When I moved to Los Angeles almost eight years ago, I was told by a "native" not to trust air I can't see. This advice continues to leave me a bit uneasy, but when reflecting upon my adopted home town I believe, unlike the often visible air, the places and things existing just beneath the surface are perhaps the most intriguing. Angelenos may shake their heads and complain about traffic, smog, real estate, and a host other things ranging from dog walker's schedules to which yoga studio has the best vibe. However, once these woes are aired, one also learns about the amazing places, both new and established, that enrich the lives of locals and visitors.
The Bodhi Tree Bookstore located near the Pacific Design Center on Melrose Avenue is one such gem. Since 1970 it has been a haven for books related to all matters spiritual. Its 35 plus years of existence have settled into the well worn wooden floors and bookcases. Enter this store and you leave the bustle of the sleek designer boutiques and contemporary art galleries behind. Have a cup of free herbal tea, and find a chair in one of the many nooks or delve into your near or distant probable future with the psychic reader on duty.
After attending to the spiritual, cross the street to e.lix.r Teas and Tonics, and get grounded with a made to order tea or health inducing tonic from the book sized menu of concoctions. The secluded garden seating arrangements are the perfect place to kick back for a little rest, work on the latest draft of your screenplay (you are in LA after all "“ and everyone is writing a screenplay!), or get to know the person accompanying you on this little Melrose adventure a bit more intimately.
A word to those hoping to see stars, The Bodhi Tree, e.lix.r and Urth CafÃ©, which is a nearby neighbor, are ripe spots. I have literally bumped into several high-profile celebs buried in the pages at The Bodhi Tree. Stars and prognosticating aside, this area near the end of Melrose Avenue is a breath of fresh and invisible air situated just steps away from the more bustling shopping areas further east on Melrose and south on La Cienaga.
To virtually visit: The Bodhi Tree http://www.bodhitree.com/