Tag Archives: los angeles

The Pessimist’s Guide to Runyon Canyon.

RUNYONCANYON3-ALISONINWONDERLAND

If you want to go on a hike in LA, one of the most popular places to go is Runyon Canyon.

Let’s start from the beginning of the “LA version” of a good hike: finding parking.

It doesn’t matter what time of day you go, you will drive around for 45 minutes looking for parking. I don’t know how many times (three) I’ve attempted to go for a hike, got pissed that I couldn’t find parking and ended up going to the In-N-Out Burger that is conveniently located just down the street instead in my workout clothes.

Once (if) you find parking and you begin your hike, there are some things to note:

1) It smells like dog shit when you first walk in. You will get used to it.

2) The entire time you’ll see idiots running up and down the stairs. Just ignore them.

3) You will think you’ve made it to the top and you will take a deep breath. And then you will realize there is one final stretch of stairs. (This is the point where my roommate once cried.) You will most likely tell the person you are with who made you come with them to go to Hell (sorry about that, Chad).

4) When you get to the top you’ll realize the entire hike only took 15 minutes and you will be annoyed that it really wasn’t that hard of a workout.

RUNYONCANYON-ALISONINWONDERLAND

RUNYONCANYON4-ALISONINWONDERLAND

It is however pretty great for people watching. I’ve seen a man sprint up the stairs wearing flip flops. I’ve seen a guy carrying a 95 pound snake named Zeus (find him on instagram @snakegod). I’ve seen a dude in a floor length fur coat carrying a boom box and singing at the top of his lungs while walking 6 dogs. And I’ve seen Gerard Butler. You’ll also see men wearing button up collared shirts on their phones and then you’ll see people like me who also look like they don’t belong.

I know this is the pessimist’s guide and I just listed off a bunch of shitty things about it but there are some good things to note as well:

1) There’s food and water available to you before you head in that runs on the honor system.. (put a dollar in the box if you take something)

RUNYONCANYON2-ALISONINWONDERLAND

2) There is free yoga at the bottom of the hike. 

3) On a clear day it really does have great views of the city.

4) There are tons of dogs. Everywhere.

5) If you go when it isn’t busy and you take a book you can sit and read for hours.

RUNYONCANYON1-ALISONINWONDERLAND

I Saw The Sign

ISAWTHESIGN-ALISONINWONDERLAND

When I first moved to LA I was just a little unpaid intern so I decided to do film/tv background work on the side for some cash. Whenever heading to a filming location you just had to follow these yellow signs tied to street posts to figure out where exactly you needed to be. A friend and I were doing extra work for a show that we were both huge fans of. We got to the location and noticed there was only one yellow sign (normally there are like 10) but we still found it easily and went in. We shot all day and as we were leaving we had a sudden impulse to take the sign. Why? I don’t know.

It was fun to steal street signs when you were younger.. until you grew up and realized they were ugly and didn’t know what the hell you were supposed to do with a HUGE dirty sign. It’s not like you can just throw it away because you’d probably get arrested and while “No Dumping” was hilarious at the time, it just wasn’t so much anymore.

Anyway, despite my better judgement, we decided stealing this sign was a good idea. My friend was driving… the sign was on my side of the car…no one was around….so I jumped out, untied it, jumped back in the car, threw it in the back and we sped off. About 30 seconds after driving off we started to get stealers remorse. This was their only sign. It was a smaller, lower budget show so what if they needed this sign for future productions? What if the cast somehow saw us take it and then if we ever saw them again they would hate us? Did we really want to risk not being bff with the entire cast and crew for just one sign? And most importantly.. which one of us was going to take it? Like I said, there was only one sign. After a quick heated discussion, she slammed on the breaks, pulled a U-ey and headed back to the set. She pulled over, I got out and threw it on the ground next to the post that I’d pulled it from and we sped off even faster than before.

ISAWTHESIGN2-ALISONINWONDERLAND

We’re still not friends with the cast of the show.. and I think it’s pretty clear why.

LAX>NRT

LAX>NRT-ALISONINWONDERLAND

When I first moved to LA I lived in Santa Monica. My balcony faced west towards the ocean and all day long I would see plane after plane take off from LAX and head off out into the ocean. I had never realized how many flights there were heading to Asia every day. Literally like 20 planes every morning would leave LAX and head west. In my head I figured they were all going to Tokyo, I have no idea why I thought they were all going to Tokyo, I guess they could be going anywhere in Asia or even Australia, but Tokyo was the only city that came to mind. It really inspired me to go because it was made apparent by all of these flights that I was seeing that every airline flew there and that there were about 100 flights a day to choose from.

