[title pic by Julie Lake]

My sister and I went graffiti exploring. I don’t think I need to write much for this post; the general message is that LA is beautiful.

Around 7th & Mateo

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Around Melrose & Martel

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The Traffic Snackiff is an essential part of any rush hour routine. You know the routine- get in your car, drive about six inches, angrily shout at other drivers, look around aimlessly, complain about how tired your clutch ankle is getting with all the stop and go. And then… HUNGRY.

Because rush-hour tends to coincide with dinner time. You’ll be happily motoring along (yeah right, what a joke), and then like a cobra, starvation will strike. It creeps up stealthily until all of a sudden  you can no longer speak, no longer think, can hardly support your head to observe that you’re was going nowhere, you are so ravenous.

That’s why I came up with Traffic Snackiff, the (what are we on now, Taco Bell?) fifth meal of the day.

There are a lot of donut shops in LA, and an inordinately high concentration of bizarre donut-something else hybrids. I’m talking donuts and fried chicken, donuts and sandwiches. Well all the places I stopped invariably seemed to be donuts and crack cocaine. But starvation is a harsh mistress. Neither sleet, nor snow (both common in LA summers), nor tweaking junkie outside, could deter me from pulling over to get my traffic snackiff: old-fashioned chocolate glazed donut and chocolate milk.

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Yum, people. Yum.

Now when when your mind starts to clear as your hunger slowly fades, and the angry buzzing in your ears dissipates to be replaced by a lazy sugar smile on your face, you may hear conversations occurring around you of the type like, “I’m telling you man, it’s fine. I’ve never done time.”

At this point it’s time to go.

But that’s just part of Traffic Snackiff’s charm. Now not only are you no longer hungry, satisfied with delicious chocolatey comfort in your stomach, now you are also happy to be in your car, back on the road, driving away from whatever nefarious den you just exited.

Traffic Snackiff™

 

Some of the places I went in LA seemed more like something out of an  SNL skit than real life…

If you’re looking for a place to stock up on supplies for your lates witch’s brew, I have just the place for you. Guarded by three large dogs, Necromance is your one-stop shop for anything fucking creepy. Located in East-West Hollywood, this store has everything: freeze-dried bats, squirrel-feet necklaces, scorpion lollipops, human vertebrae, tortoise shells, armadillo/badger limbs, and complete snake skeletons. Need some light to read by? Don’t forget to check out their lamps made out of deer forelegs. l

Necromance, 7220 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA  http://www.necromance.com/

 

Need a date with a bearded dude? Or, alternatively, like music? Brave a hallway of judgemental hipster eyes to enter Amoeba Records, the world’s largest independent record store. Come in dressed in your beatnik costume with prepared “cool” affect to browse thousands of records and pretend you know what you’re looking at. Then think to yourself, “I don’t need this shit, I have Spotify.”

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Amoeba Music, 6400 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA http://www.amoeba.com/

 

Are you Lady Gaga, her impersonator, or a dancer in her music video? LA’s hottest shop to get your outfit is… the store that doesn’t exist on Google Maps. Seriously, I had to do some CSI shit on my computer to see the name of a store across from it in the reflection of a picture I took. So I know it’s located across the street from Explosion (7555 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA). It gets weirder: this store also does not have a door into it. To get in you have to go next door and ask the nice middle eastern man if there’s an entrance. After telling you it’s all custom made, and none of it’s for sale, he’ll let you in through the secret back door (which he then shuts behind you so no one else can see it exists/enter). This mystery shop has everything you need to be a pop star/futuristic super hero: horse-face armor, mohawk made of quartz crystals, horned face-mask, rib-bone collar, spiky cod piece, shoulder pads for days, nefertiti chain veils, and much, much more. Trust me, in these outfits people will respect your personal-space bubble.

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If you looking for a fart machine, the perfect post card for your Mormon lover, Henri Rousseau Art stick-on tattoos, or justification for your chocolate addiction, LA’s best store for anything and everything is Wacko Soap Plant. Located on the outskirts of Little Armenia, Wacko is crammed floor to ceiling with knick-knacks, decoration, and toys, with an art exhibit nestled in the back. Go here if you enjoy browsing cute curiousities. Wacko, 4633 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA

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http://soapplant.com/

Finally, LA’s hottest club is Jumbo’s Clown Room. Located on Hollywood Boulevard,this little joint is packed to the brim with enthusiastic dancers and even more enthusiastic patrons. Opened in 1970 and converted to an exotic dance bar in ’82, this bar embodies burlesque without crossing into the vulgarly agressive territory. All different shapes and sizes, tattooed and pierced chicks dance/strip to 80’s hits and rock picked off the club’s jukebox. No actual nudity- the skimpiest they get down to is underwear, which I at least appreciated. Different levels of skill and style range from a duo jazz dancing to footloose, to a serious acrobat pole dancer doing the splits on the ceiling then dropping straight down to catch herself, head inches from the floor, just by the strength of her inner thighs. Goddamn. The crowd goes wild and bills fly onto the stage. No cover charge, so drink well and tip the dancers on stage. (Ps. Courtney Love danced here in the early 90’s. Cool.)l

No pictures allowed, so I found this one online. Jumbo’s Clown Room, 5153 Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA http://jumbos.com/

 

 

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