October 23, 2009

Hey so I don’t really have much to say about the subject…..But it was family weekend at Brown a few days ago and when my parents took my roommate and me out for Thai food. When asked about my workout schedule I sort of told my parents that I usually go twice a week. My roommate was quick to correct me. “HE HASN’T GONE ONCE IN THE PAST TWO WEEKS!”  

oops. So today I decided to go ellipticalling for 15 minutes. I would have gone for longer but there’s soooo little time between engineering class on the 7th floor and math section at noon. Grr!   Well apparently a quarter hour of ellipticalling followed by a solid 5-minute-abs workout really did the trick for me. Not once did I even think of shutting my eyes for 7 seconds during afternoon class. It was interesting! And so was math class!   

I guess what I’m trying to say is………go use an elliptical. They’re kind of addicting.


Indie vs. Hipster (?)

October 21, 2009

I never really heard the term “Hipster” all that much in Los Angeles. There were people who were indie, but that’s a term that easy enough to explain even to my own Mother after labeling 500 Days of Summer as having a fairly indie style. “well, it sort of used to be short for independent.” But now there’s a whole culture and style that’s associated with it. And of course the increasingly popular counter-indie culture. But what does that mean? Is anti-indie just mainstream? But isn’t indie sort of mainstream by now? Hm. I’m a little lost. 

And then I asked my friends what being a hipster was….”Isn’t that just an East-Coast term for someone who’s indie?”     Apparently not…most of them claimed it has more of a negative connotation to it. But then what’s with the name “Hipster.” Presumably it means “someone who’s hip”, so does that mean the name carries a sarcastic inflection to it? hm. 


Is this red flannel shirt that I bought at a vintage store in Boston for $8 considered Indie? How about Hipster?

Is this red flannel shirt that I bought at a vintage store in Boston for $8 considered Indie? How about Hipster?

And how about this one? does the smaller plaid size affect its culture label? What about the fact that it matches the shoes?

And how about this one? does the smaller plaid size affect its culture label? What about the fact that it matches the shoes?






Hummus! and What I like about Falafels

April 2, 2009


As I walked past two balding men by the maître d’ desk (If I could guess I would say one of them was probably the owner) rapidly speaking Hebrew so soulfully I’d wished I could speak the language myself, I entered Tarzana’s Hummus Bar & Grill expecting to eat a relatively decent yet genuine Israeli meal. When I had called to ask for their cross streets (Ventura and Yolanda), without thinking I asked what the wait was like. My mother then commented that it was a somewhat pointless inquiry; after all it was already eight o’clock on a Monday evening.

Hummus Bar and Grill Front

It was kind of crowded! At the same time, it wasn’t noisy. We felt invited, not overwhelmed. We also got the last empty table. I wouldn’t call the place hole-in-the-wall, but it definitely has that type of vibe to it, in a good way. The restaurant is an elongated rectangle, with the grill on one side and maybe twelve tables on the other side, separated by a dining counter with a muted-yet-intense rugby game on the widescreen above.

We’ve never had such an easy time figuring out what to order. Of course we had to try the Hummus, and we ended up just going with the standard recipe. Also on the menu are tempting variations such as adding grilled mushrooms or meat. Clearly the returning patrons were going for these. The unlimited servings of all their 12 vegetarian salads for $5.99 per person nearly convinced us, but we already had too much else in mind: the next order of business was a shoe in; we had to order a plate of falafels. Nothing says more about a Mediterranean restaurant than the way they prepare their falafels.

Six of them. A decent number. I mean we weren’t there to eat nothing but falafels. And these were heavy. There were still small, just slightly larger than bite-sized, you know? Have you ever seen those falafels where they’re almost the size of a passion fruit or something? Those creep me out. No. These had that perfect size. But they were very filling! After the first bite I was able to examine their composition: verrry green. Like almost neon, at least as far as garbanzo beans go. There’s nothing wrong with that, and in fact some people, including a number of my family members, actually prefer the thicker, more flavorful falafel. I don’t know. For me, there’s something indescribably satisfying about the ones so light and so hot that you pretty much eat them in one bite and can’t even remember that you’ve just finished a whole plate of falafels by the time you’re done. They’re sooo good. If that’s more like you’re style, you must go straight to the recently (and fantastically) redesigned, reopened Amer’s Falafel, Carnival (delicious yet reasonable Lebanese), or if you really want to go for the gold, Carousel is a bit fancier, and if you really want to take advantage of the menu consider going for a birthday (or at least have some excuse for splurging) and getting one of their fixed menus. But make sure to try their frogs Legs (yes, you heard me right) and under no circumstances can you get away without ordering the falafels! They don’t give you enough and they’re kind of pricey, but okay. They’re shaped like doughnuts. Enough said.

Was that a tangent or what!? Anyway, The Hummus Bar & Grill is yummy. More Hummos Signimportantly it’s reasonable. There were three of us, and we easily ate more than we should have of some more-than-decent hummus, falafel, unbelievably tender chicken skewers that came with fresh (I mean fresh) Israeli salad and Israeli fries (I don’t really know what the difference is, but I do have an easy-to-forget obsession for them). Not to mention the more-than-you-can-eat laffa bread, which was amazingly addicting. We even tried they’re dessert, Malabe (custard-like heaven topped with pistachios, candied coconut, and drizzled with rose water. Near perfection.) As our waiter handed us the work of art he said he’d be glad to take the leftovers home with him. After our first bite there wasn’t a chance that he’d be getting any. All of this including the tip? $42. I’ll be back.


All Hail Los Angeles

February 9, 2009

Can you even remember the last time it hailed in Los Angeles? Well I can. I was in third grade. I only have a single faint image of looking outside my den window and seeing those little white capsules making their amateurishly violent descent from heaven. The dark green lawn that defined my backyard was transformed into a scape of of ice cubes bouncing in parabolic arks as if the hail had turned into microscopic kangaroos.

Ten years later our Film / Video III (the creme de la creme of art classes at my school) are sitting in the darkest room on campus (okay you photography dark room kids…go ahead and correct me), and we’re watching Diner (1982) when suddenly there’s a blinding light slicing the room in half as one of my classmates looks out behind of of the blinds in the back of the room.

“Hey everyone I just wanted to let you know that it’s hailing outside”

Now surely this concept it not completely out of the ordinary…it’s been raining ridiculously heavy this past weekend in LA (really!? LA has a winter?) but suddenly the class is in a flurry. That was obviously going to be the reaction…at first I’d half expected that he had just said this to cause a scene in the class. After this had been confirment by multiple (and somehwhat more trustworthy) witnesses, our film teacher took charge of the the anarchy within the class, quickly paused the movie and shouted in her post-New York accent,

“Allllllright lets all go outside and see the hail!”

The front of the class is already at the door as the rest of us run to catch up. We can’t waste a single second of the precious  moment! As we ran outside onto the balcony we were actually joining other members of our community; other classes had extatic students rushing out of them to experience this rare miracle.

Our Hair and Sweaters were quickly being covered in little icy beads as we shouted at the sky, taking in the moment as a true marker of LA’s atmospheric phenomenon.

On February 9th, 2009 at approximately 1:30 in the afternoon, the students of the Film / Video III class experienced 5 minutes of true freedom (and the films weren’t too bad either). We appreciated the last few moments as Hail reigned supreme…until the the rain hailed once again. (is there a special name for that kind of reversible pun?)