Here I've been in Los Angeles for four years, but this last I've lived in Hollywood and boy has it been a treat. I am someone who adores personality and atmosphere in individuals and businesses, but especially in a bar, and needless to say, Hollywood Boulevard sure does not disappoint in terms of excitement. Of course, there are hundreds of other bars here, but let me tell you about my favorites - especially that if you get the chance to visit this staple street of Tinseltown - you should stop by and experience for yourself! Bottoms up!
Good times at Davey Wayne's
1611 N El Centro Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
To enter this 1970's themed bar, you climb through a retro refrigerator and into low-lit living room where a house party is happening before your eyes. I mean, it's the whole shabang. It's just like experiencing what a houseparty would be like in That 70's Show in a friend's basement. Good Times at Davey Wayne's is an intimate atmosphere that takes you back in time with great live music or a DJ, a patio to smoke on if you wish, and the yummiest drinks that you better not spill on the carpet.
Beetle House LA
6356 Hollywood Blvd 2nd floor, Los Angeles, CA 90028
At Beetlehouse LA, everyday is Halloween! If you're a fan of Tim Burton and his films, you best bet this is the place for you. After walking up the stairs and into it's eerie purple and black-lit atmosphere, you will find yourself in the dark fantasy-land of Mr. Burton's imagination. This place is highly decorated in line with his film's and it's no surprise that his characters are running around making comments about what you're wearing....*Ahem* Willy Wonka...The bar serves drinks themed after Alice in Wonderland, The Corpse Bride, Beetlejuice, The Nightmare Before Christmas and many more! Not to mention, the restaurant here serves entrees, appetizers and desserts themed after the movies as well on a fixed price menu that you get to enjoy while watching a show and having Alice and the Cheshire Cat lurking over your shoulder. This is an experience you don't want to miss! PLEASE NOTE: You can get into the bar without a reservation, but need one for the restaurant! You can reserve your space in the link below!:
7065 1/2 Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Adult's Only is a few blocks off of the boulevard, but boy is it worth it. Don't let its exterior deceive you. Although you enter from the corner of a small strip mall behind a burger king, you are immediately transported into the magical land of the "Adults Only' section at what your distant memory recalls as a video store - where again - your dreams come true. There are old VHS tapes of your favorite movies lining the walls to the entrance followed by racey images of the ladies hiding under your bed, but after all is said and done, you enter a speakeasy-esque, low-lit bar that takes you straight to the 1920s. As a film plays on the wall perpendicular to the bar, you look around to see mock stained glass windows above stylish velvet couches. Take a seat here, enjoy the flick playing on the big screen with your favorite people, and take advantage of the incredible happy hour from 5PM-10PM with $5 cocktails and $5 beer and a shot. If you're feeling up to it, they also have a billiards table for your amusement. There's not a worry in the world at Adults Only.
Jameson's Irish Pub
6681 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
This place is always a party - as the soup of the day is always Whiskey and when there's not a game on, your favorite music videos are playing on the multiple TVs that line the space. If an Irish Pub is ever what you're looking for with great deals on amazing food and the best drinks, the top place to watch the Notre Dame games, friendly kilted service and the most hospitable management around, Jameson's is always the place to go.
Pig N' Whistle
6714 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Opening in 1927, Pig N' Whistle is a Hollywood historical landmark and gives its customers a real feel of what Old Hollywood used to be like. With its intricate detailing throughout the building - especially on the ceiling, Pig N' Whistle has a flourishing history and menu to match. Being neighbor to the Egyptian Theater, stars such as Shirley Temple and Cary Grant had meals here before their movies premiered. Isn't that cool?! To add to the Old Hollywood vibe, 1920s actress Peg Entwistle was rising fame until one of her movies flopped causing her to commit suicide by jumping off of the Hollywood sign...dark turn...I know...but that is a personal theory I have about where Pig N' Whistle derived its name (although I know she died after it was founded). Either way - this restaurant and bar is one to experience if you find Old Hollywood ravishing as well as drink specials and good eats.
