A Local's Guide to Los Angeles, USA - This Way

A Local's Guide to Los Angeles, USA

Describe who you are in 3 sentences:
My name is Jennifer Schlüter and in 2015 I underwent my first hypnosis session, after which I decided I’d quit my job as the Managing Editor of 22 newspapers and travel the world. Three years later, I’ve been to about 20 countries while helping others release their blocks and childhood traumas, work out more, eat healthier, and more with hypnosis. I also love documenting inspiring women such as Egypt’s first pole dance studio owner and Zanzibar’s first female tour guide.

What is your relation to this city?
Originally from Germany, I left my small town to move to LA by myself at the age of 19 because its creative energy and nice weather drew me in. Anything is possible at any time. Stayed here for eight years to study and work. I know this city better than a lot of natives because I moved a lot and have friends from all walks of life.

Best experience?
Making friends here. People say LA is superficial, but if you take the time getting to know people outside of the industry, especially native Angelinos, you’ll find the most hard-working, down to earth people. People here are so open that they literally invite you to a party after just meeting you on the street. You never know if this party will be in a downtown warehouse, a mansion in the hills, or some person’s home.

Weirdest experience?
Public transportation. I used to call my friend with a story of all the weirdos here. Definitely the best place to people watch and observe the variety of individuals living in this city.

Your top 3 hangout spots?
- 'Venice Beach' – another place to people watch and support local artists. You haven’t been to LA if you haven’t been to Venice. Don’t skip the canals!
- "Da Poetry Lounge" – every Tuesday at Fairfax High School. The most talented spoken word artists unite in a laid back atmosphere in a small, cozy theatre.
- "The Last Bookstore" – hands down the coolest bookstore I’ve ever seen. Even if you don’t like books (but who doesn’t?). Come here during art walk or one of their events.

Favourite restaurants?
"Kozy Korner" in Glendale for Thai.
"Lemonade" for modern LA cuisine.
"Buna" on Fairfax for Ethiopian.
"El Taurino" for an authentic LA Mexican experience.
"Bottega Louie" in Downtown for Italian.
"In & Out" for burgers.
"Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles" – as described. You may run into Snoop Dogg.
Pancakes at "The Pantry" in Downtown. A long line on weekends.

Best date place?
If you’re a first-time visitor, 'Santa Monica pier' or 'The Getty Center'. During warm summer nights, catch a movie on the 'Hollywood Forever Cemetery' or a rooftop bar such as "The Standard" or "The Perch". Locals go hiking (e.g. 'Wisdom Tree Trail' until you are directly behind the Hollywood sign) to enjoy the views or to restaurants.

Best Sunday spot?
'Melrose Street' – have brunch at one of the many great restaurants of your choice (use Yelp or Google for the best reviews), walk down the street, people watch, and end at the 'Melrose Trading Post', a local, slightly overprized, but still awesome flea market.

If you were to live in another place, where would that be and why?
Cape Town. It’s smaller and more compact than LA, but I still get to enjoy awesome, diverse people and food. Plus safaris.

Where is your escape place from this city?
Any hiking spot with an ocean view for a few hours, a 'Big Bear cabin' during winter and an Orange County beach in the summer.

Best 5 local advices?
1. LA traffic is real. Try to avoid driving long distances during morning and evening traffic hours (7.30 – 9.30 a.m. and 4.30 – 7 p.m.). If you don’t want to drive, Uber and Lyft are your best bet! Public transport is semi-reliable, can take long, but as long as your stops are along Metro lines, it’s great!
2. Hollywood is a sh!t hole. Don’t get it twisted. It smells and it’s dirty. You don’t need more than 2 hours around the walk of fame and the 'Hollywood / Highland Mall'. Go to 'Rodeo Drive' in Beverly Hills instead.
3. LA is huge and best done with a local. It can be overwhelming as a stranger. Try to get as much local advice before you go.
4. For nightlife, connect with promoters. Especially girls can get in anywhere for free and won’t have to pay for drinks. That includes Hollywood or Beverly Hills mansion parties. A lot of people don’t know this, but going out ends at 2 a.m. here because selling alcohol after is prohibited. And you can’t drink in public.
5. You don’t pay for the prices you see. In stores, taxes will be added at checkout, especially for clothes. For restaurants, plan in a 15-20% tip if you’re food was good.

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