Oh, Los Angeles. "Superficial," "pretentious," "out-of-touch," and an accompanying eye roll are the typical responses I get after expressing an interest in moving there to a fellow New Yorker.
It's true, the Southern Californian lifestyle is vastly different than NYC's. And Los Angeles can, at times, be categorized by the adjectives rattled off above; keeping up appearances and making sure you don't miss Monday's 6AM Soul Cycle class are top priorities to many of the area's inhabitants. While I'm not one to subscribe to the cult fitness-macro-food-measuring-gluten-free-vegan-paleo-pain-in-my-ass way of life, there is something that I find very alluring about LA.
For one, the weather is incomparable; you're straight up tripping if 75 degrees and sunny all day err-day doesn't make you giddy. Eight hour workdays are the norm and Los Angeles's aesthetic (which I would describe as vintage with a sprinkle of seediness) never fails to charm the socks off of me. Because the area was rapidly developed not-so-long ago in the early 1950s, the distinct style of the era informs the retro-looking billboards and stucco or craftsman style homes throughout the area.
Many close friends and family members have migrated there – fallout from the brutal winters we've recently endured here on the East Coast. While I'm not ready to make the move out West just yet, visiting is always a rejuvenating experience. Here are my recommendations for a long weekend...
The greatest downside of Los Angeles, in my humble opinion, is its lack of public transportation. So, renting a car is an absolute necessity (you can really take for granted the ability to get anywhere in New York City at all hours of the night for under 3 bucks).
If you've ever seen The Californians skit on SNL, you'll quickly realize that it's a somewhat fair representation of the state in many ways; maneuvering backroads and enduring massive traffic jams is unavoidable...and common topics of lengthy conversation. Do yourself a favor and make sure you download Waze (an app that many a Californian swears by) before hitting the streets to check out these spots:
- Comedy shows in Burbank. Be sure to check out Flapper's Comedy Club.
- Hiking on Temescal Canyon Trail.
- An afternoon exploring Silverlake.
Californians are incredibly mindful of nutrition. So the food in LA is always super fresh and, for the most part, very health-driven. But you can, of course, find places to indulge. Here's my mix of recs:
- Sugarfish: for seriously awesome sushi.
- Vinoteque on Melrose: adorable wine bar with outdoor seating.
- Stir Market: for quick, fresh bites.
- Roscoes: 'cause sometimes a girl needs some chicken and waffles.
- Ricky's Fish Tacos: only fools don't indulge in a fish taco (or seven) when in California.
The proliferation of Uber drivers in LA has completely changed the way people get around, especially at night. It's relatively affordable to get mostly anywhere in the city using the app, so LA's driving culture doesn't have to stop you from getting rowdy – your DD is just pin drop away...
- The Rainbow and The Viper Room on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood for the chance to meet some washed-up rockstars.
- The Golden Gopher and The Ace Hotel in Downtown LA for a hip party crowd.
- The Misfit and The Basement Tavern in Santa Monica for low-key drinking.
- This adorable spot in Silverlake for $125/night
- Or this one with a view for $118/night.
- This cozy studio for $90/night.
Have a reliable recommendation or sweet spot to share? Go crazy in the comments section.