Come for the taquitos, stay for the fish.

I love Los Angeles. This shocks me, because there was a time when I refused to consider the idea that I might live here. I am from the Emerald Triangle in far Northern California and as far as people up there are concerned, this is a different planet. In my mind, Los Angeles ranked right up with Uzbekistan as far as potential living situations might go. It was statistically not a good bet, maybe worse than playing the lottery. And then, ya know, I got married. The ex Mr. Honey&Ollie had a job and I didn’t, and that meant we needed to live where his job was. Since teMH&O makes his living doing crazy computer stuff for the movies, we kind of had to be where they actually make the movies. Off to LA I went, kicking and screaming the whole time. Now, fifteen years later, I can’t imagine living anywhere else and I am beyond grateful that I drank the koolaid that I get to live here. I have seen and done things here that would have been unavailable to me, were I to reside anywhere else.

Just watching the mass hysteria when it rains is really worth the price of admission.

I will confess that this winter I did break down and buy Uggs (the official footwear of Southern California) because it got down to all of 40 degrees and the cats had icicles on their whiskers and we almost died of frostbite.

People have this totally whacked out idea that LA is dangerous, and that we all wear kevlar panties. I am here to tell you, that is just not the case. I have never worn kevlar panties. Or kevlar anything, really. I’d like people to see a different view of LA. I’d like to dispel the kevlar panties myth (without actually showing anyone my panties). But, I really do not want you to actually come here, because traffic is bad enough, we have plenty of tourists, and housing is already expensive. So, I’ve decided to start a photo series about Los Angeles which you can enjoy from afar. I plan to focus on a different aspect of my city each Saturday. Los Angeles as seen through my non-native eyes. Maybe food, maybe Uggs and booty shorts, maybe someplace fun to go. I’ll figure it out as I go along and you can join me. It’ll be kind of the ultimate road trip around the Southland, complete with getting lost, except with less traffic.

My favorite place in Downtown LA is Olvera Street. I like to hop the Metro and meet friends for lunch down here every so often and I always come down for El Dia De Los Muertos. When I’ve got jury duty (and I get it every year like clockwork) I am always really happy, because the courthouse is just a hop skip and jump away and you can walk there during lunch and get taquitos.

Any opportunity to get my taquito on is a good opportunity…

Sometimes there are random mariachis.

El Mariachi

and you can buy things (other than taquitos) like candles and little Dia De Los Muertos things, and wrestling masks. Or in this case, lanterns.

Old brick and lanterns

I did not buy a lantern, alas. I am broke.

Olvera Street is one of the oldest streets in Los Angeles, if not the oldest, and it is located right across from Union Station. I love Union Station.

Union Station

I can shut my eyes and visualize all the stylishly dressed people having dinner here in this gloriously Art Deco building and I bet the building remembers them too. The restaurant is empty now but it was amazing back in the day when women wore gloves, people dressed up for travel and the world had never seen a pair of booty shorts.

There’s always something new to discover in my city. I’ve been to Union Station a hundred times, but I did not know there was a koi fountain on the other side of the empty restaurant. A very nice man directed me there, promising me real koi fish in return for some spare change. I had all of $.47 after buying my metro fare and taquitos, but I was happy to share what I had left and he was happy to point out the fish.

Koi at Union Station

As promised, and a total bargain at $.47, koi.

Something new. After all this time. Los Angeles never gets old, my friends.

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About Maia Rainwood

Owner and Maker at Maia Rainwood Design. Wearable art for wise women, birth keepers, witches, and world-builders.
This entry was posted in LA Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Come for the taquitos, stay for the fish.

  1. nestra says:

    As someone living in the ‘heartland’ I want you to know I would kill (ok maybe just maim or beat up someone up) for the diversity in food and culture that you are surrounded with! LA may get a lot of bad press but there are plenty of us that see it as the promised land.

    Love the pictures, keep them coming.

  2. Phoe says:

    This post makes me homesick like whoa.

  3. Ellen B. says:

    LOVE the photos! Yes, L.A. is an amazing place to live!!!

    Best,
    L.A. Ell, a native

    • Rainy says:

      I have to say, you’re like my ultimate resource for finding fun things and restaurants, you seem to know every INCH of this city!

  4. Marilyn says:

    Laughing! 40 degrees 🙂
    Love seeing the koi.
    I do remember a different life time ago visiting Olivera Street. Someday maybe again. But what about moving to Portland? Really you must!

  5. DataGoddess says:

    I still remembering watching you and the girls get relatively bundled up to go out in around 65 degree and rainy weather, while I was comfortable in a short sleeve shirt. I think Older Child had a hat, scarf, and fingerless gloves!

    • Rainy says:

      we’re just acclimated to a slightly higher mean temperature. I am used to thinking of things being in the 80’s as “average and comfortable” pretty much year round.

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