We live in a social media-driven, impatient, insatiable age where the hunger to constantly be experiencing and sharing things is as much of a common denominator as it is a burden. Really though, I think that everyone in their 20s right now feels a similar insatiable hunger. A desire–a need–to go out and do everything, be everywhere, and try new things constantly.
If there’s one thing I’ve developed from having moved to Southern California, it’s this.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the constant urge to do something. Especially when you live somewhere where “new” is extremely abundant each and every day. I’m not gonna lie. I find myself constantly adding things to my Google Calendar (my friends and boyfriend have dubbed me the scheduling queen because of this. Still not sure if this is an insult or not) and making lists of things that I want to be doing in the very near future. I call this insanity, but you might also know it as FOMO (for the non-millennials, that stands for “fear of missing out”). Sure, some things are totally unnecessary, like standing in line for over an hour to eat an ice cream-filled donut (guilty), but this “FOMO” feeling can also be pretty healthy, especially when it’s used as a driving force to propel you forward, allow you to remember to enjoy life every once in a while, and keep you from being static. This is how I like to look at it.
One thing on my “FOMO list” I’ve been wanting to do more urgently to sort of commemorate my moving to LA is to take some time to explore the historic and sprawling downtown area during the daytime (since I’m only really used to seeing it at night or as I’m driving through). On one of my crazy, urge-filled whims, I added it to my ever-growing calendar, and off we went!
Here’s how we spent a day in downtown LA:
- We skipped the car and opted to zip around using the metro instead (a huge plus since parking in the city can be insanity. And yeah, the LA metro system isn’t perfect yet, but it’s also not that bad, either, and it’s definitely been making some improvements). This way, we got to experience DTLA 100% on foot, which was actually a lot of fun!
- First stop: Astro Donuts for a quick bite and some ridiculously tasty flavors. We shared a peanut butter and jelly, orange dreamsicle, and lavender apricot donut. And, if sweet isn’t necessarily your thing, they also serve up fried chicken, sandwiches (which you can eat via donut bun, if you desire), and tater tots. Too, too, toooooo good.
- Second stop: We walked over to the Bradbury Building to soak up DTLA’s oldest landmark’s history. The Bradbury is famous for its glass atrium and stunningly intricate ironwork (and, it’s free to view during the day). Fun fact: the landmark was constructed by a guy who was literally just starting an apprenticeship and therefore hadn’t even had any actual architectural education yet–the building was commissioned on a “leap of faith” hunch by Bradbury himself.
- Third and Fourth stops: We grabbed some coffee from Blue Bottle and strolled through another landmark that’s right across the street from the Bradbury–The Grand Central Market, a sprawling and bustling expanse of food and drink vendors that has been doing its thing for exactly 100 years. We didn’t stop to eat anything (we were still full from those donuts), but it’s safe to say that anything you could possibly be craving, you’ll find it here (but honestly LA people, is EggSlut really that big of a deal?)
- Fifth stop: Yet another place I’ve always wanted to visit in real life, The Last Bookstore, is probably California’s coolest bookstore, selling old and new books and records alike in a loft-like space that feels as cozy as it does labyrinth-y (weird, I know). The store’s mission is to keep the physical paper-and-ink book business alive, and judging by how many people were weaving through the various aisles of books and records when we were there, I’d say they’re doing a pretty good job. Even I, Kindle/Paperback swinger, couldn’t leave without 2 brand new books in hand.
- We ended the day by taking the metro to the Coliseum to watch a soccer game (we scored free tickets!) and eating at an unassuming-yet-ridiculously-bomb lonchera (a classic Latino food truck), which served up platefuls of delicious food for cheap.
DTLA exploration day? Check. One down in a long, long list of random and wide-reaching things (currently: 38 and counting).
It’s tough to remind yourself to slow down–to remember that not every last thing can or will possibly happen all at once. But when you do get to cross something off of that never-ending list of yours, it feels pretty good. Never stop making lists those lists, and never stop dreaming of (and then actually doing) more.