Last night I went out to meet some of the other L.A. based writers for TVGasm. Everyone turned out to be awesome and we had a good time.
Also, I was reminded of how much I enjoy meeting new people because, in doing so, I often get to hear about new places in this big huge city I call home.
You see, in my natural state of being, I barely ever leave my apartment. And when I do, I like to go to the same handful of restaurants and bars. Places I know won't suck. And I don't like to go anywhere that requires more than 10 minutes of travel. I'm usually content with this arrangement.
But then every few weeks, I'll suddenly feel like I'm missing out on life. Someone will tell me about a park, or a restaurant, or a bar they went to, and I will, of course, have no idea where this place is. "Oh, it's downtown," they'll say. I have been downtown like 6 times...all for jury duty. Or they will tell me, "It's in Los Feliz." I've been in Los Feliz like 3 times, once by accident when I was trying to find my way back to the freeway from Hollywood. Also, Los Feliz is full of hipsters and I'm scared to go there and not look cool enough.
And last night, I heard about something called...are you ready for this?... PIRATE'S DINNER ADVENTURE.
I know, holy crap! How had I never heard of this place? You eat while actual battles take place on ships. WTF?! I love it already.
Anyway, my point is that I realize I've lived in Los Angeles for almost 4 years, and I'm familiar with about 1% of it. This is a sad fact!
So last night this meeting got me to actually go somewhere new, White Horse in East Hollywood.
It was like any other Hollywood dive bar-- red lighting, juke box, hip crowd, and the eerie feeling that a rock star once drank himself to death within its four walls.
But this place had something that I've never before seen in a bar: a kind grandma. She was the bartender, with her gray hair and her little blue sweatsuit. When I sat down at the bar and ordered a martini she responded, in her thick Russian accent, "OH! Jou look sixten. So young so young." And then she chuckled and started making my drink. "Der you go, sveethart," she said as she set the glass in front of me.
As I sipped my drink and waited for everyone else, she set out a bowl of pretzels. "Yay pretzels!" I exclaimed. (I get excited about things, ok?) "Yay pretzels!" she said back, laughing again. Then she set out a bowl of corn chips. And then a bowl of popcorn, shaken from a microwave bag. I looked behind her and saw a microwave already at work popping a second bag.
When a few of the others showed up, we moved to a table, bringing the snacks with us. On our way, I noticed she'd put out a big tray of cookies. Damn, she's good. Later, when two more people showed up, she approached us. "Please come sit over on coach." And so we did. Another employee, presumably her son, followed us with our bowls of snacks and set them on the coffee table.
Some time passed. And then, "Everyone. Have hot dog. Dey ready!" she announced while standing by the bar, setting a tray of hotdogs, already in their little buns, on a table with ketchup, mustard, and folded napkins. Oh, she is just too cute!
She came over to our table. "Why you no eat hog dog? Jou should get one. Dey very good!" And even though I don't eat meat and hadn't had a hot dog since I was like 12, I almost wanted to go eat one, just to make her happy.