I don’t know much about California, or specifically Los Angeles, and before I visited (for the first time!), I had a lot of preconceived notions about it: hot weather, blonde-haired surfer dudes walking around with surfboards under their armpits, lots of fake people, and celebrities on every corner.
I was right…for the most part.
I told an LA-based friend what I was expecting, and though she agreed on some of what I said, she told me to go into the trip with an open mind anyway.
So after spending five days in LA, this is what I learned.
1. LA transportation is so different than NYC transportation.
Uber is the thing in LA. Or just driving in general. The drivers are super nice and super chill, from what I experienced. The prices for the rides are reasonably priced, too, and I’m honestly so thankful I got to experience that even for a little while.
I mean, at 2am, my 20-minute ride from Studio City to West Hollywood was $6. In New York, a 20-minute ride can be nearly $15. I’m not even being dramatic.
On the other hand, I hated the traffic. I thought New York traffic was bad, but nah, this was ridiculous. Every time I sat in an Uber I thought about how much I missed the subway and that’s saying a lot.
2. The weather can be cold.
I left New York’s 20-degree weather and expected to be sweating every day in LA. It was warm, sure, and I got a little sunburn, sure, but it was still pretty chilly most days. I had goosebumps all over and every night I layered up in jackets.
It was painfully obvious that I was a tourist. I wore biker shorts and a t-shirt around Hollywood, thriving in the sunshine and 60-degree weather. “It’s sooooo warm,” I convinced myself. Meanwhile, the locals wore hoodies and pants and beanies and talked consistently about how cold it was.
3. The food is amazing.
Açaí bowls taste different (and obviously so much better) when you’re eating them in the sun and sand and not in a beach-themed cafe somewhere in Manhattan, surrounded by trash and snow.
There’s so much hype around In n Out, and honestly, I get it. It might not be healthy at all and I definitely did not feel like my best self after I ate it and I’m sorry I ate meat, I promise I’m trying to be better, but I get the hype. It was delicious.
4. There are celebrities everywhere. All the time. Seriously.
I went to an exclusive bar in West Hollywood (I mean, you have to know someone with a key in order to get in) with less than thirty people inside. I danced to “Come On Eileen” with an actress from one of my favorite TV shows. I’m sorry…what?! That doesn’t happen in New York. I’m drunk-dancing with someone I watch on TV? Unreal.
That same night, a rapper (who just so happens to be dating a Disney Channel star) left the bar with my friend’s credit card by accident and she had to go to his house just to get it. How wild.
5. It’s easy to fall in love while you’re there.
I loved LA.
I’ve lived in the Northeast my whole life. I was born and raised as a Jersey girl, until recently, when I moved to Brooklyn. I’ve never visited the West Coast and I’ve never had a desire to…until recently.
LA is the perfect combination of beach and city. LA has cute guys skateboarding around town and nice Uber drivers. LA has nice, warm weather during the winter months.
I spent five days in LA and I learned what it’s like to undeniably feel so connected to something I had no desire to appreciate in the first place. I could see myself packing up my bedroom here in Brooklyn (once my lease is up, of course) and moving to the West Coast. How scary is that?