The Local Gypsy is me — Ariane — high on plotting, experiencing, and writing about weekly adventures in and around Los Angeles.
Raised in the heart of Manhattan and fortunate enough to spend the summers of my youth in Canadian canoe country, I developed an insatiable appetite for both the electricity of urban centers and the quietude of natural splendor.
Indulging these passions as much as possible, I spent weekends hiking in the redwoods and nights dancing in San Francisco as an undergraduate at Stanford; while earning my law degree at Duke, I reveled in the burgeoning downtown Durham scene, and camped in the magical Blue Ridge Mountains blazing in autumn glory.
But my subsequent life as a New York City litigation attorney was not particularly conducive to exploration outside the walls of the Met Life Building. I had little time to savor the flavors, sounds and energy of the city, and even less time to leave it to find balance in green spaces. It was not cool.
I needed a change, and Southern California was it. Despite arriving smack in the middle of the rainiest winter on record in more than a century, I fell hard and fast for Los Angeles. (I think it’s no coincidence that I moved on Valentine’s Day, or that Sideways was the in-flight movie selection.) I soon learned that on any given day, I could hike desert trails overlooking the Pacific Ocean and then dine on world class cuisine. Or attend an art opening after a morning on the ski slopes. Or expand my wardrobe with the wares of local designers before hitting a beach BBQ. The possibilities were virtually endless.
Life, once again, felt harmonious. It was very cool.
That was five years ago.
Now don’t get me wrong. I still think Los Angeles — especially where I live in Venice — is a supremely fantastic place. It’s just that the intense love affair I had with the City of Angels when I first moved here has, like any relationship, lost a bit of its spark.
I think it’s high time that I spiced things up a bit.