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FOOD & CULTURE

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TOP FIVE EL PORTO 1. SURF SPOTS 2. ZUMA BEACH IN 3. VENICE BEACH

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TOPANGA BEACH

5. REDONDO BEACH


SURFING IN LA The cool blue water and sparkling sunshine calls for you. If you ever get tired of the urban, concrete jungle, the best way to escape is by going to one of the many incredible Los Angeles beaches.

learn how to surf. Only then can you truly feel the push and pull of the waves, the cool Pacific water, glittering ripples on the surface and diverse sea life.

Sitting on the warm Californian sand and watching the waves crash on the shore can be nice, but if you want to truly experience the Californian beaches you have to

Learning how to surf is big part of the LA experience. Not only is it fun and exhilarating, but the beaches in LA are ranked as some of the best surfing beached

in the world (Bremner). However, Los Angeles hasn’t always been a hot spot for surfing. People were surfing in Hawaii, long before anyone in California had even heard of the sport. There is a long history that has lead up to the current surf culture, prominent in Los Angeles beaches (Gonzalez).

EARLY HISTORY: The first spark of the surfing culture in California came from a man named George Freeth. Freeth learned his surfing skill in Waikiki, where people had been surfing as early as the 15th century (Hekekia). George Freeth later came to California to share his knowledge of surfing. This new and interesting form of sport that Freeth was teaching got the attention of Henry Huntington. Huntington was the owner of the newly built, Pacific Electric Railway. Huntington hired Freeth to try and get more people


movie, Gidget, was released (Kahn). Gidget, was initially a book. The story was about a girl teen who becomes a major surfer chick, cruising the waves on Malibu shore. The author, Kathy Kohner, ended up selling half a million copies. Soon Koher was hired to write the script for major motion picture. Kohl’s story became the coming to travel to Redondo Beach (about a 45 minute drive first surfer movie. Gidget from Downtown Los Angeles). Freeth became California’s first official costal lifeguard. He maintained safety on the shores, as well as he shared his surfing skill with many of Californians who were already entranced with this new water sport. Soon there was a small group involved in surf culture. The number of people surfing began to slowly grow as time progressed. With the invention of the automobile, came an increase in surfers. The automobile allowed people easy access to the beaches, and the spots with the best waves (Gonzalez). In 1946, a famous photographer by the name of Doc Ball, released a book of photography on the small, but growing surf culture on the LA beaches. Doc was the first person to seriously document surfing in California. Ball’s book gave some of the first real exposure to the outside public not near the beach or familiar with the still relatively new water sport (Kahn).

LATE HISTORY TO PRESENT PRESENT: In the 1950’s, surfing was starting to become a part of mainstream LA culture. In 1959, surfing became the talk of the town. In this year, the world’s first surf

lead to a massive increase of people wanting to surf. “Gidget lured inland America to the beach.” (Warshaw) Soon, the LA beaches were packed. This new thriving beach culture began to spread into other areas of popular media. Other influential surf movies soon followed, do to the staggering success of Gidget. Soon, a genre of surf music began to come out as well.


In the mid 1960’s, a vocal group singing about surf culture in the US emerged from Los Angeles. This band became known as the Beach Boys. Their largely popular music was focused on California beach life and surfing. Their songs had titles like, Surf’n USA, Catch a Wave, Surfer Girl… The band soon became a national hit. The band pushed past Gidget’s influence on the US, and introduced surfing to the world. (Warshaw). With the Beach Boys music, LA beaches became an iconic representation of surfing to the rest of the world. The surf-craze continued to grow. In the late 60’s and 70’s many

other popular surf movies were produced. Such as, Endless Summer and Free Ride (Warshaw). By then, surf movies had become a big part of popular culture, especially in Los Angeles, which was the original hub for this surf culture. What with Redondo Beach being the first place surfing was introduced, and then later having Malibu as a big symbol representative of surfing culture. Soon, surf clothing brands also began to emerge from this now distinct and widely popular surf culture. Companies such as Hurley, Bilabong, O’Neil, Roxy, Lucy Love, Rip Curl and RVCA all cen-


tered their brand around the surf culture growing in California. Nowadays, you can’t go walking through Los Angeles without seeing someone wearing one of these brands. Surfing has become a significant sub-culture within the city of Los Angeles.

