the westside

my friend A had a baby a few weeks ago and we finally got a chance to meet her new little guy -- what a cutie! (that is NOT a pic of him below!) it was such a thrill to see and hold a newborn again. it brought back memories (albeit vague memories) of the boy as a tiny baby, and also increased the anticipation of our second (heretofore known as "the girl") on the way. it also brought a smile to my face to see A so happy and enamored with her son despite the occasional frustrations of new parenthood. congrats A, D + baby D!

after our visit, we headed down the street to have dinner with H at furaibo on sawtelle boulevard. we used to live in the area and had dinner on occasion along this street. the chicken wings are yummy!

[sidenote: sawtelle has a pretty long history in the japanese-american community. there were j.a.-owned stores and nurseries in this area from around 1910. (my step-uncle lived in this area as a youth and attended university high school.) it's always interesting to see the old-school stores and restaurants (totally mom-'n-pop) next door to the newer stores.]

there are lots of youngsters (oy, do i sound old!) having dinner and shopping (because stores stay open late, unlike where we live) ... and drinking boba. i counted no less than four boba stores along a two-block stretch of sawtelle.

one of the stores we went into was giant robot, which opened back in '01 or '02 (i think), towards the tailend of when we lived in the area. i'd never been in and figured the boys would find something interesting to look at too. (giant robot started as a zine 10 years ago about asian pop culture; the store is a reflection of that zine.) they carry some pretty cool toys, clothes, collectibles, and books. unfortunately, we didn't have enough time to browse the book selection but i saw some titles i definitely want to go back to look at.

anyway, i ended up finally getting an uglydoll! i was tempted to get one at a toystore in honolulu back in january but i couldn't decide which one i wanted. giant robot was carrying the new little uglys (the sneak preview version), which were a bit cheaper so i convinced JR that it was for the girl. i want her to have a stuffed animal that isn't conventional cute or pink-'n-frilly, in the hopes of steering her away from barbie and princesses. is that a weird thing to do? and is an uglydoll a weird choice for a newborn girl (who isn't born yet)?? i dunno ... we'll see. i'm eyeing to get me the 'ice-bat' and 'ox' ones too (today's purchase, 'minimum wage,' is pictured above); i think the boy is partial to 'jeero'. apparently they sell them at another store called kidrobot, which has a store on third street promenade (santa monica). i just might have to check 'em out.

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