The task was simple: Drink beer all day. The task would have also been daunting, perhaps, if not for good company. Indeed, beer tours necessitate teamwork; that is, if you plan to do one well. I joined Joshua of FoodGPS and cohorts in Silver Lake, where we launched from and headed behind the Orange Curtain – Placentia.
For a city whose name I’ve questioned from the get-go, they have a heavyweight yet small craft brewery aptly named “The Bruery” (for family name “Rue”). It’s housed inside – yes, you’ve guessed it – an industrial office park. And what an oasis of fine craft brews it is, a reprieve from Orange County sun and concrete-asphalt wasteland. One can get 4-oz pours for a mere $4-5 – well worth the trip if not already in The OC.
I really enjoyed my first pour, the Snicklefritz (above, center). It was spicy yet refreshing and had good balance for a golden ale at 9.2% ABV. The Orchard White (left) was also very good as a citrusy Belgian but it was probably premature weather-wise for the Autumn Maple (right). Who are these SoCal-ers kidding about “autumn?” It is a heavier beer, obviously with maple syrup as a brewing ingredient, so I will probably have to find a location in the mountains that serves it when the snow starts falling. It’s also brewed with “17 lbs of yams per barrel” which would also explain its weight.
I’m going to New York next week. Though I’m very much a subway girl while there, there will be a lot of taxis – and at that, ones you can hail. I doubt any of us ever instructed anybody to “hail a cab” as a means of getting around Los Angeles. Despite our best efforts, that is. But let’s get serious here. Outside the airport or hotel complete with taxi lanes, we’re most accustomed to calling one if we had planned to use a cab, at all. I don’t know about you, but I’ve experienced many a frustration with operators on the other line while trying to call one.
This Labor Day weekend might be prime time to try a new experiment. I know you’re on your phone texting your dogsitter, anyway!!
I may end up loving where I live even more (the key phrase for that would be, “central to everything”) because I just found out about a new service that makes cab service even more conducive for my friends and I to take around town. You can now text the address of your location to “777222″ and GoFastCab will dispatch a cab directly to you, wherever you are in L.A. – even South Bay and Long Beach! Sweet!
After texting your address, you get a confirmation text back to you so you know they received it (and that your text didn’t get lost in outer space). If you change your mind, you can also text “CANCEL” to the same number and that will cancel your cab. If you’re wondering where your cab is before he gets to you, you can text “STATUS” for a status message back.
I think the best part about this, though, is when you’re out at the bar and not exactly sure when to cash out because you want to secure the cab you called – for fear of someone else snatching your cab from you. The service calls you when they’re outside!
I recently had the eye-opening experience of interviewing my good friend Jarrett for a blog post. It was a conversational interview of sorts but entirely educational. His family and house, fortunately, had narrowly escaped the Witch Creek fires in San Diego. It was so narrow, in fact, that the fires had actually reached no closer than the fence surrounding his house before the firefighters were able to stop the advancement. Jarrett details the experience of packing and moving themselves and the most important of his family’s belongings in the largest peacetime movement of Americans since the civil war.
*e: Hi Jarrett, thanks so much for doing this interview. It’s actually my first interview in the blog so I’m quite honored to be given the opportunity. So you live in Los Angeles–close to me, actually–and your parents live in San Diego. Did you go down to San Diego as a result of the fires to help your parents or were you already down there for another reason before they started?
J: No, I went down to SD on Friday for my cousin’s 50th birthday party, which was on Saturday. I was down there for the party and I even made a trip up to LA on Sunday to drop off a bed for me to sleep on. But I decided to make it a round trip so I could help pick up another bed from Yorba Linda and the winds were just nuts that night.
*e: I bet. How did you know how strong the winds were, from personal experience?
J: When we were loading the beds, the wind was strong enough to almost knock us both over while holding onto a huge ass bed. We ended up getting home really late on Sunday night/Monday morning and I ended up staying up because the winds were so strong. The winds were beating the crap out of the house and we had a canopy outside the house that kept banging into the house. And, eventually the winds were blowing strong enough that it fell apart and the metal was getting bent and it woke up my dad and me. So, we went outside to start taking it apart so it wouldn’t blow away.