Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sweet Nostalgia - Joseph's Bakery: San Pedro CA

Tucked away on a quiet side street in San Pedro, California, is Joseph’s Bakery, and it is truly a retro gem. Stocked with baked goodies, it's been in business 43 years and boasts a vintage cash register that rings in at 55 years. Ka-chiiinngg!

This ain't no Starbucks

My sister and brother-in-law live nearby, and after a neighborhood stroll we were up for a little nosh. Sis suggested we skip the nearby Starbucks with the 180 degree ocean view (they have those down there) and hit the bakery. And I'm glad we did. No de-caf soy vanilla lattes for us! Instead, we got a few slices of pizza, a couple of lemon bars and a brownie. All were tasty – but for me, the real draw was the place itself. So next time you’re in San Pedro, take a carbo-loaded, sugar-coated step back in time and check out Joseph’s Bakery.

Joseph's Bakery
1027 South Meyler Street
San Pedro, CA 90731

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ghost Town Bound: Los Cerrillos NM

Back in February 2009 I visited Santa Fe, New Mexico for the first time. It really does live up to the brochure – brilliant blue skies, fabulous historic buildings and dramatic interplay of shadow and light. But after a couple of days of wandering through the main plaza area ogling fine art and hulking pieces of turquoise jewelry, I tired of $25,000 price tags. I suspected there must be more to this Southwest story. So, for those of you whose net worth is less than several million, I suggest heading out of town.

Main Street, Los Cerrillos, NM

To explore the surrounding environs, I contacted Santa Fe Walkabouts, a husband-and-wife run company specializing in day tours. I expressed to my trusty guide Sue that I wanted to experience something a little less chi-chi than Santa Fe proper. She had the perfect suggestion. After a lovely afternoon hike in the Cerrillos Hills, we stopped in the ghost town of Los Cerrrilos. This is a special place, and an impressive example of an authentic western town, one that would make Clint Eastwood sit tall in the saddle and take squinty-eyed notice. I had the good fortune of being there on a day when no one was there, so I got the full-ghost town hit.

Thanks again to Sue for this insightful suggestion and rewarding field trip.