The other day my boss asked me to think about what my long-term salary goals were. I was a bit caught off guard by the question… or request, rather… because my immediate thought was “More, of course. Why would I want it to stop?” She admitted being perplexed when her boss asked her the same thing, but she ultimately took the time to think about it and understood where the request was coming from.

Until I have a deeper conversation with my boss, I can only assume there is a commercial angle behind it. And let me tell you, I’ve learned a thing or two about thinking commercially during the past couple years. As a manager, I had to take a bigger-picture approach to my thinking and decision-making. Sure, employee efficiency, productivity and morale are important, but it all needs to fit in with greater company goals.

paycheck-for-allNeedless to say, I definitely spent some time thinking about my boss’s request. I don’t necessarily associate myself with a dollar figure, or even a title for that matter. I’ve recently changed my career path – still undecided on whether it’s temporary or permanent ­– and my title with it. I had quite a struggle when tasked with coming up with my new title. After a conversation with the head of my department, though, she helped me realize that the title didn’t really matter. “I know titles are important in America, but it doesn’t really matter to me. To me you’re not ‘Lindsay the Editorial Manager’ or ‘Lindsay the Recruiting Coordinator’; you’re just Lindsay.” She not only put me at ease, but she also gave me a great compliment, confirming her belief in my abilities regardless of my title.

Title aside, I still have a hard time wrapping my head around what I’m worth in terms of dollars, especially the implication that it’s a set amount that doesn’t change or increase.

Back when I was a manager, the GM of our office at the time helped me understand the value of our employees. “People are hired to do their jobs well,” he said; they’re obviously not hired to do their jobs poorly or even to a mediocre level. As far as we’re concerned, the people we bring on board are agreeing to do their jobs well in return for a salary. That said, I was hired on the same premise: If I’m doing my job well, I deserve my salary – no more, no less. If I’m doing my job well, I’m not falling short and I’m not going above and beyond, I deserve my salary. At my performance review a year later, my boss would tell me “You’re doing your job well and performing to a level we expect from our employees.” The most I would expect in a pay raise would be a cost-of-living increase. I think that’s only fair for both parties. Ironically the cost of living increase for 2016 is basically zero, but generally it hovers at or below 2%.

I strive to do my job well, but I also like to challenge myself and feel as though I’m providing value to whatever it is I’m working on or whoever I’m working for. So going back to my boss’s question of what salary I’d like to be making, I’d still answer “More,” even if it’s simply the “more” equivalent to doing my job well. But considering my level of drive and perfection, I expect more from myself and would like to think that I’d be going above and beyond more than I would be performing just “well.” So in that case, I’d expect an annual raise higher than cost of living; an earned promotion might deserve something even a little higher.

As I found in my last position, there is a ceiling for growth: a ceiling for my responsibilities, a ceiling for my title and a ceiling for my salary. I get that some roles – maybe most roles – don’t have unlimited growth. And generally, there’s a threshold where a company is financially better off bringing in new blood for a lower price than keeping a senior in his or her position at a high, growing salary. That’s probably part of the reason for the recent move out of my department, as the department head whose responsibilities could easily be absorbed by talented, lesser-paid staff members underneath me. I get it, and I’m not offended. Sure, I think I was underpaid in that management role, but I’m grateful for the opportunities I’ve had at this company and I’m grateful that the executives saw a fit for me in a new role that has new growth opportunities.

So how that relates to my boss’s question… While I believe I deserve an increase in my salary in accordance with my performance, whether I do well or go above and beyond, I recognize that there’s only so much a person can grow in a particular role before they don’t have anything more to contribute or, more than likely, they become too expensive. So when an employee gets to that point, and even before really, they have to think about what their longer-term goals are. I’m far from hitting the ceiling in my new role (I think), but I understand (I think) that my boss and the executives want to set the expectation that this potential exists. They want to understand what my greater goals are, whether monetary or not, and see how they fit with the goals of the company and what they can offer, or not…

Considering I went into journalism, that low-paying career path I mentioned earlier, it’s reasonable to assume that money is not my only motivator.

In my new recruiting role I end many interviews with the question “What motivates you in your job?” For sales roles, we hope they say money; otherwise we question why they went into sales. For someone like me, a creative who entered a field that doesn’t pay well, it’s more than money. Like I said before, I want to be challenged and feel as though I’m adding value. I also want to be with an organization that values it’s employees and shows it in ways beyond the price they pay for them. Work-life balance is important to me; I don’t mind working long hours if I need to every once in awhile, but I don’t want to do it all the time. I want to have a life at work and one outside of work, and maybe I like the people I work with so much that they even overlap sometimes. I also want to work for a company that is understanding and flexible; I don’t want to be micromanaged or scrutinized against rigid rules.

