I met a running group called The Smilers, on Thursday during my run, and they meet every Saturday at 6:30am. I woke up at 5:50am to meet up with them. Since I don’t have a car out here, I had to run there (1.5 miles) and I was in hurry. Even still I was late. It was creepy misty dark when I left the apartment and I almost got hit running over the bridge. Then I ran down a poorly lit road and got semi lost on my way to Starbucks (meeting place).
When I arrived I found out no runners were coming today, and I had to run alone anyway. The women in charge gave me a list of directions for their loop. Half way through my watch would not stop beeping and the screen went blank. So, every time I passed someone I asked the time.
After shower and such, I caught the bus at 9:00am to go to the fashion district; it takes an hour to get there by bus and only 20mins by car. The bad thing about transit around here is the bus costs $1.50 every time you ride it, no connection tickets like Portland, OR. If that isn’t bad enough, if you don’t have exact change it just takes your money. I may get a bus pass, could just be worth it.
Took one wrong bus, but only had to walk a few blocks to the whole sale district. I am so excited at this point! There was so many people you could hardly walk down the street. There were venders selling tortillas and sausages out of trucks by the sidewalk, and some of the biggest avocados I have ever seen. To add to the craziness, people were yelling out advertisements for their goods for sale, anything from cuff links to bras. It was beautifully dirty and real.
There were mostly Hispanic people there with a sprinkle of other ethnicity. All the clothes were supper cheap I think I may have seen a sign for 5 shirts for 15 dollars at one point. The clothing shops were fairly well organized, but the wholesale fabric stores were a whole other story.
Most stores were this huge open space with just rolls and rolls of fabric stacked in piles or leaned against walls. Some stores were so packed you could barely walk through the small aisle. Most fabric shops also had trims (zippers, buttons, hook & eyes, Velcro, elastic or anything else you could possibly want). The shops had names like “Wise Fabrics” or “Smart Fabrics” in hand painted writing.
Unfortunately for me I was not looking for cheap fabric. I wanted suppliers and tech fabrics. Most people were not native speakers it was hard for me to convey the concept of tech fabrics (sometimes I have a hard time using my words). I found some fabrics, just nothing that was really realistic. The sad fact is, even if I can find what I want I don’t just need one roll of fabric, I need to be able to get more. I ended up just kind of walking around an asking people for tech fabric. They either showed me spandex or said no like I was crazy. It was very discouraging. Especially, because when people realize they can’t sell you anything you lose your importance as a human.
I did not fully strike out though. I did find a place that had possible thread I could use, I am going down to their head quarters next time to talk with them. They also embroider tags to sew into garments and sell stickers with sizes on them. The smallest things make me so happy!
I am not discouraged I am just going to have to keep going down there until I find what I want. I also still have to go to California Market.
-Life, I am so excited!
WO: 11ish miles
Conditions: rainy, hills