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A blog post looking at how kids in 90210 spend their free time--what do they do for fun? | It Started in LA | itstartedinla.com
Celebrity, My LA story, Posts

What do Beverly Hills kids do for fun?

Such a good question: what do kids in Beverly Hills kids do for fun? Perhaps we need a branch-off reality series: the Real Kids of Beverly Hills.  (Dibbs: if that comes out I want a cut of the takings).

Of course, in all seriousness, this was one of my fears: how do I raise a “normal” child in LA.  It’s true I was focussed more on the safety of “living in America” (you know? guns, mass shootings and metal detectors) but also going into a private school with many celebrity kids and alumni alike I was worried about “keeping up with the 90210-ers”.

But it’s just about the money.  In some ways, that’s the easy bit.  (If you’re relatively new to the Blog you might have missed my post on handbags & designer clothes.  You can link back to read it here.  And it might be time to freshen it up as it’s a little too cryptic in hindsight).

No matter where you live you come across some parents who are prepared to let their kids do stuff and others not so much.  Then there are those “in-betweens”.  That’s me—somewhere in-between.  When we lived in Shanghai the teenagers grew up really quickly.  With no legal drinking age, a really safe City and these people called “drivers” and things called taxis, kids start going to Clubs when they’re 15.  I was happy not to have my kids growing up in that environment (despite doing something similar at that age).  But LA is a different kettle of fish again.

Cut back to present day LA …

My 13-year-old daughter wanted to go to The Grove shopping with her own with a friend.  I love the Grove but it’s often packed, filled with tourists and very, very exposed.  I didn’t want her going without a parent lurking somewhere close by.  She’s still only 13.  Right?  Plus, I didn’t let my son start going to the larger Malls until he was 14/15.  On top of that I don’t know about you but I hate the whole “Let’s-go-hang-out-at-the-mall-today” thing.  It’s just so … eek and unimaginative and, well, even I don’t like hanging out in Malls.

Thankfully her friend’s mum was of the same opinion as me and together we poo-pooed it.  Five minutes of incessant texts asking “Why?”, “The Grove is safe”, “Now we have nothing to do” and that was it.  Radio silence.

Beverly Hills kids

Then, no more than 10 minutes later all was good in the world again. She was at her friend’s place having a lovely time. I got sent pics of houses and locations all over her friend’s gated community.  They both have very 90210 Segways (you know the ones without the handles?) so they went riding around, exploring.  Happy as can be.  Beverly Hills kids indeed, with a touch of my normal.

“We’re at Gwen Stefani’s house” was the next text.  “It’s so cool.”  Then, “I can’t send you a photo because there’s security watching.”

Celebrity

It’s OK, there’s a bit of an unwritten rule anyway that if you go to a famous person’s house that you’re mindful of what you take photos of—and what you post.  Same if you’re going to live in the same community as Gwen Stefani there’s an unwritten good-neighbour policy that goes along with that.  We’ve also had the discussion about when she goes into famous friends’ parties.  Even if they’re really, really famous! (And it kills this Blogger that she can’t write about them).

Still on Gwen Stefani, my friend—her friend’s mum—drives the same car as Gwen (not me LA Gwen, Stefani Gwen).  One day, back when speculation was rife surrounding her relationship with whatsis-face-Blake-country-dude she was coming out of her community, was going to turn right, hesitated and instead turned right.  She thought nothing of the car following her except they were travelling at some speed.  When she got to the traffic lights she saw the driver with a long lens on their camera.  One solid look at her and the camera went down and it was back to see if they had missed the real Gwen coming out.  Poor Gwen.

I do love seeing the paparazzi, it makes me feel like I live in LA.  Remember when I hadn’t been here that long and I had my brush with the paps courtesy of JLo?

But the converse of that is feeling sorry for people like Gwen who, apart from the sanctity of her home, can’t escape the attention.  I wrote about how since I arrived in LA I’ve changed my opinion of celebrities and how I don’t believe we have a right to judge them I got a bit of heckling back.  The argument is when you put yourself out there and make money from being in the spotlight then you are asking to be scrutinised.

I don’t think so, I think it’s two very separate things.  You can be curious (like, let’s face it we were with Gwen Stefani) but you don’t have a right to be part of their lives and intrude in a sanctity that is their privacy.  My humble opinion.  (And don’t give me that shit about they became a singer or actor to get celebrity; very few people I know actually think like that and their “celebrity” often catches them off guard.)

