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Diary: Things I Like About Southern California

It's already been five months since we've gotten a place here in Los Angeles county which is still so surreal to me, and since a few of our friends have been asking how we like it, I thought I would write about the things that I do like about being here. First and foremost, it hasn't been an easy transition. As to be expected, the process of unpacking, getting settled into the new place, trying to organize it, and completing quite a few projects has kept us from venturing out too much to familiarize ourselves with this new city that will be our second home away from home for the time being. On the positive side, being busy and having a new place to decorate has kept my mind off the reality that I'm not in NY. As scary as change can be, especially when you're getting older, it's also exciting to experience things that help you grow personally and afford different entrepreneurial opportunities, and we're very fortunate to have the circumstances to not be enslaved by anything that would otherwise keep us from spreading our wings so-to-speak to accomplish goals and expand our horizons.

What we find intriguing about Los Angeles is the fact that it is a city comprised of a bunch of different cities within it. The best way I can describe what it's like is by comparing it with the little Russian nested dolls, because with every turn of the corner, you get a different feel and vibe. I personally enjoy that, as it keeps things fresh and somewhat exciting, cause you never know what you're going to find - much like the line in Forest Gump, "life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." Well, L.A. to me is like that box of chocolate, I never know what I'm gonna find. Discovering all these quaint/unique shops to hunt for one of a kind pieces just adds to the experience of it all.

Here are some of the things I like thus far: (*Warning: This is for certain a photo overloaded post...)

~ The Weather: is an obvious one. Having almost perfect weather everyday is definitely a bonus. Although I'm already missing the fall and winter season this year, I'm glad at least the fall weather has been feeling a little crisp like NY, so that makes me happy.

{I especially welcome the nice change of a gloomy day every now and then}

~ The Farmers Markets: seems to be one of the hip things to do around here - easily spotting Hollywood's stars leisurely shopping right alongside you is definitely a perk. Also you can't beat taking a stroll amidst an array of beautiful bountiful displays of fresh produce/oddities at a fraction of the cost of the local supermarkets while soaking up the amazing weather that California is known for coupled with live music. I've been finding it to be a soothing way to clear the mind. It's such a pleasant experience. The best thing too, is that the farmers markets aren't only on the weekends, but every day of the week, so anytime you get that urge to feel mentally and visually stimulated, you can hit one at your convenience depending on your schedule. I recently discovered that The Los Angeles Times makes it even easier to locate a farmer's market near you. Check it out.

~ The Different Types of Trees and Plants:  I find the diversity of tree species in California so fascinating. Although Long Island NY where we're from is like a forest with a variety of Maple and Spruce trees, California too, has so many different varieties and species of shrubs, flowers and plants that always draw me to inch closer to either touch, smell or examine them. Especially in Santa Barbara where we visit often, you will find rare looking fruit trees in local parks that are so aromatic, they fill the streets with a constant pleasant fragrance.  It makes you appreciate the planet showing what the earth could be like everywhere, if only people really took pride and the time to take care of it as they should. Our mental and physical health would perform at its peak from breathing better air and we would have the calmness of heart that comes with being around a beautifully clean delightful environment.

~ The Restaurant Scene: Comparable to NY's culinary world (to which I've noted before), with everything from haute cuisine to middle of the road. There are many restaurants owned by young couples, cooking with locally grown organic food. The trend is to raise awareness of how good natural food really tastes and that's actually been a much appreciated culinary experience for me (us). Being someone that cooks with a lot of love and passion - seeing that expressed through some of these places makes eating out that much more enjoyable.

~ The Cars on The Road: I get a kick at seeing my fellow car enthusiasts muscling  and peacocking their way through traffic, which reminds me so much of the Hampton's scene. Than again, when you spend about 70% of your life in your car here, I can kind of see the logic of wanting to drive the best automobile - it's almost like your home away from home, so it might as well be luxurious.

~ The Shopping: is still a challenge as all areas of the city seems to just blend into each other without any defined boundaries, so it's very difficult to decipher where the good shopping areas are. I typically gravitate towards 3rd street, Melrose ave, the Grove or Santa Monica, and occasionally I will venture to Rodeo drive when I have a few extra bucks burning a hole in my pockets. If you don't mind spending $600 for a polyester blouse with pulls in it, give Beverly Hills a try. Being that I am not a mall person (not even when I was in high school), I am glad that there is a plethora of boutique shops, giving many options. It is much better than other cities that I've been to - it's just a matter of finding my niche area for shopping.

~ The Movie Posters:* Instead of architectural buildings, L.A skies are littered with movie posters advertising the latest movies and TV shows as to be expected being that this is the capital of the entertainment industry. Looking at those posters, it seems like Hollywood exec's like to stroke their egos saying: "who's is bigger?" Just a subtle observation.

I'm definitely looking forward to exploring what this town has to offer on this next adventure of our lives while we're here - making one discovery at a time, creating memories visiting all the different vintage/antique shops, restaurants, parks (particularly the red woods) and museums in this interesting city. So if you're a local, or a New Yorker that's been in the L.A. area a while and have some suggestions of where to shop, eat and find good fresh flowers, please share them in the comment box below.    

*Excuse the old movie posters. I shot them when we first got here.

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