Being born and raised in Los Angeles, you would think that I know this city like the back of my hand. To some extent I do – I know how to navigate the extensive freeway networks and can direct you to most parts of the city (even though it may take you an hour to get across town). Still, I quite often find myself feeling like a stranger from another land in a perpetual state of tourism. With a population of almost 4 million people dispersed across approximately 500 square miles, you’d better believe that the entertainment capital of the world has a practically unlimited supply of cultural, dining, outdoors, and artistic experiences to enjoy. Theoretically, this implies that every twenty-something in Los Angeles should never complain of boredom – but why is it that we still do?
I have my own hypotheses for this conundrum, but I’ll spare the readers most of my criticisms of LA for now. Despite being some of the current trends for millennials to partake in, bottomless mimosa brunches on the cliffs of Malibu or a visit to the overpriced Museum of Ice Cream are not exactly my idea of fun. Sure, they make for whimsical Instagram photos, but I want to believe that there are more creative ways to truly enjoy this historic, vibrant, and cultural city.
One of my friends has coined the term “Homesploring”, which I find perfectly describes the spirit of local adventuring. I’ve decided to adopt her policy of perpetual curiosity and have committed myself to finding off-the-beaten-path ways to enjoy my city and the surrounding areas. This is an endeavor I have already begun and hope to adopt as a habit to further build an appreciation for my surroundings. Here are a some of my recent homesplorations:
1. The Rose – Pasadena, CA. I went to see a performance by a Pink Floyd Tribute Band called Which One’s Pink. They were amazing, and the venue was spacious, but intimate.
2. Echo Park – Los Angeles, CA. The beautiful Echo Park Lake is a great place to relax next to a backdrop of Downtown. There is also a 1-mile path around the perimeter of the lake for joggers to enjoy!
3. The Long Beach Playhouse – Long Beach, CA. I saw a wonderful performance of Agatha Christie’s play, Black Coffee. Support your local arts!
4. Joshua Tree National Park – Twenty-Nine Palms, CA. About 2 1/2 hours from LA is this gorgeous national park. It’s possible to plan a day trip for a few hours of rock-climbing, or camp out to see a sky full of stars in a pitch-black desert.
5. The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA. Orange County is the home of this small and exciting venue that hosts up-and-coming bands like Unknown Mortal Orchestra. This standing-room-only space provides for a thrilling show among other dedicated concert-goers!