Top 10 Reasons Why LA is Awesome

Photography, Thoughts


The City of Angels turned 232
on September 4, 2013

LA Sunset

* My Photograph was Featured on *

My mom and I moved to South Pasadena – only a 15 min drive from the heart of downtown Los Angeles – when I was in 4th grade. I spent the majority of my youthful years in LA, that is until my mom moved back to Texas when I was a sophomore in college. While going to college in Monterey Bay CA, I cherished the clean air and beautiful coast line each and every day. But after 4 years of foggy days, cold blistering winds, and rainy days, I was ready to move back to LA so I could be reminded of what the sun looks like.

I’ve spent 14 years of my life in the City of Angeles, and it truly holds a special place in my heart. There really is NO PLACE like Los Angeles 🙂 In saying that, I’d like to share a couple of key factors that make LA so amazing:

Top 10 Reasons Why LA is AWESOME:


  1. ALWAYS SOMETHING TO DO: There is never a week that goes by in Los Angeles that there’s not a festival, event, concert, or some kind of exciting gathering. If people say they are bored in LA, tell them they are crazy and lazy.
  2. SUNSHINE YEAR ROUND: After living in Monterey where there was only about a week of sunshine for the entire year, I learned that LA was in fact where I belonged. I’m a child of the sun and sea – and thanks to the 292 days year round of sunshine in Los Angeles – I’m a happy camper!
  3. LOTS OF HIKING: Yes this is a large city, but we’ve got hills and mountains galore! There’s even a waterfall 5 minutes of the street from my house. If you consider LA a concrete jungle, let me treat you to a hiking tour around the area to change your mind.
  4. MIXING BOWL OF PEOPLE: It’s true that there’s a lot of struggling grads trying to get into the film/production/screenwriting/acting/music industry, but there’s also a lot of other people that make up Los Angeles. There’s more to LA than “Hollywood.” So many people move here from around the world to start a new adventure in their lives!! Never judge a book by its cover in LA – you never know who you are talking to and who they know and what they could do for you.
  5. BEST STAYCATIONS: Everything in LA is a basically a 30 minute drive away. You can be at the beach in the morning splashing around in the ocean, and have a bonfire in the evening at the top of a mountain all in the same day. Palm Springs is just 2 hours away, or Santa Barbara for that matter. It’s easy to escape for a staycation when you live in LA. (Heck, Vegas day trips have been made before..)
  6. ENDLESS AMOUNT OF PALM TREES: Yes this might be strange reason, but you can’t help but love flying into LA and seeing the streets lined with palm trees. It is just a reminder that the beach is just a short drive away from the hustle and bustle. Plus their silhouettes make for some fantastic photos when the sun is setting on that big blue Pacific Ocean.
  7. YOUR TASTE BUDS WILL LOVE YOU: LA has one of the best food scenes in the country. We’ve got such a vast variety of cuisines, we have multiple festivals a year just to showcase it. People travel from all around the world to visit restaurants in LA.
  8. FITNESS CULTURE: People in LA like to look good. A lot of the time it’s for superficial reasons, but hey, who is complaining? Thus, there’s a huge amount of fun fitness activities to participate in. From Crossfit, to Barre classes, to Yoga, to BootCamps – everyone can pick and choose which method to keep them fit and healthy!
  9. DRINK UP: The beer, wine, and mixology scene in LA is fantastic. Which ever beverage you are in the mood for, you can definitely find the hidden bar that specializes in your specific thirst quencher. From dive bars, to breweries, to wineries, to mixology bars, to historic renovated locations, to new and up and coming innovative can’t go wrong.
  10. ROLE MODEL: Los Angeles is often times a role model for other cities. Whether it be in the terms of passing a significant bill, changing a law, dealing with environmental issues.. LA is a frontrunner.

If you have any other reasons to add why LA is fantastic – feel free to comment!

“Less Is More”

Photography, Thoughts

Let’s Go For a Hike.

