Welcome to Los Angeles, California
Graduate Student Edition

Los Angeles, the second largest U.S. city has a lot to offer. The 2022 Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Social Problems could not have chosen a better time to come to Los Angeles. Pre-pandemic, Los Angeles was already seeing lots of infrastructural changes due to then planned Super Bowl (held February 2022) and the future Summer Olympics (2028). Attendees of this year’s meeting will benefit from some of those changes already put in place. One of those changes include a better-connected public transportation system. To plan your outings, visit Metro.

Here, we focus on some options beyond those mentioned in the larger Welcome to the City post.

Photo: Grand Central Market

Downtown Los Angeles
Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA), where the host Omni Los Angeles Hotel at California Plaza is located, offers a lot of daytime and nighttime options. DTLA offers literally dozens of food options. Some local downtown favorites (and L.A. landmarks) include the Original Pantry Cafe, Philippe (The Original French Dip), and Grand Central Market. For more upscale fare, we suggest Redbird and Perch. Reservations are recommended for either of these two. You’re guaranteed a good time at either of two of DTLA’s more popular night spots: Exchange LA and The Association. Precinct has quickly become a popular gay bar in DTLA.

Outside of DTLA
Popular areas with vibrant day and night life include the Melrose District (Melrose Blvd), Hollywood (Cahuenga Blvd), Los Feliz (Vermont Blvd), Silverlake (Santa Monica and Sunset Blvds), Old Town Pasadena (Colorado Blvd), Culver City (Washington Blvd), and Long Beach (Pine Street and the Pike). Each offers several food and shopping options within walking distance of each other.

For laughs, catch a set at the Comedy Store or the Laugh Factory. Popular nightclubs include the Room and Next Door Lounge Hollywood.

Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood (called WeHo by locals) is the center of LGBTQ+ life in Los Angeles (although it’s not the only area with LGBTQ+ life). Saturday or Sunday brunch at the Abbey is a must. Grab a drink at Micky's or Trunks (or any of the many bars and clubs within walking distance of each other).

A visit to Los Angeles seems incomplete without a visit to one of the many clubs or restaurants on the Sunset Strip (called “the Strip” for short). For an even deeper experience, catch a band at one of the many music venues on the Strip: Rainbow Room, The Roxy Theatre, or Troubadour, or Whisky a Go Go.

Photo: Runyon Canyon Park

Los Angeles seems too many to be the vegan capital of the world. As such, the city is not lacking in vegan options. Three to highlight are Simply Wholesome, Flore Vegan, and Gracias Madre.

Los Angeles has a lot of hikes and trails to choose from. For the best view of the Hollywood Sign, we suggest a hike in Runyon Canyon Park. Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook Trail offers a breathtaking view of the city. You will feel accomplished after conquering the Santa Monica Stairs.

A visit to the West Coast would not be complete without a visit to the Pacific Ocean (the beach!). Will Rogers State Beach (in Santa Monica) and Dockweiler State Beach (in Playa Del Rey) are two of the more popular beaches. Malibu is the northern most Los Angeles County beach area and worth the drive. Malibu also offers several wine tasting venues including Rosenthal – the Malibu Estate – Tasting Room and Vineyard.

For sports enthusiasts, the Los Angeles Dodgers will be hosting the San Diego Padres August 5 – 7.

S. Carlos Royal
Marymount California University
Local Arrangements Committee, 2021-2022