The subject line just happens to be the correct name of the city I love. Kind of a mouthful compared to LA but I live in a magical place. A lot of people don’t think Los Angeles is a magical place but they aren’t looking. You hear a lot of people especially celebrities saying they won’t raise their kids here. Well, if you stay in Beverly Hills or Bel Air, yeah maybe but there are lots of other cities and place where you can live that aren’t in the shallow rarified air of Hollywood and too much wealth and too little brain.
The entire city is surrounded by mountains even the side that has the ocean there are high cliffs. The reason we have smog is the mountains because we sit in a basin. Our mountains are filled with magical and wonderful places and none of them are more than an hour’s drive away.
We have the ocean, the mighty and vast Pacific that many times is anything but the pacific placidness it was mistakenly named for. We can bathe in the Mother ocean also within an hour of anywhere in Los Angeles, unless there is an accident on the 405.
We are a city of trees. If you look at those pictures I posted yesterday. The city is green and from up at the Getty it was if there was a tide of green that washed to the tall buildings and then rushed past to start again.
We have Farmer’s Markets everywhere, even in some of the poorer neighborhoods they are promoting community gardening so people can grow their own more healthy food.
We can grow almost anything here with the possible exception of hostas and rhodendrons. You stick it in the ground here and it will grow. We have flowers just about all year long and even in winter can grow vegetables. Lettuce and greens grow best in the winter here. Summer is for tomatoes and squash. We are surrounded by fruit trees. Walk down almost any street and you will see an orange tree, a lemon tree, a grapefruit tree, or if you are lucky a peach tree. Our yard has a tangerine tree which by the way ripen in December. People love to garden here. You will see gardens on rooftops and on balconies of even the smallest apartment buildings.
The Greater Los Angeles area is dotted with areas of wilderness, almost every small city in the San Gabriel Valley has a Wilderness Park just for their residents. The San Fernando Valley has the many pockets of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Near downtown there is Elysian Park and Griffith Park, one of the largest city parks in the US.
Yes, there are things I don’t like about LA like the heat at the moment, a week over 100 degrees fries anybody’s temper. I don’t like dealing with the more stupid breed of tourists, especially the ones who are rude or mentally deficient while driving. Making a right turn from the left hand lane in a car with rental tags or an out of state plate comes to mind. Why some people lose their minds when they are traveling I have no idea but having lived in a city that becomes a tourist mecca twice a year I can cheerfully say traveling = brain loss. I don’t know what’s worse summer or Rose Parade season? And yes, Big 10 or 20 or whatever the hell they are, we mean some of your states. When I lived in Pasadena, it was please, don’t let it be Iowa, they can’t drive and they’re rude and stupid. I especially wanted to disembowel the stupids who walked up two benches full of obvious dykes waiting for the Rose Parade, some of whom were rugby on CSUN’s rugby team and called my brother and his partner “faggot”. You’ve never seen twerps run so fast. I’m sorry if you’re from Iowa but your state’s inhabitants have not comported themselves well here.
When I visit places I always try to dress and act if not like a local but at least like I’m a visitor in someone’s house. I don’t drop trash. I say please and thank you and I don’t push to the front of the line. And a gentle hint to anyone who visits our beaches, proper beach wear is recommended that means no stereotypical black socks and shoes on the beach with shorts showing scary white legs. Do that in Florida. Hee!
Notes to tourists: Dress like you would for a friend. Dressing like a hooker will get you treated like a hooker. Dress for the weather and carry water. You won’t look out of place. This is a desert. Drive like a native not a visitor. Remember your car is a very large weapon and pedestrians have the right of way no matter where they are walking. Watch out for cyclists, a lot of people ride their bikes to work or for fun here. The bike lane is for bikes not cars and watch how you open your car door too. Queue up! We wait quietly in line here. Bring a book or look at your smart phone and don’t bitch that you have to wait in line. It won’t make you any friends.
If you see someone famous: LEAVE THEM ALONE! Leave them in peace. They get to do their grocery shopping or take their kids to the park or go to Starbucks too here. Do not screech and run at them like a maniac. Do not attack them while eating in a restaurant. Do not ask for an autograph in the restroom. Leave them in peace!
Things to have with you if you do visit: sunglasses – you don’t wear these because you want to look like a celebrity. You wear these because you won’t be able to see if you don’t.
A hat – trust me sometimes you really need to protect your head. Ever sunburned your part line or the tops of your ears? It hurts and if you burn you part line it peals like a zipper or you get weird dandruffy flaking.
A water bottle – and make it one that you can freeze if you need to. $3.00 bottles at museums are outrageous when you can fill a refillable bottle outside.
Sunscreen – Everyone needs sunscreen here. It does not matter what colour your skin is. You need sunscreen, minimum SPF 15. And the higher the elevation the higher the number should be. So if you visit Big Bear or Idyllwild, you really, really need it.
We are the most diverse city in the world by some estimates, leave your prejudices at home. You can eat virtually any cuisine in the world here made by all sorts of people. Want to try Indian, Ethiopian, Kenyan, Middle Eastern, any variety of Chinese, Mexican, Peruvian, Guatemalan, Vietnamese, Philipino, even British food? You can do it and sometime within a few blocks. You can go to Fuddruckers and have an ostrich or buffalo burger. You can even go to the LA County Faire and eat a deep fried twinkie. (ick!) I head for the local corn on the cob and that perennial Santa Monica invention and favourite Hot Dog on a Stick. Love their limeade.
Go into a Supermarket and walk down the Asian, Mexican food aisle. Check out the produce dept. Bet there are things you haven’t seen before. Go to a Jon’s Market and check out all the Middle Eastern and Russian food.
Some come visit us but I recommend you come in spring or fall when the tourists are gone and the natives aren’t restless. Go somewhere that isn’t Disneyland, Universal Studios and the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Blvd or the Queen Mary. Take a kayak down the LA River, walk through Descanso, visit Franklin Canyon, ride a horse through Griffith Park, visit the Mt Wilson Observatory, go to Dockweiler Beach and not Venice, do something a native might do.