08/06/2012

Inspiration: City of Angels

I don't know if I told you this, but when I was 19 (which is ten whole years ago! How time does fly) I moved to Los Angeles from Sweden by myself.

I'd finished high school at 17 and hung around in Stockholm for another year because I was in a musical (I was an actress and a really bad singer back then). But when we wrapped our last show, I knew my days in the land of cold days and long summer nights were over. I packed my bag and hopped on a plane to the City of Angels. And I'll never regret it.








I only stayed in LA for six months and they were devastating, difficult, challenging - but also adventurous, rebellious and wonderful. It blew my mind that I was walking the streets that Marilyn and Audrey had once walked. I breathed the air that Jimi Hendrix breathed. I rode a bus that stopped in front of the club where River Phoenix had died. I took pictures of places where Kurt had performed. It felt like I was in some kind of weird, surreal dreamworld.

I felt strangely at home in Los Angeles. The second I stepped off the plane, I knew where to go (and I usually get lost in my hometown on an almost-daily basis) and even when I got into dangerous situations, I was never scared. I trusted everyone, even those that were not to be trusted. I hung with some weird characters and tested my limits. I stretched my wings. Something told me this must have been my home in another lifetime.






Every Saturday I got up at 8 (which sometimes meant not sleeping at all) and hopped on a beat-up old bus from Santa Monica, where I lived, to Hollywood for my acting class. Riding a bus in America is a crash course in reality. Only weirdos, beggars, drunks, and just really poor people seem to be on the bus since everyone and their dog has a car. Me, I didn't have a driver's license (still don't, due to my environmentalist beliefs and my unwillingness to drop €1000 on a sweaty bald guy teaching me how to park). So bus it was.


Not once did I ever fall asleep on that bus. I was too busy looking out the window at the dusty California streets, the palm trees, the sky and the shabby old buildings. The atmosphere. The air was heavy with atmosphere. Or was it just me, looking at grey, sleepy Hollywood through rose-colored glasses?







My three favorite LA areas, in order:


1. Venice Beach.
My heart lives in Venice beach. My soul resides in its warmth and weirdness. It's the only place I've ever been that is as quirky and bohemian as I feel inside. I love it that Venice doesn't try to hide its originality. I love that it embraces unconventional. This place is everything I am, and more.


2. Santa Monica.
This was my home. When I got off the plane at LAX, this is where the cab took me and this is where I laughed and cried, loved and hated, over the next six months. I looked down at the sea from the Santa Monica Pier. I watched the street artists with a Frappuccino in my hand on 3rd Street Promenade. I felt joyous, alive. Like I was finally living.


3. Hollywood.
Back when I was 19, this was the place where I wanted to stay forever. This was the whole reason why I moved to LA in the first place. To conquer Hollywood. Wasn't in the cards for me, but I'll always have those bus rides.





 One day when I get sick of it all, I'll move back to LA and grow old in Venice beach. I'll be one of those  punk grandmas with pink hair and a tattoed old rock star husband (that would be David). I'll spend my days writing books, walking my dogs on the beach, and telling kids to follow their dreams and screw society's trappings. LA brings out the crazy in me, and there's just not enough crazy in everyday life these days.








all pictures from Pinterest

4 comments:

  1. I went to LA only once in my life and stayed there for a month and it felt like paradise! I'd add to your list two of my favourite beaches out there: Newport and Huntington :)
    Lovely post, as always!

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  2. Che coraggio!Io vengo dalla Calabria (Sud che più Sud non c'è, Italia) e per il fatto che ho scelto di studiare vicino Milano, a 1200Km da casa, e andare via a soli 18anni mi considerano una ribelle!
    Voi siete troppo avanti rispetto a noi! Ti ammiro molto..vorrei farla un giorno un'esperienza del genere!
    Great post as always ;)

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  3. YASSSS!!! LA is def on my TO DO list! thats sorta how I came to Orlando. My fiance' and I packed our most valuables in our car & just raced to Florida last summer! Already we're thinking about moving to LA! That picture of the Hollywood sign is making me jealous! lol

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  4. What a cool post, I really enjoyed reading this! I can't even imagine how wonderful LA must be... :)

    xx, Jenny

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