gratitude-a-thon day 722: l.a. has a few things the east coast doesn’t have

L.A. is vast. It looks less like a state and more like half the country. You can see for miles, roadway, and then mountains in the distance, and always the omnipresent Hollywood sign looking down on you, reminding you that this is a place equal to the solar system when it comes to shiny stars.

The divide between the very rich and the very poor is everywhere. Even Rodeo Drive, where my husband and I walked from our hotel on Sunday morning to find a homeless man with all his gear camped out in front of the impressively flashy Louis Vuitton Store. Inside, their least expensive item could give this man a fresh start.

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Even Rodeo Drive has a homeless problem.

There are a lot of boobs in the land of lala. A LOT of them. There are also a lot of cars. Those two things seem to be calling cards. That and plastic surgery. It is an decidedly un-New England place.

Still, there is a lot to like about it. And I do. Take the weather, which was a sunny 85 while we were there. And the beach. And the food. We had a birthday brunch for 25 at Bacaro L.A. for Mr. 21, ate at an old school deli in Beverly Hills, called Factor’s Famous Deli, one of the best restaurants my mouth has ever been to called Bestia (I WANT TO EAT HERE EVERYDAY AND NIGHT), and our favorite place in Venice Beach, Gjelina. There are palm trees. There is some pretty freaking awesome shopping.

And there is my son. A frat brother at USC, enjoying every minute of Cali sunshine. This is perhaps the very best part of California: Jake. My boy who has is now officially 21, and has been celebrated and toasted enough to last him until he’s 81.

I am usually crabby when I return from L.A. because I feel like the weather here is so limiting. But yesterday, as we flew into Logan, the fall colors, and sharpness of the ocean, and total un-L.A.-ness of the landscape made me happy to be landing here. On this coast. For now. It also has a lot to offer, although it’s missing that one must-have ingredient: my incredible boy.

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Gjelina. The lamb meatballsssssss.

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