Never Leave LA

An LA Love Story – Part 4

“LA is a beautiful hustle” is a quote that strums through my head quite often in this city where everyone is multi-talented or becomes multi-talented through the connection and vibrancy of living in a city. Perhaps, the ‘hustle’ is to survive, but the ‘hustle’ often comes from a place of inner strength, curiosity, and creativeness to follows ones’ dreams or latent passions.

Living in LA is where I have felt most alive. Actually I have felt more alive in the last seven years here, than I have in more than double the years on the east coast. I wonder if this is due to my older age and the fact that I appreciate life, nature, and my breath so much more, OR is it due to the fact I have experienced more sunsets in 6 months in LA than I witnessed in 10 years prior. I can ‘live’ outside all yearlong. Not only do the nature escapes just a hop, skip, and jump from the city keep me Zen-peaceful, but the dynamic city energy buzz makes me feel alive.

Photo credit: Melissa Curtin

I also wonder if the work til you die mentality that I grew up with is the best notion of the way to live life. Isn’t life suppose to be about enjoyment? I completely respect and admire people who work hard, but life in DC and NY became about who can work til 8 or longer every night. Sleeping on your office couch to do it all over again the next morning was a tale I didn’t want to live. What kind of life do you have when you never come home to your family or even go outside?

Many of us in LA grew up elsewhere, and sure, we have fleeting moments of wanting a snow day off, or missing the smell of a fire burning mixed with crisp chill air, or even seeing the fluttering colorful hues of falling leaves, but then we quickly snap back to our LA reality, thanks to the birds chirping outside our windows as the sunlight streams through our blinds…..every day.

Our 2015 LA LOVE tales round-up concludes with more thoughtful responses. Thank you to all who shared your stories. Now, why do YOU adore LA?

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LOVE STORY: Part Four

I love LA because this town is a million different hip “towns” in one. We have everything NYC has plus the most amazing weather. But best of all, I love my little “town” West 3rd Street where all the store owners know each other and all my neighbors meet up at our local haunts. I get the small town feel of knowing people on the street and the big town feel of discovering new restaurants, artists and music throughout all the far corners of Los Angeles.

Natalie Compagno, Owner, Traveler’s Bookcase

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Find Natalie Compagno’s quote inside too. (Photo credit: http://www.facebook/travelersbookscase)

Having also lived in Chicago and New York while traveling extensively throughout the world, I always find myself gravitating to big cities: the energy, the diversity, the endless choices and possibilities. LA has all of that in spades. It’s a place where people come from all over the world to make something happen, because they dreamed of more than the place they left could offer. Hardly anyone moves here to retire anymore- the sheer cost of living prevents it for all but the mega-rich. You want to sit in the sun, live on the cheap and not work?  Take that talk to Florida, Arizona, or Vegas, my friend. Slackers get chewed up and spit out here. The constant influx of young, ambitious, hungry people keeps LA vibrant and moving forward.  It creates new art, new cuisines, and new business ideas. People come here to leave behind what was holding them back, and LA takes them all in and says, “Great- let’s see what you got.”

And best of all, it does it without snow or mosquitoes.

Mike Siegel, TVHost/Producer/Travel Writer/ Host of Travel Tales Podcast

Christmas morning, 2014. 80 degrees in Santa Monica. (Photo credit: Mike Siegel)

 

Being an Angeleno I think my perspective on why I love LA may be a bit shocking, but it’s why I’ve stayed so long! I love LA because LA is for everyone. LA has an eclectic balance of people who love the great outdoors, the beaches, museums, the glitz of Hollywood, restaurateurs, hipsters, music lovers, you name it. You can drive two hours to ski, you can jump in a convertible and sail around Malibu, or go wine tasting in Temecula. And most importantly, no matter what you love about LA, no matter what you do in LA, or where you have found your crowd in LA -we all come together at the end of the day to watch the incredible sunsets that remind us daily how lucky we are to live in LA.

– Robyn Deutsch, Senior Account Manager, Angeleno Magazine, Modern Luxury

Angeleno Magazine

Photo credit: Robyn Deutsch

Twelve years ago I landed on the homeland of fitness, Los Angeles. I moved to pursue my profession in the fitness and fashion world. Los Angeles definitely welcomed me with open arms and a ray of sunshine everyday. I love the balance of LA vs other major cities. You can be as busy socially as you want, or relax and chill. Creating a path for career, friendships and social oppurtunies, I have enjoyed the “Lovely of LA.”

