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LA Is A Great Big City
8:20 a.m. - 2009-11-23

The spouse had a conference to attend in downtown LA so he asked me to go along. He had a hard time finding a hotel room, since, as we later found out, they were having a tech convention in town. He finally booked us into the Miyako Hotel in Little Tokyo. I loved the location and was able to walk all around seeing the shops and restaurants while he was downtown at the Sheraton for the conference during the day. The Kinokuniya bookstore was only a block away, a fabulous ramen shop was across the street, there was a great museum down the block and lots of cute shops were all around us. I went over to the ramen shop, considered one of the best in the south state, at 11:00 and by the time I left, there was a line out front. It was lucky that I went a little early. Oh my goodness, that ramen, served in a huge bowl with slices of pork, noodles, a hardboiled egg floating around, and lots of green onions, was totally excellent. I wanted to go back and try the pork cutlets, but never had the time. I highly recommend Little Tokyo, and the hotel was convenient and very clean, and the room was very attractive.

On Friday I was supposed to drive the car downtown through the LA traffic, find a parking garage, kill time until 3:00, pick up the spouse from the conference, and we would leave town to beat the commuter traffic. It was a good thing I left the hotel early because by the time I got to the parking garage that the spouse had pointed out to me the night before, there were only a few parking spots left on the roof. I went over to the Macy's Plaza across the street to walk around, and holy cow, that is the filthiest mall I have ever seen. The sidewalks all around the downtown are spotted with mashed gum, the mall had the stink of old rancid grease, and the Borders bookstore looked as if there had been multiple episodes of body fluid spillage, voluntary and involuntary. I was going to go in and buy a pocket book to read in the car, but couldn't make myself walk on the nasty rug another minute.

Leaving the Stinky Mall behind, I walked around the area and found the FIDM, The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, The West Coast Home of Project Runway. It is a lovely building, really a nice-looking school with a nice park right next door. There was a clothing store there that takes fashion donations from designers and stores so the prices are excellent, there is a school supply store, and a museum. I went in the school store and found the pattern drafting ruler I have always wanted, a metal curved ruler called the Vary Form Curve Rule. I have been considering ordering one off the internet for several years now, but this way I paid no postage! The museum exhibit was so fabulous I spent a lot of time there. High Style: Betsy Bloomingdale and the Haute Couture at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising will be open until mid-December so I was lucky to see it. She has been donating couture clothing to the school for almost 40 years, and it was so interesting to get a real, close-up view of clothing I would otherwise never get a chance to see. Really worth the trip.

We took the long way home, staying overnight in Bakersfield on Friday, and the next day visiting Hanford where the spouse had worked at the county courthouse during one summer in law school. He says the town has changed a lot, but it is a very pretty town. We walked all around and I made a few interesting finds in a delightfully cluttered antique shop in the old IOOF building. One of the booklets I got is a sewing instruction book from the early twenties.

When we got back on Saturday, we had to get back to putting the house back together after the late, great construction. We managed to put the couch back into place, the drapes are hung, and we got the winter bedspread on the bed along with the flannel sheets. Still a lot to do, but at least we have made progress.

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