Don’t be hating

I have a friend who is very successful, he has a great Instagram account and understands that his money is made from the people that support and buy his product.  What upsets me is when people start being nasty.  And do they ever let loose.  Being out there in the spotlight is like a target to the power target.  People feel fine commenting on someone’s social media accounts because they don’t have to say it to their face so they feel protected.  For some reason, if you’re a well-known identity or celebrity—or you put yourself out there like I and many other Bloggers do—then it’s OK to say whatever you like.  Like nasty comments won’t hurt them.  The more famous you are doesn’t automatically mean you get an extra layer of protection to stop getting hurt by what people say about you.  NO MATTER HOW FAMOUS.  And, by the way, sometimes you get even more sensitive.

So, yes, I felt for Gwen Stefani.  I love whenever I visit my friends seeing the tour buses stopping at the front—we often wave to them even when they get in our way!  It’s part of living where we do in LA.  And part of how this Blog started.  And it’s fun to get a glimpse of the paparazzi waiting for some action.  Again, it’s part of living in LA.  But, it’s also good to stop and reflect on the reality of those people being there means to some.

Oh, that also answers the question are they all looked after by Nannies.  Most of my kids friends aren’t; only a small handful are.  And even then their parents are very hands-on and connected.  And only a couple of them have Bodyguards.  (Just thought I’d throw that in there for you to see if you’re reading along).

But where was I?  Oh yes, what Beverly Hills kids do for fun.

Postmates

On the other side of town my son was hanging with a friend.  Collectively he and two friends are obsessed with Garlo’s Aussie Pies, an Australian pie shop here in LA.  On my way to dropping my son I needed to go to the ATM.  To get to the ATM I have to drive right past their shop so I suggested we pick up their pies.

“No, you can’t do that mum, we’re getting Postmates.”

“Oh, you’re not getting Garlo’s anymore, you’re getting something else.”

“No, we’re getting Garlo’s.”

“OK, well seeing as we’re here why don’t I get it.”

“But we’re getting Postmates.”

“Yes, but we’re here”.

Whatever. Seriously.

If you haven’t worked it out Postmates is “Uber for food.”

It’s the app of choice for 90210 kids who need something to eat and whose parents are happy to pay the $4.99++ delivery fee—plus tip.

When it first launched in LA kids were ordering $3.99 Frappuccino’s from Starbucks and paying $4.99 to have it delivered plus tip.

And my daughter wondered why I wouldn’t let her do it.

“$10 for a Frappuccino to be delivered?  Are you aware there are refugees trying to flee Syria right now and countries who still don’t believe girls should be educated?” is my catch-cry du jour.

“Fine. You’re so embarrassing.”

Fortunately, we’ve stopped having the Frappuccino battle and I think I’ve even relented once and paid the delivery fee for take-away (take-out) one night.  But I also don’t really need to when we still have old-fashioned take-away services where restaurants deliver for free.  And I still don’t have to resort to Domino’s or Pizza Hut.

Speaking of Uber

Yes, so speaking of Uber, that would be the main form of transport of the kids these days. Even for my kids. It’s actually really convenient and great value.  I still like getting in the car and driving them–let’s face it it’s how you get all the gossip–but when the LA traffic is going to get the better of you, I find it more than OK.

Taking it possibly a bit far is the kids who book an Uber to pick them up from school.  And, there are also those kids who Postmates themselves after school.  (Note to self: check if they do it at lunch time).  Oh the things money can buy; and here’s me thinking you can use money for good.

And, to answer the private jet question, yes a couple of our friends regularly travel in private jets. There could be more and others I know have done on an ad hoc basis.  My daughter has been invited more than once  (unfortunately for her she couldn’t join them) and I’m not sure I’ll ever score an invite but hey, it’s LA so you never, never know.

What’s going on in your part of town?  What do your kids do for fun?  Are you happy with what they do or do you have to step in and play bad cop?  Would love to hear all about it.

 

xx It Started in LA xx

PS: Sadly our favourite Aussie pie shop, Garlo’s, is now closed. We’re hoping it’s coming back in some way shape or form. We’re awaiting more news in that department. Please oh please come back.

LA
LA Restaurants, Posts, Visiting LA

Shopping in LA

Did you say Shopping in LA? Let’s face it, if you’re in LA you’re going to want to shop.  The shopping here is pretty amazing and you can pretty much spend your whole time shopping if you’re that way inclined.

Strip shopping is great along Melrose Avenue (West Hollywood), Third Street (WeHo), Robertson (Beverly Hills) and of course there’s always Rodeo Drive.  Westfield has come to America and revolutionised Mall shopping and with most of the malls outdoor you don’t have to sacrifice sun time–and don’t worry it “never rains in LA”.

So here it is a run-down of your shopping options.  Whether you want to get it done quickly or randomly browse and enjoy all LA shopping has to offer, this post is for you.

