My Little Black Book

When The Jetset Collection asked me to share my "Best of L.A." picks, I was hesitant. Over a decade into living here, I have yet to fall head over heels in love with Los Angeles. Sure, it wins me over in moments, but L.A. and I have always had our differences. As a native New Englander, I still crave the change of seasons, the lush green of deciduous foliage and the ubiquity of charming, historic architecture. As I thought more about it, though, I realized there are places in L.A. that I love. There are experiences associated with living here that I enjoy very much. In fact, the exercise of enumerating my favorites reflected back to me a fondness I didn't realize I had. It was a reminder to focus on the good, stop dwelling on the bad, and embrace the fact that relationships with cities -- as with humans -- are inevitably complex. Here's a peek of my must see/eat/drink/do. For more, including my favorite workouts and naked spas (yup), check out the article.

Best way to start the day? Meditate. I'm all about Unplug Meditation lately. The classes there are approachable, diverse and inspiring. Breathwork Meditation is a game-changer, and Jon Paul Crimi's class keeps me coming back.

Favorite meal? This was a tough question; we have vast and diverse culinary talent in Los Angeles. Even the street tacos are spectacular (ahem, Cactus Taqueria). My go-to, though, is Blue Plate Oysterette, for a seafood-centric dinner. There's one in West Hollywood, but I prefer the original in Santa Monica. As for sunsets? Griffith Park Observatory if you're on the Eastside; Palisades Park if you're on the Westside.

My favorite day trips would have to be Ojai anytime (90 minutes) and Palm Springs anytime except summer (2 hours, if you time it right). Both are magical. Must-see L.A. sights include: the Hollywood sign, the beach and In & Out Burger. Like, if I had one day with you in Los Angeles, I would sit you in my car, drive you to these places, and say: "Film history! Old Hollywood! Yes, it's just a sign on a hill, but it's pretty cool and iconic. And look! Here's the beach! Los Angeles is a city on the Pacific, and isn't that beautiful? And finally, try our local cuisine. It looks like a burger & fries but tastes like heaven." I have yet to meet anyone who doesn't love it.

Ice cream: Sweet Rose Creamery or Salt & Straw (your girl is dairy free, and both these spots have delectable options along those lines). Coffee: Caffe Luxxe and Groundworks. People love Intelligentsia, but I find it a little intimidating. I like my coffee delicious, organic and relaxed.

For brunch try Cora's Coffee Shoppe or Milo and Olive (speaking of which: just go to all of Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb's restaurants if you have time). For drinks? Tower Bar at Sunset Tower is iconic. Being there feels old-timey glam and so special. Into something more casual? Drink while singing karaoke at Palm Tree in Koreatown. I guarantee you've never experienced anything like it. (Full disclosure: the drinks there are just okay. This is all part of my plan to make everyone do karaoke.)

Come to think of it, this only scratches the surface. I could really go on and on. Hmm. Maybe I do love L.A. after all?