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Q&A: Living in Los Angeles

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Abbott Kinney Boulevard (see full post here)

Venice Beach (see full post here)

Espresso Profeta (see full post here)

Venice Canals (see full post here)

Griffith Observatory

I am so so so excited to kick off a new little series here on Practically Imperfect.  Over the years, I've gotten questions about living in LA, my favorite things to do, and places to see! I will be completely honest and say that LA isn't my favorite place to live in the world. But as an actress and student at UCLA, there is no other place on earth that I could pursue both my academic and career dreams as full force as I can here in Los Angeles. And for that, I am thankful to this city. Plus there is no question that is one of the most incredible cities in terms of  places to see, eat, and shop. There are always endless things to do and places to explore! If you live in Los Angeles, are visiting LA anytime soon, or have had questions about all things LA, get ready for answers! In today's Q&A I'll be sharing all my favorite restaurants, shops, and places to explore! 

Eat + Drink 

Best Brunch: Thats a tough one, but I have to go with Coral Tree Cafe 

Best Dessert: Lucky for you, I like to think of myself as a self proclaimed dessert expert! My favorites are Milk, Salt and Straw, Attitcus Pie Shop, and Pressed Freeze! 

Best Sushi: Katsuya is an LA staple, but I also recently went to Kiku on Larchmont and it was really fun and authentic! If you’re looking for something on the go, you have to hit up Sweet Fin poke bowls. 

Best Coffee Shops: This is such a tough one because LA has seemingly endless amounts of coffee! Last year I was really into discovering the latest trendy LA coffee shops, but that got old really fast because I realized it was less about the good coffee and more about the fake try-hard vibes that are such a huge part of LA’s character. So if you’re looking for trendy places, I would definitely say Verve, Carerra Cafe, Blue Bottle, and Alfred! If you’re wanting a great experience + great coffee, my personal favorite is this place called Profetta right by my campus.

Explore 

Best View: Definitely Griffith Observatory. If you want to feel like you’re straight out of La LA Land,  head there at night for the most amazing sparkling city views. 

Best Hiking: You have to do the obligatory Hollywood Sign Hike. The sunrise is the best because it’s quiet and chilly. The foothills in Malibu are also absolutely beautiful and make you feel like you’re a thousand miles away from the busy city. 

Best Beach: Despite the hype, don't hit up Santa Monica Pier if you're looking for a peaceful, relaxing day at the beach. It feels busy, dirty, and slightly sketchy. I think my favorite beach has to be Will Rodgers State Beach, because, again, it makes me feel like I’m not in LA 

Best time of year to visit: Ha. With a few exceptions, LA is pretty much 70 degrees and sunny year round. Anytime of year is great to visit! 

Shop

The Grove: It is basically the Disneyland of outdoor malls with Frank Sinatra music constantly playing, a trolly winding through the streets, and the most beautiful fountain right in the center. I spent a good portion of my childhood here, so I think I love The Grove for nostalgic reasons too. 

Melrose Avenue: Spending an afternoon strolling down the street, snapping photos in front of the famous murals, and shopping on Melrose is a quintessential Los Angeles thing to do. There are a fair share of expensive designer stores, but there is also a good selection of cool vintage shops including my favorite, Wasteland! 

Downtown: When I interned in DTLA last spring, I fell in love with a whole new part of the city. I think it has a bad rep for being kind of sketchy, and don’t get me wrong, there are definitely ares you want to stay aware of, but just one street over you will find designer fashion houses, art galleries, or amazing restaurntats! My favorite spots include the Flower Market, Botegga Louie, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. 

Best Hair Salon: The Parlour on 3rd St is my absolute favorite. I always walk out feeling like a million bucks. If you are just looking for a style, go to Drybar! I know it’s not just an LA thing, but it is my favorite! 

Favorite Nail Place: Cote on San Vincente. The coolest part about this place is that if it's a nice day outside, they have a patio with pedicure chairs so you can have a little spa day in the sunshine!
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So that is all for today’s LA Q&A! I hope this was helpful and if you have any questions that I didnt answer, please comment below and I will do my best to answer them! And check in soon for another Q&A post! 

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Oh January

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Written January 31st 

Oh January. What a month it was. If I could choose just one word to describe my January 2017 it would be captivating. This month was full of newness and spontaneity. It stretched on and sped by all at once. The gloomy weather made the days feel long but my nonstop pace made each moment fly by. January began as I sat on the shore of the San Francisco Bay with my family and watched fireworks fly into the sky. The first moments of 2017 were freezing cold, quiet, still, absolutely beautiful, and full of love. 

Part I of January was full of books, family, and rest as I recovered from surgery (shoutout to my faulty appendix) and prepared to return back to school. 

Part II of this month held opportunity and excitement and growth. I signed with a new talent manager. I got to work on 10 (!!!) incredible scripts and auditions. 13 Reasons Why got a release date and a trailer and the world got to see a tiny piece of what I've been so passionate about for months. 

Part III of January was made of people. This month I built up relationships, invested time in the people I cherish, and took advantage of every spontaneous adventure I could. January was not the month of comfort or security in any realm (especially this one) and that is okay. 

Part IV was about dancing in the rain, both literally and figuratively. Many January days were filled with downpour; flooded streets, power outages, the works. I'm a sunshine kind of gal, but I learned that it's much more fun to embrace the rain than hiding from it. And that's kind of what January was all about. This month I had little control; most of my days were unexpected and spontaneous and beautiful. I realized that I don't just withstand rainstorms, but maybe, just maybe, I thrive in them. I smiled a lot this month; not premeditated, routine smiles, but smiles that radiate joy and adventure and newness. In the chaos and craziness and lack of any sense of routine, I chose to dance. 

Other favorite pieces of my January 2017: LACMA, rain storms, sushi, the TFT, French autobiographies, movie screenings, pie, and dancing in the rain. 


Wish List: For the Book Lover

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