LA / Santa Monica / Hollywood

After Vegas, the obvious city to stop-by was Los Angeles. Me and my friend went with no real plans to LA. Once arrived at the airport, we didn’t even know where to go first. We looked on a subway map and saw that Downtown was probably the place to be since everyline were crossing to one central station: Downtown – Union Station. Well, if it usually works 99% of the times all around the world, it wasn’t really the case with LA haha. We took a shuttle from the airport to Union Station and after 2-3 minutes of walking, we figured out we made a huge mistake because it looked exactly like the other cities’ ghosttowns, probably even a little bit worse than minneapolis or atlanta.

Okay, even though we had no real plans, we knew we had to visit Hollywood, Downtown, meet an american friend of mine who came as an exchange student to my business school in Marseille but who also did an internship in the same company before going to the US.

We decided to join her who told me she was in LA, but what we didn’t know was how big LA was… Most of the people includes the suburbs when they say LA, and the suburbs in LA is not the same as in Paris, it’s VERY spread out. My friend actually lived in Santa Monica. At the first glance, when we checked the subway map, we found out it wasn’t that far. Thus, we visited a little bit nearby such as ChinaTown before heading to Santa Monica. Chinatown in LA was very small, old and dirty to me, the Chinatown I knew in Paris looked way more better, my friend and me were pretty disappointed.

When going back to Union Station to take the subway, we found out that some of the lines on the subway map were actually simple buses that the staff and the locals called “metro”. We took the bus and had to ride the bus almost 1 hour and half to Santa Monica. Of course it was a very long and boring trip, but I think we had thanks to the ride an overview of LA and its suburbs. It was pretty fun to see how from a station to another, you could notice that there were several ethnical communities living separately: Hispanics, Blacks, Asians, etc… When we arrived to Santa Monica, we felt very happy seeing the beach and the cutie shops around. The prices however were pretty high and it reminded me a little bit Saint-Tropez that I visited once with a good friend of mine… The atmosphere was very chic with the luxurious brand shops. I’m personally not into  that but I had to admit one thing, the beach was amazing.

After meeting my friend, we decided to leave and go back to Downtown LA or Hollywood Boulevard. We took the metrobus again kind of annoyed with the long 1:30 itinerary. The landscape on the way back by night looked exactly the same every 10 minutes of ride (the typical landscape for each of them were: buildings, one hotel, a food court with 6-10 restaurants, a gas station and some convenient stores. It was boring and it seemed never-ending.

However, the bus suddently dropped us saying it was the last station. Every people in the bus went outside, and the first thing me and my friend noticed and were happy about was how dynamic this district was even by night. The second thing we found out some seconds just after that was the korean signs everywhere… That was KoreaTown ! The crowd that night was actually emphasized with a concert given by “Miley Cyrus” just in front of the bus stop haha! We walked around and discovered how huge was Koreatown in LA, I then understood why people said KoreaTown in LA was sort of Seoul in the US. We went to a brewery pub with my friend and talked to some locals (funny fact: probably the only one which wasn’t korean among all of them haha), and most of them explained us that LA was so spread-out and that there’s not much to visit because it’s more about living in LA to enjoy it (especially the good weather) rather than visiting. According to them, KoreaTown was the only dynamic place in LA which was 24/7 with all the bars and restaurants opened. (Hollywood Boulevard was also a little bit dynamic by night but not as much “24/7” as Koreatown).

We then drank the whole night, played pool tables, went to a SPA, and went to bed. Koreatown was the craziest moment we had in LA.

The next day we visited Hollywood Boulevard with the famous stars on the ground. That was fun and chilled a little bit walking through the boulevard after the hangover. However, we were a bit dissapointed because it looked too much touristic, which we didn’t really like cause we love to experience the life of the real locals.

I regret that we weren’t able to take more pictures cause of our phones’ cameras not functionning at all in LA…