It was a hot afternoon in Los Angeles, one of the first good warm spells of the spring. When my errands took me to Third and Fairfax, I ducked in to the Farmers Market to visit an old hang I hadn't seen in a while.
The Farmers Market Bar - it may have an actual name, but nobody knows it if it does - was populated with folks who were thinking the same thing I was thinking. "Let's beat the heat with a cold beer."
The crowd is always an eyeful at the big center bar in the open air market. I watched the show on the barstools while I cooled myself with a frosty IPA. There was the Korean couple having a friendly, yet intense, conversation. I looked between them to see the television, where the Hawks were laying it on the Celtics, in the second quarter at least.
Four "dudes" met up and hugged and high-fived each other, but oddly, they moved on from there. I would have bet money they were going for a couple of pitchers. Tank-top guy was festooned with colorful tattoos. He stayed. There's always at least one walking body art gallery at that bar.
An older fellow in shorts and sandals was smiling while reading the LA Times - the business section. The market must have been up, or else his former employer was down. His casual dress told me he wasn't returning to work anytime soon. There was a Pepperdine University T-shirt and a golf-logo cap at the bar as well.
I emailed my friend, Fredi, with a picture of the bar we had occasioned when he and I both lived very near the Farmers Market, in Park La Brea. I live in another section of town now, and he lives in another section of the state. I miss him quite often, but always when I'm at the Farmers Market Bar.
One year, St. Patrick's Day fell on a Saturday and I met Fredi there around noon. I was afraid I'd be too early, but when I arrived it was obvious he had been there a while. He had made friends with most of the people at the bar while waiting for me. He's like that. It was a glorious afternoon.
This afternoon, I chilled with a Stone IPA. For me, a warm afternoon calls for an IPA, one with some great citrus aromas and flavor. To top it off, the pint glass was frosty.