LA: The Grove & the Farmer’s Market

Seen as a must-visit shopping destination in LA the Grove certainly gets busy.  It’s easy to get to by Uber, taxi or car.  If you drive be sure to check out for validations around the various stores.  And if you want to get into the LA thing there’s Valet parking at The Grove.  Do watch it though as validation is different for the Grove and the Farmer’s Market so watch where you park depending on what you’re after.  (I usually park at the Farmer’s Market–if I’m lucky enough–especially if I’m going to pick up some fresh produce for dinner.  I also found out that Nordstrom validates for The Grove parking so that’s a bonus).

Farmer's Market

LA’s idea of sightseeing: a shopping mall

Not only is it pretty but there are great places to eat and (of course) shop.  There’s a massive H&M and you have to let curiosity get the better of you by visiting American Girl.  For a complete shop/store listing click here.

Century City

Century City is a great Mall–so convenient, great restaurants, good shops and very popular (you never know who you might spot).

It has Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, Apple, Tesla (in case you want to buy a car), Karen Millen, Kenneth Cole, Kitson and Tiffany & Co.  There’s also Hollister, Angl, Victoria’s Secret and Zara.  For a complete store listing click here.

But here’s one of the things I love the most about Century City

Doggie Treats

Doggie treats | Century City

Santa Monica

If you’re staying in Santa Monica you really don’t want to drive up to LA to shop.  And you don’t need to because there’s great shopping right where you are.

Check out Third Street Promenade–the famous pedestrian-only shopping strip with great brands and a great vibe.  (I have to say I never shop down here because when you’re in Beverly Hills you don’t need to but it’s great shopping none-the-less).

Montana Avenue has upmarket boutiques and coffee shops but still offers a laid-back beach feel.  If you’re in Santa Monica it’s well worth meandering along–you never know who you might spot.

And, for something a little more hip check out Main Street.

Like all people in Santa Monica, you’ll never have to leave :-).

Camarillo Premium Outlets

At 45 minutes from Beverly Hills it’s a bit of a drive to Camarillo but I can tell you you won’t be disappointed.  As far as outlet malls go this one is a beauty with some great brands and a decent place to shop.  There’s everything from Kate Spade, Converse and Cotton On to BCBG Max Azria and Armani and Tori Burch.

Click here for a link to the store guide and map and have fun!

Outlets: Citadel

Citadel outlets are just south of Downtown on the I5 and really convenient if you’re staying in Orange County (Disneyland or the beaches–there’s an Express Shuttle from select Anaheim Hotels) or LA.

The first time we went here we had a field day (and so does everyone else we bring).  First stop for the Aussies Converse, Vans and Nike then you can branch out to H&M, American Eagle, Guess, Michael Kors, Banana Republic and Billabong.  There are heaps of other shops too.  If you’re out for bargains and have a big shopping list be prepared to take up most of your day.

It’s not bad people watching too just quietly–you get a better cross-section of LA than you do in Beverly Hills or West Hollywood.

Topanga Mall

LA doesn’t do mega malls like we have at home in Australia but Topanga is the exception to the rule.  It’s not handy if you’re staying at the Beach but if you’re staying in Beverly Hills it’s pretty easy to get to.  This mall is it has it all: Forever 21, Brandy Melville (not in very many Malls), Nordstrom, Macy’s, Neimen-Marcus, Henri Bendall, Bath & Body Works, Wet Seal–the list goes on.  It’s a one-stop shop.  Beware though you’ll need the day–there’s a lot to get through if you’re a thorough shopper, you might need to take advantage of its late-night trading.

Beverly Centre

I haven’t been a big fan of the Beverly Centre but I’m getting used to it.  Like all the other malls it has good brands to choose from including New York’s Henri Bendel.   It’s convenient and close to Melrose, Third Avenue and Beverly Connection across the road has Target and Nordstrom Rack if you don’t have time to hit the outlets but are looking for a bargain or two.

Melrose Avenue

I just love Melrose Avenue.  The best thing about it is keeps changing.  It starts from being designer boutique paradise to vintage shopping paradise to grungier hipster shopping.  There’s a lot to look at, great street art and great photo opps.  Here’s a great site that details what’s on offer on Melrose.  And while you’re there don’t forget to cover off Melrose Place.  You might like to lunch at the Fig & Olive it’s great food & wine (and great olives and olive oil).

Check out my photo gallery on Facebook.

Robertson

Robertson is another great street for people watching and high-end boutique shopping.  Celebs and those in the know prefer to shop here than Rodeo Drive because it’s slightly less conspicuous.  Having said that it’s where The Ivy is and there are tour buses that travel along this strip hoping to spot a celeb (I wonder if they ever do?!  One time my son & I were coming out of The Ivy a tour bus came past and we waved to them, probably not the celebs they expected to see!)

