Being in Los Angeles, even if it is for the first time, is like reliving moments you saw in movies, with a different emotion. It is like you have been there before. There were times I felt I was in Chips, The Towering Inferno or Earthquake, Charlie's Angels, among others.
Los Angeles and Hollywood are different cities, but close to one another. It is as if they are neighborhoods from a big city: the big Los Angeles (LA), is the second biggest in the USA and has more Mexicans than Mexico City. Since it tends to have earthquakes, there are few skyscrapers. The buildings are spread all over town, so the distances and the blocks are huge..
The most beautiful thing about LA is that you can go to the beach, take a walk downtown, go horseback riding, go trekking on the mountains or ski just a mile away. The coolest thing is the people. Californians are in general dynamic, friendly, open, centered, well-read and travel a lot. They are hospitable and welcoming people, so I made friends very easily and some invited me to art exhibitions, parties and baseball games.
I went to California three times. On the first two times, I stayed in VENICE BEACH, an alternative place. The beaches are beautiful, with dry weather, rocks, cliffs and palm trees. The ocean is dark and cold, but it is safe to swim. I stayed in a hotel design with a trendy pub on the terrace, with an amazing ocean view. This beach is pretty nice, although it seems a little dangerous at night, because of the bums. The graffiti on the walls, the stores and curious things from the underground world. It is all very interesting. You can rent a bike and ride along the beach, but be careful with the slippery sand - check out my knee on the picture and the bad fall I had.
In VENICE BEACH, there are lots of nice restaurants, but the nicest region is on the north, in the beach of Santa Monica, where I enjoyed a "Havaianas" party. It is incredible how the sandals are everywhere on the planet. It was fun to listen to a bad mix of CARIOCA FUNK and samba in this party. It was beautiful, by the pool of a nice hotel and even better people.
The last time I went to California, I stayed in a hotel downtown and it was also amazing. DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES is going under severe reconstruction. Plenty of new bars and restaurants, cultural and artistic events and people coming and going. To find what to do, just walk downtown. You will find whatever you want to do, especially after 6pm on the weekends.
I was lucky to go to a HALLOWEEN PARTY in WEST HOLLYWOOD. Awesome! Everybody wears a costume and go outside to have fun and their energy is completely contagious.
Besides all this, it is worthwhile visiting the WALK OF FAME in HOLLYWOOD and go trekking in the canyons up north. The exotic plants in this desert area and the view of the city from the mountains is beautiful. California and its people are beautiful. Let’s pray the Big One* never happens!
* Big One is how they call the great earthquake everyone is afraid to happen someday.
Translated by Lúcia Maciel
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