The Study Hollywood
6356 Hollywood Blvd 1st floor, Los Angeles, CA 90028
I find this place to be a marvel in itself. Though the drink menu can get a little expensive, the experience is totally worth it for a few drinks with your good friends or that special someone. The ambience is low and mellow with hundreds of books surrounding you giving you that "I'm in a super rich person's library in the 1930s and am attending one of their especially exclusive parties - therefore I'm going to act like a fancy person and enjoy myself, " vibes. This is right on Hollywood Boulevard. If you're going to the Pantages to see a show, this is the perfect place to go before or after.
The Rusty Mullet
1708 N Las Palmas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
The name implies exactly what you're going to get even before you walk into this place. Welcome to redneck heaven boys and girls. If there's anything that the Rusty Mullet isn't lacking, it's personality. With its bumpkin-esque mannequins hanging out on the awning of this open air-bar that gives prime people watching opportunities, the graffiti on the walls inside, its $3.66 Bud specials, the dozens of TVs hanging from every direction for every sports fan out there, and its prime location, the Rusty Mullet is the perfect reflection of your favorite backcountry dive back home. Bask in all the glory this place gives to you on Hollywood Boulevard.
1533 N La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Across the street from Adults Only and also in a strip mall, this hole in the wall is easy to get sucked into and almost impossible to leave without at least a little buzz. With its warm and alluring atmosphere, call it the magic in, "The Woods," pulls you in with its intimate size, friendly but minimal staff, and strong yet gorgeously priced cocktails and drink deals. Also, the fact that this place can be easy to miss, the few in the crowd make this place feel like an exclusive backroom speakeasy - making it an experience that's all your own with the place to yourself. Make sure to check this place out. You won't regret it!
1646 N Las Palmas Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
I could and would forever go on about this place. It is my absolute favorite in Hollywood and quite possibly Los Angeles. In fact, I will do a blog only about Miceli's. Stay tuned! But hey, let's get onto why I love this place so much. Miceli's is actually the most incredible and oldest Italian restaurant in Hollywood where the greats came on a regular basis to grab an incredible meal, a tasty drink, and bask in some homegrown conversation. When I say the greats, I mean the greats. I'm talking Old Hollywood stars like Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton...THE BEATLES. This is the place to be with the most charm and heart you could ever find in Hollywood. With its traditional Italian Decor, singing waitstaff, and unforgettable playing of the Grand Piano - Miceli's takes you into a whole new world and trust me, it's one that you'll never want to leave.
7038 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Previously known as Happy Endings, the Sycamore Tavern still has the same effect on all those who enter its doors. With friendly bartenders like Vinnie to treat you like a friend and get you your favorite drink, board and card games to play with your friends and family throughout the night, a comedy hall upstairs, fantastic appetizers and entrees that will put the biggest smile on your face, and space and televisions that attend to all of the needs of your favorite sport games and fan groups combined. The Sycamore is a relaxing yet bright atmosphere with a lot of life running through it and plenty of room to make memories with your favorite people. If you're looking to get away from the crowds, this is the place to go.
The Lost Property Bar
1704 Vine St, Los Angeles, CA 90028
Talk about a hole in the wall. The Lost Property Bar is a small little sanctuary just off of Hollywood and Vine. With it's 1920s club appeal and deep wood and leather decoration, this is the perfect place to unwind and spend time in quiet conversation with your friends or colleagues. If you're just looking for a new place to grab a drink and give yourself room to think, let this be your first choice.
I hope you've enjoyed my ever so very thought out list of my favorite bars in Hollywood! If you're ever in the area, please feel free to reach out so we can grab a drink together, or I can show you around! Either way - Happy Drinking!
