Very Good Thing –-daVine

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All the stuff to do during the holidays, leaves scarce time to slow down and enjoy some favorites...

Unfinished Holidays
If you’re not quite finished with the holidays –don’t want to give up the bright lights, still snuggling in? If you’re a Californian you know it’s not the Holidays without: See’s candy. If you’re still hankering for that chocolate goodness but not the maul/mall experience: you can get some See’s downtown –at least for awhile.

The morally-challenged who squat LA’s City Council: actually gave some ‘developer’ pinheads permission to rip down a perfectly fine hotel downtown –to put up another hotel, cuz, G-d forbid, they should merely remodel existing one, ‘better’ to destroy a property only few decades old, disrupt/block traffic, add noise –mess –dirt –destruction for, duh, money. How much went into ‘donation’ account of the morally-challenged?

Shop space shared with LA Visitors Bureau rented from the hotel. In December they got a reprieve on closing:
See's Candy
 –open until January 30th (unless they get another extension)
685 S. Figueroa x West 7th --3 doors from corner
phone: (213) 689-8822 - 623-3179
Monday – Friday until 5 pm
parking nearly impossible, use: DASH –bike –feet

If You Don’t Know Jewels…
The old saying: if you don’t know furs, know your furrier –also applies to jewelers. But: whom to trust? Once, needing tuition, I decided to sell a diamond –stunned at how little I got –long wondered if I could have gotten more if I’d kept on trying/found a good jeweler.

I’ve dealt with many jewelers, over several years, in different ways, known some, none like: The Dina Collection. If you want to buy diamond -colored stones -gold -vintage jewelry: their array is impressive. They aren’t ‘fast food’ jewelers, vintage pieces range from different eras –requests will make the wait sweeter and you will be happy –and confident. Personally I don’t care for modern pieces, but if you do, choosing will be fun.

If your goal instead: need emergency funds
they also do short-term loans –pawn: on fine jewelry, silver, certain antique goods, at usual rate of interest –100% better to deal with than any bank. They follow the rules: when you go to retrieve your pawned item(s), not to worry.

Recently, while waiting I overhead a telephone conversation with one of the associates; caller was told: amount due “$10,000, but if you come in today we would do it for $8,000.” Who does that?
Dina Collection–Jewelers as trustworthy, ethical, reliable, pleasurable, fun as there is
Owner: Yossi Dina
Offers diamonds –watches –estate jewelry and pawn
249 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills
street parking –but BH meter monsters:  vicious –believe it, they WILL ticket even when meter hasn't expired (happened to me and BH Known for it –City Hall to complain: full of protesters with same complaint, City mgmt: don’t care) –use: city lot or private lot across the street

Late & Hungry
Headed home one evening too tired to sit still in a restaurant, too hungry to fuss with cooking: stopped for take-out. I’ve had the pizza, this time: Pasta –spaghetti with tomato & mushrooms, and pasta salad…. The counter woman couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful, and made a mistake ringing up the order, but I tipped her anyway. She tried to refuse, I won.
When I got home: was I glad –wow, I mean really wow. I’m a good cook, make a good spaghetti, eaten in dozens of Italian restaurants here, London and San Francisco, who hasn’t –you could pay double –three times as much, for half the portion –I have and not had it so good as pasta from:
Hard Times Pizza
strip mall where all the streets meet –diagonal from corner gas station
2664 Griffith Park Blvd, Silver Lake

The Perfume
If you are All Done with the holidays and feeling a little down –dark nights getting to you, prescription: Paperwhite narcissus bulbs. Nothing Better than little bit of heaven –spring in your own home –can’t hardly wait. My December shopping always includes the same things every year and since the first time I got a whiff of That Perfume, Paperwhites have been on The List.

The bulbs couldn’t be easier to plant:
-pot in any tallish container (e.g., plastic quart container leftover from deli salad)
-in sand or crushed rock or, if you want them to return following year, potted soil
-water just to bulb bottom
–add a stake for future support –like chop stick or break up a bamboo stick
Place sunny window sill –fire escape –next to front door: anywhere that gets 4 to 6 hours of sunlight daily
Pot up enough bulbs: perfume an entire room –like no other scent, just when you need a lift
Paperwhites: only available late fall to January
–Where I usually get bulbs they still had a box-worth left:
Sunset Nursery
Paperwhite narcissus –large bulbs, many with double nose, about $13 dozen
Next to ex Circuit City –park back side
Arrive well before 5 PM –daily

Paper Chase...
I watched all my ‘comfort’ favorite stationary stores disappear as ‘fast food’ big box chain consumed all. Tired of going to that art store for the good pens, another for envelopes, etc., I made another search and this time found: the oldest purveyor in LA offering hand-made paper –large & small sheets of decorative and writing paper from all over the world –envelopes of every kind, including superb Crane that used to be easy to get from long-gone I. Magnins and Bullock’s. Inspired, I bought textured paper for mounting prints; enough to make up my own Thank You notes and envelopes. Heaven. Bonus: not at Beverly Hills prices, surprisingly affordable. If you want some unique inspiration of your own head over to
McManus & Morgan
2506 West 7th Street, Los Angeles 90057
If they are helping a customer you’ll get answering machine (213) 387-4433
Bonus:  Next door equally surprising
Printer –the classic kind, metal type set by hand –delish, beauty

Personal Note:
I'm having wicked rotten time staying on-line, no thanks to a "tech" who isn't even trying to get up to moron –or maintain equipment during the wind storms... he's earned bottomless contempt –from all forced to tolerate him, for now... sorry for many things I wanted to post, couldn't....

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