A few weeks later I had a flight to catch to New York. We took off and when I looked out the window we were flying over the ocean heading west. New York is east..not west. I had a minor internal freak out. Thank god I realized then, that all planes must take off over the ocean and then loop around before I called over a flight attendant to make sure I was on the right flight.

It definitely took the fun out of watching the planes everyday from that point on, knowing that instead of going to Asia, most of these planes were probably just going to Vegas or Dallas/Fort Worth.

I still haven’t been to Tokyo, and I think we all know why.

Ryan Gosling Doesn’t Drink.

RYANGOSLINGDOESNTDRINK-ALISONINWONDERLAND

One day I saw this guy walking his dog on my street as I was pulling into my driveway. He said hello as I got out of my car and we started chatting. For the first few minutes of our conversation I was convinced this guy was Ryan Gosling. We were sort of far away from each other and it was really bright out so I couldn’t see perfectly. Towards the end of the conversation I introduced myself. I was expecting him to say Ryan, so when he introduced himself as [insert name here that isn’t Ryan] I of course, forgot it immediately.

I was hoping I would run into him again, because Ryan Gosling or not, he was really cute. (I googled if Ryan Gosling had a brother or a twin..turns out – he does not.)

Cut to a few months later on a Sunday morning in early September. My roommates and I were all severely hungover from a night out of drinking and dancing at Cherry Pop (best gay club for dancing in LA)..It was obvious that we needed Taco Bell to help nurse our hangovers. I volunteered to go. As I was walking down the driveway (makeup still on from the night before, tank top, boxers, nike dunks..I have definitely looked better) the sun was so bright and I was so disoriented that I missed a step but caught my fall on the railing. As soon as I looked up I saw Ryan Gosling walking toward me with his dog. Our conversation went something like this..

RG: “Hey!”

Me “Hey! How are you?”

RG “Good, I’m so tired though..I did not want to get out of bed today.”

Me “Oh I know how you feel. You’re hungover?

RG “Actually I was just up late working, I don’t drink.”

– – Awkward pause – –

Between the unforeseen turn that the conversation took and the fact that I was going to faint if I didn’t get Taco Bell into my system ASAP – I had to get out of there. I don’t remember exactly what happened next but I think I said something like “Welp, gotta go!” and ran for my car.

As I was going through the drive thru I realized that we don’t have much in common.. and that he doesn’t look that much like Ryan Gosling. Such a shame.

Of course after that day, I ran into him about twelve times that next week.

image via..

LOST. and DUMB.

LOSTANDDUMB-ALISONINWONDERLAND

A few winters ago I was flying back to LA from being home for the holidays. I had a window seat and two girls sat next to me in my row. The girl next to me said she liked my ring. It was one of my sister’s rings. (www.octoberanniversary.com)

I thanked her and told her about my sister’s company and gave her a card. She told me she was on her way back to LA from Madrid. I had just traveled there that summer so we chatted about Spain and I told her all about my trip to Europe.

I was in a great mood because I had just moved to LA that fall and was doing an internship at a production company that I loved. I told her all about it and how I was basically living the good life in sunny Santa Monica and blah blah blah. I talked about myself for about an hour straight.

We landed in LA and as I was getting off the plane a guy came up to me and said “how was it?” all excited. I had no idea what he was talking about. He pulled out a book and opened it to the first page that had an autograph on it and told me that the girl I had been talking to was Michelle Rodriquez. Nothing about that name rang a bell so I stood there blankly. He told me she was in Lost and most recently, Avatar, both of which I had never seen, but had obviously heard of.

At baggage claim I was re-living our conversation and started to feel faint when I realized that while I was talking about youth – hosteling it up in Madrid, she was probably doing a red carpet premier there for Avatar. And while I was bragging about my awesome INTERNSHIP in the entertainment industry, she, an actress in one of the biggest movies of all time, was nodding and smiling along.

I was standing next to the guy when she showed up to get her bags. He thanked her again for the autograph and I stood with my mouth open, trying to get out the words “sorry.” She laughed and thanked me for my sister’s card and left.

image via..

Hotel Cafe – Hollywood, CA USA

HOTELCAFEHOLLYWOODCA-ALISONINWONDERLAND

Hotel Cafe has all of the qualities of a great venue: dim lighting, stiff drinks, attractive people due to the dim lighting, good décor and great music that sounds good.

I recently saw the Barr Brothers perform there. Brad Barr, the singer, asked the audience if anyone by any chance had a guitar slide that he could use. A guy close to the front stood up and handed one to him. He played the song with the slide and then returned it to the owner. He explained after the song that normally when he asks that question – no one does – and he gets to look cool by using his lighter to play the song. I felt cool just by association even though I didn’t know the guy, nor do I own a slide myself. But still.

I also love that the entrance is in the alley and that they put a Christmas tree up around the holidays.