– Grace Lazenby, Creator of Rockin Models Workout at Equinox Fitness 

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You realize how lucky you are to live in LA when you are sitting at the airport gate, returning home from your vacation and hear strangers mumble about how dreadful it is to go back to their hometown in Minne-SNOW-ta, BOO-Utah, or HOT-lanta. While you are anxiously waiting to get back to LA’s perfect 70-something-degree weather looking forward to ordering your fresh pressed juice cleanse from Earth Bar (because it is FAUX PAS not to properly detox after an indulgent vacation drink-a-thon), booking your next SOUL CYCLE bike (gotta melt those extra pounds you put on, plus ahem….D. Beckham is totally waiting for you to spin next to him), scheduling your next meeting somewhere outdoors (because how else would you get inspired if there is no Hollywood sign view or sunshine), and catching up with your girlfriends over a gorgeous hike overlooking Tinseltown’s finest (so what if they’re a little smog-filled) views.

Humor aside, I’ve never lived in a city that embraced me as much as LA has. There is something truly MAGICAL about the City of Angels. It fosters creativity, encourages entrepreneurship, promotes a healthy lifestyle, embraces your uniqueness, allows you to find a different side of yourself that you haven’t explored, and helps you develop an immense appreciation for freedom, a quality life, the beach, and eclectic people.

-Aida Takyrbasheva, CEO & Founder, Skinny Bikini Swimwear 

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Skinny Bikini Swimwear (Baroque Royalty) at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills. (Photo credit: Aida Takyrbasheva)

I see Los Angeles as the trendsetter for the world. When you think about it, with entertainment media, pop culture, music and film all emanating from here, plus a huge influx of tech and business — it seems to me that with so much going on, the world really looks to what’s happening here first!

Being born and raised here, I’ve seen a lot of changes happen. Yes it’s more crowded, it’s expensive (sometimes ridiculously so), and it’s nearly impossible to get from Venice to Hollywood. But we’ve got so much going for us here. In the right spots you can have a walking lifestyle while still being able to branch out into the big city anytime. And the weather! It’s almost worth the threat of The Big One. (Knock wood)

Todd Goldman

Todd Goldman, one of the highest ranking Krav Maga instructors in the United States and a 3rd Degree Black Belt Worldwide. (Photo credit: Brenda Carey)

This town is full of creative, ambitious people who are up to something big. It’s like Ground Zero for innovation. And there is so much diversity here! Plus, everyone seems to be up to more than one thing. People are multi-facented and oftentimes multi-talented.

Finally, I especially love the culture of health and consciousness in LA. I can easily surround myself with people and places that value health, fitness and community. Where else in this hemisphere is there so much choice for world-class yoga in almost any style? Where else can you run or ride a bike on the beach and go skiing on the same day? And — being a long-time vegan, I love being here since there are so many options for restaurants and shopping; vegan is quickly becoming mainstream here and I couldn’t be happier about that.

Todd Goldman, Director / Producer – West Rim Pictures / 10 Toes Forward
                              Head Instructor – Krav Maga Worldwide

Vegan Grocery

Vegan restaurants and vegan spots are all over LA. (Photo credit: Todd Goldman)

LA’s long stretch of sandy coastline kisses the ocean waves and extends nearly to forever. The experience of running, biking, roller blading, walking along, or just gazing into the seemingly endless water from the shore nourishes and invigorates my soul. I’ve smiled until my cheeks hurt, simply unfurled my brow and let my body sink into the organic formations of the soft sand beneath me, let tears pour from my eyes, and just breathed and absorbed the moments as they come and go. If not engulfed within the water, the ocean’s edge is really the only place that centers me here, whether reclining or in motion. It’s a place that I love, and a place that I need.

Rochelle Robinson, Co-Founder/Writer – LaLaScoop.com, Owner/Personal Trainer – AndiamoBody, Painter for LSO Designs – DressoftheWeekClub, Librarian/Advanced Reading Seminar Teacher – Laurence School in Van Nuys 

Photo credit: Rochelle Robinson

You can surf in the morning, ski in the afternoon, have drinks overlooking the Pacific at sunset, and never run out of new INCREDIBLE restaurants to try at night!

-Jennifer Lippert, Third Grade Teacher, Seven Arrows Elementary School in Pacific Palisades

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Photo credit: Jennifer Lippert

LA is a place where you can continually evolve as an individual surrounded by the hustle of the city and the calm of nature. It’s a beautiful contradiction, that actually makes perfect sense.

-Lauren Faretta, Owner – Cardio Barre Santa Monica, Partner/Producer – 41 West Films

Cardio Barre Santa Monica Venice

Cardio Barre Santa Monica/Venice (Photo credit: Lauren Faretta)

1) Everyone is really friendly in LA…  People seem to want to meet each other, talk to their neighbors, and say hello to strangers they encounter with an easy, open quality that is unique to this city.  When I first moved here from Philadelphia, I found everyone to be very welcoming and inviting right away!  I knew only a handful of music collaborators at the outset, but I found that it was easy to find my niche and settle into an area that has come to truly feel like home!

