As a little girl living in Bosnia, I always dreamt of moving to LA and becoming a movie star or at least that is what I thought everyone did. After living in the U.S. for over 15 years, I finally got my chance (thanks to my lovely man & former LA resident) to visit the city of Angels, the city where dreams are made…
Making the early AM four hour drive from Las Vegas, I was more excited than a kid in a candy store and driving into LA, my expectations were met as I was greeted by the site of palm trees, windy and hilly roads, downtown skyline, train line and vegetative bridges for habitat crossing. My excitement was short lived as we soon came to a halt on the infamous LA highway traffic of hell. Flocked by six lanes on each side, I finally got a taste of what it’s actually like to be stuck in traffic (apparently the city DOT has not received the memo that the more lanes you add the more congestion you cause).
Traffic aside, our first stop was of course all the touristy spots – Hollywood Boulevard, Burbank, Malibu, Boys Town, Sunset Boulevard and Rodeo Drive. Although, a pleasant walking experience, the Hollywood Boulevard was anything but glamorous.
The rest of our time was spent hanging out at walker’s paradise spots, Venice Beach and Santa Monica. Santa Monica’s third street promenade, a district of upscale shopping, dining and entertainment was a kind reminder of how pleasant our environments can be when completely eliminating access to cars.
The energy of Venice and Santa Monica were unbeatable, as well as the ample infrastructure provided for bikers and pedestrians. Venice beach provided the depth of activities, charm, diversity, culture, live music and arts. I also found the comfort in the city where individuals are free to be who they are without being judged. Although the city is widely spread out, there does not seem to be much space for building density, since certain parts of the city are already fairly compact with more apartment buildings than houses. Nevertheless, my dream of visiting LA has finally been fulfilled, but alas there is still a lot more to this city that I did not get a chance to see.
Until next time LA...
Images by author, unless otherwise specified. Data linked to sources.
Full time Bicycle & Pedestrian Transportation Planner. Part time urbanista dreamer & traveler residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota.