All posts tagged: California

What “Lady Bird” Means to Me

When I finally watched Greta Gerwig’s beautiful Lady Bird, I felt so much and still do. Unlike Lady Bird I have a wonderful mom who’s kind and understanding, I was never ashamed of my socio-economic status, and I wouldn’t lie to a peer about the house I live in or who I’m friends with. But like Lady Bird I wanted to go to college in New York City despite never having been there, felt stifled by the mid-sized city I called home, and was sure that there were bigger and better things out there for me – whatever that actually means. Lady Bird somehow brought me back to my undergraduate years, when I felt like the world was this new and exciting place to explore and express myself within. Since then I’ve grown to be more realistic and a bit cynical, but seeing Lady Bird’s struggle to figure herself out reminded me of a part of myself I had forgotten. While I’m much more sure of myself than I was in college, I missed the hopefulness I found within my confusion. I …

Complaining About LA Doesn’t Make You Cool

People complain to me about Los Angeles all the time. Mostly it’s grumpy folks who don’t live here, but sometimes it’s even those who have never stepped foot in the city. Everyone in LA is shallow! There are so many hipsters! The traffic is horrible! Everyone’s so snotty! There’s no culture! There’s no history! There are too many health nuts!  I wonder why friends, family, and acquaintances who live elsewhere feel the need to tell me how much they hate LA? Why they waste their time and energy whining about a place they barely know, to a person who openly loves calling Los Angeles home? There are folks who live here and can’t stand it because it’s not the right place for them, but some of them decide it’s objectively bad. LA’s too crowded, dirty, and pretentious…and I don’t fit in here because I’m different! These types of arguments seem to be based on a very narrow view of the city, ignited by ideas about what life’s like for predominantly white, upper-middle class people who live here. …

In & Around Palm Springs

I spent three days this past week in and around Palm Springs with my boyfriend, and below are a few pictures I took during our fun little trip. When I first arrived I wasn’t quite sure why the Palm Desert was (and still is) a go-to Hollywood destination. My realization by the end of our first day was that maybe because I grew up in the desert, desert cities aren’t as much of an escape for me as they are for others. I could see how such a slow, small, pretty town could serve as a reprieve for those who aren’t used to the wondrous charms of the desert. And quickly, I too was charmed by Palm Springs. One of my favorite things about the city is the architecture. I have a love for mid-century modern design, particularly from Southern California, and everywhere I looked there was another groovy building, sign, or piece of furniture. Because the history of Palm Springs is so deeply entrenched in Hollywood – particularly 1920’s through 60’s Hollywood – it …

Catalina Island: Facts n’ Photos

Before visiting Catalina I knew nothing about the island except for the fact that it’s off the coast of California and (most importantly) that it was the iconic setting for the end of Step Brothers. After spending a weekend on Catalina Island I learned quite a bit and am here to report back with some fun facts and a few photos I took during my short visit. 1. The Catalina Island Wine Mixer is now a real thing, and it’s happening in September! There’s even a Step Brothers themed costume party y’all. 2. The Wrigley family owns Catalina and has since the early 1900’s. 3. The Wrigley family were known for their gum and numerous other business ventures, including as part-owners of the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs even held their spring training on the island from the 1920s until the 1950s. 4. There aren’t many cars on the island. In fact, residents have to spend 30 years on a waiting list before they can even get a Smart Car. Now that’s patience. 5. Instead of cars people use golf carts, and they’re loud, annoying, …

Visiting the Huntington

I’ve been meaning to visit The Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino for over two years, and finally went with my sister recently. Below are photos we took in the various gardens, which span 120 acres and include a Desert Garden, Japanese Garden, and Chinese Garden, among others. The photos below do not do The Huntington justice, so I recommend spending the day there if you’re ever in the Los Angeles area. The Huntington Library was founded in 1919 by Southern California businessman Henry E. Huntington. Huntington had a deep interest in gardens, art, and books – building a massive research library, art collection, and botanical gardens. Only 12 miles from downtown Los Angeles, the Huntington Library is a wonderful place to relax and appreciate nature.

Riding the Pacific Surfliner

This past weekend I rode Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner from Los Angeles to San Diego & back. Here’s a diary entry-style post about my experience: From industrial neighborhoods to the ocean, journeying on Amtrak’s Pacific Surfliner from Los Angeles to San Diego takes you through some of California’s distinct landscapes. Leaving from Union Station in downtown LA, the first views from the train are what I’d describe as hyper-industrial: cement trucks, train cars, wires, fences, and giant warehouses that are either overwhelmingly grey, or dotted with colorful graffiti. It’s dirt, metal, and cement for miles. The illicit art on buildings and walls – ranging from indecipherable messages to exceptional works of art – interrupt the monochromatic dominance of the landscape. Oddly enough, I think there’s something particularly beautiful about Los Angeles’ industrial and warehouse districts. The area isn’t at all glamorous, but the beauty is in its history and scope. Downtown LA is home to global industries and distribution centers. It’s where clothes are made and shipped internationally, and produce is organized and distributed across North America. Downtown is a hub …

PHOTOS: Women’s March Los Angeles

The Women’s March on Washington went global y’all (see: Pictures From Women’s Marches on Every Continent). And the Los Angeles sister march drew over 750,000 protestors – more than 10 times the number expected! Taking to the streets with a diverse community of progressive feminists (from all ages and walks of life) was an experience that meant so much to me. In spite of a dreadful Friday, and past year, the Women’s March served as a beam of light. There I saw hope in the form of thousands and thousands of people who are prepared to resist our frightening and repressive administration. We are the resistance. We will fight oppression and injustice together. In the words of Hillary Clinton’s campaign slogan, we’re stronger together. Oh, and love trumps hate! Here are some photos from the LA women’s march. Though they don’t capture the scope of the march or the shared sense of urgency permeating the air, I thought they were worth sharing:

Among the Trees at Sequoia National Park

A few weeks ago my parents visited and we took a weekend trip to Sequoia National Park. Out in nature is where I find I can truly relax and rejuvenate, so I thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to escape from the city for a bit with my family. This trip marked my first time seeing the giant sequoia trees of California, and wow are they impressive! Below are a few snapshots that don’t do the magnitude of these sequoia’s justice, but do capture a bit of what I saw on my trip (or more like mere portions of what I saw, because these trees are too big to fit into one photo). Pictured below is General Grant, the world’s 3rd largest tree, found at King’s Canyon National Park, and General Sherman, the world’s largest tree, found at Sequoia National Park. If you’re ever visiting California I absolutely recommend checking out both Sequoia National Park and King’s Canyon National Park. I wish I had spent just a little more time among those massive trees, but I look forward to venturing back some day. Next stops, …

Snapshots from Coronado Island

A few weekends ago I had the chance to visit Coronado Island, just across the water from San Diego, CA. While I intended to get some work done while I was there, it was practically impossible with the near perfect weather and pacific waves calling out to me: just relax…relax…seriously dude, you need to chill… So I ended up getting about 10% of the work done that I needed to, but that’s what happens when you’re near a beach and the type of person who easily puts things off, right? Oh yeah…I have some time on Monday to finish that…I think… I took a day-trip to Coronado a few years ago, but this was the first time I really had the opportunity to check the place out. My boyfriend’s family was in town and kind enough to invite us down, so we explored the island for a few days with them. We ate breakfast at Clayton’s Coffee Shop, a 50’s diner that genuinely feels like a 50’s diner, walked along Dog Beach, and spent plenty of time strolling around the glorious Hotel del Coronado, …