It's fair to say that New Yorkers (or people who grew up in the suburbs before moving to New York and living there for at least a couple years) have a great sense of pride about living in their city — "if I can make it here, I can make it anywhere," and all that. New Yorkers know that theirs is the best city in the world (even if the rent for a shoe box is astronomical, the subway system is #theworst, and sometimes you just can't seem to get a break). There's a sense of pride that comes from living in New York and that sense of pride often leads people to believe that they can never live anywhere else. And despite claims that the west coast is the best coast, New Yorkers stay confident that their town is the pinnacle of all society. But when an east coast girl goes west, sometimes she just happens to realize that maybe that pride has been a facade all along: hey, California is pretty nice too.Restaurants pictured: California Donuts in Koreatown, FEED in Venice Beach, Milk in West Hollywood; The Habit in Santa Barbara, Lemonade, Blu Jam in Sherman Oaks, Olive & Thyme in Burbank, The Original Farmers Market at the Grove, Sweet Rose Creamery in Studio City, In-N-Out Burger
I was lucky to spend a week in Los Angeles with some friends this winter break and spent my time eating the best food in the city, watching sunsets from Griffith Observatory and the Santa Monica Pier, daytripping to Santa Barbara, and of course, relaxing at night by watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. Coming from a glorious yet grey city like New York, California — in an idealized state, of course — seems to be filled with more color; granted, a different kind of color than New York but still something exciting. You can see the sky so much more clearly with an absence of skyscrapers. Palm trees stand ubiquitous, always there to make the background of any Instagram much better. And while you do have to deal with LA traffic, you also get the opportunity to listen to some major throwback songs on the limited, not-so-great radio stations while hanging out with your friends.
My perspective as a visitor is very clearly distorted. I focus on the good instead of the everyday annoyances that might be more apparent to locals. I don't get to see succulents in the wild that often, so obviously I'm going to get excited about the cacti that seemingly grow effortlessly on the sides of the street. I took photos shamelessly, snapping everything that had beauty in its own way (but don't get me wrong; I also took a ton of obnoxious Snapchats, as you do).
If there's one thing I can take away from this trip — other than the newfound knowledge that the west coast is pretty damn nice — it's that embracing being a tourist can be quite enlightening. And as I head back to New York, I might just find myself taking photos a little more shamelessly a little more often. Sometimes it takes a glorious sunset in a beautiful place to remind you that the sunset is pretty great everywhere else, too.