What is the origin of the word downtown? Why do we call our city centre's downtown? I wonder....
ahha anyways these thoughts are boggling around in my head because today that's exactly where we headed, downtown :D
at 6, Tim and I went for a short morning ride. So there's a local climb in our area called Mandeville, it's about a 20 minute climb, and every wednesday there's a cycling group that meets and goes up together. It's a fast bunch, and basically all old experienced guys so I definitely stuck out like a sore thumb ahah but it was so much fun. We met them at the starbucks, and the group was just HUGE. Approaching the group was like bringing back memories of my first day at highschool LOL, but they were all a nice friendly bunch. When we started the climb, they were just going at a crazy fast pace, and I was basically sprinting trying to keep up with them, so I blew up and got dropped in like the first 30 seconds. I definitely expected as much, but it was still a lot of fun. I just dropped down to my pace, and by the end I had caught up to the end of the bunch. Tim did so well though, he held on with the main group for most of the climb, and we both want to go back next week. Then right after that we raced home to get ready for our big day, but when we got home no one was even up yet ahahha. I showered, changed, and called Griff and we chatted for like 20 mins and got to catch up on life. Then I tried something new and made these buckwheat groats and made buckwheat porridge for breakfast. I made it with creamy vanilla soy milk, then added tahini, jam, maple butter, and some sesame seeds and it was just delicious.
And after helping Lex load the hot tub into their neighbours truck, he set off to return the hot tub, and us girls and Tim caught an Uber to the nearest metro station, where we bought passes, met Koi, and caught the train to... DOWNTOWN. On the train ride over, I got to really get to know Koi and he's such an INTERESTING character. He has the most incredible youtube channel, got into spirituality after being in jail for a year, and has just become such an interesting deep thinker. So when we got downtown, our first stop was the Broad Mueseum. Kristin really wanted to go, and apparently it's a really incredible and popular art exhibit so we were keen to see it. But when we got there (before the mueseum even opened), we realized after Bonny intelligently asked the lady manning the lineup, that there were two lineups. One that was crazy long and stretched for blocks and blocks, and another one that was just slightly shorter. And we learnt that the slightly shorter one is for people with TICKETS, and the longer one is the spillover for people who didn't have tickets, and they can only get in once someone from the ticket holding line has finished looking in the mueseum and has exited. The estimated wait time was 3 fucking hours. So we scrapped that plan and decided to go to Grand Central Market instead. We all sat down there and had some food so we could think clearly. Bonny accidentally ordered Ramen that came in Cold broth ahah, poor gal :( So from there we checked out the Bradbury building which was a stunning piece of architecture, then walked to the US bank building because apparently there's an observation deck that's pretty cool to check out, so we walked all the way across Downtown to the bank, only to find out that it's 27 dollars per person... like WTF, I dont even think the Empire State building charges that much like seriously! So after that, we walked back to the side of downtown that we originally were because bonny wanted to check out Urban Outfitters, and I was keen to use their restroom, but they denied all of us and said we couldn't use their toilets. So we walked to the Whole foods a few blocks away, and we all got water and used the toilet. From there we decided to catch an Uber to one of the places (the regent theatre) that apparently had a beautiful wall art of angel wings. But the first driver who came denied us a ride because we had 5 people and would have had to squish in the back, the next one who came was totally fine with it and dropped us off, only for us to discover that... someone had painted over that WALL! FAIL :( aahhaah, so we ubered to another location called Angel City Brewery to check out their angel wing wall. When we got the that location, we walked around the block trying to find the wings, and eventually spotted them, but they were behind these gates that were locked supposedly until 4... So we had about an hour to kill, sooooo we went to the cafe gratitude that was just a block away. But after that experience (it was also my first time) I'm just not the biggest fan. Our server was quite pretentious and fake, she didn't know what ingredients were in our food and just sort of assumed what she thought, but after we asked for the ingredients book we found out that they cook their rice in oil and stevia! Like wtf? And Kristin gets awful headaches from stevia so it's honestly just not good that she didn't even know how they cook the rice. It was also just expensive AF. Tbh I think the whole hype of the restaurant super cedes what you actually get, but maybe that was just my personal experience who knows.
