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(5) things we love..#34

Posted in Things We Love

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Miuccia
As I paw through fashion magazines, oftentimes the clothes I am attracted to have a common denominator: Miuccia Prada. This navy blue dress carries a price tag of over $6,000 and it can’t even live in my imagination. But what I love about it is that it’s chic and sexy without being revealing, with enough embellishments to make it festive without screaming “party central”. And just when I thought I could never love crochet, this little number comes along in the Miu Miu collection to brighten any outfit. I even found a knock-off at some outlet store in Palm Springs for the princely sum of $10. Serendipity at work.

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A little bit of daring
Between the proliferation of stylists and actresses not trusting their fashion instincts anymore, I am starting to miss Cher. What fun is it to watch an award show when the clothes all look vaguely the same? And what is it with grown women and their fascination for princess and mermaid dresses? Why would Jessica Chastain, a beautiful woman with an uncommon mane of red hair that would lend itself to striking combinations, choose to look like Gilda? I much preferred Emma Stone who looked like…well, Emma Stone, in a much fresher outfit. With the Golden Globes done, I am hoping the Oscars will not disappoint.

Reading in LA
It’s called The Last Bookstore and, at the rate things are going for book retailers, it might as well end up being the last one standing. The cavernous two-story bookstore mostly carries used books, in great condition. Not rarities but books you would want to read, priced, mostly, between $1 and $10, with the majority in between. Whimsical, with a labyrinth, a vault, an art gallery and random piles upstairs, it’s the perfect place to: 1) get lost; 2) take a literary date; 3) feel good about spending money; 4) while away the time on their sofas; 5) finally get that Heston Blumenthal tome on English food through the ages (spotted for $60 vs $200 if you were to buy it new). What you will not find are gourmet coffees and frappuccinos (453 S. Spring St., Los Angeles).

A beach encounter
A beach encounter

Walking

From downtown LA to the beach: once a week, I try to keep the lunchtime appointment with my friend Marie. I pick her up from work and we head to Temescal beach, for a brisk walk on the sand. For an hour, we take ourselves, not just out of our routines, but mostly out of our heads. Which reminds me it’s much easier to change our perspective than we give ourselves credit for: distancing ourselves from our everyday and our sources of stress, even for 30 minutes, can do wonders. And, in our case, there is always the possibility of a random chat with an otter or a pelican. And if you live in LA, don’t forget it’s January and you are very likely to spot whales on their journey south.

London CabsThe hardest test on earth
Not the Oxbridge entrance exams, nor the memorization required for med school. It’s the test to become a licensed London cabbie. Known as the Knowledge, this monster exam, which is taken in stages, can take years to complete. A brilliant candidate will do it in three. Most take longer. It’s not just the routes of an intricate city that need to be memorized, but any point of interest, from a hospital, or an office down to some tiny statue on top of a church door. This in-depth article follows a would be cabbie through his travails and tribulations while trying to get his license. If nothing else, it will make you feel good next time you pay those hefty fares.

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6 Comments

  1. Another fab five. That crochet top is a super find and I am prickling with jealousy. Stone was a standout for me too.

    January 17, 2015
    |Reply
  2. winston moreton
    winston moreton

    Heard that Ebook sales may have plateau’d and that bookstores surged at year’s end.

    January 17, 2015
    |Reply
    • camparigirl
      camparigirl

      I can tell you the place was packed on the Sunday I went (and left with 10 books). If I am anything to go by, I got into ebooks very quickly, and still download them when I get the urge to have something immediately (and you can’t beat the convenience when traveling) but I would say I still read two cartaceous books for every ebook. You might be right.

      January 17, 2015
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      • winston moreton
        winston moreton

        Thankyou for Cartaceous – with or without the hacca it’s splendid. More pleasing than rended the other day – made me grimace.

        January 17, 2015
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      • camparigirl
        camparigirl

        How to look like an ass by dropping the “H” from an otherwise fabulous word. In my defense, I have a penchant for Latin-derived words because they are so similar to my own Italian. But you knew that. “Ended”? where? sorry for the grimace.

        January 18, 2015
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        • winston moreton
          winston moreton

          Gasp. How to explain discomfort with the word “rended” when it involves Christ attending to an Irish icon? The grimace was replaced with a smile when I saw how apt the imagery was. Nough said? Espero di si!

          January 18, 2015
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