Fortunately the company I work for appreciates those same things I do and it’s made up of fun, hard-working people like me. It’s given me amazing opportunities, helped me improve existing skills and develop new ones, and been incredibly flexible, allowing me to have a life outside my full-time job. That’s all I can ask for.

But, I still can’t deny that “worth” is at least partially tied to money. And I’d be lying if I said I don’t care how much I make as long as I’m happy in my job. I’m currently happy in my job, but I have bills to pay and would like to get to a point where I’m living comfortably. So since moving from my previous role, I’ve been working hard and going above and beyond where possible. I don’t want to limit the value I can add and I don’t want to limit my growth potential. As long as I haven’t hit the ceiling in whatever role I’m in, I want to keep growing in every way – salary included. If I have hit the ceiling, then I want to find a way to keep growing in every aspect, whether it’s with my current employer or in a new career move.

Every 4 seconds a girl speaks her mind to an uniformed guy
Every 6 seconds an uniformed guy is speechless
Every 10 seconds a girl proves something wrong
Every 60 seconds a girl comes to the aid of a girlfriend in need
Every 3 seconds a girl gets the last word
Every 5 seconds a girl gets the last laugh

Every 10 seconds a guy thinks about how to get a girl
Every 7 seconds a guy tries to prove his manhood
Every 30 seconds a guy looks to his friends for advice
Every 12 seconds a guy embarrasses himself in front of a girl
Every 15 seconds a guy wonders why it is always his fault
Every 2 seconds a guy wonders how a girl’s mind works


The five of us sat there. The clamor and excitement surrounding us was deafening, yet as if we were sitting pleasantly, chatting in a peaceful coffee shop. It was obvious none of us were paying attention to what should have been the game of our lives, but we were too enthralled with the debate that was being thrown back and forth across the bleachers. Every once in awhile our “intellectual” conversation was broken by screams and hollers when the timing was right. The fact is, our innocent conversation merely consisted of ideas elders would find inappropriate for “children” of our age to be discussing. But whether or not they wanted to admit it, dating, sex and interest in the opposite sex were topics of our generation. It was that simple.

“You’re too young to be thinking about boys.”

“When I was your age, I didn’t have time to worry about dating.”

These were ever-common phrases heard by my ears time and time again. I hate to break it to everyone, but I think about boys all the time. It is reasonable to say that every girl my age does. How does a guy’s mind work? What do they truly look for in a girl? Questions like these arose in my mind constantly. That was the common factor that led us to delve into the minds of one another, or teenagers in general, that night.

Two girls and three guys, sharing their thoughts. It was perfectly harmless, even with the curious glances coming our way, even with heads tilted, directed to catch a tidbit of our heated controversies. We smiled, we laughed and we gapped in awe at some of the amazing truths we were uncovering. Frankly, we weren’t ashamed or embarrassed of what we said and wanted to know, but were instead intrigued by the knowledge each of us were gaining from one another.

You learn something new every day, the saying goes. Guys actually do look deeper into a girl’s appearance, and as much as I didn’t want to admit it, we are attracted by looks, too. It felt like an episode of Love Line, with all the advice and theories that were being tossed our way. It was as if our good guy friends, staring as “Dr. Love,” knew exactly what us girls were thinking. After that, I questioned my stereotypical opinion on men being chauvinistic pigs who don’t care about anything but food and women, women having the likeness to a piece of meat. I realized that I was blocking out the notion that in my case, a guy would have to appreciate me for who I am personally, rather than for looks, or lack thereof.

That night was great. I learned a lot more about the opposite sex in that fascinating thirty minutes than from months of sitting in a boring health class. Surprisingly, guys and girls think quite alike when considering this touchy topic. As much as as I hate to say it, we all have a lot in common. So, even though my fellow female friend was the lucky one and ended up with what appears to be the blooming of a beautiful relationship, I came out with further understanding of the complicated mind of a being I once knew as having cooties.

I’ve had this speech written in my head for months, but I didn’t actually write it down until Thanksgiving Day. By then I had just finished volunteering and then going on a long run, which got me thinking. I was thinking about what I was taught in school about Thanksgiving, about the pilgrims and the indians. How they came together and taught each other things and lived happily… temporarily ever after. The part of the story that got me thinking about today is that not only have two cultures and groups come together, but also my speech was centered on the very fact that Mel and Marty have taught me so much.

