Monday, December 19, 2011

Things I wrote but forgot to submit: Part 1

I've been contributing my intellectual property to a few noteable skateboarding publications over the last year or so and when I remember to send the complete articles to them before deadline they get published and it feels great. However, sometimes I forget that I'm meant to be writing the article and, in some bizarre twist of fate, they don't get published because I forgot to send the complete article. I was meant to complete this article for a new magazine that came out last month but I forgot to finish it and before I knew it the first issue was out, sans my intellectual property. Below is said article with a bonus tacked on conclusion:

Have you ever sat there and thought about how lame and boring water is? I do all the time. I mean, aside from keeping us alive and being the foundation from which all things are born, it just sits there. Pour it into a cup, it sits there. Pour it into a bowl, still sits there. Go and have a look in your toilet right now and see what your precious H20 is doing, go on! That’s right, it's just sitting there, doing sweet fuck all like it always does. The only time water ever does anything is when it’s at the beach (boring) or when it’s keeping us alive (….zzzz). In the face of these completely factual realities I think we can all agree that if it wasn’t necessary for our existence, water would be irrelevant and we wouldn’t need taps anymore.

It’s for this very reason that an empty pool will always be way more exciting than a full one. We’ve all seen full pools before, we know what they look like, they’re boring. It’s only when you take water out of a pool that it can be truly appreciated for what it actually is; a concrete, alien landscape comprised of smooth contours, harsh transitions and a wealth of entertaining applications, the default and most significant being skateboarding. Unfortunately, not everyone skates. Some people were just born with that part of their brain missing and therefore the majority of pools in your general radius will be filled with water, only to be enjoyed by infants and rehabilitating paraplegics. An empty pool is a blessing, and unlike a new skatepark or a front yard flatbar, it’s one of the only circumstances in which certified OG’s and revered oldheads will associate with the younger crew, creating a rare unison bound by mutual respect and a unanimous hatred of water. Pool skating is raw, full stop. It’s like taking all the best parts of transition skating and injecting them with chest hair and buffalo flesh. Look at Duane Peters for crying out loud, he looks like he has an engine where his internal organs should be.

Western Australia is notorious for it's hot winters and hotter summers, so it's no surprise that there's pools everywhere. Some are full, some are empty, most are full though. Enter the illustrious Ellenbrook or 'Tortoise' Pool, a textbook example of skate heaven hidden amongst our city's arid outskirts. The Ellenbrook Pool is what you’d get if a pool started a world famous punk metal group, developed a crippling heroin addiction, boycotted the band and eventually overdosed in a bushland clearing in Ellenbrook after a failed solo career.  Boasting all the necessary traits of a skateable pool (needles, graffiti, broken glass, condoms, extensive back catalogues of Domino's vouchers) it's the peculiar front end of the landmark that provides it's flamboyant charm and possibly the grounds for it's discovery. For starters, the house itself is pink. Not the subtle salmon pink that has become commonplace in newer developments, but more of an awkwardly bright, rosey, pink that gives nods to a short-lived 1970's progressive midget porn studio or a safe-house for baby boomers that never quite lived down that one LSD binge. Today, it exists as a gallery for some noteable graffiti artists, a clubhouse for colorblind bmx'ers who also do graffiti and most recently, a perfectly transitioned paradise for awkward virgins wishing to lose their love-seat virginity to it's tight curves and deep lower ends or a familiar, unprotected thrashing for the veterans of yonder.

Of course, what would an abandoned pool in the middle of nowhere be without it’s local lore? For example, did you know that the reason the house was abandoned all those years ago was because the daughter drowned in the creepy lake nearby? Oh yeah the father was a total pedophile as well. Apparently, if you grind over the deathbox at exactly one minute past midday during the fifth month of a leap year, the bottom of the pool shifts into a reverse vortex that leads to a tangent universe where pools skate humans. Jesus Christ, can you imagine how epic that session was? What about the time Suicidal Tendencies filmed a music video there? That actually happened, there's photos and everything.

More current local tales involve Perth’s more street inclined board members rolling their pant legs up and reveling in the spirit of teamwork through manual labour, finding whatever they can to remove the stagnant bong water from the pool’s nether regions while confused redneck motocross riders would watch on and rev their whiny little engines, much to their own elation and no-one else's. Once the cleaning was done, these young Vikings would spend hours navigating the unfamiliar territory with their decks and their fancy wheels while local photgrapher’s flashes applauded the proceedings and the mini DV’s captured every moment in the highest of definitions. Supposedly a young buck by the name of Harry Clark innovated with his incorporation of a surrounding rock as an extension of the coping. Other Chinese whispers involve an enigmatic figure known by most as Nannup, whose knowledge of the curves and effortless carves lead many to believe he was involved in the construction of the pool and is therefore, anywhere between 20 and 200 years old.

As far as I know the tortoise pool is still fully functioning, providing reality checks and broken wrists for anyone that approaches it with even the slightest ignorance and treating it's more courteous admirers to a Dogtown retrospective that is seldom replicated and eternally appreciated. Be sure to take a six pack of monster energy drinks and a few Ralph magazines to distract the bmx'ers and watch out for the homicidal pedophile that totally lives there.

Oh my god have you been to.....

That other little Mexican place.

Heaps of people I know have been talking about this funky and hot new Mexican restaurant in Northbridge called 'La Cholita' so I decided to go there with my buddies Justin and Jeri because we were hungry. I got there a little bit after them because all the drivers between the city and Northbridge were dickheads so it was a pleasant surprise when I saw they'd already secured a table in the corner near some girls with tattoos. Cholita in Mexican translates to 'streetwise female with tattoos who might be carrying a gun' and aside from all the musicians present there were heaps of cholitas around which helped carry the theme.

