While we’re knee deep in boxes and just-moved-bliss, my best girl from our college days (and roommate until I took the leap to move in with Scott!), Kalli, is kicking off the ‘love’ week with a tour of her city, Los Angeles.
I live in Los Angeles and sometimes don’t use my car for days. Honestly. It’s possible. People DO walk in L.A. At least I do.
Growing up in a flat, rural part of Ohio – I’m talking no sidewalks, the neighbors had cows, we never had cable TV or high-speed internet because they refused to run cables down my tiny, not-so-populated road – I only had a vague mental picture of L.A. being studio lots and a tangle of cement freeways ending in a Baywatch beach. I imagined it large, sunny and hot.
But when I moved to SoCal for a few months during college for a design internship, I fell for a part of the U.S. so different from where I grew up, and I discovered a lot of its charm by getting lost, taking photos and by simply walking around. What I hadn’t realized until living here is that Los Angeles is a galaxy of countless smaller towns of varied personalities and cultures patchworked together (Little Tokyo, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia… We’ve got a lil’ of everything), surrounded by mountains, deserts, ocean and marshland.
We’ve also got massive Griffith Park (where the Hollywood sign sits), waterfalls, wild animals, lakes and national forests. Oh yes, AND freeways, but I avoid them as much as possible as a freelance designer working often from, or near, home. The city’s scope can be intimidating to many visitors, but it also offers endless curiosities for those willing to explore. This diversity is why SoCal can stand in for so many other parts of the world on film.
With our steady stream of sunny, mild days, it seems a crime not to be outdoors as much as possible, which is why I’ve never needed a gym membership here. Why would I when there are copious opportunities to hoof up my neighborhood side streets, checking out the eccentric mix of houses, vivid, fragrant flowers and plants winding up and around the hills and ever-present fit (probably also very talented) beautiful parents pushing their beautiful kiddos in strollers or walking their adorable dogs? Or I can trek up steep mountainside switchbacks to look out over the city and maybe get a glimpse of the ocean, or of tiny lizards whizzing by, too quick to photograph. From where I live I can easily walk up to my favorite movie theater (one room, running since 1923!) for a matinee, go to the library, grocery store, cafes, or walk over the hill to the reservoir and its loop trail where I often spot a famous, or at least naggingly familiar face.
These are just a few of my favorite parts of Los Angeles to frequent on foot, and if you visit, I highly recommend you check them out too.
Thank you, Kalli!