Sunday, March 15, 2009

Los Angeles is My City
I love National Geographic's Intelligent Travel Blog and Kristin at Camels & Chocolate. (If you haven't read her blog, you are missing out. She's hilarious, plus she has the coolest job ever!) Anyways, ITB recently launched a new series, "I Heart My City." I pondered filling this questionnaire out since I have a love-hate relationship with Los Angeles. However, I thought that it'd be good for me to remember all the things I love about my current hometown.

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is to the Griffith Observatory to overlook the city. Once we’ve taken in the magnificent views, it’s over the hill heading towards Santa Monica for a little stroll down the pier, or if they’re more interested in movies than shopping we’re off to Burbank for a drive by the studios, and if the timing is right, then a tour through Warner Bros. VIP Studio Tour .

When I crave Mexican, I always go to Senor Freds. Make sure you try their Sangria, and for dessert their Churro with chocolate sauce is mouth-watering. The rest of the menu is optional...

To escape the heat (I live in the Valley) I usually head to the beach cities. My favorites are Malibu to the north or Playa del Rey.

If I want to people-watch I go to Santa Monica’s 3rd Street Promenade.

For complete quiet, I can hide away in the Griffith Park/Santa Monica Mountain hiking trails.

If you come to my city, get your picture taken with Marilyn Monroe and Batman at the Chinese Theater.

Olvera Street is my one-stop shop for great Mexican food.

Locals know to skip the Beverly Center and check out FIDM, the fashion district, and the jewelry district in Downtown LA instead.

When I'm feeling cash-strapped I go Diddy Reese in Westwood for $1 ice cream sandwiches on homemade cookies. YUM!

The women in LA are drama queens, and are most of the men.

For a huge splurge I go shopping on Rodeo Drive. Not that I've ever stepped foot in any shop on Rodeo Drive....

Photo ops in my city include the Hollywood sign and the best vantage points are at the Beachwood Canyon Drive at Glen Holly. The view is great and unobstructed, and it’s the entrance to the original “Hollywoodland” subdivision.

this photo doesn't include the hollywood sign, but I like (but, i couldn't find my pictures with the hollywood sign. hum.)

If my city were a celebrity it'd be – my city is a celebrity. In Chuck (do you watch that show? I love it. It has some awesome stock shots of LA) it seems to be a character.

The most random thing about my city is the giant new sci-fi (looking) high school for the arts recently built downtown.

In my city, an active day outdoors involves heading out to Catalina Island for swimming, surfing, hiking, mountain biking, snorkeling and diving. Avalon (the port town) seems miles away from the bustle of Los Angeles. Catalina can be a day-trip or an overnight getaway.

My city's best museum is The Getty. Admission is always free (although, it’s $10 to park), the views breathtaking, and the gardens tranquil. Oh, and the exhibits are pretty cool too.

My favorite jogging/walking route is any path along the beach. Venice is usually highly entertaining.

For live music, check out Howl at the Moon Dueling Piano Bar, or the famous House of Blues on the Sunset Strip.

Tommy’s Chili Burgers is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what's going on at night and on the weekends, read LA Weekly, or The LA Times.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they can make an unprotected left turn.

In the spring you should attend Lancaster Poppy festival. It's a bit far, but the poppy is the state flower, and it's nice to get away from the concrete and graffiti in the spring.

In the summer you should picnic with a bottle of wine and the LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl. The nose-bleed seats can be as low as $10, and utilize the bus/metro so you don’t have to deal with parking.

In the fall you should tailgate at the Coliseum or Rose Bowl for the Trojans – Bruins cross-town rival football game.

In the winter you should see the Christmas Boat Parade in Newport Beach. Because nothing says “the holidays” like million-dollar yachts and Christmas music.

A hidden gem in my city is the Huntington Library in Pasadena. The Japanese Garden is gorgeous and pristine, and the Desert Garden is very otherworldly feeling. The library includes a Gutenberg Bible and Chaucer’s “The Canterbury Tales” among their other four million rare manuscripts.

For a great breakfast joint try Jinky’s Cafe in Sherman Oaks. Their flaky French toast is delicious, their omelet choices have a unique fusion of Southwestern and European flavors, but personally I think their pancakes are too die for.

Don't miss the Halloween Carnival in West Hollywood. This is an adult-only festival, with outrageous costumes in true Mardi Gras styles – from “divas to drag queens to Dracula.”

Just outside my city, you can visit Santa Barbara for wine tasting, hiking, sun-soaking or a crazy night out.

The best way to see my city is via a car. So sad, and so true.

If I didn't live in a city, I'd live,well personally I’m looking forward to not living in Los Angeles one day. I’d move to San Francisco, CA in a heartbeat. I think I would like the Pacific Northwest, or perhaps Chicago. Although, as a native Californian I'm not sure I could handle the snow & wind in the Mid-West.

The best book about my city is... Since LA is in the movie-making business I think it's appropriate to change the question to: The best movie about my city is L.A. Story (1991). The film is a hilarious satire on both life and culture in Los Angeles, with Steve Martin playing Harris and Sarah Jessica Parker playing SanDeE My favorite (and dead-on correct) quote in the movie: “Walk? A walk in L.A.?”

If you have kids, you won't want to miss any one of the theme parks in Southern California –Disneyland will always be a favorite.

Oscar night could only happen in my city.

My city should be featured on your cover or website because there is more to Los Angeles than meets the eye!

1 comment:

speedycanizales said...

You know, I wanted to participate in Kristin's challenge too but my plans fell apart at the last minute. Maybe I was running that weekend?

I agree with a lot of things you mentioned. Have you visited the Getty museum right by PCH? You must. It's like having an Italian villa in Southern California.

I have never watched L.A. Story but now that you mention it I will check it out.