The bags were packed and ready to go the night before, we really wanted to make sure we left Phoenix at a good time so that with a little luck we could make it to West Covina unload the bags and the kids and then go meet my sister at Casa Cabral for some good ol' karaoke. All things considered, four adults, three kids and five hours of driving the trip was mostly uneventful. Except! The one little incident due to a certain hitchhiker (someone we knew) that kindda put a dent into our otherwise good trip. Thanks to this "dent" we did not make Casa Cabral or Rambo's Tacos on time. Urggggg!
Anyway Saturday we all got up, mi chica had decided on going to "The Alleys". No we were not going to rummage through random alleys, The Garment District is a heaven for women as they find all kinds of stores and the prices are ridiculously low and most people just knows them as "the alleys". So we load up the van with the kids while my son in law, my daughter and two nieces drive in a second car.
Notice the amount of people walking around, these are not the actual streets but the alleys and you find all kind of characters walking around. See Diego posing with a newborn puppy, and a trio of manequins showing the new clothes. I'm telling you, never a dull moment here.
My first job in Los Angeles was delivering "pellon" to every garment manufacturing company in L.A. This was back in the very late 70's and early 80's so I knew every alley in the City of Los Angeles. Back then it was concentrated on a small section, what I didn't realized is that the vendors have expanded almost all the way from First Street all the way to the Santa Monica freeway. That my friends is a huge area.
Can't get any more alley than this. Right by the white trash can where the van is parked was the underground parking lot. Here junior looks as if saying, "OK, so here we are in the alleys and I see not accion, and no vendors."
We found a parking garage that only charged $5.00 to park, so that was not too bad. We started walking through what seemed like a sea of people. I had no idea how many people goes there to shop, I am talking thousands of people. Vendors try hard to compete and attract your business. It is totally, totally crazy and absolutely fun.
Who goes to the alleys, you may ask? Well, anybody and everybody. If you are into people gazing, you will see the most varied array of people there, all together and in good harmony.
Shop, shop, and shop some more was the them of the day. From watches, to perfumes, to shoes, to clothes, to toys, to food. You find it all there.
The weather was a little hot and a little humid but overall not too bad. We easily spent two or three hours there and then we decided we have had enough. Unfortunately we had three little kids that lose interest in what's going on very quick. We got on our cars and mi chica suggested that since we were so close to my old stumping grounds we should drive by where I used to live. My old house was only about five minutes away so that sounded like a great idea, but I will tell you more about that in another post.
Not a sit down restaurant, but a shack. They do have about fifteen stools to sit and eat there, but don't count on finding them empty.
At this point we were hungry and we decided to go buy some shrimp cocktails. There is a place right on the corner of Washington and San Pedro St., that has been there for the past 35 years, it's a very successful sea food place and it's only a shack. They are always busy and people go there from far away to eat the cocktails they prepare. Needless to say they were most excellent.
After that little detour we headed back towards West Covina but since we were on a "let's tour the old neighbourhoods mode" we headed towards Hacienda Height so that my daugher could see the housed we owned there before we moved to Phoenix (again more on this later).
We called my sister in La Puente and we stopped to visit her. Then mi chica and the kids kept going to West Covina while I stayed at my sister's. We sang some karaoke and later when mi chica was back we got into the jacuzzi for a very relaxing afternoon, then pizza, and then more karaoke. At around 11:00 p.m. we called it a night and went back to West Covina to rest.
The next day we would be going to Venice Beach so we needed to be rested.