Why Are You Smiling

February 6, 2015

Last night I went to the Geffen Theatre with my Uncle’s last lover…Jim Reitzel….

(we have been friends since 1969 when I moved here)…

to see “The Night Alive”…..it opened in 2013 at the Donmare Warehouse in London – then went to New York’s Atlantic Theatre….won many a “Best Play” nomination….

Ben Brantley wrote; “As a writer and director, Mr McPherson has planted in our minds a subliminal awareness of more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in any philosophy. By it end the play pulses with the possibility of redemption, if I may use a much-abused word. I do mean only the possibility; but even that nebulous hope kindles a glow, both warming and chilling, you rarely experience at the theatre.”

well like that review…Jim and I left the theatre scratching our heads…wondering…What was That All about………

I awoke this morn as usual at 3:30 but managed to stay in bed until the sun started to come up…..had a slight hangover….as Jim twisted my arm to have an extra cocktail last night….due to all the traffic we encountered getting to our dinner at Tanino……in Westwood….

so today was slightly off…which I also blame the full waning moon for

…..but Man it was Another Excellent day……I mean I truly feel guilty that I am always so Happy about my Life….as like it is not supposed to be this way……

I motored out to my favorite Nursery in West Los Angeles…..Hashimoto Nursery…which was opened by 4 Japanese in 1928 and called “O.K. Nursery”…before the US entered WWII…2 brothers returned to Japan…the other 2 continued to run the nursery until they were interred – as so many other Japanese were – due to our fear of them….at Manzanar Internment Camp:


One Camp, Ten Thousand Lives; One Camp, Ten Thousand Stories
In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps where Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II.

1961 saw the 4 brothers reunite to run the business again…”80 years and 3 generations later, Hashimoto Nursery is still family owned and operated”

It is quite wonderful…

my fear is that the property they own is PRIME….and has gone so up in value….that it will be sold….fortunately for me the Hashimotos that run it now are my grey haired contemporaries …so hopefully I will go before their kids get a hold of it………….

when I got back …struggled up the stairs with my ficus trees…my wonderful new roommates were in the kitchen cooking….as he was having over for lunch 2 Marine buddies with whom he served..

..as they could not do that before when he was staying at her parent’s house….

he later told me that one of them has been out of the Marines for 5 years…and still has not been able to find work…..it just boils my blood soo…the way our service men and women of this generation are treated…..

the blog I posted last week…he loved at the time…but then asked me to take it down for privacy….as well you can imagine what with the internet….and everyone in the world being able to access stuff about you..

.I took it down immediately….and might repost it in the future with different names….

I met his two buddies…and man what firm handshakes ….they both look like your typical Marines…Big and Beefy…whereas he…(lets call him Chris)….is slight…Tom Cruise size…..

To get out of their way…I went and saw the Jude Law film “Black Sea”…entertaining but not Fabulously so…..they kill too many good people for the wrong reason…letting the evil ones go free til the end…..

then moseyed up the street to the newly refurbished La La’s……

Dan came over to give me the latest Gay Gossip…

Claudio…came over to chat about his Paddle Ball success…he has not seen his mother for 14 years (Argentina)….he hopefully will get his papers this Fall…..he asked me if I Was Happy…which sort of surprised me as I have never been happier…..he has had a hard time with women…married once years ago for “Love”…..which he said was a mistake…..

I walked back down Melrose…smiling at the craziness of Life…and looked up above the comic store…to my favorite looking apartment….the one that looks like Frida Kahlo lives there…it has a balcony….and all the little white lights were on tonight….in the apt and on the balcony….so I changed my route to see where Frida entered….found it but just beyond the Comic Book Store

and there is a shop that I have NEVER noticed before….

on the front black door of the shop is one of those plastic clock dials that say when they will be back…but on this one all the hands are gone…

the shop is named

The Never Open Store

it is sooo charming..so Falling Leaves…sooo Me…..so Toad’s Hall…

I went online and found an article from the LA Times written in 2009…..entitled “Little Shop Of Horrible Hours”….it is owned by Stephanie Mata….she is a bouncer…looks Goth….for the Roxie and other clubs…..her first husband was a musician…who “played in local clubs and that is where ‘somebody asked, ‘Steph, can you do the door?'”

she has been married for 24 years to musician Dave Gilbey..they have a 21 year old daughter..Molly….

she lives with her husband..above the comic shop and the Never Open Store…..

and the reason for its name…..is because it is only open when Mata feels like it…. its 245 square feet it is totally crammed….

“Collectibles, eclectic art assemblages and funky antiques are crammed onto tables and shelves and hang from the walls and ceiling. Fanciful clothing and accessories are draped in any leftover space.
“I pick who I want to come in here. I basically choose my clientele,” said Mata, 47.

“People put their noses to the glass windows to look inside and see if anyone’s here. I can hear them asking each other why this place isn’t ever open. They wonder how they can get in.”

When she is working in the store — gluing odd pairings of items such as toys and ceramics together or customizing a battered picture frame for assemblages she creates — Mata doesn’t want to be distracted by paying customers.

“I say ‘no’ with tact and grace. I’ll tell them I’m cleaning and the shop isn’t open,” she said. “My store hours are hit or miss.”

I felt I was Alice who had fallen through the Looking Glass….

As I walked down the street people were looking strangely at me ..

I guess ………………………..wondering why I was smiling….(sigh!!)

One Response to “Why Are You Smiling”

  1. Charu said

    Thanks for shiarng. What a pleasure to read!

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