SURF CULTURE: Dude-man, get amped, we are going to hit the swells!

So now you have an understanding of the history of surfing and it’s cultural influence, however, I haven’t gone indepth in explaining it as an actual sub-culture. Surfing is more than a popular water sport, it has really become a lifestyle choice. If you frequently surf in LA, you are known as the surfer dude or surfer chick. Frequent surfers develop their own sort of jargon. If you search surfer lingo dictionary, you will find many different slang words, frequently used by those who have immersed themselves in surf culture. Along with the specific surfer jargon, surfers also follow a type of life philosophy. In some parts of Los Angeles you have the fast-paced business people, the busy agents, desperate actors, bustling

start-up companies… There is a lot of stress in LA, but those in the surfing sub-culture provide an escape from all of that craziness. Surfers follow a calm, easy-going lifestyle. Some see this as a slacker sort of mentality. For those surfing, it is more of a way of living with a calm and mellow sort of lifestyle. “You can’t stop the wave, but you can learn to surf”. If you ever come across a group of surfers you will find a group of funny, and welcoming people. Usually they can be found chilling on the beach listening to some surfer music, or goofing around. You’ll find the atmosphere light, funny and easy-going. You will also find that surfing is not just for the stereotypical male teen. The surf community includes guys and


girls of all ages. You can find guys as old as eighty, or kids as young as seven years old. Surfing doesn’t have an age limit or a sort of exclusion. It goes with the happy, easy-going lifestyle they follow. It’s not about trying to exclude. It’s about enjoying the sun and gliding on the beautiful water.

BECOME ONE WITH THE SURFER DUDE: Now that you know the history and some of the culture, it’s time for you to immerse yourself and truly experience it. Anyone can take up surfing! There are plenty of ways to get involved in the surfing culture. At almost all Los Angeles beaches you will find surf lessons available. You can find deals

on surfboard rentals and lessons on groupon.com or goldstar.com.

enced surfers, wherever there are good waves, there are good surfers.

If you are starting out for the first time, 27th St. Manhattan Beach is a good place to start. The waves are good, but still manageable for someone who doesn’t have a high-level of experience. One thing to be weary of, just like any Socal beach, is parking. Beaches get pretty crowded midday, so try going early morning or late afternoon.

So grab a board and get ready to enjoy the cool pacific water and warm socal sunshine. LA has some of the best beaches in the world, and a long deep culture of American surfing. Its time to jump in and hang ten, its an experience you won’t soon forget.

If you want to immerse yourself even further in the culture, you can try catching a community of native socal surfers. Usually you can find these groups on the beach as early as 6am. Early in the morning they try to catch the glassy (smooth) waves, and they go to avoid the crowds. Also, keeping an eye on the surf conditions can lead you to meeting up with some of the more experi-


IDE S N E IDD H E H T OF LA

W O R D I SK BY: EGIAN B A N I R

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9


Los Angeles!!! The City of Angels, the city where fun never ends and parties never stop. This is the image that dominates the tourists’ perception of the city. The glamorous city includes celebrities, luxurious houses, and bonfires at the beaches. However, Los Angeles is not all that glamorous. The tourist industry leaves at the saddening realities such as poverty, crime, addiction, and growing numbers of homeless people in downtown LA. One of the most notorious areas of LA that suffers from the above mentioned issues is “Skid Row,” the unique and dark face that attracts young visitors who want to explore the “hidden” side of LA. TV programs, such as “Bait Car” feature the law enforcement agents arresting burglars and drug dealers which increase the appeal of the area for visitors. However, the violent and dangerous circumstances of Skid Row and other similar areas require increased public awareness. While the media programs are usually perceived as merely entertaining, the

