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My LA to Z: Shailene Woodley
The beguiling Simi Valley-born actress, who navigates first love amidst terminal illness as Hazel Grace Lancaster in The Fault in Our Stars (out June 6), is no stranger to L.A.’s charms. Here she talks biodynamic chocolate, hidden hot springs, and L.A.’s own traveling medicine man
I’m slightly obsessed with their almond milk cappuccinos. I can’t do dairy, but they have this really thick almond milk that is off the hook. They also have fresh farm-to-table food that’s constantly changing, and the people are really friendly. I’ll go and get coffee in the morning, maybe walk back for lunch, and they close at 4 p.m. so I might even get something for dinner. Ok, that’s an exaggeration, but I really do love it. And their sausage is game over.
Seriously, any beach in and around L.A. When I’m in town, I’m at the beach five out of seven days. I’m not a great surfer; I mostly like to just jump in the ocean and swim. I also like to sit on the beach and daydream and journal. That’s the great thing about L.A., whether you’re up north or down south, there’s always a beach.
The ArcLight Theatre
The ArcLight makes movies seem romantic again. The art of going out and seeing a movie is a lost novelty—it doesn’t really happen. I love the Nuart as well. I’ve seen a few foreign films there that have been so wonderful. It’s so cozy and nostalgic. You feel like you’re supporting artists at that theatre. I like the ArcLight for big movies. I just saw Captain America there—the seats and the intensity of the screen and the sound system make the movie experience. It feels like you’ re paying to see a ride. They sort of check everything off the list.
It’s out of control. They’re this amazing couple who make artisanal chocolate. It’s all biodynamic, which is like a step above organic. It’s not hippy dippy raw chocolate. It’s incredible. These guys got it down pat. They created the shop to look like a rabbit hole, so when you go in you feel like you’re underground in a tree trunk, like Alice walking into Wonderland. They do little miniature bite sized bars that range between one and four bucks each, so it’s reasonable as well. It’s pretty insane. They have really unique flavors—chai chocolate, spicy chocolate, ginger—all sorts of fun things. Every time you go in there’s something new.
The Echo Park Craft Fair
It happens twice a year and it’s fantastic. It’s in an indoor warehouse with probably 40 stands, and it feels like an in-person Etsy where all of these different mom and pop shops come together in a space and sell their items. I try to go to those types of things as often as I can.
Calabasas Farmers’ Market
It’s not too big. Sometimes the Santa Monica or Hollywood ones seem overwhelming. But it’s not too small, either: there are a lot of organic producers. You can get your meat, honey, eggs, veggies, and flowers. It’s also outside of Los Angeles proper, so the prices are a little lower, and it doesn’t feel pretentious. It’s as if you’re going there to meet the farmers.
Deep Creek Hot Springs
It’s an hour and a half or so outside of L.A. and it takes another hour and a half to actually hike in to the springs, but it’s beautiful. The people who congregate there are also really neat; really special. It’s definitely more of a day trip, but it’s pretty hidden and really great.
I really love that bookstore. It’s so frickin’ hard to find a bookstore in L.A.! It’s really tragic. Skylight has done an amazing job—the quality of books they supply is excellent. They also have a store next door that sells photo and art books, which is wonderful. The last book I bought there was a feminist book called Cunt—but you totally don’t have to publish that if you don’t want to.
I sort of only go there when I’m not feeling well. You can go in and say I have this and this and this going on, and they’ll give you some sort of remedy to help. If I have a cold, I’ll do the ginger shot with oregano oil.
He’s a Chinese herbalist. You can tell him you have a headache and your throat is sore and you’re congested and they’ll whip up a batch of herbs especially for you. Sometimes it’s a tea, sometimes it’s a pill, sometimes you gulp a concoction down right there. It’s incredibly healing. I study herbalism, so I learned about him just by word of mouth, and I think of him as L.A.’s traveling medicine man.
Photographs courtesy (in order): (1) facebook.com/sqirl, (2) flickr.com/nickimm, (3) flickr.com/stu_spivack, (4) facebook.com/zenbunni, (5) facebook.com/echoparkcraftfair (6) facebook.com/calabasas-farmers-market, (7) flickr.com/kirill, (8) facebook.com/skylightbooks, (9) facebook.com/moonjuiceshop, (10) facebook.com/ronteeguarden