exploring LA

I am definitely a creature of habit – and often, convenience. We live on the west side and don’t often stray too far from there because honestly, I hate driving. Though I can accept the traffic when I NEED to go somewhere, it’s much harder to accept when you’re trying to do something “for fun”. But, four years of living in LA is upon us, and there is so much of the city I have yet to experience. Seriously, LA is a mecca for anything and everything, so if you haven’t found your groove yet, just know that it’s out there. Sure, you have to do some searching. And sure you will have to battle traffic and trying to find parking, but once you come to terms with that, there are just so many cool things.

So this past weekend we did some new-to-us Los Angeles things, and I can’t wait to explore more.

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Friday night we met up with friends to listen to jazz and picnic at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). They have free jazz every Friday night during the summer  – this year through October 21st. We didn’t get there early enough to check out the exhibits (which are free for LA residents after 3pm during the week, btw), but I’m ALL about picnics, so it was a fun time.

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Saturday we had plans to meet friends in far East LA, so I figured it was a good opportunity to spend some time closer to that part of town – specifically Silverlake and Echo Park, which we’ve spent zero time in (excluding an improv class I took there when we first moved to the city). I’m trying to cut back on coffee (currently on day 7) but wanted to stop in the cute Alfred Coffee location in Silverlake for an iced tea (the rose one was so good). Yes, just as instagrammable as you were probably thinking. Across the street we found these colorful stairs below (which don’t lead to anything but a neighborhood, wah wah).

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After our caffeine fix we were both starving and decided to stop into this cute hamburger joint we had passed by (unfortunately no photos). It’s called Haché LA and definitely a place I’d visit again if I was in the area. We split the Silverlake burger (good, but the sauce was a little overwhelming), and a basket of fries, which were SO GOOD. The ambiance is pretty cute too – outdoor seating, very informal – just like a burger joint should be.

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To walk off the food, we hopped on over to the Echo Park Lake, which was surprisingly way prettier than I would have imagined – what with the palm trees and fountain and view of downtown. We walked the loop and watched the pedal boaters and ducks swimming as the sun got lower.

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At this point we needed some more sustenance (sue me) and headed downtown to visit Grand Central Market (not new to us, but we hardly go). Whitney got some vegan Ramen from Ramen Hood (which is actually really good), and I got a couple scoops of ice cream from McConnell’s (whoops!). Their “Sweet Cream & Sea Salt” and “Chocolate Almond Brittle” were both amazing, and I 100% will get those flavors the next time I go.

I was excited to finally check out Highland Park Bowl, but by the time we arrived they were booked for the rest of the night. They used to not take reservations, but apparently they do now, so now you know! Though crowded, the space is really super cool (it’s just missing a vintage photo booth, in my opinion). But we shared some pizza and drinks while there, so the visit wasn’t a complete bust.

I wish I’d taken more photos to include, but my mama is in town this weekend, so I’m hoping to hit up some more new spots (and familiar favorites). Hoping we can continue to make the effort to explore more of the city and not let our laziness get the best of us. LA really feels like home to me now, and I’m just falling more in love with it.

-wonderland sam

www.imdb.me/samanthalee

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actress/texan kickin' it in los angeles. always searching for my next pizza. cia agent in another life.

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