I will always say that Los Angeles, The City of Angels, is my favorite city. I discovered it for the first time in 2007, during a trip with my cousins who live there, for Christmas. When I came back in 2013, it was immediately love at first sight. While the Americans were not on holiday, I had to go to the Lycée Français in the morning, and in the afternoon I visited the city in depth. Moreover, it was the Halloween period, so I could see how traditional Americans are, and very different from the French, as well as our different ways of life.
I discovered a city spreading over miles, very different from Paris. The streets are endless boulevards edged with various buildings and gigantic palm trees. Residential neighborhoods are scattered all over the checkerboard plan of the city. My favorite neighborhood is, and will remain Beverly Hills, this very upscale and famous neighborhood, although I’d rather live in Larchmont Village, a very "green" neighborhood typical of BH but more Zen. In addition the district has a shopping street where there are very nice little restaurants, a French organic market, clothes shops, a mini Target and a grocery store. The weather and the Pacific Ocean also attract me. I would love to live in a coastal town like this, with cool beaches.
Of course, there’s closer to Paris, like Marseille, Cannes, Monaco, but it's something else. The neighborhood of Santa Monica, a residential, commercial and tourist district, is the perfect place to meet friends, ideal in the evening around a fire on the beach of Venice Beach with music, or At the Santa Monica Pier, a pontoon with a mini leisure park. One of my favorite activities to do there is the "hike". It is a hike in the heights of Hollywood, with several courses, including the steepest and narrow, also infested with snakes, leads to the famous Hollywood Sign ( H O L L Y W O O D). It is a very good exercise that makes the muscles work and makes you feel good. I remember borrowing the route that led to the Grifith Observatory, from where the sight on the city is amazing. One can see on the horizontal line in the distance the layer of ozone and pollution emanating from the millions of cars circulating each day. This is also the problem, in addition to road traffic, or « the big traffic jam » . It takes about forty minutes to get from my aunt to Lycée Francais, located in another part of Culver City. If you want to eat healthy and light like me, I recommend the Butcher's daughter on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice, or if you're missing French food, Le Petit Paris in Downtown will transport you to the south of France.
I love going to LA because people out there are cool, more open and friendly than the French; which are riding on the rules of politeness for example. In public places like shops or cafes, you have to say hello before you ask for anything, and if you do not, the person will feel a bit insulted. While in LA, it is different, we can not do it, and our interlocutor will say nothing. I will remember for a long time when I was at the Grove, an open mall with my cousin, sitting on the fountain, a policeman came to ask us kindly to get up, and before I left, he looked at me with a big smile and Told me "I like your hair". Or these two Uber drivers who took me for a young actress, like Peyton List or Bailee Madison. What sympathetic they were! The Americans Uber drivers discuss with you, they do not leave you like that, make your life, as in France where it is "Hello" "Thank you" "Do you want to listen to music? And then "goodbye". After that, the French are not really traditional.
I’d love French people to have cool events like the american holiday tradition, such as Halloween, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving. My friends and cousins from LA make me feel jealous when they meet with family and friends for Thanksgiving around a table made up of pumpkin pie and that roast turkey - dinner followed by two or three days off. Even more during the Halloween party. During my trip in 2013, I could see in the district of Larchmont, where I stayed, all the houses super well decorated. One of them bluffed me. The owners had turned their home into a haunted mansion, open to the public. I came out stunned. It's crazy how a lot of people are willing to spend masses for this kind of event both commercial and traditional.
LA is also the city where was was born the famous Hollywood cinema, where many famous actors, actresses, and singers, including Brad Pitt, Nathalie Portman, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, Hayden Christensen, Jennifer Aniston, Keanu Reeves, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Madison Beer, Adam Sandler (Malibu) Cindy Crawford (model) Eva Longoria ... and many others. I am a great cinephile of comedies, a few romances, but above all, horror films. I definitely can’t describe how lucky I am to have visited James Wan’s former house in LA. James Wan is the film maker of several famous horreur movies such as The Conjuring, Annabelle, Insidious, or Fast and Fuirons 7. My cousin’s friends used to live in his house before they moved in another house. I visited Universal Studios twice, where I was able to see the shooting sets of some movies and series like Jaws (Les dents de la mer ) Desperate Housewives, and also places that were used to shoot the Metro scene invaded by water in Fast and Furious. I also saw the cars used in Batman, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Fast and Furious, but also during my last trip in 2016, the new Harry Potter Theme Park, with a full size (not really ) replica of the castle used to shoot the seven movies of the saga. It was too beautiful, I think any fan of the famous binoclard talking to the snakes would believe walking in Diagon Alley ( Le Chemin de Traverse )
This city is like a second hometown. Every time I go there, I can’t tell how happy I am to change climate, people to hang out with, system of life, and discover new things. Gertrude Stein said "USA is my country, Paris is my hometown". For me it is: France is my country, Paris is my hometown, and LA is my second one.
Love x Jay
« Home is where you make it » - Kristina Bazan « USA is my country, Paris is my hometown » - Gertrude Stein