So recently I was in LA for the first time ever. Los Angeles, the City of Angels. Home of Disneyland, Hollywood and the Kardashians. The place to see and be seen, and one of the most famous cities in the world. You’ve heard it all before. But there are a few things that no one tells you about LA.
Call me naïve, but I had no idea of just the sheer size of this place. Like, it’s goddamn huge. I’m talking 1.5 hours to get from Hollywood to Santa Monica huge. And then Santa Monica to Venice is a 4km walk. Honestly, as someone who’s worked in the travel industry, I’m a little disappointed in myself for not realising this.
I was expecting the hour and 20 minute bus trip from the airport into the city, but I just did not expect the city itself to be so damn big. But hey, if you’re in the middle of the desert, might as well take advantage of the wide expanses of nothingness and fill it all up with city, I guess.
Hollywood Is A Bit Of A Hole
Hollywood! The city of lights, where hopefuls of the silver screen go to make it big! Home of the rich and famous! Actually nah though. Maybe in the 50s, Hollywood was the place to be, but in 2018 she’s looking a bit rough for wear to be honest.
Look, if tourists in bum bags and tacky souvenir shops are your thing, then you’ll love Hollywood. But if not, maybe a quick visit to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Mann’s Chinese Theatre, or a stroll down Sunset Boulevard will be enough for you.
Everyone’s Working On A Hustle
Los Angeles is the place you go when you want to make it big. No matter what they do, people with something to prove often get themselves to LA with just a suitcase and some dreams, at least that’s what we’ve been told. What I can confirm though is that every man and his dog has some sort of hustle going.
People everywhere are trying to sell their art, handing out modelling portfolios, or throwing homemade CDs at you and carrying an iPod or something (some dude had a legit Walkman) so you can have a taste before you commit to the real deal.
The Train System Is Actually Quite Good
Now something people really don’t often talk about is public transport in LA, but honestly I was pleasantly surprised. For those of you like me who are travelling on a budget, the metro is an effective and inexpensive way to get around. It’s also pretty easy to use once you get your bearings.
This is still LA though, so keep an eye out for some colourful characters. As I said before, the hustle never stops, and the trains are no exception. Beggars, weirdos and dudes playing out of tune acoustic guitar abound.
It Smells Like Weed 24/7
Since the recreational use of weed became legal in the state of California, I can now confirm that plenty of people are taking advantage of this. The smell of the stuff is everywhere. Over the three days I was there, if you took all the times I second hand smoked someone’s hit and combined them all, I would have been blazed af.
Honestly, pretty much everywhere you go you can smell the leftovers of some bros puff of the wacky tobaccy. Somewhat unsurprisingly, the whole of Venice Beach smells like one giant hotbox. But hey, if that’s your thing, you won’t be hard pressed to find a smoking buddy