During the seven-ish years that I’ve known Melissa and Marty, they’ve taught me a lot both as a coup and as individuals.

Mel has taught me a lot about personal finance. She’s really smart with her money, doing her research, saving and spending wisely. She’s taught me about investing and planning for my future. She got me my first Starbucks stock, and has even inspired me to pursue an investment property.

Mel has also taught me about proper makeup application. She took me for my first photo shoot and taught me how to use different makeup to accent my features. That’s why my makeup looks so good today… Ok not really… I paid to look this good.

She’s also taught me about perseverance in her career. Melissa and I are both career women, but she just continues to inspire me with her drive – a characteristic that keeps getting her promoted while her employer goes through rounds of layoffs.

Then there’s Martin… Marty has taught me that no matter how well I think I have the French two-cheek kiss down, I’ll never get it right.

Marty has taught me, or reaffirmed rather, the importance of acceptance. If you know Marty, you know how welcoming he is, how he’ll bet the first to befriend a stranger… and then be taking shots with that stranger by the end of the night. He easily make friends with anyone, and everyone loves Marty.

Another important thing Marty has taught me is his signature hoolah hoop dance move. Ask him to show it to you later. It has done wonders for clearing room on a crowded dance floor.

But together… Together this power couple has taught me even more. It’d take too long to list everything, so I want to highlight what I see as the two most important:

  1. What happens in Vegas does NOT stay in Vegas. And thank goodness it didn’t for these two, because we wouldn’t all be here celebrating today.
  2. Unconditional love does exist and that it knows no boundaries. No matter the 2,800 miles between them. No matter the three-hour time difference. No matter that they only get to see each other once a month. And no matter the age difference – for Marty’s sake I won’t cite any numbers for that one. They simply love each other. In fact, they love each other so much that they’ve kept their long-distance relationship going strong for nearly a decade – I’m sure Pat and Lucy could tell you the exact number of days, they’ve been waiting for this for so long.

This unconditional love of theirs is strong and beautiful. It will continue to guide them in their lives together as a married couple. Whatever life throws at them, whatever excitement or hardships they encounter, their unconditional love will get them through it. And from them we can learn.

I read a quote that said: “Unconditional love really exists in each of us. It is part of our deep inner being. It is not so much an active emotion, as a stage of being. It’s not ‘I love you for this or that reason,’ or ‘I love you if you love me.’ It’s love for no reason, love without an object, love not bound by conditions.”

I think that’s a lesson we could all take something from. Martin and Melissa, thank you for that. Thank you for teaching me about unconditional love and for being such an inspiring couple and amazing friends.


My silly, dear friend James started a Q&A series via e-mail among a group of former coworkers-turned friends. Each week featured a different member of The Group, aka TG, answering James’ bizarre, quizzical and intimate questions. The week of September 28 was my week…

James introducing the Q&A to follow: Good news, you animals! This week is Lindsay Holloway week! Lindsay Holloway is a writer, editor, snowboarder, lover of hunks and studs AAAAAND a figure of great importance and power in the go-go market research industry. Continue reading below to find out what Holloway shared about her bra size, gay marriage in Colorado, automobile maintenance and her taste in men. Also, just so you know, Holloway used a lot of emojis in her answers but they didn’t copy/paste very well into Gmail, so I had to use Google’s crappy yellow face emojis here. Stupid, crappy yellow faces. I hate them.

Q1: Hello Holloway. Let’s start with the obvious. You have too many e-mail addresses. Do you know this? When I try to e-mail you, I have to choose between your gmail, your professional e-mail, and TWO aol accounts! What in the world is going on here and why do you live like this? Explain the aol e-mail addresses because it’s 2015 and I need to know if I can delete them from my phone. Do you still use all of them? Why did you create so many? WHAT ARE YOU HIDING?

