After living in Los Angeles for almost 10 years, Billy and I said goodbye to the city we instantly fell in love with. This past July, as we flew back to New England to spend the summer with my family, we knew there was a chance we wouldn’t be returning to L.A. (at least not for a while). The decision to leave wasn’t one that either of us took lightly. We went back and forth, discussing the pros and cons of leaving Los Angeles and moving to New York City.
How we came to our decision to move to New York City
It all began on the first trip we took together to New York City in 2016. Both of us fell in love with the city and we made it a yearly thing; spending the days leading up to my Birthday and Christmas Eve in New York. During each visit, we’d talk about how we would love to live there someday. Each year, our time spent in the city became a little longer than the previous years, and it was harder to say goodbye. However, neither of us were ready to leave the palm tree-lined streets with the most stunning sunsets, so we discussed the possibility of moving there in the future. After last year’s vacation, something changed, and we both knew that we were ready for New York. We decided that we would stay in L.A another year and relocate after our lease was up in February 2021. Then Covid happened. Instead of waiting until then, we broke our lease a few weeks ago and we’ve been staying at my parents’ beach house in Connecticut while we look for an apartment.
Why I moved to L.A
When I first moved to Los Angeles, I was 27 years old, and I was looking to escape the small town where I grew up. For someone obsessed with fashion and wanting to work in a fashion-related field, Western Massachusetts wasn’t the place to live. I wanted to experience living in a city with people from all walks of life, a place filled with beauty and a place that counted more days of sunshine than anywhere else. I couldn’t wait to listen to live music and discover new concert venues, dine at the hippest eateries, and shop at some of the most well-known shopping destinations in the world. I packed my suitcases, moved to Santa Monica and never looked back. I spent the next four years living on The Westside. I’d spend my day’s at The Promenade and Abbot Kinney, and laying out at Paradise Cove and Venice Beach. I’d visit West Hollywood and hit up the historic Rainbow Bar and Grill, Whisky a Go Go, and The Roxy. While I was residing in Santa Monica, I attended Santa Monica College and one of the classes I took was Public Relations. This inspired me to want to do something in the fast-paced world of Fashion PR. I then made the move from Santa Monica to Downtown LA where I could live close to the fashion district.
Working in the fashion industry
As soon as I moved there, I began working in the fashion district. My first position was an assistant account manager at a showroom. My job was to get stores and boutiques to carry the various designers lines that the showroom represented. Some of these were Camilla, Pitsua, and Ultra Core. Later on, I transitioned into working with celebrity stylists at a fashion PR showroom down the street. The goal of any designer is to have their clothing photographed or seen on a celebrity. My job had many facets, but the most important was assisting the stylists that came in and helping them pull pieces for their clients to wear. They would wear them at red carpet events, photoshoots, movie premieres, and music videos. The showroom carried a wide-range of designers like Rodolfo Quinones, Jewelry Bar USA, Olga Pastyrnak, Patty Ang, Joey Galon, and Glamarella. This was an all day, on your feet, fast-paced job that I had always wanted. Before I moved to L.A. I closely followed MTV’s The Hills and The City and I envied L.C., Whitney, and Olivia’s jobs in fashion PR. This was what inspired me to want to work at a PR firm, and years later I made it a reality. A few years later I wanted to try something new. I quit my job and began blogging full time. It was a risky move, but one that was beyond rewarding. I started A Girl in LA in 2016 and four years later, I enjoy it more and more each day.
Billy and Me + our love of DTLA
As I was living in DTLA, I met Billy through mutual friends who lived in the same building. Some of my earliest memories together were Friday nights spent at a club or bar watching Billy DJ. Then there were the evenings spent at our friend’s apartment ordering pizza and watching movies. When I moved into the building, I lived on the 7th floor and later on Billy joined me. Once the lease was up, we stayed at the same complex but upgraded to the 15th floor. This apartment felt like home right away. As soon as we entered we were met with unparalleled views of DTLA and could see the Staples Center from our bedroom. When I think of what I’ll miss most about downtown, it will be apartment 1534. Not just for the sparkling display of the Los Angeles skyline, but for the memories Billy and I shared there. We entertained our friends for our annual Fourth of July party and celebrated our Thanksgiving and Billy’s Birthday by getting takeout and desserts from Bottega Louie. It was a place of refuge from the at times chaotic world around us. This is where we spent months on lockdown. Every evening at 8pm we interacted with our neighbors and supported healthcare workers by cheering from our balconies. Over the years the rooftop pool became my second home and I’d spend my afternoons reading, writing or going for a swim while appreciating the amazing views.
A few memories that standout
I can’t possibly sum up into one post everything that I will miss about L.A. In the future I’m going to share some of my most cherished memories but until then, when I look back over the past nine and half years, some things that stand out are weekend visits to The Broad museum, trying tasty food at Smorgasburg LA or dining at two of my favorite vegan restaurants, Cafe Gratitude and Monty’s Good Burger. I would look forward to date nights and gnocchi from The Stinking Rose or having dinner followed by drinks and dancing at Beauty and Essex. Sundays were spent seeing a movie at L.A. Live or attending a Lakers game courtside. On top of my favorite memories, I’m going to miss the people I’ve met along the way that I now call friends. Los Angeles has given me so much and I’m going to miss everything about it.
The future of A Girl in L.A.
When I created A Girl in LA back in 2016, I did so with the intention of never leaving Los Angeles. Before I made the decision to move, I spent days upon days thinking of how I would transition my lifestyle blog from writing about Los Angeles to New York City and how I would go about changing the name since it’s synonymous with Los Angeles living. Soon, when you type *agirlinla.com* you will be redirected to *agirlinnyc.com*. A Girl in NYC will still feature aspects of Los Angeles and I’m happy to say that when I asked Gina to stay on and continue creating her intriguing content from L.A. she graciously accepted.
Beginning a new chapter
I have no idea what the future holds and I may even move back at some point, but right now, I’m ready to start this new chapter with Billy. When I look back on when I moved to Los Angeles and remember how excited I was to experience a metropolis where everything was so unfamiliar to me, I realize that I have that same feeling now for a new start in New York. Last week we came here for a few days to scope out apartments and didn’t have any luck, so we came back a couple days later to continue our search. As I write this post, I’m sitting in our hotel room which overlooks the city and the rain is pouring down; I’m falling even more in love with NYC. To sum it all up, 2020 has been an insane year (so far) and it’s taught me a lot. It’s taught me just because you love something, don’t let that get in the way of trying something new.
For more fun things to do and see, check out my guide to LA—Part 1: Where to Sleep, Sip, and Shop, and Part 2: Where to Dine, Sightsee, Workout, and Get Pampered.
*Update: after looking all over Manhattan, today we signed our lease on a one bedroom in the Upper East Side (Lenox Hill to be exact). After we get our stuff shipped from Los Angeles we’ll officially move in!