I'm going to get weird and talk about LA in the third person, because it's my website + I can + why not, you know?
*When I started Local(Tourist) in 2015, I knew I wanted a set of questions I always asked the Creatives I'd interview...a springboard for candid convos with strangers. It didn't take long to realize I should turn the Interview questions on myself, since I had favorite spots all over my home city! In the almost two years since, I've moved to Oakland, CA (Bay Area FTW!) and still hit all my LA spots whenever I'm in town.*
Hi! Real quick, tell us two things: what pays the bills, and what are you most passionate about?
I'm a Store Visual Merchandiser for Urban Outfitters*. I'm passionate about personal style and creating beautiful spaces - to help people to figure out their own style & space. So it's safe to say my job rules. I'm also an artist (currently textile art, illustration etc ) and I love to travel**. I'm happiest when I'm discovering someplace new.
*Update: Now a District Merchandising Manager for UO #girlboss
Tell us what neighborhood in Los Angeles you call home.
I live in West Hollywood, close to the famous Sunset Blvd.
If you had to summarize L.A. in a couple sentences to someone who has never been to your city, what would you say?
Los Angeles is sunny, laid back and spread out. Its a metropolis, but spread across a lot of space - this means we spend a lot of time in our cars and every neighborhood is unique. It's simultaneously calm and hectic; beautiful and gritty. Yes we're famous for our traffic, but we're also famous for our beaches, culture, music venues, and ridiculously good food. Come hang out and you won't want to leave!
Can you name some of your favorite places to eat? Describe as little or as much as you want.
There are SO MANY great places to get food. First of all, authentic Mexican food is everywhere, and it's pretty difficult to go wrong. I'm also a vegetarian so I frequent a lot of vegan friendly restaurants. Here's a must-try list in no particular order...
Shojin Sushi / Downtown
M Cafe / West Hollywood
Tatsu Ramen / West Hollywood
Real Food Daily / West Hollywood
Dogtown Dogs Food Truck / Location changes.
What about places you hang out in / meet friends / kill time? (Like bars, coffee shops, parks, you know…)
Oh man, there are so many great spots in this huge city! We usually stick close to our neighborhoods unless its the weekend, when we meet friends for brunch/day drinking. Being in traffic all the time means we're regulars at places close to home.
My favorite coffee shops are:
Intelligentsia / Silverlake
Alfred's Coffee / West Hollywood
Ace Hotel Rooftop / DTLA
The Woods / Hollywood
The Gaslite / Santa Monica.
Bar 82 / DTLA
Laurel Hardware / West Hollywood
What do locals do on the weekends? What would you never be caught dead doing?
We do brunch. Bigtime. We also go on hikes (they're more like scenic walks) in Runyon Canyon or Griffith Park. If its hot, we go to the beach - El Matador in Malibu is the most untouched by tourists, but also Venice and Santa Monica. Sometimes we visit LACMA to get our art-fix. We DO NOT try to walk down Hollywood Blvd or the tourist traps like the wax museum, the Chinese Theater, etc.
Is there anything shamefully tourist that you have done, and would secretly recommend?
The hike to the Hollywood sign, and renting a bike at Venice beach and riding it down the path to the Santa Monica pier. Worth it.
Where should we go for the good shopping? Tiny stores, cool boutiques? Vintage?
Areas to explore: Sunset Junction in Silverlake, Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice, Melrose (between Fairfax and La Cienega), the arts district in DTLA.
Little shops I recommend:
Poketo / DTLA. Colorful home goods, stationary and some jewelry/clothing.
Mixed Business LA / Silverlake. Some VERY GOOD vintage, and a line of California basics (linen tunics, striped tees and denim dusters. Plus a beautiful selection of art, ceramics, etc.
Jet Rag / Hollywood. Vintage on vintage on vintage. Organized by era and decent $, depending on what you want to buy. They have a $1 rummage sale every Sunday.
Huset Shop / Abbot Kinney. Modern Scandinavian home goods. Stuff you can't find anywhere else.
The Rose Bowl Flea Market - First Sunday of every month. Giant. Overwhelming, and always HOT. Also full of amazing vintage and antiques. Bought my favorite 80's Pink Floyd tee while slurping a slushy frozen lemonade here.
The General Store / Venice. The coolest shop ever. Inspired 1000x sunny, succelent filled boutiques the world over.
Okay, so you call Los Angeles home - day in and day out. Living here makes you crave what kind of getaway / escape?
LA makes me crave a culture totally opposite my own - like Tokyo or Bangkok. I also crave wide open spaces and nature, to get away from the city noise and my car.