10 Things I've Learned from 2 Months in LA

Sitting in my bed listening to the now normal noises of the freeway (post Ferguson protest helicopter sounds), I've come to the conclusion that maybe, just maybe, I've learned a few things from residing in the City of Angels for the past two months. I'm heading to Seattle tomorrow evening for a little bit of a Thanksgiving break, but in the meantime, here's what I'm been storing in my mind for the past few weeks:

1. The people you surround yourself with makes a huge difference
Trader Joe's run(ning) with Ashlin
With Sam *from Seattle as well*
Pictures from Bianca's Facebook because she takes fab pictures.

To be absolutely honest when I first got to Los Angeles I was very overwhelmed. Its one thing thinking about moving to another state and completely changing your life, and quite another actually going through with it. Luckily I've been able to find some great new friends (certainly not all are pictured) who make me feel right at home. The kind of people who will sit on the couch with you laughing about a stupid movie one minute, but will give you real genuine advice the next. Anywhere can feel alright if you just meet the right people.

2. Hollywood isn't really Los Angeles
What is Los Angeles is how absolutely jambled and almost uncomfortably random this city is. From hundreds of donut shops lining the strip malls, to celebrity filled shopping events, to rundown street corners, to students bicycling to school through the concrete sidewalks; that is LA. Not the artificial & sterile tourist cover of  this place. So sorry, its not a fame center sparkling with money and perfection, its a real place covering a rather large section of Southern LA. But isn't that all the more interesting?

But you can still go and do this....

3. The best places are the ones you haven't visited yet
I was quite satisfied.

As a perhaps too avid checker of Yelp and other review sites, I tend to know how good a restaurant should be before I even set foot in the establishment. But the real method to finding both the best food and shopping in LA is to just try everything out. If you can't find delicious food here then quite frankly you should train your taste buds because its everywhere (ps. the Thai food at the Grove's market is absolutely yummy).

4. Public transportation here is just fine
Sunday subway sounds.

I don't know exactly where I heard about Los Angeles having a terrible public transportation reputation, but in all my experiences I have to say that's false. I frequently take the subway from a station near my apartment downtown and as far as I can tell its always been on time. I've also only had one experience with the bus never showing up, which for such a large place I'll just ignore and move past. Nothing negative I can say either about the train which I can easily take and be by USC in just a couple of minutes. A much better system overall than back in Washington. Just remember to keep your TAP card and not lose it like I did when I had just put 10 dollars on it.

5. You will meet (semi) famous people
Though I haven't technically had any real up close and personal encounters with *stars*, I have had a few experiences which certainly would not have occurred back home. Lets see: I've casually sat on the floor of a UCLA frat house with the guy who played the brother on Zoey 101,  I saw that blond curly haired actress from Orange Is The New Black while volunteering at a UNIQLO store opening event at Beverly Center, and I managed to have a semi casual conversation with Sky Ferreira's music producer. Oh and someone who hangs out with Lil Debbie and Soulja Boy lives on the 10th floor of my apartment....

6. Seeing places you've heard about will still be surreal

Knowing me, I tend to obsess slightly over music. Hence when I sat in the back seat of my friend's Jeep driving through Hoover Street, I just smiled to myself at the mere fact that I was in the location of a Schoolboy Q song. I might be the palest girl in my building, but I can still rock a bucket rolling through "the South".

7. Surprise, the news actually happens here
Meanwhile, on the roof last night.

Things that have happened:

  •  Freeway crash from driving the wrong way on the 110 right in front of my apartment 
  •  Blocked off freeway (last night) from protesters on the same freeway
  • Guy with weapon at donut shop the night before going (Smart? Maybe not, but then again when you need donuts you really need donuts)
  • A million other things that I don't actually want to know about to avoid paranoia

8. Be prepared to meet people way cooler than you
Its kind of a bummer but although you might have thought you were really the creme de la creme of the hip back in your town now you're just one in a million (quite literally). The girl next to you will have met Mac Miller last week, and the guy a few seats back will have sold jewelry to Frank Ocean. But all you can do is work hard until you know you've made it. Network, network, network and never settle.

9. You don't really have money to spend on threading your eyebrows (but you will anyways)
Your wallet will not enjoy a major metropolitan venue. It might soon convenient living next to 5 different nail salons and a million cafes, but that convenience will soon diminish when you check your bank statement. Maybe just eat a few less "Spicy Asian chicken wraps"....

10. The penguins in Madagascar were right

"Just smile and wave boys". To finalize this list lets quote a DreamWork's animated film. Lets just say you will encounter a few individuals with view points and attitudes you do not truly appreciate. But instead of fretting and getting all Disney channel tween attitude about it, just grit your teeth and walk away. There is no use starting drama where it isn't needed, in the end realizing it doesn't matter makes you the smarter person!

Now we'll just see what the next few months bring.