intention of some producers is to raise awareness about crime issues, such as “the creepers” who look for opportunities to sneak into apartments and cars. Skid Row, specifically, has required additional police attention and presence as the area is crippled by crime. Skid Row is part of a larger area known as the “Central City East,” a fifty-block sector of downtown Los Angeles bounded by Main Street on the east, Third Street on the south, Alameda Street on the west, and Seventh Street on the North. Skid Row is known for one of the areas with the largest populations of homeless people in the nation. Out of 91,000 homeless people living in Los Angeles, Skid Row is the home of about 3,000-4,000 of them; this means that about 3% of the entire county’s homeless population is concentrated within a small sector equal to only 0.0001% of the total Los Angeles area. Skid Row’s homeless population consists of 39% Black African males, 29% Whites, and 20% veterans. In recent years, the number of divorced women and abandoned chil-

dren has also increased to 9%. The residents of Skid Row are individuals with extremely low income who have been rejected by other neighborhoods and have desperately been looking for a shelter among the hotel rooms, mission beds, or even among paved paths on the streets of Skid Row. Life is tough at Skid Row. Its streets are full of

drug adicts and alcoholics who are openly trading or using drug on the streets even when the police are patrolling. Many of them are suffering from mental illnesses. Gunshots, rapes, and stabbing are common incidents on the streets. Pathways are full of tents, cartoon boxes, or carts that are the rooms or beds for the people who haven’t not even take a bath for more than a month. The streets are full of garbage, urine, and the unpleasant smell that is known as the area’s signature to


the residents. A visitor would not be able to pass a block without witnessing the devastation and depravity of the homeless population, and these are just a few of the regrettable circumstances that the residents of Skid Row are accustomed to. The crime figures for Downtown during last year were shocking. According to the FBI’s uniform crime reports, the annual crime rate for Los Angeles was higher than the average national crime rate by 1%. This includes the annual crime in the Whole-

sale District— Skid Row— totaling of 3051 crimes per every 100,000 people, while it is 2962 crimes per every 100 thousand people nationwide in 2015. Among the crimes, violent crimes such as murder and property crimes such as burglary and shoplifting were among the highest recorded at 572 and 2480 incidents respectively. The statistics show that the overall crime rate of Skid Row area is 3% higher than the national average. This means that the probability of becoming a victim of such attacks is one in every 33 individuals. Skid Row wasn’t like this decades ago. The history of area shows how various social and economic forces shaped its current image: the scariest place in Los Angeles to walk in. Skid Row was an agricultural region before the1870s when railroads first crossed the city, and was paralleled to Los Angeles River. The first suburban railroad line in Los Angeles was built alongside the

Main Street with its main station near the Sixth Street Boulevard, crossing the Agricultural Park (now Exposition Park). The access to railroads marked the beginning of industrialized agricultural era and it impacted the area by attracting lots of short-term workers during the planting and harvesting seasons. This turned Skid Row into a transitory station for train crews and temporary workers. In response to these demographic changes, many small hotels were built to provide shelter for the increasing worker population. Since the majority of the workers were single men, lots of bars and men clubs came into existence during 1880 to 1930. Those who worked spent their earnings on prostitutes and hotels. Those who were out of their seasonal job often got drunk and ended up sleeping in the streets. The charities and religious communities started feeding them and opening shelter centers. This in turn attracted more troubled individu-


als to settle in the area.   Railroads also attracted many migrants across the nation to move to the downtown center during the recessions and economic downturns in search of social services and low-cost housing. For example, many Americans especially farmers from South and West came to Los Angeles after the Great Depression of the 1930, abandoning their homes and families for better economic opportunities. The waves of migration to the area were not only limited to economic downturns. For instance, the area also served as a station for the temporary stay of many veterans of the World War II and the Vietnam conflict who sought out war-related job opportunities. These migrants encouraged the growth of local entertainment businesses such as bars, men clubs, and theaters. Moreover, while the population of Skid Row was predominantly white, single, alcoholic men before the 1970s, the arrival of the Vietnam veterans changed the demographics of the City to non-white single men with substance abuse issues and mental illnesses. The current elderly population of Skid Row consists of mostly these veterans. In addition to railroads, economic recessions, and wars, institutional factors—most notably the vigorous City safety-code reinforcements in the 1950’s and 1960’s— also affected the transformation of Skid Row. Many of the affordable housing options that were available to the extremely poor individuals in Skid Row were single-room residences in hotels, which were mostly old and in need of upgrades to their safety features. When the City required the owners of these properties to make renovations to meet the safety codes, many of