After that, we did go back to the Brewery and we finally got a photo with the wings. The whole like outdoor courtyard area was filled with beautiful pieces of art and it was incredible to see it all. The wings were just so STUNNING. They had little flecks of gold sprinkled throughout the wings, and there was green, blue, pink, purple and all the colours just worked so wonderfully together. After all of us got photos there, we called another Uber to get us back to the train station. Also by the way, we kept catching ubers because they were a fair distance away and Bonny's foot was still sore from when Kristin dropped the bottle on her foot. But before we found one who would take us, 2 other drivers rejected us, and the third one was so cute, but I think he didn't even know that there were 5 of us. He was like: Oh there's 4 of you, I thought you said you wanted to squeeze 4 people in theback (which we did hhaah). Bonny said she was trying to hide Tim the entire time ahaha and Tim said he was worried when the driver was driving us through skid row, that the driver would just stop and drop him off in the heart of it ahaha. Skid row just was so eye opening too, I'd never seen so many homeless people in person. I've seen documentaries of some of the worst slums in the world, but seeing with my own eyes, these people just walking around aimlessly with drugs pumping through their blood, just broke my heart.
Anyways, downtown was a hectic exhausting adventure but it was spent with the most lovely people.
Then I had an incredible life experience on the train ride home. We were about 30 mins into our train ride, when a guy came onto our train. He was dressed in a plaid shirt, and wearing a cowboy hat, and when he entered he said in a confident voice: hello folks, I'm here in the hopes that I can entertain you, and I'm doing so from a place of love. I'm going to be reciting a poem I wrote for you, and in return I'd just love some kindness, it can be a kind word, a smile, acknowledgement, a stick of gum, money or anything. Believe me any of them would be so appreciated.
And with that, he began his performance and recited a beautiful poem for everyone sitting on the train. But after he finished there was an awkward silence and moment where he took off his hat and went around to see if anyone would show him some love. One or two people acknowledged him and gave him some dollars, but the rest just sort of didn't act, including myself. Then he started saying: You know folks, like I said from the start, kindness does not equate to monetary kindness, any kind of acknowledgement, even just a good day pal would've been great. I'm acting out of love, and I'm just here in the hope that you have that love too.
And with that, the automated voice on the train rang out saying we had arrived at the next stop and he swiftly exited the train, leaving only silence, and unspoken words in my throat and regret in my heart.
The entire time he was talking I knew that I wanted to say something, acknowledge him, make him feel heard, feel like a person, feel seen. But something stopped me, I'm still not sure what it was. Uncertainty? Fear? Insecurity? Part of me wasn't sure if he would take an encouraging comment and run with it, and start an entire in depth conversation with me. Part of me was scared of how he may react. And part of me was worried what the other inhabitants of the train would think of me. Bonny came and sat with me, and we talked about how she felt exactly the same, and how sad it was that we and most people would and did react in a similar way. Koi chimed in and admitted the same. He had something beautiful to say as well, he's deeply spiritual and has been delving into hinduism as of late, and he said that they like to say that everyone is Krishna testing us. Krishna is their name for their god, and basically that expression just means that everyone in life is trying to test us and poke/prod us to try to get us to react and therefore maybe trip up, learn and grow. Koi said that this poet was a perfect example of how the universe was testing us to see how we'd react, but that it's a beautiful thing because now we'll all remember this feeling of regret and react differently if a similar experience occurs in the future.
Anyways the rest of the evening went like this: Lex picked us up, I feasted on so much food, then retreated to my room when the dinner conversation concerning the importance of fats in our diet got a little bit too rowdy for me to concentrate on the writing I was doing ahah.