The most recent entry on LONG BEACH teased the idea of a forthcoming post, where I would share more than simply “whattya been up to?” and that is still coming, if and when I can gather the required fortitude and self-editing to load something online. In the meantime, May really is an especially great month, made even better with time spent with good friends and family as they pass through my neck of the woods. Perhaps there was a little too much fun, a little too much pleasure, a little too much unhealthy behavior. There were late nights and day-drinking and sampling some of Southern California’s finest offerings. Let’s discuss some of what I can remember…
noun in·dul·gence \in-ˈdəl-jən(t)s\
: the behavior or attitude of people who allow themselves to do what they want or who allow other people to do what they want
: the act of doing something that you enjoy but that is usually thought of as wrong or unhealthy
: something that is done or enjoyed as a special pleasure
The first epic weekend visit began with an airport pick-up and gluttonous Korean BBQ feast in Culver City. There was smoldering-hot kimchi stew, marinated pork belly & shoulder, and all the side cars to properly accommodate Korean cuisine, including a complimentary taste of soju. The star of the meal was the bone marrow corn cheese. I don’t fully comprehend what that actually means, but I do know I’ve dreamed about it and told others about it since.
We were relatively well-behaved that first Friday night, thanks to a long week of work for me, and a long day of travel for broseph. Turns out he stayed with me at my palatial LONG BEACH estate, rather than at one of the many local hotels, making the rest of the weekend together exceptionally convenient. The surprise temporary roommate situation meant I had virtually no food for myself, let alone a guest. We indulged ourselves each morning with epic breakfasts before setting out on our day. Sweet Dixie Kitchen was part bakery, part bistro, part diner, all things southern food awesomeness, with each plate piled in some naughty fashion atop a fresh-baked biscuit. Guy Fieri once ate at Schooner or Later, and now we have too, with a pleasant view of the marina to accompany our skillet. Both meals put a brick in our tummy before maximizing fresh-air absorption.
There was a bunch of golf in May, most at courses never previously attempted. We went all-out at Tustin Ranch (aside from paying deep-discounted green fees) where bro Surfed the Earth, and I played with a caddy’s local expertise. The next day he brought his A-game while I wore crabby pants and he dominated the back nine to earn victory at Goose Creek. Later in the month I was much better at Lost Canyons, Oak Quarry, and Dos Lagos where seemingly my short game is in better shape than my tummy. Lost Canyons featured an exceptional layout, carved into the hills of Simi Valley. But with one of its 18-hole tracks already exposed and overgrown, we may have played one of the last rounds at the Sky Course before it was left for real estate development. The lesson continues to be learned that as long as I am willing to drive farther out of LA, the more likely I’ll be able to enjoy a four-hour round. The closer to home I play, the more likely I’ll be stuck participating in a fivesome with no beverage cart girl to be found. I’m still struggling to find walkable courses, so most rounds are spent zig-zagging in a cart. Am I indulging too much? Or maximizing time spent working on my tanlines while I have no other social obligation?
The brotherly visit went off the rails when we made a 24-hour detour to Las Vegas. All previous trips from CA to NV have included the brutally frustrating drive up the 15 to Sin City. But this time was different. This time we would pay to fly from lovely Long Beach Airport to McCarran and forget to pack any sort of responsibility or dignity. We got off to a responsible start, playing low-stakes slots and enjoying a meal inside Cosmo. But things get fuzzy after that… Table Games… Whiskey… Secret Pizza… Spin the Wheel… Whiskey… Slot Machines… Paris… Walking… Texting… Dealers… Basketball…Planet Hollywood… (other casinos?)… Whiskey… I know I saw the friendly cocktail waitress until the end of her 3am shift and welcomed the morning (?) worker with another two-fisted order. Probably too much. Definitely too much. All I had to do was recover well-enough to catch a flight home 12 hours later. I think I kinda did. Flew back to the BEST AIRPORT EVER and jumped in a ride to downtown. Somehow the Uber rate was more expensive than the airfare, which didn’t exactly add up.
I’ve totally splurged and indulged and enjoyed. There we virtually no meals at home because of the lack of a functional oven, which may be resolved soon, fingers crossed. Lots of dining out, lots of questionable decisions, lots of Party of One, lots of sampling large chunks of the menu. But perhaps my best move of the entire month was settling in at Jongewaard’s for the Half-Deli Special… Like the Panera Pick Two, but actually good… This version comes with a slice of dessert and the banana cream pie pairs perfectly well with a farmer’s tan. Beware on the beach this summer. I’ll be the fat kid in the water with my t-shirt still on.
The Hollywood Stars was a minor league baseball team that played in the Pacific Coast League during the early and mid 20th century. They were the arch-rivals of the other Los Angeles-based PCL team, the Los Angeles Angels.
The first incarnation of the Hollywood Stars began its existence in 1903 as the Sacramento Solons, a charter member of the Pacific Coast League. The team moved to Tacoma, Washington in 1904, where it won the pennant as the Tacoma Tigers. During the 1905 season, the team returned to Sacramento to finish out the season, moved to Fresno in 1906 to finish last as the Fresno Raisin Eaters, then left the PCL altogether. The Sacramento Solons rejoined the PCL in 1909, then moved to San Francisco during the 1914 season, finishing out the season as the San Francisco Missions. The team was sold to Utah businessman Bill “Hardpan” Lane and moved to Salt Lake City for the 1915 season. They played as the Salt Lake City Bees for the next eleven seasons until Lane moved the team to Los Angeles for the 1926 season. Originally they were known as the Hollywood Bees, but soon changed their name to the Hollywood Stars.
The original Stars, though supposedly representing Hollywood, actually played their home games as tenants of the Los Angeles Angels at Wrigley Field in South Los Angeles. Though the Stars won pennants in 1929 and 1930, they never developed much of a fan base, playing their home games miles from the glamorous Hollywood district. They were merely a team to watch when the Angels were on the road. Attendance had been quite good (by standards of that era) during their inaugural year in 1926, but tapered off after that, exacerbated by the Great Depression.
When, after the 1935 season, the Angels doubled the Stars’ rent, Lane announced the Stars would move to San Diego for the 1936 season, to become the San Diego Padres. Los Angeles became a one-team city once more for the 1936 and 1937 seasons.