Beautiful Things in Southern California.
I would never really cheat on New York, but California is just such a beautiful, diverse and laid-back state that I can't help admitting it has potential to become my big love. Places such as Los Angeles and Santa Monica, Santa Barbara and Palm Springs (except in summer, of course) are simply lovely for different reasons. Palm trees, the pacific ocean, the desert or the mountains - wherever you go, there's this splendid nature. Also the architecture, ranging from Spanish Colonial to mid-century style, is just gorgeous to look at. Fresh fish, aromatic fruits and vegetables, really good coffee at many places - even culinary wise aficionados get their money's worth in the sunshine state. Some impressions:
Microcosm with skaters, homeless, bodybuilders, tourists, youngsters and hipsters, a broad beach, little food shacks, trashy souvenir and casual fashion stores characterize the picture. Tipp: Have a delicious and fresh snack at Poke Poke, e.g. the Ahi Tuna Dish Hawaiian style.
Palm Springs is all about Sun, Palm Trees, Mountains and pretty architecture. A nice lunch place with organic dishes and local food is Lulu on South Palm Canyon Drive, just look out for the for pastel coloured lettering and the air conditioned terrace along the sidewalk:
Santa Barbara feels like the American version of Spain ... Walking State Street, hanging out at the beach or having a really good coffee at French Press are just some things to do: