I was instructed by Alice and Doris (A+D) that we’d meet at our first stop, Shout & About, at 10 am but I was up at…..sigh. 6:30. Fortunately! There were pa-LENTY of places I could go to put food in my facehole so I got ready to face the world and headed straight to the aforementioned Mr. Holmes Bakehouse.
The girl working there was very patient as I took pictures and Stories-d the whole place, then it was time. Time to choose something MY FIRST MR. HOLMES BAKEHOUSE PASTRY! The pressure!! Actually, once you see the words “Churro Croissant” it’s pretty easy, tbh. I stashed that bad-boy in my bag for later and headed next door to Go Get ‘Em Tiger for actual food.
After sitting there for like 15 minutes with another thimble and very excellent eggs and bacon, I went a few doors down further to Peet’s, which we have at home, and where they serve REAL size coffee and I sat THERE and busted out the croissant (20 minutes is technically “later”) and found out it was filled with some sort of maple-y/cinnamon/ecstasy creme concoction. I was v. happy.
Then it was time to get a ride to Echo Park and meet up with A+D. I’ll try to stop romanticizing details but for real, I wonder if the people who live in LA appreciate it. Probably not. Everyone takes where they live for granted. But it is straight-up a fantasy. Like it doesn’t seem like a real place.
Anyway. Shout + About.
Well this little shop is just the cutest. They pack a LOT of pretty into a very tiny space and there was just so much to look at in every little corner!
It looks much bigger in pictures (which is something people say about Calliope) but it by NO MEANS disappoints. A few quick spins around (and more of my Christmas money) later, we were out their cute door and on to the next!
Well, first we tried to go to Big Bud Press (!!!) but they didn’t open until much later, and right down the street was the bright pink storefront I was SO excited to see!
If you have seen The Social Type’s relatively new retail location online and think it looks gorgeous, you are CORRECT. The shelves of stationery arranged in rainbow order are everything you hope they are up close, the back wall mural, their card wall, the center seating area with an emerald velvet sofa…
Plus! One of the owners of the Social Type brand, Allison, was there! So we got to chatting and that part was the most fun.
One of my favorite parts of owning Calliope is getting to know my brands, by name, chatting over an order, catching up at NSS, treating every one of them as a friend. Talking shop with A+D and Allison was super fun but we soon had to jet! Next was (OMG) the Sanrio store in Japan-town!
I have loved Hello Kitty and basically all of Sanrio since I was little and there is NOWHERE on the eastern seaboard to get it. There used to be one or two toy stores that carried it but they’re long gone, leaving an empty space in my kawaii-loving heart. This wasn’t even on our list, JapanLA was, but someone, I forget who, said “Do you know about the Sanrio STORE?” I think it was Alice. And I was like “I’m sorry…what?”
So yeah. we went there.
I had trouble breathing.
Side note: Alice was totally in love with this weird Gudetama character which is described as a “lazy egg?” This makes no sense to me whatsoever so of course I made fun of her for it. I mean, A LAZY EGG??
This was a quick trip because Friend Mart is kind of hidden and it’s a really small shop but I was super excited to visit. When we got there we actually thought it might be closed because it was sort of dark but then we heard the owner’s dogs barking and as we were about to try the door, it opened!
Friend Mart is full of pins, patches, zines and all kinds of fun things made by small artists. We pored over all the tiny treasures and left with some new fun flair!
As soon as we came we were gone and off to the Highland Park area which meant only one thing to me: SHORTHAND. First though, we stopped at a coffee shop owned by a friend of A+D called Kindness & Mischief, where I got another kickass thimble of coffee and some yogurt and granola.
Fueled by fancy coffee I tried to hold it together as we approached the stationery shop that was about as mecca as any could be for someone who OWNS a stationery shop.
Inside, it was everything I dreamed of.
Tables merchandised by color. A KILLER card selection. And we even managed to strike at the PERFECT TIME because Rosanna, the brains behind the house brand and 3 days overdue (!!!), Iron Curtain Press, was there!
As we were chatting, she asked if we wanted to see the print shop and I was like DOES A BEAR SHIT IN THE WOODS so back we went to see the heart of her paper operation!
We got to see their order fulfillment desk, where they make their notebooks (huge hit at Calliope!) and their big shiny letterpress!
Finally getting to see Shorthand is person was just EPIC. I could have ended my trip and flown home right then and there. It’s embarrassing to think of how much I gushed over Shorthand but it is totally deserving of such gushing!
After giving them my life savings and thensome, I had to tear myself away and then it was time to eat about 4 times.
How to describe eating with Alice and Doris…it was like being at a buffet that was the whole expanse of Los Angeles. We would stop one place, each get something small, we’d all share, and then maybe finish it, maybe not! But nothing went to waste because this was the best part: they had a friend who happily took leftovers from ANYWHERE and so they carry a cooler in their trunk for this guy! Hilarious! If we weren’t a fan of something or were too full, it went in a take out container and in the cooler. Our last stop this first night was to this guy’s house to drop off a cooler of treats!
First it was Donut Friend, then from there to Cacao Mexicatessen for some seriously good tacos and taquitos. After that, ramen at Modan Ramen. And yes, this was one. after. the other. With travel time in between but that’s all. Although, at the last stop, I got my own bowl of ramen and it was so good I inhaled it (after all, ramen can’t go in a cooler…) and so I was not in the mood for our proposed fourth stop, In ‘N Out Burger.
So we went for bubble tea instead.
When they dropped me off, we had been out for 12 hours and I wish I could say I went right to sleep but I didn’t. Completely wired from the day and then the time change, I think I slept maybe 5 hours? Nonetheless! I was ready for Day 2!