They’re close to L.A., they’re free or inexpensive, dogs are usually welcome and they won’t get kids begging for all the latest swag on the ride home. What are they? The hiking trails of Southern California.
L.A. might not be known for nature, but in a year-round climate, with elevations ranging from sea level to 10,000 feet, the great outdoors of SoCal provides many opportunities for exploration.
We were walking around Van Nuys, visiting the Post Office and dropping off a utility bill on Friday, so we decided to take a short detour by MacLeod Ale Brewing Co to see if there was any signs of progress. The door was propped open, so we stuck our nose in to get a quick look and say Hi!.
Luckily Alastair, Jesse and Andy were taking a short break and invited us in for look around. They showed us the new tasting area and the brewing area where beers are already fermenting and racking away. They will be having some private, pre-opening meetings, but hope to be open to the public starting Sunday, June 22, 2014.
We are greatly looking forward to having a microbrewery in walking distance from the house. It is a great addition to the neighborhood and is yet one more sign that things are looking up here in our area of Van Nuys. I plan on having an LA Friday Coffee meetup at the brewery once it opens and I foresee other meet ups as the months progress.
The brewers told us that they are planning for 4 regular brews and 4 seasonal brews each year, ranging from light ales for Summer to heavy porters (my favorite) for the holiday season.
You can follow the progress and events at MacLeod Ale Brewing Co. via their regularly updated Facebook page at MacLeod Ale Brewing Co.
We have been enjoying the free Shakespeare in Griffith Park by The Independent Shakespeare Company for several years now. We have seen The Winter’s Tale, TheMerry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing. The Independent Shakespeare Company always puts on an excellent and entertaining show, especially on lovely Summer nights under the star (and often with the coyotes calling from the surrounding hills.)
Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival returns on Thursday, June 26 with:
New productions of Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew
Players in the Park/Teatristas en el parque family workshops
The Salon Series, discussions at the intersection of Shakespeare and contemporary culture
Festival Arts Partners, pre-show performances by a cross section of Los Angeles performing artists
An evening of Shakespeare and music produced in association with Symphony In The Glen.
Why not join us in seeing these shows this Summer? No tickets (or money) required (although tips are gratefully accepted to fund the company). Bring your chairs and your dinner. Come early and enjoy the sunset and a great show. I know we’ll be there.
Back when I worked in an office full time, Sunday nights were a time of dread. Starting in the early afternoon the bad feelings would start to creep in. I would begin to think — and worry – -about everything that faced me when I went into work the next morning. I knew it was foolish but I couldn’t seem to break out of it. I wasn’t really happy doing what I was doing — and dealing with some pretty nasty stress-related illnesses, too — so I knew I had to do something. It took me a long time, but I eventually was able to work for myself and I found that sickness and Sunday Night dread soon became only a bad memory.
Since I couldn’t remove myself from the trouble at the time, though, I tried to sublimate it in other ways. We were living in North Hollywood at the time, a few blocks away from a funky bookstore/coffeehouse/hangout spot called the Iguana Cafe. Sunday nights often found me there, burying (or maybe, ignoring) my Sunday Night Dread in the weekly open mic night, thumbing through books, drinking “coffee” and generally trying to forget what was facing me come the morning. This didn’t solve the problem completely, by any means, but drowning my sorrows in the arts was much better than drowning it in alcohol or drugs. I was writing poetry at the time, even reading some at the club and also held and my one and only art show there, too. The Iguana served me well over the years and I am still good friends with several people I met there.
In looking for some pictures online, I came across this article, written by Rosanne, that appeared in the LA Times in 1995.
All of this reminiscing is a long way of telling you that you need to seek out refuges in your own life whenever it starts to feel overwhelming. A refuge won’t solve your problems, but it can give you a small place of respite, where you can heal — even a small bit — and engage in an enjoyable activity to counteract those times when you are under pressure or stressed in other ways. This little act of self preservation could be the one act that prevents you from straying to other, unproductive (and even dangerous) behaviors and even give you enough peace and quiet to figure out how you are going to extricate yourself from your unpleasant situation. Sometimes a salve on your troubles is all that you can give yourself, but a salve can at least reduce the effects and grant you some time and space to think about how you can change things for the better.
Have you ever suffered from Sunday Night Dread? How did you cope? What are your favorite “self preservation” locations? Are these spaces helping you find a better, long-term solution to your issues?