Here and there … A few hours in Manhattan Beach.

Its’s a beach town. At its deep, base core Manhattan Beach is a classic beach town. Nestled between the free spirited Hermosa & the luxe Santa Monica it has acquired a mix of both.


It is a place where locals gather at neighboorhood Starbucks in flip flops and shorts to go down to the beach. It is a place where everyone heads to the beach side restaurants for lunch in their Prada heels and Valentino suits and where some of the best seaside views of the sunset pair with a bottle of champagne & almond cruste patè.

My favorite places to kill time before and after work differ depending on my mood. 

Whole Foods located on Sepulveda in El Segundo shopping center is the perfect place to grab a breakfast on the go, with their food bar, naturally made juices & fair trade coffee shop. They also sell Kombucha on tap for the health nut in all of us.


All of this while browsing isles of orgnic food, imported cheese and all sorts of wine and beer. Foodie heaven! 
If I’m not in a shopping mood or more likely want to see the ocean I love driving down to the pier. It is an eclectic mix of locals and tourists. The pier itself has a tiny aquarium (The roundhouse aquarium) at the end if you feel like learning about marine life or need to entertain a tiny human.

And if you tire of the rolling waves well let’s just say the food is superb. Three of my favorite places to stop by in no particular order:

The Kettle for comforting dinner style breakast, lunch & dinner. The salmon egg benedict is amazing as you pair it with a white wine sangria 

The Kettle)

Nick’s Manhattan Beach is more of a California dinning experience. Their relaxed elangant vibe and their open air patio is perect for a bussiness lunch or a day at the beach. 


Nick’s MB
The Strand House offers amazing views of the pier and a menu to match the mood.


(The Strand)

Offering three floors and glass walls for viewing enjoyment it is by far my favorite way to end or start the night 🙂

Other places about the city to check out:

The Manhattan Beach Marriott  with an ouside restaurant overlooking the golf course 


The Manhattan Beach Historic Society for a fun museum and a long chat with its volunteer docent about the older days of the city.

Smitten Ice Cream Located in the recently opened The Point shopping center. The lavander flavor is to kill for not to mention you can’t beat the cuteness and old town charm of their stand.

Advertisements

Los Angeles ~ 


When I tell people I live in southern California everyone sees visions of Los Angeles & The beach … Something torn out of ‘Melrose Place’. 

The truth is that if you were raised Orange County, Los Angeles is day trip you rarely take and a logistic nightmare. Don’t get me wrong we love LA … The food, the bustling feeling, the distinct neighboorhoods, the nightlife, the museums, etc. but getting there and parking is aweful. I think I’ve visited San Diego more times this year than LA … Honest truth.

However I found myself there yesterday for some volunteer interview and I coudn’t help but sing in my head .. ” I love you, I hate you, I hate that I love you” or something like that 😂

Balcony windows and large open spaces:

My cat likes to sit on the edge of my bed and stay there all night and onto late mornings. I like to think it’s because she loves me and wants to spend time with me; yet, I think it’s got  more to do with her looking out from my large window into the balcony.  There is a whimsical aura about her when she stays there for a long time, her eyes glaze over and I wonder if she wants to leave her confinement and wander out onto the unknown.


 

I think she does.

We all do. It’s human nature to be curious, to discover and want to embrace the world. Gypsy blood as some put it. So be it.

Perhaps I say that because I too look out the window, onto the city, onto the trains and cars and planes and wonder, ‘where are they going?”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It’s all so maddening the stillness that forms with the quotidian of our lives, perhaps in there lies my love for discovering new places, new foods, new people. I have been relatively busy lately and I have a few old and new adventures to share but for now I just wanted to share the thoughts that come to mind about the beauty of large balcony windows, the possibilities that come with them and our need to trail about large open spaces.
“to belong to nowhere is a blessing and a curse, like any kind of freedom”, Leah Stewart

“Paradise was always over there, a day’s sail away. But it’s a funny thing escapism. You can go far and wide and keep moving on an on though places and years but you never escape your own life”  Maarten Troost.

 

 

 

Mothers & Daughters & Escargot

It is a common misconception that adventure means a grand exploration (often dangerous) of somewhere new.

The word actually comes from the Latin root Advenire which meant ‘To Arrive’ ~  and the also Latin word Adnventurus which meant ‘about to happen’.  Neither of these hint that it has to be an out of this world (or state) experience.

How does this relate to my tittle you say?

Because last weekend I did a very calm & very local ‘adventure’ of my neighborhood. You see I must confess I had not given my mom her mother’s day gift (no judgment) and so since I was off I suggest she come over and we do a movie. We went over to Tequila Jacks Mexican restaurant ( http://www.tequilajacks.com/) for some perfect views of the Long Beach Marina and some equality amazing margaritas & milanesa.

Afterwards we headed to my apartment and proceeded to watch Mothers and Daughters rented dutifully from Amazon Prime (mom was sold because Susan Sarandon was in it). The movie while not the best cinematographic accomplishment touched on very modern themes such as; adult children taking care of older parents,  abortion, estranged families and adoption. A fun movie overall.

After the movie we went to Vons because it’s my favorite close by store and we were going to make Champagne cupcakes and I proceeded to finish painting my recycled Pellegrino bottles.


The following day since I’m not used to having weekends off I proceeded to do what anyone living by the beach on Memorial day weekend would do … go to the beach. I walked from my house to the beach & contemplated the ocean ( as much as can be done with bustling crowds of people and families ) so I headed back down to the bike bath and sat on the benches to catch my breath. I would not recommend going down that beach again on a holiday weekend… lesson learned.


As I walked the few blocks home I saw this quaint little French restaurant on the corner of Elm and 1st. It is very unassuming and I would not really have stopped there except that I remember a review on it so we stopped there. Crème de la Crepe turned out to be an exquisite little find ( Creme de La Crepe link

We had great service, a great ambiance with perfect 1950’s songs and artfully set tables to make me feel like I was back in Paris. The food was none the less great: we started with escargot, red roasted pepper soup and a buckwheat crepe. I can’t wait to go back and try their collection of Alsace apple ciders. What a satisfying stroll. A Sunday well spent.

So you see a weekend by the beach, a culinary tour of two continents, and an exploration of art and food. I’m I stretching a bit sure, but my meaning stays the same. An adventure is what you make it, life is an adventure.