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A Lifetime of Denim and Bread in LA

April 2015

By Greg Bernall, Los Angeles


When you’re a 13 year old boy looking up to punk bands and rockers like the Ramones, your choice of pants is crucial. Very crucial! It’s almost everything. My mom found me a pair of used black 509 Levi’s with holes in the knees. They weren’t that tight, actually they were way too big for me, but that was okay. I realized later they were the same brand that made pants for the cowboys and country singers I looked up to when I was 8. Levi was bridging the gap between rockers and cowboys, pre-teens and adults. I’ve owned other brands of jeans throughout my life, but I always come back to Levi Strauss. I have three pairs of their jeans in my closet, one pair I’m wearing. I have shirts, jackets, a belt and countless other articles of clothing I’ve fully worn through or cut into jean-shorts in a fit of heat in the summer months. It is their classic simple style, accessibility, and price that keep me coming back to them for years and years to come.

They provide fit for almost any sub genre of person. Cowboys, urban cowboys, urban hip-hoppers, bicyclists, rockers, prep, you name it. They are laid out with different washes and cuts and labeled simply with a different number (509, 510, etc.). It really allows for people to subscribe to a certain type that associates with the group you run with. For example, most of my friends are in bands that wear all black Super-Skinny 510’s for part of their look. It’s a market that Levi’s has cornered. You can always find them. If you can’t afford a new pair you can find them in a used shop or even a goodwill store if you look hard enough. When the time comes for a new pair they won’t empty your pockets as usually they’re under $100.

Levi’s have special releases and vintage collections which get a little pricy, actually very pricy if they’re handmade, made in America. The type of added effort that just doesn’t come with a regular pair of 511’s or 510’s for under $100. But somehow priced just right for what they are; extremely re-wearable jeans and clothing that is everywhere and right in my budget.

Enjoy this photo of Bing Crosby's Denim Tuxedo.


Four years ago, right after I started dating my wife, she diagnosed me with being intolerant to wheat which at the time was basically everything I ate. She was a 2nd degree expert because her mom has been living with Celiac Disease for over 10 years. It changed my life. No more random hives, no more stomach pains and grogginess during the day. It was great! But then the search began. There are so many gluten-free products and brands available (yes, it’s a bit of a fad right now. Thank God) that I had to really do a trial and error of which ones were worth the high-price. Which wasn’t a package filled with dry dense cake labeled “bread”. I found Udi’s in the frozen gluten-free section at Whole Foods in Glendale, CA. I was hooked. Udi’s provides gluten-free bread that is edible without being toasted, tastes great, and is sold where I do most of my grocery shopping.

If you’ve ever tried to make a sandwich on gluten-free bread then you know the space constraints you work with. It is much smaller, about half the surface area of a regular slice of sandwich bread. On top of that, most of the breads you have to toast in order for it to harden and lose its density. With Udi’s I don’t have this problem. Right out of the bag I can make a sandwich without it being impossible to chew or falling apart. I don’t have to trick myself into thinking I’m eating normal bread or muffin.

Because of the growing popularity of gluten-free and special diet foods it is very easy to find. Since I started purchasing Udi’s bread a few years ago at Whole Foods, it is now sold at Trader Joe’s, Lasson’s, and Gelson’s which are both neighborhood grocery stores. In addition to it being easy to find, they have a wide range of products that make it very accessible. Frozen pizza, cookies, muffins, tortillas, frozen meals, even stuffing and cornbread for Thanksgiving. 

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