Los Angeles, United States
Andrew, 23
UX designer, Barbie Global Brand
see his Los Angeles city guide

What do you do and why do you do it?

Big question! Officially speaking I'm a visual/UX designer on the Barbie Global Brand Team at Mattel. My professional passion is working with brands, elevating digital experiences, and being a constructive disruptor. My side passion is getting outside. If I'm not bunkered down in a coffee shop designing my heart away on the weekends, you can usually find me up in the canyons. Taking time to get outside gives you that quality time to reflect on the week and get back in touch with yourself. I'm originally from Upstate New York so I've been enjoying the landscapes California has to offer!

You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?

My sad boy beats would have to be nothing but the saddest. I'd probably kick it off with a little bit of Lykke Li to ease into the feels, work in some Adele selects, and then hit hard with Daughter. The playlist would be great, bit it has to be paired with the right context. A nice long drive along the ocean is the perfect way to embrace those broken heart jams.

What are the best TV shows of all time?

Current jams include Game of Thrones, VEEP, Last Week Tonight, VICE News, Silicon Valley, Drunk History, and iZombie. The ultimate best TV show of all time is Law & Order SVU. I can't tell you how many times I find myself rewatching episodes. There's over 17 seasons and by the time you get to the end you basically forget what happened at the beginning. It's my favorite thing to watch during a nap on a rainy day (not that there are rainy days in LA but still).

Name some spots in Los Angeles that are good for a Tinder date.

Abbot Kinney, always Abbot Kinney. It's this street over in Venice full of coffee spots, restaurants, and boutiques. I personally like to start with coffee. That way if the Tinder date is a Tinder dud it's relatively easy to escape. If you actually like the other person, the neighborhoods around Venice are super walkable and have some great walls to take dumb/cute pictures of each other in front of. The boardwalk is right around the corner which makes for great sunsets and who doesn't like holding hands on the beach! Basically, Venice is a flexible date-space with a relatively high return on investment.

Who’s your hero and where in Los Angeles would you take them out for a serious hang?

Getting a late night tea for two at the Bourgeois Pig with Frank Lloyd Wright would be tight. Franky is this crazy design iconic with architectural works scattered across the country. If you've ever visited one of his sites (Falling Water, Taliesin West, and the Hollyhock House to name a few) you understand the balance he strikes between natural landscape and man-made structure. We'd go to the Pig first off because the teas for two are a remarkably good deal and then because it's dimly lit in there. Not the kind of dimly lit where you can't see anything, but the type where you get kind of dizzy and feel good. It makes for great conversation!

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

These clothes are not designer. I wouldn't classify myself necessarily as a fashionista, but I am a master of the basics. All my pants tend to be from Uniqlo down on Third Street in Santa Monica. Shirts can comes from anywhere. I have some basics from Banana Republic, Wasteland, Cotton On, and H&M.

What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?

South Bay. There's a few places south of LAX that I'll go from time to time (Palos Verdes, Manhattan Beach, El Segundo), but aside from that I don't drive south. I have friends who swear by the beach cities and down to Hermosa during the weekends, but Hermosa just turns into Bromosa. I like to think of South Bay as the place I'll go when I'm 34, married, and ready to adopt either a baby or a corgi.

What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?

I love grabbing sunsets. It is hands down my favorite thing to do in LA. The ocean is right there and there's so many quality places to watch the sun sink. During the work week it can be hard to get that free moment to make it to the coast and on weekends it can be easy to get wrapped up with other plans.

What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Los Angeles and where did you get it?

Perch in DTLA is an awesome rooftop bar/restaurant. It's perfect if you're trying to impress others or even yourself. I went with some friends and we didn't realize how expensive it was. It's one of those places where it's hard to decide what to order because everything on the menu has a funny name or just doesn't sound real. I ended up getting the Little Bunny Frou Frou because I like bunnies, frou frou was fun to say, and it had salami in it somewhere and salami has never let me down before.

Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Los Angeles that you particularly like?

Los Globos in Silver Lake! Every Friday night Los Globos hosts 90s Club where the DJ only plays the throwbackiest of throwbacks direct from the golden decade. I love dancing almost as much as the next Andrew which is why my Fridays are almost always spent here jamming to Aaron Carter, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, O.G. Britney, and more. The only thing I hate about 90s Club is that sometimes they play Cotton-Eye Joe. I'm originally from upstate New York so once I have a few drinks in me, there's no stopping it my inner Cotton-Eye from coming out.

