On my visit to Los Angeles I came across some really interesting items in shops so I decided to show you my little sellection in a different article from what you expected.
These are my five small treasures I found from my trip:
Blue Baseball Cap
I stumbled into a clothes shop in the Gallery District which had a large sign on the window saying ‘Dreamer’. Dreamers are immigrants to the US and part of a immigration programme that Trump wants to stop. I asked where he was from and the owner said Lebanon, a country next to mine. Scanning the t-shirts and designer goods I spotted a blue baseball cap with Arabic script on it. ‘What does it say?’ I asked him. ‘It’s Los Angeles in Arabic,’ he replied. In a multicultural place like LA how could I have resisted buying it?
Pendant of La Virgen
A few weeks earlier I decided to look for a spiritual pendant to wear. I looked for a few weeks but found nothing. It was not until I was walking along the main street at Seal Beach, one of the beach tours of southern California (SoCal for short) that I found the pendant of the Virgin Mary of Guadalupe, a symbol of Mexico. It was in a small shop tucked behind a succulent nursery. I asked if it was made in Mexico. ‘It’s made in New Mexico,’ he clarified, a state along Mexico’s border with a large Mexican and Native American population.
Yayoi Kusama Pumpkin Pin
The Broad is LA’s newest museum in a modern architectural building that is LA’s newest landmark. Though free to enter, it is best if people register online especially if they want to see Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room. I went three times and waited 2.5 hours to see it and the experience was worth it.
‘I got to check out the museum shop,’ said Violet, a lady from Arizona who stood in line next to me. ‘Museum shops have the best things for gifts.’
I took her advice and strolled through the shop where I found a pin of the large, dotted pumpkins she designed and is famous for. Though not displayed at The Broad, it was a unique souvenir.
LA Starbucks Card
Since I like Starbucks (though I only drink Americano coffee) I bought myself a gift card and topped it up with $20; that way I could just swipe the payment through rather than looking for cash. What I did like though was that Starbucks had an LA-branded gift card, which I bought as a souvenir. Starbucks do great mugs that you can collect. But how many can you have? And they are so heavy to carry home. The card was perfect for easy payments and as a souvenir. It would be great if they could do cards of the city for people who visit. There was no cost for the card, just the amount for coffee from Starbucks at Grand Park.
Mini Series of Books by Issac Mizrahi
Walking from Melrose to West Hollywood (WeHo for short) I came across a small bookshop. It belonged to the Weho Library which was selling its old stock, which included many first editions such as the book by Mizrahi. I was not sure whether to buy it until the manager told me it was a first edition. And for $8 it seemed like a bargain that would appreciate.