Saturday, July 29, 2006


OK, one month in my new place, and one month of shopping at my "Ghetto Von's grocery store and I had had it. I made a desperation call to a friend, where’s the nearest Trader Joe's?”. Honestly, I was willing to drive back to the Marina just to pick up some milk and bread! “Duh” my friend replied, “you’re right near Silver Lake!”.

I knew I had found Silver Lake when I spotted a trendy furniture store called simply “Grain”. The whole tenor of the neighborhood shifted into a minor chord. The barbers became stylists; the stores became shops, the purses transformed into handbags. Sigh. How happy it all makes me!

So many “shops” had one name, a block away from “Grain” was one called “Salt”. I looked everywhere for the store called “Of” but no luck.

When I saw Trader Joe's ahead I felt a sense of relief, but across the street, even better—was Gelson’s! I was like a kid in a grocery store. I ran around picking out organic items in cute little overpriced jars.

Perhaps this is a sad reflection on me, such a victim of consumerism. But, as my mother always said, I was born with “champagne taste and beer money”.


  1. You know, there's a few TJ's that are closer, like the ones in South Pasadena or Eagle Rock, but if you feel you need to reconnect with your "trendy furniture" stores, by all means, head on over to Silverlake.
    I agree with you that this is a sad reflection of your consumerist needs, especially since you seem to want to turn our perfect little town into just another vapid wasteland of consumer goods, just like all the rest of them tired suburbs. And just so you know, there's much more good beer to be had than there is champagne; if you listen to your tongue rather than your middle-class upbringing, you might discover a thing or three.
    I'd say welcome to the neighborhood, but I'd by lying. EL CHAVO!

  2. Ouch. But point taken. But come on! I've seen your website and I know you agree with me about the Ghetto Vons. I'll check out the TJ's in eagle rock (thanks for the tip).
    Seriously, give me another chance (afterall I am new to the town). Take a look at my latest ode to the area a historical look at the area:


  3. The South Pasadena Trader Joe's on Mission is real close. North on the 110, exit Ave 64, right on York, left on Mission, I think.

    And Alhambra has a farmer's market.

    But do explore the little mom and pop stores, too.

    Vons is awful, but that's because it doesn't pay for corporate to be stellar in a working class neighborhood. "Ghetto", even though the kids use the word ubiquitously, isn't really helpfully descriptive for you (even if you put in quotes)--especially to someone from the neighborhood like El Chavo.

  4. Lincoln Heights, you'll find, is at the gastronomic epicenter of the universe. There's a Whole Foods in Glendale, just off the Glendale Freeway, with all the yuppie greens and more organic than you can stuff in a lifetime. Also, even our local Von's is a godsend for any loft-living, loft-loving person because many of the loft districts, even in LA's very own Downtown, still don't have grocery stores. Is the Farmer's Market in the Artists' District still running, or did it fold? Might check it out.

  5. I'm with el chavo! on this one.

    Better get familiar with the local bodegas and taquerias fast or you're going to find having to take a long drive for nourishment pretty annoying! Take it from my past hipster roommates who couldn't stay away from Silverlake, WeHo or (gasp) "the Marina" for longer than a year.

    On a friendlier note...there's also a Farmer's Market in Little Tokyo. A girl at the "ghetto" Vons told me there's one I didn't know about in Highland Park. You can do a search online to find all the Farmer's Markets in L.A.