Even though I was born and raised in Los Angeles, I often feel like a stranger in my own city. As funny as this it might sound, I sometimes feel like tourists know more about Los Angeles than me, a native! This city is so large and has so many different sections that it seems like an impossible city to intimately know, especially for someone like me who tends to stick to her own backyard. So when my sister suggested that we go to one of Cinespia’s cemetery screenings, I decided to give it a go!
Cinespia is an organization that hosts screenings of classic films at the famous Hollywood Forever cemetery. They project old (and some newer) classic movies onto a large wall that is surrounded by a huge grassy lawn for people to lay out and watch the films. Most people bring picnic-style food and drinks to enjoy while watching the movie. My sister and I came prepared with an endless array of snacks and drinks so that we could maximize our experience. We arrived at the cemetery about an hour and a half before the movie began but, understanding the popularity of this summer event, we weren’t surprised to see that a long line had formed and was already spilling out onto Santa Monica Blvd. It was all worth it though once we got to the front and were allowed onto the grounds of Hollywood Forever. The area of the cemetery in which the films are projected is somewhat toward the back of the grounds; you actually have to walk through a portion of the cemetery in order to get to the final destination. Along the walk, I was drawn in and fascinated by all the over-the-top marble tombstones and mausoleums; some had effigies (or drawn likenesses) etched into the stone so that you could see what the deceased looked like when they were alive.
No matter where you come from, I think most people can agree that the one thing we all have in common is our undeniable love for food. Whether you’re a health nut or a junk food addict, everyone has certain foods that they cannot help but crave. Seeing that this a worldwide phenomenon, the City of Los Angeles has rewarded us with our own slice of food paradise. Enter in DineLA’s Restaurant Week!!!
At least twice a year, DineLA showcases LA dining at its best by offering unbelievably discounted prices for restaurants all over the city. From July 13th until July 26th, LA residents have the amazing opportunity to frequent the best and fanciest restaurants LA has to offer, and for sometimes half the price. The restaurants range from steakhouses, to Dim Sum, to Mediterranean cuisine, to so much more.
This happened early on a Monday morning, around 7am. While most people at this hour are happily dreaming in their warm beds, I was crossing the street in LA’s downtown financial district, at 7th and Flower to be exact. See, I live in North Hollywood and I work at USC, a major distance for someone who does not drive and has to be on campus at 7:30 in the morning. However, as horrible as this situation sounds, this daily commute is actually thoroughly enjoyable. I take a 25 minute train ride down to the 7th St. Center Metro stop, usually wait about 5-10 minutes for the bus, and then ride the bus to campus for another 15 minutes (and then vice versa back home). With the bustle of a busy work day, this daily journey is usually the most relaxing part of my day. Instead of impatiently trudging through traffic, cursing the overpopulated freeways and lack of free parking around campus, I get to sit back and enjoy my favorite pastimes, reading novels or listening to music/intriguing podcasts, while scoping out my fellow commuters. Let me also note that I am an LA native who remembers a time when Los Angeles did not have a subway and when downtown was a dead zone infiltrated by the homeless. These days, when I ride the metro, I think about what a privilege it is to zoom to my destination, to bear witness to the growth of businesses in the downtown area, and to see more and more office workers, students, artists (and yes, even residents) reclaim the city.