It’s been almost a year since I hopped off the plane at LAX with a dream and my cardigan (don’t lie. You just sang that.) I never thought I would live here at all, let alone for nearly 365 days. From learning where the heck I’m going to finding creative inspiration in the wackiest of places, it has been an adventure. Has it been entirely drama-free? Of course not. But this is a glass-half-full moment, alright? Alright!
The most frequent question I get from people is if I miss New York and like Los Angeles. The answers are simple. No and yes. I do miss people in New York, my favorite taco restaurant, and all the reading I was able to get done on the subway, but Los Angeles has quickly won my heart.
And here’s what I love about this place so far…
1. Seeing the Hollywood skyline as soon as you arrive at LAX
I still remember the moment I first saw the Hollywood sign on this drive and interestingly enough, I was not listening to Miley Cyrus when I did. Instead, it was Des'ree’s “Gotta Be” playing in my ears. Now anytime I see this sign or hear that song, I’m reminded that I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.
2. The consistent iced-coffee weather
Nothing sounds better to me than sitting with a good book in one hand and a cup of iced coffee in the other. In New York where the temperature is less than optimal at least 6 months out of the year, this is a non-starter. Well, the coffee part at least. So, I appreciate the constant sun and slight breeze that Los Angeles offers. Because of this I also get to wear my jean jacket every single day otherwise known as my favorite piece of clothing ever.
As someone who once desperately wanted to go to USC for grad school, I’m happy I didn’t get in. If I had, I never would’ve gone to UCLA and learned from some of the best screenwriters working in Hollywood today. Nor would I have met my fabulous writing group or felt encouraged to write zany scripts about a southern group of computer coders or a woman who gets trapped within the pages of a romance novel. More on that later.
4. tacos are everywhere
Know that this list is in no particular order because if it was, tacos would’ve been my number one. I eat tacos at least 1-2 times a week now. From brick and mortar eateries to a taco truck on damn near every street corner (not even kidding!), I there are so many good places to choose from. So, of course, this means a guide to my favorite tacos in LA is coming soon.
5. Watching movies under the stars at Hollywood Forever
Like Issa did on HBO’s Insecure, I watched a movie in a cemetery. Trust me, it’s not as morbid as it seems. But it is very LA, and I loved every second of it. Just imagine sitting around with your friends, eating snacks, drinking wine, that LA breeze is blowing, while Bring it On plays on a gigantic screen. Okay, it was a wall. Now, tell me that doesn’t sound like paradise?
6. the RIpped bodice bookstore
I love romance novels and I’m not at all ashamed to admit it, which is why I love the Ripped Bodice aka the only exclusively romance bookstore in the United States. It's also woman-owned, which makes it 10x better in my opinion and their selection of romance reads is unmatched. Also, they host great events including author meet & greets and romantic comedy shows. Haven’t been to the latter yet, but it’s definitely on my list.
7. Eating a burger at in-and-out
Consider this a right of passage in Los Angeles. It’s the place where all the celebs eat after the Oscars and tourists consistently have the place packed. The burgers aren’t necessarily the best I’ve ever tasted, but the atmosphere and service is one-of-a-kind. Very chill, despite being hectic, and it’s cheap. So hey, sold!
8. The studio tours
A big part of what makes LA, LA is Hollywood. In my opinion, there’s no better way to experience Hollywood, then to go tour the places where the movie magic comes to life. Expect a full review of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour coming soon!
9. how california the brunches are
Weekend brunch is hands-down a sport in New York. Can't exactly say the same for LA, but when my friends came to visit me best believe we hit up multiple brunch spots. And let’s just say that the vibe was very Cali. That could be because of the palm trees, the number of entrees that featured avocado on the menu, or maybe the amount of mimosas I drank is clouding my judgment right now.
10, The abundance of avocados
Speaking of avocados... These things are everywhere and as someone who loves avocado toast, as a total, proud basic bitch, this is quite frankly the best news ever.
11. the good sleep you get on the beach
I have a love-hate relationship with the beach, mostly because I can’t stand walking through sand. But I do enjoy going to the beach and attempting to read a book, only to fall asleep 10 pages in. It’s the best sleep ever. Well, that is until the sound of children running after birds and someone hawking boogie boards and street corn wakes me up.
12. Being among other dreamers
Los Angeles is an interesting place. There’s traffic like nobody’s business. Most people can’t drive. Seasons don’t exist (unless you count awards season). Earthquakes? They’re a thing. Fires? Even worse. Food options are annoyingly healthy at times (sorry not sorry that organic, vegan salad isn’t something I consistently crave). Yet, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.
Being surrounded by so many other dreamers working hard and patiently waiting for their big break, makes a creative like me very happy. There’s something beautiful about the struggle of making it and knowing that I’m not alone on this journey makes each day of the grind (and the hours stuck in traffic) worth it.