Mary Gabrielle Strause
Hello Dear Friends! Yes, it's been a while, but I'm back and ready to attack! And with what? You guessed it - more writing tips from yours truly. When you look back on your favorite movies, TV series, or books there is always one common theme that always rides your heartstrings, pulls you back to tune in each week, or causes you to binge an entire season in one sitting - THE CHARACTERS! They are the ones we love, the ones we hate, the ones we relate to, the hooligans that make us laugh, smile, and cry our ugliest tears. Those that give us the urge to throw stale marshmallows at for their stupid decisions and at times the ones we wish we were dating. So, when you're writing something that you want others to enjoy, the first step is creating your characters and making them as compelling and as memorable as you possibly can. And the biggest thing to remember is that you're not having fun writing them, they're not going to be any fun for the person watching or reading about them. My point being - HAVE FUN! Let's take a gander below, shall we?
PEOPLE WATCH ON THE DAILY - TAKE NOTES
I mentioned this before in my tips for writers! Keep your eyes peeled for inspiring people - and what I mean by this - people who look especially interesting and are up to rather intriguing things. For example, one time I saw a man with checkered overalls roller-skating through DTLA with a boombox at his hip, and another time I met a woman at Starbucks creating figurines with paperclips and her name as Amerilia - which I thought was pretty unique. Humans like these stay in your head forever - just like the characters you create will if you base them off of people like this. It also doesn't hurt to ask these fine folk their life story as well - you just might find yourself swimming in gold.
CREATE THE MOST MEMORABLE NAMES
Not many people are going to remember basic names, though of course it's been done. Even then, there is always a ring to it that turns people's heads. Jon Snow (You know nothing!), Don Draper, Veronica Lodge, Stephen Strange, Tony Stark, Wendy Peffercorn, Harry Potter - the list goes on and on. Depending on what your character's backstory is, where they're from, what kind of family they descend from, their personality, their social status, etc., it'll behoove you to visit baby name sites, look up last names based off of ancestry or religion, and/or make up your own names and spellings. Also, looking into what these names mean will give your character more depth and moral to build their stories upon.
START WITH AN IN-DEPTH BACKSTORY
This is necessary and should always be your first step - after you choose a name of course. You should know where your character is from (city, county, state, country, EVERYTHING), Where they live, what their nationality is, who their parents were, what their childhood was like - what made them into who they are today? How did they find their passion? What hurt them the most? What is the reason that they are the way are? Think of everything that made you who you are today and implement each of those questions and cases into your character. Go in depth. Know who your character is inside and out.
DRAW THEM OR FIND PHOTOS THAT DEPICT THEM
Drawing the characters you create gives you a better sense of who they are. They are easier to imagine when you are writing and ultimately strengthens the process. This also makes them more of a friend to you - more tangible and will bring them to life - both in your mind and in your writing. Having them portrayed in a definite way while you're writing makes interactions, scenarios, personal moments, and thought processes of this character more distinct. Plus - it gives them a standpoint to evolve from later down the line.
GIVE THEM UNIQUE JOBS (OR ASPIRATIONS)
One character of mine was a live mannequin, another a falconer ( one who sends the falcons to and from castles in the middle ages), and one an art therapist. There are so many fun and crazy jobs out there that make your character more memorable and can also add some flair to your plot in the long run. If you Google "craziest jobs in the world," or something of the sort, I'm sure you will find occupations that you were never aware of - some even beyond your wildest imagination. It's fun! And hey, if writing doesn't work out, at least you have a series of new options to choose from. Anywho - your characters need passions that drive them. They need something that gets them up in the morning, something they yearn for - something to keep them striving towards something bigger - just like you with your dreams.
UNIQUE HOBBIES, LIKES, DISLIKES...ETC.
Do they love playing doubles in badminton, but hate the way the word penguin is pronounced? Does the smell of laundry and the sound of opening a new bottle of apple juice give them butterflies inside? What do they love? What do they hate? What are they attracted to? What disgusts them? Anything that can relate to their heart and their makeup emotionally that gives them a flare of personality, which brings me to...
HOW DO THEY TALK, WALK, THINK, REACT, FLIRT...ETC.
