britt learns stuff about LA

I’ve been in this fair City of Angels now for two whole weeks.

…How do I feel, you ask?

Okay, well actually I can get on a plane and fly away, Ms. Poehler, but THAT IS BESIDE THE POINT.

The point is … I am overwhelmed in many ways, but… I love it here. I am learning so much about myself and this city, and about myself IN this city, everyday.  It’s magical.

SO! In light of my new-found Los Angelinan WISDOM, let me share with you some of the things I’ve learned about LA so far (you know, ’cause I’m totally a local now):

Bob… Bob… BOB!!

Here are the things I have learned about LA:

-One should have at least $20 worth of quarters in the glovebox or drink-holder at all times. Those good old-fashioned parking meters still exist. Y’know.. .the ones that only take quarters? The ones located by the beach you happened to go to and therefore are your only option? Yeah, those.

-Trader Joes is a way of life. If you don’t have a TJ’s in your neighborhood, there is pretty much no reason to live there.

-Everyone is beautiful here. Sometimes I just stare.

-The “Waze “app is a god-send.

-You must plan your life around street cleaning. If you happen to live in a structureless vortex like I do at this time, you’ll at least know what day of the week it is because of your street cleaning parking violation paranioa.

-People are reeeally into juice here. $12-kale-coconut-elixir-of-life juice. I’m not against it. It’s just… give me twelve dollars please. So I can consume it.

-LA Parking signs make the SAT feel like cake.

are you fucking KIDDING me?

 -People wear long-sleeves/pants/winter-wear when it is 75 degrees outside. I was really proud of myself when I wore my denim jacket over a tank-top in 73 degree weather the other day. (…See?! I’m a LOCAL.)

-There are more parking patrol cops here than there are purse dogs. I know this is hard to believe.

-Every coffeeshop in Los Angeles has a group of actors sitting next to you bitching about their auditions and agents and acting classes. Or bitching about their lack of these things.  -I am pleasantly surprised at how walk-able certain neighborhoods are.

-More often than not, traffic is traffic for no reason. Was there an accident? No. Was there a stalled-car on the highway? Nope. It’s just right-of-passage to spend an hour on the onramp to the 110. “That’s the only way it’s fair to everyone,” says the Universe.

-In the desk-job hunt, telling a potential employer that you’re an actor is not too far away from telling her that you’re a leper-werewolf-umemployable crazy person. Perhaps you should work at In-N-Out instead.

-I don’t get how everyone has so much money… and I have none. It simply makes no sense. -I found these fun things on the Interwebs that tell me all about the Best Restaurants in LA, LA Neighborhood Stereotypes, and Things People Say About LA (my favorite: “Los Angeles is like San Diego’s older, uglier sister that has herpes.”), so now I feel like I know everything.

-LA is Serendipity. I have had many serendipitous encounters and experiences so far and it fuels my belief in this place. LA is a current. You can fight against it or you can go with it. And in my limited experience so far, “going with it” is really the only sustainable choice. And going with this current makes for a very exciting ride.

Here are the things I have learned about myself, in LA:

-I am very very white and one day I will be a different, tanner shade of white.

– I fucking love my neighborhood. Silverlake is DA BOMB. I claim it in the name of REAL (Portland) hipsters. (I will show them the way.) -Going on Facebook makes me feel incredibly homesick. 

-I would die without a smartphone and GPS on said smartphone.

-I have been sneezing and breaking-out like a mofo since I got here. I’ve been told this is normal. I guess this poor little Northwesterner is having trouble adjusting to the air quality!

-I need to watch more TV. Seriously. It’s my job now.

-I don’t know how I went through this much life without a Bluetooth.

-Oddly enough, I’ve been doing more hiking here in LA than I did in the Pacific Northwest. I guess I took it all for granted…?

– I love the street art here. There is so much to look at, everywhere. From the most beautiful, intricate mural, to harsh graffiti, to a simple doodle of a robot on the sidewalk– there are so many stories being told. I want to document more of my discoveries as I find them. photo4photo8

-I need a separate allowance for coffee. And for gas. And for parking.

-Some nights I will experience an overwhelming low or anxiety, then experience a day-long high upon waking the next morning.

-I can roll with it.

-I have my team. It is so essential to know that people have your back. I am so lucky to have my team here. You know who you are. I am so incredibly grateful for you.

But mostly, I have learned that this whole adventure is about me finding myself here. Finding myself in Los Angeles, getting to know myself in a scary new place. Being calm and clear in the midst of all this crazy. Yes, I’ve had freak-outs and breakdowns and “WHAT AM I DOING”s. Yes, I will continue to. But more so, I have moments of extreme clarity and purpose and know that I am where I need to be. I am fortunate enough to live a life full of big, beautiful love, even in a brand-new place. And that is pretty awesome.

You know what else is awesome?! WHAT I DID THIS WEEK! 🙂

My Week:

Much of this week was spent job hunting (and I got one! Thanks, Accountemps, Los Angeles!), reconnecting with friends in the area, and spending quality time with my TEAM (once again, you know who you are and I love you!). I am also constantly basking in the utter joy of knowing that I am living in the same city as Dani (come November 1st, Dani, Suzzane and I will have our own place TOGETHER!). Holy. Crap. So rad!!

I also got to visit my family! My mom, dad, and brother spent this past week in Palm Springs for vacation, which is only two hours away from where I live. I drove out last Wednesday and stayed for a day and a half for some for some good, quality FAM TIME.

The drive to Palm Springs from LA

The drive to Palm Springs from LA

Our backyard!

Our backyard!

Sibs.

Sibs.

A beautiful desert flower that Dad and I spent time admiring together.

Beautiful desert flowers that Dad and I spent time admiring together.

This week also brought me some incredible beach time:

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livin large with matching pedicures.

with THIS lady:

the SUZ!!

the SUZ!!

We “studied” and “did work” all day long in our sandy ocean front, beach-towel office:

Productivity at its finest.

Productivity at its finest.

…But mostly we just talked about kombucha and men. (Typical.) I could get used to days like this.

I’ve also been doin’ a lot of hikin’! I have gone with Scott and Gertie the Puggle a couple of times to Elysian Park and went on my first hike up to the Griffith Park Observatory with Mr. Tim True:

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Leave it to a couple of Portland kids…

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…to hike in LA on a gray day.

I also saw American Werewolf in London screened at The Hollwood Forever Cemetery on the night of a full moooon! Ahhroooo!! I went with Scott and Suzzane and it was awesome.

photo5The event is called Cinespia and it is my favorite thing that I have experienced in LA so far. They even had Elijah Wood DJ-ing the event, because why not?! It was so cool. Let’s do it again.

Whew! So.

I have been in LA for two weeks now. I’m surviving. I’m having fun. I’m getting work done. I think I’ve earned the overpriced juice that I’m going buy myself after I finish this post.

I keep finding places here feel like home; pockets of the city that feel like mine. Sometimes it’s a new-to-me bar, a friend’s living room, or a familiar coffeeshop that I had visited before the move here.

One of these places is a coffeeshop Suzzane and I frequent called Mornings Nights in Silverlake.

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When I was getting work done there yesterday, I noticed that I was sitting between an advertisement that says “you belong here” and a sign hanging above the door says “welcome home”. I took a big breath and exhaled. I felt really happy in that moment.

I can’t wait to see what the next two weeks here will bring.

All of my love to you, my friends, I so adore you.

~britt