Giants

Spoiler alert. If you haven’t watched Giants, please stop here. If you claim to be a supporter of Issa Rae and haven’t seen it, I’m disappointed in you but still, stop here, go watch and donate.

Giants is a YouTube series created by James Bland, that follows a group of friends that are dealing with life’s pressures. The show is set in Los Angeles, California. The characters include Malachi, Journee and Ade. Malachi is a 29 year old black male struggling to pursue passions while trying to avoid a divine calling on his life that he hasn’t quite figured out yet. In Season 1, he finds himself becoming a male escort, getting evicted, moving in with his friend Ade and having the purpose of his dreams about running, drowning and being kidnapped revealed to him by a random stranger at the bus stop.

Journee is a 29 year old black female suffering from manic depression which has taken complete control of her life. The depression has caused her to lose her job and even spend days in bed crying and vomiting. She and Malachi were sharing living spaces prior to the eviction. She then moves in with her sister but the depression forces her sister to put her out, sending her to crash with Malachi and Ade. Journee meets a guy on Tinder but the relationship doesn’t last long as he and his ex patch things up, sending her into a deeper depression. Season 1 ends with Journee attempting suicide.

Ade is the friend of both Malachi and Journee. Currently a dance teacher, Ade struggles with accepting his own sexuality and the strained relationship that he has with his father because of it and his career choices. Ade allows Malachi and Journee to move in after they are evicted but quickly learns that there are boundaries that need to be established. Ade also has issues at work after showing interest in one of his female colleagues but accidentally invites her to a gay party.

Crazy right! But now that you are up to speed, let’s talk about Season 2.

Malachi expands his escort business with new employees and the employee gets arrested.

Journee gets a new job and robs the guy that robs Malachi.

Turns out Journee’s “Tinder bae” and his girlfriend live in her building.

Ade meets a guy- Kwasi but has to face the facts that he has feelings for Malachi.

Malachi does coke and puts everything he values on the line at his surprise birthday party.

The guy that Journee robbed to avenge Malachi kidnaps Journee.

And that ain’t even the half. But hey. Don’t just take my word for it. Click the link below to watch Seasons 1 and 2.

 

To Live and Die in LA

This was the first vacation/baecation of 2018. What better way to bring in birthday twenty eight than in the city of angels. It also gave me the idea to start detailing the logistical sides of my travels. Traveling is more affordable than most people think if you simply plan ahead. So before I get into the details, here are some of the receipts.

Airbnb: $550 for 5 nights in downtown LA

Rental Car: Enterprise $300 (we rented a 2018 Challenger)

Roundtrip Flights: $538 from ATL to LAX with no layovers (it was much cheaper to drive to ATL than pay for airport parking)

Parking: varied

Food: varied

Now that the receipts are out of the way, here’s the good stuff.

Day 1

We hopped off the plane at LAX…..picked up the rental and checked into the Airbnb. Our studio was just enough for the two of us with our basic necessities, bed, shower and location. It was ten minutes from downtown and roughly thirty minutes from everything else. We also received a complimentary bottle of wine to celebrate my birthday.

Night 1

Dinner at Perch

This was my surprise and man was I impressed. Chris already had our reservations made. I’m always giddy to get dolled up but honestly I’m more excited to see Chris in a suit. Fashion Nova got me squared away.

Everything about Perch was breathtaking. This was my very first dinner on a rooftop. Everyone from the hostesses to our waiter chimed in on the birthday love.

Day 2

We had breakfast at a “hidden gem” (per Yelp reviews) spot only after getting lost. GPS doesn’t do well for locations on the rooftops of other buildings.

Now why we decided to was the streets of La Cienega and Melrose after eating a large breakfast, I’ll never know, but we did. We walked for about three hours. We ran into a wonderful gentleman named Richard that gave us a few pointers on places to go. It turned out that he has family that roots here in Shelby NC. If that wasn’t random enough, we also ran into a group of fellas that live in Raleigh. It never fails. There is someone connected to North Carolina every damn where.

The vibes of the sales folks on the strip were so chill. The scent of Mary Jane was all in the air. I think my feet fell off in one of the consignment shops. Speaking of consignment shops, the designer ones left me feeling some type of way. I’m not a designer person so Chris had to explain the significance of a $140 Ferragamo belt and a $300 pair of Louboutin sneakers.

After we found our way (and our feet) back to the car, we drove down Rodeo drive and past all the mansions in Beverly Hills. TV also does these places NO justice.

Night 2

All that walking wore us out so we ended up going back to the room and crashing. No dinner. No nada. It also had a lot to do with us still functioning on East Coast time.

Day 3

We linked up with Mama Tess in Santa Monica.

I felt like one of the kids! She treated us to breakfast at Café Crepes. We went to the farmers market, shops, juice bar and her favorite consignment store. She pointed us in the direction of the Santa Monica Pier and resumed with her weekend.

We hit the beach and rode bikes on the pier for four miles. That bike and my tailbone were not a good combo.

We also hit the fair and experienced our first time on a ferris wheel…….

and had the best burger ever at Pier Burger…..

and then we crashed. Tha beach wore us the hell out.

Night 3

Sleep.

Day 4

Runyon Canyon Park.

Unfortunately we didn’t stretch or train to make this hike. Guess who found out Chris is actually afraid of heights? Guess who isn’t afraid of heights but got jello legs all of a sudden? Any misstep and whoops, there goes your body tumbling down the side of the mountain. The trails were packed with hiker, runners and dogs. I was just happy to get back on solid ground where I wasn’t risking death with every step.

The second part of the day consisted of meeting up with Richard. He invited us into his home, met his lovely wife and then he treated us to the best soul food join in Inglewood- Dulans Soul Food Kitchen. Y’all that plate was ridiculous and by far the best soul food I’ve ever had in my entire life.

He also gave us a tour of landmarks like Magic Johnson’s strip, the spot where Biggie got killed, the studio where The Price is Right is filmed, Paramount Studios and most importantly we got the chance to see the Hollywood stars! One day I’ll have my name on one. I’m claiming it.

Night 4

Sleep.

Day 5

We kicked it in the room for the bulk of the day until we rode out to Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles then spent the rest of the evening Netflix and chillin. It’s safe to say that the West Coast wore us out. We visited everything that we could think of.

The next morning we were up and at em to drop off the rental and hit the airport

*breathes sigh of relief

I did my best to enjoy LA and write at the same time. These words barely scratch the surface on how beautiful and rich in culture that the city is. Go experience it for yourself.

See the list below of some of the business we visited.
Perch

448 S Hill St

Los Angeles, CA 90013

Bistro on the Boulevard

3424 Wilshire Blvd

Los Angeles CA 90010

Wasteland

7428 Melrose Ave

Los Angeles CA 90046

The Marathon Clothing

3420 W Slauson Ave Unit F

Los Angeles CA 90043

Café Crepe

1460 3rd Street Promenade

Santa Monica, CA 90401

Santa Monica Pier/Pier Burger

200 Santa Monica Pier

Santa Monica CA 90401

Runyon Canyon Park

200 N Fuller Ave

Los Angeles CA 90046

Dulans Soul Food Kitchen

202 E Manchester Blvd

Inglewood CA 90301

Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles

1514 N Gower St

Los Angeles CA 90028