My 2 weeks in California were filled with just the right amount of amusement to keep this East Coast gal from yelling, “Where’s a damn bodega when you need one?!” I was invited by several friends to come bask in the California sun and take in the Hollywood sights. Despite not being a huge fan of cinematic/celebrity culture, I was in desperate need of a scenery change, so I booked my flight and was off!

My first stop was Venice Beach. I stayed at the Samesun Hostel and met the most extraordinary people: a Swedish rocker chick with a serious things for physics, a Finnish synchronized ice skater, a very carefree Berlin native, and a yoga instructor from Australia.


What I quickly learned about LA is each vicinity strongly caters to its own vibe. (Venice is very much a ‘skaters and stoners’ scene. Needless to say, walking the boardwalk was the most entertaining part of my day.)

venice mural3
Mural by Marioe

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Another pretty sweet highlight was the Venice Canals, which I highly recommend seeing in the morning or right before sundown to catch some golden hour magnificence. Fun fact: I saw Louis Cole filming for his YouTube channel!


Small World Books


I stopped by the Skirball Culture Center, which is essentially a Jewish Culture Museum near Sherman Oaks. Though there’s a lot of interactive exhibits geared toward toddlers, it’s still an awesome place for adults to come and check out. A few favorite exhibits: Leonard Bernstein, Kehinde Wiley, and Noah’s Ark. The center doesn’t take a whole lot out of your day which I appreciated and spotting some featured Warhol pieces was an unexpected plus.

I spent Friday and Shabbat in Beverly Hills, where I got to hang out with some friends, eat amazing food, and take in LA’s natural beauty before heading to West Hollywood for week 2.


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