Monday, June 3, 2013

Franklin Village, UCB and That Necklace

This past Saturday night I hung out in a little strip I rarely find myself in anymore but I'd kind of like that to change. Officially it's called Franklin Village but when I lived in Beachwood Canyon, I would just say, "I'm gonna hang out on Franklin." It's sort of an alcohol-infused block where back in the day (a day which lasted several years) I did a lot of damage. My favorite watering hole to do damage in was...

How many nights did I close it down? No one was counting. Thank God.

What I liked was there was this long-ass wooden bar, the bartenders were always friendly but too busy to be too friendly, sometimes a starlet would show up for a 1/2 hour and cause a stir and the food? Okay, I guess. I think I liked the French Onion Soup for real. But you really did just go there to drink and spill out onto the sidewalk, eventually. And the French people who ran the place always seemed a little short-tempered which made them entertaining to me. One of them would always snap at one of the other ones and if you were lucky, they'd snap at each other in French. And there was this guy there named Mr. Franklin and I didn't know he didn't work for the place. I thought they paid him to play the piano (and hear me sing). It turns out if any money was placed in his hands, it was probably to make him go away. I wish they had given me some. Though I'm not sure you could've stopped me if I already got to the place where I wanted to sing in public.

Dear Public, I'm so SO sorry.  Love, Cynthia

These people are far more civilized than I ever appeared when I made an appearance at La Poubelle
So it's a drink-y bar and frankly, a drink-y area. Therefore need I mention designated drivers? I think I do. If you're going to hang out in this stretch of land, and you are the sober driver, GOOD FOR YOU. Let me give you a little tip: do NOT park at Gelson's. There are signs EVERYWHERE about not parking at Gelson's and they will tow your car (it's happened to the best of us. Ahem). So here's the deal, you can find street parking if you're tenacious. If you're not, spend the 5 bucks or whatever it is to park with the nice men from Poubelle. It's worth it. And no matter what, DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE. In fact DON'T DRINK AND WALK.  Here is a list for LA taxis. Stick one of these numbers in your phone:


Poubelle isn't the only bar on the strip. There's the famous Birds - a lot of locals have been going there for years. There's also the not-so-new-anymore-kid-on-the-block, Franklin & Company, where I found these celebratory young gentelemen..

I loved these guys. I was in line for an 8 o'clock show at UCB and these boys were already well on their way, God bless 'em. It's one of those pics you could see for a movie like "Diner" isn't it?

Dear Entourage, What have you done? Love, Cynthia

I haven't eaten at Franklin & Co. but am curious. It's a gastro pub with that sort of pub faire I wish I didn't like so much. You say duck-fat fries- I say, Yeah, okay. I'm not wearing a bikini this summer anyway. And I think blue cheese used in tator tots is an important choice. Truffle in anything is fine but in Mac & Cheese sounds thoughtful and loving. (I've not eaten that much today so this is particularly excruciating). If you like to drink - and I think it might be a requirement here - they have several drafts on tap and something that stood out: Thursday night is Bourbon & Burger Flight Night where you get 3 sliders to be paired with 3 bourbons. Rick Blaine would be proud.

I'm probably more though at the point where a used bookstore is what appeals to me. Therefore may I recommend Counterpoint Records & Books. They have a lot of really obscure stuff, records, bios about stars, pretty much all the classics and the books I sold them when I was moving. If you buy a cookbook about Southern cooking or any number of self-help books that focus on being the best you you can be so others will see it without you trying too hard, let's just say, You're welcome.

From Counterpoint Records & Books
Also if you can, pop into the gift & newspaper shop The Daily Planet. It's at the far end of this little strip, right on the corner of Tamarind. It always smells super nice and they have a ton of great little tchotchkes, books, magazines and papers for sale on the corner.

I feel like wrapping paper is in. But in all fairness, The Daily Planet always sold the good stuff.