SIDE NOTE: I entered a Black and White photo contest for pictureline Inc.-

If you could go here and just click VOTE for my photo I’d be super grateful 🙂 

On Monday of this week, I decided to make the most of my morning and wake up early to hike with my new friend Dave, who is an engineer at one of Pasadena’s great fire departments.

Dave’s very outgoing and positive, so it was hard to say no at a wake up call of 6:15am knowing that a morning hike would be exhilarating and a great way to start a new week (I can sleep when I’m dead right??). I’ve only hiked Mt. Wilson in the Pasadena area, so I was intrigued to hike Eaton Canyon and visit the acclaimed waterfall so many of my friends have hiked to before.

There were maybe 3-4 other people on the trail that early in the morning– which was fantastic. It was beautiful to only hear birds and beat of my heart as I paced up the trail instead of cars and trucks on the busy streets below. Although, what I began to notice all around me was evidence hundreds of people who have hiked here before… AKA trash everywhere! NEWSFLASH: your trash stays where you left it people! There aren’t park rangers that go around and pick up after you here. If you are responsible enough to bring something into a natural park, then it’s your responsibility to take it back out with you. Common sense right? Guess not.

Dave’s been hiking here before and he knew what to expect. He and I both love being in nature, and soaking in the beauty that surrounds us. So he came equipped with 2 trash bags for us to pick up after people and leave the park cleaner than we found it. We found another trash bag someone left by the waterfall, and packed up that one as well. We filled 3 trash bags and there was still PLENTY of trash left, sadly. I’m ready to go back and clean more!

It was a big reality check that some people don’t respect their environment as they should. I specifically picked up: LOTS of waterbottles and bottle caps, diapers (don’t worry I picked it up using the bag as a glove), socks, beer bottles, cans, candy bar wrappers, plastic bags, moldy ChipsAhoy cookies, and the list goes on and on… Some people even stopped us and asked if we were doing this on our own time and were so surprised they said “Wow! Thank You”- “I appreciate you” -” You’re a good person” Now hopefully they didn’t leave their trash on the ground…and felt inspired to grab a couple pieces of trash other people left on their way out (Monkey See, Monkey Do-right?).

On that note- here’s some black and white shots I captured on this morning hike. Felt good to take some nature shots- they are my favorite! Which one do you like best?


Tree Of Life

From Where I Stand

Eaton Canyon Waterfall

Good Samaritans.

Dave Cooling Off

Lizard PeekABoo

Cleaning The Park 1 Bag At A Time

Signs Are All Around Us.

Water, It’s a Big Part Of You and Me.

Photography, Science, Thoughts

I just got back from a glorious mini-vacation in Oregon for the long 4th of July weekend! I had a blast visiting family and packing each day with fun activities. I’m currently in the process of making a video/photo montage of the trip- which I worked on until the wee hours of the morning last night (cough cough I’m a perfectionist). I’m waiting on getting some more great photos from my cousin Tiffany before I complete it though- be on the lookout for it next week!

So in the meanwhile- summer has landed in Southern California (well I know it’s really nice year round but 90+ degrees isn’t fun all the time)! My office doesn’t have a properly working AC unit- so it’s a nice 90 degrees outside and it’s 85 inside…probably going to be matching soon enough. Good thing I put on so many concerts over the summer which means I’m out of the office and on site at the Santa Anita Race Track or Walt Disney Concert Hall 🙂

With heat waves hitting around the world- I thought it would be pertinent to pass along this water requirement according to your current weight.

Infants bodies are made up of about 70-85% water, while adult men consists of  60-65% and adult women’s pretty incredible. The human body itself is one walking wonder of evolution itself. From our highly developed brains (85% water) to our complex nervous system, humans are astounding living creatures.

H2O is one of the best things you can consume in terms of curing health issues too! Doctors should write more prescriptions for water for all that it can treat: allergies, asthma, depression, high blood pressure, diabetes, headaches, chronic fatigue syndrome, colitis, alcohol dependency, lower back pain, neck pain, and the list goes on and on..


If you don’t like drinking plain water, spice it up with a lemon or lime wedge. Citrus juices are good for aiding digestion. Or throw in a couple fresh berries for come color and a splash sweetness!