Third Street

Another great strip with groovy boutiques and great places to eat including the uber-popular star-spotting eatery Joan’s On Third.

Petticoats

Petticoat anyone?

 

Beverly Hills

You might notice I didn’t mention Rodeo Drive.  It’s more of a sightseeing destination than a shopping destination–unless of course you have come with your Black Amex and are ready to do some damage.  By all means head on down there and check it out.  But if you’re that way try Beverly, just one street over.  It has great shops and a little more kind to your credit card.

Universal Studios City Walk

If you’re really short on time there are actually a few good stops at Universal Studios City Walk.  Of note are Abercrombie & Fitch and a huge Billabong shop.  And there are a number of different restaurants to choose from if you’re exhausted from your long day there.

Getting around LA

It’s pretty hard to get around LA in anything other than a car.  If you’re going to brave driving in LA drive fast and be decisive.  Other than that here’s a post on driving in LA.

Have you heard of Uber?  We love it and use it here all the time.  Here’s a link to sign up (with a promo code for up to $30 off your first ride).  Give it a go, you won’t regret it.

Happy Shopping!

xx It Started in LA xx

Paps
Celebrity, Posts

My brush with the Paparazzi

One of my goals in coming to LA was to see paparazzi in action, I’m intrigued by them and their business.  When I moved here I thought I’d see them everywhere, just lurking.  Contrary to popular opinion they’re not.  Much to my disgust.  We’d go to cool restaurants, I was shopping at the right supermarkets but it took me ages to see a pap in action.

You see, a lot of the time they’re hiding somewhere and you might not know they’re around.  We even had paps up the road from us when we first moved in and I didn’t see them.

But I’m more tuned in now.  The other week I was showing a guest around The Grove and we saw two guys working together trying to pap someone.  We watched them in action for a while but couldn’t see who they were following.  A big part of my problem is that I don’t recognise people unless they’re George. Or Leo. Or JLo.  Or Joan Collins!

I’ve had a few brushes with paps now.  All at my favourite restaurant in fact.  The first time was Golden Globes weekend which I wrote about.  It was so exciting; I was beside myself as the flashes went off all night.

On one of our subsequent visits to this same restaurant I hopped out of the car as usual and there were two paps waiting.  One of them came up to me saying like I looked like one of the past winners (or runners-up) on The Voice or American Idol.  I was this close to being papped (a bee’s dick!) for real.

Fast forward to last Saturday night and there were more paps here again–more than Golden Globes weekend for Joshua Jackson and Diane Kruger.  Inside JLo and Mary J Blige were having dinner.  I was seeing off a friend visiting from Australia and as we walked outside there they all were.  So I thought I’d pose for the cameras, take it all in and enjoy it.  I’ve got pics here on my Facebook page.  It was so fun I tried it five times.  I got to try out my pap reactions a number of different times:

  1. a look of surprise, oh are you here to see me?
  2. acknowledge, be cool, wave hello, keep walking
  3. a different angle
  4. the hand over the face, please don’t pap me look
  5. you really should pap me because I’m incredibly famous in Australia you know.  I’m on Neighbours.

You got to have a bit of fun don’t you?  In fact I should have offered JLo my services in entertaining them for her while she escaped.  I sort of did.  As she was leaving via a back door I shook her hand to thank her for all the paps I got to see in action–the most I’ve ever seen in one night.  Poor JLo didn’t know what hit her.

It turns out our driver helped with the deflection–to make out he was JLo’s driver and I was JLo for the second time that night.  There weren’t as many there when we left so there might’ve been a tip-off that she wasn’t coming out the front door.

The next night we were at our favourite local Deli having home-cooked roasts and Jon Voight was there having dinner.  It’s not the first time we’ve seen him there, he’s a bit of a regular.  But alas no paps for him.  I don’t suppose he sells mags.

It got me thinking: what gets pap out to catch “that” shot.  Rather who.  It has to be someone that magazine editors will buy because that’s how they make their money.  I’ve even seen paps at our local getting pics of Gene Simmons so what makes him more pap-worthy than the extremely talented Jon Voight?

I was hoping to get some insights from someone who works in the industry but sadly I don’t have anything to share.  If I find out more I’ll be sure to update and share it with you.

Meanwhile I’ll keep my eyes peeled for the paps and keep reporting back on what I see.  When Harry moves in down the road I dare say we’ll see a few around our street so that’ll be fun.  Wouldn’t it be great to go out with one for the day and document their day?  There’s an idea.  I’ll get to work on that for you dear readers!

Meanwhile … enjoy your week.  The weather here in LA is divine as Spring is in the air and feeling generally warmer.  Always puts a Spring in my step. LOL.

Keep smiling.

xx It Started in LA xx

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