Through the Lens: photos from September

del-rey

I learned two very important things this week.

The first: Never feel guilty about taking some necessary time off. (Letting go of the guilt of not blogging feels really good, it turns out.) The second: Never say you haven’t been sick in a while. (Your throat will feel sore the very next day.)

September was an intense month all around. Not only did I get back in full-swing at school, but L.A. had temps in the 90s and 100s much of the time. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from September in photos, starting with a visit to Playa del Rey.

water playa boats

The yacht below came chugging into the marina with music blasting and people partying. Its name? “Wet Dream.” Stay classy.

wet-dream seagullburied-boat

I also went back to the Arts District to check out a funky flea market with tons of talented artists and vendors. I was easily distracted by murals and puppies.

arts-districtbootsflea-market corgi

Last week, John and I flew home to the East Coast for his brother’s wedding, and we had a blast partying and staying up too late, hence my feeling under the weather. I didn’t get any photos of the wedding that weren’t blurry—mostly, I just enjoyed myself. (It’s pretty sweet being the best man’s date—V.I.P. treatment!) But I did manage to snap a couple of shots in Annapolis and Baltimore. Going home twice in two months was a nice change of pace from my last eight-month stretch. If I could keep up this new track record, living far away from family wouldn’t seem so bad.

belvedere-square annapolisProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

This week, I’m trying to take it easy and shake off this bug. I’ve been reading a lot lately, managing not to kill my basil plant and thinking a lot about spring. I’ll only have a handful of credits left to take for school, so my mind is on employment. (Whoa.)

I’ll be doing more of the same in October, which also happens to be my birthday month. I’ll be turning 25 in a couple of weeks, so I’m deciding what I’d like to do to celebrate. Any suggestions?

That’s all for today—I’ll be less scarce in the next couple of weeks. What are you looking forward to in October?

Through the lens: photos from April

LACMA

In case you hadn’t noticed, a third of 2014 has already flown by.

I know. I’m wondering where time went, too. But as usual, I’ve documented the past several weeks so I can remember where the heck I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. As usual, it was a busy month!

Silver Lake art

Red Lion Tavern

My second semester and first year of grad school wrapped up yesterday—all that’s left is turning in final projects. (I better stop procrastinating.) I did some much-needed bonding with a few of my classmates who have become really good friends over the past few months. I’m so lucky to have met all these talented, wonderful people. Above is a shot from the Red Lion Tavern here in Silver Lake, which I’ve been wanting to visit since I moved here. The beer garden was awesome.

Venice beach boardwalk

Venice beach boardwalk

Venice beach boardwalk

Venice Beach

Above, a super windy day at Venice Beach. Below, the old and long-defunct Griffith Park Zoo (those cages were straight-up animal prisons).

Old Griffith Park Zoo caution tape Old Griffith Park Zoo Griffith Park

baby rattlesnake

While exploring Griffith Park and jumping from rock to rock, I almost stepped on this baby rattlesnake. Cute, right?

Calabasas

DTLA arts district DTLA arts district

And I fell a little more in love with the Arts District downtown when Rachel and I met up for the latest edition of Beer with a Blogger.

Now that it’s May, I’m looking forward to finding out how the rest of my summer is going to pan out. I have a few job prospects up in the air, plus I’m taking a summer class and hoping to do a little traveling when I can. (A weekend camping trip to Joshua Tree National Park is in the works!)

What were your April highlights? And what are you looking forward to in May?

Beer with a Blogger: Angel City Brewery in DTLA

There’s something very special about blog-friends-turned-real-life-friends.

When you’ve been following each other’s blogs for months (or even years!) and finally meet for the first time, it can be so surreal, because even though you’ve exchanged dozens of comments, read about their most personal experiences and seen plenty of pictures of them, it’s still strange at first that they’re actual people with voices and stuff. It’s also bizarre how totally normal it is to meet them and, like with old friends, have a million things to talk about.

Which is exactly what it was like meeting Rachel for the first time last summer.

Rachel of Existation

THE BLOGGER

Rachel Jackson, the photographer, writer and adventurer behind Existation. This Minnesota lady moved to Los Angeles in 2011 to pursue her California dream (something that instantly attracted me to her blog, since I had dreams and plans of doing the very same). Now, she and her boyfriend Toby live in West Hollywood and explore the great state of California whenever they get the chance. (Check out her photos of Joshua Tree and June Lake, and you’ll want to move out here, too.) What I love about Rachel is how warm, inviting and open she is. Must be that Midwestern charm. Follow Rachel on Instagram and Twitter.

Angel City Brewery

THE BAR

Angel City Brewery in the Arts District of downtown Los Angeles. This might just be my new favorite spot. The vibe is very industrial/casual/chic in this bowling alley-sized warehouse, where dogs are welcome and the bartenders are friendly. Angel City opened up almost a year ago exactly and doesn’t serve food, but it regularly welcomes food trucks to its parking lot. Live music, darts and regular run + yoga + beer events make it the perfect neighborhood spot, and quite frankly, I’m a bit jealous of everyone who lives within walking distance of this place. (There are so many other great spots in this part of downtown, too.)

THE BEER

An Angeleno IPA for me and a Mexican Cola Beer for Rachel—this one seemed to be a hit among the other patrons, too. All imbibed beverages brewed in-house, of course.

Angel City Brewery Angel City Brewerygerman shepherd puppy

Every time Rachel and I get together, the conversation flows naturally, and we end up chatting about so many different things. Namely, all the adventures we want to take, our anxieties and excitement about the future, creative outlets and inspiration, and the paths that have led us to where we are now. It always makes for good, much-needed girl talk.

Oh, and the brewery is just around the corner from the building where Jess and the boys from New Girl live, so of course we had to get a picture.

New Girl building

Real-life friend status even further solidified and a love for Angel City Brewery established. Good times.

Cassie and Rachel

Are you a blogger living in (or visiting!) L.A.? Do you like beer? Shoot me an email at wittycassiehere (at) gmail (dot) com, and let’s go to happy hour!

Found in L.A.: Brewery Art Walk

Brewert Art Walk

Last weekend, John and I ventured to the Arts District downtown to check out the twice-yearly Brewery Art Walk at the old Pabst Blue Ribbon brewery. The complex is one of the largest artists-in-residence communities in the world, and more than 100 artists open up their home studios for people to walk through and get an intimate glimpse of their lives—fun for those of us who like to see how these uber-creative types live and work. Best of all, the event is free.

Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk

All kinds of artists live there—photographers, painters, sculptors, and mixed media artists. Some of the art was cool—and some of it sparked a discussion about how art is subjective anyway—but the neatest part about it was checking out the sweet lofts and the architecture of the buildings in general. Who wouldn’t want to live in a converted industrial space with giant, gorgeous windows and tall ceilings? It felt a little strange slinking in and photographing strangers’ homes while they chatted with other guests in the kitchen. You could tell some people cleaned up before they opened their doors to the world, while others still had dirty dishes in the sink.

Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk

The atmosphere was casual and festive, and it felt like one massive house party. People were walking around with their dogs, there was food and beer (some people even brought their own), and the weather was perfect.

Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk

The rooftop was pretty special, too. You could see all the way downtown and all the way to the mountains. Gotta love those clear days in Los Angeles.

Brewert Art Walk Brewert Art Walk

 

The exploration of a new city continues! I love how it’s impossible to be bored here, and you don’t have to spend a lot (or sometimes any) money to have fun. The next art walk will be in the spring, and I’ll be bringing my own six-pack.