Newport Beach in Black and White

Photography, Thoughts

I went to Newport Beach recently- and woke up at 7:00am and decided to fill my meter where I was parked overnight. I was going to go back to bed after filling the meter, but the moment I stepped outside to an amazing sunrise, calm crystal clear water, and an empty beach.. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy it all!

So I changed clothes- grabbed my camera and wallet- and walked up the bike path. My new friends live right ON the beach, and I totally fell in love with the place. It’s definitely my dream to live on the beach one day. I’d soak it up for all it’s worth.

I found a little cafe that just opened- got a chai tea latte and a blueberry bagel. Went next to the Balboa Pier and posted myself up on the Lifeguard Tower. PERFECTION. I watched the seagulls take over the sky, dolphins leaping, and pelicans diving while the sun warmed up my skin.

I decided to get some mostly black and white photos- just felt like it’d be a fun change of pace to see things in a different “light” so to speak. Hope you enjoy the slideshow.

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Pasadena Rose Parade- (in my own backyard!)

Photography, Thoughts

So this is the first year I have been in Pasadena for the Tournament of Roses (AKA The Rose Parade). But New Years day fell on a Sunday this year- and there is a Tournament rule making it so the parade can’t be held on a Sunday- and instead it is postponed until the next day (Jan 2, Monday). I thought this decision was for religious purposes-but this is what I found as the real explanation (Wikipedia):

“Local tradition has it that ‘the Tournament has a deal with God; we’ll never hold the parade on a Sunday, and He’ll never let it rain on the Rose Parade.’ However, according to the Tournament of Roses Association Web site, this ‘Never on Sunday’ policy was instituted in order “to avoid frightening horses tethered outside local churches and thus interfering with worship services.”

The Tournament of Roses has been a New Years tradition since 1890. Around 700,000 patrons lined the streets of Pasadena for the parade on Jan 2, 2012. Millions of people also tuned in on TV to see the amazing floats covered in flowers, marching bands from across the WORLD, and equestrian groups.

I actually used to work on the city of South Pasadena’s float for volunteer hours in Middle School and High School- it was a lot of fun to be a part of something so amazing! This year the South Pasadena float won an award!!! The “Fantasy Award”- GO SOUTH PAS! CONGRATS!

I didn’t get to see all of the floats unfortunately because I slept in a bit 🙂 hehe… But I did take some photos that I wanted to share with you of the parade. There were so many people- it was INSANE. I had fun being a lone soldier wandering up and down the sidewalks (a very tight squeeze the whole time) while taking some snap shots.

Parade goers had started to stake out their spots at 10:30am the day BEFORE the parade- some families are really hardcore when it comes to the parade route and their “special spot.” RV’s flooded the surrounding streets- and the party was an all nighter the night before the parade. Believe me, I heard all the hooting and hollering from my bedroom a half a block away haha.

Until next year Rose Parade 🙂

Hurricane Winds in Southern California


So a week and a half ago- much of the San Gabriel Valley was hit HARD by hurricane winds. We have not witnessed anything like this in over 100 years- gusts of winds hit 95 mph!

The damage done in Pasadena- where I live- was outrageous. So  many trees fell down- onto power lines, houses, streets, and sidewalks. Unfortunately people were out of power in numerous cities for up to 8 days. Luckily my power came back on the day afterward around noon. I didn’t sleep the entire night…my house would shake every 2 minutes and my windows would rattle violently. It was just extremely SCARY! It felt like my house was going to crack open- or a tree was going to crash through it.

I finally got to sleep from 6am-11am then went into work. But on my way to work- the amount of damage on and around the streets were jaw-dropping. Then when I arrived to work I saw these huge over a century year old Ficus trees laying in the middle of the road- 3 HUGE ONES on the block where I work. It was very unfortunate indeed. I wasn’t in the mood to work that day.. it was a “devastation day” in my books.

I wanted to share with you some photos from around Pasadena. I also went on a 6.5 mile hike up and down Mount Wilson the weekend after the winds- there were some down trees on the path there as well.