I met Jennifer J. Chow at the recent Left Coast Crime conference, but we’re also members of Mystery Writers of America. Her book, Mimi Gets a Clue, was released earlier this spring.
It wasn’t until we sheltered in place that I understood how many things I took for granted here in Los Angeles. I’ve since compiled a top ten list of things I miss about the area:
- Airplane watching
There’s something glorious about watching jets speeding overhead. I’m not alone in this thinking because I’ve known people to park near the airport—or even at the In-N-Out by LAX—to stare at the sky.
- Amusement parks
Los Angeles is a hot spot for entertaining rides. We’ve got Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm, and even Adventure City (which offers unlimited rides geared toward younger kids). Truth be told, I’m a wimp when it come to swerving, fast rides. Plus, I remember feeling disappointed when I lost my favorite hat on the Goofy roller coaster at Disneyland. However, I do like the potential of being able to visit these exhilarating places.
- Beach volleyball
Ah, the tropical fragrance of sunscreen, the warmth of the golden sun, and the steady whack of a moving ball. Not only do professional players come to Los Angeles for the AVP tournament, but locals love flocking to the beach to play. I’ve even been known to participate once or twice (despite my clear lack of skills).
- Candy cane lights
Beyond the inevitable exhaust and the interminable waiting while stuck in traffic, I kind of like watching the red and white glow of taillights. Something about their bright colors gives me a burst of cheer.
- Ethnic food
I love food, particularly from various cultures. I miss being able to travel to different parts of Los Angeles, like Koreatown, Little Ethiopia, or Thai Town to dine in.
- Fruit picking
Although L.A. isn’t known for its vast fields of produce, there are hidden fruit-laden spots. For example, I’ve gone apple picking and cider making in Oak Glen. I’ve also selected juicy strawberries in Irvine (in nearby Orange County).
- Jacaranda trees
These trees, when warm weather approaches, flaunt showy purple blossoms. They herald spring, and I miss seeing them around. Though popular in Southern California, I can’t find any in my local neighborhood.
I enjoy savoring the moment. It’s so nice to be unrushed sometimes, whether that’s while watching the sun slip over the horizon or checking out lively events like the L.A. Times Festival of Books.
A number of cultural institutions are super close. I’ve gone to a few, but I wish I’d taken advantage of more opportunities. With my LAPL library card, I even have access to limited free passes!
No matter which cardinal direction I choose, I can drive to a beautiful place. Nearby, there are mountains, beaches, and even a desert to explore if I’m in the mood. I miss the extravagance of being able to take a road trip to a scenic location.
My latest cozy mystery, Mimi Lee Gets a Clue, is set in Los Angeles. It features groomer Mimi Lee (owner of the pet salon, Hollywoof) and her talking sassy cat. I hope I do justice writing about the unique aspects of L.A. in my novel.
What do you relish about the place where you live?
Thanks, Jennifer, for such a fun list – yeah, they’re on my list of things to do once we get out of House Arrest.