how do i make the most of two months in los angeles?
January 8, 2014 6:11 AM   Subscribe

I'lll be living in Los Angeles for two months on a professional development opportunity for my job. Will be living in Lincoln Heights and will be sans car. I've been to LA probably about 15 times over the last 4 years or so, but I'll never have lived there. Looking forward to getting a little bit better sense of what daily life is like there.

I've gotten around LA a lot by transit (and happy to rent a car on the weekends to explore). I've been to LA enough to see most of the major sites - but would love to try to get a brief feel - if possible - of what it'd be like to live there in the longterm.

I would love suggestions from MeFites on what they'd recommend doing, getting involved with or going to. Two months is really short, but I'm hoping to be a little less of a tourist. Currently live in the DC metro area. I'm really into biking and outdoors type stuff, local history, etcetera. I will know a few people there but not many (so suggestions on social things to plug into would be awesome).

I'll be there in March and April.
posted by waylaid to Travel & Transportation around Los Angeles, CA (12 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Personally I would get a wet suit and a boogie board and hit Manhattan beach at every given opportunity but that is kind of far away from where you will be.
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:29 AM on January 8, 2014

Best answer: The first thing I'd do is to find out where my local Farmers Market is, and check that out.

Then, I'd check out garage sales in Hollywood. My uncle used to do this and he found the most amazing things!

Find a coffee shop and a bar and become a regular in both. Hang out, engage in conversation with folks.

Become a fan of a band and follow them around to gigs.

If you're inclined, check out a UU church. Good fellowship, good coffee.

Join a gym for the time you're there.

Check out the Los Angeles Hiking Group meetups. Go for hikes with new folks.

Ditto the LA Bike Club meetups.

Historic Downtown LA Walking Tour sounds interesting.

Join a rec league for a sport you like. Here's a site, contact them to see what's going on while you're there.

Basically, life your life as though you lived there. Just..moreso.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:42 AM on January 8, 2014 [2 favorites]

You're close to my neighborhood, just anointed by GQ as the coolest, bestest, yaddayaddayadda place on the planet.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:45 AM on January 8, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks RuthlessBunny! All great ideas (just helps to have some ideas while I'm there) as it can always take some time to get my feet wet in a place (which i dont have a ton of time for)
posted by waylaid at 9:04 AM on January 8, 2014

Best answer: Explore the hiking/biking trails in the Santa Monica Mountains. This is something tourists do not do, and there are so many beautiful parks and hikes up there. My personal favourites are Franklin Canyon for hiking or gentle walking; hike to the Nike Missile base above Brentwood and look around; or bike around Topanga Canyon.

Definitely spend time at the beaches, but try out the less touristy ones, I like Will Rogers.

There is a ton of great stuff on Hidden LA (which is run by a MeFite).
posted by Joh at 9:18 AM on January 8, 2014 [1 favorite]

I used to live in Lincoln Heights at the Brewery Arts complex. Go hang out there! There's a restaurant and bar in the middle of the complex that has pretty decent food and awesome bartenders, plus you can check out all the art. They have an open studios weekend (called the Brewery Artwalk) twice a year in April and October, so you might want to check that out as well.

Nearby is the San Antonio Winery, which also has a restaurant. You're also not too far from downtown, Little Tokyo, Chinatown, etc. which are all worth exploring. You need a car if you want to go further afield, unless you want to take a lot of buses.
posted by bedhead at 9:19 AM on January 8, 2014

If you can get to Union Station, it will take you 3 trains but you could end up at Rosecrans on the Green Line, and there is a bus there that will get you to within 2 short blocks of the beach (Highland) or you can stay on it (the bus) and go South and end up on Hermosa Avenue, 1 block from the beach.

Although, with a south swell, the further north you hit the beach, the bigger/better the waves.

Even if you do not go in the water, it will be a nice day at the beach, albeit complicated to get there.

Also, get you bearings and then call a meetup!
posted by Danf at 10:16 AM on January 8, 2014

Response by poster: Awesome! Great suggestions, all! Keep them coming!
posted by waylaid at 10:23 AM on January 8, 2014

Go to the Getty Museum. Twice, if you can swing it.
posted by the Real Dan at 10:49 AM on January 8, 2014

Best answer: Midnight Ridazz organizes about a million bike rides a week, including some adventurous night-time ones that cruise through the soft underbelly of L.A. Great way to explore the city. Some of the rides are rolling parties, which may or may not be your thing.

Throw your bike on the choo-choo (Metro) Expo Line, hop off at Culver City, and jam down Venice Blvd. to the beach.

Sign up for a hiking meetup and offer to pitch in for gas in the carpool -- no car of your own necessary. Angeles National Forest has some cool, rugged terrain; the Santa Monica Mountains have some neat-o canyons and ocean views out the wazoo.

Give your business to the local bodega on a regular basis, be super cordial and polite to the workers there, and come the inevitable day when you forget your wallet or get locked out of your place, they'll let you come back and pay later.

March/April is a great time to be here (hell, any time of year is, but spring is really nice in the inland area...not too hot). Enjoy!
posted by nacho fries at 11:09 AM on January 8, 2014

Best answer: C.I.C.L.E. is another homegrown bike group that roams the nooks and crannies of L.A. They do a lot of public education / safety type events, so their rides tend to be less Wild West than some of the Ridazz rides.
posted by nacho fries at 11:26 AM on January 8, 2014

Lincoln Heights has Mom's Tamales, which are some of the best tamales in LA. Pasadena and 34, if I recall correctly.
posted by klangklangston at 2:44 PM on January 21, 2014

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