the owners decided to simply demolish the hotels since the cost of renovations way surpassed the revenue generated by these hotels. Thus, within a decade, about half of the affordable housing were demolished, forcing most residents to move to the streets as other affordable options were not available. This drew the attention of nonprofits and other social agencies who saw the urgent need to address the dramatic increase in the homeless population. In response, many of the hotels were acquired, renovated, and rehabilitated to make low-cost housing available and take in the displaced population. These accommodations, alongside the increase in shelters and community services, have been fundamental in addressing the homelessness problem in Skid Row, which ironical-

ly as mentioned earlier, has attracted the poor population from other areas to Skid Row in search of housing and food. For instance, the percentage of women and children in the Skid Row population has grown in the previously male-dominated area. There have been several attempts to clean up the area from crime. For example, in 2006, police used music to lower the crime rate. They played Bach and Beethoven 24 hours a day on a corner of one of the streets. They also installed a set of speakers and CD players on different shelter rooms. While these attempts helped reduce littering and theft close by, the success was short-lived. Within a few weeks, vandals destroyed the equipment, smashed electricity meters, and stole parts that were possible to


Skid Row has at times remained hidden from tourists and visitors because it is not tourist friendly and if one’s curiosity compels a visit to the area, awareness of its unpredictable and unpleasant outcomes is recommended. Below are 10 safety tips while staying at Los Angeles: 1.

Do not carry all your cash in one place. Carry enough cash only for a few days. You can use your credit cards at almost all restaurants, shops, and hotels.

2.

Have a copy of your ID, credit cards, passport, or email them to yourself. In case they are lost, you can provide police with the required information.

3.

Be aware of your surroundings and the people around you. Make sure you are not chased.

4. Do not leave your valuables in a car, your jacket, or purse un attended. 5.

Don’t film or take a picture of the homeless. They do not like it and can put you in trouble.

6. If you want to talk to them or record them, first make sure they are comfortable with that. Talk to them in a friendly fashion. 7.

8.

Try not to walk through the neighborhood late at night and without at least someone accompanying you. Do not mistake homeless individuals for criminals, but be aware that criminals might deliberately hide their true identity by appearing homeless.

9. If you can avoid staying in the area overnight, especially past 5 P.M. There are neighborhoods closeby that offer affordable and safe lodging. 10.

Do not draw extra attention in the neighborhood. The residents would likely identify you as an outsider already, and drawing more attention might make you a more appealing target.


F#%K YOUR

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FOOD & CULTURE

IN LA It’s easy to summarize Los Angeles for many people with three tourist attractions: Hollywood, Universal Studio, and beaches. But in the eyes of most foodies and chefs, it’s even more simple, which are food, food, and food. The culinary culture in Los Angeles is so diverse because of the rise and fusion of different cultures. You are able to discover fine dining, sit-down restaurants, cafes and food trucks that have cuisines from all over the world. As many of the students and young people who like to explore and embrace new things in LA may claim, Los Angeles is the best food town in the country. Actually, there is a shift in the culture in the recent two decades. According to the 2010 United States Census, Latinos have made up approximately half of the city’s population. The percentage was only 30-35% in the 1990s. In addition, almost 11% of the population is Asian. Yet in the meanwhile, non-Hispanic Whites have not been a majority for decades. They now compose 29% of the population. The percentage of African American is declining as well, from 11% in 1990 to 9.8% today.

More importantly, you can not only see but also taste the shift of the culture. Thanks to the city’s diversity, people live and travel here have opportunities to try some extremely delicious but cheap single-culture cuisines. You should probably forget the impression of a table of unauthentic foreign cuisine that cost $50 or more per person in early days or other small cities. Today, increasing number of immigrants found it easy to open a restaurant as their business because food is always the best way to cure homesick. Therefore, we have restaurants serving food from Japan, Korea, China, Thailand and Mexico, and they all serve great meals in the $10-t0-$50 range.

