Greetings from the West Coast, where I'm helping The Mystery Bookstore sell books at Left Coast Crime this weekend, and catching up with some old friends and clients. I'm not used to Los Angeles anymore; it's bright and crowded and has more cars than the entire state of Maine. I prefer the quiet of Kennebec County, but there are certainly things I miss about living here.
1. Movie theaters. I'm posting this morning from The Mystery Bookstore's back room, in the heart of Westwood Village, and have my choice of three big-screen movie theaters within the block. If I want to walk around the corner or cross Wilshire Boulevard, I can choose from another half-dozen movies. In my old neighborhood, I lived within walking distance of 20 different movie screens. I miss that. I'll probably see "Alice in Wonderland" (in 2-D) tonight.
2. Discount beauty supplies. I think Augusta has one discount beauty supply store; here in Los Angeles, you can't go two blocks without passing one, and they offer a dizzying array of products. I'm not a big cosmetics user, but I miss easy access to Aveda shampoos, which are hard to find in Maine.
3. Cheap manicures and pedicures. Yes, I've seen the local TV news reports about how you can get life-threatening infections at these places. I don't care. If I die of sepsis, I will die with neatly trimmed red toenails.
4. Middle-Eastern food. Now that I have found both good Indian food and good Mexican food in Maine (both in Brunswick), the one thing that's missing is falafel. (Can any of my Maine friends recommend a place?) A visit to Falafel King is in my near future.
5. Iyengar yoga. I didn't go often enough when I lived here, and now I miss it. A few minutes hanging upside down from a rope wall can make a huge difference in one's perspective.