Bead stores in LA & Long Beach, CA

Q: It looks as though I will have a chance to visit a few bead stores on an upcoming visit to LA and Long Beach. What are the best ones and do they have any specialities? I'd also welcome opinions on places to eat, wearable art, fabric, quilting, needlework, and weaving places.

A: Sharon asked about bead stores in Los Angeles and Long Beach. I can help with the LA area a bit. West Los Angeles has quite a few. None of them stand out as exceptional in my mind, but I admit my bead expertise is not vast. Someone else might have better input. However, there is a great bead store on Main Street in Santa Monica called Ritual Adornments. It is fun just to go in there; plus, it does have beads I haven't seen other places. Some other bead stores include: Ascona Beads in Santa Monica, House of Beads on Pico Blvd in West L.A. If you are brave enough to go to downtown L.A. You will have lots of stores to buy from. If you can go there on a weekday during business hours, go to the California Mart on Los Angeles St. between 9th and Olympic. Go to the 9th floor in the A building. I know a few stores there that sells semi precious beads. I am sure there are lots more in the different part of the building. On Maple Street near 8th, there are quite a few bead stores that sells glass beads and findings. United Beads (formerly Maple Beads), Bohemian Crystal (the best price in glass bead and best selection that I know of--$1.50 for 1oz in general, lots of crystals also--4mm Austrian crystals ~$11/gross), A&G Beads and two more stores around the corner. Some are only open during the week. Some are open on the weekend. There is a parking lot at the corner of 8th and Maple. If it is your first time to L.A., beware that quite a few streets are one-way, parking is not cheap, usually no parking on the side of the streets (metered) during rush hours (4-6 pm). Downtown is not necessarily the safest neighborhood in the world. Keep your eyes out. There are lots of fabric store on Maple also if you are interested.