Los Angeles is, and always has been, my home. Growing up south of the city in Manhattan Beach along the Pacific Ocean made for a childhood full of sand dollars, outdoor showers and sunburns. However, though physically close, I was miles away from the city life that filled the downtown streets of LA. Winding freeway routes with more traffic than Justin Bieber’s Twitter page became a path to area’s unexplored. Today, I walk the streets of Downtown LA towards Bottega Louie, eager to bite into colorful macaroons that line the windows; The second Thursday of the month I hop the metro (yes, the LA metro) from Culver to 7th and walk with the crowds through DTLA Artwalk. When I’m feeling momentarily affluent, I book a room at The Bonaventure and sip old fashion’s on the rooftop of Perch, letting the light from neighboring buildings soak in just as fast as the whisky. From west to east, north to south, this entire city has become my playground.
There is no better place to eat gelato from Malibu’s Grom than the western most edge of the country, feet dangling over the sun-drenched waters (except for, maybe, Italy). And it’s a sweet reward after a hike through nearby Escondido Canyon…although the waterfall at the top of the mountain was reward enough. If you make it home in time for happy hour amid the ambient light of Basement Tavern, you’re probably having the best Saturday ever.
Sure, there’s smog and traffic and public transportation is limited, but have you ever driven north on the 405, windows down, music blasting on your way to peruse the Stanley Kubrick exhibit at the LACMA? Or taken a morning swim in the ocean and ended up boarding down the slopes of Big Bear mountain during the afternoon? Pretty sure you can’t experience life quite like we do in LA.