I still never had sushi at the original Katsu-Ya in Studio City.
Since discovering I don’t disdain hikes, I wish I had hiked Runyon Canyon (where all the famous people hike) and one of the trails near the Griffith Observatory, and then stayed to check out the stars.
I don’t like to work out, but I would’ve loved to take an aerobics class from Richard Simmons.
In no particular order. Don’t make me choose!
Mulholland Drive/The Canyons
The canyons, all of the canyons, are my favorite part of Los Angeles. They allow you to feel separated from the extreme hustle and bustle of the city. You feel as if you’re miles and miles away, as opposed to five minutes from Hollywood in the case of Laurel Canyon. I drove Mulholland Drive (which winds its way through several of LA’s canyons) and found one of my favorite spots - the Hollywood Bowl overlook.
Bottega Louie and its macarons
It’s safe to say Bottega Louie is my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles, and that’s saying something. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations because it’s that cool. But it’s worth the wait, as I said in a previous post. Also, it’s good for spotting the beautiful people. I saw Sharon Stone there once. The food is amazing and they don’t look down their noses if you share, which my friends and I do. But the Earl Grey macaron is what won my French dessert lovin’ heart.
LACMA/Weekday food trucks/Tar Pits
LACMA and the Tar Pits offer a learning experience. I’ve seen an exhibit filled with gorgeous Victorian at LACMA and learned about how the Tar Pits came to be via plaques surrounding the Tar Pits. If you make an afternoon of these two LA gems, you have to stop by the dozen food trucks that park themselves outside of 5900 Wilshire. You’ll find anything your stomach desires - Mexican, Korean BBQ, burgers, grilled cheese, sushi, Philly cheesesteaks and much, much more.
The Original Farmers Market
If you have a friend or family member in town who isn’t excited about the shiny lights of Hollywood or spotlessly clean streets surrounding Rodeo Drive, take them to the Original Farmers Market on Third and Fairfax. It’s been an LA staple since 1934 and you can buy fresh produce as well as a “My Grandparents Went to Hollywood and All I Got was This T-Shirt” shirt. There’s fun shops, good food and The Grove is right next door so you can always glitz-up the day by attending a filming of Extra.
Pervasive street art
It’s EVERYWHERE. I was driving down the road one day and spotted a Banksy. No joke. I love the sense of creativity and freedom it gives the city.
There’s not much to say. They’re at every “it” hotel in LA. It’s fun to act fancier than you actually are by lounging poolside. During the summer the hotels throw pool parties so you don’t even have to be a hotel guest.
The Greek Theatre
I saw one of my favorite artists, Ray Lamontagne, at The Greek and it was magical, if a bit cold. The outdoor amphitheater is one of a kind nestled in tall trees. Plus it’s smaller than the Hollywood Bowl (I think) so it’s a bit more intimate.
This wonderful place tucked into, you guessed it, a canyon is the perfect spot for a relaxing weekend afternoon filled with delicious wine, live music and the cool Malibu air. (Left below)
The Getty Museum
One of the few things in Los Angeles that are free, The Getty Museum affords great views of LA, has gorgeous gardens and let’s not forget the reason you come, the art. My friends and I went once for a Parisian interiors exhibit but were amazed at the photographic exhibit about Cuba through the years. The only catch is the parking is $15 but if you shove enough people into one car it’s no biggie. (Right above)
According to Mercer’s 2011 Quality of Living index, Vienna took the top spot for the third year running.
Even though the U.S. failed to crack the top 25, I still think it’s the best place to live in the world. Here’s the top spots in the U.S.: Honolulu (29); Paris tied with Adelaide, Australia and San Francisco for the 30th spot; Boston took 36; Chicago, Madrid, Spain, and Washington, DC tied for 43rd; and rounding out the top 50 are New York City (47), Seattle (48) and Pittsburgh tied with Kobe and Yokohama, Japan for 49th.
Singapore, Singapore was the only Asian city to make the top 25, which makes sense. My parents went about 10 years ago and said it was the cleanest city they’ve ever seen - gum is illegal. (Does that mean bad breath is rampant?)
I’ve never been to any of the top cities, except Vancouver and I can understand why it’s a top city. It’s on the water, Canadians are friendly, only two hours from Whistler, it’s clean, great views and it’s a big city so it has plenty of amenities.
Where would you want to live?