After spending time getting to know (some) of the neighborhoods in Southern California, I have decided Long Beach is my favorite...so far. Apart from finding it's architecture asthetically pleasing...I got a good vibe from it and that's without even meeting it's inhabitants. I feel like it is one of those places that has a bit of 'something for everyone'. Quirky, eccentric, subcultural, ecclectic and down to earth. Even the 'so-called' affluent parts seem to blend in comfortably with the not so. I like that it has more than just 'beach' going for it. Reminds me a little of home. Very cool :) I also ventured into downtown Los Angeles on the train, getting off at the infamous...Union Station (where apparently lot's of movies have been shot) What I like about L.A is the heavy Mexican influence...in particular Olivera St where I wandered through the market streets buying handmade silver jewellery and leather. I also visited the oldest house in L.A, a spanish adobe. I loved the courtyard in the middle. I could imagine sitting in the sun on a Sunday afternoon...sipping fresh iced pomegranate and mint juice, nibbling tacos, smoking havana cigars and talking shit to whoever might listen. I also visited Chinatown which was 'ugh'.
I haven't done much shopping since I've been here...well ok...that might be a bit of a lie. I should say I haven't brought anything I can buy at home. I have only fallen for 'unique pieces' whether it be clothing, jewellery or art. I've done pretty well so far for a reasonable amount of money. I'm happy I haven't splurged on trash-ocity :) I have found...by the time taxes and our dollar is converted, things are pretty much on a par between Australia and the U.S, apart from, ironically... alcohol and cigarettes which are way cheaper and can, apparently, kill you :)