One Step at a Time owner Charles Cope channels his lifelong love of running into an emporium for athletic shoe, apparel, and energy products. Runners and walkers alike can slip into a snug pair of Thorlos Experia socks ($11.95), support the arches with original Powerstep insoles ($29.95), or block out glares from jealous, stroller-bound babies with an Asics running hat ($18). Running and walking shoes ($75–$130) by popular brands such as Brooks, Mizuno, Asics, and New Balance jump off the shelves to outfit feet in need of a comfy, high-performance home, and custom fittings are available for those with thin, wide, or excessively normal feet. Cope provides attentive customer service within the white walls of his welcoming shop, utilizing 50 years of running experience to help pavement pounders find the shoes and accessories that fit each individual's personal exercise habits.
The brand American Apparel, which recently celebrated its 10-year anniversary, conjures up images of stylish and well-fitting fashion basics. It also likely brings to mind sassy advertisements featuring long-haired beauties in natural makeup posing in skin-bearing bodysuits and loungewear.
But what many don't know about the brand?despite its name and the slice of apple pie that comes with every purchase?is that all of its clothes are made in America. Everything from sewing and cutting to accounting and marketing happens in one building in downtown Los Angeles, and the rest occurs within a 30-mile radius. Not only that, every slim-fitting pair of pants, spandex bodysuit, and v-neck T-shirt is made in a sweatshop-free environment.
Plus, keeping everything in house means the company eliminates unnecessary and wasteful factors, such as shipping fuel and packing materials, as well as provides jobs to Angelenos, instead of outsourcing them.
Originally opened in 1927, the Genesee Theatre slowly deteriorated over the course of the century until its closing in 1989. But starting in 2001, a $23 million cash infusion from the city allowed 120 volunteers to restore the theater to its Gilded Age splendor. Its elegant trappings include authentic wall fabrics, an exact replica of the original marquee, and a 2,200-pound chandelier that gently spotlights the grand lobby and every audience member passing underneath to show how everyone is a star if you really think about it.
An eclectic array of fashionable finds and designer delights line every shelf of Psycho Sisters' vibrant boutiques. Vogue vestments, both new and gently used, cater to studious style seekers, including a wealth of designer brands such as Marc Jacobs, Express, and Lacoste. Foot festoonery ranges from revealing sandals to boots covering enough calf to satisfy time-traveling Victorian podiatrists ($13–$32), and a variety of hats ($7–$38), wigs (around $25), and eye-catching jewelry ($3–$10) offer an easy way to dress up for costume parties or dress down for a mundane life as a human drink coaster. New items are constantly added, allowing each subsequent shopping experience to be as new and surprising as the ever-changing forces of gravity.
The Wafflery’s menu revolves around a maelstrom of whimsical, pastry-platformed treats crafted from centuries-old recipes. Black Forest belgian waffles cram craws with a delicious blend of strawberries and chocolate sauce under a whitewashing of decadent whipped cream ($4.89), and the Banana Foster employs a confluence of bananas, pecans, and chocolate sauce under light whipped cream ($4.89). Like a magnanimous culinary mediator, The Wafflery accommodates taste buds of varying predilections, including both savory and sweet crepes on its menu. Snap up a Crêpe Alaska filled with smoked salmon and spinach and slathered in béchamel sauce ($7.99), or sample a sweet Crêpe Lite, which delivers fork loads of pecans, almonds, and either strawberries or blueberries ($5.29). When soft dough and decadence overwhelms, wrap a mitt around a warm cup of gourmet café frappe cinnamon ($4.19).
Palas offers a range of both local designers and classic established collections, including the unconventional deerskin and fringe of Daily Candy favorite Shondra Leigh and the fantastical organic metalwork of Robyn Rhodes. Palas also has its own in-house custom design studio, an exclusive line of fine, ornamental minerals and gems, and even its own brand of table salt.