What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Los Angeles? How much did it cost and what did you get there?

Terranea Resort down in Palos Verdes is the place to get away. It's a complex of restaurants, spas, and hotels right on the cliffs overlooking the oceans a bit south of LA. I got a Thai massage there once for around $80 and it was CRAZY. My friend recommended I check it out, but I had no idea what exactly a Thai massage entailed. At first everything was normal, but then all of the sudden the masseuses hands weren't hands anymore. There was a tiny woman walking on me. A Thai massage is a tiny woman walking on you. Crazy. Everyone should get one! Especially Thai masseuses.

Where can you get the best cocktail in Los Angeles? Which one do you like?

I'm sure it's not the most high-end establishment in LA, but Cabo Cantina is the cocktail mecca. And by cocktail mecca, I mean megamargs. So many flavors of megamargs. If you're not familiar, a megamarg is like a margarita, but it's practically four of them in a giant giant glass. The Cabo Cantina I like to go to is right down in Venice near the pier. It's great because you can get a megamarg (or two) and then go check out the ocean, walk around the canals, or wander into some other bars in the area which I can never remember because I always go to Cabo beforehand.

Where would you take your partner in Los Angeles if you wanted to really pamper them?

El Matador State Beach would be the pamper spot. A romantic breakfast picnic in a cave along the beach as the fog rolls has to win some hearts. Of course, this all depends on who your partner is and what your relationship dynamic is like (something that may take more than 650 characters). If you're both relatively happy morning people and like to go outside, this would feel like a little slice of heaven.

Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?

DUNKERS. So there's this place called Trader Joe's and it's everywhere. They have these chocolate coated chocolate chip cookies that are shaped in the perfect way to dunk in a glass of milk (almond). I'm sure Dunkers go by many names and are made by different brands around the world, but these dunkers are the dunkers that will change. Your. Life.

What’s the one place you think is overrated in Los Angeles?

Id' have to say the Hollywood Walk of Fame is a bit overrated. Whenever people visit I take them there because it's the iconic place to go, but unless someone is actually interested in looking at the stars there isn't much to do. The area has some food spots, but is mainly a collection of tourism gift shops. If you're looking for someone good to hit while you're in the area though, the museum of death will make you happy!

What’s the one place you think is underrated in Los Angeles?

Downtown is the jam! I know a lot of people who avoid it because of parking or they don't think there's anywhere good to check out. You need to know that these people are liars and that downtown is amazing. From mornings sitting outside Verve coffee to finding new reads at the Last Bookstore to checking out the architectural beauty of the Bradbury Building, downtown is the heart of opportunity!

What are the Los Angeles spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?

If you're in LA for even a hot minute, you have to go to Griffith Observatory. I don't care if it's during the day or at night— you're going. The Observatory is nestled up in Griffith Park overlooking all of Los Angeles. From there you can see downtown rise above the sprawl, the Hollywood Sign on a neighboring peak, and even the ocean. The lights at night will have you in awe at just how alive the city is. Watching them twinkle on and off will make you feel small, but happy. If you go during the day, the trails around the observatory are great for hiking and spending the day out and about.

Tomorrow’s your last day in Los Angeles. How do you spend it?

I wake up early, like really early. 6am early. I take a hike— it has to be my O.G. long hike at Echo Mountain to get a 10 mile trek in where I can think about transcendence and the meaning of my time in LA. I'm dumb, I know. Then I'd get a bushel of friends together and meet for brunch at Fred 62 in Los Feliz. I would get the California Omelet and a chocolate milk and a coffee. Then we would bump over to Santa Monica to walk the promenade and hit Pacific Park for some ferris wheel action. Finally I'd grab a tea from the Bourgeois Pig and wrap the night up at Griffith Observatory to look at the city and say thank you!

What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?

My favorite vacation city, as of now, has to be Amsterdam. The city has this amazing balance where there's so much to do, but you simultaneously feel like relaxed and can kick back. I'm a huge fan of biking to get around so the first time I visited Amsterdam it blew my mind. I went out for a morning run and EVERYONE was on a bike. The city is beautiful to walk around in and every corner of the city holds a new breathtaking view. Also the canals have wifi? Amazing.

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