What do you do and why do you do it?
Travel coordinator. My work involves trip planning in corporate incentive travel and consumer private tours, often in wine tasting. I get to use social media/Internet skills and help people have a trip of a lifetime. Though it can be a grind at times- it's fascinating work!
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Such a diverse set of heartbreaker ballads. . Three emotional female singer-songwriter songs I wish I penned: Alana Davis’ “Free”; Teena Marie’s “How Can You Resist It?” and Sarah McLachlan’s “Stupid”. Also, the haunting “Amen Omen” by Ben Harper gets to me every time, along with Earth, Wind and Fire's "After the Love is Gone"; "Half Crazy" by Musiq; "Love Bites" by Def Leppard; many blues standards make the list as well as country tracks, like Lee Ann Womack’s “Last Call” and Gary Allan’s “Songs About Rain”. Wow, too many more to mention!
What are the best TV shows of all time?
On my best of list: many sitcoms from late 70s to 90s. I adored Golden Girls way before it become cool in pop culture. Also on top: Good Times , Benson and Fresh Prince of Bel Air. My fave comedies come from UK telly also: Absolutely Fabulous and Are You Being Served? are hysterical. For dramas, CSI, The X-Files and one of the longest running serial programs of all time , Guiding Light. Best of game shows: Jeopardy and Family Feud undoubtedly.
Name some spots in Los Angeles that are good for a Tinder date.
Miracle Mile district outing. Meet date at Instagram popular art installation, Urban Light, in front of the county museum, LACMA. Get lunch inside or along the strip of parked food trucks usually parked by front entrance. Then, get to know your date while having conversation through exhibit halls in the vast LACMA. If the date’s going well, spend more time at oddly intriguing La Brea Tar Pits or at other museums like quaint Craft and Folk Art Museum nearby.
Who’s your hero and where in Los Angeles would you take them out for a serious hang?
On a weekend, I would show a honorable soldier or first responder around in downtown- lunch at Grand Central Market or in the Financial District, checkout the L.A. Live area for a live sports game or festivity in the plaza. Later in the evening, we'd hang out in Arts District or along the Sunset Strip in Hollywood/West Hollywood for live performance.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
Cheap chic shops like Heavenly Couture (Everything $17 and under) are fabulous. Better Goodwill stores are my go-to for fashionable secondhand pieces. Nordstrom Rack is great. From downtown L.A.’s Fashion District, I've bought the cutest pieces ever: a few lace embroidered denim skirts and a boho lace purse for $25 each. Fave shop? I adore Anthropologie, precisely its nook with sale items which is cramped but I persist in perusing it for my sophisticated yet eclectic attire.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
Well, I’m open to all areas of Los Angeles. Often, people point out South LA, East LA and parts of the San Fernando Valley to skip on entirely but there are fascinating spots worth checking out for various events (better for daytrips), such as cultural gems Leimert Park in South LA and Mariachi Plaza in the East LA neighborhood of Boyle Heights.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
It's wonderful to dress up in L.A. but casual rules in fashion overall. Once, I was fortunate to get an invite to the exclusive Magic Castle, well-renowned Hollywood mansion featuring magic shows and gourmet dinner. It was a great opportunity to dress up fancy, had an exquisite dinner and was thoroughly entertained. Waiting for my next invite!
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Los Angeles and where did you get it?
Not so extreme but it's menudo- Mexican beef tripe soup. I got it at a small banquet. It's a popular L.A. dish especially served on weekends at Mex joints. An acquired taste is needed for it. It's just one of a few things not appealing on the Mex menu for me.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Los Angeles that you particularly like?
A bunch of boozy dive spots in the Los Feliz enclave, like Ye Rustic Inn. For an array of international food hole in the walls, head to inconspicuous 7th St. Vincent court in downtown.
What restaurant in Los Angeles looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
Tommy's Original World Famous Hamburger joints located throughout the city, and in the metro area. Some locales are more beat up than others -but when wanting guilty pleasure chiliburgers and fries, they don't disappoint.
Where can you get the best cocktail in Los Angeles? Which one do you like?
Hotel Figueroa. It's newly remodeled, classy and resort looking. Get a mojito or cosmo at the bar. Since it's near the Staples Center and convention center in downtown, it is a very convenient stop before or after your event.
Where would you take your partner in Los Angeles if you wanted to really pamper them?
Any Beverly Hills spa- maybe at the Montage resort. Or at Hotel Bel- Air.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
Get cheesy animal fries with special sauce at popular California-based joint, In and Out Burger. Awesome deluxe fries combos are served up in various regions of America. Also, not too far from Los Angeles, try original hand dipped chocolate Balboa Bars in Orange county’s Newport Beach and blended date shakes in Palm Springs.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Los Angeles?
Easy one here: Venice Beach boardwalk. Sure, people should experience it at least once but It's so dirty... in all senses of the word. It’s never boring but not a pleasure to walk. During busy times, foot traffic is tedious and if driving, it’s frustrating and almost impossible to find decent parking. Parking spots are $30+ even in lots that are someone far from the boardwalk.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Los Angeles?
Eagle Rock- one of the few neighborhoods of L.A. that has a cozy suburban feel but has urban cool vibe. Nice views and it's ideally located between L.A. and Pasadena.
What are the Los Angeles spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Griffin Park area, where L.A. is most green physically. Hollywood Blvd between Highland and La Brea is trite and tourist tight but it has entertaining venues, Mann’s Chinese and Pantages Theater. As for the greater LA metro area, it's worth to discover Old Pasadena, Santa Monica's pier and 3rd Street Promenade area and Orange county, especially the coasts of Laguna or Newport Beach.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Los Angeles. How do you spend it?
I would start the day just north in Malibu to relax at the beach , then ride in a cute convertible down Pacific Coast Highway through Santa Monica, drift off coast to get Mexican food at Cinco de Mayo in Culver City, get back on PCH, go through greater L.A.'s south bay area and down to Orange county. To cap the night off, I'd go back to L.A. for a concert- maybe at the Greek Theater.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Edinburgh was a charming vacation spot. It was just about 3 days there but I thoroughly enjoyed the place. Lovely people, beautifully green, wonderful mix of old and modern city views and I had the best salmon there!