“I love it,” says Rajskub of life in the Valley. “When I drive into the city to do Mary Lynn Spreads Her Legs (her one-woman show playing at The Steve Allen Theater through October), “I’m like, it’s so stressful over here!”
There is a fantastic watering hole by my house called Sagebrush. The name alone suggests an exciting time. There’s a locomotive train out front that’s almost life-size and the other day I think I may have seen a mechanical bull. Mostly, Sagebrush is cool because they have lots of casual outdoor seating shaded by trees and umbrellas. If you’re in the know, you can order a “skinny bitch” margarita, which means they make it with lime juice and Sweet’N Low. Plus, I can’t stop eating their chips and salsa.
If you get a chance, you should become a mother of a two-year-old and then make friends with some other mothers. Make sure one of the mothers lives in a gated community in Calabasas called The Oaks. Then, get the mother who lives in The Oaks to invite you to a play date at the pool on the premises. You get to say you’re a guest when you drive through the gate, and then you will all meet at the kiddie pool, a beautiful circular pool that is perfect for the kids. You’ll feel like you’re in Hawaii.
Follow Your Heart
This restaurant in West Hills is a vegetarian/vegan restaurant attached to a grocery store where you can order things like Reuben sandwiches, nachos, and meatloaf without any guilt. It’s been there for many, many years, so you get a feel for the folklore.
Paoli’s Pizzeria & Paino Bar
Paoli’s is an Italian restaurant that serves pink pizza, which has half tomato and half cream sauce, and if you’re lucky you’ll be there on karaoke night when the locals belt out their favorite songs from the ‘80s.
It’s a new, small fitness studio. It’s like going to a boot camp that caters specifically to you; You get the motivation of being in a class where you do a combination of treadmill sprints and strength training with ropes, balls, resistance, and free weights, but the classes are small enough that you receive personal attention. I don’t love working out, but I love getting physical here because of the variety, the pace, and the feel of the place.
The Norton Simon Museum
The Norton Simon Museum is fantastic. There’s something romantic about it. I don’t know much of the history, but the collection is so personal, and most of the pieces have this emotional feel that makes me feel like I’m in great company.
Wat Thai Buddhist Temple
Drive as far as you can on Coldwater Canyon into the Valley and then keep going. When you really can’t believe how far into the Valley you are, look to your left and you will see this huge gold diety. They have Thai food on sale outside and also a little bazaar. Eat the sticky rice, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, take your shoes off and go in one of the temples to pray.
The Steve Allen Theater
The Steve Allen Theater is inside the Center for Inquiry in Hollywood. They put on all kinds of weird, cool, interesting shows. If you want to see an oracle, a show about clowns who are down and out coping with life, experimental music, a one man show about Edgar Allan Poe, or a variety show at midnight, the Steve Allen Theatre is your kind of place.
Point Dume State Beach
It feels weirdly secluded, almost like it’s not in L.A. We’ve been there a few times this year. I just found out about it two or three years ago, and I felt really dumb I didn’t know it was there sooner. I like to have a picnic there, and you gotta jump in the ocean at least once. It wakes you up. Going to the beach with our son is a whole new thing. Watching him figure out what it is is really cute. He gets braver every time.
She’s my art dealer, and she sort of keeps me in the know. Every now and again we go on art crawls. I really like her taste. I’ve just started to purchase art. I’ve always been afraid to commit to it because it has taken me a long time to admit that I’m an adult with a house, and now the idea of collecting stuff to put in it is new. I really like outsider art and impressionist stuff. My own paintings are really colorful. I use acrylics but I use them like watercolors. They’re dreamy and childish.
Images courtesy of (in order): (1) sagebrushcantina.com, (2) theoaks-hoa.com, (3) followyourheart.com, (4) yelp/Adam W., (5) groupintervaltraining.com, (6) nortonsimon.com, (7) watthaiusa.org, (8) steveallentheater.com, (9) Flickr/Adam Belles, (10) marylynnrajskubart.com