Reports of fun-ness!
New cultural terrain covered this past weekend. While most people were out at church and binging on chicken-shaped candies that taste like a wet marshmallow someone dropped in sand, I was in Thai Town with a good friend of mine celebrating Thai New Year!
Which is totally a thing. So I guess this means white folk didn't invent the concept of years?
I live just a couple blocks from Thai town, which is a 3- or 4-block stretch on Hollywood Boulevard that has more Thai restaurants and massage parlors than the already insane amount everywhere else in LA. This strip was blocked off to make way for a crowded and colorful row of tents, street performers, food vendors, and even Thai boxing. That last one was new to me, since the only Thai boxing I know of is when I take my leftover pad see ew to-go.
My friend, whom we may call Smichard, is somewhat new to LA and is in fact the inheritor of my old Chinatown place. We were both fresh-faced at the Thai New Year celebration, which only added to the wonder of it all. We of course got my favorite Thai snack that I first blogged about a while ago, Thai tacos:
Confoundlingly delicious little dessert crepes with some kind of marshmallow fluff and root/fruit shavings on top. We also got lunch at Sapp Coffee Shop, an unsuspecting Thai cafe decorated with window stickers of approval from Yelp, TripAdvisor, FourSquare, etc. As you might imagine business was crazy on the block during Thai New Year, but Smichard and I wriggled our way in... for a brief moment falling victim to a slight misunderstanding and being seated at a very small table across from an older Thai couple. After about 3 minutes and 46 seconds of very forced small talk, we eventually got our own table, enjoyed Thai teas and palm juice (both just variations of liquid sugar), and nommed on a deliciously apropos Thai lunch.
Some photos of the festival:
After lunch we went and accomplished one of my longtime LA bucket list items: hiking to the Hollywood sign. I know how cliche that sounds, but would you rather I take staged photos on the Walk of Fame? I already got that shit out of my system in high school anyway.
...And again in college.
The hike was fantastic, and the view has made me sure of where I will eventually build my corner office. Okay, I feel SUPER dumb for asking, but wtf is this big reservoir-looking body of water?
Is this the fountain of wealth all the people up in the Hollywood Hills toss their sacrificial transvestite hobo corpses into? I feel like I should have heard of it by now if there's some big old lake in the middle of LA.
I can't muster up the strength to ask Google, so I will maintain my original hypotheses.
During our hike, a serendipitous happenstance led Smichard and me off the main trail and down a steep, narrow pathway that you'd miss if you weren't looking hard enough. It was the sort of trail worthy of having NatGeo helicopters fly over it with an IMAX camera pointing down at the few waving hikers traveling along it. The trail, which in all seriousness begins at Hugh Hefner Overlook, traces the thin spine of the hilltops and leads to a magical place.
Behold, friends, the Tree of Wisdom. This lonesome mysterious tree stands on the peak of the hill, like Simba on Pride Rock.
Smichard and I hiked all the way to the tree, which was one of the rare occasions in LA where I felt like I was doing something I should be doing. It's a magical place that I encourage everyone without a paralyzing fear of heights to visit. I went up to the Hollywood sign seeking fulfillment, and received so much more.
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