Holiday Yikes! Too: I’m Lazy and Violet Ida

Beverly Hills Market

Well, I am going to steal from Musette (if you’re going to steal, steal from the best right?) so it’s a Holiday Yikes for me as well. I did have a box of samples show up from StC on Friday so I do have some lovelies I should have been examining more closely, but didn’t (although I am now wearing and loving Violet Ida). I honestly don’t know what happened to the three day weekend: Musette can get practically a whole house rebuilt and I think I may have emptied the trash.

Well, not really. I did do some chores Saturday, including marketing at our local BH Market. I don’t know if I mentioned this place before but I love it and if you are in LA you should stop by. It’s an honest to g-d mom-and-pop local grocery store. It’s been there for decades, been run by the same family since it’s inception (and you’re likely to see one of them behind the counter) and they do a lot for the community. Even in only by existing- they could have easily become some Dean and Deluca Lite and made a fortune but they left that to Whole Paycheck down the street. They have reasonable prices for staples, cheap produce and other inexpensive items that serve the subsidized elder housing that is, oddly, right above that Whole Foods (and where I would dearly like to move to.) but also gourmet stuff and a good selection of expensive booze. So if I needed a bottle of Veuve Cliquot to wash down my cottage cheese with pineapple it is one-stop shopping.

On the way home I did pass one of our “colorful” locals putting on a rally with ten or so of her pals to protest something I won’t get into (if we are Facebook friends you’ve seen the post) but I suppose that it is, if ironic, in the spirit of Memorial Day that people exercise their right to free speech. I did have a rather vivacious conversation at the stoplight with a lady in a Mercedes about them, so that was pleasant. I do love BH.

My friend Tomas was in town for the weekend, partially for business and partially to visit his parents in Santa Monica. We decided to meet in West Hollywood for tea and cake on Sunday, which was a bit of a mistake, but one that I saw coming. During Covid, the city did something very good for the local bars and restaurants: they took over the parking on the boulevard and rejiggered it so those businesses could have outdoor seating since at the time they could not have it indoors. They also relaxed the rules so that people could consume alcohol on the street (previously illegal and for which you could be arrested) A very good thing that saved several businesses. However now that Covid is supposedly over and said businesses are allowed to have indoor seating again, they still have the “OutZones.” Which seems unfair to me- it’s a giveaway of parking that is used by other businesses on the street, like the clothing stores and other retail to sometimes double the seating capacity of the bar, for free. It makes the sidewalks almost impassable and with the competing shows and sound systems makes it LOUD. This sin’t just for Mardi Gras or Pride or Memorial Day or Quentin Crisp’s Birthday, it’s every day.

Now, I get it, I’m old and cranky. I was old and cranky when I moved here in my 20’s and specifically chose to live in my part of BH because it was within walking distance to that party but not right next door to it. But this “new” (as of two years or so) “exciting, vibrant” West Hollywood is a little much. So Tomas and I took our cake and strolled back towards my place where we could have a conversation that wasn’t over the sound of departing Jumbo Jets Lip Synching for their Lives, and he could call his Uber back to SM.

View from the Hills of Beverly

Monday I was going to be lazy. But duty called: a plumber had to show up for a back up (If you didn’t already know, I manage the building I live in, so that’s my job. Which has kind of put me off the idea of owning. The idea that I can live under rent control and eat bon-bons while “Tom” takes care of the plumber or the microwave or whatever is enticing) in one of the apartments. In the mean time my friend Marietta called up to chat. She and her spouse recently decamped from the ever-escalating not rent stabilized rents of Manhattan and settled in the burbs. They’re close enough to the train lines to have easy access to the city and have a charming little bungalow nestled in between larger houses in quite a tony little part of suburban NY. We had a lovely little catch-up and the plumber even arrived at the early part of his service window, and quickly took care of the issue. By noon I was (rather than paying attention to the perfumes that were sitting in front of me in the office) out on the road with the top down on the cool and overcast day, making sure that the car had it’s weekly ½ hour or so drive to keep things lubed and charged. Not at all because I love to drive and a trip along Mulholland with the top down is my version of chanting “ohm” while getting a hot stone massage. Oh no.

Then I got McDonalds on the way back. I will have the steamed bok choy, white meat chicken and brown rice tonight. Honest I will.

As for Violet Ida, jury is out. So far it skirts between rooty iris and Play-Doh on me. I am hoping that it will become more of the former and less of the latter (Portia loved it) but we will have to see.

See, I did get a bit of perfume in there, even if I put you in a coma before you got to it! So how was your weekend? What places in your ‘hood do you love? Is your version of a hot stone massage.. a hot stone massage? Tell us stories in the comments.

Photos are mine. Sample of Violet Ida is from Surrender to Chance.

  • alityke says:

    DH had a rough weekend & his recovery has taken a backward step. Fingers crossed he takes a couple steps forward this week.
    Perfume wise I need another smell ok but unobtrusive so I don’t get memory links to difficult life events.
    Yep this year it’s Light Blue Summer Vibes. The bottle is to die for! The juice? Generic designer summer

    • Tom says:

      I am sorry to read that- hoping he will be on the mend soon.

