J.Puccinelli

The Accidental Antiquing

In budget, for the home, Good Eats, Los Angeles, mr. and mrs. pooch on August 19, 2010 at 2:20 pm

There is something magical, addictive, and absolutely euphoric about California sunshine. Summer 2010 however, has been straight up stingy with the sun – until yesterday. I’m talking blue skies galore, a warm breeze and sun, sun, sunshine!  The best part about a warm day is a warm night, which in my eyes is cause for an evening out. Confession- I may or may not have used it as an excuse to rock these super cute black dress shorts I’ve been dying to wear but couldn’t for fear of getting frost bite. I digress…so A.P and I headed over to Culver City’s main street where al fresco dining, live music, and prime people watching/eavesdropping take place.

My turn to choose – i pick Akasha – a fabulous restaurant wrapping around the corners of Culver & Watseka with a commanding metal door, long list of  what I assume to be spectacular wines, a menu with dishes composed of locally grown produce and of course the whole “we’re trying to look like we aren’t trying” ambiance to top things off…I adore this place.

After absolutely terrorizing a plate of sweet potato fries (paired with Vegenaise/paprika sauce – delish) we proceed to abandon all attempts at conversation and dive into our entrees. For me: A simple Fig Salad with blue cheese crumbles, walnuts, arugula, light vinaigrette…For A.P:  Flat Iron Steak, parmesan crusted potatoes and a rainbow chard.  (I plan to do a post just on Akasha one day with photos and all of that jazz.)

Because A.P and I managed to eat so quickly (haha) we had some time to walk around main street. We made it about five doors down before we were stopped by little girls screaming: “50 cents! Books are just 50 cents! Come and get them!”  I looked up and realized we were in front of a second hand store – Jackpot.  I tell A.P I’m looking for “really cool hard cover books” for my room. With my vague description in mind the two of us embarked on a quest to find the coolest, oldest, most unique books EVER…

Soon we are sitting cross legged on the floor, passing books back and forth, laughing at the titles, gawking at the print dates, relishing in the feel of the old pages between our fingers, and trying our best to narrow down my increasing stack of selections.

“But what about this one I like the yellow cover – it pops..”

“Yeah, but this one, this one has an awesome title (The Power of Positive Thinking)”

“Oooh! Read the note in this one – it’s signed 1924.”

As I am finalizing my purchase one of those live music bands I told you about earlier, proceeds to come into the thrift shop, not to browse but to take their show on the road; playing their instruments and singing their hearts out as if no one is watching. I grin from ear to ear and cheer them on as they march around harmonizing about the girl in a purple dress next to me. Is this for real?

An hour has passed since we first stopped in. We leave with spirits high, a paper bag of our finds in tow and a receipt for 10 books equaling what would’ve been the cost of one brand new.  As we walk back to the car I can’t help but smile and instantly recall having the same feeling leaving the library as a kid – holding more books than I could hardly manage, bursting at the seams with anticipation, talking a mile a minute about which book I would read first…if I could just get to the car. ; )

~ j.ayers

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