Photo: The Bull Pen
The entertainment industry draws an influx of the most beautiful people in the world. Trying to keep up with all these genetic freaks of humanity is practically a part-time job, which is okay when a list of fitness classes in the city of angels reads like a menu at Baskin Robbins. One can Downward Dog their way from a yoga class to a fitness-fusion class with a name that must have come from an Onion article making fun of us. Piloxing, Yogalates, and Cyclelates, done with a straight face. If you’re not hitting the Barre, you’re most likely hiking Runyon (and Instagramming it), or Fryman Canyon for a more low-key scene and a glimpse of George Clooney’s house.
2. Healthy Eating
People in LA are either gluten-free, dairy free, vegan, or just annoying (sometimes all at once!) Juice bars are as common as Starbucks in Los Angeles, and if you’re not drinking an eight dollar juice after Kickboxalates, you’re probably the type of person to recommend Hollywood & Highland as a must-see LA attraction. When asked what I wanted for lunch last week, I said “I could really go for a kale salad right now,” and I meant it. LA is full of healthy options, so if you’re not eating your greens, you’re definitely drinking them.
3. Taco Trucks/Danger Dogs
LA is all about balance, so nama-fucking-ste, you’ll be ditching the green drink every weekened. If you’re not aware of danger dogs, or as I like to call it, street meat, then you definitely have never been out in Hollywood. The bacon-wrapped hot dogs are cooked on stainless steel baking trays and are lined up outside every bar and club in town. The infectious smell of the meat lingers in the air and draws you in as you tell yourself you’ll burn it off in Underwater Cycloga the next day. If street meat isn’t your thing, then you’ve definitely hit up some late night Leo’s Tacos. If you’re paying more than $2 for a taco, then just know you’ve fallen into the trendy taco trap, and it’s time to get help.
When asking an LA transplant why they moved to LA, their response (when it’s not, “I’m here to follow my dreams of being the next Clark Gable!”) is usually something along the lines of “I love this weather!” It’s true, LA is #blessed for the year-round sunshine and all of us Californians bask in the vitamin D. Anything below 60 degrees and people in LA break out their parkas and UGG boots like it’s the end of the world. On the off-chance that it *gasp* RAINS, people in LA freak out. They’re confused by the cold, wet stuff falling from the sky and suddenly forget how to drive in the middle of some of the largest freeways in the country. 2016’s El Nino is sure to set everyone into a frenzy, so I’m making sure to buy as many canned goods and batteries as possible.
5. Giving Out Directions
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve seen SNL’s “The Californians”. While the inflection is exaggerated, the exchange of driving routes is on point. Every Angeleno has their own “secret” driving route to avoid sitting in gridlock. We have so many famous streets–Sunset Blvd, Hollywood Blvd, Venice, Ventura Blvd–that telling somebody to bypass them on the way downtown is the equivalent of flashing a smile at the bouncer and getting right into the club. There’s honestly nothing better than cruising through Mulholland for the scenery and irony of living in LA.
6. Reading Parking Signs
Paying for parking sucksm and you spend more time looking for parking than you do actually driving to your destination. If you do finally find a spot, you spend a good ten minutes deciphering the parking signs. You can park here Monday through Friday, except Tuesdays and Thursdays (and Wednesdays are street cleaning), but only between 8 AM and 10 AM, and then 7 PM through 6 AM, but if it’s a blood moon then you have to sacrifice a virgin on the hood of your car. Once you think you’re in the clear, you turn the corner and see another sign stating the neighborhood you parked in is permit only. By this point, you should be a pro at depicting parking signs to avoid a sixty dollar parking ticket. But you’re not.
I swear by Uber. Sure, you get the occasional story of a driver murdering an innocent young woman like myself, but is that such a high price to pay for the ability to bypass the black hole of service that is Yellow Cab? Uber has changed the game in LA. I no longer have to spend the night worrying about getting myself home safely to the exclusion of actually having fun. And because verbing nouns is the only thing Angelenos love more than bottomless mimosas on Sundays, “ubering” has become one of the most popular words in the city.
8. Treating Dogs like Humans
People in LA LOVE dressing up their dogs, dying their hair, and pushing them around in strollers. They get pink highlights and go gluten-free. Pet stores are starting to mimic their human counterparts with organic and natural food options. I’m not going to lie, I’ve bought a kale salad at a pet store. And it was pretty good.
I get asked, “Which weekend of Coachella are you going to?” months before the lineup is even released. The once underground festival (for, like, two years anyway) is now the place to see and be seen. The streets of LA are practically empty in April due to the flock of Angelenos heading to the desert, taking over a retirement community in such a fashion that half those old geezers probably get heart attacks the first time they see a bronzed model in nothing but pasties pushing a cart down the local Ralph’s. Half the revelers aren’t even there for the music–they’re there to be seen. And so, every year the lineups tend to get more mediocre while the crowds grow bigger. But what are you gonna do? You can’t miss Coachella.