Little

Tokyo Little Tokyo was found at the beginning of the 20th century. It once was the heart of the largest Japanese-American population in North America. Comparing

with Koreatown or Chinatown which have numerous separate plazas, Little Tokyo is more like a tourist attraction because it’s smaller and more centralized. There is a representative watchtower at the entrance, and there are various restaurants, shops and markets around. Two of the best restaurants in Little Tokyo are Shin-SenGumi and Daikokuya that are famous for their Japanese ramen. I personally prefer Shin-Sen-Gumi because customers are allowed to make their own flavor by adding different toppings, choosing the firmness of noodle, amount of oil, strength of soup base and things excluded. The takoyaki there is also worth a try. But just keep in mind, the waiting time would be long, especially when you come during the peak hour. Other recommended restaurants might include Yojie that serves shabu-shabu and sukiyaki, and Sushi Gen, Komasa which have great sushi and sashimi. However, with the movement of many Japanese corporate to the City of Torrance in West Los Angeles, first of which was Toyota, many ethnic Japanese were attracted by the opportunities there. As a result, now most of the people who go to Little Tokyo’s restaurants, as you


KOREATOWN

Unlike the single culture in Little Tokyo, Koreatown which is also located near downtown Los Angeles has a much larger community with more varieties. The number of South Korean immigrants spurred in the 1960s, and the neighborhood has become the most densely populated district in Los Angeles County. Yet, while twothirds of the residents were born outside of the country, half of the residents in the community are actually Latino and only one third are Asian. Because of this feature of multi-ethnicity, Roy Choi who grew up in Koreatown built his mobile empire, Kogi BBQ in 2009. It is one of LA’s most recognized food truck. It is the fusion of Korean and Mexican food, combining taco and Korean grilled beef called bulgogi. The food truck was so popular when it first came out that hundreds of people waited on twitter for the announcement of locations. In addition, one of LA’s best Mexican restaurants, Guelaguetza is located in the center of Koreatown. Besides having the best Korean barbecue in the country, Koreatown has almost all of Korean specialty, such as chicken soup, abalone porridge, pork ribs, bulgogi, shaved ice and so on. If you don’t want to wait for more than three hours, go to Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong as early as you can. It is the most delicious barbecue I’ve tried so far because of its high quality meat, dishes around

the tray including cheesy corn and steamed egg , and a relaxed and clean environment. The servers will cook the meat for you, and it is definitely a nice place to bring some friends together. What’s more, there are a number of restaurants that will open 24/7. For example, the BCD Tofu House is a good place for mid night. Except the free Korean side dishes that would be provided by all Korean restaurants, BCD offers an additional fried fish. The boiling tofu stew will make you feel so warm and satisfied. It’s hard to list all of the recommended places in Koreatown, but you can explore more around the 6th street.

CHINA TOWN and

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY To most of the Chinese students, Los Angeles is the heaven for them because of the food. Yet, different from other big cities like San Francisco and New York, Chinatown located in downtown Los Angeles is fading, lacking the hustle and bustle of life. It is old and outdated, and there are few good restaurants there. But, it is still holding celebrations for traditional holidays. The fact is that from 1970s and 1980s, ethnic Chinese began to settle in San Gabriel Valley which is just 15-20 minutes drive from downtown Los Angeles. They would have larger space, and they are endlessly expanding in that area. At the same time, there are also a lot more room for thousands of

restaurants and markets with cheaper rent. From my point, I would not like to recommend restaurants in Chinatown. Instead, if you love Chinese food, go to San Gabriel Valley which has cuisines from almost all of the cities in China. The recommendation list can be endless, but some of the representative restaurants include Taste of Chengdu which serves spicy food, Little Sheep Hotpot, Boiling Point which is small hotpot, Shanghai No.1 which offers food from eastern part of China, and Sea Harbor which has dim sum . There are as well a lot of good places for drinks that you don’t want to miss out. We have tons of cafes that making bubble milk tea which we call “boba” here: Half and Half, OZero, Tea Station and Black Ball.

