If you've read my blog before (especially this post and this post), or know me in real life, of course, then you'd know I love spending some alone time. However, that's not to say that I'm completely at ease with it. Even though I know I enjoy it, it still feels daunting sometimes and the temptation to just bum it at home can be strong. It's kind of like exercising, you just have to get yourself to do it because it's good for you. I had my apartment to myself last weekend and I decided to spend it productively. On both days I woke up earlier than I even wake up on weekdays (I can't even believe it myself :P). I had no intention to make a blog post out of the weekend but I couldn't resist snapping a few pictures here and there. So here's a recount of five things I did in LA alone on Saturday. I find that it's a bit harder to do things in LA alone than in London or New York because it's so dispersed and you feel less blended into the crowd, but I think all the things that I ended up doing were perfect solo activities.
Hike up to Griffith Observatory
Like I've talked about before, I'm not naturally a morning person so I definitely struggle with sticking to plans to wake up early, especially to exercise. But on Friday Night, I had the bright idea of laying out my outfit and packing up my bag - even filling up a water bottle and putting it into the fridge - so there would be no thinking involved when I got up on Saturday. That turned out to be extremely helpful as I was able to get up and get on the road by 7:15.
I took the usual route (read here). Because I wasn't with anyone it was kind of tempting to give up (I know... it's not even that hard of a hike), but regardless, I made it up to the emptiest Griffith Observatory I'd ever seen. The doors to the observatory didn't even open until hours later. I was able to walk all around it without running into hardly anyone. The sun was coming through the morning fog but the air was still a bit chilly and crisp. It was so very refreshing and completely worth it.
Breakfast at Fred 62
Located only a few minutes away from Griffith Park in Los Feliz, Fred 62 is a diner that my boyfriend and I visit pretty much every time we go to Griffith Park. I didn't see a point in finding something new in the moment; there's something nice about being a regular at a place. I arrived at 9am - the one time I could call the first meal of a Saturday breakfast instead of brunch! I sat myself down at the counter and enjoyed coffee and a basic but gigantic plate of food. Even though Fred 62 has plenty of healthy and hip items, I still think it offers a pretty authentic diner experience.
A couple minutes away from Fred 62 is a bookstore that I also visit every time I'm in the area - Skylight Books. I adore local bookstores and this one is perhaps my favorite. Since I was so early, the bookstore along with all the other stores nearby were yet to open. So I just wandered around for a little while when I found out about a new bar that was underway, named after the great Charles Bukowski. I just recently read his novel Post Office and thought it was great, so I was excited to see the new development as well as the new wall art outside.
The inside of the Skylight Books feels very airy and intimate - there's an actual tree inside. Oh, and a cat! You can tell the staff members really enjoy being there and are very knowledgeable about the books they have. You can see their recommendations around the store, giving everything a personal touch. I was thrilled to see a shelf of books on sale and scored a hard cover copy of Stoner by John Williams.
Read in a Park
I wanted some time to kill because I planned to catch a movie a little later, so I decided to stop by Barnsdall Art Park close by. The park is situated on a hill that you can either walk or drive up and there's plenty of free parking available. It has art galleries and studios but also offers views of the city including the Hollywood sign. Even better, it doesn't seem to ever get too crowded.
I always carry a picnic blanket in my car, which I don't use nearly often enough, but in situations like this I'm so grateful I have it. Big, bright, and water-resistant, it works great on sand or grass and you can even carry it on your shoulder like a bag. I laid it out on the grass, put in my earphones, and started reading my new book. It was the perfect half an hour.
Recently I, along with most of my coworkers, got a Moviepass, and I cannot recommend it more. Unless you're literally anti-cinemas, you should at least look into it. For $9.95 a month, you can watch one movie a day in theaters. It totally sounds to good to be true but it isn't. I'd call myself a movie lover but I definitely don't go to the theater enough, one of the reasons being the steep movie prices in LA ($15 is pretty normal). Even though I've only had a Moviepass for a few weeks so far, it's actually changing my life. Now it's so much easier to plan a hang out with my coworkers (and friends, as soon as I convince them to get theirs) or spontaneously decide to watch an indie film by myself, which is exactly what I did. A movie called Columbus, starring John Cho, caught my attention and it was showing at 12 in Beverly Hills. At this point I was a little tired and was tempted to go home, but the fact that the movie would be practically "free" gave me no excuse. The movie was a little slow but artfully done. Mostly importantly, I was just happy to venture out.
What do you like to do alone?