My Younger Brother’s 19th Birthday,
And All the Culture in LA

Over the weekend, I visited my little brother in the Valley for his 19th birthday. He lives in Reseda, a city in the 818 area code. I drove an hour and a half up freeway 60 before hopping onto the 101 northbound for twenty minutes to reach my exit. I hate traffic in LA, but I love the area.

I drove up Friday evening, after I went to the gym and took a nap. I knew I wouldn’t be working out when I got to my dad’s house, mostly because I don’t know of a place I could go to lift weights, so I decided to get in a short jump rope session before leaving Menifee.

At my dad’s, I usually just hang out around the house, watching movies that I stream from my dad’s Amazon Firestick, or I catch up on HBO and Showtime television series like Game of Thrones and Silicon Valley. Other than watch movies, I napped pretty much most of the weekend.

I brought my juicer to introduce my stepmom to juicing. She’s been trying to get healthier, along with helping my younger brother get healthier, so I thought I could introduce her to juicing. Juicing has helped me feel a lot better; it’s definitely helped to clear my acne—and I’ve heard over and over that the epidermis, or the skin, is a direct indicator of an individual’s health. If the skin is glowing and thriving, then the rest of the body should be working pretty well too. I made a green juice for them.img_1811

On Saturday, I took my brother out for breakfast. We hopped into my white civic and drove a few miles over to Ninong’s Pastries and Café. My brother ordered ube pancakes and I ordered grilled cheese French toast drizzled with ube sauce and topped with powdered sugar and almonds. Both dishes were delicious. Altogether, including a 15 percent tip, I paid less than 20 dollars. There was so much food that I took home leftovers to my dad and stepmom. The waitress there even awarded us with complementary desserts for having us switch tables.

That same evening, my dad, my step mom, my brother, my auntie, and I all ate at the Korean Tofu house a couple blocks from my dad’s house. I ordered the vegetable bibimbap, which came out exactly how I had imagined—steaming hot vegetables topping a heap of crispy rice lining the cast-iron bowl. Along with the main course, they served me spicy tofu soup, which had tofu resembling the consistency of eggs. Needless to say, I devoured everything within arms reach.

I love the culture in LA. I love the food, the people, and almost everything about the entire city. While I hate the traffic—I kind wish everyone drove mini scooters, road bikes, or took public transit—the pros of LA outweigh the cons. I really love LA County. Even though I don’t live in the heart of the city, it’s the culture that I’ve come to appreciate.

My next trip is going to be to San Diego.