Get into their brain! Their motor functions! Their Psychology! If someone left them an angry note on their windshield for parking too close, how would they react? If someone called them out in person, what would they do? Do they have a gimp in their step? Do they slouch their shoulders? Do they walk like they're on the catwalk daily? What are their physicalities and how do they present themselves? On top of that? What is their type? Do they like guys with thick eyebrows, or girls with blue eyes and freckles? Are they straight? Gay? Lesbian? Transgendered? Are they still waiting to come out? Or do they not know what line they stand on? You have to know all of these things in writing dialogue and scene work in order to make your story and characters as strong as they possibly can be. Of course, you will get to know your characters as time goes on, and things will happen in your stories to change these things about them, but starting off - you're with them 100% of the way.
They Need a secret
You have a secret. Or several. I have secrets that I haven't shared. Everyone has a secret - whether it be tiny or HUGE, but either way, there's always something we would rather the world not know. Your character needs one of those babies. This will give them something that your audience doesn't know, your character's friends don't know (maybe one does - but spills the beans), and maybe their family doesn't even know. We need mystery and we did to keep those around your character guessing. If they know your character inside and out right away - your character is weak. We can't have weak characters.
WRITE THEM SCENES INTERACTING WITH PEOPLE
While you're developing your character, write them into scenes where they're interacting with their crush, or their dad, their best friend, their enemy, or a stranger. Play with how they hold themselves and find their voice in the dialogue you write for them, or the the thoughts you have them thinking. This is important and crucial for you getting to know your character, just as you would someone new in real life.
GIVE THEM SCENARIOS THEY HAVE TO PLAY THROUGH
This is again great practice for discovering how your character thinks and reacts to situations. Maybe you have them get a flat tire in the middle of nowhere at midnight, or have their boyfriend cheat on them with your mom! Who knows!? Also simple things like getting a D on a test that meant a lot to your character, or getting on the Track team. Giving your character good, bad, confusing, and depressing situations to work with with bring out things you may have not even known about your character...that you will after doing this exercise.
THEY ARE PEOPLE TOO - GIVE THEM FEELINGS
You can't just have them be hot or cold, yes or no, in or out, up or down like the esteemed words of Katy Perry. You have to give them indecisiveness, reasons behind their emotions. There are more to choose from compared to happy, sad, being in love, angry or scared. There is confused, dazed, infatuated, hostile, agitated, hesitant, etc. Your character should always feel a certain way about what's going on in the current scene or based off of what another character is saying. If they are just even keeled all of the time, the progression of your story will have no flavor and nor will your characters. Always bring these things back to you and those you know - relatability is key. How do you react to certain things?
HAVE FUN WITH THEM - THEY'RE YOUR FRIENDS
Like I said, if you're not having fun writing these guys, no one is going to have fun going on their journey with them. These characters are your buds, your enemies, your loved ones and are a way to connect to something if reality isn't always looking too great in the friend department. They trust you and you trust them, so might as well create a world where you guys can have a ball and then when all is said and done, bring the world on this fabulous adventure you and your characters have created.
Catch you Friday!!
Mary Gabrielle Strause
P.S.: Here is a small cover I did of Chelsea Hotel No. 2 if you want to listen!
Whether you're doing it for fun, playing around with the idea, or are looking to become a full-fledged freelance photographer, there are endless opportunities to get your work out there and at its best quality. The matter is, how? Cameras are expensive. How do you make your photos different from everyone elses? Who can you reach out to, to work with? How will I get people to know I exist? Well my dear friends, the age of social media and the internet is at our disposal - and boy it can take you places. You just have to take the initiative - which is really what being a freelancer is all about. Take a look at my top 10 tips for for becoming a successful freelance photographer! So grab your camera and let's get started!
Define your style
This is by far one of the most important aspects of being a photographer. Of course, it will take practice and knowledge with your camera to discover this, but find what makes you different. Whether it be in the angles you shoot at, the subjects you shoot, the way you edit your photos, or your use of natural light - give yourself a staple that feels true to who you are and is relative to your essence as a human being and photographer. If people can tell that your photos are yours - you're heading in the right direction.
