Stay with me here. I know, it’s a stretch.
We’re so used to saying that L.A. sucks. Unless we’re singing Randy Newman songs. But that’s a different story entirely.
Or is it?
L.A. only sucks as much as you let it suck. I’ve been all around the country and visited other countries. I guarantee you how much a place sucks has a lot to do with your attitude… and its available resources.
Still with me? Sweet!
L.A. can be a serious drag. It’s not a great place if all you do is drive to work and back every day. Let’s face it: the freeways blow. Traffic sucks. People can be shitty. It’s a big city with all the proverbial big city warts. <— I’m just going to leave that alone, just how it is.
BUT! L.A. is also full of:
Happy people. I’m sure. Somewhere…
We have a zoo, folks.
Because – did I mention the sunshine? If it’s an outdoor pursuit – you can pursue it in L.A. Hiking, running, surfing, cycling, dog walking, toe jam sculpture – you name it. L.A. probably accommodates it. And you really do not have to go broke to play in L.A. Granted, people love to spend money in sunny SoCal, but it’s not a prerequisite for good times.
Case in point – my lovely friend KG came down for the weekend last weekend. She lives in northern California and I think we can all agree that NorCal and SoCal do so love to hate each other.
I am a long-time lover of the Bay Area, however, so I understand why Los Angeles seems like the ungrateful mooch, comparatively. Still. Our taco trucks are better. Like, way WAY better. There’s this one, in the garment district, and they put grilled green onion on top of the carne asada… oh. my. GAWD. It’s unbelie—
Anyway, KG came down to visit me and I made nefarious plans. Friday we just gabbed and generally caught up with each other. We went out for mongolian BBQ. We drank wine. Good stuff.
Saturday, we went to my farmer’s market. I love it there and show it off whenever I can. There are these bread guys there – Old Town Baking Co. – best 9-grain sourdough EVER. And the berries. And the fresh eggs. And the honey at Bill’s Bees! Good grief. It’s free to go to the farmer’s market. You just find one and walk in and amongst the goodness. How much you buy is up to you. There are so many to choose from. Truly we are the lucky ones.
After the farmer’s market, KG and I went to the zoo.
The L.A. Zoo has been around a long time. When we first moved to L.A. everyone told us that we should go to the Wild Animal Park in San Diego instead. Which is also great. But, it’s not in L.A. and much less convenient – not to mention much more costly. And now that we’ve been zoo members for years, I honestly don’t understand why people FROM L.A. encourage people to go AWAY from L.A. to a zoo. The L.A. Zoo needs your dollars, folks. They do good conservation work there, and have many educational programs.
Over the last few years of membership, we’ve watched them make huge changes to the zoo – it’s getting better each year. Plus, it is also a botanical garden. I love spending a day at the zoo. I’ve taken so many people there with me, in my effort to make people aware of how great our zoo really is. Another bonus? It’s inexpensive. We have a family membership, which is about $120 per year. Awesome deal. But general admission is a mere $13-18 and kids under 2 are free. Give me a break, wouldja? Why don’t you go to the zoo!?
Saturday evening we had delicious Mexican food at my local place, just a walk from my front door. Another great thing about L.A. Restaurants are all around, my friends. Now, I understand. It’s not an easy city to get around in if you don’t have a car. I continue to hope that they will continue to work on this issue. We do have the metro trains and buses, and I think they try hard. But – if you want to eat – chances are you don’t have to drive in L.A. And you do not have to resort to shitty fast food if you don’t want to. More than likely – there is a hole in the wall three blocks away, dishing up delicious cultural cuisine. Besides – we could all use the walk, couldn’t we? <— the answer is “yes”.
Sunday was great again – we ate at my husband’s restaurant for brunch, in Downtown L.A., and then we spent the afternoon at the L.A. Arboretum.
I know – you thought the Huntington Library was the only botanical gardens in L.A., didn’t you? You’re wrong. *shrug* It’s okay though – shrug it off with me – because now you know! The Arboretum is a completely wonderful place to spend a morning or an afternoon. Admission ranges from $4-9.00 and children under 5 are free.
That said, I also love The Huntington Library and highly encourage visits there, as well.
Alas, it was time to take KG to a plane after the Arboretum and I had to say goodbye to my northerly friend.
Still, we filled the weekend with so much talking and food and gallavanting that I can not find one reason to complain. And, I doubt I parted with more than $100 over the course of the whole weekend. You know why?
Because I live in L.A. and L.A. does not suck. (Say it with me…L.A. does not suck!)
You just have to take advantage of the resources it has to offer, folks. When your weekend rolls around – and your weekly commute is over – maybe head to The Getty. If you’re musically inclined take in some of the music scene – lord knows we have a huge one. We have the L.A. Philharmonic too. Grab your bike and go ride at one of the many many parks or bike paths in L.A. Go for a hike! Or go down to Huntington Beach, grab a cup of joe, and find a bench above the Dog Beach. If you can’t smile in the breezy sunshine, breathing in the salt air, while watching the dogs (so many dogs) frolic – you may not be human. I love running down there. Those dogs make me smile like a complete idiot.
People, we have baseball, basketball, and friggin’ DISNEYLAND. So, go on.
Please go have some fun. Because otherwise you’ll forget how great we have it.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s time for my yoga class.
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