In late 2020, I moved to Los Angeles County to be closer to family during the pandemic and explore a new city. With the help of Veronica’s dad, we packed up our belongings and drove South in our then Subaru. We rented an apartment above Veronica’s uncle in a lovely city, Norwalk, CA.
I had a great time in Los Angeles learning more about myself and leading a team through the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Although I spent most of my time in LA County with severe COVID lockdowns and restrictions, Veronica and I managed to travel to view all of LA (we even went to Malibu). Emotionally, we lived somewhere between LA and San Diego as we also visited my parents a ton.
We recently had some of our LA friends visit us, and it made me reminisce about my time in Los Angeles.
Top things I miss about Los Angeles
1. The Latinx community in LA
The LatinX community was something new to me when I went to college. I grew up in San Diego and partially in Guatemala, so the sense of cultural identity for me was always extremes. Either I was in San Diego in a very diverse city (tons of cultures but no strong force) or in Guatemala with a lot of culture and community.
Los Angeles is a diverse metropolitan with one of the strongest and most diverse Latinx cultures. From the strong Oaxacan culture in Korea Town to Guatemalans throughout Los Angeles, LA has a vibrant and diverse LatinX community that is hard to replicate and experience in other cities.
2. Food Scene
LA has a top-notch food scene. LA constantly has new restaurants opening up like Ka’teen led by Chef Wes Avila which takes you on a journey through the Yucatan Peninsula through food. Veronica and I managed to attend the opening night.
In addition to high-end restaurants, small pop-ups like those in Little Guatemala cater street food from back home.
I probably had the best blue corn quesadillas in my life next to Echo Park.
And how can I forget about Sugarfish!
3. Closeness to Family
One of the big reasons I enjoyed living in Los Angeles was the ability to easily visit my parents. In Norwalk, it was only a 1.5 or 2-hour drive to La Mesa, CA, outside of peak traffic. I could decide to visit them and go out to our favorite outdoor restaurant on a whim.
Late 2021 – Returning to San Francisco
I moved back to San Francisco with Veronica in October 2021 to a beautiful apartment near Golden Gate Park. It’s now March 2022, and I’ve enjoyed my time here. I primarily moved back since Finix opened up our office in downtown San Francisco, a historic milestone.
I’m part of an in-person pillar of the company, and I’m excited for the return to the office. San Francisco and its community have been a personal blessing for me. This city opened up many opportunities for my family and me, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s also where I met Veronica!
Looking forward to 2022 in San Francisco
I’ve lived in the bay area for approximately ten years, starting when I was 18 in 2011. I feel that I’m somewhere between a Bay Area person and a SoCal person
For this year, There are many things I’m looking forward to this year such as:
- Catching up with friends that live in the bay area
- Exploring Vero’s and I’s favorite places in the bay! Post coming soon!!!
- Deepening my professional and personal relationships in the bay area. It’s hard to keep up with the pandemic, and I’m looking forward to meeting people in person.
- Continuing my seasonal adventures snowboarding and paddle boarding/kayaking in Tahoe
- Biking and exploring golden gate park
- Leading our Pre-Processing product pillar at Finix in our San Francisco HQ
I do miss LA, and I visit her every month and a half. This is my love letter to Los Angeles. ¡Hasta pronto!