Scout your outdoor locations
Studios can be expensive, and so can lights, flash equipment, and the time spent setting up your shot will take a major chunk out of the slot you have in the space you booked. No matter where you're from there is no excuse to say that becoming an editorial, wedding, lifestyle, event, headshot, or whatever photographer you plan on being isn't in the cards. Whether you're from a small farm town in Wisconsin or the metropolis of Gotham City, you are going to have a butt load of backgrounds to choose from - whether it's a brick wall on a torn down building, a city park, or the front of a graffitied dumpster - the more you keep your eyes peeled for potential locations to take your clients to, and the more able you are to shoot in natural light - the less money you'll have to spend, the more unique your pictures will be, the exponential practice you'll get from shooting so much, and the higher quality your work will become.
Reach out to potential clients on Instagram
Whoever says instagram isn't a business tool is a foolish goonberry. No matter what kind of photographer you're looking to be, you can find people or businesses using hashtags related to your chosen subject. For example, if you're wanting to be a editorial photographer, you can search #Fashion, #Fallcollection, #model, whatever it may be and in your area, then direct message independent boutiques or individuals inquiring whether they wanted to do a shoot either for a minimal amount or for copy/credit. If you're a wedding photographer in Maine, look up #bridetobe, #mainewedding, #eastcoastwedding or whatever seems relevant to getting married on the East Coast and send inquiries asking whether they're looking for a photographer and to consider you if possible. Instagram is such a fantastic tool. Also, if you send out 40 DM's and only get one response, it's one response more and one more potential client than you would have if you didn't give it a go.
Be active and consistent on instagram and website.
Whether it's a blog, a photo from a month or a year ago, or something you just shot this morning, it's necessary to post at least once a day and to be consistent with your look and branching out to extended audiences every day. The more people see your work every day and see it done well - the more they will refer to you as a photographer and the potential of them wanting to work with you or share your content grows. This being said though - always post work you are proud of and to the caliber you are excited to share.
Study your craft everyday
It's relatively simple. If you learn one thing at least every day towards what you want to accomplish, the sooner you'll be able to move forward and apply what you've learned and become better at what you've intended. Whether it's watching youtube videos on how to adjust your aperture, how to shoot manually and working with the kelvin scale to tone your pictures, reading a blog on what brand and type of lens you should buy, or checking out a book on lighting and photography at the library, the more educated you will be regarding your work- the more credible you'll seem when meeting with new clients - and the more beautiful your art will become.
Invest in your craft
Invest in a class, an online class, a conference, a new photography book, a subscription to Digital Camera World, a new lense - whatever it may be - the money is always worth it. If you want to improve at what you do or what you want to do, investing in yourself is always your best option. Besides, if you don't invest in your work as a photographer, how will you expect your client to want to invest in you?
Let the world know you're a photographer! Whether it's on Facebook, Instagram like we were saying, putting casting calls on sites for models, or putting an ad up in a few of your favorite coffee shops - make it known that you are a photographer and that you are wanting to photograph things! If you just post pictures all the time and are not asking the universe for more subject matter to shoot by being blatantly upfront about it, people just might not approach you and your portfolio of work not already out there may dwindle. Also if you put on your instagram story, "Photographer looking to shoot Editorial sessions: DM if interested!" or on Facebook, "Hey Friends and Family, I'm a (insert subject style here) photographer looking for clients - if you know or have heard of anyone who's looking for a photographer and you like my stuff - send them my way for consideration! You rock. Thank you all so much!" - then attach a sample album of your work, you'll be surprised just how many people will respond!
