This sprawling megalopolis is one of the most enigmatic places in America. At once a gaudy spectacle and a sublime patchwork of intimate neighborhoods, L.A. can be tamed-if you know where to look.
ILLUSTRATIONS PETER JAMESFIELD
“My favorite Los Angeles pastime is watching morning rehearsals at the Hollywood Bowl in the summer. Tickets are sometimes hard to come by, but these morning rehearsals are free. It’s like watching a private performance in one of the most glorious amphitheaters in the U.S.”
PRODUCER, AFRICAN VOICES CINEMA SERIES
“One of the best-kept secrets in Los Angeles is a quaint Ethiopian restaurant called Awash. It serves the best Ethiopian food in the city, and if you grab an open seat at the bar, you can listen in on some of the best political discussions of the day.”
“I like to spend evenings at the Annenberg Community Beach House, the property built by William Randolph Hearst for actress Marion Davies, at Santa Monica State Beach. The pool house is a gem in the crown of Los Angeles, and the warm sea breeze feels nice in my hair.”
Image – Amanda Friedman
HIKE THE HILLS OF SANTA MONICA
The Santa Monica Mountains cover more than 153,000 acres of dramatic sage-and- live-oak-covered hills, but perhaps the most beautiful (and popular) is the 6,000-acre “Crags Road” trail at the Malibu Creek State Park. If you don’t mind dodging the occasional runner (often getting dragged by a leashed pooch), follow this moderately difficult trail through immodestly beautiful vistas, including wide open fields of heather, trickling creeks and more than enough shade to facilitate an afternoon nap. Fun fact: The trail also served as the set for M*A*S*H. www.nps.gov/samo
Image – Amanda Friedman
THE ORIGINAL FARMERS MARKET GETS AN UPDATE.
The Farmers Market — L.A.’s original—has come a long way since its 1934 inception, when a ragtag collection of farmers from the green inland valleys pulled their trucks up to Third and Fairfax and began selling their produce in the dirt parking lot. Now, the market hosts more than 100 restaurants, greengrocers and brick- and-mortar food stalls hawking everything from fish tacos to fresh berries. Its iconic tower is the gathering point for alfresco dining. The Grove, a massive upscale mall, opened next door (think Barneys CO-OP, Jimmy Choo and a movie theater), joining the old with the new. “Meet me at Third and Fairfax,” indeed. www.farmersmarketla.com