A: Let’s look at my e-mail addresses as a timeline, or even, as an evolution. First, it was That was before my family had a computer, when I would check my e-mail (I have no idea who was sending me e-mail back then) at school or the library. Then, when my family got a Gateway computer as I entered high school, I upgraded to because we got the hip, innovative AOL program free with our computer! I had just picked up snowboarding at the time, so of course I needed an e-mail address advertising that. I have Entrepreneur and stupid Amy Cosper to thank for because in my newfound unemployment, I decided coboarderchic wasn’t an appropriate e-mail address for a resume – unless I was applying to work for Transworld Snowboarding Magazine, which is actually what I would have preferred. No, it wasn’t my bra size as some thought; it’s my student ID from Mizzou. It wasn’t until 2008 that I actually truly upgraded to Gmail. For some reason I had been resistant to it up until then. My techie then-boyfriend set it up for me and took it upon himself to change it to leholloway34b because he thought that was a more accurate bra size for me. Right around that same time, my friend bought me for my birthday, and with it came (which is hosted through my Gmail account). Because I think the more important question is “Which e-mail should friends contact me at?” I would like to go on the record saying that this very last e-mail is THE one. You may receive e-mails from Gmail, but that’s just how the responses come back. We all good? Apologies for any confusion over the years. I think we can all look back and agree that I’ve grown quite a bit.

Q2: You live in Santa Monica, which is a city that I believe would be better off just sliding right into the ocean. But your westside LA lifestyle is probably pretty sweet: things within walking distance, the beach, the using of bicycles instead of cars. Paint a picture for us of what your hippie lifestyle is like over there in doucheland.
A: Yes, I loooove Santa Monica and all the things about it that you mention – mostly walking and biking everywhere. And that will get even better when they finish the metro line that goes all the way from Downtown to the Santa Monica Pier. You know what that means James? You’ll have even less of an excuse not to hang out. So much to do here, new great restaurants and bars all the time, hiking and beach volleyball and more within reach, lots within a short drive. I have truly enjoyed my time here and am grateful for Amy Cosper’s pink slip (delivered via telephone while I was on vacation), which is what pushed me out of Orange County and up to the greatness that is Santa Monica. That said, Los Angeles, California and this united nation all have other great neighborhoods and cities – Santa Monica is just one of many.

Q3: You’re a free spirit, with a penchant for moving where the wind takes you. You’re also a transplant, having come from Colorado via Missouri. Do you think California is worth it? Not just LA but the state. Take into consideration that California’s weed is more restricted than Colorado’s. Are you thinking of moving to another state? Why? Just relax and enjoy it here.
This is an interesting question, mostly because I’ve been thinking a lot about Colorado and how I may have missed my chance to move back home because now all the transplants going there for the weed and gay marriage have made housing prices skyrocket and the job market insanely competitive. I’ve always said I’ll move back home, but now if I do, not only will I look like one of the bandwagon-riders, but I’ll also be forced to pay the high rent because now it’s a trendy thing to live there. WTF?!
That said, I don’t think I’m ready to move back anyway. Despite how great Colorado is, I’m not ready to settle down (which is what I’d do in CO because it’s a great place to establish and raise kids). And despite how amazing Santa Monica is and how much I love my life here, I’m ready for a change. It’s been brewing for a good six months now; I’m ready for some new scenery – city, job, everything. 2016 is going to be a big/hectic/interesting/new year for me I think.

Q4: We used to be journalists but we sold out because dreams are for suckers. Tell us about your job and what it’s like leading a team of people. Do you think leadership is a natural talent or a learned skill?
A: Did we really sell out? Aren’t a lot of us still working in journalism or editorial to some degree? Interesting how this, too, stems from damn Amy Cosper. I don’t feel like I sold out, but instead just had to adjust in the changing journalism environment based on the crazy things happening in the digital world. You and I are older than most of the others, and when we went to college ages ago (via horse-drawn carriage), the digital age wasn’t happening yet. We didn’t know we were going to find ourselves jobless because magazines worldwide were going to go the way of the horse-drawn carriage.
Anywho, to actually answer your question… I was very reluctant to take on a management role because it meant I wouldn’t be working with words as a full-time job. I just never imagined myself not editing or writing for work. Buuut, seeing the opportunity to grow and having acquired a significant bossiness character trait, I accepted. I’m glad I did, because I really enjoy being a manager and I’ve had other great opportunities and experiences growing with this company (IBISWorld, market research firm). I think I’m lucky in that editors are pretty mild tempered with softer personalities. They don’t butt heads, they follow the rules and they don’t cause any problems. They make my job really easy. Ask me to manage a team of sales people (which could be a potential lateral move here) and that’d be an entirely different animal – one that I am not interested in managing. I absolutely love my team – six editors of varying tenure and skill level – and have really enjoyed seeing them grow. I’ve also learned a lot by being a manager: about learning styles, personality profiles, ways of teaching and communicating. I’m not the best manager by any means, and I have a lot to learn and improve on, but I’m happy to be able to put this on my resume.

