On my way back to San Francisco after Colombia, I spent a few days in Los Angeles. On my short trip there, I experienced a wide range of the city — from fancy restaurants to late night taco trucks, from the crowded freeways to the metro system (yup, you read that correctly), from gritty streets to sparkly palm tree-lined boulevards, from the Hollywood Bowl to a casual bar-restaurant where we had a bizarre encounter with an infamous semi-celebrity. Here’s a small sample of my visit to Los Angeles in pictures:
The familiar sight of Los Angeles from the plane: the sprawl, the rise of downtown, the mountains in the distance, and a layer of brown smog partially obscuring it all.
One of the first types of food I gravitate toward when I return to California after a long time away is Mexican food. My sister and her friend took me to Guisados in Boyle Heights where I enjoyed some tacos and horchata.
One afternoon we wandered around the main drag of Highland Park. It definitely gave off the vibe of a neighborhood going through a similar transition as neighborhoods in cities around the country. There’s a large long term population of Latino residents and an influx of hipsters beginning to change things.
I was shocked to find out that Los Angeles actually has a functioning metro system. After riding it, I can confidently say that you don’t know Los Angeles until you’ve ridden the metro there. Even after years of riding public transport in San Francisco, I found the Los Angeles Metro to be an uncomfortable experience. But it’s this whole other side of Los Angeles that many don’t know exists, and it’s important to know what’s underneath the surface of places we visit.
At the other end of the metro we walked to park where we joined a picnic, and then went over to the Hollywood Bowl.