I meant to do this yesterday, but I was at a WriteGirl event all day and came back exhausted. However, last week I did manage to make a go of my first weekly challenge:

Go where you haven’t gone before. Or go a little further. Give yourself plenty of wide, open space without needing to go or be anywhere specific.

Just go. 

Who knows where it might lead you?

I had an evening of wandering on Wednesday…

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East Coaster with an umbrella walking in L.A.

I had an appointment in West Hollywood, and afterwards, I went to a cafe I’d never been to (Caffe Primo, which is pretty rad!) for dinner and free wi-fi so I could get you my Legend of Billie Jean post. After that, I decided to take a walk. Who says “no one walks in L.A?” Not only do I walk in L.A, but I’ll even do it in the rain. Though I don’t own an umbrella myself, The Fiancee had one in her car that I borrowed for the day. So I was prepared for the evening’s inclement weather.

Well, sort of. The umbrella was small, and my pant legs and sneakers ended up getting soaked, but weirdly enough that made me feel like I was at home. Moments of me walking through NYC in the rain, sitting in damp jeans on the subway, dodging away from traffic spraying water onto the sidewalk….I’d missed that. And so I found myself strangely enjoying the chill in my bones as I wandered around West Hollywood – an area of L.A. I’d been to before to get to specific places, but never really explored.

I ended up at Book Soup, a bookstore I’d heard of, but never been to. I really love it. It’s organized really well, they have a great selection, and the staff was ridiculously helpful. I found some familiar faces on the shelves in the memoir section…

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Two of my favorite ladies on the shelf at Book Soup! “Drawing Blood” by Molly Crabapple and “You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)” by Felicia Day.

…and even though I’ve made myself a promise not to buy any books this year (except for Jonathan Safran Foer’s when it comes out in September), because I want to read all the unread books on my shelf first, I made no such promises about notebooks. Ended up buying a 3-pack of Moleskin blank books.

As I exited the store, I noticed this across the street…

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RIP Tower Records

At first, I thought Holy crap! Didn’t Tower Records close? Is this, like, the last one or something? It is not. It’s an empty store. I went over to investigate, and it looked so sad and empty, and suddenly I felt really old. I remembered going to the Tower Records on East 4th Street in the Village near the Tisch building after class when I was at NYU. That place was the jam.

Anyway, I proceeded along Sunset after that, and I decided I wanted to do something I never had before. Go to a bar alone for a drink. I don’t know why the idea of that made me nervous – I’ve eaten alone and gone to the movies alone before, but drinking alone is different to me for some reason. Bars are inherently social, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to be social. I just wanted to sit and have a drink…

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After not feeling the vibe at several other bars, I ended up stopping at The Den for a beer. It’s a bar that lives up to its name – really cozy and homey. Even better, they had karaoke on that night! I thought briefly about putting a song in, but decided against it. I was sopping wet and would’ve looked like a stray cat at the mic.

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My beer keeping warm by the fire.

So, I got a Delirium Tremens and made my way to the outdoor area, which had picnic tables and a fire pit! It was the perfect place to warm up after being out in the rain, which had obviously stopped by this point: I sat with a beer and people-watched as I wrote in my journal, and it was really nice. It’s really difficult for me to shut my brain off a lot of the time, but doing this – wandering into a bar with no particular place to be and nothing to do just to sit and chill and write was exactly what I needed.

All in all, I’m glad this dare allowed me to do something I’d always wanted to do, while giving me a night where I could allow my mind to quiet down and simply take in the scenery without being the least bit productive.

Not a bad first dare!