diana writes:
The Last Days of La-La

I visited a few of my favorite spots in the days leading up to my departure from LA. I got my Chicken Tikka Masala fix at Agra Café on Sunset Blvd in Silver Lake, indulged in a Double-Double Animal Style with a Neapolitan shake at In-N-Out Burger, and scored one last croissant sandwich from the neighborhood joint located in a strip mall on the corner of Laurel Canyon Blvd/Moorpark St.

When I first moved to LA nearly four years ago, my roommate, Becky, turned me on to these sandwiches. I lived close enough to walk to the shop (a rare thing in LaLa) and I treated myself to one of these babies nearly every Saturday for months until I moved across town and scaled back to only the occasional treat.

The woman behind the counter, the owner and presumably a Buddhist, kept a small shrine of food offerings to the Buddha. She was friendly, always greeted me with a smile and knew my usual order by my third visit - Turkey and cheese on a croissant with mayo, shredded lettuce, tomato, and jalapeños; hold the onion. She knew me as “No onion” and I loved this. She made me feel at home. “Classic Donuts Coffee Croissant” was my “Cheers.”

Before the official road trip began, Donovan and I spent one last day sightseeing:

We ate breakfast at the popular Aroma Café on Tujunga Ave…

Drove to Malibu along the Pacific Coast Highway…

Dipped our toes in the Pacific Ocean (it was freezing, btw…)

Captured our shadows in the sand…

Rode the Ferris Wheel on the Santa Monica Pier…shared a Churro…walked along the 3rd Street Promenade…sat in traffic for 2 hours on our way into Hollywood for dinner at Sunset Thai…

Swung by Amoeba Music where Don stocked up on rare hip-hop CDs and I picked up The Clash’s “London Calling” for the road…

Made a pit stop back at my apartment to pack for an hour — you may notice that my dishes and glassware were wrapped with back issues of The New Yorker…

Then headed to Canter’s Kabitz Room on Fairfax for Tuesdays with the F.O.C.K.R.s (Friends of Canter’s Kabitz Room) who were celebrating Morty Coyle’s birthday. I literally rubbed elbows with Morty’s baby mama, Jodie Sweetin (a.k.a. Stephanie Tanner of “Full House” fame) as she was handing out slices of birthday cake.

It was a perfect day; we even caught the sun tucking itself into the seam in the horizon.

The next day we (and by “we” I mean Donovan) packed up the car, chock-a-block full of everything I own, minus the Boho-chic writing desk and bookshelf I sold, the sofa I donated to the Salvation Army and the pile of small appliances and cleaning products that simply wouldn’t fit.

I dropped the keys to my apartment in the building manager’s mail slot and said goodbye to Aqua Vista Street.  So long, La-La. It’s been real.

More pics and stories from the road to follow…