Sunday, October 28, 2007


I'm on another research trip in sunny, hot (and fiery) Southern California. This time, instead of spending all of my time going through archives, I'm also conducting oral history interviews with some very interesting older people. So far it's gone well, but I haven't managed to get nearly as many done as I originally hoped. On the other hand, I found a very promising new source for primary source documents pertinent to my subject, and it's at another lovely space. For some reason, I've been lucky as a researcher and usually find myself working in fabulously cozy and friendly archives (unlike other people I know).

Really, I've spent the entire trip in lovely surroundings. Staying with my aunt, uncle, and cousin is always very nice, and during this trip I got another treat and was able to spend the weekend with my dear friend Holly at her family's very beautiful and comfortable house (my view of the kitchen table before I started this blog entry is pictured above). Holly is the first friend from Santa Cruz that I've been able to connect with since I moved in June, and I've really enjoyed seeing her and getting to know her mom and sister. We even knit together a little.

Her family's house has a fantastic view and is full of interesting pictures and objects artfully displayed. Everywhere I look there's something else to examine and contemplate. But, despite the plentitude of decorative objects, none of the rooms seem cluttered or busy. It's inspired me in several ways, but particularly: I want to have more flowers inside and to try putting more framed photos on the walls.

Holly and I noticed something else interesting when we stopped for lunch on our way to LACMA yesterday. Seeking Ethiopian food, we stopped on Fairfax to look around. It's well known as a Jewish neighborhood (people always seem to bring it up when I mention that I'm researching Jewish history in Los Angeles), but now the streets are also lined with Ethiopian shops and restaurants. Next to where we ate lunch we saw "The National Council of Jewish Women Thrift Shop," and it was like I'd been transported into a modern version of my MA thesis.

All in all, the more I learn about Los Angeles, the more interesting it becomes.


kungfuramone said...

So was there some SWEET thrift scores to be found at said shop?!

Adva Ahava said...

My grandmother loves that thrift shop. And I love that Fairfax strip with Jewish stuff and Ethiopian stuff and the Farmer's Market nearby. Great pictures! And I'm glad to hear your research is going well, and that you got to hang out with Holly. I saw her at Coffeetopia and she was excited about going down to visit you. I told her to say 'hi' for me :-)

Amanda said...

Kungfuramone, it did look like a promising thrift shop, but I was most tantalized by the glassware and furniture, both of which wouldn't travel well back to WA in my suitcase. So, no purchases for me.

Adva, Holly did remember to convey your message, and it was nice for me to imagine you studying at Coffeetopia. "Hi" to you too.

Holly said...

Oh, my dear sweet Amanda,
I had such a lovely, lovely time with you! It was the perfect mini-vacation and couldn't have come at a better time for me. I bet Murray was sad when you left! I'll try and call you when I get the chance.
Lots of love,
Holly xox

Batty said...

What a great time you had! This is second only to DH's business trip to Maui.

New Knitter Taking a Break from the Needles said...

Don't get too attached to L.A.! Yes, it's hip and cool, but when I follow you and move out of Santa Cruz, I'll follow your trail to Washington state, but I refuse to move to L.A. =)