Yamashiro and New Skyscraper

August 13, 2011

I’m writing this post after completing a session with Craig, my trainer, and everything aches.  He pushed me today: he had me haul 60 pounds up and down flights of stairs, doing shrugs and pull-outs on the landings; he had me do squats with a 95 pound barbell, he had me do intervals on a recumbent bike…  I’m getting exhausted all over again just remembering it.  That workout ended with 9.5 minutes of intervals on the StairMaster, which means I have a new skyscraper to add to my collection, and I’ll get to that… but first…

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On Thursday night, I did something I haven’t done in a loooong time: I went to a farmers market.  I used to be a regular at a couple different farmers’ markets – the one in Burbank on Saturday mornings, and the one in Beverly Hills on Sunday mornings.  I stopped going in January, when I received a very generous gift card to Whole Foods that makes it silly for me to shop anywhere else.

My friend Maggie has been talking up the Yamashiro Farmers Market for months now.  She loves it.  It’s right near her house.  It’s amazing.  We should go some time.  She thinks I’d love it.  It’s fantastic.  Sheesh, Maggie, I get it!  So, on Thursday, we went.  Our friend Joe came too.

The Yamashiro Farmers Market is held on Thursday nights in the parking lot of Yamashiro, a Japanese restaurant perched on a ridge in the Hollywood Hills that has great sweeping views of the city below.  Here’s the farmer’s market:

And here’s another shot of the view, with their Pagoda Bar and garden in the foreground, and way off on the horizon is downtown LA:

A little collage of photos of Joe, Maggie, and me:

As farmers markets go, this one is pretty light on produce, and pretty heavy on prepared and specialty foods.  There are about 3 produce vendors, but lots of specialty booths selling nuts, candy, kettle corn, hummus, and more, and also a bunch of fancy-pants food trucks, including Yamashiro’s own taco stand, which had the longest lines of any of them and featured duck confit and braised short rub tacos on the menu.  I had a big late lunch, so I wasn’t very hungry, but Maggie braved the long line and got her favorite item, their black cod taco, and some chips and guacamole:

The cod is kinda buried under the cabbage, but it’s there.  Joe got a beef and pork jalapeno bratwurst with sauerkraut from the Best of the Wurst booth, and he loved it:

I picked up some items from the produce stalls:

From one vendor I picked up 3 plouts (lower right) and 2 nectarines (lower left)  – $4.50 for all of them.  From another vendor, I picked up all the rest: some multi-colored bell peppers, a bag of mixed greens, and some brussel sprouts – all of it for $5.  I love brussel sprouts, and it’s the first time I’ve bought them in months and months.  I’m rarely impressed with the brussel sprouts I see at grocery stores.  They’re either in a bulk bin and look like they’ve been trampled on by a herd of buffalo, or they’re giant, tennis-ball-sized brussel sprouts.  I once read a good brussel sprout rule that I stick to: the smaller the brussel sprout, the better the brussel sprout (they’re less bitter, or so I remember).  The last time I bought fantastic brussel sprouts from a store is when I picked up an entire brussel sprouts stalk at Trader Joe’s and it ended up becoming my roommate for a few days.

The other item I purchased was a big jar of pickled Hungarian peppers from the Gunnar and Jake’s Gourmet Food stand:

They have all sorts of fun pickled products, like turnips, green beans, and stuffed jalapenos, but I went with the Hungarian peppers because – surprise, surprise – I’ve never heard of them before, and I’m a sucker for trying new things.  The guy gave me a sample, and it was delicious, and had a good spicy kick.  I’m not sure when I’ll crack this jar open, but you can bet I’ll blog about it.

One of my favorite parts about the Yamashiro Farmers Market was that there was no mistaking we were in Hollywood.  First, it’s the only farmers market I’ve been to that has valet parking.  There’s no parking on-site (as the restaurant’s parking lot is the site of the farmers market), so they have a parking lot down the hill, with valet, and a shuttle that takes you up and down to the market.  Second, there were celebrities there!  We spotted one of the supporting actors on Mad Men and one of the detectives from Law & Order.  It was a fun evening, and the three of us will probably go back soon.

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Ok.  Back to the skyscraper.  I spent 9.5 grueling minutes on the StairMaster just a little while ago.  Craig had me do intervals, so I would go for 30 seconds at Level 5, then 30 seconds at Level 10.  I’d repeat that, but every time I had to up the Level, so by the end, I was going between Level 5 and Level 16.  And this was at the end of an intense hour-long workout.

I was ready to fall over when I finished, but not before I saw the display for how many floors I climbed: 45!  In 9.5 minutes!  Fantastic.

For today’s skyscraper, we’re heading across the Atlantic to Spain, the country where my father was born.  This is the Hotel Arts, in Barcelona:

It’s the tallest building in Barcelona.  Well, it’s one of the tallest buildings in Barcelona – the neighboring tower, Torre Mapfre, is the exact same height (505 feet), so they get to share the title of tallest building in town.  I like the design of the Hotel Arts much more than the Torre Mapfre, which is why it’s the one I’m featuring on the blog.  The Hotel Arts is 44 floors – one less than I climbed today, but close enough!

Let’s add it to the chart:

  • Aon Center, Chicago, IL (83 floors, climbed 8/5/11)
  • CITIC Plaza, Guangzhou, China (80 floors, climbed 12/1/10)
  • JPMorgan Chase Tower, Houston, TX (75 floors, climbed 3/9/11)
  • Renaissance Center, Detroit, MI (73 floors, climbed 6/19/11)
  • The Sail @ Marina Bay, Singapore (70 floors, cilmbed 11/9/10)
  • Yokohama Landmark Tower, Yokohama, Japan (70 floors, climbed 4/11/11)
  • 900 North Michigan, Chicago, IL (66 floors, climbed 4/1/11)
  • Vista Tower, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (62 floors, climbed 7/2/11)
  • 1000 de la Gauchetiere, Montreal, Canada (51 floors, climbed 11/3/10)
  • >> Hotel Arts, Barcelona, Spain (44 floors, climbed 8/12/11)
  • Ernst & Young Bldg, Los Angeles, CA (41 floors, climbed 10/3/10)
  • City Place I, Hartford, CT (38 floors, climbed 5/11/11)
  • Ocean Towers, South Padre Island, TX (31 floors, climbed 1/20/11)

Another skyscraper conquered!

Keep it up, David!