inicio sindicaci;ón

imwithsam.com

I’m with Sam…who YOU with?

To Live and Drive in LA (3/3)

We’re posting from Camden, Maine. After several days in Canada (Toronto & Montreal) we made our way to Burlington, Vermont followed by Portland, Maine. I’d been to Toronto before but actually found it cooler this time around. We had the luxury of staying in the city with a local, Despina, living in the trendy Queen West area. We hit a lot of cool places including the Bovine Sex Club. I know what you’re thinking…but the name was TOTALLY misleading. No cows to be seen, anywhere! We also went to Niagara Falls and to a good Shanghainese restaurant, Skyland de Shanghai, recommended by our friend in San Fran, Maddy. Montreal was simply awesome! However, I personally don’t remember too much aboot it because I made the amateur mistake of having only one meal (an excellent Quebeqoi lunch at Maamm Bolduc) the entire day before starting a non-stop hard & fast happy hour way too early in the evening. Not only did I not remember half of the night the next morning…I lost my favorite “Hofbrauhaus Munchen 1999” pull-over hoodie. Can’t really replace that. Burlington wasn’t as cool as I was expecting. I was looking forward to it more than any other eastern town/city. It was nice but somewhat unremarkable. Even the Burton headquarters & flagship store was a bit of a letdown. A snow storm was blowing in so we escaped to Portland, Maine. Portland was more along of the lines of what I was expecting Burlington to be. It was a decent-sized town with a bustling nightlife in the Old Port area. Out of the smaller towns/cities, I’d actually place Portland in my Top 3. Camden is about an hour north of Portland and is a popular New England summer retreat. We’re staying with Shanghai’s friend, Elaine, and her boyfriend, Chance. A couple of highlights here…Elaine hit a deer with her van the day before we got to Camden. They spent most of the day yesterday butchering it and we’ve been eating venison. We even had some deer tongue. (WARNING: The Camden Flickr photos may be a bit graphic.) The perfect storm also caught up with us here and we checked out some crazy rain & winds at three different harbors in the area before they were shut down. I feel sorry for the guys who ran the Boston Marathon this year. They had to run head-on into that storm. Speaking of Bean Town, we’re heading down there tomorrow morning. Should be a good time! In the meantime, here’s the third and final segment on the SoCal catchup:

We made all too many trips back and forth between LA and OC. In LA, we met up with Dave, Ken, Steve, Postaer, Jen, Melissa and Pei Ming. We saw the movie “300” at The Grove, a very cool mall as far as malls go, on opening night with Dave & Ken. One of the reasons I don’t think I could ever live in LA/OC is the overcrowding. Everyone knows the traffic sucks but you also feel it just going out to the movies or to the gym. We tried watching “300” on an IMAX screen but all of the theaters were sold out way in advance. And one afternoon while we were gridlocked in Santa Monica, I decided to give up trying to get back to OC and just hit the nearest 24 Hour Fitness. There was a line of cars backed up just to get in and out of the gym parking lot and it was by far the busiest 24 Hour Fitness I’ve ever been in. On the other hand, many of the cool places there wouldn’t be possible without the high concentration of people. I guess you take the bad with the good if you choose to live in SoCal. Speaking of cool places, Dave and the Sams met up with Jen at a popular Cuban restaurant called Versailles. Dave & Shanghai love the place but Jen & I found it meh. I thought Pinkberrys, a popular yogurt & fruit dessert place we went to afterwards, was better. That’s not the cool place though. Later that night, we all met up with Melissa and Pei Ming at a new lounge in Downtown called Edison. I wasn’t expecting much but it was possibly the coolest bar/club I’ve ever been in. It was an old power station converted into a swanky lounge, retaining much of the old power station look. Black & white movies flickered on the distressed brick walls as jazz music wafted throughout the space. Every half hour or so the music would pause for an entertaining burlesque show. Highly recommended if you’re ever in LA! Most of my other memories of LA involve food. Actually, most of my memories of everywhere involve food. But in LA we also hit up a good Korean restaurant, Calbee?, courtesy of Dave, and an oishii Japanese restaurant, Furaibo, courtesy of Steve. Our last stop before making our way up to Monterey and San Fran was Curry House, a great Japanese curry chain, where Melissa brought us some Beard Papas cream puffs. Oh, and I think some people karaoked in there somewhere.

It was a long time spent in LA & OC. We were there so long because we were killing time to meet up with friends at Lake Tahoe, as I mentioned in a previous post.

-SammyB

Posted By imwithsam.com

No comments yet »

Your comment