Believe it or not, there are 10 things to love about L.A. (probably even more than that). Before I got here, I wouldn’t have believed it either but, I’ve been convinced. These aren’t really in any order, with the exception of No. 1.
10. The restaurants. L.A. is no San Francisco or New York. But, there is a good food here. Great food, as a matter of fact. My favorites: Lucques, A.O.C., Gjelina, and Pizzeria Mozza. Even La Playita, the taco shack on Lincoln, has the most amazing shrimp tostada for $3.50 (thanks Rob!)
9. The pedestrian friendly drivers. Who knew? In the land of freeways and traffic, people actually stop for pedestrians and wait until they are all the way across the cross walk to drive through. I don’t even do this (here or at home)! They don’t look put out and they seem to go out of their way to do it.
8. Beach cruisers. I didn’t even know I could still ride a bike! Venice is made for beach cruisers and these bikes, with their pedal breaks and minimal (if any) gears, are the perfect way to ride along the ocean, grab a bite to eat, or avoid parking your car. They’d hate the hills in S.F. or I’d be bringing one home.
7. A Front Porch. Sitting on the porch, having a glass of wine, reading a book or just chillin’ out, people say ‘hi’. This neighborhood is full of houses with front porches and they are so conducive to creating community. Walking up and down the streets, you get to the know people simply by seeing them on their porch.
6. The Beach. I don’t know if it is an unusual year or global warming but, the Pacific Ocean is warm! Your inner kid can’t avoid coming out when you walk to the beach and jump in the waves. We should all do it a little more often.
5. Sunday Dinners. Maybe we just have great friends but, we have had amazing Sunday dinners every week we have been here. Kids, wine, potluck, bbq, ice cream, pizza, more wine, and happy people. Everyone should have at least one Sunday dinner a month where you open your kitchen and eat with friends (it doesn’t even have to be on a Sunday). Sharing food like this is a key part of life.
4. Celeb Sightings. Yes, yes…it’s obnoxious and I’m supposed to think it is no big deal to see a tv, movie or music star just hanging out somewhere. I will say, this place gives you the real perspective that just because you’ve seen someone on the big screen, they still go to the park, drop their kids at camp and hang at the farmer’s market. People here are very chill about it but, me, I still get really excited (I know…I’m a geek).
3. The Generosity of Friends and Strangers: The first week we were here, I had a little run in with a garage door (see 10 things I Don’t Love about LA in a few days…). As bad as the incident was, it was nice to know that I had the support of my friends and neighbors. Within minutes, a friend called and offered Vicodin. The neighbor rushed out and offered me codeine. Even the guy I saw two days later at Staples told me he had something for the pain if I needed it. I didn’t end up needing anything but, ahhh…so nice
2. The attitude-free farmer’s markets. You can find a farmer’s market here every day of the week. The produce is gorgeous, the prices are resonable, the samples are plentiful and the patrons are free of any ‘I’m a bigger foodie than you are’ attitude. Ferry Plaza, take note!
1. This will come as a surprise to no one but, the best thing about L.A. is the weather. Especially near the beach, summer temps hover in the high 70s, the sun shines and people are just happier because of it.