Los Angeles, United States
Austin, 32
UX Designer & Rock Climber
see his Los Angeles city guide

What do you do and why do you do it?

I'm a UX Designer, Rock Climber, and amateur cook. I love UX design cus I'm asking 'how can I better help people' every day and I am problem-solving through design. Even cooler, I get to work with cool technology. Honestly, it's the best job. Rock Climbing is problem-solving while hanging 60 feet off a ledge. I also love the climbing community – helpful, adventurous, and wild. Cooking feels like the purest form of creation – when the food doesn't burn or make you throw up.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had and why was it so effing bad?

I was a receptionist for 4 hours. They said wasn't 'professional enough' when talking on the phone. Who would want to do that all day anyways?

Were you born and raised in Los Angeles? If not, where did you grow up and what brought you to Los Angeles?

Born & bred! Right by Topanga Canyon. Awesome hiking there and so close to the beach! (Topanga State Beach is the REAL locals beach)

What’s your current hood in Los Angeles and what’s the best/worst thing about it?

Mid-City. I think it deserves a cooler name. But it's so nice: trees everywhere and super close to Hollywood, Koreatown (Ktown, please), LACMA, and tons of amazing restaurants+bars.

What kind of music do you listen to and what kind of music do you absolutely HATE?

I love funk and disco (The J.B.'s, Fela Kuti, Zapp, Chic) and anything they play on KCRW (our local public radio station). I hate Metal. Look, I've tried, but I don't get it. Sorry but not sorry.

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

Honestly, I hate sad music. Who wants to keep feeling sad? I don't. But Michael Jackson's 'Will You Be There' or 'Man in the Mirror' somehow play when I need to scream.

Name the best TV shows of all time, and what makes them so good?

West Wing – It's a soap opera that makes you feel smarter. Twilight Zone – They thought of every crazy Sci Fi movie that has come out or will come out.

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

My current thinking is the farmers market! The Hollywood Farmers market is huge so you will always have something to see, if things are going well you can get drinks anywhere, and if they're not going well you at least got groceries and didn't wait one of your nights. You also can't go wrong with the Arts District. Get some Salt n Straw ice cream, grab a drink at Resident or any of the breweries, then some late night sushi – perfect combo.

Which public figure would you want to see “roasted”? (every public figure is fair game).

Mark Zuckerberg. Why so seriously? Why fucking up shit? I think it'd be cathartic for everyone.

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

Easy – Jonathan Gold. He's LA's food critic and responsible for making LA a true food paradise! I learned to write by copying his amazing columns (look for his review on Olive Garden). Unfortunately, he knows all the cool places. Dan Sung Sa in Koreatown is a safe bet because you are really there to eat and drink yourself silly till 3am.

Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?

When I wanna drop real money, I go to American Rag. All the cool brands of now have a rack, there's a huge denim section, and they have a very impressive vintage courduroy section.

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

Manhattan Beach. I don't need to do college again.

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

Gallery openings! I don't get how people find the good ones to go to. There's a ton of them that just opened up in Chinatown. Every time I end up there, it becomes an awesome party. Is there some mystery email list they are all on? Plz forward to me, thx.

Where do you go in Los Angeles for a casual night out?

Hitting a couple bars, like Surly Goat, Electric Owl or Black Rabbit Rose (what's with all the animal names?).

Where would you go in Los Angeles to celebrate some freaking good news?

It's hard to get in, mostly because you need to know a magician, but the Magic Castle is probably the coolest place on the planet. It's the headquarters of the Magicians Guild. It's a crazy old mansion, with secret doors, magicians practicing their newest tricks, and deadly mysteries around every corner. And everyone is dressed fancy-like to boot.

What’s your choice of transportation in Los Angeles and why?

My convertible or a Lyft. Don't drink and drive kids. But when the sun's out, you have to drop the top.

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

There's the obvious stuff like the Hollywood sign, Venice, 3rd Street Promenade, Disneyland, and maybe even the Arts District now. But I think first-time visitors need to see the less glitzy stuff that really makes LA special, like Santee Alley, Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, The Magic Castle, and all of the hiking through the Santa Monica Mountains.

What are the Los Angeles spots tourists should run from screaming?

Beverly Hills. I don't get it. It's the same stores they have everywhere else. Except for the Beverly Hills Hotel's bar and pool. You can't help but feel like a star there.

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

Get all of my friends to run with me to the beach, get over to a rooftop bar to toast the sunset goodbye, then the rest of the night in Koreatown doing the obvious: Korean BBQ, karaoke, and even more late night eats+drinks.

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

Budapest! It's got old world Europe, youthful energy, amazing steam baths, cheap everything, cool tech scene, and so much more that I still have to discover. Take me please?

instagram profile


photos by

Sarah Sherman