As far as interiors go La Cholita had a pretty nice interior. As soon as you walk in there's all these crazy square holes sprinkled across the floorboards except for that they're not holes, they're just glass cut-outs revealing some kind of basement or something below. Justin mentioned he became disorientated by this feature and said that he thought he was going to fall through as soon as he walked in. Imagine falling into a basement as soon as you walk into a restaurant! Aside from the holes in the floor other highlights included low hanging mood lights whose wires traversed the roof in a carelessly quirky fashion, a huge mirror providing a spatial illusion that multiplied the area by two and made the place look even more busy than it was (it was stupidly busy), tiny little midget tables and chairs made out of crates and other tables, some super exclusive booths lining the front window for people that like to be seen eating in a booth and opposing that was a burning heart/barbwire/handgun mural that reminded me of Romeo and Juliet and forbidden love and some other stuff. The venue was shaped in a right angle that wrapped around a central bar area that split the entree section and the main course section. If you want a more detailed description there's probably a tumblr or something about it.

This guy is excited to be at La Cholita. I think he owns it.

We started with a few selections from the extensive tequila and cocktail list. I've never seen so many different types of tequilas on one page before, I didn't have any of them though because tequila tastes like ass. However, if you're a fan of taking shots to the face then La Cholita is probably the finest establishment for such endeavors. After we'd ordered our drinks we talked about heaps of different topics to pass the time. We started running out of topics after about 20 minutes which is a pretty good effort for me and our drinks were still absent from the proceedings. Another 10 minutes passed so Justin and I went out for a cigarette because we were stressed out about the drinks.

When we came back in our drinks were sitting on the table all innocent and proud, completely oblivious to how hard we were gonna pound them. I had a cocktail with lime, apple juice and passionfruit and some other stuff. I can't remember what it was called but it was bloody darn fantastic. Justin had one with cinnamon and Jeri rocked the margherita like a boss cholita and they both agreed that the cocktails were well worth the stupid wait. The stool I was sitting on started getting less and less comfortable so I started hawk-eyeing the booths so I could enjoy myself and make a mess while I ate. The cholitas in the corner were doing the same thing and as soon as one of the dining parties left I sprinted over to it with the quickness, a bold move considering the unpredictable nature of a hungry cholita. It was kind of cool sitting at the booth, separated from the street by nothing more than a regulation size restaurant window, I felt like I was in some kind of culinary terrarium, pushing my eating skills to the max for the various urchins and backpackers that inhabit the greater Northbridge area.

I didn't get this drink but it looks nice.

We were served by a lovely young lady who, while overwhelmed by the amount of patrons and it's subsequent workload, was all too happy to serve us and smile at the same time, a concept many Perth establishments fail to grasp. When asked what size the entrees were she put her hands out like the amnesty international logo and made a little bowl shape. I went to give her some change but I realized she was referring to the size of the bowl our guacamole and salsas would be contained in, she was spot on as well. The wait for the entrees was of a similar length to the drinks (long) but once they arrived we were again forced to forgive the staff on the grounds that it was stupid busy and everything was tasty. After we'd finished ordering Justin made a hand signal that could've easily been interpreted as an ushering off of the waitress. He'd been pointing at the menu and motioned his hands in a 'ok thanks now get out of here' kind of way with a visible double pump but was actually only meant to single pump to confirm our order. I don't think the girl noticed as much as I did but it may have been the reason we were forced to watch several newcomer parties granted dining tables after we'd requested one 20 minutes prior. That, or they were friends of the staff, which really grinds my gears. Either way, I recommend the Market Cerviche, it sounds hyper sophisticated when you talk about it and was delicious to the power of divine.

I was equal parts confused and upset about the whole 'refreshments and entrees section' thing, call me Glen Davis but it seemed a bit silly to have secured a perfectly good dining booth only to be informed that we had to eat at a designated area, especially considering that we'd risked our lives by snaking the cholitas to said booth. There was also another lengthy wait for a table in the other half of the restaurant (made more frustrating by the previously mentioned newcomer interjections) so I occupied myself by alternating between watching a tree grow outside and interrogating Justin as to why he was so rude to the waitress earlier on with the whole hand gesture thing and he continued maintaining his innocence, hopefully he can just own up to it one day. The tree I was watching didn't grow a whole bunch but it's nice to appreciate nature every now and then. Instead of waiting to be offered a free table we took control of our own destinies and claimed one of the two empty ones available. When our meals came out one of the waiters almost falcon punched me with the plate because he wasn't looking at me, eye contact is always important when you're serving someone. Also this other girl who might've been one of the managers or something kind of chucked Jeri's plate onto the table and it made a noise.
I hate tomato so much.

The smallest taco I've ever had in Perth. Also the cheapest.

I'm getting pretty bored of this review and it's already more in-depth and informative than anything that the Sunday Times or SuburbanSpoon would publish so I'd like to leave you with the following rhetorical question:
If you were really hungry this one time and you like Mexican food heaps and there was this new restaurant that opened up in a pretty central location with a nice fit-out but you had to wait ages for your drinks and meals and didn't know where the hell to sit but once you got the meals and drinks they were pretty delicious and refreshing, would you go there again?

The answer is yes and no. Yes because on the return trip you'd be able to just walk in like a boss cholita and not have to worry about sitting in the wrong place and also because they've surely hired a few more chefs to deal with the overwhelming amount of musicians that frequent the place. No because, well,  it's a rhetorical question and you're not supposed to answer them, ya dickhead.

Photos courtesy of Jujichews.