I celebrated my birthday by wandering around downtown Los Angeles’ Arts District with my sister. We took the Metro down to the Japan / Arts District stop. 3 trains, 13 miles and about an hour later we were on the station platform, ready for a small adventure.
We started at The Pie Hole – ordering a chicken pot pie and a Mexican chocolate pie. We split each slice exactly in half and ate them both. While my sister talked about her days, I sipped a chai and snapped photographs.
(It’s sort of a trip to live near your sister in a city 3,000 miles away from where you both grew up. It’s an extra mind-bender to know that if you’re 31, then she’s entering her late 20s. How did this happen?)
We walked from the Pie Hole to Blue Bottle Coffee. We ordered lattes (her’s iced, mine hot, per usual) and sat in a window seat, talking some more. When we felt done, we walked towards an arts event she thought was happening.
There it was, Artists and Fleas, in a little parking lot between tall brick buildings with fire escapes, booths set up with leather goods, handmade jewelry and planters made of glass and brass.
The first booth carried thin gold rings and I knew one was mine to buy one. I’ve been wanting a ring to wear on my right hand – partially to (temporarily) replace the birth stone ring from my grandmother whose stone was lost and is yet to be fixed – but also for a personal reminder of my own self-worth. The ring I picked out was hammered rose-gold fill – for $25 was a perfect gift for myself.
After a loop around the booths, and saying “no” to hanging triangle air plant hangers and an $8 feather bigger than my hand, we left to save our dollars.
I’m on the hunt for a watercolor set, so our last stop was an arts store at the south end of the district. The store was warehouse big, rows of stock, every weight and type of paper you could want. I investigated the paint options, but decided the ring was enough for my budget.
We made the walk back to the station. The brick, the slanted streets, the hip people with their bohemian hats and expensive cameras, pushing babies wearing bibs screen-printed with mustaches, the trees blooming pink and purple, the group of teenagers on the train, talking fast and loud – the *urban-ness* of it all is a vibe I feed off of, but only for a short while. We sat in quiet on the way home, both of us happily tired.
I hear people say that after a certain age, birthdays don’t matter, but I disagree. It’s a way to mark time, but really it’s a day you get to call your own. I spent my day doing what I love – seeing sights, walking a neighborhood, sipping coffee, taking photographs and spending time with my sister.