BE organized and professional
Nobody wants to work with someone who's too laid back or doesn't have a schedule and plan to their shooting session or day. Discuss what your client is looking for, send some reference photos to verify you know what type and style of shoot it's going to be, and what you'll need. Depending on what you come up with in your conversation, you'll set a time that's relevant to what works best with either natural lighting, or with your schedules if it's a studio shoot. After you've confirmed a time and place, you set a calendar invite that's specific so neither party is confused. Be on time - always. It also helps for them to send you some outfit options before the shoot so you can help determine which look will work better - and then discuss makeup to match. This way you'll understand what you'll be shooting, where your client can change if you're working outdoors ( or invest in a pop-up changing room that will fit in your backpack), and how long you'll spend with each shot. It's also important to know where the nearest restrooms are to keep your client happy and comfortable. After the shoot is finished - send a google drive, dropbox, or shared link with the photos to your client to choose edits. Keep the folders organized and disclose that if they are to share your photos, to credit you in their description.
The more opportunity to get your work out there and to build legible credibility for yourself, the more people will know your name will want to work with you. If you submit your work to photography competitions or book compilations, you'll be able to gage what your work is worth to others and determine how you could improve. Also, if you get published or place within any of these competitions, you might win some money and could put those laurels on your website so potential and future clients know you're not kidding around. So please, submit your work to competitions that are relevant to your style and subject matter. You never know what could happen!
be yourself - a good and fun person
No one likes a poor sport, sour puss, or someone who's shelled up and awkward - so be sure to crank the tunes, make fun conversation, smile, laugh, and take your clients on an adventure that only you can give them. Getting in front of the camera is a vulnerable space for so many, and if who you're shooting doesn't feel comfortable and isn't having fun, the shoot isn't going to turn out well for either of you. So be happy, have fun, make killer and unique choices, deliver fantastic and moving shots that are only associated with who you are and what you create, and you'll be on your way to having friends and clients begging to shoot with you until the end of time!
Until Next Time!
Mary Gabrielle Strause
Yeah, let's talk about it. I'm going to be honest in saying that after living in Los Angeles for a few years now, I've come across many practices of confidence. To play with a few examples, some people exude in what they wear, how they talk, how they approach and treat people, or how they hold themselves in a conversation. Others sometimes express it introspectively through intellect, maybe in school or in their writing, possibly in their paintings or drawings, or in the photographs they take that visually expresses the confidence of their subjects. Either way, confidence is such an important aspect of who you are and greatly impacts the way you live life. I've had my spells of self-doubt and consciousness of course, as anyone has, but if there's anything I've learned about confidence throughout my life it's this:
Confidence is smiling when the rest of the world is scowling.
It's choosing to be the light when everyone else stands in the dark.
It's being kind even when they say you get nowhere by being nice.
Confidence is using every word and breath you have expressing what you believe, and understanding you're saying it for a reason - not just to be heard or to get a word in.
Confidence is being silent while listening. While learning.
It's when you know you don't know everything, and are willing to admit it and grow.
Confidence is forgiving, but understanding you don't need those who hurt you or held you back in your life moving forward.
Confidence is knowing you are enough and not settling for less than the life you want to create.
It's leaving when there is no more room to grow. In love and in life.
Confidence is when you look in the mirror, even on the days when you're feeling your worst, and looking deeper than what's on the outside. Even so, you recognize those sparkling eyes of yours, you say, "dang my hair looks pretty good today," or "Wow, I have a killer smile."
Confidence is not comparing yourself to others - because they're so awesome being them, and you're just as awesome at being you.
Confidence is staying positive even in the darkest of times and knowing that everything is going to be okay.
It's doing what you love and knowing you might not make a lot of money right away, but you will, because your passion will drive your success.
It's doing what you love even though it might go against what those you love want you to do.
Confidence is knowing that everyone is so beautifully different and gifted, and others' gifts might not be your own, and nor yours, theirs - but that's what makes the world so great. Someone might be a phenomenal hunter or mechanic, and that's what they're good at and will pursue, all the while someone will lead their life baking, or being a vet, or gardening, while you make your dream of singing come true - because that is your gift and that is the purpose you're meant to serve - just like that hunter and mechanic, and everyone else in the world is serving theirs.
