Since I decided to move far away from my beloved Los Angeles, I made a list of things I have to do and places I have to go before I leave. I know it’s a bit much since I plan on visiting a lot, but these are just a handful of things that make Los Angeles very special to me. If you’re moving to Los Angeles or live here already, make sure you check these places out. If you’re truly disappointed in any of these places, we can have a debate about it!
The Magic Castle. It’s exactly what you think it is, a giant castle-like house sitting near the corner of Franklin and Highland that is home to world’s best magicians. What makes this place so amazing is the rich history, the tiny showrooms and the amazing staff. If you enjoy a night out in a cocktail dress and a luxurious dinner, The Magic Castle is the perfect place for this. I have so many great memories at this place – it holds a very special place in my heart. Here is the downside: It’s a private club. Members can bring in guests or give out invitations, so ask around – you never know who might be a member!
In-n-Out. This place is a California staple and with good reason! They have homemade style burgers and fries. No frills and no fuss, just a delicious burger every time. It’s fresh and satisfying, so expect to find delays in their drive through or in their restaurant, because I can guarantee there will always be a crowd. It might not be unique to LA, but In-n-Out is definitely a California landmark. I think I’ll eat here for dinner.
Amoeba Music. In a world where record stores are dying out, Amoeba stands tall. They have a huge variety of new, used, rare and foreign music. There is a large collection of vinyl records, too. Why would you want to go to a record store when you can download music? is what some of you younger kids are probably wondering. Well, that’s pretty easy to answer: shopping for CDs is like shopping for anything else – you don’t know you want it until you see it. Also, because Amoeba has a huge selection of used music, it’s very likely you’ll find something you want for $1-$5. Amoeba takes me back to when music stores were the only option we had to buy music… so much nostalgia.
Tierra Mia Coffee. If you’re a stickler for good coffee, Tierra Mia delivers. They take traditional Latino drinks, like horchata, and transform it into a coffee based frappe. They take their time to make make the foam art on top of every hot drink, you know, so that you know you’re special. Now, the downside: they’re deep in the heart of East LA and for most people, that’s a far drive. Nonetheless, good coffee is just that – good coffee – so it’ll be worth your trip. You should also know that Tierra Mia does not provide wifi in order to preserve the feel of a true coffee shop: a place to sit and relax while reading book, catching up with friends or meeting a date. It won’t be the same not living a couple of minutes from Tierra Mia.
Wacko Soap Plant. For everything kitsch, uncouth or simply weird, Wacko is the place to go. From fake mustaches, band-aides for your car or blood splattered shower curtains, Wacko definitely will appeal to your inner weirdo. Located around the corner from the more refined establishments in Los Feliz, Wacko is the place to shop for all your unique décor needs! I have to stop in and buy the gun-handle mug for my new life.
LACMA. My favorite place in Los Angeles by far and one of the best art museums I’ve ever been to. It is home to thousands of priceless pieces of art. Almost any artist you can think of is likely to have a piece of their work in this museum. They host really cool exhibits like the Tim Burton exhibit and have regular lectures where artists come in and talk about their work. Did I mention there is a movie theater? They show old (and some new) movies that are worth checking out. If you’re not an art geek, you can always hang out at their outdoor bar. The drinks are always good.
In my absence, keep all these places warm for me and I hope you fall in love with Los Angeles just like I have.
Hollywood Boulevard Sign…via Shuttershock.com