Q5: I enjoy critiquing your taste in men. Do you think guys these days are lacking something in general, such as an awareness of how to actually interact with women as equals? I guess what I’m asking is: what do you think is wrong with dudes today?
A: Ugh, I don’t know, and I’m probably not the best person to ask because I only attract one type of guy: the insecure, needy, dependent, pussy. That’s NOT the type I prefer because I’m constantly left annoyed and suffocated and it never ends well, but that’s the type that is drawn to me. That is why I am STILL single. Waaa! But again, to answer your question… There is definitely something wrong with guys out here, and probably all over. I wasn’t in the dating scene back in Missouri or Colorado because of a 2.5-year relationship, so I can only comment on the knuckleheads out here. First of all, there’s something in the water because most are too short for me (I need 6’ or taller). But yes, you touch on one of the key issues: their inability to interact with women. I might blame the digital era again (and let’s just keep blaming Amy Cosper, too); it’s facilitating and condoning hookups and depreciating communication skills because now people only have to text or Gchat. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t like talking on the phone – we’re all victims and enablers at the same time. It’s just unfortunate that a guy can’t properly approach a girl, have a nice conversation and then go on a date where sex doesn’t have to be the end (read: main) goal… Sigh… It is funny to think about my guys and your nicknames for them from back in Entrepreneur years: Go-Go, Hummer, Tito, Bball. I still talk to Bball to this day!

Q6: Do you still own your trusty Nissan? If so, good for you. That car is a workhorse and deserves an award. Do you think more people should learn to drive stick? I see all these losers riding around on little mini Segway machines that roll them around so they don’t have to walk. If you were ever given one as a gift, would you use it to get around your precious Santa Monica or would you sell it to me at a deep discount? (Full disclosure: I want one.)
Nissi is clunking along just fine. She had a rough couple months earlier this summer: new alternator and new idler pulley. Days after getting the new alternator, she clunked out 52 miles from home. After much deliberation, I decided to revive her; my friend and I spent $43 and 4.5 hours replacing the idler pulley ourselves so I could avoid the $400 it would cost at the shop and buy me at least another year. I’m happy that I know how to drive a stick and 10 years ago I would say that everyone should learn how to drive one. But now that they aren’t really manufacturing manual transmissions for standard vehicles anymore, I don’t think learning is necessary. It’s just fun – except when you’re in LA traffic. I secretly want to try a Segway too, but I wouldn’t be caught anywhere on it accept the boardwalk, where it’s completely acceptable.

Q7: Please explain your (wrong) love of Dave Matthews. Just…explain it please.
A: I don’t have a good answer here. I just think you either like DMB or you don’t. I like the style of music and the lyrics. I love dancing and singing along. I think every single artist in the band is super talented, and Stephan is especially dreamy❤❤

Q8: In one word, please describe your personal “style.”
Fluid – I think this word works well in many facets of my “style”: personality, nature, clothing, in relationships.

Q9: You have the great privilege of having shared a sleeping space with me in what I think was a shoe closet when we went to Palm Springs. You also watched me hyperventilate over the amount of free food we got when we went to Vegas. So it’s safe to say we know each other intimately. During a zombie apocalypse, do you think we could survive as a team? Would you lead us to safety or would you ditch me and head off on your own? Have you ever shot a gun? I haven’t. Help me.
A: If that was a shoe closet, that person has a shit-ton of shoes! The closet fit a half-inflated mattress and two grown-ass adults.  Let me start by reminiscing about those great times. It’s been so long that I’ve forgotten about some of the ridiculousness we took part in…. And the good times only continued as TG formed and expanded. I think we could survive as a team: we shared that shoe closet together, as well as a small broken pullout couch. You opened your home when my drunk-ass roommate Andrew was puking all over the house and I needed a couch to sleep on. And we have some legit brains and brawn between us – you’re Asian and I work out. [Ed. note: I am Asian and I work out.]

