Wine: Bear’s Lair Viognier 2007 and Merlot 2006. Both $3.99 at Trader Joe’s. Two of the best wines at this price anywhere. They have trouble keeping the mineral-y, crisp Viognier on the shelves at TJ’s as word spreads. Look for the same thing to start happening with the velvety Merlot.
Sneakers: For Converse Chuck Taylors selection alone, nobody beats Hyperion Shoe Repair, 2806 Hyperion Ave. (90027) From basic colors ($40) to flashy patterns to John Varvatos’ re-interpretations ($80,) this small shoe repair shop that’s been in business for over 80 years serves as a shoe museum for CTs that are hard to find anywhere else.
Gas: $3.81 (cash price only) at Valero, Melrose and Normandie. $3.79 (cash) at Arco, Riverside and Fletcher; also Mobile at Olympic and Western. $3.75 (cash) at Arco, Glendale Blvd. and Berkeley Ave.
T-Shirts: Best Obama T, Print Liberation ($22) Philly-based company but printed on LA’s own American Apparel and worthy of being seen in while traipsing around La La Land. Cool new T-shirt, Helvetica T ($20) from American Apparel. Black on white only, like it should be.
Best LA cultural listing site: Kristin’s List. Nobody sifts through Los Angeles’ offerings and comes up with a better, smarter mix of events. It’s not an overwhelming deluge of options; it’s a pointedly curated list, maybe one or two things per day to do that are enriching, enlightening, fun and get you away from your computer, off your ass and into a state of, as Kristin says, “being in motion in LA.” Subscribe to her weekly email.
Best vegan burrito: Flore, 3818 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. Shockingly, satisfyingly delicious. ($10.95)
Re-listen: Gaucho, Steely Dan. Nothing exudes, exults, romanticizes and pillories Los Angeles quite like this 1980 album that, until their regrouping in 1999, was considered the last Steely Dan studio recording ever. Perfect driving music for cruising through an LA of the mind.