      • alityke says:

        About DH or the Light Blue flanker?
        DH has perked up thank you. Fingers crossed he’s finally recovering from the op

        • Tom says:

          Ha! DH. Well, sorry about the flanker, but doubt that’ll get better even with time..

  • Dina C. says:

    I’ve been sampling Violet Ida for a few months now, and there’s a note in it that’s too persistent and harsh to me. I think it’s the amber. The rest of it is gauzy and ethereal like flute, and then there’s this insistent tuba blatting away and drowning out all the prettiness. I just can’t ignore it. Especially since it triggers a migraine.

    • Tom says:

      I am afraid I am kind of getting something of the same in that Play-Doh note. I’m hoping it will go away, but it might be one of those “once you’ve smelled it, you can’t unsmell it” kind of things..

  • SpringPansy says:

    My “hot stone massage” is camping on the San Juan Islands off WA state. Which is where I am right now. So beautiful and laid back with a dose of fun and funky. Wearing a bit of Covet that I sprayed before we left. Your little mom & pop store sounds just like what I love.

  • Musette says:

    your weekend sounds lovely – and as Portia said in my comments ‘perfume can wait’. Those drives, those times with your friends? Those can’t wait.
    and…yes. A Hot Stone Massage is just that – plus it’s nirvana.

  • Maya says:

    The weekend was nothing special. It was same old, same old. No complaints. I love some easy and lazy. I did get to try Fueguia 1833 Valle de la Luna. The amber was ok resiny, the sandalwood was light, also ok, the iris was non-existent on me, not ok. The hunt continues.

  • Portia says:

    That was a very good read Tom. How I wish to get back to LA sometime soon, hang with you and see more sights.
    Yeah, LOVED Violet Ida. Didn’t buy it though because there are at least 10 violet perfumes here and all I do is mourn the DC of the L’Occitane Iris blue/white. It sang for me.
    Weekend was jam packed and fun. Monday we and some friends went and saw a Big Band in a bar. It was heaps of fun. Jin took Tuesday off, we then proceeded to have maybe the 4th fight of our relationship. Gah! So stupid, all better now.
    Today I watched the gay Netflix rom-com BROS. It was bloody ripper. I think I’ll watch it again very soon.
    Portia xx

    • Musette says:

      I cannot imagine you and Jin in a disagreement! But a fight every now and then isn’t the worst thing – reminds you that you’re both human.

    • Tom says:

      I think a fight now and again is no bad thing.

      I did see “Bros” and didn’t hate it. It got so much hype here and so much of it was Billy Eichner telling us that if we didn’t go see it in the theater three times we were bad gays that it was almost impossible to live up to it’s hype.

      But I did respect him for casting actual gay actors rather than straight ones so we can all marvel over how “brave” they are to play a gay role. (looking at you “Broken Hearts Club,” which I did hate)

  • cinnamon says:

    Ah, I love your BH stories. Here in never never land (ie, when I moved here a decade ago it was semi-rural; now, it’s hard to describe), there’s a farm shop a half hour walk/5 minute drive away which is my go-to for ‘no veg in the house’ or ‘I really need ice cream … like, right now’ or ‘let’s get a cream tea’. It used to be a proper farm shop. It’s still got produce and a good butcher, but has three places you can do sit-down for food plus a takeaway window; a Fired Earth outlet (love looking at their tiles); three chatchka shops for when you need a gift for that someone who has everything; and a florist for when you’ve forgotten Mother’s Day. Oh, I forgot the fish and chips stand… It was a three day weekend here too. A visit to the bakery and some gardening, but also some work on the Monday because when you’re freelance, if it comes in, you work.

    • Tom says:

      Oh golly do I wish we had a fish and chips shop here! I’ll trade you a Mexican food place..

      LA is so weird in how much and how quickly it changes as opposed to back East. BH pretty much makes pains to stay he same height wise, but if you look at photos (or TV shows) from the 70’s and 80’s that show downtown and see ones from today it is shocking how much it’s grown.

  • March says:

    I love those old-fashioned independent groceries, whether they’re high end or hybrid or whatever. In my former life when the kids were young, there was one basically around the corner from our residential neighborhood and it was a godsend when we were out of milk or whatever, worth the extra cost. The kids loved walking over there with a couple of bucks to get ice cream or treats, that first bit of independence! I patronize the one here which decades ago used to be the “fancy gourmet grocery” and the only place you could get things like brie or fancy cocktail goodies before those made their way into “normal” grocery stores. I’m kind of amazed they’re still in business (they are NOT cheap) but always enjoy going in there and picking something up.

    • Tom says:

      I think that is one of the reasons I love that market (also because the proprietors really care for, and give back to the community) is it reminds me of one we had on the ground floor of an old house on the outskirts of the business district that was far closer than the local A&P or Stop & Shop (which we used to joke merged into Stop & P. Hey, we were 10) They were perfect for when you needed something last minute, and actually were friends with the parents enough to not sell kids (like us) the crap food we deeply wanted but our parents forbade. Later on we were old enough to venture further to a store that sold anything (they would have sold heroin if they could) and I got all the Twinkies and Suzy Q’s I could shove down my gullet, and the avoirdupois to match.