Los Angeles, to me, is the city of authenticity. I know many people would disagree and have an opinion that’s far on the opposite end of the realism spectrum, but my perspective is of someone who has chosen creativity as a life long passion rather than a vocation. I get to experience LA as someone who doesn’t depend on their creative passions to survive, but someone who cares about them enough to invest time in finding creative fulfillment. Los Angeles is an elevated platform where you can design the highest quality lifestyle for yourself, or you can get lost in the network of people who build shallow industry relationships, clinging to the hope of something greater. I prefer lifestyle design.
Traveling is one forum that enables creativity for me. It’s a way to live in the moment surrounded by new experiences and unconsciously expanding your mind. I gravitate towards authentic local experiences versus a day filled with watered down tourist attractions (although, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to see city-defining landmarks). I will refrain from using the buzzword “millennials” and instead refer to this generation as “my friends,” but my friends and I crave authentic experiences. We like real and we want real experiences. Kylie Jenner summed up my mantra when she told the world that 2016 is
“the year of just realizing stuff, and everyone around me, we’re all just, like, realizing things.”
This trip to LA was thrown together last-minute, like most trips I plan. My friend, Caitlin, who I studied abroad with and haven’t seen in 5 years, had to travel to LA from Miami for work, so we tacked on a few days before her work obligations and had a weekend getaway in one of our favorite cities. Caitlin is one of those friends that’s easy to keep in touch with across the country and you would have never guessed we hadn’t seen each other for 5 years. We also had the same goals for this trip, which is one of the most important factors when planning a trip with someone.
Sticking with the theme of having an authentic local experience, we naturally turned to Airbnb which gave us the flexibility of staying in an apartment in the neighborhood that was most convenient and centrally located to the other activities we had planned. We chose a charming and spacious studio in the heart of Hollywood. I mean, this place had an exposed brick wall with a view of DTLA and Capitol Records, so what else could I ask for? We moved to the W Hollywood for our last night, which was only a few blocks away from our Airbnb.
Most of our weekend was planned around boutique fitness classes. I know what you’re thinking – I hardly know myself anymore, too. Caitlin got me excited about trying out a few trendy classes, and I was hooked. On Saturday morning we attended SoulCycle in Hollywood, which is a spin class centered around upbeat playlists. You haven’t pushed yourself hard enough until you’ve been in position 3 doing tapback body rolls to a Formation remix, and the instructor, Tina, is twerking in the front of the room while the beat drops on the looping “hot sauce in my bag, swag” lyrics. We also treated ourselves to a freeze from Pressed Juicery, which is conveniently located next door to SoulCycle.
Later that afternoon, I signed up for ClassPass, where you can choose classes from different studios around the city. They have many options in LA and Seattle, so I figured I would give it a try. Plus, our Sunday Cycle House class in West Hollywood was available through ClassPass. At first I was nervous for this class because not only were we placed in the front row of a class filled with what seemed to be athletes and potentially a few celebrities who often attend, but Aaron, our instructor, announced that the class would be referred to as “2 turnt 2pm.” Needless to say, I turned up and thoroughly enjoyed the intensity and motivational support that Aaron provided as he walked over and turned up the resistance on my bike.
Caitlin and I met in Spain, specifically in Madrid, where our first excursion together was to the Prado Museum, which is when we bonded over La Maja Desnuda and other iconic Spanish art. We knew this LA trip had to touch on the holy trinity: art, design, and fashion.
On Saturday afternoon we ventured to Malibu to visit the Getty Villa, which is a property that sits up on a hill overlooking the ocean. The property is a recreation of a Roman villa, where we wandered through the grounds and gardens and then moved inside to appreciate the Etruscan art. I’m not saying we went there solely for the Instagram, but the photos were a pleasant side effect.
Our nights primarily revolved around dinner reservations. On Saturday we made a late reservation at SoHo House West Hollywood which we were hoping to find an LA scene since it’s a members only club. It was pretty tame, but I enjoyed the Italian food and wine. We wanted to go out in WeHo after dinner, but both of us were tired and acting twice our age. Luckily, our Uber carpool ride home with an aspiring dancer, who we conveniently picked up at The Abbey, reaffirmed that we made the right choice to head home.
When you’re late for your reservation but you make your friend pose for a picture in front of SoHo House because “it’s your vibe”:
On Sunday we went to Nobu Los Angeles. Despite being featured in numerous rap songs, I was underwhelmed with this Japanese restaurant. The service was slow and the food was good but not great, however, I may be spoiled by Pacific Northwest seafood. If I give Nobu another shot, I will make lunch reservations on the deck at Nobu in Malibu.
Later that night we went back to the W and planned to have a cocktail at The Loft, which is the rooftop pool and bar. We ended up crashing an LA Fashion Week party (LOL) and I tortured Caitlin by making her stay to listen to the live music which she referred to as “jazz,” but really was a cover band belting Whitney Houston.
The weekend flew by, and before we knew it, we had to part ways and tend to our corporate affairs. Weekends like this reenergize me and give me a refreshing perspective that I get to carry back into my work. I’ve kept the fitness streak going back in Seattle and tomorrow I leave for LA again where I will squeeze in a Cycle House or SoulCycle class on this quick trip!