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What I Miss (and Don’t Miss) about Los Angeles

Southern California is often touted as a place with impossibly gorgeous people, wonderful beaches, and an all-year temperate climate… but it’s also what I consider home! Although I’ve traveled to many places outside of my home state and the country before, living on the East Coast for university is much more different.

As I prepare to fly home for the holidays, here are a few things I miss about SoCal and Los Angeles, and a few other things I’ve come to appreciate since coming to the East Coast.

What I Miss about Los Angeles

The Beach

Growing up 15 – 20 minutes from Redondo Beach, I personally found it a struggle to learn that the nearest beach in this area would be about an hour away. Although I’ve gotten used to it (Penn’s Landing is not really the same), I am excited to hear the sounds of waves crashing, children playing, and being able to order delicious food from the pier.

Fresh Seafood

With its close proximity to the Pacific Ocean, it means that any kind of seafood you order from a restaurant will be made-to-order because it was caught that day. Chowder Barge and the San Pedro Fish Market are places I find myself randomly craving the most, and there’s something idyllic about having a meal while staring at lots of docked yachts in a marina or even the sea itself.

Regional Grocery Stores/Food Places

For all of you Southern California readers – Ralph’s, Jack in the Box, In-N-Out, and Krispy Kreme are not very big in this part of Philadelphia. Instead, they are out of the way to access (as in Krispy Kreme’s place), replaced by other regional variants (Acme, Giant), or do not exist at all. It’s hard to resist wanting an In-N -Out Double-Double and Animal Style Fries, and even worse when your copycat recipe just doesn’t live up to its standards, or when Acme or Giant don’t have the ingredients you need when you know Ralph’s would.

Dunkin’ Donuts seems to be the norm here, and while that’s okay, sometimes you just want an original glazed from Krispy Kreme, complete with the hot light turned on.

Celebrity hotspots

Although this isn’t something that is a common experience for me as I grew up in LA’s suburbs, seeing celebrities or knowing you just ate at a celebrity’s go-to restaurant is a treat! I saw Kanye West and Kim Kardashian a few years ago while I was dining at Nobu Malibu for my sister’s birthday, and have been to a few places in Downtown or Beverly Hills that were famous for celebrity sightings.

What I Like About Philadelphia

Cold Weather

Real seasons in Southern California aren’t really a thing – it’s constantly either in the mid-50s to high 70s, even going upstate fixes that with a colder climate and leaves changing colors. In Philadelphia, though, I get the range of temperatures and seasons, especially as it sinks to 30 degrees sometimes at night. Rain is a lot more prevalent here too, which is something I absolutely love to hear as I drift off to sleep.

Public Transport

Let’s face it, public transportation in Los Angeles sucks, and it doesn’t help that the place is imbued in car culture (bumper-to-bumper traffic on the 405, anyone?). Philadelphia’s SEPTA system is great for those without a car because there are bus stops literally everywhere; even a few people I know just go on transit because they didn’t want to drive. It’s especially convenient as one of the stops for the Route 32 bus that takes you to Center City is right outside of campus, making exploring the city that much easier.

Cheesesteaks and Other Regional Food

Truth be told, I didn’t care much for cheesesteaks or hoagies until I came here, and now I wouldn’t turn them down if they were offered to me! Although I’ve yet to have things like water ice or understand why Old Bay seasoning is put on everything, I’m certainly excited to try it one day – and maybe eat some lobster rolls while I’m at it.

A New Experience

Overall, coming to Philadelphia from Los Angeles (a literal coast-to-coast trip!) is a great experience and definitely was a way to get out of my comfort zone. I’ve met friends who have patiently answered all my questions and made things I’ve never thought of seem normal. If any of you are able to not just travel but live in a different part of the country, I’d highly recommend it – it gives you an expanded worldview and perspective on things, and I wouldn’t change it for anything else.

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Kamille Mosqueda

Jefferson '23

Kamille is a third-year Psychology major and Communication minor at Thomas Jefferson University. She enjoys books, shows, baking/cooking, and video games. In her spare time, she likes to work out and wishes she could have a cat.
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