Saturday, October 19, 2013

First-Friend-Dates + Los Angeles Community

I love slowing down, talking to strangers and feeling more connected. Taking the time to observe the connectedness that's always around us. Finding connection in unexpected places, like finding a real-life friend via Twitter.

My Saturday started in Atwater Village at Proof Bakery, where a septuagenarian in a cowboy hat and wiry white beard informed me he was there to test whether the L.A. Times story on the city's best croissant was correct. He'd been to Paris several times, and, frankly, doubted it.  He took his pastry to go, so, sorry guys.  We'll NEVER KNOW.

From Sunset Magazine's Insider Guide

The bakery was bustling, and I was there on a first-friend-date (yay, Twitter works for actual socializing!). Just like a regular first date, I was a little nervous about what we might talk about, would we like each other? Would I be funny enough to keep another writer entertained? What would we do if there was nowhere to sit, and we had to walk and talk, and I'm tall, which always makes that a little weird.  So I snagged the last two-top from under the slower moves of an elderly couple. I needed the table more than them, they way they were supporting each others' elbows, they clearly had known each for years.

It was all for nought (sorry, grandpa!) as my new friend and I fell into that getting-to-know-you give and take of any good first encounter, where we discussed overcoming perfectionism to learn something new (violin?), writing practice and childhood trauma.  The usual coffee talk. 

We made our way over to Individual Medley, a lovely space with gorgeous clothes, home decor, trinkets, and a popup flower shop.

She gave me honest opinions on hats (too 'Crocodile Dundee') — a trait which is hard to find in a friend.  She hugged hello to the owner, and introduced me. A newish transplant to L.A., she's already making it home. And after my 15 years of finding my friend-family here, I'm excited to keep expanding social circles, have good deep conversations and trade book recommendations, and introduce a new friend to our community.*

(Oh, and yeah.  We sat near Joel McHale from the show "Community."  He's really quite handsome, I don't know if he's ever been told that?  And he was playing with kids. And I STILL managed to be present with a new friend.)

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