Monday, March 26, 2012

Stoking the Fire

Being an East Coast transplant to the West Coast has made me notice all sorts of things about this weird and wonderful place. For example, why do so many guys wear slouchy beanie snow hats when it's 70 degrees daily? Why do all food trucks have to be named after a pun? How do all these out-of-work actors and writers afford to drive BMWs and Mercedes? Why do so many women have 6-pack abs? Why is it so difficult to find mid-range delicious Italian food? Why are there no Dunkin' Donuts in all of LA County, yet they run commercials just to tease us? Who invented the art of the strip mall? What sorts of diseases is one at risk of picking up by squeezing through the crowd of Spiderman imposters on Hollywood Blvd? And most importantly, why is everyone out here so into fire?

Brrr, it's so cold outside I have to wear a beanie while I eat my 0 calorie fro yo.

Most of those quandaries don't make any sense to me, but the last one I fully understand. I'm talking bonfires on the beach, fire pits in the backyard, fire heaters at restaurants. Now that it's actually bearable to be outdoors in the winter, it's nice to warm up your paws around a crackling, glowing flame in the wild outdoors.

The first beach bonfire I went to here was a party I was invited to by my friend Chachi on the Fourth of July. I found my way to Dockweiller Beach and joined what looked like a Levi's commercial gaggle of young 20-somethings, all beautiful and wild-haired and free and probably saying deep, teenagery things like "Lying is a universal truth, man!", dancing and partying around a HUGE bonfire. And when I say huge, I mean HUGE. There were at least 40 people dancing around and throwing random objects into said fire, and someone had set up a huge tent with douchey speakers that were blaring horrible dance music. And then someone threw an entire COUCH into the fire, and the police showed up, and that was that.

Since then I've graduated onto smaller, tamer fires, and now that we have an outdoor garden I've been obsessed with the idea of having a fire pit or fire bowl to sit around and light up our evening festivities. We don't have too much space so it would be impossible (and dangerous) to make a giant one, but I saw a cool fire bowl at my friend's recent housewarming that I want to steal.

I found this similar cool Smith & Hawken copper fire bowl available at Target, my favorite cheapo source, for only $120.
Man like fire. Fire make heat. 
Simplicity reigns in this one from style sale site, You just pile the wood on top and voila, fire.
Here's another gorgeous one that looks like an 18th Century UFO from

So which fire pit will I end up with? Only time (and money) will tell.