LA truly holds a special place in my heart. It might be because I find myself there fairly often on buying trips, and at this point am pretty familiar certain neighbourhoods and areas, or it might be the consistently gorgeous weather, beaches and palm trees - especially after a winter like the one we've had - but regardless, I'm always happy for the opportunity to travel to LA and explore more of the city.
Venice has quickly become one of my favourite areas, with it's proximity to the ocean and neighbourhood feel that reminds me of certain aspects of Queen St. West. There's no shortage of amazing places to eat on Abbot Kinney - Gjelina for ridiculously good pizza, and Lemonade for cucumber mint lemonade and delicious, healthy cafeteria-style grab-and-go food (I think we ate there three times in total this past trip!) - and Rose Ave - Oscar's Cerveteca for tacos, and Cafe Gratitude for gourmet organic and vegan eats. Intelligentsia is always a go-to for coffee (though their Silverlake location is my favourite because of the patio), and the area is perfect for spending a day wandering in and out of little shops and galleries and finding inspiration. We also happened upon a farmers market in Venice on this trip, which was quite a treat, allowing us to stock up on fresh fruit and veggies, local honey and baked goods that were perfect for indulging after a beach run.
Most of our buying appointments are downtown LA, so I spend a lot of time there, which is always an interesting contrast to the beach neighbourhoods and upscale neighbourhoods of the city, but I kind of love the grittiness of it. It's amazing how even the downtown core can change so quickly depending which street you wander down. It's become part of my routine to break up a long day of buying with a quick trip to Bottega Louie, home of the prettiest pastel packaging, delicious pastries and other sweet confections, and upscale market and cafe. Ideally, I like to detour through the LA Flower District (downtown LA has a wholesale district for pretty much every industry), though unfortunately on this trip it was too late and all the vendors were closed.
One thing I really wanted to do on this trip was take more photos, and thanks to a quick refresher lesson prior to leaving and a new prime lens I've been playing around with, I had a little extra incentive to compile a visual LA travel diary. Though I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked (I'm trying!), I was able to document some of my favourite moments and mini-adventures, and it's definitely got me excited to take my camera out with me more over the summer, whether it's exploring Toronto or traveling a little further.