As a writer, translator and musician, Indie Guides LA author Andrea Perdue has just released a new EP with her dream pop band Cerf Volant. For the release of Indie guides LA, she shares with us a few anecdotes about her daily life in the City of Angels and the relationship she has with Los Angeles.
How does Los Angeles influence your work?
I didn’t work from home until I moved to Los Angeles. Given the huge size of the city and the limited walkability, working from home in LA is ideal. Otherwise, you might spend too much time in traffic. It seems like a lot of people have unconventional jobs here, which gives it a laid-back vibe. No one seems to be on a strict schedule.
Tell us about your guilty pleasure in Los Angeles…
It can be fun to indulge in the Hollywood vibe in LA – go on a studio tour or attend a Q&A with a famous actor or director. There are also a lot of famous hotels here with gorgeous poolside bars and cafés. I’m within walking distance of the The Line Hotel, so I love heading there for brunch at their rooftop café (Commissary) from time to time.
Recount a funny/moving anecdote that happened to you in Los Angeles.
Honestly, I have funny encounters almost daily. I talk to strangers in Los Angeles more often than I have in other cities. Recently when I was walking my dog, a man stopped to tell me his life story. He said he came to America not for the American dream, but because of the way we treat dogs. He went on and on about the traumatic experiences he’d had with the way pets were treated in his native country, and it was his love for animals that brought him here. Some people get annoyed by the Disney-inspired vision Americans sometimes have about pets, but for this guy, it was just the culture he was looking for.
What do you dislike the most about Los Angeles?
Since I just moved here from San Francisco, and Paris before that, I really miss being able to walk or bike everywhere. In order to have a walking lifestyle in LA, you really have only a few neighborhoods to choose from.
What would you miss most if you left Los Angeles?
LA never stops surprising me. I didn’t expect to like it when I moved here, and slowly but surely, all of my prejudices have fallen by the wayside. If you’re willing to venture out of your comfort zone here, something lovely and unexpected is sure to happen. I’ve tried things here I’d never tried before and let go of a lot of my “rules” about the way things should be.
What is your favorite food/drink in Los Angeles?
There are plenty of gorgeous, delicious restaurants (Gjelina, Alimento, Republique and Bestia are a few favorites) like you can find in any metropolitan city. However, the true gems of LA are the hole-in-the-wall restaurants tucked away in strip malls or unlikely urban centers. Since I live in Koreatown, I’m a big fan of taking friends to drink soju and eat Korean barbecue, or hitting up the ladies that sell tostadas from a stand on my street.
Where do you go when you want to escape the city for an hour?
I love hiking in Malibu (Point Mugu, for example) but my very favorite escape is heading to Huntington Library’s botanical gardens. It feels like a microcosm of every beautiful landscape in the world. They’ve replicated traditional Japanese and Chinese gardens, Australian tundra, cactus gardens, subtropics, jungle, native Californian flora, and the list goes on. You can wander around there for hours, and if you get tired of being in nature, you can stop by one of their art collections.
Name one local artist that everybody should know of.
What song do you feel would best describe Los Angeles?
The first song that came to mind was In Dreams by Tomemitsu. It’s a bit melancholy, but I think that fits LA. Living here is a constant cycle of feeling dreamy and inspired, then questioning yourself. Many people who live here came from somewhere else, so there’s nearly always an underlying feeling of nostalgia.
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