Confidence is understanding you can't be good at everything. And that's fun!
Confidence is knowing your purpose and moving up the ladder to fulfill it every day.
It's doing the right thing when no one and everyone is looking.
It's standing up for others when no one else will.
Confidence is being a leader, not a dictator.
It's understanding that failure is imminent, but trying your best anyway.
Confidence is going with where your gut and heart are guiding you, even though it may sound insane to everyone else. Even though they say it won't work.
It's knowing you're so incredibly special in this world, and so is everyone else,
but no one can ever be you.
No one can ever do what you do the way YOU do it.
No one can ever speak the way YOU do with the heart, the intellect, the word choice...
No one can write like YOU do, or paint like YOU do, or sing exactly like YOU do.
So no matter what, confidence shouldn't be a question, because allowing yourself to be who you are is all you'll ever need.
Mary Gabrielle Strause
Needless to say, a good majority of writers and college students are coffee snobs and use any opportunity or excuse they can find to go to a fun, new coffee shop that has loads of personality. Of course, I am guilty as charged and carry myself with pride because good coffee along with a stellar atmosphere not only helps me to create more effectively, but it makes me feel so much cooler in the process (Look sharp, feel sharp, play sharp ;) ) . On top of that though, needing to be in the perfect space for your needs while working is no joke, and while living and working in Los Angeles, I fell in love with these coffee shops listed below and at most of them, my greatest ideas came into fruition. So, if you're looking for your next office or are just looking for some delicious and without a doubt over priced (but worth it) coffee, be my guest and read on!
Alfred coffee & tea
8428 Melrose Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90069
There are a butt-load of locations for Alfred Coffee and Tea in Los Angeles (and around the world), but my favorite is at Melrose Place. This hip and chic spot with its cool pink and pearly white decor deliver you to a realm of imagination and confidence that only Alfred can provide you with. No to mention, their beverages are to die for and if you allow them to be, they are extremely health conscious and proactive. I had a chaga mushroom cappuccino my last time here and it was both delicious and highly beneficial for multiple aspects of my body including my digestive system. Alfred was actually the cafe where I wrote my first blog post. <3
Verve coffee roasters
833 S Spring St, Los Angeles, CA 90014
Verve used to be right down the street from where I used to live in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles. It's garden walls outside and relaxed atmosphere inside create a balanced and productive atmosphere with some of the best coffee in town. They are also partnered with Juice Served Here, so on top of their smooth teas and coffees, Verve provides healthy juice beverages that have many benefits and will deliver you to a headspace of peace and efficiency.
Bricks and scones
403 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Bricks and Scones is probably my favorite place to go when I'm looking to get a lot of writing done. It has a Victorian library vibe with lots of red velvet and darker, richer tones to its walls, seat cushions and deep colored wooden tables. When I come here, I'm able to escape into my imagination as the space embraces me in a way that my ideas will be supported with the atmosphere it creates. Bricks and Scones is always quiet and filled with those working just like you, so you're always able to get a lot done. If you're able to snag a spot on the upper level, just around the winding staircase, you might find your own private pocket to create in. Not only is the atmosphere here sensational, but so are their baked goods, foods, and drinks. They create them with a care and quality that is special to you. Here, you are a guest, not a customer.
300 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Okay, so I know Bulletproof coffee is a thing all around the land, but there's a reason for that! For one, all of their products are absolutely delicious, but this stuff also keeps you focused, energized, and full for so long! This location in the Arts District in DTLA has always been my morning go-to when I do photo shoots over there. Sometimes my sessions last hours, and when I don't wake up in time for coffee and breakfast, Bulletproof is always there for me to provide me with the benefits of both. Also, this is a small and quiet location with big windows and comfy seating - I've gotten a lot of work done here and the staff is always exceptionally friendly!
