Thursday, July 14, 2011


Valerie Harper and I like to eat lunch at the first booth on the right at La Scala. We've been doing it for years, and we know that if one of us arrives before 11:59 a.m., we can sit and hold the booth. After 12 pm, La Scala makes you wait to be seated until your whole party is there. You stand as you wait, watching the precious booths being taken, one by one, as you wait for your late guest/guests. I know you know what I'm talking about. WELL, THEY HAVE A NEW POLICY. If you come in ANY time before 12, and you are the only one there, you cannot sit in a booth until one more person arrives. Therefore, if you are a party of three, and the second one arrives, you CAN go to the booth and wait. I WILL MAKE NOTE OF THIS.

Anyway, Valerie and I love to talk. We solve all the problems of the world in each lunch. But by 1:30 pm, if you are still in your booth, people glare at you like they want you dead. If you dare to linger over coffee and/or dessert, they start to hover over you like killer hawks. So we left, but needed another place to sit down. If we chose to go to another establishment, we'd either have to order another lunch, or two iced teas for about $15. "No," I said. "There must be a way to sit down for free in Beverly Hills."

We turned left as we left and I spotted the slightly new shop, Pom Pom, next door. In front they were displaying two padded lawn chairs. Perfect. We sat in the display and kept talking. After a while, people began to stare so we aimed for another place. I remembered the park next to the Montage Hotel. Off we went, and found a number of lovely tables and chairs to occupy. Now I realized we were onto something. Where else in Beverly Hills could we pull this off?

Our next stop was James Perse on Canon. Valerie wanted to buy her husband, Tony, a present. Neither one of us had ever been in the shop, but as soon as we walked in, we noticed a beautifully landscaped inner courtyard with fabulous white lounge chairs that beckoned to us. She picked out the shirt she wanted, and then instead of going to the pay area, we simply walked to the courtyard and landed on the lounges. The sun was shining, horsetail plants and desert grasses were swaying, and we had found place No. 3 to land. We were going to stay for awhile.

Montage Park
E. Baldi's Bench
James Perse

James Perse
Pom Pom

Some time later, as we were walking toward the car, I noticed a cool bench in front of E. Baldi. "Do we dare?" I asked. You guessed it. We sat down again. BY THIS TIME WE REALIZED THAT WE HAD BEEN SITTING IN FREE CHAIRS FOR THREE AND A HALF HOURS, AND WE HAD ONLY COVERED THE OPPORTUNITIES ON CANON! Who knows what the other streets would have for us. SO THIS IS PART NO. 1. Feel "free" to check it out for yourselves.

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