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Parting shot | My Favorite Weekend: Alex Greenwald

For fun, he works the neighborhood

June 26, 2003|Karla S. Blume

This frontman for the local rock band Phantom Planet believes in keeping his home turf close to his heart. When he and his bandmates aren't working on their new CD, due out in October, he's inclined to take a long walk around his own neighborhood in the Fairfax district.

Pass the veggies

I'm a vegan, so if I was going after my favorite naughty breakfast, one that's sugary and bad for you, I'd have to go to the Vegan Express at Cahuenga and Barham boulevards.

They have the best faux chicken and pancakes slathered in maple syrup I've ever had. Real Food Daily on La Cienega Boulevard near Melrose is another favorite. There I can choose a bunch of side orders and eat them as an entire meal. There is always a great selection of steamed veggies and brown rice available. And because I still like the taste of meat but don't believe in eating it, I can also get a variety of wheat meats or meat substitutes like tofu, tempeh and seitan. The place also has great cookies and a coconut cream pie that melts in your mouth.


Once I've eaten, I like to walk the food off at Pan Pacific Park on Beverly Boulevard. They have new basketball courts there and a few of my friends and I like to shoot hoops. I also enjoy taking a pen and a pad of paper and writing down ideas for songs while I sit on the grass.

Sometimes I follow soccer games going on in the park or I watch the people socializing at family barbecues. And then I always make time for girl watching. I can find a nice bench, sit in the sun and wait for love.

Shop hopping

A person in a band has to shop for equipment, and my favorite place to do that is at Black Market Music on La Cienega just below Santa Monica Boulevard. The store is an eclectic, post-apocalyptic junkyard with well-kept instruments. The guys who run the store are a bunch of crazy music enthusiasts who have shaped my musical direction with the gear they have provided me. I've bought some Gibson guitars and Fender Twin amps there. Another great music store is Future Music on Sunset Boulevard and Gardner Street. They have a good stock of old analog keyboards. And as for CDs, I prefer buying them at Amoeba Music on Sunset. Walking in there, I get the same feeling I had as a kid walking into Toys 'R' Us. There is a rack in the store which displays the music the staff recommends. I like to compare my own taste with theirs. A few of the new records I've purchased there have been from the Locust, the Double and the Lightning Bolts.

Night life

I have a friend named Mark Schoenecker who DJs '60s soul and reggae music at Star Shoes, so I like to make it out there when I can. I also like to watch old art house movies at the New Beverly Cinema. They have two-month calendars which list all the movies playing there in great detail. I pick up each new issue so that I can plan out my month by what movies are playing when. I might also spend an evening at the St. Nick's pub on La Cienega. And on days when the band isn't rehearsing, I like taking girls up to Point Dume in Malibu, where the air is warm, the cove is quiet and the girls and surf are pretty.

-- Karla S. Blume

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