5931 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028
My goodness, the Bourgeois Pig is a place that you will never forget after visiting. With its Gothic decoration, low, purple lights, and treehouse and forest themed seating area it takes motivation to want to leave. Granted this place can get a bit busy at times, but you never wonder why. Their drinks are phenomenal, whether you want tea, coffee or something blended, they are large and are able to get you through any work session you may have a head of you. It's quiet, and because it's usually so dark - no one will be able to bother you because quite honestly, they can't see you! This little cafe is a must go-to. You won't regret it!
300 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013
At Cafe Gratitude, you always order in affirmations, such as, " I'm grateful" or, " I'm trusting." By starting off your day with something like this and putting yourself in such a positive atmosphere right away will change the outlook of your day by leaps and bounds. With it's bright white and clean decor with plants and shiny but subtle gold sprinkled in, Cafe Gratitude will having you feeling clean and refreshed. Also, because this is a vegan restaurant, they don't put any heavy creams into their beverages nor their food, so you'll leave here feeling as light as a feather. Their coffee is some of my favorite, but...
Stumptown Coffee roasters
806 S Santa Fe Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90021
...Stumptown coffee will always be my go-to. Their coffee is a smooth as they come with a full bodied taste and a progressive kick that will get any morning started off the right way. When drinking Stumptown, the taste isn't bitter, it's invigorating. Whether it's a cold brew, freshly brewed, a macchiato, or latte, you won't be feeling jittery or icky after drinking it. On top of it all, their location in the Arts District is super industrial, and walking around the area will give you a great way to begin your day and get your blood flowing while you drink your Stumptown coffee.
451 S Hewitt St, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Urth Caffe...there are a few locations scattered throughout Los Angeles, but I always have to say that the best one is in the Arts District in Downtown Los Angeles. It's definitely the biggest and has the most personality in my perspective. It's a great place to meet with your friends over tea and a baked good in a place that's not bustling bananas. It's a little too obvious to say, but Urth Caffe definitely has an Earthy vibe to it. You will feel grounded and centered while you're here and time will feel like it's going by a little slower. Especially on a bright sunny day in Los Angeles where you might feel like you need to pedal to the metal, taking a seat here and just watching the day go by for a little while is never hard to do. By the way - their green boba tea is amazing.
aroma cafe (coffee and tea co.)
4360 Tujunga Ave, Studio City, CA 91604
Holy yummy in the tummy. When you walk through these doors after waiting in somewhat of a line, you will be gracefully introduced to Aroma Cafe with cases full of the most beautiful desserts that are the size of your torso or bigger, an extensive menu of coffee and tea drinks galore, and the most friendly serving staff imaginable. This place is always a treat for me to visit with my loved ones and close friends because of their delicious beverages and meals, and also because of the atmosphere it provides. After you order, you can meander through the side door into a patio garden and garden house decorated with chandeliers, paintings, mirrors, a fireplace, gorgeous tables and other furniture, and deepest breath of fresh air you could possibly take in. Aroma Cafe reminds me of Los Angeles if it were in its 50s. Bright, full of life but calm, and appreciative of being around good friends, good food, and a grateful perspective on life. If you get the chance, you need to come to Aroma - and order the Eggs Benedict and Iced Coffee if you get the chance.
blue bottle coffee (handsome coffee roasters)
300 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013
Okay, so this is the last time I'm going to say this, partly because it's my last suggestion on this blog post, but Blue Bottle Coffee also has a few locations, but without a doubt the coolest one is on Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles. Not only is it amongst all of theaters of Old Hollywood and the booming past of Los Angeles, but it's housed in the Bradbury building, which if any of my fellow movie-lovers know, is a shooting location of the beloved film Blade Runner. I'm not biased, but that should be reason enough to go visit this place, the fact that Blue Bottle Coffee is rich in flavor and provides a variety of options so you can furthermore enjoy your beverages to the extent of your wildest dreams though, is also a plus. If you're walking around the heart of DTLA, I'd stop by. It's industrial yet studious atmosphere proves a valid place to stop and enjoy the perks of this gorgeous place.