How to Keep Your Inner East Coast While Living On The West Coast

I am a Massachusetts woman born and bred. I would literally throw myself in front of 10 buses for Tom Brady and I honestly believe that Starbucks does not even come close to Dunkin’ Donuts. My freshman year of college, I had a lot of trouble adjusting to the LA lifestyle; I seriously could not get over the fact that everyone had their parkas on when it was 60 degrees outside. As I tried to embrace LA and all of its quirks, I also realized that if I was going to be here for four years, I would need to find a way to bring all the things I love about the East Coast to the West Coast. 

First step, I needed to find a place to cheer on my beloved Patriots. I came from a high school where more than half of the student body skipped school the day of the 2017 Patriots Super Bowl Parade, so supporting the Patriots was less of a want, and more of a need. It was so confusing to me that no one in LA seemed to care about their sports teams, and I certainly was not going to let myself become one of those people. Luckily for me, my sister had already been living in LA for a few years before I got here, so she had already found the best Boston bars where everyone shares the same deep (maybe somewhat concerning) love for TB12. 

Sonny Mclean’s and The Garage, you have both provided me a safe place to wear my Patriots gear and openly preach my love for Edelman, Gronk, and of course the GOAT, Tom Brady. Every time I am in either of these places, it truly feels as though I have transported myself to the East Coast for the duration of whatever game is on, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Coping with the lack of seasons in LA was also unexpectedly hard. My East Coast friends will constantly text me about how jealous they are that it is still 75 degrees and sunny in Los Angeles even in November. And of course, while I do appreciate the sunshine, I find myself really missing the changing leaves and sweater weather that the East Coast gets every fall. So each fall I spend in LA, I do what I can to get some of my favorite fall activities in, though they may not always live up to East Coast standards. I have driven two plus hours to an apple orchard that had no apples in it. I have also driven 15 minutes to a pumpkin patch on the side of a major LA boulevard. Though definitely different from what I would get in the East Coast, a fall activity is what you make of it. LA has taught me you do not need the picture perfect backgrounds to enjoy fall. I have also learned that, while it may not be New England backroads, UCLA does take on a hint of fall that can be appreciated by all East Coast fall fanatics. 

But perhaps the biggest thing that makes the East Coast feel not so far away is the amazing friends I have made who share this East Coast bond. My first week at UCLA, I randomly met some weird people on the rooter bus going to the Rosebowl and those weirdos are now my roommates of two years. It is really comforting to have people that share my love for fall, understand the amazing feeling that is waking up to an email about a snow day, and can partake in the confusion about what is considered "parka weather" in LA (though secretly, I must admit, each time I return home I find myself a little bit softer when it comes to braving the cold). 

I feel super lucky to be in LA, but it is nice to know my Massachusetts Homesick Candle is not the only thing that I have to make the East Coast feel a whole lot closer than 3,000 miles away.