It’s been a couple of months of settling back into my first city, Los Angeles. It is not your average skyscraper filled city and is more of an endless sprawl hiding an assortment of surprises. I love the city because it feels like there are always whole neighborhoods left to discover just around the corner.
It’s nice to come back to some beautiful landmarks. Staying in one location for a bit longer means friends can visit and I can show them around.
Los Angeles has a district for everything, from pinatas to flowers to fish. This was my first time in the vibrant flower market.
This was found in the flower market but I’m more used to seeing it in Venice. Maybe there are just some flower “vases” I don’t understand.
In a move most people here find odd, I’ve taken to using a bicycle as my primary means of transportation. The part where this is a sprawling city overtaken by cars makes that more difficult than it should be.
The Ballona Creek biking and walking trail goes from the middle of the city all the way out to the ocean.
Luckily the Los Angeles metro transit authority has had a lot of billboards and signs about bicycling rights and safety. The situation has improved a lot since I lived here last. There’s even an anti-harassment lawsuit so that any cars that pass too close or honk can be brought to court.
It looks better on a street sign than a bus that cuts me off. The billboard/bus campaign is still nice though.
The hierarchy of transportation extends further down in West Hollywood. This sign tipped me off that the city of LA and West Hollywood made it ok to ride on sidewalks.
Of course, you really can’t ignore that at the heart of the matter, Los Angeles is still a car city. Sure the light rail/subway is being expanded but we are still in the present.
The very awesome Metropolis II sculpture at LACMA with lots of loud moving car parts and architectural elements from many places. Much more impressive than the Levitating Mass I was originally antsing to see.
At one point I headed up to northern California by the slower route of the 101 to check out the Santa Maria oak pit barbecue scene. I completely failed both on the drive up and down to find anyone that had an oak pit firing at lunch but stopped at a few places for decent meat.
Jocko’s is said to have the best steaks in the state with some serious bingo hall decor and a bar full of old people throwing back martinis at noon. Alas they don’t fire up the oak pit at lunch so I settled for the awesome placemat and bumper sticker.
Luckily I don’t need to leave town to find some old favorites. When I was abroad I was always asked if I missed American food, like burgers and pizza.
Burgers? Sure I love burgers, but what I really miss is the variety of ethnic cake. I particularly mised Mexican food! Hooray for the LA Taco Fest and this delicious fried shrimp taco and ceviche from Mariscos Jaliscos. I don’t think I’ve seen a whole avocado on my plate in or out of the country.
I’m not sure if most people in small towns abroad quite grasp what Californian food looks like, as even the burgers and pizza generally get a fresher take.
Hooray I came back just in time for squash blossom season to join this delicious burrata.
While I did enjoy eating in the markets and on the street abroad, that is just never the best place to get vegetables anywhere in the world. Luckily Californian fare is bountiful and something great is always in season.
April is grilled cheese month. It is well celebrated in Los Angeles by the awesome Clementine cafe and the Grilled Cheese Invitational. Melty cheese should always be celebrated.
While I’m still not settled into a home of my own, it’s still time to get back to eating some more home cooked meals instead of living off the street carts. The cornucopia of fresh fruits and vegetables is best explored in the many year round farmer’s markets to be found in different spots all over town every day of the week.
The Hollywood farmer’s market is one of the largest in town. This is Hope, a blind goat owned by animal rescue and delicious goat cheesemaker Soledad Goats.
Just because I’ve stopped being on farms does not mean I’ll stop seeking out adorable farm animals. At the moment my adventures are more about exploring the interests I’ve had to a while that I could not necessarily try while traveling. Sure, it’s less about milking goats these days, but it helps to try a few things for longer. Maybe stop motion animation or baking will lead me to another farm one day. Who knows what adventure is next or where.