Oh, How I Love LA!

Several years ago, when my family was planning a business-related move that would take us from Northern California to Los Angeles for a year, we received a lot of negative feedback.

“How can you even stand the thought of living there?”

“What a terrible place. I hate it there.”

“La-la-land…they call it that for a reason, you know.”

“Ooooh…it’s so fake.”

“Filthy air.”

“Too much traffic.”

“Too blonde.”

I found it particularly amusing that a significant majority of the people who were dissing LA had never even been there, but apparently they thought they’d read enough tabloids to have a pretty clear picture of the lifestyle.

But still—to hear so many bad things about the place that was about to become our home was rather disconcerting. Both my husband and I had spent our fair share of time in LA over the years, but it’s one thing to visit and quite another to join the masses. So it was with a bit of trepidation that I packed my bags and headed south.

We had rented out our house in the Sierra foothills and found a two-bedroom-plus-loft apartment—complete with every imaginable amenity—in the mid-Wilshire area of LA. On our first day there, I managed to get lost in the parking lot beneath our building. Undaunted, I continued driving in circles until I finally spotted a glimmer of sunlight. With that one small glitch behind me, I proceeded to do what every self-respecting Angeleno does—I fell in love with the city.

LA has a spirit and an energy and a vibe all its own. It bears no semblance to any other place I’ve ever visited—in this country or beyond. It’s home to some of the most exciting art, magnificent restaurants, and fabulous shopping I’ve experienced. The people are a kick, the weather is superb, and there are more fun things to do than the average person could possibly expect to fit into a normal lifespan.

We were both so taken with the city…so loved being a part of it…that we opted to stay an additional year. Even thought we are now back in Northern California, we return to LA on a regular basis. As soon as we get off the plane, we are both struck by a sense of being home.

The old nabe
The old nabe

More things I miss about the LA area

• Tea at the Hotel Bel-Air—so wonderfully self-indulgent and girlie
• Pedicures with Yelena at Amadeus Spa at The Grove
• Kobe beef burgers at Whist in the Viceroy
• The Viceroy’s amazing key-lime martinis
• The view from Yamashiro (touristy…yep, I know…don’t care)
• Movies at the ArcLight
• Training with Marcella
• Extraordinary, superb, incredible, magnificent, over-the-top dinners at Ortolan, including violet-infused champagne and lobster three ways
• Evening walks to Mani’s on Fairfax to buy cranberry-walnut scones for the next day’s breakfast
• Mercilessly teasing Joseph about loving the La Brea Tar Pits

Things I miss about LA

  • Going to THE Blvd. in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for an overpriced glass of wine and some of the best people-watching on the planet
  • Sitting on the patio at 208 Rodeo and dipping warm sourdough bread in herb-and-garlic-infused olive oil
  • The feeling of utter accomplishment when I could run all the way around the park during Boot Camp…and then run home
  • Walking to The Grove for casual weekday dinners, and then shivering on the return home because I could never, ever figure out how to dress properly for LA summer nights
  • Shopping for fabulous take-out at Whole Foods and hardly ever having to cook dinner
  • Sunday brunch at Geoffrey’s
  • Being fussed over at B2V
  • Third Street Promenade
  • Huntington Gardens
  • Barneys
  • Seeing Sam
  • Friday lunches with Laurie at Kate Mantilini
  • Hanging out with Remi