Last week, we kicked off 2012 with a list of our resolutions for the year, listing things we want to happen on LAIY this year. As the week went on, we also realized we wanted to impart to everyone a few things we all should do, challenging how we live in Los Angeles. They are not anything insane nor are they particularly inventive; however, they are things we aspire to do in 2012–and we think you should too. It’s a short list of ten things that we think would be pretty fun (and cheap) to do in town. I mean, why not do them? There’s no reason not to!
1. Go on a hike before 7:30AM.
Hiking is the sport of Los Angeles. Sure, everyone is trying to make football happen in this city–but, hiking is something that everyone does and that everyone can do quite easily. Somehow, it kind of represents the city and its inhabitants’ mentality. One of our new favorite things to do (born out of an image conscious “Exercise more!” resolution) is hiking before 7:30AM. We get up around 6:30AM, go to Runyon (or elsewhere), hike up, and are at the top by 7AM. What are the advantages of this? First, no one (NO ONE) is there. Second, you are up and ready to work earlier. And, thirdly, you have the best, best, best view of the city: the smog is cleared, no one is out to crowd your view, you can see the ocean, you can see the mountains, you can see Long Beach (and beyond!!)–it’s better than hiking on a day after it rained. It’s an amazing sight–and all you have to do is wake up early to get the best view of the city.
2. Go out in Hollywood.
This may be tough for many and it is intended to be tough: go out in Hollywood. Embrace the muck and silliness and just do it. You will find stuff to do! From dive drinking at Powerhouse on Highland to seeing a show at Second City on Hollywood to grabbing a nice bite at Wood & Vine, Hungry Cat, or The Mercantile, there is plenty to do, all within reasonable accessibility. You can also walk everywhere! Besides Downtown, where else can you do that? Not very many places. There is something for everyone and more character than you can shake a square off the Walk of Fame at. Is Hollywood cool? Not really. However, it can be if you make it.
3. Take the Metro somewhere, to do something you’d normally do with a car. (Also, take a cab.)
This is a no-brainer: take the train somewhere you’d normally go to in your car (or bike, or whatever else you may use for locomotion). The Metro is one of the best parts of the city that no one seems to care about but more and more people are converting to. From Valley to Downtown connecting Red Line to Long Beach dipping Blue Line, you can get to more places than you think you can. Now, of course, if the Purple Line would ever get completed or something was done to put a Metro all the way down Santa Monica Blvd, we wouldn’t have to tell you this. Until then, take our word for it and do it. (Also, cabs are not as expensive as you would think and with apps like Taxi Magic, you can take a cab easily to lots of places. Do that as well!)
4. Go to a beach you have not been to yet.
If you live in this city and do not go to the beach at least five times a year, you are doing it all wrong. This spring/summer/fall, get your ass to a beach. You can go to Malibu, you can go to the Palisades, you can go to Santa Monica, you can go to Manhattan Beach, you can go to Long Beach–anywhere with a beach: go there. Try a bunch of different beaches to see which one you like best: just go out West, soak up some sun, dip in the water, and enjoy one of Los Angeles’ best features.
5. Get out of town (but don’t go far).
We’re late to this party, as we only visited Joshua Tree for the first time last month, but you should get out of town. Don’t, like, hop on a plane and go far. Quite the contrary actually: take the train to San Diego, get in a car with some friends and go to Palm Springs or Joshua Tree, take a bus to Santa Barbara–go somewhere cheap and easily and in the Southwest. Like Los Angeles proper, the cities and counties surrounding us have equally as diverse of terrain and culture as our city. And, they’re like less than two hours away. (Note: Trips to San Francisco and Las Vegas count on this since they are so close as well.)
6. Give Back To Los Angeles
Is Los Angeles really known as a city that “gives back”? Not really. Let’s change that! Whether it is giving to an LA based Kickstarter or getting involved with School on Wheels or 826LA, do something good for your city. It gives us so much, why don’t we give it more?
7. Go South.
This is a big one for us: exploring more of what is South of us, particularly neighborhoods like Baldwin Hills, Westmont, Exposition Park, Watts, Huntington Park, Gardena, and many, many more. Inspired by Alissa Walker and the work she does with deLaB we, too, want to check out more in the city. What’s on our list? Watts Tower, Bludso’s, Harold & Belle’s, and so many more rad places.
8. Go To A *Nice* Movie
We’re in the city that is responsible for 90% of the world’s entertainment. It’s only natural that we, too, have the best movie theaters in town. Thus, get out and see a movie like you’re a celebrity. Hit up Arclight, Gold Coast, and even El Capitan for great viewing experiences because we can. There is no other city that can do movie theatre viewing like we can: abuse this privilege.
9. See Some Theatre.
Book of Mormon? La Cage Aux Folles? Waiting For Godot? Don Giovanni (with Rodarte and Frank Gehry)? Art? Those cannot be theatre happening in Los Angeles. Wrong: all of those are shows being produced by major, respectable persons in town this year. We already have tickets to a few–and you should get some tickets as well. And, again, since we are a city founded on entertaining, these shows are usually great and feature actors you’ve always wanted to see acting in person.
10. Get out and see more art.
Just do it. See a show a month. Explore new galleries. Tell us about cool things: Los Angeles art is booming and you need to do more than just read about it on a website. Get out there and see some art!