Q10: Out of three kids, you’re the oldest sibling. Do you ever see your sister or brother do something and think, “I taught that loser how to do that; they would be dead in a gutter without me.” For example, my sister thinks she taught me how to pronounce “yellow” because when I was a child, I would say, “jyello” kinda like with an Antonio Banderas accent if he was a pudgy little Asian boy. I’m sure I would have learned the correct pronunciation eventually on my own or from a much nicer person. Older siblings are laaaaame, younger siblings rule.
A: Wow, if that’s what she’s trying to claim, then let her have it. That’s pretty lame. I taught my siblings tons of cool stuff. First off, I was the child who received the brunt of all the rules and punishment, so they had it much easier later on. You’re welcome Jodie and Marshall! I taught my sister how to be cool at school by not being like me. I was kinda lame in high school and feel like I missed out; if I could do it over again, I’d definitely do things differently. I taught my brother how to snowboard; he is a rockstar on a snowboard now and I actually look up to him. And following this last family trip we went on – to the UK a month ago – I’m hoping I’ve helped expose them to all the greatness out there and helped spread the traveling bug. Ok, so otherwise, I can’t really think of anything else… Soooo, maybe I’m only slightly better than your sister. She’s hot, though, so that’s a plus.

Now, for lists of places to check out in Los Angeles curated by yours truly . . .

My Top Picks in LA

  1. Greek Theater
  2. Camping in Joshua Tree
  3. Plan Check
  4. Hearst Castle
  5. Lemonade
  6. Malibu Wines
  7. Hearst Castle
  8. Hollywood sign hike
  9. Griffith Observatory
  10. Perch
  11. Camarillo Outlets
  12. Harvelle’s
  13. Beach camping
  14. Marina Del Rey Summer Concert Series
  15. The Georgian Hotel
  16. Bungalow
  17. Guisado’s
  18. Paradise Cove
  19. Grand Central Market
  20. Philz Coffee
  21. Urth Café
  22. Jay Leno at the Comedy and Magic Club
  23. Donation-based yoga in Santa Monica
  24. Villain’s Tavern
  25. Holy Aoili food truck
  26. Outdoor movie screenings in the summer
  27. Palm Springs Aerial Tramway
  28. Beach bonfire
  29. Balboa Christmas Boat Parade

My Yet-to-Visit LA Hotspots

  1. Beacher’s Mad House
  2. The Hudson
  3. Laurel Hardware
  4. Trystero
  5. Abigaile
  6. La Boheme
  7. iPic Theaterx
  8. The Little Door
  9. Palihouse
  10. Supperclub
  11. Break Room 86
  12. Beach Nation
  13. Rustic Canyon
  14. Bazaar
  15. Manchego
  16. Chaya Venice
  17. Tar & Roses
  18. La Botte
  19. Next Door
  20. Jiraffe
  21. The Federal Bar
  22. Samosa House
  23. The Wallace
  24. East Borough
  25. Wildcraft
  26. City Tavern
  27. Truxtons
  28. The Overland
  29. Laurent Café
  30. Buffalo Club
  31. The Hungry Cat
  32. Church & State
  33. The Hunter & the Hart
  34. Fundamental LA
  35. The Craft
  36. Hinoki and the Bird
  37. Westside Tavern
  38. Rock Sugar
  39. Tavern
  40. Toscana
  41. Bar Chloe
  42. Burger Lounge
  43. Bocchi Burger
  44. Flores
  45. The Tasting Kitchen
  46. Gjelina
  47. Beer Belly

In my nearly 10 years in Los Angeles so far, I’ve seen and done quite a bit, but there are definitely lots more places to check out. Here’s an aggregation of Los Angeles’ “best/hottest/top sites/places/things to see/visit/do,” largely courtesy of one of my favorite sites, Lists of my top picks and places not on the following lists that I want to check out will come in another post.

Things to Do in LA Before You Die

  1. Doo Dah Parade
  2. Museum of Jurassic Technology
  3. Getty Center
  4. Runyon Canyon
  5. Lakers playoff game
  6. Dodger Dogs at Dodger Stadium
  7. Secret restaurants (see list below)
  8. East LA taco crawl
  9. Daikokuya
  10. Pink’s
  11. Magic Castle
  12. Huntington Gardens
  13. Los Angeles Theater, Million Dollar Theater
  14. Hollywood Forever Cemetery
  15. Mullholland Drive/Highway
  16. Free bands on Mondays in Silver Lake/Echo Park
  17. LACMA
  18. MOCA
  19. Muscle Beach
  20. The Price is Right
  21. High at the Hotel Erwin
  22. Walt Disney Concert Hall
  23. Dresden
  24. Santa Monica Farmer’s Market
  25. Griffith Observatory
  26. Las Perlas
  27. Cole’s
  28. The Association
  29. Hollywood Bowl
  30. Greenbar distillery
  31. Malibu Seafood
  32. Venice weed doctor
  33. Lucha VaVoom
  34. Maude
  35. Jumbo’s Clown Room
  36. Catalina Island
  37. LA River

