I’ve been on a cooking hiatus for a few weeks because I haven’t been in my kitchen. It’s easy to go on a cooking hiatus in Southern California because anywhere you turn you can find amazing food. Fresh…everything. Vegetables. Fruit. Sushi. Ice Cream. Attitude. So I’ll just call my cooking hiatus R&D to make myself feel better about not cooking. Of course when I get back to Atlanta I’ll probably be on a spending hiatus because everything’s so darn expensive. But let’s not talk about that now.
I love Los Angeles for so many reasons. Sure, this city is crazy. And crazy expensive. Like out of control expensive. It’s got earthquakes. And people on multiple cell phones trying to look important. But it’s got an energy like no other. It’s got people who come to pursue their dreams no matter how tough the odds. I love that.
But I also like some things about this city that have nothing to do with pursuing your dreams. Things I’d probably take for granted if I lived here full-time.
1. Lemons – There are lemon trees everywhere. Any time you need a lemon for salad dressing or marinade, you can pick one. When life gives you lemons, you plant lemon trees. Add a splash of vodka for extra zest.
2. Farmers’ Markets – Big, bountiful farmers’ markets. Every day. On random blocks. Big vegetables. Juicy strawberries. Free samples. Monster artichokes. Gargantuan avocados. It’s hard to contain myself at these places.
3. No Bugs – I’m not talking wimpy spiders or flies. I’m talking big disgusting palmetto bugs. Roaches. They don’t have them here. Not a one. And even the ones I have seen are cute and colorful and are probably hanging with their friends drinking iced lattes.
4. No Humidity – Smog, shmog. You can be outside here from 7 am until 9 pm and the weather will always be perfect. No thick sweat drenching you from the time you step foot outside. Perfect for kids. Perfect for adults. Perfect for your hair.
5. Coffee Bean and Urth Cafe – Superior Coffee. Creative people making deals. Outlets everywhere. Free Wifi.
6. Abbott’s Pizza – Pizza made on an everything bagel crust. Piled high with fresh toppings. Arugula. Barbecued Chicken. Feta Cheese. One of those places you walk in and say “Why didn’t I think of that?” Stay tuned for some recipes that I’m going to
steal borrow and share.
7. Random Weirdos – When you live somewhere that’s suburban, you miss out on random weirdo sightings. I’m talking men in banana hammocks riding a unicycle holding a briefcase. Women with toenails painted the same color as their dogs’ fur (true sighting). The worst facelifts you’ve ever seen on some of the richest ladies you’ve ever seen.
8. Food Trucks – Such a fun concept. Upscale. Not street meat. Food truck events. High end, delicious. Monster Sushi. Mouth Watering Cupcakes. It’s pure gastronomic gluttony.
9. Free (or cheap) Museum Days and Hiking– Getty, Skirball, La Brea Tar Pits, Moca, Zimmer Children’s Museum, Griffith Observatory, Temescal Caynon, Runyon Canyon…the list goes on. Incredible art, incredible views, priceless nature and perfect for kids.
10. Dolphins – Greatest feeling in the world. You think your life is so big and busy and complicated and then you look up at the open sea and watch a dolphin jump in the water. And you realize how small you really are.
Goodbye, Los Angeles! Don’t let the naysayers get you down. I’ll be back soon!