So here we are, September 2020 – I think it’s fair to say it hasn’t been a year we’d hoped for. So much expectation comes with every New Year; dreams, desires, wishes, wants….many of which have been brushed aside for now as we all figure out this new way of life we have to deal with.
I would like to dedicate this latest blog to my Auntie Toni who’s birthday it would’ve been today but she is up with the angels now. She was the most incredible soul, constantly smiling and ready to pop open a bottle of prosecco as soon as you set foot in the door. She was a huge supporter of everything I did, even if my decisions were sometime off the cuff. I miss her hugely and know she would’ve loved reading these blogs and sharing them with everyone she knew. I am grateful of the special times we shared. Cheers to you – forever missed and in my heart.
I chose to start this blog/vlog during the initial lockdowns to share some of the fabulous people and places I know. I have really loved chatting with guests but equally it seems my travel narratives seem to have hit the spot with many of you so this week I have chosen to reminisce about my gallivanting around Los Angeles, “the city of dreams”. Many of my readers who know me know how much I love being in LA and hugely miss not going there like I had become accustomed too.
Since my first trip to La La Land in 2001 there was just something about the place I fell in love with. I have this feeling being at peace and at home there. I cannot pinpoint exactly what it is about LA that captures me, it just does. I often wonder if I will end up moving their permanently one day but the Americans don’t make it easy when it comes to green cards so if you have any secrets to share with me on residency please do get in touch!
LA, where to begin. I guess the beaches. I love the beach. Manhattan is a particular favourite of mine. It just feels so carefree and chill there. I have often walked from Manhattan to Hermosa and Redondo, stopping along the way to watch the volleyball going on and enjoying the fresh sea air. I think it’s my happy place. I also love it in Malibu too, life at the beach just make everything feel better,
If you would like to see more images of Manhattan Beach but more beautifully capture I highly recommend you check out @petehalvorsen on Instagram who’s photographs I absolutely love!
I have also enjoyed walking from Santa Monica down to Venice Beach and Abbott Kinney Boulevard.
It’s more about people watching in Venice. It’s a bit bonkers with the crack heads and dope smoking people but if you can pick your spot and watch the skate park talents or get a seat on the bleachers to watch the basketball then time flys! I have often said to friends when I sit around watching the guys there shooting hoops it always reminds me of the old 90’s movie “White Men Can’t Jump” with Wesley Snipes and Woody Harreison… as the “yo momma’ slurs are rolling from their tongues. Please tell me if you’re reading this and remember the movie?? Asking for a friend here!
The other thing I am kind of obsessed with other than sports is the art surrounding the streets, especially Kelsey Montague and J. Goldcrown. I often found myself going to parts of LA just to check out their eye catching creations. Here are a few…
As you may know from my previous posts my journey in Los Angeles began as a football/soccer coach in 2001. Nowadays when I am in LA I am often checking out the best places for people to go so I can recommend all the hotspots for my clients and create real connections with the restaurants, bars and hoteliers I work with…as well as enjoying myself along the way with family and friends.
I am a great believer in people doing business with people. If you meet with someone you get a vibe from them. Most of the time our instincts are able to get the measure of folk but nothing beats a face-to-face catch up with someone to feel if they’re genuine or full of shite.
Los Angeles is an amazing place but like lots of places you have to learn who you can trust.
I was fortunate to check out some of LA’s hottest spots to go. The Nice Guy, Delilah’s and Bootsy Bellows. Personally Delilah’s is one of my favourites. The whole space is awesome AF. As soon as you walk in there’s a “no photographs” sign and the lighting in the venue is dark enough that you wouldn’t take a decent pic anyways but light enough that your can navigate your way around. The celebrities and sports personalities love this place. Early in the evening the music is a live band with Gatsby inspired (but scantily clad) dancers then later on it switches to a DJ who plays all the crowd pleasing tracks we love. Check out the website for more info.
Another cool spot that can be found in West Hollywood (known as WeHo area to locals) is the rooftop bar and eatery EP & LP.
Great for sunset drinks and views of the Hollywood hills. The owners are a couple of lovely Aussie’s I bumped into when I was checking out another well-known venue, Cecconi’s Hollywood. The Cecconi’s brand just have it all nailed, you know what you getting whether you’re in LA, London, Miami or New York, a cool, contemporary Italian style.
LA isn’t just about the glitz and the glamour though. There are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. In particular hiking. I loved checking out Runyon Canyon Park, even if I did get a little lots AND when I reached the top it was so hazy I couldn’t even see the Hollywood sign I had purposely trekked up there for! Oh well…it was fun regardless and you should definitely check it out!
I am also a huge fan of a fresh juice and people watching. One of my favourite hangouts is Urth Caffe, in particular the one on Melrose. Now, if you were ever a fan of the tv series Entourage you will know Urth Caffe well as it was a regular spot for Vincent Chase and his side kicks. Don’t be surprised if you see some well know Hollywood celebrities here getting their daily health kicks or walking their designer pooches. It’s always busy so be prepared to have to wait. If it’s something wet and healthy you’re after you can also head to Cha Cha Matcha which will also hit the spot…it did for me!
No trip to LA is complete without going to Beverly Hills and Rodeo Drive. I do find whenever I go to this part of town I can’t help but have the Pretty Women soundtrack playing in my ears! Another favourite movie of mine (I am showing my age!). Rodeo is just so perfectly manicured. The palm trees line the streets and the sunshine’s on the beautiful people and designer brands that entice you in from their stunning window displays. As you would expect there are sports cars lined up and down the streets happily showing off their shiny bonnets and enjoying the attention and shakin’ that ass.
I think it’s fair to say I am pretty captivated by California as a whole. I could literally keep writing about more of the wonderful places I have visited but don’t want to bore you. In summary, Los Angeles makes me feel like I am at home. I find it so chill. Even if I am just hanging out in my haviana’s noone seems to really give a toss. Where in the world makes you feel that way? I would love to hear from you.
Thanks to you the reader for taking time to read, share and get involved. I love the interactions! A huge thank you to my LA family, friends and colleagues who make my time there so memorable and enjoyable. I miss you all and look forward to when we can all travel freely again to have more good times.
“You don’t always need to understand your journey in life, you just need to trust that you’re going in the right direction”
Sending out positive energy and thinking of everyone effected by the wildfires and hope they are safe.