Sunday, August 05, 2007

There is no place like home

Some people have to visit their parents in places they were eager to leave. Mark and I are lucky that we and our parents live in places that people go to on vacation. We spent the weekend in San Diego.

Traffic between Los Angeles and San Diego was murder so I made plenty of progress on my asymmetric blue sweater. You are looking at the right front and back, with the right side "seam" in the middle of the picture.

I looked forward to the southbound drive because it means a stop at the European Community Market at the Beach Street exit of Interstate 405 (aka the San Diego Freeway). My mother in law calls ahead to order her "Old World Bakery" German breads, kuchen and Italian salami. We pick it up on the way and deliver to her house. Much as I like the bread and salami, the real reason I like the store is because they carry Burda WOF. Imagine my horror when they were sold out.

On the way back, I asked Mark to get off the 405 one exit early so I could pick up some soba noodles, kombu and fish cake at Mitsuwa, the Japanese supermarket in Torrance. When we strolled inside the supermarket complex with its food court and small shops, our whole family suddenly felt hungry.

Then it hit me. We live in the south bay region of Los Angeles. The south bay has the largest concentration of Japanese Americans on the mainland. There is a bookstore right there.

The fashion magazines are in front. But I didn't see the pattern books. Fortunately, the south bay is very much like a small town. My neighbor strolled in with her kids right behind us. Her kids showed Iris the kids' section for bilingual books. My neighbor showed me the Japanese pattern books. There were two whole bookcases full of Japanese knitting, sewing, crochet and embroidery patterns. I didn't have to order pattern books from after all. It was all right here.

Pattern Magic is on the shelf below. The skirt book I also wanted was right next to it. They didn't have the book of designs for black clothing I bought, but they had the companion book of designs for red clothing on the bookshelf above.

This book, Girls at a Recital, was especially sweet. Look at all those well-behaved children in those gorgeous dresses.

I especially love this one, with the transparent bows up the back. My sister and I never looked this good at Suzuki recitals. (Click on the picture below to see the details 1600 pixels wide.)

Because I have been thinking of tea lately, I visited this store. I heard that only Seattle and Torrance have outlets for this Japanese chain.

Beware of high concept but nonfunctional design. A blue bowl sink looks lovely until someone actually uses it.

Not only is there a cloth to soak up the splashes, but a mop stands out of camera range, ready for patrons to wipe the splashed water from the floor.


  1. Anonymous05:04

    Be sure to let me know if there's something I'd like!

  2. My heart starting racing at the sight of all of that pottery and all of those craft magazines!!!

  3. What a neat store. I have not seen any japanese patterns here in NYC, although I am sure they are somewhere. I bet I could find them in the garment district.


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