I was thrilled to visit Los Angeles when Suleen brought me down for her beautiful elopement. I had been feeling like I was overdue for a trip to LA anyway, and I loved that this all lined up. Since it was the middle of wedding season I had fun turning the trip into a workation, finding the best workspaces all over town to continue working throughout. I explored libraries, cafes, and cute gardens, and squeezed in some time with friends too. It was just what I needed.
I started with Korean food with Kevin, who was kind enough to not only house me but also let me borrow a car for the trip. We also visited Yogurtland, which I used to be obsessed with. It’s so funny to me that it even exists still but I guess I’ve replaced them with boba these days.
All the best Taiwanese things in San Gabriel Valley. Jin Tea from Pasadena and Huge Tree – Taiwanese breakfast – from Monterey Park.
My first workspace find: the Pasadena Central Library. Lovely architecture, free parking for three hours, and a beautiful courtyard too! Also love that they have a little bookshop where they sell books to benefit the library.
Next, in Chinatown, Steep Tea Room.
Then I spent the afternoon in the Arts District, working from Hauser & Wirth’s outdoor space. They have huge art galleries with rotating exhibits and restaurants and shops within the old warehouse space.
A little garden space too.
One of the best things about my job: work from anywhere.
Lots of cute shops nearby.
Dinner with friends at Nightshade, a modern Chinese restaurant helmed by chef Mei Lin.
The reservation system was dismal and the hostess was not at all helpful. But at least the food and our server were wonderful!
Library number two! The Los Angeles Public Library Central Library. I read an entire book about this library (The Library Book) so it was fun to see it in real life. I’d only passed it and seen it from the outside previously.
Beautiful rotunda inside the library.
And I signed up for a library card too! My fourth one. Mostly because I needed it in order to validate my parking. Have I mentioned that I love libraries?
Next stop: Little Tokyo. Here’s the Poketo shop there.
Sushi lunch with Kev and Honeymee for dessert.
Next, I visited LA’s City Hall. It’s no San Francisco City Hall, but they do have a small rotunda on the third floor and a great observation deck on the 27th floor.
The view from the observation deck! Free!
And I personally love the arcades on the Spring St. side of the building. So pretty!
Next, a visit to The Row in DTLA. So many great design details in this modern rendition of a shopping mall.
LA’s Tartine Manufactory is fancier than our San Francisco one. It includes different food market areas and a whole gourmet shop in addition to the tartine restaurant, pastries, and breads.
Another Poketo store!
Then I squeezed in a little trip up to the Altadena Farmer’s Market. Hooray for fall!
And we had Savoy Hainan Chicken for dinner with a whole lot of kids (7) and fewer grownups (6) at Kevin and Jenny’s house.
This chicken doesn’t look like much but it’s so, so flavorful. I get it every single time.
Another round of Jin Tea. Butterfly pea leaf lemonade. So fancy. And lunch al fresco at Fiore Market Cafe, also a great work space. I love their rare roast beef sandwich, although I got their steak sandwich special this time.
And last but not least, I visited the Arlington Gardens in Pasadena! So lovely… and also free! Thanks for the recommendation, Margaret.
Short but so sweet. Hope to see you all again soon!
Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco but available to travel worldwide. She believes in meaningful gatherings and everyday adventures. View her work at annawu.com, follow her on instagram, and contact her to book your own session today.