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Five-A-Side: Chris Thomas

Chris Thomas is a Los Angeles-based certified master gardener and soccer fan. He currently works at Skylark, where his current responsibilities include sending people slack messages during Zoom calls and making far-too-long plans with way too many bullet points. Thomas is known mainly for his outlandish hairstyles and for being the owner of the beloved labrador retriever Buddy. You can usually find Chris opening google docs in his home office in Lincoln Heights. 

We asked Chris to give us five recommendations that they are enjoying right now.

 

Bismillah by Peter Cat Recording Co.

My friend Nic recently turned me onto this record and I know literally nothing about it but it has been on a near constant loop at my house over the last two months. I refuse to learn anything about the artist or label as it has made enjoying the album even more pure without this info, although I believe I heard they were from India. I’m scared for next year’s Spotify Wrapped.

Native Gardening

One of my main projects for 2023 is to convert my home’s front lawn into a drought tolerant native garden. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is offering very generous rebates to remove your grass lawn and I’ve long felt guilty about the amount of water required to upkeep our yard. I recently attended a class taught by @UrbanFarmsLA and have built out an elaborate plan for my front and back yards. This whole thing will probably take all year to complete but it’s a great opportunity to build community with other native plant enthusiasts in the neighborhood and to connect more closely with the land. 

@Brick_Crafts

When I work I find myself being more productive when I have a mindless video playing in the background. Lately I’ve discovered that there is a vibrant community of adult LEGO master builders showing off their creations on YouTube. My favorite LEGO creator has to be @Brick_Crafts. This German guy has built an impossibly elaborate Western European metropolis in his basement. This LEGO city is complete with a metro line, sky scrapers, working electricity, a harbor and more. I find it incredibly soothing to hear him describe in painstaking detail every LEGO brick he uses in his videos.

Ascot Hills Park

Ascot Hills Park is just a few blocks from my house and is one of the most underrated parks in all of Los Angeles. It’s pretty small and navigable and has some of the best views of downtown Los Angeles that I’ve seen. On clear days you can see all the way from the San Gabriel Mountains to Palos Verdes. Before my old dog Buddy got his second ACL surgery, I would take him up to the top of the park every single day. 

The park is never crowded and a great place to watch fireworks on New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July. There’s also a ravine running down the middle of the park where you can see coyotes cooling off on hot days. Ascot Hills would be a great place for a date or picnic too.

Bub & Grandma’s

I’ve loved Bub & Grandma’s bread for a long time as they’ve supplied the bread for one of my favorite sandwich shops Wax Paper. They just opened their own brick-and-mortar sandwich shop in Glassell Park and it has quickly become my go-to lunch restaurant. They have a Veggie Delite sandwich which is their take on the Veggie Delite from Subway and it is very tasty, especially if you open it up and add potato chips to it. There is usually a line but it goes really quickly and once you get inside, the service is top notch and the vibes are excellent. All their pastries and loaves of bread look incredible and they even have a solid selection of hot sauces to add to your sammy.