lifestyle

With love, from Santa Monica

Santa Monica is the place you go for a break from Los Angeles. If you get tired of the traffic, or get tired of the smog, or even get tired of the city. Santa Monica is the perfect little escape. It still technically counts as Los Angeles, but it has very few things in common with downtown LA. Like the good shopping and yummy restaurants.

I go to school about five miles from Santa Monica. Okay, so I know that does not seem far at all. But it honestly takes a solid 20 minutes to get there. You may be asking why. Well, because Los Angeles traffic is real. And it sucks. But 20 minutes is completely doable, in my opinion.

Over the weeks, I have been to Santa Monica a few times. Meaning, I have taken a lot of photos. A lot. 

You can probably tell that I love palm trees. If you follow me on Instagram, it is obvious just how much I love palm trees. And Santa Monica has the prettiest palm trees. Actually, Beverly Hills might have the best palm trees. But Santa Monica is a very close second.

The 3rd St. Promenade is where all the shopping is in Santa Monica. Well, almost all of it. You have the Promenade, where brands like Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, and Madewell are in a constant state of busy. Then one block up, you have downtown Santa Monica. I prefer this area. That sounds pretentious. I’m sorry. I prefer downtown Santa Monica only because it reminds me of San Francisco. The way the buildings look and how the storefronts switch from chic boutiques to foodie spots… It just really reminds me of home. Also there is Buffalo Exchange and Wasteland, which are two of my favorite thrifting spots.

One block down from the 3rd St. Promenade is the beach. The infamous Santa Monica Pier. I was recently walking around the boardwalk with my boyfriend’s family, and got a snap of the California Coast.

Processed with VSCO with a1 preset

Santa Monica Beach (from the Pier)

I have never felt so lucky to live in Los Angeles than I do when looking at this photo. From the palisades off in the distance, to the warm sunny beach with that pretty water (by the way, it gets way prettier as you travel down towards Malibu. That water is beautiful). There are so many different parts of Los Angeles. You have the city, the beach, the suburbs, and the little downtowns in each area of town. It is so unique and special. It may be a giant hassle to go from place to place sometimes (most of the time), but I think that just adds to LA’s charm.

Xo,

Alicia

Standard
entertainment

Tuesday Tunes

Music is a big part of who I am. So, I love finding new bands and artists that help cultivate my music collections. But I also love past artists too. These two can come hand-in-hand when it comes to vinyl.

My father had so many records and I think that is where my obsession really began. When I was young, I remember wanting to play these “big CD disks.” As I got older, I appreciated his vintage 60s/70s vinyl so much more (and I actually knew to call them vinyl and not big CD disks).

I have been creating somewhat of my own record collection for a while now. I have close to 50 records that I picked out and purchased all on my own. Today, for Tuesday’s Tunes, I’m focusing on three of my favorite newer artists.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Wet’s “Don’t You”

Don’t You is Wet’s most recently released album. I bought this record during a recent trip to San Francisco. I usually stick to buying old records when I go to a thrift store, but I could not resist this album. Wet is a pretty new group from Brooklyn, NY. Their sound is very melodic, and a little hypnotic. If you’re into sounds from Chairlift, Banks, or Blood Orange, I suggest Wet. They have been absolutely killing the music scene since the release of their debut self-titled EP.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s “Multi Love”

I first came across Unknown Mortal Orchestra after coming off a two week long Kurt Vile binge. The first song I ever heard from UMO was “So Good At Being In Trouble.” That song has some serious soul, and an amazing lyrical sentiment that craves to be felt. “So Good At Being In Trouble” came off UMO’s second album II. This album gave UMO the classification of “psychedelic rock,” and rightfully so. Their third studio album is titled after their most popular song on the album “Multi Love.” I purchased Multi Love second hand from a used vinyl shop. I recommend this album, and the album before, if you’re into artists like Tame Impala, and Animal Collective.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Father John Misty’s “I Love You, Honeybear”

The last record I am going to mention is one that I am incredibly sentimental about. I had begun to really delve into the uniqueness of Father John Misty about two years ago. I had quite an obsession with the Fleet Foxes in high school, and through them, I found Josh Tillman/Father John Misty/J. Tillman (all the same guy. I know. So complicated). I Love You, Honeybear is the second album released by Josh Tillman under his satirical pseudonym Father John Misty. It also happens to be the first album I ever bought my boyfriend, Ramiro. It was the first in depth conversation about music that we had, which was really important to me. In return, Ramiro bought me the I Love You, Honeybear vinyl. When school began last year, I noticed FJM was preforming at The Wiltern in Los Angeles, and he and I went there for our first concert date. So, yeah, I am very sentimental (borderline overly obsessed) when it comes to this record. If you’re into Vampire Weekend or Sufjan Stevens, give Josh Tillman a listen. I promise any of his music, spanning from his acoustic albums to his indie rock albums, is sure not to disappoint.

Xo,

Alicia

 

Standard
lifestyle

A Visit to the City I Missed…

My mother grew up in San Francisco. My grandma, aunt/uncle, and cousins still live in San Francisco. Growing up, my mother always took us into the city for family visits, and all around shopping feats! I used to stay with my grandma for weeks at her vintage house on 41st avenue. As I got older, visits became more frequent because my eldest sister went to school- and lived- in San Francisco. She lived near Union Square (near all the shopping) for the first few years, then moved to the historic (and somewhat posh) neighborhood of Russian Hill.

