Meleana Estes: Los Angeles

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From contemporary art at The broad museum, to lazy afternoons at the iconic beverly Hills Hotel to browsing vintage clothing shops along melrose, Los Angeles is chock -full of places to frequent.

L.A. GETS A BIT OF A BAD RAP: UNBEARABLE TRAFFIC, PLASTIC SURGERY GONE BONKERS, ACTORS TALKING OFFENSIVELY LOUD WITH THEIR AGENTS ON SPEAKER PHONE WHILE WAITING IN THE COFFEE LINE, LUNCH DATES WHERE LUNCH IS DRY KALE… BUT I LOVE L.A. I am not denying those illustrations might be a wee bit true, but to me, they add to the charm.

I was not scared off by stereotypes, but it took me a while to drink the Los Angeles green juice. For one, it took me a long time to understand the lay of the land and discover the charm in each neighborhood. And that is just L.A. It is SO spread out. Unlike New York, where you can wander aimlessly, it helps to have a plan.

When I travel to L.A., I do always gravitate towards the coast. So the “west side” is usually my first stop. I always grab a “blow your mind” morning bun at Susan Goins Larder at Tavern restaurant. You will be enticed to try one of their pastries after peering in the glass windows and seeing bakers work their magic. After a full belly of perfectly sugar dusted dough, I love to rent bikes in Venice and coast along the board walk and maybe pop into The Shutters for a mimosa. Then I head to Abbott Kinney Boulevard and grab a squash blossom buratta pizza at Gjelina or try the owners new “farm to Izakaya” spot MTN for a Macro Donburi. You can walk this all off by perusing Abbot Kinney’s boutiques, as Satine.

I love General Store on Washington (a few blocks east): a trend-setting boutique with everything from beautiful ceramics, to vintage denim, to the best children’s toys. Then it’s usually off to the Getty–but not before pop- ping by Brentwood Country Mart on the way to have a look at Goop Lab and Jenny Kayne and pick up wine and cheese from Farm Shop for the essential Getty Gardens picnic. The Getty does boast amazing shows, but the highlight is most definitely the gardens and sweeping view of L.A.!

For an East-Side day in L.A., I usually start bright and early at The Original Los Angeles Flower Market. Then, I head to The Broad museum, which houses Eli Broad’s personal collection of over 2,000 works of contemporary art. Across the street is the Grand Central Market, where you can grab a snack from Egg Slut, while you wait for your reserved entry time. The museum is free, but it helps to make reservations online, so you don’t have to wait to experience the huge personal collection of Eli Broad, filled with Jeff Koons, Ells- worth Kelly and Yoyoi Kusama’s Mirror Rooms, to name a few.

Since you are already downtown, head to nearby Silver Lake and fuel up on a crispy rice salad or another healthy perfect innovative dish at Sqirl, before you hit up all the district’s vintage boutiques.

Speaking of vintage… if you are in L.A., on a Sunday the Melrose Trading Post is a must-stop. Here, curated ven- dors sell antique lace tops, leather boots and vintage denim. Designers flock here for inspiration, so you will not be disappointed with what you find. The other side of Melrose Avenue is always fueled by a cosmic matcha latte from Moon Juice to check out the latest at Zimmerman and Kelly Werstler. And then, because I always fall for a moment of vintage glamour, I love to visit L.A.’s pink palace, the Beverly Hills Hotel, for an afternoon cocktail to cap off the afternoon. Yes, I do love L.A.

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