You always read these stories about LA, its traffic and vapid culture. I wanted to see it first hand for myself when I embarked on that journey last February. Although there is some truth to it all, I truly enjoyed my time there.
It was 70 degrees in FEBRUARY there. We were holed up in our dry NYC apartments since October and were definitely craving some outdoor time. In fact. one day, mind you a beautiful sunny day, we asked to sit outside. I think it was about 65 degrees. The waitress asked us if we want the heaters on. Really? My friend Jon, who joined us for lunch, said that if drops below 70, it's below freezing in LA, which would justify putting the heaters on. L.O.L.
Regardless, I like the vastness of it all, the space and room to breathe. In NYC, everything and everyone is tightly packed, like sardines in a can. The ability to make plan to go and hike together is pretty cool. Let's be honest, unless someone has a car in NYC, you're not going hiking. You're just going to your corner bar or the park, where you will drink. So I compiled my limited list of things to do and see in LA from NYer's P.O.V.
- Santa Monica Pier - I liked being near the ocean, the Pacific side still looks like the Atlantic, maybe a bit cleaner. Venice Beach is the nearby, but personally, I did not like Venice Beach. I see what the appeal is, but no.
- LACMA - this ain't the Met, but the whole open-air seating and culture all in one place is pretty damn cool.
- Hiking in Runyon Canyon and Santa Anita was awesome and surprisingly challenging.
- The Griffith Observatory - Rebel Without a Cause anyone? Also, the Hollywood sign. The views of LA-LA-Land are amazing and you can hike around the observatory.
- Just tons and tons of Mexican food. I think I was Mexican in my other life because I can eat it all day, err' day. We lucked out with CJ's Cafe right near our airstream (yup, we embraced the whole California living and rented out an airstream via Air BnB).
- Sushi is another staple that is phenomenal in LA. We tried two places, the original Koi (for personal reasons) and K-ZO (as per friend's recommendation). The verdict? Go to K-ZO for authentic sushi.
- Remember when I said that I have only recently started eating pork? My friend Joshua introduced me to the Oinkster. Oh my! I thought NYC pastramis were delish, but this was beyond. Also, my man and I just came back from hiking in Santa Anita and we were famished. This was a great way to refuel. Although he doesn't share the same sentiments about the sandwich.
- This sounds a bit cliche, but LACMA cafe was pretty good as well. I don't quite remember what we had, I believe I had pizza and my love had a burger. If you don't want to think about where to eat while you're in the vicinity, I suggest you try one of their places.
I definitely want to go back to LA and explore some more. Perhaps another trip in February to escape cold NYC winters. I mean, the city is HUGE. I also want to stuff my face with some food truck food, so any suggestions are highly welcome :-)