Is it sufficient to say that's it been a while, maybe too long, forever, even? Let's go with forever! But as you all know, this time of year is a tricky combo of holiday overload exhaustion and new year ambition. Take a nap or go for a run, nap or run, nap or run. Which is why Melissa Cripe @specs_and_the_city is a wonderful way to start the year. he Photographer/Creative Director/Professional Color Coordinator is bright, friendly, energetic, and damn inspiring. "I work on a small team at @Tumblr called Creatrs by day and photograph for my personal blog on the weekend. I love the balance of getting to learn from and work with an amazing team and group of talented artists at Tumblr and getting to hone my own craft on the weekend.
Most days I'm roaming the streets of Los Angeles in my signature specs, wearing a vintage dress, sippin a beer and eating a hot dog. Sometimes a salad, but probably a hot dog. And definitely a donut. And my dress probably has a mustard stain... Unlike other major cities, I feel like LA is more of a treasure hunt. You have to seek out the gems, they are less in your face because of the lack of spots you can cover by mere foot traffic
Last year, I really learned the value of growing a brand, but I’m really hoping to use each day of 2016 to present a truer version of myself through my work... Excited for the new direction and even more so to share it with the supportive community I’ve met here on the internet!"
And now for the first drool worthy grub recommendation: I introduce to you the Mac n Cheese pancake from @blueplatesamo Literally a combination of two of the best things of all time. The sweet and salty duo sent straight from the heavens. And just one of a gazillion kooky restaurant items you can expect to find around the city. But there’s only one problem (for me at least) Syrup? Or Ketchup? (we all eat ketchup on our mac and cheese right? If not, that’s something I recommend that can be done in any city)
El Nino is upon us. That means you’re about to hear a whole lot of Angelenos complain about the rain. I personally love it. Especially cozied up with a great movie. Which is where @Vidiots comes in. This tiny place is such a special gem and one of the last standing video rental stores. But what makes them different is their fierce commitment to making as wide an array of films available as possible—from vintage to foreign to documentary. They have flicks you can’t find on Netflix and some completely rare items. They also have major players in the film industry come speak (Angelica Houston, David O’ Russell, Oliver Stone to name a few). The Vidiots Annex space hosts classes in video production, a monthly storytelling night, movie-themed game nights. Plus, it has one of the most fun, colorful walls around and that alone makes it a personal fav
Besides film, style is also clearly a huge part of my life. LA is one of the best places in the country to find quality vintage. And no place is better for that than @playclothesvintage in Burbank. The store itself is like one beautiful giant museum you could spend hours just looking in. Their garments range from the 1930’s to 80’s and each piece is labeled which decade it’s authentically from. Outfits from Mad Men, That 70’s Show, and even Austin Powers have come straight from the racks of this treasure trove. The block the store is located on is one big time warp as well. The street is riddled with records, antiques, and soda shops (and people watching ain’t too bad either)
(at Playclothes Vintage)
If you couldn’t already tell by now, today’s stops are all about those throwback vibes. Video rentals, vintage threads and now some old school rollerskating to top off the night. Moonlight Rollerway @officialmoonlightrollerway in Glendale has been around since the 1950’s and still has the original maple floors. I went to celebrate a pal’s 30th birthday (though she fell within the first ten minutes of putting on her skates and broke her wrist😩) I was absolutely horrible, while my significant other (who warned that he might be bad too) ended up doing laps around me, gliding with one leg in the air, Blades of Glory style. The tunes were bumpin, the beer made us buzzin, our butts all hurt from falling, but we remembered the night magically
(at Moonlight Rollerway)
Another huge staple in the LA food scene are food trucks. We all have our favorites and know which taco truck is the most legit (the one on the corner of Rose and 4th, duh). Fortunately, there’s a new one about to enter the scene and you’re all gonna flip. I first met Rouha a few years ago when I was working at a gastrobpub in LA. She was the most fun, hilarious chef of all time. (Fun fact: She’s also been on Chopped twice!) I remember her mentioning to me her goal of one day opening her own spot and freaked out when she told me she was making her dream a reality. @theroostertruck is gonna be your new fav spot for the most fun, bombass breakfast in LA. This beaut you’re looking at is the: WTF?! French toast dipped in pancake batter, fried to golden awesomeness topped with fresh seasonal preserves, egg bacon and a dust of powdered sugar. So ummm…yeah. She’ll be servin up some funky tunes and grub outside all @bluebottle locations starting next week and brunch at RIF LA January 23 at 11am. Check it out if you’re in the area and support your local food truck businesses!
(at Blue Bottle Coffee)
LA has some of the best art museums in the country. We’ve all heard of LACMA, MOCA, and the Broad. But one you may have not yet known about….THE BUNNY MUSEUM. This world record holding establishment is easily one of the strangest, most hilarious places I’ve ever set foot. Located in Pasadena, this tiny little 3 bedroom landmark is the private personal home of Candace Frazee and Steve Lubanski and is full of over 30,000 bunny-related items. You have to make an appointment and they appreciate if you bring them gifts. Pictured is my stepsister offering up a bottle of wine and bag of carrots we picked up, to this giant bunny lawn sculpture out front. Check it out (if you dare)
(at The Bunny Museum)
Did I already mention THIRTY THOUSAND bunny items crammed in a tiny house?! The reason being: Valentine's Day in the year 1993, Steve lubanski gave a stuffed bunny to his girlfriend Candace as a gesture of love. 23 years later, they have the largest collection in the 🌎 and enough "strangest museum in LA" titles to make this bizarre bunny cave an iconic must see if you're in the area
(at The Bunny Museum)
Another classic little gem, the Nuart theater. This movie theater is always servin up the best classic and current independent cinema. They're also the spot to do the whole Rocky Horror Show experience every Saturday night at midnight... If you're into that.
(at Nuart Theater)
Ok, update. I'm a day fast, but tomorrow is flea market time! @melrosetradingpost on the corner of melrose and fairfax is open every Sunday and always so much fun. Pictured here is my favorite booth. Bins and bins full of old photographs. It's always a little haunting and spooky but I've gotten many cool Polaroids from here I still have framed on my wall. And if you want people watching... This is the place to do it. Last weekend I fist bumped Tyler The Creator as he yelled at me that I had a "swag ass jacket" and to never get rid of it. Sneaky T-swift and Lauren Conrad have also been seen thrifting their hearts out. Bring some bucks and prepare to be overwhelmed
(at Melrose Trading Post)
Sunday brunch in LA is a real experience. My personal favorite is @sunnyspotvenice hands down 🙌 The drink special is unreal: $18 with the purchase of a meal and you can switch it up between mimosas, bloody Mary's and rum punch. Fun fact: I once took my mother, sister and significant other here and we literally left after hours singing and dancing, practically doing the conga line out the front door...
(at Sunny Spot Venice)