Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Los Angeles, CA: Rediscovering Home

Unlike last year, 2011 has me rediscovering Los Angeles, including my neighborhood. This year does not involve constant travel as did last. Instead, I am nurturing my home life, and learning to appreciate the comforts of familiarity in my immediate surroundings. I recently had the best day and experience retreating for some much needed pampering and a dose of detox. I, and my best friend, Tracey, treated ourselves to one of my new favorite local spots, The Raven. An intimate spa nestled in the confines of the busy city. It is a tranquil, unpretentious and perfectly understated setting, known for its traditional Thai massage, but offering a menu of services to please most, including select yoga practices,.....and it's only minutes from my house. I would guess that the experience is second to none, aside from being in Thailand. The Raven is hidden in plain sight, secluded and tucked away in a small building off the busy street. Once discovered, you're totally lured in by curiosity, setting foot into the narrow open air alleyway entrance and waiting area, decorated appropriately in a Colonial Thai decor of over sized, comfortable and lightly cushioned rattan wicker chairs and ottomans, tropical plants, aluminum water bowls for washing, a troth basin and rustic wooden doors, canopied with a bamboo trellis and ceramic painted floors. You immediately feel transformed. At the end of the corridor is the check-in desk where a simple selection of wares are for sell--cotton drawstring yoga pants, T-shirts and assorted mentholated balms--tiger, monkey, etc. Once inside, Tracey and I, were escorted to the massage room set for two, divided simply, by a heavy natural cotton muslin curtain hung on aged oblong-shaped iron curtain rings. There's no significance to the curtain rings besides their uniqueness and the fact that they matched the attention paid to detail of the decor throughout. We disrobed and laid face down. Moments later our one hour session of massage began. We had both requested the Swedish massage, figuring that it would be easier to endure than Thai, but to my surprise, The Raven's version of Swedish massage was a hybrid, uniquely incorporating Thai methods, making my experience intense, but nonetheless, enjoyable. Na Na, my masseuse, firmly but gently applied pressure to all the right places, kneading my sore tight muscles like lofty yeasty dough, then twisted and tugged on my limbs like they were rubber. It was oddly heavenly. By the end of it all I was so worked over that I was left feeling like a wet noodle. Excellent.
Following our services we dragged our rejuvenated asses a few doors down to Edendale Grill , a fabulously restored firehouse turned restaurant/bar, for appetizers and a cocktail, wrapping up the evening of quality girlfriend time.
It's nice to realize that these simple pleasures, are, and have been, always in my own backyard. Now, if I can only find a way to afford The Raven every week.....

No comments:

Post a Comment