LA’s 9 Secretest Supper Clubs

  1. BRK
  2. Chicks with Knives
  3. Taste of Pace
  4. Truffl
  5. Kali Dining
  6. Gastronauts
  7. The Whaling Club
  8. Wolvesmouth
  9. Totoraku

7 Under-the-Radar Spots You Need to Know About on the Eastside

  1. The Echo Park Time Travel Mart
  2. El Prado
  3. Origami Vinyl
  4. 1642
  5. The Machine Project
  6. Allumette
  7. No-Name Taco Trucks

Los Angeles Secrets You Didn’t Know Existed

  1. Most amazing views atop the West Hollywood Park Tennis Courts
  2. Magic at Brookledge
  3. Kyoto Garden atop the DoubleTree Hilton Downtown
  4. Berlin Wall outside the Variety Building
  5. Healing waters under Bresee Community Center, Bimini Slough Ecology Park
  6. Prohibition-era tunnels (under Hall of Records, King Eddy Saloon, Stanley Mosk Courthouse)
  7. Murphy’s Ranch abandoned Nazi compound
  8. Beverly Center (former amusement park)

The LA Secret Bar Primer

  1. Blind Barber
  2. Lock and Key
  3. Seventy7 Lounge
  4. The Red Door
  5. Bar Jackalope
  6. The Writer’s Room
  7. La Descarga
  8. The Varnish
  9. R Bar
  10. No Vacancy
  11. Good Times at Davey Wayne’s

LA’s Best New Bars of 2014

  1. The Chesnut Club
  2. Genesis
  3. Tunnel Bar
  4. The Secret Club on Fairfax
  5. Harlowe
  6. Power House
  7. EightyTwo
  8. Upstairs Bar at the Ace Hotel
  9. Grandpa Johnson’s

Badass Summer Day Trips Near LA

  1. Skydiving in Perris
  2. Channel Islands
  3. Bike the Ojai Valley Trail
  4. Hiking in Antelope Valley
  5. The Cat House
  6. Whale watching in Dana Point
  7. Mission Inn Hotel & Spa
  8. Bungee jump off the Bridge to Nowhere
  9. Newport Beach Harbor Cruise
  10. Original Frozen Banana Stand on Balboa Island
  11. OC brewery tour
  12. Vasquez Rocks

The 25 Hottest Restaurants in LA Right Now

  1. Redbird
  2. Love & Salt
  3. Butchers & Barbers
  4. Ramen Champ
  5. Odys & Penelope
  6. Birch
  7. Steak & Whisky
  8. Ox & Son
  9. Gjusta
  10. All’Acqua
  11. Baltaire
  12. Simmzy’s
  13. Aestus
  14. The Independence
  15. Augustine Wine Bar
  16. Knuckle & Claw
  17. Bettolino Kitchen
  18. The Lost Knight
  19. El Cristalazo
  20. A-Frame
  21. Belcampo Meat Co.
  22. Ingo’s Tasty Diner
  23. Jon & Vinny’s
  24. SMYC
  25. BS Taqueria

The typical drill when I’m catching up with someone I haven’t seen or talked to in awhile goes something like this:

  • How are you doing?
  • What’s new?
  • How’s your job?
  • Are you dating anyone?

Although it can feel quite stale going through the motions, especially if you don’t have anything new or exciting to report, it’s that last question that makes me cringe the most. Reason being: no, I’m not dating anyone. Reason for that: dating in LA is annoying and finding someone here is basically impossible.

A recent e-mail I got from my fave snarky news site,, touched on that very truth – very accurately, I might add. It reached out to professional dating coach (is she a professional at dating? or a professional at coaching?) Laurel House to share her insight on why it’s so hard for us singles in LaLaLand. The following is her article with some thoughts from a long-time bachelorette, yours truly.

Everyone is always “on” Runyon Canyon is supposed to be the kind of relaxed type of place where people should have their guard down, but instead everyone is in full hair and makeup, and unnecessarily sexy athletic wear, JUST IN CASE.
My two cents: For theses reasons (i.e. beautiful “on” females) is why Runyon Canyon is my single male roommate’s favorite place to hike. These reasons are why I hate it, combined with the ridiculous amount of time it takes to drive there from Santa Monica.

