Updated: Oct 23, 2018
Place: Chocolate Bar, 1635 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Tea of Choice: Mighty Leaf Organic Breakfast Tea
Giraffe Rating (out of 5 | for tea): 4.15
Read whilst watching: Perks of Being a Wallflower
“So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I'm still trying to figure out how that could be.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Have you ever heard of Nacogdoches, Texas? No? Me either. However, I can confirm that it is in fact not a made-up town, but the oldest city in Texas. The more you know… Why am I rambling about a non-mythical place in East Texas? Well, Nacogdoches is the backdrop for the opening scene of today's protagonist**.
*cue movie montage music*
Chris, better known as "the email guy" of Del Rey's Reality LA Community Group, is the first in the new series: Meet the CommuniTEA. You know those people you instantly gravitate towards, and your personalities are akin to one another despite the fact you just met? Or that bit in the movie when you know that the two characters are about to become friends? That's what it was like going to TEA with Chris. The moment he described himself as passionate verging on the dramatic I knew it was over, what's life without a little drama***?
When I first sat down, Chris prefaced the conversation by saying he was a "talker". Though I'm not disputing this self-proclaimed title, I will say that whether you're talking about jellyfish in space, or something a little weightier, he radiates joy. The manner in which he speaks about the people he holds dear is refreshingly raw and respectful. Solidifying this truth was the beautiful way he spoke about his sister.
What I drew from our conversation is that he's not afraid of the journey. Los Angeles is a huge metropolis - if LA county were a state it would be the 9th largest in the country - where everyone is trying to simultaneously "make it big" and merely survive at the same time. The culture promotes an "I am island" mentality, resulting in a cutthroat, fake nice environment. Many of us (myself included) would be lost, but not Chris. This Texas-transplant has an air of self-assuredness and self-awareness that for most takes years to establish. The understanding that life is a process, which ebbs and flows, could come from, at least partially. his love of 'coming of age movies'. A core element of the genre is the focus on psychological and moral growth or transition. I would hazard a guess and say that the numerous hours spent watching a silver screen in Nacogdoches has resulted in the spillover of these principles into everyday life. He sees what he needs and pursues it, which is often followed by the sweetest goofy chuckle/laugh that will bring a smile from ear-to-ear.
An introspective dreamer in the City of Lost Angels, with a dash of Southern Charm - that's Chris
Pros: Looking for a hella good croissant outside of France? Who isn't? Chocolate Bar is the place to go. Warm, soft, flaky goooodnesss. The shop itself is not overcrowded and incredibly low-key, which are words I never thought I would use to describe anything in Hollywood. Stocked Mighty Leaf Tea, which is a winner.
Cons: I dislike Hollywood-so-very-much. Guess where Chocolate Bar is? You've hit the nail on the head, slap bang in the middle of Hollywood. There are too many pedestrians thinking they're cars, extortionate parking rates (actually the parking structure wasn't too bad by LA standards), and tourists everywhere. Not a fan.
Thank you for coming to TEA with me, Chris.
*I would like to sincerely apologize for the TERRIBLE image quality. Seems that I've forgotten how to te(a)scapade, I left my camera memory card at home like a NOOB.
**Why so much movie jargon? Guess the industry he works in and you have your answer
***Read as DRAMA - bolded and sparkly.
Until next time,