Shreddin' and Grillin'
My friend Heather hooked me up with the rad skater dudes at Arbor in Venice, Calif. I hadn't even unwrapped the plastic wrapper from the Tokidoki-designed deck that arrived in the mail last week. But Arbor's manager, Drew, walked me through the process of choosing the appropriate trucks and wheels for my new skateboard. When I said "walked through," I meant that he talked to me as I slid back and forth on the wood floors of the tiny shop on various models to test the trucks' stability and ease in rounding corners. After sending one of the neighborhood skaterats across the street to buy some black grip tape for the top of my board, he whirred a hand drill a couple of times, tightening the bearings on the trucks and black wheels I had selected. Minutes later, I cruised out of the shop on my tricked-out skateboard.
Heather and I skated our way from the Venice boardwalk starting at Washington Boulevard over to Abbot Kinney Boulevard, where we got some grub at Axe. I had always wanted to try the seasonally prepared, organic-preferred menu at this California-meets-Japan restaurant. Heather informed me that the restaurant's name is pronounced "ak-shay," instead of "acks" as I had assumed. Having worked up an appetite by shredding the sidewalk, I ordered the chicken apple salad, a hodgepodge of boiled chicken, slivers of red apples, homemade croutons that were the size of ping-pong balls, celery and thick slices of boiled potatoes.
Heather enjoyed a liquid lunch since she had noshed before meeting me at the skate shop. I loved the whimsical design on the label of the family-brewed Delirium Tremers beer from Belgium that she chose. Though not as sweet as a Chimay ale, the Delirium Tremers had a robust flavor that was enjoyed best served in a goblet than a highball glass, she said.
After I parted from Heather, I made my way to Fred Segal in Santa Monica, Calif. The uber-trendy boutiques that make up the mini mall were holding their annual sale, marking down nearly everything by 50 percent. I scored a pair of Miu Miu's snakeskin thong sandals that match the snakeskin business card holder I bought years ago from Jutta Neumann in New York. I'm going to be stylin' when I report at the upcoming apparel trade shows with my coordinated accessories.
I continued my quality time with Heather later in the evening at an art exhibit called Autumn Lights 06 in downtown Los Angeles. An award-winning lighting director, Heather thought several of the pieces were amateurish. Indeed, it seemed that the artists were more creative with their sculptures and stuck a couple of light bulbs inside as an afterthought.
Robert Reynolds stretched cellophane tape over steel wire to create this stretch sedan.
Joined by Heather's hubby, Mike, who was nursing a cold and didn't go skateboarding with us earlier, we decided that our favorite piece was Sean Sobczuk's seahorse. It was also popular with the hip kids who checked out the show with their parents. One Asian-American girl, who must have been about five years old, wore a halter dress covered with a black-and-white Op Art print and brown motorcycle boots. My inner child came out when I swung from a white bedsheet hanging from a bungee cord attached to a metal beam in the courtyard of the CalTrans Plaza where the exhibit was held. I had seen other visitors try to climb the sheet and wanted to do the same. But a burly security guard quickly walked over to me and waved his hands to indicate that there would be no monkey business at Autumn Lights.
I shrugged off the reprimand. Heather, Mike and I walked to Sohoju for some sake and Korean barbeque.
There was no spinach on the veggie plate, which included pumpkin, sweet potato and asparagus. The scallops were sweet.
I also ordered the galbi, which came pre-cooked, and the rice cakes.
The best light of the evening glowed from the hot coals cooking our food.