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The Light in Los Angeles

Hit the road, turn up the oldies, and discover our favorite pockets of L.A.

Photographs Kate Berry

Words Natalie Shukur

L.A. is palm trees and hazy light; strip malls and muscle cars. Ubiquitous hand-painted signage so literal, it’s endearing and rather quaint to a New Yorker whose world is far less sun-faded and concerned with the automotive industry. It is green juices and hikes and Pilates, too, of course. And the traffic—the endless traffic. But on this trip, we found a little reprieve, staying on the east side in Echo Park, we discovered a neighborhood-y vibe that permitted us to walk to morning yoga, grab a coffee and açai bowl on the way home, and get onto the Elysian Park trail without turning on the ignition. We even saw more bike lanes and people on two wheels in Cali’s fulcrum than ever before. But as soon as you want to cross town, be prepared to arm yourself with a good mixtape and some snacks for the road, because it still takes around 40 minutes to shuffle from Silverlake to Venice or Beverly Hills to East Hollywood. Aside from the consistent sunshine that just can’t be beat, we were reminded how much the food in L.A. also just can’t be beat—simple, fresh, colorful and inspiring to the eye, with many women at the forefront of the new culinary movement. Time goes slower here, it’s true, but there’s also a real buzz in the air. People appeared dressed up in a kind of Parisian-in-the-sun way (it’s not all sneakers and yoga pants!), and a thriving arts scene adjacent to a thriving tech scene is attracting an interesting and sophisticated blend of left and right-brained thinkers that are breathing new life into this behemoth of a city.

The LG Guide

Rent a house in Echo Park, Los Feliz, Thai Town or Silver Lake to enjoy the conviviality of the east side.

Kitchen Mouse, Honey Hi and Sqirl for fresh, colorful breakfast and lunch spreads. For dinner, head to Kismet and Botanica for share plates and natural wine, and Speranza for homestyle Italian on the terrace under twinkling lights. Pro Tip: Check out longstanding LA Times food critic Jonathan Gold’s 100 best restaurants map for the full scoop on where to dine from hole-in-the-wall Chinese to haute American cuisine. Better still, watch the charming documentary on him, City of Gold.

Local health foods, potions (CBD oil!), and esoteric ephemera at Lassens, Moon Juice, and Erewhon market.

Up to Griffith Park Observatory via one of the many trails, and stop at The Trails cafe for coffee and homemade cake afterwards.

The Getty, an architectural gem of a museum with sprawling views across the city, which houses centuries of European paintings, drawings, sculpture, illuminated manuscripts, decorative arts, and photography. Drive by any of the Frank Lloyd Wright houses, dotted across the metropolis (and open to the public on certain days of the year), from the Hollyhock House on Hollywood Boulevard to the hillside Ennis House—most familiar as Harrison Ford’s home in Blade Runner.

To the desert. Palm Springs, Joshua Tree and the newly buzzing Twentyninepalms are becoming populated by L.A.’s young creative class. Visit off-season to avoid the Coachella-goers, and get lost amongst sweeping sandy landscapes and endless cacti. Closer to LA, visit Topanga Canyon to get in touch with nature (and LA’s bohemian crowd) or to Malibu to dip your toes in the ocean.

A cocktail at Bar Marmont, lunch on the patio at The Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel, shopping on Melrose, and a cruise up to Mullholland Drive all hold true as classic L.A. experiences. View the LG Los Angeles Packing Edit here

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