Travelogue: Los Angeles, California

When I was growing up, I was obsessed with movies. It came as no surprise to anyone who knew me that I was destined to head off to Los Angeles to go to film school after I graduated from high school.  You guys this was LONG before everyone had an iPhone in their pocket, and Final Cut and Premiere Pro were completely changing the film landscape. I edited with a little 8mm film splicer, a moviola, a flat bed and tape on the wall with spools of film. We're talking A-N-A-L-O-G. I was processing my film in a darkroom in my photography class and email was barely (barely) used beyond emailing professors or the student loan office. I lived in LA for 9 years.  Most of those days, I had a real dream of working in the biz. I wanted to be in Hollywood so badly, making films, shooting films, selecting music for films, directing films, you name it. Maybe music videos? Maybe animation? My heart was in all of it. 2 degrees, 3 internships, 2 jobs, 1 layoff, some debt, a bit of heartbreak, and lots of restaurant and retail experience later - it was TIME TO GO GIRL. (I sincerely hope some of you have watched Season 3 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt for this reference, if not - get on it) So the thing is, as much as I wanted my escape up to Seattle to be the end of my LA story, it was just the beginning.  Next thing you know, my little sister moved there.  And after that I worked for an ad agency that shot and edited all their commercials there so I was often traveling to town for shoots and then most surprisingly of all, I started to let go of all my bad LA memories (mostly of the I'm not pretty/skinny/talented/wealthy enough variety) and began to see the city as a place full of opportunity again. This time it came in the form of experiences. I could finally explore LA as a grown woman full of much more life experience and confidence and not the 18 year old that came there wide-eyed and green, and eager to make it in the industry. It is now a place of wonder and beauty for me once more and I don't need anything from it. I can just simply enjoy it. Sure, it still has a lot of the things I used to really struggle with. The sheer amount of wealth and poverty in that place and the striking chasm between them certainly hasn't gone anywhere. But the personal development I was undergoing in my 20s was dramatically overshadowing my ability to see more sides to this city. And truthfully - the city has been doing some changing of its own. Downtown is now a bustling place people actually hang out in. 20 years ago, we wouldn't have imagined it.  All that said, I've made a point in my past two visits to rediscover Los Angeles through my now, almost 40 something eyes. I've been actively seeking time to see inspirational spaces, experiences, restaurants, and bars and instead of just taking my phone - I've been bringing my camera. I have been a tourist in my old home.  I hope that this inspires some LA adventures of your own the next time you're in LA LA Land. Don't get me wrong, you should still go to Disneyland and The Hollywood Bowl and Manhattan Beach Pier and Santa Monica but...also try some of these amazing delights. There's much more to this city than Hollywood and as someone seeking out beautiful design and tasty delights...it worked out pretty ok.  Looking forward to posting more LA adventures really soon.  I want to go more in depth about some of these spots and share about a few others.  I checked out the cutest nail salon, brunched at some fab spots in Venice, and had a glorious backyard bbq with my sister and her family. California love to be continued...

LAX
Grand Central Market
Downtown LA
Danielle Motif Photography Los Angeles
Grand Park - Downtown LA

Grand Park - Downtown LA

The Huntington Library

The Huntington Library

Huntington Gardens

Huntington Gardens

Good Vibes

Good Vibes

The Getty

The Getty

The Getty

The Getty

The Getty

The Getty

Los Angeles at dusk from Griffith Observatory

Los Angeles at dusk from Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory

Poolside at the Upstairs bar at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Poolside at the Upstairs bar at the Ace Hotel in downtown Los Angeles.

Magic Hour at the Ace Hotel Upstairs bar by the pool

Magic Hour at the Ace Hotel Upstairs bar by the pool

Old fashioned turned sundial at the Ace Hotel Upstairs bar in DTLA

Old fashioned turned sundial at the Ace Hotel Upstairs bar in DTLA

The Broad Museum DTLA

The Broad Museum DTLA

LA Flower Mart in DTLA

LA Flower Mart in DTLA

Fruit Stand in LA

Fruit Stand in LA

Danielle Elliott

Seattle, WA, USA

I'm a photographer, brand manager, and creative living in Seattle. I'm a travel enthusiast with a passion for storytelling and digging into as many creative endeavors as I can.