A week in Los Angeles. What I liked and disliked

A week in Los Angeles. What to say? Where to start?

Those past few years, on top of my bucket list, I had a line about a road trip in California. The idea came up many times in different circumstances but never actually happened. I sort of put on one side and instead, went to other destinations that weren’t necessarily on top of the list but that ended up being amazing discoveries, especially northern Europe (I’m thinking about weekends in Stockholm or Copenhague). Nothing to do with a sunny holidays by the beach but I guess it was enough to satisfy my hunger for travel and discoveries.

Then out of nowhere, I had the opportunity to go to Los Angeles in February. My dream city to visit and the fact that I was looking for a warm destination to escape the gloomy British Winter. And, with my best friend. That was a deal.

I found £500 return tickets with Air New Zealand, an airline I had long wanted to travel with. 11 hours later, I was in California.

I had in mind something halfway between the LA from the American series from the 90s and the cool, organic super healthy Venice beach style. I thought I would jump right back 15 years ago, stroll in Melrose and Beverly Hills, go for runs by the beach every morning, eat healthy organic brunches, take some good and proper sun that I hadn’t seen for a while in London and dream in the streets of Hollywood.

This is not exactly what happened, but it was still pretty “awesome”.

My week in Los Angeles

Back to the start of the trip.

Here we are, in LA, for a crazy week to come with the best of friends.

As I landed on the Friday night, there was a storm and the  weather forecasts weren’t very optimistic.

Before leaving London that morning, I had inaugurated my balcony for the SS17 Season, so I thought LA could not be so bad.

IMG_4597

Well it was pretty bad. And rare from what I heard. It was pouring rain and it was cold. But that wasn’t going to kill my joy to be there. Neither would the strong wind, the AC from the place that gave me a sore throat, the jet lag or the price of the Uber, more expensive than planned… It was starting to be a lot but I was too happy to care.

Une semaine a Los Angeles

I then headed to the Standard Downtown, one of the cool hotels in Downtown, the up and coming part of LA which I would tend to compare to Hackney in London. Massive room, retro and cool vibes, massive rooftop with a pool. Not too bad.

We celebrate being together right there at this right time.

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A WEEK IN LA

I’m not gonna do it “city guide version” in this article but treat it more as a proper blog post with personal impressions.

As I came back to my little hood in London, I had a mixed feeling of having just spent one of the craziest week of my life but also be happy and grateful to live in my little London life.

To sum it up, I loved LA but I understand some mitigated feedback I had before and after. And I am going to tell you why.

I LOVED

Going on top of the Hollywood sign with my best friend, feeling the summer vibe in the middle of February, forgetting about British Winter in a sec, the beautiful and never ending beaches, the marvelous sunsets (probably my favourite thing), “stroll” by Melrose Avenue and randomly end up on the Pink Paul Smith shop, the hippy chic vibe in Venice, the Venice canals and Abbot Venue in the same area (Venice has to be my second favourite thing), the Getty Center, architectural gem with one of the best view on the City, walking in the streets of Beverly Hills and feeling like I was 15 again, the never ending big alleys of Palm trees everywhere, enjoying the sun and people watching at a beach bar between Santa Monica and Venice beach, going for lunch with a real “French Californienne” at Malibu Farm (Salome’s Blog over here), going for cocktails with a view at the Ace Hotel or at the Standard Hotel rooftops and the New York and up and coming vibe in this area.

It was honestly all as good as I imagined it.

But there also were a few bits I didn’t think of and you should be aware of before going to LA. As amazing as this city is, LA is so not only about palm trees, fame and runs by the beach.

What I enjoyed less…

Everything related to the American system.

Everything is SO big, from the size of the city to the portions of fries! It’s almost impossible to commute without a car and in less than 30 minutes to go from a place to an other that looked close at the first glance.

 It’s not that healthy. At all. I was expecting something a bit more authentic or more “Venice beach like” but I guess I am just victim of my intense usage of Instagram where everything is always depicted as so perfect. In reality, it’s much more superficial as I thought it would be and a proper reflexion of the American system. Rich people have everything and poor ones nothing. There are millionaires with their fancy and gorgeous houses by the beach, and rows of homeless people everywhere, including in Hollywood, where their dream of fame seem to sort of keep them alive.

I’m not even mentioning the citizenship situation with the number of people using fake papers and the terrible business behind that.

I was reading an article from a French blogger who described it as a big suburb and that’s also how I felt, even though I do think some areas have an amazing vibe.

