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The expansive metropolis of Los Angeles is the second most populated city in the United States. (Photograph by Radek Hofman, Alamy)

Jackie’s Los Angeles

Freelance travel writer Jackie DesForges is among a rare breed of individuals who were actually born and raised in Los Angeles. Various jobs in the travel industry have taken her to Chicago, Ireland, Israel, and, most recently, to New York City, where she works as a social media manager for Rail Europe. When Jackie’s not at her day job, you can find her writing about travel, updating her blog, Jackie Travels, or speaking her mind in the social media stratosphere. Here are a few of Jackie’s favorite things about the city she will always call home.

Follow Jackie’s story on Twitter and Instagram @jackie_travels. 

Los Angeles Is My City

When someone comes to visit me, the first place I take them is to Randy’s Donuts, the famous place with the giant doughnut on top.

Anytime is the best time to visit my city because that’s the appeal of Los Angeles; the weather is awesome at all times.

You can see my city best from the passenger seat of a car, in traffic.

Locals know to skip Rodeo Drive and check out the Rose Bowl Flea Market or Long Beach Antique Market instead.

In the past, notable people like author Joan Didion, the characters in The Big Lebowski, and a large number of celebrities have called my city home.

My city’s best museum is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art because you’ve gotta love the light installation photo opportunity before you head inside.

If there’s one thing you should know about getting around my city, it’s that the traffic is usually as bad as the movies make it look.

The best place to spend time outdoors in my city is at Griffith Park Observatory. It’s free, great for hiking and picnics, and offers the best view of the city—including the Hollywood sign.

My city really knows how to celebrate the award-show seasons—Emmys in the summer, Golden Globes in the winter, Oscars in the spring.

You can tell if someone is from my city if it starts raining and he or she has no idea how to handle it.

For a fancy night out, I head to a rooftop bar downtown like Perch or the Ace Hotel for a pretty view of the city lights.

Just outside my city, you can visit so many places—San Diego, Santa Barbara, Death Valley and Joshua Tree national parks, Palm Springs, San Francisco, and countless others, depending on how far you want to drive.

My city is known for being materialistic and fake, but it’s really only like that in Beverly Hills. Mostly.

The best outdoor market in my city is the L.A .County Fair. (It counts as a market because you can buy fried Oreos there.)

The Original Farmers Market in the Grove is my favorite place to grab breakfast, and Mel’s Drive-In is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read any number of awesome L.A. blogs like the LAist.

My city’s biggest sports event is the Academy Awards, maybe? Just kidding. The Los Angeles Lakers (basketball), Kings (hockey), and Dodgers (baseball) are all pretty even.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped, I pack a picnic and catch an outdoor movie at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery with friends. 

To escape the crowds, I head to a small beach by my house near Playa del Rey.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be the Jolie-Pitt family, because it’s large and wealthy and represents a melting pot of cultures.

The dish that represents my city best is authentic Mexican tacos or burritos and a particularly complicated Starbucks order is my city’s signature drink.

The Los Angeles Public Library is my favorite building in town because it’s truly a beautiful building with an architectural style that incorporates ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean Revival influences.

The most random thing about my city is the doughnuts. There are literally doughnut shops everywhere.

The Hollywood Bowl is the best place to see live music, but if you’re in the mood to dance, check out the clubs in Hollywood or dive bars in Silver Lake.

Carmageddon could only happen in my city.

In the spring you should stroll along the quiet, hidden mansions in the Venice Canal Historic District.

In the summer you should camp on the beach in Malibu.

In the fall you should take a hike to the top of Griffith Park.

In the winter you should take pictures of yourself sunning on the beach and send them to your friends suffering through the minus 30°F weather in Chicago.

If you have kids (or are a kid at heart), you won’t want to miss the Indiana Jones Adventure at Disneyland Resort in nearby Anaheim.

The best book about my city is The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler.

When I think about my city, the song that comes to mind is 2Pac’s “To Live and Die in L.A.”

In 140 characters or less, the world should heart my city because even though L.A. is a sprawling, crowded, dramatic, colorful monster, you’ll probably like getting caught up in the madness.

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