Being away from the Bay Area, I really missed San Francisco. I have been itching to get back there since summer began. Just this week, I went with my best friend. Of course, we shopped. But honestly, I just wanted to take pictures.

One thing that I love the most about San Francisco is its unique history. Both my grandma and my mother have shared stories about San Francisco, and it is definitely a city that grows on you. Part of its charm is its different architectural styles. There are so many different style buildings that all come together to make San Francisco as eclectic as it is.

I’ve always told my mother that once I have established somewhat of a solid career path, I would love to own an apartment in San Francisco, either in the Marina District or Russian Hill. I have always loved San Francisco… Well, I just love cities in general. I have made it one of my little goals to live in the three cities I love the most: New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. So stay tuned for those adventures!

Xo,

Alicia

Standard
blog, lifestyle, visual story

Adventures in Inglewood

This week, I was in Los Angeles for two (short) days. I was mostly in the Santa Monica/Marina Del Rey area. But when driving in LA, you can be in one part of town and in the matter of 5 minutes, you can be in a different one. After landing in LAX, which is in Inglewood, I stopped to get a bite to eat.

IMG_5792IMG_5791

The Wood is a new American style restaurant. I wish I could tell you how amazing this food was. The staff was nice, and the prices were really good (and they had ginger beer!)

Our hotel was in Marina del Rey, near my university. The next morning we stopped for a quick bite at Le Pain Quotidian at the the outdoor shopping center called Villa Marina.

IMG_5778

My short visit to LA was actually very busy. I wish I could have taken more photos, and documented my mini vacation a little bit more. This trip made me really excited for this school year. I was exploring my new stomping ground, and I’m finally happy with my choice of university. I couldn’t be more excited!

Xo,

Alicia

Standard
lifestyle, visual story

Hidden Venice

Coming home from my first year away at college, I decided to take a wee bit of a detour. I spent my first year at the University of La Verne, which is about 30 minutes (on a good LA traffic day, which is rare) outside of Downtown Los Angeles. I spent a handful of weekends downtown, as my boyfriend goes to USC. We made it a mission to find good food spots and to explore the city around us. We both enjoy spending hours just walking around with no plan. We like to wander around and see where we end up (and pray that our shoes are comfortable enough for the journey).

I didn’t get to see every inch of LA as much as I would have liked to. So on my way home, I spent some time in Venice, and Santa Monica.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

Espresso Bar that transports you to West Village, New York.

This café was a hidden gem, truly. It was right on the corner, directly in front of the infamous Venice sign that floats above the main street. I loved this café because it reminds me of the many charming cafés in New York. It transports you to West Village, maybe even the classic Brooklyn.

I stopped (in the middle of the road) to take these shots of the infamous, and often photographed, Venice sign. It is as cute and charming as I had imagined. Venice is the typical beach neighborhood. The sandy streets and salted air adds tradition to the otherwise eclectic neighborhood.

I plan on adventuring out in Los Angeles much more this year. My new university, LMU is just minutes from Venice and downtown. My new location will inspire me to explore the city.

Xo,

Alicia

Standard
blog, lifestyle, visual story

Best Eats of the Napa Valley

I know what you’re thinking. This blog is called “My Los Angeles Diary” not “My Napa Valley Diary.” Why is this girl spending so much time in this weird place called Napa?! As a little disclaimer before I start my post…I want to tell you that I go to university in Los Angeles, and spend most of my time there. But during the summer, and the occasional weekend trip, I live in Napa, California. Which is a little north of San Francisco.

Summer is actually moving much quicker than I had imagined. But in this blog, I am going to chronicle some of the best spots in Napa to get your nom on!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA          Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

A little Italian restaurant named Don Giovani’s starts off my list. Nestled in-between a cluster of vineyards (sounds a little pretentious), it is a great spot to get fried calamari and a traditional pasta dish. Don G’s is the perfect spot for a nice lunch or dinner. Sadly, it is not a breakfast spot, but the delicious desert really makes up for that.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

The next place on the list is not a restaurant at all. Every Saturday and Tuesday, there is a farmer’s market on the North side of Napa, a few minutes from downtown. I picked up some plums this time. But you can get anything from crepes to lettuce to aprons!

Processed with VSCO with c6 preset

Downtown is the hub of Napa. Largely in part because it is the only cute part of town. It is catered to tourists, and is a very good place to spend a day in. There are great options downtown to get food, or even a pastry! But my favorite restaurant for a while has been the General Store. They have breakfast and lunch options. This time, I got a twist on an Eggs Benedict (I added avocado).

The last spot on my list is my favorite breakfast spot. Go ahead and quote me on that. I went with my boyfriend this morning to the Alexis Baking Company, which is just a few steps away from the center of downtown. Ramiro, in true Ramiro fashion, got a breakfast sandwich. Which by the way, he scarfed down before I even put a slice of pancake in my mouth. He chose to sip on black coffee (one of the many things I love about him), while I chose to sip on a foamy latte.

Processed with VSCO with c6 preset

Xo,

Alicia

Standard
lifestyle, visual story

Eatery of the Day

 

Today my sister and I went to a new restaurant! Southside Cafe is located in Napa, California. It opened in early May so it is pretty new to town. The vibe of the cafe is very relaxed, and the music they played was indie and new (which I enjoyed).

My sister and I both got lattes, her’s was iced while mine was warm. Both were delicious! I ordered a sandwich, and she ordered a trendy twist on an eggs benedict. We ordered strawberry toast to share. And of course I documented the entire meal!

Xo,

Alicia

Standard