In the end, I’m not sure if I liked it more than New York or not. I remember coming back from New York with a more positive impression but LA’s impression has lasted longer and I felt nostalgic many times.

I definitively think it’s a city worth visiting and here is why:

Venice 2

Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica 1

Palm Trees

Malibu 2

Vue depuis H sign

H sign EM

View LA Pano

Downtown 2

Hollywood Coll

Graffiti Hollywood

Melrose Coll

Venice 5

Venice Canal 1

Venice 3

Abbot K 2

BH Collage 1

Getty Center 1

LA vue Getty C

Evening Venice

Sunset Venice 1

Sunset Venice 2

Sunset Venice 4

Sunset Venice 6

Sunset Venice 7

Sunset

Santa Monica sunset

IMG_4601

Elodie

Elodie, happy "French londonienne" for almost 4 years. I share my London discoveries, expat life thoughts and reflexions on beeing a 30 year old. “Les petites joies de la vie londonienne” means “The little joys of London” so let’s make sure we make the most of this incredible city.

Comments (11)

  • Avatar

    Mathilde

    Merci pour la mention du blog ;)
    A mon avis, L.A. n’est pas une ville qui se visite comme une ville européenne, c’est l’erreur qui peut faire qu’on ne l’aime pas trop, pour l’apprécier, il ne faut pas chercher à tout voir, tout faire, mais se balader (à pied) dans un ou deux quartiers, sortir le soir, aller à la plage, faire un musée ou deux, et basta !
    En tout cas, ça fait toujours plaisir de voir des palmiers (il neige à Boston en ce moment :P

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Elodie

      Haha c’est clair les palmiers c’est la dose d’exotisme assuré! Et oui erreur à ne pas faire mais en même temps quand on sait qu’on ne reviendra pas de si tôt on ne veut pas en rater une miette. Il faut trouver le bon équilibre. Mon prochain séjour idéal à LA serait exactement celui décrit dans ton article sur Venice. Vivre dans l’esprit du quartier, et auquel j’avais associé Los Angeles je crois.

      Merci pour ton com et bon courage sous la neige! :)

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Salomé

    Une belle rencontre via Instagram ♥
    En effet Los Angeles demande beaucoup de temps à être visiter, il y a tellement de choses à faire et à voir. Malheureusement le trafic H24 fait perdre énormément de temps :( . Mais tu as quand même visiter les plus beaux quartiers de Los Angeles :).
    Sinon, le temps y est toujours assez agréable la journée. C’est un plaisir d’avoir une moyenne de 20°C à l’année. Mes pensées vont à Mathilde qui est sous la neige de Boston !

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Elodie

      Oui super aperçu de la ville! La chance 20 degrés! Bon ici ça s’améliore lentement mais surement donc je ne me plainds pas! Bisous x

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Nadia

    Bonjour Élodie,

    Juste une petite remarque, les séries que tu cités marchent pour les quarantenaires !!!! ;-))) Qu’on se le dise….
    En tout cas super dépaysement… Ça donne envie. Et grâce à Mathilde, Venice Beach était en haut de ma liste. Elle avait fait un super article dessus.
    Bizarrement, je lui avais pas laissé de commentaires. Je me rattraperai la prochaine fois.
    XXx

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Elodie

      haha oui j’aurais du dire 30 et +.. Je n’étais juste pas très sûre que ça parle autant au moins de 25 ans, pas les vraies versions originales des séries en tout cas. Merci pour ton message :))

      Reply

  • Avatar

    New York Crazy Girl

    Tes photos sont vraiment magnifiques, ça donne envie ^^

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Elodie

      J’avoue qu’elles me donnent des envies de repartir à moi aussi!

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Florence

    Je suis revenue de Los Angeles il y a une semaine et je me reconnais dans tes photos (j’ai l’impression d’avoir les mêmes lol) et ton avis concernant la ville… Au final je suis quand même super heureuse et chanceuse de pouvoir dire que je suis partie à LA!
    Sinon merci pour ton blog qui est super sympa, je pars voir une amie à Londres le weekend prochain et j’ai déjà plein d’idées pour rendre ce weekend parfait :)
    Bises,
    Florence

    Reply

    • Avatar

      Elodie

      Merci et profites bien de ton week-end à Londres! Pour le coup je suis plus experte sur le sujet :) x

      Reply

  • Avatar

    Camille

    Hello Elodie,
    Merci beaucoup pour ta petite mention ! Prochaine destination : pars à Bali :-)

    Reply

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