“It never rains in Southern California”-Tony Toni Tone
I was underwhelmed by the LAX airport. For some reason, I imagined it to be fabulous, with celebrities all around and paparazzi cameras blinding me as I walked out of the terminal but it wasn’t even close to that. It actually reminded me of LaGuardia Airport in New York, and that’s not saying much. I hurriedly changed the clothes that I wore on the plane to my OOTD (outfit of the day), which was a denim jumpsuit, wedges, and a floppy hat, in an attempt to channel LA style. My friend Amara, who I would be staying with, pulled up in a brand new cobalt blue Honda Accord. I was so impressed. She looked so amazing, sun-kissed, and super relaxed—LA was treating her well.
Our first stop was none other than Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles in Hollywood. We caught up with each other while pigging out on the Obama Special, as well as some candied yams, mac and cheese, and potato salad. I really enjoyed the mac and cheese here, the waffles were delish, but the chicken…I wasn’t too crazy about it.
We then went to Venice Beach. The area surrounding Venice Beach is absolutely stunning. It’s a quaint neighborhood, filled with mini canals, beautiful and colorful beach homes, and tons of restaurants and cafes. It reminded me of the actual Venice in Italy (just a tad bit).
The boardwalk was the real star of this area. There are vendors all around trying to sell you everything from mixtapes to medicinal marijuana cards. Muscle Beach was everything I imagined it to be, with huge men pumping 300+ pound weights. I saw the skate park where a bunch of skater dudes was doing outlandish tricks on their skateboards. I was captivated by the street art, which was DOPE. There was Chris Brown blasting through the speakers, and tourists all around, riding bikes or just walking carelessly with their family. I was amazed by how many people were at the beach in the middle of the day on a Tuesday. That could never be the case in NYC, but I wasn’t there to compare the East Coast vs. the West Coast, I just wanted to absorb as much of their culture and customs as I could.
Street Art in LA is so amazing. Amara and I decided to have a photoshoot, before getting our feet wet in the water. There was so much to do on the boardwalk, I almost overlooked the actual beach. It’s extremely funky and so lively.
Once we got back to Hollywood, I was finally able to write. Amara dropped me off at a really cool coffee shop, The Republic of Pie, in North Hollywood. I was so inspired by this place. I wish I had the words to describe all the elements of it, but I will try my best. It’s a huge space, very industrial styled and rustic. There’s natural sunlight coming into the shop and tables and chairs all over. When I got there, a songstress was performing with her guitar. Some people listened intently while others continued studying and collaborating. I went to the very back area, which sort of resembled an over-sized living room. It had an array of comfy couches and wooden tables to work. I found a nice spot on a couch, as soft as a pillow, and placed my brownie on the coffee table. I was finally able to start my script, the very reason I was in LA in the first place. I wrote for hours until Amara came back for me so we could have dinner. We went to Big Wangs, which is a sports bar that has amazing specials, $1 Tacos and $5 Margaritas. You really can’t go wrong with this place.
The Next Day…
I tackled Runyon Canyon which is the famous hiking trail in LA (that all the celebrities trek). Runyon is a gated park, which harbors large mountains outlined with trails to make climbing easier. I was happy I got to the top, but I was huffing and puffing, begging the Lord to pull me through—it was hard. My body was sore for about three days but seeing the amazing view of LA made it all worth it.
I also had the opportunity to go to church with Amara at One Church LA. Pastor Toure Roberts and First Lady Sarah Jakes-Roberts lead the church. What I loved most about this congregation was how much young people attend and how involved everyone seems to be in the growth and progress of this ministry. There were hipsters, young professionals, and creatives all joining together to give thanks to the Lord. I was enamored by the atmosphere and everyone’s ability to come as they are. If you are ever in the LA area, give this church a try.
My 36-Hours in LA was a success! But I can’t end this post without saying that I did have my In N’ Out burger, fries, and milkshake, and it was yummy. I got on a Mega Bus to Las Vegas just before midnight on Wednesday, for only $29 (This is a total plug for anyone looking for an inexpensive way to travel around the West Coast). I loved everything about LA’s carefree culture. I also loved that it’s a hub for creativity and people who believe in their dreams and are doing something to chase after it. I look forward to seeing more of L.A in the near future.