Though on this particular night I wasn't there for food, drink or wrapping paper. I was there for comedy at The UCB (The Upright Citizens Brigade). Truth be told, I don't go to see that much comedy in Los Angeles these days but my friend Jessica is a huge fan. She and her husband, Joe, won't spend dough to hear live music or go to a fancy dinner but they will go to great lengths to laugh it up like they just don't care.

This is Jessica. I told her to make a super-serious face and in a snap, she looked as if she was gazing over a field of wheat. 

She also happens to be a jewelry designer which is NOT why I'm friends with her but I could understand someone making that choice. Because her jewelry is AWESOME!

Me glamming out with Jessica's necklace from Cast & Combed.
That's The Adder Necklace. I think it's stunning. I'm not friends with her because she has gorgeous necklaces. She also has gorgeous rings.

So Jessica and Joe, like I said, are all about the comedy. They go to Largo, they go see stand-up, and they go to UCB where they are particular fans of Asscat:

That's not a photo from the show. Actually I don't even know if it's cool for me to post that. Go to so I feel better.  Thank you. Here's UCB's sign:

See why the one was a little better?
Okay, so Asscat is an improv show. Let me tell you something, I'm all about going to see great stand-ups. The last time I saw a show was probably Eddie Pepitone. And if you're in town and he's in town, do yourself a favor and see him. BA-RILLIANT. But improv? Not really my bag. I'm so afraid of being uncomfortable and not in a good way. But Jessica told me it would be good. Therefore with a skeptical eye, my comedy snobbery at close hand and my admiration for her jewelry, I went for it it.

Dude, improv is so freakin hard! I don't know how these people pulled off the show they did. It was funny. GENUINELY FUNNY. And impressive. Genuine laughs not mercy laughs. Maybe my favorite piece in the show had to do with Lauren Lapkus being a really disgusting baby in the womb but I can't say what happened because it's not fair to her and it's really blue. Like Louis C.K. cringe-worthy-blue. Fantastic.

From what I understand, they always have very talented people. The night I was there, the group included the girl who grossed me out in a good way,  Lauren Lapkus - (Lauren, if you're reading this, I am now the biggest, most devoutest fan of yours but I will not stalk youJonah Ray (a sweet guy who has a fear of centipedes. He has many credits but you might recognize him from the Bing ads), and Zach Woods (The Office) who is so fast on his feet-- the guy's kind of amazing. It was fun to just laugh and hang out and seriously, it was all so CHEAP! I don't mean how I felt afterwards. I mean it was 10 bucks. Worth it.

Other people have been going forever and this is a popular show. So if you're gonna go assss, get tix ahead of time. For that information, CLICK HERE:

And if you get tix but want good seats, get there between 7 and 7:30. Line up with the rest of the peeps on sidewalk.

That's my friend Claire with the red hair. Hi Claire!
Doors open around 8 pm.

Man, the whole night just made me miss that neighborhood. And in the summertime, hanging out on Franklin, going to see comedy, eating a late dinner outside while looking across the street at The Church of Scientology's Celebrity Center wondering what Tom Cruise is thinking at this point in his career and private life, is really to me the quintessential way to spend a Saturday evening in Los Angeles.

Church of Scientology's Celebrity Center

Dear Tom, if you're lonely, sad and aren't sure what to do with yourself right now, buy me this necklace. Love, Cynthia


The Adder Necklace, designed by Jessica for Cast & Combed, $209. Only available by pre-order.
Click Here for Infomation: CAST & COMBED


  1. Ha I love it
    There were always so many cute douchebags at La Poubelle. And once I accidentally hit on that red head from That 70s Show. At least that's what she thought I was doing. I was just making conversation. Bitch.

  2. Love your blog. Love Daily Planet's limited but wonderful greeting card section. Love that the girls who work there always seem fashion-forward, model-y, sweet and slightly bored. I had many lost weekends at Franklin & Co's predecessor, Birds. Jessica's necklace looks chic on you.

  3. Thank you (I love having chic and me in the same sentence! And by the way, I always love the girls they hire at Daily Planet too but this time there was a guy there. It was an odd experience which suddenly took on a European vibe. :)