even if it feels like it's too early in the morning.
NOW WE DANCE
Okay, not everyone in the neighborhood, but me and 50 to 75 other people get together once a week to dance and have fun with Ryan Heffington at The Sweat Spot. It's a class for everyone looking for exercise disguised as a dance party and anyone wishing they tore up the disco last night. (If you did rule said disco, skip the noon class and show up for the 1:30 p.m.) Alternative activity: Walk around the reservoir and hang out in the dog park or the dog-free park.
LET'S DO BRUNCH
If you wanted to have brunch at Canele, you should have thought about that before you had that third glass of wine at L & E Oyster Bar last night and slept in. People line up around 9 a.m. Get there any later than 11 a.m., and chances are there will be nothing left by the time you get seated. (If you do make it in, we're jealous. Have the fried chicken sandwich.) Little Dom's is always solid, as is Cafe Stella, where the espresso drinks come right from Intelligentsia next door. Put together a plate or a feast at the counter at Forage. If you didn't go the night before, now's the time to head to Malo for tacos or a chilequelias situation. We could also hang out at Naturewell for a coconut-kale smoothie or a juice.
Cruise Vermont and get fashiony at Confederacy, vintage-ish at Squaresville, and nerdy at Skylight Books. Go to New High Mart for Japanese high concept hippiness that makes used Patagonia fleece pullovers somehow feel like a cool kid must-have. Hang out around Sunset Junction and stumble into Mohawk General Store for clothes and designy coolness. Le Pink & Co is the place to go for beauty goodies. Casbah Cafe is there when you need a sidewalk seat and a slice of pumpkin bread. If you head to Silver Lake Boulevard, peruse the home decor and laid-back luxe labels at Lake, Ivanhoe Books, and Lawson Fenning furnishings under one roof, and try Yolk for modern gifts. This is also your opportunity to go to Trader Joe's, where you will bump into everyone you know.
5 O'CLOCK SOMEWHERE
Or, er, 3 p.m. will do if you want to swig the day away at Silverlake Wine's weekend tasting. (The answer is yes.) It was BYOB at Speranza (2547 Hyperion Avenue; 323-644-1918) before the restaurant's wine shack opened. A Sunday ritual is to pop by Covell for Sunday sangria while it's still daylight out and not too packed and then run across Hollywood Boulevard (this is not safe, not safe at all) for a table at Umami Burger. Or vice versa.
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