2) There’s a palpable feeling of optimism here; it’s a city filled with enthusiastic self-starters motivated by a creative energy.  The typical “9 to 5” work schedule is rare in LA – I find it fascinating that one of my best friends is a curator at LACMA, another is a marketing executive at Disney, and I meet music collaborators, screenwriters, directors, start-up entrepreneurs, and fashion designers nearly everywhere I go!
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Cardio Barre Santa Monica/Venice (Photo credit: Lauren Faretta)

3) There is no homogeneity in LA in terms of fashion and personal style…  Everyone is different…  People dress how they want to dress, wear their hair how they want to wear their hair, and ignore traditional “rules” of fashion.  It’s a haven for trendsetters, and one can derive a great sense of individuality from that “out of the box” culture.  That characteristic even transcends into the architecture around LA…  When you drive down an LA street, you can find the archways of an old Hollywood mansion adjacent to the sleekness of a modern luxury home, and then see Spanish style resort-like villas just across the street.  Anything goes here!
#streetfeatherproject (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

#streetfeatherproject (Photo credit: Melissa Curtin)

4) Two words – PALM TREES!  When driving down Doheny or along the Beverly Dr. right in the heart of Beverly Hills, there’s nothing more relaxing than seeing the blue sky lined with palm trees.  It’s where the tropics meet classic luxury!  (Even if the palm trees were imported…)

5) The old Hollywood vibe of the roaring 20’s art deco period is the epitome of glamour, and it is reflected in so many hotels, buildings, bars, and restaurants around LA.  When you step into Chateau Marmont or the Los Angeles Theater downtown, you’re transported to the era of silent films and classic Hollywood starlets.  Even when you drive by the Sunset Tower or the El Royale on Rossmore, or dine at traditional places like Dan Tana’s, you feel like you’re on an old Hollywood film set in many ways.  It’s inspiring.

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Carly Robyn Green (Photo credit: Jaime Raisch)

6) Two more words – THE BEACH!  On “Just an Ordinary Sunday” (as my song title goes), you can drive just 20 minutes west and wind up on the beach… in February!  You can play volleyball if you wish, ride bikes, or just lay out before placid views.  It’s beautiful any time of year, and just seeing the water instantly gives me peace and respite from the hectic musician pace.

7) Malibu summers…  Parties on Carbon Beach, mimosas overlooking the water, fantastic restaurants…  A summer weekend in Malibu can make you feel like you are on vacation very far away from home, and yet, it’s within a 40 minute drive!  There’s also some unique shopping at the Malibu Country Mart, and my most favorite restaurant is right on the water, tucked away on Pacific Coast Highway – Geoffrey’s!
Morning sunrise in Santa Monica (Photo credit: Lauren Faretta)

Morning sunrise in Santa Monica (Photo credit: Lauren Faretta)

8) Year-round tennis, golf, and hiking is a major plus!  I love enjoying the outdoor public tennis courts where you can play tennis any day out of the year in a beautiful environment.  And it is a real luxury to have daily access to hiking trails with gorgeous views that overlook all of LA – from downtown all the way to the pacific coast!

9) Two more words – HOUSE PARTIES!  House parties in “the hills” are, indeed, everything they are cracked up to be.  From celeb sightings to some of the most spectacular views of LA, they are the best way to spend time with good friends in an intimate, private setting.  And thanks to Uber, there’s no need to navigate those windy streets anymore.  Some of my most fun – and bizarre – LA experiences have happened with great friends up in the hills!

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10) The music scene in LA is incomparable!  From The Hollywood Bowl, where I’ve seen my musical inspirations like Streisand and Natalie Cole perform, to the Greek Theater up in Griffith Park, to more intimate places like the Wilshire Ebel and The Wiltern…  To the gorgeous downtown venues like Disney Music Hall, to the huge Staples Center, where I sang back-up for Cee Lo Green at the Grammys a few years ago…  To the opulent Pantages Theater, where I had the opportunity to sing with my collaborator Frank Wildhorn last year…  To the classic rock joints like the Viper Room on the Sunset Strip… To smaller jazz clubs like Dave Koz’s new lounge at Spaghettini in Beverly Hills, cabaret venues like Rockwell: Table & Stage in Los Feliz, and classic venues like The Mint on Pico…  You have it all!

 

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Mondrian Hotel in Hollywood on Sunset. (Photo credit: Michelle Arthur)

11) The recording studios here are incredible!  I have been lucky enough to record at some of the most fantastic studios here in LA, including Henson Studios (where Kermit is always there to greet people as they enter!), Chalice Studios in Hollywood, and some gorgeous studios overlooking the water in Malibu.  I get to visit surrounding areas like Glendale, Simi Valley, Sun City, and Valencia for some studios where I write and record, and I work in so many great little studios located right in West Hollywood and Hollywood.  I recently had the opportunity to visit the famed Capitol Studios for a Grammy event, courtesy of LaLaScoop – and I can’t wait until the day I, too, get to record vocals there!
Carly Robyn Green, Singer/Songwriter  

 

To read more Scoop from LA, read:
Love Story – Part 1, Love Story – Part 2, and Love Story – Part 3.
If you need some laughs, read my 2012 post comparing the Right Coast to the Left Coast. 

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