One afternoon while exploring a new corner of Downtown, I stopped into Starbucks to get my tall Americano (the cheaper version of a latte). You know, the typical routine, except that this time I ran into someone who had seen my YouTube channel – a girl named Karina. We sat down together and chatted about everything from the latest exhibition at the MOCA to bigger things like her life, her son, and her “LA.”
After our bonding session at Starbucks, I could tell she, too, also had the Shut Up and Go mentality, so when I went home, I checked her Instagram and found pretty much the exact description of what all the kids these days call “aesthetic goals.” And not only does she have the design eye, but she’s got a son that could give that one famous Instagram boy a run for his money – not that I’m trying to pit two children against each other in a fashion competition or anything.
I hit up Karina by sliding in the DMs and congratulating her not only on how 100 she keeps her Instagram game, but also on how many cool places she had snapped around Downtown that I had never even heard of. This is how I knew I had to meet up with her again for a walk around Downtown.
LA neighborhood: Downtown
What you do in life/job: Mom | Barista (part-time) | Student (part-time) | Intern (at a law firm 2 days/week)
You’re carless in LA, like us, how do you make it work?
While many will say a car is essential if you’re in LA, I beg to differ. I either take long walks, or catch the bus/train, which has exposed me to so many cool places I didn’t even know existed. I never have to worry about traffic, spending on gas, or hitting someone!
School everyone about the LA public transportation right now.
There’s the DASH, a shuttle-like bus that costs only 50 cents; it’s strictly local so it doesn’t travel too far, but enough to take you around the community. The MTA or Metro is responsible for most of the public transportation – we’re talking subways, light railways, and buses that go all over the county! As we speak, there is currently an expansion in the works where you’ll be able to catch the light railway train in Downtown and go straight to the next county over on the east side, or the beach on the west side. It’s $1.75 for a one way trip, $7 for a day pass, and you always get a free transfer.
New Yorkers think that people from LA are dumb and superficial. Comments?
I think quite the contrary. Los Angeles is undergoing a tremendous change in all aspects and a lot of it has to do with the people themselves. LA has its own unique culture that is diverse and creative. There is a great appreciation for the arts, the outdoors, being healthy, being different. Some of the top media influencers are based out of here giving it a new light, so in short, LA is the place to be!
In which neighborhoods do you spend most of your time?
I love the Arts District! It has this industrial, old-town feel to it but is also modern, vibrant (you’ll find some of the coolest LA street art here!). It’s full of so many restaurants, bars, retail spaces, coffee shops. There’s always something to do whether I’m with my son or on a night out.
Name a few places you can’t miss out on if you’re strolling around downtown.
The Walt Disney Concert Hall, MOCA Museum, Bottega Louie, Grand Park, The Last Bookstore.
Any songs on your playlist that represent Los Angeles for you? Why?
Gooey – Glass Animals
Clap Your Hands – Whilk & Misky
Around – Dreamer Delight
Jade Cove – Comic Quest
Hotline Bling – Drake
Dreams – Fleetwood Mac
Roadhouse Blues – The Doors
Where do you go when you want to have some peace and quiet in LA?
Vista Hermosa Park is one of my go-to’s, situated right atop of a hill, you get a beautiful view of the city, and you’re always bound to find a shaded area to sit down and read a book or listen to music.
You have a day off – describe your perfect LA day from morning to night?
Packing lunch and heading to Echo Park with my little boy. Watch him play with other little children and sitting down under the shade of tree to have lunch. I’d pack some sandwiches, bottled juice, and fresh fruits. I would plan a night out with friends in downtown, Italian & Rose at Terroni would be perfect, then walk down to Preux & Proper for some cocktails.
Favorite bar and why?
Bar 82, coincidentally located in the Arts District. It’s this arcade themed bar, where you can sip on some bourbon and play Pac Man or Streetfighter. Another worthy of mention is Perch, a rooftop bar located in the heart of the city, the view is spectacular and the live jazz band kills it everytime!
Your Instagram is awesome. How do you find cool places in LA?
Either through social media, or by chance encounter. The latter because I am so accustomed to walking with my little boy all over downtown. There isn’t a district we haven’t walked to from home; Chinatown, Little Tokyo, The Alleys, the Arts District, you name it.
To follow more of Karina in LA, check out her Instagram (@itskarinasworld) here.
[In our “Locals of” series, we will be highlighting locals of each city we travel to. Go figure. These aren’t just randos walking down the street; they’re people we have personally connected with and vouch for in terms of knowing how to do their city right. They’ve got some juicy deets that might just change the way you see their cities and we want to share them with you.]