We entered a trippy, wondrous world on Wednesday night when @dante.vincent purchased tickets for us to go to the ‘Enchanted: Forest of Light’ interactive experience. It’s a one-mile walk through @descansogardens at night, accented by lighting installations that range from the captivating and the beautiful to the bizarre and the almost Stranger Things-esque. In one grove of trees that seemed to be composed of cedar and redwood, the lights first seemed to be that of a billion fireflies blinking randomly, reminding me of a night on the river in Indonesian Borneo many many years ago. After turning a corner, that same grove of trees suddenly turned into a scene from Jurassic Park or E.T. with ferns and palms taller than us, lit by green strobe lights that a Hollywood cinematographer might have dreamt up. There are plenty of places to sit down and rest as well as bars serving spiked hot chocolate or hot cider and beignets for adults. And while it’s clearly an attraction that’s well suited to curious kids - I never felt too old to attend. On the contrary, being there seemed to open a well of childlike wonder in me that hasn’t been replenished for quite some time. #enchantedforestoflight is ongoing until January 6, 2019 if you’re visiting SoCal and want to see it for yourself. But snag your timed entry ticket as soon as possible, as I hear this annual tradition does sell out. #kaguidela#descansogardens
Perhaps nothing symbolizes our move to California better than the rate at which I think I’m becoming a crazy plant lady. 😂 I’m obsessed!!! 🤪 Because you can grow things 24/7 here, because there’s so much that you can grow with so little water and because we have A BALCONY at our apartment - I can’t stop thinking about plants!! Such a far cry from the years I was nomadic where all I had were a few suitcases and a camera bag. Luckily @dante.vincent loves plants too and luckily he actually has a green thumb - because he’s technically the one keeping this dream alive by physically being the one to keep the plants alive. No matter where you fall on the spectrum of green thumb or no, if you do like plants, you’ll probably love @rollinggreens. It’s become one of our favorite places to dream and shop here in Los Angeles. If you’re just visiting and you have a home somewhere else, it’s a wonderful place to get inspiration for what you might be able to do to make your pad more cozy and green. The Culver City location (second photo) has a lot more plants and wonderfully laid out vignettes. The Beverly Blvd location has plants and a home goods store, with beautifully curated goods from around the world, perfect for the purchase of souvenirs (for yourself 😉 or your friends and family members!). 🌱 #kaguidela
Los Angeles is a city of hills, which @dante.vincent and I love to explore, so much so that we will wake up at 6:30 AM to hike up one just as we did this morning. The hike to this spot in Elysian Park wasn’t long but it was take-your-breath-away tough because of the steep incline and the punishing heat. Even at that time in the morning, it wouldn’t have been wise without water and the right shoes. So glad I had both because it was well worth it once I saw this tree, the swing and the views of the city; dampened just slightly by the graffiti and tagging on that stunning tree (I’m never ever supportive of defacing natural wonders). The one thing that makes me sad about human beings is our penchant for destruction instead of appreciation, all too often. Even with that, I still felt like this was a spot I could return to over and over. Maybe it will be one of “our spots.” Who knows. Our journey of being SoCal residents has only just begun and I have so much more that I want to experience in Los Angeles and elsewhere in California. #whpjourney#kaguidela . What would you like to see me share?
Back home in Los Angeles with @dante.vincent and loving our life here already. We live within walking distance of the Yamashiro Night Market which takes place every Thursday during summer at the top of one of the city’s many hills. Drawing a truly diverse crowd, it is spread out around the grounds of a mansion built by the Bernheimer brothers from 1911 to 1914, to house their collection of priceless Asian treasures. Hundreds of craftsmen were brought from overseas to replicate a palace located in the Yamashiro province near Kyoto, Japan and the word translates to ‘Mountain Palace.’ Surrounding the mansion, now operating as a restaurant/bar/events venue is the Night Market; which has live music, food trucks (shout out to @urbanpiela which was our fav), stalls and vendors selling vintage clothes, handmade jewelry, vegan and organic groceries. I could see our apartment building from this little “guerilla garden” made by a man named Phillip which is just off to the side of all the stalls. Complete with recycled bits and bobs, colorful flowers and cafe lights, this spot enchanted me to my core. In the moment I took this photo, I felt so grateful to be calling this city home now. I can’t wait to bring you so many more stories as I get to know it better. 🌴 If you’re visiting and want to experience the market, start with their official profile @yamashironightmarket which links to their site explaining parking, the shuttle setup & hours. 🎋#KAguideLA #discoverla#yamashironightmarket#shotoniphonex
I’m not going to bury the lead, because if you’ve seen my Stories or you follow @dante.vincent then you already know that he and I moved [essentially] from NYC to Los Angeles. That’s where I took this photo just a few days ago. I love the style of the houses and gardens in California!! — But first there was a drive to one state to put most of my things in storage and an immediate return to the city followed by a drive across the country and a few weeks moving around to different parts of LA to see what areas we liked the best while apartment searching and now I’m in Michigan spending some time with family that I haven’t properly seen in years. Maybe in July I’ll start to feel really settled, or at least be able to stop living from only suitcases and bags! Before that I have another assignment overseas and I want to catch up on all the storytelling I’ve fallen behind on while my personal life was going through such a massive upheaval. For my USA followers on this long vacation weekend, I hope your days are already full of whatever makes you most happy in life! 💛🌴☀️ #discoverla#lalaland#houseportrait
