Another Getaway: Los Angeles!

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Los Angeles, city of the stars and wannabe-stars. It’s also a city with its own cultural heritage and fun adventures. I’m currently out here visiting some friends, so I’m blogging from the road (this’ll be posted after Christmas, but I’m out here until Christmas Eve).

I moved here in 2005 for a VERY brief stint. See, I always wanted to be an actor. I majored in it during my undergraduate years, but I actually started to hate acting, yet I knew I’d always regret it if I didn’t move out here to test my luck. Well, I couldn’t take it, so I moved back to Atlanta before a long list of events that led me to Columbia College Chicago. So, I know LA a little bit, but in visiting friends out here and getting recommendations of things to do from locals, I’ve come to really enjoy LA. Here’s what I suggest you do if you come out here sometime:

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1) The Hollywood Walk of Fame.

This is the most touristy thing I’m going to recommend. It’s iconic. It’s “so Hollywood.” It’s something you have to do. I like seeing whose stars are on the walk, and then I like to see who is next to each other, imagining these people interacting (especially if these people are an older actor and a new band—cross generations and genres).

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2) The Getty Villa.

This is a museum that was the dream of an oil tycoon. It is styled after the ancient Roman Villas of antiquity. Now, it houses art from the ancient Roman and Greek cultures in its different rooms. Walking around the grounds, the gardens have plants indigenous to California spread throughout. The pool is really gorgeous, too. I spent time here in August, and I loved it. Very peaceful and informative.

3) Concerts or indie films.

This might sound silly, but find a show or indie film out here that you can’t see elsewhere. LA is known for its entertainment industry, so take advantage of this; the more bizarre, the better. I went with friends to the Kreayshawn concert. I didn’t really know her until we went (my friends wanted to “twerk” at the concert, which just means drunken dancing), so we went shopping along Melrose for ridiculous outfits for the show the day of (shopping is suggestion 3.5). Three of us bought leggings from a store called “World of Leggings” that had TWO locations in LA. I kid you not. Two locations. Nothing but leggings. I’m telling you all this because it was ridiculous and weird, and I loved it. :-P Also, leggings? Pretty comfortable. I’ve never worn them before, but… damn. Comfy.

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4) Bookstores.

There are some great ones out here. The Last Bookstore just might be my favorite bookstore, ever. They have small reading rooms with single chairs, an organization system of their used books that is very colorful, and tunnels between rooms that make you think books will fall on your head. Also, they had a display for Bradbury books, which made me happy, especially because I went on a tour of all things LA-Bradbury (which I’ll be blogging about elsewhere, so I’ll provide a link to that when it’s available). I also went to Book Soup to see a 2nd Story event out there. Super awesome! I got to meet some other storytellers and see the LA release party for the 2nd Story anthology Briefly Knocked Unconscious by a Low-Flying Duck.

5) Hiking.

If you are able to get to the surrounding areas, there are lots of cool areas to hike. In August when I was out here, my friend and I hiked a bit in Joshua Tree. It was pretty spectacular and was a great time. I highly recommend it—these particular mountains are just outcrops of giant boulders. There are the actual mountains and Hollywood Hills and things like that, so find somewhere you want to explore and go!

I’m sure there are a ton more things to do here, as I’m only scratching the surface. Any of you been and have any cool ideas of things to do? Add to my margins.