Saturday, February 07, 2009

this orecul cannot bend spoons with its mind, but it does just about everything else

[Spoiler alert only if you are Cathy Klein: The following post contains information about your birthday present.]

I'd been planning to spend my Saturday morning waiting in line at the Greek Theatre box office for Flight of the Conchords tickets. The good news was that there was only one other person there when I arrived at 9:45. The bad news was that apparently all the people who weren't there knew that the box office was closed for the season.

Walking around confused and lightly-rained-on, I kind of felt like I was in an episode of Flight of the Conchords (I love how relentlessly sincere they are, diligently seeing every bad idea through to its ridiculous conclusion; Lee-Roy's brother Valentine, who's spent a lot of time in New Zealand, swears this is exactly how people are there--once a guy he barely knew showed up at his house in the middle of a thunderstorm to teach him how to play a card game Valentine had casually mentioned wanting to learn over drinks a few weeks before).

But the other good news of the box office's closure was that I had a found block of time, which seems to never happen on weekend mornings. I'm usually cleaning, going to church or sleeping, all important, economical, good-girl activities, but it means I rarely shop in my neighborhood, which has some great places to shop.

Like Orecul77: This clothing-and-crafty-stuff store opened just before the holidays, and AK and I bought earrings and sunglasses and chatted with the owner, Tawni Lucero, a girl about our age who knows her way around a sewing machine and was excited to open what may be the first hipster apparel store on York Avenue.

Tawni is aware that fashion-conscious folks in Highland Park probably have less money than fashion-conscious folks in Silver Lake, though, so even though she makes most of the clothes herself (from scratch, from other clothes she finds, or from clothes you bring her), almost nothing is over $100 and many things are under $50.

Do you know of anywhere else you can get a really cute handmade coat for $75? I don't. I mean, all those alterna-craft-fairs I love so dearly charge like $45 for two sewn-together squares of cloth with skulls printed on them.

As I paid for a hand-stenciled skirt ($35) for my sister's birthday, I complemented Tawni on Orecul77's reasonable prices.

"I don't know of anywhere else you can get a really cute handmade coat for $75," I said. "I mean, maybe you can get something mass-produced in China at Target--"

"Even Target charges about that much now," said Tawni, who was busy trying to figure out how to contact her high school boyfriend on Facebook as her pit-and-maybe-shar-pei puppy, Del, ran around the store. "We know what neighborhood we're in. I mean, this is a business, but we don't want to, like, rob people. We get some of our clothes at the same place Aaardvark's does, but what we don't make into new clothes, we put in the $3 pile."

She encouraged me to come back Thursday for Orecul's new storytelling night. As I left, swinging my bag, I had none of that I-just-ate-the-whole-bag-of-potato-chips feeling I always get when I leave Target, inevitably having spent $100 on things I don't quite need.

This recession is a bitch, but I kind of feel like if we all make new clothes out of our old clothes and get together to tell stories, we can make it work. Also, storytelling night has free snacks, so if you're going to feel like you too many chips, it might as well be from eating actual chips.


Peter Varvel said...

Alright, a $3 pile!

Cheryl said...

Right? I was raised in the "if you don't have to rummage through a pile, it's not shopping" school of shopping. There's good rummaging at Orecul77.

Kat said...

Thanks for the report, Cheryl. My little sis and I will have to check it out!

Cheryl said...

It'll be a nice welcome-back-to-L.A. stop.