I apologize for a lack of recent updates, however I had to cancel my 2 recently planned trips, out of personal issues, and lack of finances. 2016 will be another fulfilled year with lots of travels, new stories to tell, and new friendships.
While waiting for my upcoming trip, I decided to write a post about the gigantic city of Los Angeles, California. As I was writing in my previous blog-posts that I used to be a legit fan of California, I've visited Los Angeles too many times. On each trip, there was always something new I could discover.
By the way, my very first trip to the U.S., was in Los Angeles. I instantly fell in love with it. Sadly people don't ever tell anything cheerful about L.A. It's very often considered as a dangerous & filthy city, with too many superficial californians living in a superficial bubble.
Well, in my opinion, there's a lot more to discover, besides the superficial people trying to stay in the perfect shape, or spending money on Melrose.
Here are my favorite spots in L.A., which I'd suggest to anyone who's curious about discovering the diversity of the city.
You got it! It's the very touristic part of Los Angeles, where tourists crawl through "3rd street Promenade", and where too many shots of the Santa Monica Pier are taken. However everbody loves Santa Monica, it gives you the feeling of a summer vacation, and you can reach the beach within a couple of minutes. It's the perfect location for a hotel. And so many delicious restaurants and fancy cocktail bars are just right there in the neighbourhood.
I love the flair, of the old Santa Monica pier, and its amusement park, that everybody knows from the cheesy lovestory-movies. It's a safe area, and a very vivid location for night-walks.
As you could have figured out by its name, El Pueblo, is a hispanic neighbourhood in the historic district of the city-center of Los Angeles. It was one of the last spots that I discovred in L.A. Actually it was very entertaining, still a little bit too touristic, but I totally enjoyed it. While spending a few days in the LA area, it's easy to notice that the hispanic culture has a big impact on the whole city. The buildings, the colors, and latino population all over the city. Lots of spanish words in the streets.
Who doesn't know Venice Beach? Ever heard about Arni's muscle beach? The tv show Californication? The legendary Dogtown, from the 80s legendary skateboard era... There's so much to discover in Venice Beach, too much street art, different music artists along the beachwalk of Venice. The diversity of people: rappers, dancers, hippies, bodybuilders, stoners, ... a whole melting-pot of different nations.
Venice Beach is the perfect spot for nightlife. A lot better than Santa Monica, if you're staying in that area. People are a lot more laid back than in Santa Monica, where the locals mostly consist of waiters & vallets.
I love observing the people walking by... watching the hispanics play squash with their hands, streetballers doing alley-oops, the skaters grinding all over the skate-pools, the bodybuilders pumping iron. It's a fest for photographers. There are just too many subjects to take photos of.
Too many times, I spoke out my repulsive thoughts about Hollywood. Once you walked along the Hollywood's walk of fame, you gotta admit, that the streets aren't as glamarous as they're often considered in the medias. Drug addicts, bums, lo-fi comedians, ... annoying the tourists, asking for change. There streets are very filthy, there's trash on every corner. BUT... everytime I visit Hollywood, I bump into new streetart murals, I discovery new lovely shops, and I love passing a couple of hours at L.A.'s biggest record store called "Amoeba". As a music aficionado, you can have a drink at legendary venues, where your dad's favorite band used to play gigs in the 70s. Last but not least, there's the Hollywood letters left in the background. As soon as I discover the Hollywood sign from far out on the highway, I feel like i made it to Los Angeles. :)
There are far too many beaches you can visit all along the shore of Los Angeles. Malibu, Venice, Santa Monica, Marina Del Rey, Hermosa, Huttington, ... Each of them has its own charm. Sometimes I just expected too much, but actually there's nothing fancy about Californian beaches, except the vivid alleys of Venice Beach.
One year I stayed at Hermosa Beach, because I was on a budget. It takes you approximately 30-40 minutes to get from Santa Monica to Hermosa by car. Hotels are way cheaper in Hermosa. Less crowded streets, and the beachpubs close the the famous surfer-statue leave a much more local impression, than the other touristic spots.
Well it's LOS ANGELES! How about watching the Lakers play, the Dodgers hitting a couple of homeruns. Check out a concert in Hollywood, Anaheim, or Venice Beach. Fancy a shopping tour on Melrose Avenue or in Beverlyhills.
I love visiting movie locations in Los Angeles. The old diner of Pulp Fiction's opening scene, the house of "Six Feet Under", the locations of "Californication", LA's China Town where Jacky Chan's "Rush Hour" was shot, Malibu's pier from Liam Neeson's "Taken 3". The search-engine google will help you finding out the exact adress of the different locations.
Rent a car, drive all along the beaches, on Mulholland drive through the Santa Monica Mountains, towards Hollywood. Enjoy the views, the cityscapes, the colours, the people. You will love it!