Sunday, May 6, 2018

La La Land

After Vegas, we honeymooned in Los Angeles. I had been expecting blissfully blue Californian skies, so was disappointed by the rain and cold. It was the start of May, and locals called the downturn in the weather the 'June gloom'. I hadn't really brought any warm clothes, thinking it would be hot the whole time, so lived in one thin jumper for a few days.

It brightened up, though, and we found an amazing vegan restaurant called Doomie's. It was like McDonald's for vegans, and did the best 'bacon and cheese fries'. I swear that, in a taste test, you couldn't tell they weren't smothered in real bacon and cheese - to the extent that I became quite suspicious of them!

The best day was when we went to Santa Monica Beach. It was sunny and beautiful, the sea was calm and deep blue, and there was a middle-aged bald busker called Dancing Dave doing the most terrible singing and dancing on the pier to Britney Spears songs. It was so bad it was good. I got some pretty coasters to remind me of America, and soaked up the sun, and wished I lived in the States.

Aside from Santa Monica, Doomie's and another vegan restaurant (Veggie Grill) were the high points of our stay, and the reason I was 10lbs heavier when I returned to London. Our iconic hotel, the Hollywood Roosevelt, was a bit of a disappointment: old and faded film star glamour compared to the glitzy glamour of the Aria in Las Vegas.

But the strangest thing for me was the vibe of LA: it just felt full of loneliness, sadness and desperation. I can't quite put my finger on it, but it wasn't thriving and vibrant and colourful like London is. There weren't as many people, the locals weren't as friendly and upbeat as they had been in Vegas, and the whole glamorous Hollywood dream felt like a bit of a mirage.

I mean, I'm sure that for a few thousand people, it's the most wonderful place in the world - but it just seemed that so many others were struggling, waiting tables and sighing. And again, like Vegas, it was super-expensive. We met some lovely friends out there, and they all really enjoy living there - but I won't be going back in a hurry.


  1. I visited my sister there in 2009. RE: Santa Monica - it is beautiful. I didn’t like the vibe of the city though overall too. Disjointed sprawl.

    My sisters (then) boyfriend was local and he described it as a ‘salad bowl’ making a point of not saying ‘melting pot’ - which is telling.

    My sister worked on Hollywood Blvd selling tours. The whole stretch was FULL of ‘actors’ most homeless with a story the others working in retail ‘just as a day job until they get my break’

    Did you see Louis Theroux’s ‘LA Stories’?

    1. That's so sad. No, I didn't. I went on a tour from Hollywood Boulevard though!

  2. I associate Los Angeles to the crime fiction set there.