I've been in and out of Echo Park a lot lately - it was one of the places I explored when I first came to LA. It's nice to go back with a little more experience in traffic AND with some comfy walking shoes.
It's all a part of my effort at getting to really know the different neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Because we're here to stay.
Two years ago, I would have been scared out of my mind to say that. We were just about to get married in Indiana, and we didn't have a real plan as to whether or not we were going to move.
I know it sounds a little dramatic, but I can't help getting a little emotional when I think about how far I've come as an individual and how far my husband and I have come as a couple.
Everything used to be dominated by what everyone else thought, the "rules" I thought existed, and of course, fear. Now when I look at photos of me in California vs. the ones of me in Indiana, I notice a distinct increase in how happy I look.
After all the trepidation about moving here, I can now say with a full heart: it was worth it.
There really is something for everyone in LA. It's as big or as small as you want to make it (although traffic is one thing you can't really avoid). There's as much nature or as much city life as you want to seek out.
And for some reason, hanging out in Echo Park (which is only a few miles from where we live now) really brings all this to my attention.
I'm smitten with the shops and restaurants along Sunset Boulevard. There's something so peaceful about drinking a New Orleans iced coffee from Blue Bottle and people watching.
And then right next to Blue Bottle is Stories Books and Cafe. Their coffee cake is out of this world, and it's so refreshing to hang out in a bookstore. It gives me hope to see people actually browsing the books.
I really don't know what it is about Echo Park that has me all wistful and hopeful at the same time. Maybe it's the super chill vibe?
Maybe it's the people all having fun out on the lake, or maybe it's all the precious, well-behaved dogs.
Whatever it is, there's nothing like a Sunday strolling around the park and exploring the hills surrounding the lake.
Wishing you all a happy week!