Archive for March, 2011

The Jewelry District

Last week, I had commented on Facebook that I’ve lost all perspective since moving to downtown L.A. My Thursday night commute was rainy, so I was worried about driving 40 miles along a wet and slippery 101. Once I exited the freeway, I dreaded the nightly obstacle course of hipsters and homeless who jay-walk across the street that leads to our loft. But the street was empty – in place of pedestrians, I found police barricades blocking access to our street. I detoured around several one-way streets before pulling into our parking lot. Too tired after a long day to muster up any concern or curiosity, all I felt was mild annoyance when Lino, our parking attendant, grimly informed me that a manhunt was underway after a robbery, stabbing, and shooting down the block in the Jewelry District. Lino chided me for living in such a dangerous neighbourhood (he lives in Burbank) as he gallantly escorted me into my building.

On Saturday afternoon, I shopped in the Jewelry District with Maria, my Swedish friend who lives in Pasadena. She and her Peruvian fiancé Orison are traveling to Sweden in a couple of weeks to visit her family so she wanted to buy some presents for her mother. In St. Vincent’s Jewelry Center, I introduced Maria to the proprietors of Easigo Gem and Jewelry Exporters; they sell $5 strands of gemstone beads which are fun to string into necklaces. Maria bought herself a lovely string of garnets.

Last May, I took this photo of Easigo’s counter piled high with necklaces-to-be as my Austrian friends Eleonore and Monika weighed down their purses with bags of the colourful stones. That day, I bought myself some garnets. They’re red and juicy-looking, like the pomergranate seeds which garnish the hummus and tabbouleh served in cafés outside St. Vincent’s Jewelry Center.

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