Spinning and Shopping

Three different classes in three different gyms in three days!  I’m on a roll (that’s why there’s butter on my pants).  On Thursday, is was Latin Jam class.  Friday was all about step class.  And this morning, spin class.

It was my third ever spin class.  The first time was in Chicago in June, and I went with renowned architect Laura Garcia (aka my sister) and took a brutal class at her gym.  When I got back to LA, I learned that the other branch of my gym, the Burbank Athletic Club, offers spin classes, so about 6 weeks ago I took my second spin class.  Brutal.  And today’s class was… you guessed it… brutal.

But it’s really fun.  I’ve never been much of a biker since middle school, and I find it challenging to push myself without knowing exactly what I’m capable of… I suppose another way to put it is that because I’m not very familiar with spin techniques and workout patterns, the instructor can say we’re going to do whatever, and I’ll give it my best shot, because I don’t know yet how much that whatever will kick my ass.   Oh dear, I feel I’m rambling and not making any sense.  Better just move on.

In other news, I’ve decided to give 99 Cent Store produce a try.  The decision was based on two things:  1) Your comments on yesterday’s post, and 2) The fact that to get to my spin class this morning, I drove past three different 99 Cent Stores.  I took it as a sign.   Let’s take a tour of the 99 Cent Stores in my area, shall we?

This is the newest (opened last week) 99 Cent Store, and the one closest to my house – at Laurel Canyon and Kittridge:

Then there’s the one at Victory and Vineland, which is really close to my old apartment:

And, finally, the one at Victory and Buena Vista:

And, just as an FYI, it’s not like I drove to the ends of the earth to get to spin class.  I mapped it out, and it’s only 6 miles away.  Three 99 Cent Stores in 6 miles.   Jealous?

But the 99 Cent Store Produce Challenge (oooh – I think I just came up with a name for it!) will have to wait, because I decided not to pass up the Burbank Farmer’s Market, which was one block away from the gym.  It’s in the parking lot behind City Hall – here’s a shot of it from the next door parking garage:

And from street level:

It’s not huge, but there’s plenty of vendors, and whereas the Beverly Hills Farmer’s Market has tons of prepared food stalls (which I’m less interested in), this one doesn’t have many at all.  I like to take a lap around the whole thing before actually buying anything, so I can compare prices and see what looks best.  The Murphy’s Law of Farmer’s Markets is that if you buy, say, tomatoes for $2 a pound, than surely the folks two stalls down will be selling them for $1.50 a pound.  I learned that lesson the hard way.  About three dozen times.

Here’s what I ended up with:

  • 1 head broccoli – $1.00
  • 2 Honeycrisp apples – $1.50
  • 2 grapefruit – $1.00
  • 2 tomatoes – $0.80
  • Almost 1/3 pound mixed greens (spinach, arugula, baby lettuces) – $2.50
  • 3 pluots and 1 nectarine  – $2.00
  • 3 passion fruit – $0.85

Total Damage: $9.65

Keeping with my tradition of always buying something I’ve never bought before, today’s new purchase was… the passion fruit.

Because they were priced at $4 a pound, I was tempted to just keep on walking.  But then I picked one up, and it was crazy light.  So I bought three ($0.85).  I have no idea what to do with them, and I have no idea what’s edible and what’s not.  The skin is leathery and wrinkled and tough, so my guess is that the skin is not edible.  They’re so light, though, that I’m halfway convinced they’re actually hollow.  I’ll do some Googling and be sure to take some photos when I bust one open.

Keep It Up, David!

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5 Responses to Spinning and Shopping

  1. Karen says:

    We don’t have dollar stores that sell produce… I’m interested to hear how that goes! I went to our local market today too and got the makings for chicken vegetable stew. And I like your philosphy of trying new things :) I thought about being adventurous (unidentified root vegetables?) but chickened out at the last minute.

  2. Heidi says:

    Passionfruit IS mostly hallow! And it’s tricky if you haven’t used it before.

    What I’ve found works best is to slice them open, scoop out the pulp (it’s held to the skin with what looks like little fingers) and then run it through the food processor to separate the pulp from the seeds. (you definitely can’t do it by hand.) Then strain the mixture through a mesh strainer (to catch the seeds) and eat it, or mix it into some sparkling water, or enjoy otherwise. :)

  3. Heidi says:

    *hollow, not hallow. Heh!

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