Los Angeles, California
While browsing through travel manuals, brochures and web sites I am always dismayed to see the “sights” touted to vacationers visiting Los Angeles.
Travel writers will have you believe that your LA experience should start in Downtown LA, where you’re sure to see…skyscrapers!!!…and continue on to Hollywood and Vine where you’re sure to get mugged.
Um, please allow me, a hard-boiled Angelino, to suggest otherwise. I have lived on the Westside of Los Angeles several years now, and if you want the true Southern California experience, the Westside is where it’s at.
This is the balmy, beach boulevard Los Angeles of the 1930′s with Spanish-style bungalows and a coffee shop on every corner. This is the roll-out-the-red-carpet Los Angeles where you just might see a movie star or stumble upon a premiere. And this is the cultural Los Angeles where The Getty presides upon a hilltop, overlooking its dominion.
This is the true Los Angeles.
From Pacific Palisades (where Steven Spielberg lives) to Santa Monica (great beaches!) to Westwood Village (college town funky) to Beverly Hills (does this need an introduction?) the Westsiders put the cool in SoCal.
Sit outside of a coffee shop in West Hollywood and just see if Brad Pitt sits down next to you. Go to Moomba on Tuesday night to hear Jeff Goldblum play the piano. Take a ride down Sepulveda Boulevard through the hills that lead into the Valley. Go to Book Soup to hear a reading from one of your favorite authors. Go to LACMA to see a first class exhibit. Try Spago or Kate Mantilini’s in Beverly Hills for a classy, ultra-chic experience. Grab Fresh-Mex take-out from Paquito Mas on Westwood Boulevard. Go to Santa Monica because it’s Santa Monica.
But leave Hollywood and Vine to the druggies and leave Downtown to the pigeons. You’ve got better things to do.