Over the years, Los Angeles has become my favorite U.S. city. Full stop. It’s tough to introduce a favorite child in 250 words, so this time I won’t try. A few of my favorite things should offer a glimpse into LA’s vibrancy, dynamism, creativity, endless potential, and diversity. Beyond SoCal.
Infinite hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains with wildflowers, fog, sun, and endless ocean views. The Valley that comes to life in Better Things. The backlot of Hollywood and its new front door, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. Santa Monica beaches. Honky tonk Venice boardwalks. WeHo’s gays. Catching your breath and remembering the wild P-22 mountain lion at Griffith Park and Observatory. The s-curves of Mulholland Drive/Highway.
A crazy mix of peeps from every corner of the globe. Food and art reflect those hundreds of cultures. Rad eats from street tacos in East LA to just-off-the-hook sushi in Little Tokyo.
Throwing down some serious culture. Centuries of extraordinarily important art and Van Gogh’s irises at the (free) travertine-wrapped Getty or the Getty Villa. Andy Warhol and Cy Twombly at the (free) Broad. Urban Light, Levitated Mass, and the kinetic Metropolis II at LACMA. Popping into DTLA culture and Disney Hall. Wandering the Arts District. Finding the LA River. Larger than Life Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Chilling in Los Feliz and Silver Lake.
And then there’s the 405, the stuff of SNL skits. Angelenos be like, “Take Canyon View Dr. over to San Vicente, then make a left and get on the 405 North. Then get off Mulholland and …” When you start thinking like that, you’ll know you’ve arrived. — Kim Grant