Saturday, March 27, 2010

Saturday Night on the Town

Henry, Oliver and I went out to dinner tonight on Hollywood Blvd with one of my dearest friends who moved from here to another city half a year ago and is visiting on spring break this week She and her two children met us at La Loteria (and I don't know how to add the appropriate accent to Loteria on this computer), a fantastic latino spot with delicious, authentic Mexican food and really, really good margaritas (not too sweet, plenty sour and lots of salt). While we waited for our friends, Henry noticed this Hollywood star in front of the restaurant


La Loteria is a bingo-like game and the art on the famous Mexican cards is fantastic. The restaurant itself is a wonderful space, huge and open with a wall of tequila bottles and giant posters of the loteria hanging on the walls. La Sirena is my favorite, of course:

My friend and I sat next to each other and the four children sat opposite, and while the restaurant filled up and the noise got louder and louder, we still managed to converse about the books we were reading, the movies we'd seen and our husbands, all while sipping on the margaritas and remonstrating the children as they laughed raucously and ate chips and fried cheese and tacos. About halfway through, Henry felt cold and left the restaurant to get his sweatshirt out of the car. He came back and shouted at me over the din I couldn't find the car! Exasperated, I grabbed the keys and walked outside and around the corner, and where I'd parked my car was a

[blank space]

Hundreds of people were walking Hollywood Blvd, into and out of the tattoo shops and costume party stores. The sky was blue and the sun was setting at the west end, making the sky a deep pink and the light a ridiculous gold. It seemed unreal, and for a moment I thought that maybe I'd forgotten where I parked but I knew, too, all at once that my car was towed. The enormous sign that I had somehow not seen an hour ago, rose over me and practically threw me into shadow. I slunk back into the restaurant and announced to my friend and the kids that my car had been towed, and she put her hand over her mouth and sort of laughed and pushed my near-full margarita toward me on the table. The boys were excited about the prospect of police action.

When I called 3-1-1, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa himself answered the phone and told me what to do. He also advised me to wait for the next service agent and while I was waiting I could enjoy the music of the LA Philharmonic.

Good thing I was drinking that margarita. And even better that my red snapper with tomatoes, onions, capers and olives was moist and flavorful,  and that my kind and generous friend bought me and the boys' dinner. When she dropped us off at the tow lot, Henry insisted on escorting me inside where we were led through a series of locked gates and I was helped by a very courteous gentlemen who also kindly took my credit card and charged me $248.34 for holding my car for two hours. I suggested to the boys that we should wait until the morning to tell The Husband and Father about the excitement, so when we pulled up into the driveway and walked up to the front door, Oliver announced as soon as The Husband opened the door to greet us

Mom got the car towed and it cost two hundred and fifty bucks!


  1. I know I should commiserate with you, but it seems a funny story, and one made more humorous in the telling.

    My house is on a clear way zone here in Melbourne and we cannot park our cars even overnight unless we remember to move them by 6.30 am.

    Over the thirty years we have lived here, either our daughter's cars or those of their boyfriends have been towed away on at least four separate occasions.

    Here the fee for collecting your car runs to nearly $300.00 and the fine on top of that is about $170.00. So all up it costs us nearly $500.00.

    As soon as the alarm goes off in the morning at six am, the first thing I do before I go for my shower, is to walk out the front, collect the newspaper and check that no one I know has left their car on the street. I have moved the occasional car despite my warnings.

    Thanks for a wonderful, albeit somewhat tragic, post. The word tragic written with my tongue in cheek.

  2. good lord girl,

    but are those your cute shoes?

    and also, because I'd love to go out to dinner with you and ask you what you think of so many books and movies. I'm playing catch up in a serious way. Long story, but am reading The Kite Runner . And , is it just me , or is the writing , oh , I don't know, brutal, and the story warped , and the characters more so. I'm not finished, don't care about spoilers.
    I find that every time I jump on the bandwagon and read what I'm suppose to like... I don't .

  3. I'm glad you finished your dinner before getting the car. Too many people would have leapt up and dealt with the car immediately--why?

    La Loteria sounds great. Never been to L.A. and have no immediate plans to go, but nice to hear good things about it.

    And the Kite Runner--yes, brutal is a good word.

  4. oh my gosh, just read this out loud to hartley and grace as we're making waffles before palm sunday church. henry's bold announcement of the "dsicreet" news was sooooo familiar!!

  5. That's a hefty price for some blog fodder. Glad you had a good meal out of it...

  6. I can't remember how many times I had to get my car from the west side pound when I lived in Manhattan. I hated that!

    Mmmm... margaritas sound yummy

  7. Elizabeth, I just love the various stories you've told in the last several days--so vivid, so full of detail. Thanks for sharing them!

  8. you poor thing. but honestly, the way you told it, i ended this reading with a smile.

    and it did sound like you had a wonderful evening - despite the extra money spent.

    btw, i love mexican food - and that place sounded like a treat.

  9. oh no Elizabeth! I'm glad you seemed to deal with it with a postive attitude. Sheesh!

  10. Dang little tattle-tales. We always called one of our kids "the informer" because she just had to relate everything she knew to the parent she'd been warned not to relate to.
    By the way, you've just inspired me to get that red snapper out of the freezer.



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