*Song of the Day: Van Morrison - Days Like This
Friends and family are constantly wondering why I drive from Valencia, approximately 40 minutes north from the Strip District, to visit at least twice a week. I answer honestly there's one simple word that sums it up, KINDNESS. The small business owners/staff of each place are ALWAYS nice. In this world of hardships, cruelty, and selfishness; I have found my place that offers me none of those.
It may sound silly to continue to go to the same stores/restaurants repeatedly, but to me it's relaxing, and guaranteed friendliness. I know I will always be greeted by a warm smile upon each return, and now I'm starting to know some staff by name. I don't think they realize how truly important they and these streets are to me; and my everyday struggles with major depression disorder, PTSD, and extreme anxiety. I try to repay them with homemade food, small gifts, and word of mouth to everyone about their excellent customer service and products. I expect nor want anything in return, because they are doing me the biggest favor already, just being them.
For instance... I met a very nice man about a week ago while waiting in line at The Pittsburgh Popcorn Co. We had a short conversation, and then he had to run to his next appointment. After he left I thought to myself, what a pleasant gentleman. Today I ran into him again, and found out that his son is the owner of LUKE WHOLE'Y WILD ALASKAN GRILLE . Unfortunately, my daughter and I had just finished lunch at a different place. We introduced ourselves to each other, and then he invited us into his son's restaurant to just have a look. I could feel his love and respect in his son seeping from every pore of his body. I have never met someone so intensely proud of their child's accomplishments. I'm so glad to have bumped into him again. It's not everyday you have the chance to witness a father's gleaming heartfelt pride and joy. I promised next time I'm in the Strip I will definitely eat there. He introduced me to Jerry who was also so friendly that I hope he is there when I go.
I originally started going the Strip District to walk in solitude with my favorite music, practice photography, and look at a lot of the handsome scenery :). Now I continue to go for a smile, and a good feeling, even if it's just a second's worth. I can't express in words how grateful I am to the workers who help me have even a moment of joy in a day, but through cooking I'll try. Prepare yourself for more baked goods :). These flowers are for all of you :)