The final part of my trip brought me to Los Angeles — sunny, hot, palm trees, and all the fabric you could possibly want.
I took the world’s lowest Megabus from Las Vegas to LA, managing to whack my head on the roof of the top deck about five times before we even took off. I’m not even that tall! I mean, I’m a little bit tall, but … anyhoo. I love riding top deck on Megabus, and it allowed me to get a great view of the desert. I am a New England girl, so seeing the desert was the whole point of taking that bus ride. It was amazing!!!! I loved the desert.
Desert turned to mountains — which I also loved — which turned to cities, and then LA itself. Ebi in LA! I’d been thinking about going to LA for a few years now, because of the garment district and the fashion/sewing classes at various SoCal community colleges, but had been too chicken to actually go. So arriving in LA was a humongous personal step.
Lodging-wise, LA is expensive. And I’m cheap. Naturally, that meant that the AirBnb that my cheap self booked turned out to be kind of a flophouse. Oops. So I’m 3000 miles from home, and I have no place to stay. Thank goodness I budgeted a fairly large cushion into my trip: I absolutely needed it to navigate LA. I found a merely decent hotel that cost $175 a night…in contrast, two nights in my nicer Las Vegas hotel cost only $165 in total. Also, sales tax in LA is almost 10%. Owwie! And then there was fabric shopping…
The fabric district there had everything you’d need to sew privately for yourself or publicly as a business, from bits to repair your machine to notions to add pizzazz to your garments. And there were a ton of wholesale/low cost fabric options, which was very unlike New York City’s garment district. I felt that LA’s GD is actually probably smaller than that of New York, but the climate allows store owners to put their wares on the street so it looks like more (everything in New York is inside the myriad tiny stores).
I walked almost the entire district before getting cash to make purchases. Giving all my options an exhaustive review is my technique for avoiding impulse purchases and staying within my budget. Happily, I only went $10 over my fabric budget, and that was entirely to buy some fabrics to make my friend a skirt, so it doesn’t count. :) I ended up shopping at only three fabric stores and one awesome notions store, Golden Cutting & Sewing Supplies. Check’em out!
Before I left LA, I absolutely had to go to the beach. A co-worker had told me about Santa Monica Pier, so I hopped some buses and got there with ease. Santa Monica Pier was a blast! There’s a little amusement park there, plus little shops, a small restaurant, and of course the beach itself. I was rather naively surprised to see there was only one pier; I’d thought Santa Monica was a port of some kind, and that there would be many. Oh, and Route 66 ends at Santa Monica Pier. I really enjoyed my time at the pier!
But all good things come to an end, so I hopped another bus back toward my hotel. It took almost two hours to for the journey, but I got to see Beverly Hills (nice) and Hollywood (dumpy) as we passed through. I hung out with a friend after checking out some tattoo shops in the Silver Lake area, and then very reluctantly dragged myself back to my hotel and the airport for my flight home. I’m so, so glad I made it to LA, and really recommend visiting it if you’re in the area.