For those of you who follow my day to day life (which probably isn’t many) you will already know that I spent some time in Los Angeles this and last week  for a mini getaway and birthday present to myself. My favorite part about this trip was the fact that I not only got to see a friend I met in Costa Rica last year, whom I haven’t seen in a year, but also just the fact that I wasn’t going to be staying there as a “tourist”.

I had a brief stint in LA when I took a road trip through the states to Las Vegas and Disney in 2008 but all we really saw were the shit places you see on a tour: the Hollywood sign, the stars, Universal Studios and all related bullshit. To be honest, my time there 2 years ago left me with the thought of never wanting to go back to that hole. Luckily for me because I happened to have a friend living there I decided to give the place another shot and lo and behold places can actually turn out being more enjoyable when you don’t spent your time in tourist traps and with a bunch of foreigners snapping pictures of useless shit! (man I  said shit a lot)

When most think of LA they think of celebrities and the glamorous lifestyle, they think of what they see in the movies and on The Hills, but in all honesty all that hype really isn’t all it is cracked up to be. Spending my time there I got to know locals, hang out in local spots and actually really enjoy my time and understand what most people living their day to day lives in the area are about. It is quite tragic that people get caught up in all the hoopla and stupid celebrity craze, the LA you get fed images of through the media is overrated and not worth anyone’s time in my opinion and sadly the LA I got to experience is very underrated.

I did fall victim to some of the craze in the sense  that I was expecting a rocking local music scene, mainly on Sunset in West Hollywood, with a picture painted of great musicians and great venues every night, but that didn’t pan out to be everything I had envisioned. The situation worked itself out when I found a hole in the wall bar with some sweet acts a few nights later however, reinforcing the fact that all the pictures people paint aren’t actually going to be the same when you find them. It really pushes me to ponder why people decide to travel when they don’t want to venture anywhere the heart of where they are visiting.

When I had first heard my friend no longer lived in Venice where all the surfer dudes hang and trendy people dwell, I was again sort of disappointed especially when she continued to tell me she moved to the hood — Inglewood; another incident reinforcing why you must personally experience somewhere, something (etc.) before you become trapped by the ideas others have painted in your head. Staying in Inglewood was actually really interesting and a great experience: the area was cleaner, quieter and really had nothing wrong with it although I stuck out like a sore thumb, it was a good place to be.

My conclusions made from my time in LA are the following:
– the people that live in the “hood” have more respect for their surroundings
– driving on the 405 isn’t my idea of a good time
– celebrities aren’t on every street corner and if they are I didn’t notice
– most of the people I met weren’t into becoming famous they were about enjoying life, smoking pot and being good people
– hippies are still alive and well
– convenience is lacking
– pot is extremely socially acceptable
– Hollywood needs a face lift, and some garbage pickup
– the sun is not always shining
– giant Patron margaritas are delicous
– people commute significant distances