With another winter storm on the way, the lingering effects of another brutal migraine and a flight tomorrow that I don’t know if I’ll make because of said winter storm — I’m trying to channel the feelings I had in this zen moment while on vacation over on the Left Coast with @dante.vincent. Which BTW, the more I visit, feels like the best coast. I might have been born in New England but I’m really starting to see why so many of my friends have moved to California in the last year. Following them is part bliss / part torture but if you like the sound of living out there as much as I do, follow my friends for lots more of this: @cestchristine @runwaychef @missalissa @kelleyferro are all recent transplants to Cali. While @petehalvorsen @vagabond3 @bradromano @ashleymcky @rachelroams @lax2nrt @sarahsloboda have been out there longer or are from there. (Who did I forget?!) If Follow Friday was still a thing, this would be my FF on Wednesday edition, over and out 🤙🏼🏄🏻♀️🌊☀️ #surfcityusa#sunsetsforbreakfast#huntingtonbeachpier#visitcalifornia#sonya7rii#sunset_lovers
It seems that in the days of algorithm woes, the worst thing you can do on Instagram is post whatever you like. I’m always reading tips about how it’s more important than ever to curate your grid and post the same kind of photos over and over, the ones that do the best. So don’t be creative, just recycle the same theme over and over and do it well each time. But I don’t feel like doing that most of the time because I prefer to be more creative. Especially when I travel. To let the place dictate the story and the moment show me what it wants captured. Case in point: the night @dante.vincent & I drove down to Huntington Beach to take a photo of the pier at sunset, this ended up being my favorite photo. The image I’d planned to take didn’t really turn out at all. But I love the way Danté looks under the pier, framed by all the #leadinglines in his badass @allsaints jacket that he bought in Scotland, which makes him look like an Italian American James Dean...I was swooning for the whole scene, sunset be damned. 😝😍 And that’s just how it goes sometimes. The things we don’t plan, turn out better than the ones we do. It’s certainly far less stressful than planning my grid 😉 Shot on my @sonyalpha #a7rii#leadinglinesphotography#underthepier#huntingtonbeachpier#visitcalifornia#alphacollective#republic_of_symmetry
One of my favorite places in greater Los Angeles is the Venice Canal Historic District, an area of man-made saltwater-fed canals built in 1905 by developer Abbot Kinney as part of his Venice of America plan; and no trip to the city feels complete without a stroll along the banks and over the bridges of this picturesque area close to Venice Beach. I was so glad @dante.vincent wanted to go with me during this weekend’s little vacation, and that he was ok with waking up early to do so. It’s the best time because you get such amazing reflections on the still water of the canals before anyone else is awake, after the sun has come up. This area wasn’t always so pretty but it was once three or four times the size it is today. In the 1940’s it was falling into disrepair, many of the canals had been paved over in the 1920’s and generally the original idea Kinney had, had fallen out of fashion after the automobile gained in popularity. In fact, the existing canals you can visit today were not even part of the original area built by Abbott Kinney. But thank goodness they were saved and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982! Various efforts to revive the area and improve water quality finally prevailed with a renovation effort in the 1990’s. The only thing that makes it bittersweet for me is that a place this nice is now so expensive and exclusive. I also get a little miffed seeing some of the original small cottages being replaced by mega mansions. The Tiny Canal Cottage® and @whitneyleighmorris are a great example of living in an appropriate size home for the area. Anyway, I believe if more humans could live in places as beautiful as this neighborhood is, there’d be a lot more content human beings and a lot less conflict. Sure, that could be said to be a gross oversimplification of how to solve humanity’s problems — and there are so many other things we need to solve as well — but, it’s interesting to think about no?!
So @dante.vincent has flown to Los Angeles and on Friday I’ll be joining him for a little vacay. I basically have no greater motivation in going except that it affords me the chance to eat more @saltandstraw ice cream 😝😍 (I’m only partially kidding!) That *might* be because it was 70F in New York City today — which is crazy — and all I can think about is that it’s warm enough for ICE CREAM! 🍦Who am I kidding, it’s always ice cream time. But today it REALLY felt like ice cream time. I first discovered Salt & Straw during a work trip to Portland many years ago, before they expanded down to California and up to Washington. An awesome side effect of my job is that I often get to meet the owners and makers that are behind awesome brands which was exactly how I began my love affair with what’s in that cup. Kim & Tyler are as cool as their ice cream is delicious but the focus they have on community, small-batch creation and sourcing local ingredients to make a product by hand, is what really sets them apart. 🍦 Are there any food brands you’ve discovered during your travels that you just can’t get over? Do you love ice cream as much as I do? If you do, what are your favorites?? 🍦 Let’s crowdsource a guide to the best ice cream in the USA if not around the world with the comments in this post. 🍦 #saltandstraw#saltandstrawlarchmont#notsponsored#icecreameveryday#iscreamforicecream#shotoniphone7