After 8 days in Los Angeles, I was ready to move to my next destination. Staying in Hollywood, I was right in the thick of the action – metres away from Hollywood Boulevard. Walking along this famous strip, I quickly learned it is a huge tourist trap whilst I avoided tripping over every 2nd person getting their photo taken next to one of the stars on the footpath and dodging the multiple tour operators and emerging rap artists trying to sell their demo. It was kinda like Bourke St on steroids.
LA is full on. It’s fast, often pretentious and diverse. It has multiple scenes and I understand why it appeals to so many. But for me, I guess its not my cup of tea.
My LA highlights include:
1. Venice Beach / Santa Monica – Venice is the USA’ number 1 tourist attraction (I would have thought Disneyland personally). The beach is awesome and the walk between Venice and Santa Monica is a must. I was so excited to see Muscle Beach but it was practically empty when I was there 🙁
2. LA Farmers Market has some great food and produce. I had some quality eats and then walked it off around The Grove which has some great stores. I then checked out some of my all time fav’s such as Undefeated and Supreme
3. The Griffith Observatory has some great views of LA and if you like science you would definitely want to visit this place and even catch one of the shows they have.
4. Food. Really this should be number one. One of the guys working at the hostel I stayed at recommended an awesome place called Tendergreens. This concept would absolutely kill it in Australia, kind of like a custom salad/vegetable bar with ethical protein sources and brilliant soups amongst so much other daily specials. Korean BBQ in K-Town was off the hook, late night Tacos from various food trucks, California’s famous In and Out Burgers and quality coffee. I could write a whole post on food. By the way, most of the food I’m eating is featured on my Instagram Page for which I have also created a direct feed on my website.
5. Venturing down to Crenshaw a couple of times was brilliant. Some of the rides I saw were crazy and it was definitely the ‘real deal’ in terms of getting a feel for what LA is really like. I spoke to a few people and really just hung out. First time I saw fast food chains with bullet proof glass protecting the staff – more security than most banks in Australia.
I felt guilty for not really doing anything on most tourist itineraries like Universal Studios, Disneyland, Six Flags etc – but this trip is less about that and more about trying to get a feel for the culture.
Finally, on my way out of LA I popped back down to see the Geto Boys live at The Observatory in Santa Ana. They didn’t disappoint putting on a great show for all the real hip hop fans. I stayed with a great couple, Phylline and James whom I found via AirBnB. They were awesome and gave me some great local advice and took me out to dinner which was brilliant. The train out of Santa Ana to San Diego was also spectacular, with most of the 2 hour journey along pristine coastline – I really wanted to jump off and have a surf.
So now, I’m in San Diego. Moving forward I think I’ll need to do a few more regular blog posts to cut down on the length – if you have made it this far I give you some big props!