To me, Los Angeles is like visiting a different country. And maybe that’s because the farthest West I have been is Mississippi. Like any inexperienced traveler, in the past 2 ½ weeks I have been overwhelmed, lost, frustrated, fascinated, surprised, shocked, awestruck and so much more. I am growing more comfortable to the area and quickly becoming familiar with the Los Angeles lifestyle. Oakwood, Griffith Park and Las Palmas Ave. are my new homes and from each I have learned so much already.
Oakwood is teaching me how to get my tan on, how little self-control I have from buying candy at the convenience store, and that I can successfully boil water and make pasta! And let me just mention pumping gas in LA is the MOST stressful task. Forget traffic. Why are the pumps so short and why do I have to hold it the whole time!?
Griffith Park is getting me back in shape for my Fall cross country season on its endless equestrian paths and it has introduced me to California ground squirrels…and the people who feed them. I made my first non-Elon friend at Griffith Park. Although I don’t know her name, I met this kind, late-40’s bicyclist the first time I went to the park and she thankfully advised me where to run. I have seen her biking almost every time I am there and seeing a familiar face while running doesn’t make me feel so alone.
Ellen Rakieten Entertainment, located on Las Palmas Ave., is a reality TV production company where, already, I have learned SO much about television production including what a sizzle is, what an online reviews is, how to write a synopsis, how to secure a shoot location, and the necessity of material, location and appearance agreements. I have learned how fast paced the industry is and how embarrassing it can be to mispronounce Rakieten (RAKET-en not RAKE-eten). Extra bonus of working at the Hollywood Center Studio location is I never know what Disney stars I will see, or siblings of Disney stars, like Rico Rodriguez (who I have seen 3 times!).
With 7 weeks left I am sure I will learn so much more that I might need a new Moleskine journal. I feel out of my element, but that has been a good thing. No longer will I be sheltered, un-cultured, little-traveled Amanda. That probably makes my loved ones on the east coast a little nervous, but no matter the time spent here in Los Angeles it can only change me for the better.