Age is truly just a number Thanks to age-confusing plastic surgery and makeup, it’s not uncommon to go from dating someone who could be your parent to someone who could be your kid.
My two cents: That’s what the age filters are for on dating sites, but I guess that’s only if they’re telling the truth…

Is it a date, interview, reality show taping, or networking opportunity? On the rare occasion that you are actually asked out in person, the purpose isn’t always clear. Do they want to hire you or screw you? Or both? Or… neither?
My two cents: More often than not, I’m finding myself in that “screw you” boat, that I then quickly want to get off of as soon as I am clear on his intentions.

You’ll date someone who’s an entrepreneur, producer, writer, actor, director, or model A.k.a. someone who’s under- or unemployed. Or both…
My two centsAin’t that the truth! Unfortunately… A dating site profile that reads “I work in the industry” is an immediate No (or left swipe for you Tinderites) as far as I’m concerned.

Accidentally meeting someone on the street or in passing is rare
Lots of us work from home, leaving little time for in-person social interactions. And for those of us who have real “jobs,” unlike in cities where public transportation is the norm, we sequester ourselves in our cars, only to deposit ourselves at the office. Bumping into that person you were flirting with last night? Not gonna happen.
My two cents: I don’t work from home and I don’t commute, so this one doesn’t really apply to me. But those factors aside, I don’t agree with this item entirely. Within my Westside bubble, I run into people a lot while out and about.

Each town has its own type
Santa Monica, Venice, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Hermosa, Silver Lake, Beverly Hills, Pasadena, Sherman Oaks, or Downtown… more than being a driving distance apart, each area is an attitude apart, too. From hipster to highfalutin, beach bum to buttoned-up, where a person resides can say a lot about their personality, profession… and tendency to be on time.
My two cents: I definitely agree with this, but more than using the town’s “type” as a gauge for datability, I use it’s distance. Anyone more than 10 miles away in Los Angeles means a long-distance relationship.

Divorced with kids? That’s a turn… on?
In LA, having a kid can be even more of a turn on: it shows that you know how to be responsible, nurture, and care for another. And in a town filled with flakes, that’s seriously sexy.
My two cents: I’m not turned off by this, but I’d rather the “kid” be a dog🙂 It still says he’s responsible, but doesn’t mean I’d have to be a stepmom.

Absolutely everyone is online
Because of the urban sprawl, workaholic hours, and number of work-from-home entrepreneurs/actors/writers/
directors/models, online dating long ago shed itself of any stigma. Sometimes it feels like another form of social media as you are matched up with your neighbor, co-worker, best friend, best friend’s ex, and even your own ex. Awkward? Sure. Part of the deal? Yup.
My two cents: Totally seen the same people on Plenty of Fish, Tinder, Hinged and Happn. Annnd, I guess now I’ve just admitted that I’m on all of them…

“Do I know you?” “Oh. Sorry.”
You have to be careful who you smile at, wave to, or approach and ask “do I know you?” Chances are high that you know them from either seeing them on the big screen, little screen, or online dating scene, which is particularly unfortunate if you’ve repeatedly ignored or turned them down.
My two cents: Well that was awkward.

There is literally someone more beautiful and richer (or so they claim to be) at the next table
You will never be the prettiest, richest, most successful, or most famous person in LA (sorry) – there will always be someone better than you in all superficial departments, which makes dating a constant merry-go-round if you’re just in it to have fun or be arm candy. It’s way too easy for anyone to turn their head to the left or right, and see something more tempting.
My two cents: And the merry-go-round cycle continues when you try to find someone who doesn’t care about those superficial things… Because in LA they don’t exist!!

Expectations are exceedingly high, thanks to a few truly wealthy guys
Sorry dudes, once a lady’s been treated to the tasting menu at Melisse or box seats at the Hollywood Bowl, happy hour drinks seem a bit… dismal.
My two cents: How do I get a date with one of those guys?!

But just because a dude pulls up in a Porsche, it doesn’t mean he can pay his rent
And just because he drives a “regular” car, it doesn’t mean he’s barely getting by. Tons of wealthy dudes have low-profile cars specifically to find out whether they’re dating a gold digger.
My two cents: I try to pretend a guy’s car doesn’t matter, especially when my car is as old and rundown as the hills, but I have to admit I prefer riding in style.

Thanks for a great piece Laurel and Thrillist!

Laurel House is an International Dating Coach, online dating expert, and author of Screwing The Rules: The No-Games Guide to Love. She is also one of the few born-and-bred West Angelenos who has prolifically dated in LA.