Echo Park / Cactus Store / Be Careful

by Gabrielle Antonette

There's a lot that can go wrong in this place. It's a tiny room filled to the top with aggressively spiky cacti. If you're clumsy at all, try not to be so mesmerized by the beauty that you end up causing serious damage to yourself or your new photosynthetic pals. It's also a high risk area for impulsive spending. You might feel that your home/life would be complete if you just acquired one more of these creatures. Or maybe two. And so on. If you can just be careful, Cactus Store is a great place to treat yourself, find the perfect gift, or simply chat it up with the expert staff while taking in the sights and fresh air. 

1550.5 Echo Park Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90026

(213) 947-3009

Posted on September 15, 2015 .

Griffith Park Pool

by Gabrielle Antonette

I don’t know how much of a hidden treasure the Griffith Park Pool truly is, but Anna and I each live about a mile away from it, and for years had no idea what we were missing. I was so pleasantly surprised by the convenience, the architecture, the cleanliness, and even the crowd. I immediately decided it would be a weekly destination for the remainder of the summer, but that sentiment changed pretty quickly after an unfortunate run-in with the authorities.

We were taking photos after our dip, because it was a beautiful day, and we generally take photos everywhere we go, and there was no reason not to here, right? Well. The staff started to stalk us. It took us awhile to realize this, because we assume most of the time that people aren’t following us. Then they began to conveniently stand in front of us when we were about to shoot. We still didn’t think much of it—because, hello—there wasn’t any signage, and the several staff members we were within earshot of said nothing. We wrapped up and were about to leave, but wait! A lifeguard was suddenly blocking the exit, and telling us we couldn’t take photos of people at the pool other than our family members. This conversation happens now? We had a lightly heated discussion about how tiny and indistinguishable people would look in our photos, and how we’d be happy to dispose of them if necessary, but nothing we offered seemed to be enough for this tyrannical lifeguard. She insisted we go upstairs to speak with the bureaucrats in power, who eventually let us leave without any real consequence. 

I still recommend this place, so long as you learn from our mistakes and move quickly. It’s only open until September 6th! There’s a parking lot, the basic adult admission fee is $3.50, and one final eye roll: no snacks allowed. 

3401 Riverside Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Peach / Hansen Dam

by Gabrielle Antonette

Deep in the Valley, there’s a combination pool/beach that Anna found out about, literally three years ago, and dubbed “the peach.” Real name: The Hansen Dam Aquatic Center. We talked about checking out the peach many times and just never managed to get our act together until a couple weekends ago. Over the years I had hyped up this dreamland as, surely, all the best components of a pool combined with all the best components of a beach. Despite it missing the mark by quite a lot, we had a fun day. How could we not? We had nowhere else to be, we had plenty of space to lay out the towels, the water was much warmer than the ocean water around here, there were vendors with ice cream and tacos and stuff, and we were in the best company. 

Things that threatened the fun potential: there were hundreds or thousands of people there (many of them unattended children), there was a line to get in (about a half hour wait), and the water was very shallow (making any attempt to swim futile).

It’s surprisingly open from 7:30am-7pm during the summer, so maybe there’s a better day or time to go. It’s only $3.50 per person and about a 30 minute drive from central L.A., so it’s worth a shot. We may just stick to concrete pools and sandy beaches for awhile, though.

Hollywood: Think Big! at Space15Twenty

by Gabrielle Antonette

For near-LA readers, I have another time sensitive recommendation. Before April 5th, you can see Think Big! It's a pop-up shop by Sight Unseen, designed by girl crush, Adi Goodrich. The products come from all the designers that make me jealous via Instagram on the daily, so the selection is pretty perfect as far as shopping goes. I picked up the prettiest phone case by Mansi Shah. Even if you don't need any more vases, jewelry, books, or clothing, you can at least take a moment to wander in Adi's funhouse-like space. It's open everyday from noon to 8pm at 1520 N. Cahuenga Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028. 

Makers include: A Question of Eagles, Aelfie, Alynne Lavigne, Bario Neal & Jessica Hans, Bower, Branden Collins, Chris Golden, Cursive Design, Dana Haim, Eric Trine, Erin Considine, Faux/Real, Good Thing, Hey Murphy, Jaqueline Klasson, Juju Made, Kate Trouw, Katie Stout, Line Line Co., Mansi Shah, Metalepsis, Morgan Peck, Otaat, Sally Rizzoli, Scout & Catalogue, Shapeshapeshape, Tiro Tiro, Visability Studio, Workaday, and Frances Lab.

Posted on March 30, 2015 .