hey LA, you’re okay
At the end of my US trip I had five days free and no plans. I wasn’t short of options, though. A new friend had invited me to San Francisco, another wanted to meet up in Austin. I was looking into a three day hike into the Grand Canyon while tossing up whether or not to find a sixth ‘Small Town Girl’ to shoot. I even considered going up to Alaska to watch bears catch salmon after the link to this live cam was shared all over my social networks. But when it came time to make a decision, the thought of getting on more buses/trains/planes, settling into new accommodation, finding my feet in a new place then getting on another bus/train/plane to Los Angeles, finding accom there and then getting myself to LAX for the 14 hour flight home was just too much. I had very little interest in exploring LA but in the end spending a few days there just seemed like the path of least resistance. So I jumped on Airbnb and found a room at Matt’s place in Silverlake and figured I’d have an okay week in a town I didn’t care for much.
And theeen I ate a huge slice of humble pie because I ended up LOVING the place. It was warm and friendly and so different to the over-the-top plastic LA I had imagined. Each day I went for a run around Silver Lake then spent a leisurely hour or two sipping coffee/journalling/people watching at Intelligentsia before walking (and walking…and walking) around the city, turning down streets with cool sounding names, dropping into stores, chatting to whoever wanted to talk, taking picture after picture of the amazing cactus plants, succulents and palm trees. Matt thought I was a little crazy when I told him the neighbourhoods I’d trekked to on foot but I really do think it’s the best way to see a place. I caught the bus out to Santa Monica and Venice Beach and did more of the same, basking in the sunshine and good vibes. Apart from the Getty Center, I didn’t really visit many tourist spots or landmarks. I did want to check out Huntington Gardens (as recommended by Maria) and Griffith Park but they were a little further than my legs could carry me. I ate multiple meals (and smoothies – coconut milk, almond butter, date and vanilla bean, anyone?) at Cafe Gratitude in Hollywood and Venice, Cortez + Cookbook in Echo Park, Tacos Delta and Intelli in Silverlake…plus a jar of almond maple butter (ahem). LA, you’re okay and I’ll be back.