Currently I am living in the town that I grew up in, going to my state school. I’ve been there for most of the year, trying to fight the slow death of routine. I have itchy feet, and it’s been tough to stay. It’s been tough for a lot of reasons.
Every time I ride the shuttle to campus through gray urban sprawl, past strip malls and gas stations, I’m filled with this overpowering desire to book it to the grand canyon as quickly as I’m able. (The Grand Canyon is the opposite of urban wasteland)
Finally the urge was too much, and as soon as I got off the bus I called my dear, dear cousin in L.A., asking if I could come visit. Even in a week we could explore plenty of the desert out there. I need distance and space to think and reflect– I can’t make rational decisions having stayed in the same place so long. Space will be good.
On the plane I sat next to a nice man who was a cage match promoter. My obsession with the Grand Canyon somehow worked it’s way into our conversation. (“We won’t fly over it, will we? We probably won’t. That much space– something that massive, it makes your brain just spin, doesn’t it? We probably won’t fly over it.”) He kindly tapped my shoulder and pointed out the window, and I tried to return the favor by not weeping everywhere. THE GRAND FRIKIN’ CANYON. I’ve never seen it before.
Still spinning from my first Grand Canyon sighting, I landed and met my dear cousin Malado. Malado is this incredible sunbeam of positive energy and loveliness. She’s an incredible artist who is perpetually working on 8 different projects. We’re both curious, mile a minute, fascinated by odd things. I’m so grateful for her buoyancy.
She lives in the beautiful little house tucked away in the Los Feliz neighborhood, one of the city’s most walkable areas. It’s dripping with flowers and is surprisingly cool and lush.
When I thought LA, I thought hot, smoggy, narcissistic. I’ve been so pleasantly surprised! It’s gorgeous and funky and bright. Malado is next to Griffith Park, the nation’s largest city park. It’s networked with tons of windy trails through dry hills and lush patches of forest, everything dripping with gold sun. The heat is dry and pleasant, not like DC– which is humid and not unlike an armpit.
We hiked up to the observatory, which was bustling with tourists but totally worth it for the view.
Be sure to check out the Trails Cafe. Closed on Mondays!
Griffith Park is host to many beautiful things– a vintage train yard, stables, parks and merry-go-rounds, and nice public bathrooms to boot. Definitely do not miss the abandoned zoo! It’s easily accessible and open to the public, and there will be about 5 people filming things there on any given day.
There’s beautiful, strange little abandoned cages all grown over with vines. If you walk around back of these cages (there’s a paved trail) you can access the insides, which are encrusted with graffiti.
Go in the afternoon. After the middle of the day heat, everything starts to cool and we were tickled by cool breezes and drenched in gold sun. (If this it too much, I’m sorry, but I’m not sorry. I have just endured 4 months of gray and cold. LA weather is miraculous.)
We’re packing up and heading to Joshua tree. More soon!