MEXICAN CUISINE

Given Latinos is the largest population in Los Angeles, the food here is largely influenced by Mexican and Spanish-original cuisine. It is probably the only place that you can taste the breadth and depth of Mexican cuisine outside of Mexico. No matter you are at the corner of a street, or cutting-edge places, you are always able to find the cuisine, on a food truck or in a fine dining. The Mexican fast-food is the most popular choice, which consists food like burritos, refried beans, tortas, tacos, quesadillas. Because the restaurants and food trucks are not catering to customers that are not Mexican, the


chefs are “cooking from the heart” as Roy Choi said in an interview. They would not make concessions to you, considering “Well, would that be too spicy?”, but the result is the thrive of the food.

truck is so low and the demand is so large that the number of food trucks around the school grows from 2-3 several years ago to today’s approximately 10 every day. There is even a Kogi imitator, named Calbi.

There is this one homegrown Mexican-American restaurant called Guisados that is known for its tacos and lines. You can just see the rich stewed meats-frijoles con queso and cochinita pibil, dropping onto the thick homemade corn tortillas. What’s more, El Cholo is LA’s oldest Mexican restaurant that offers comfort and fantastic food. Yet it has a quite historic atmosphere. Normally, it’s easier to find a food truck that serves excellent tacos.

Other than Kogi BBQ, the Grilled Cheese Truck is also a huge success. “90 minutes before the event even started, the line outside was a mile long and five people wide,” the founder of the food truck, Chef Dave Danhi once told. Most of the people buy the cheesy macn-rib which is a sandwich of macaroni, caramelized onion, barbecue pork and sharp cheddar.

FOOD TRUCK

Speaking of food trucks, the food truck culture in Los Angeles is prosperous. There are over 190 food trucks roaming on Los Angeles’ streets, especially clustering around schools, office districts, and hipster neighborhoods. Take the example of the food trucks around the University of Southern California. Due to the expensive rent around the school and limited types of food offered in the school, there are food trucks serving Mexican, Korean, and mostly Chinese food along the street. The operating cost for a food

FAST FOOD Apart from traditional restaurants and worldwide fast food chain, the city of Los Angeles also have its regional fast food restaurants. This is a city in love with burgers. We have I-N-OUT, Pie N’ Burger, Apple Pan and Capitol Burger. Also, you are able to try California-style pizza which focuses on non-traditional pizza ingredients in California Pizza Kitchen. Finally, the Pink’s Hot Dogs is a landmark hot dog chain in the Hollywood area, offering chili hot dogs.

CULTURE

FUSION

These single-culture cuisines are not the whole story about Los Angles, the multi-ethnic mixing, which some people may call it fusion, is also influencing the food culture. Roy Choi’s Kogi BBQ is one example of such fusion. But there are a lot more. The Filipino restaurateur Oscar Bautista, the owner of The Park’s Finest opened his restaurants inspired by his American friends and his childhoods in Echo Park. He marinated the American cuts of meatpork ribs, beef ribs, tritip, and quartered chicken with classic Filipino combinations of garlic, onions and peppers. When you eat in his restaurant, you are also provided with a Filipino vinegar-based “sawsawam” sauce and tomato-based coconut pineapple barbecue source for you douse the meat in. The remaining sauce is then put onto a cornbread “bibingka.” Another example is the Boba Bear in Koreatown. The owner Teddy Zou combined the “hookah” which is a Persian water pipe used to vaporize and smoke tobacco, with boba milk tea to bring the tea or cafe culture and “hookah” culture together. So young people can hold the water pipe on one hand, and the milk on the other hand. In another cafe called Boba 7 in downtown LA, it creates its own “horchata boba” by putting the tapioca pearls into the Mexican cinnamon rice drink.


SAVE ROOM FOR DESSERT R’S O T I ED K C I P

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It is the immigrant culture that makes the food culture in Los Angeles so different from other cities, say New York. If you are looking for high-end restaurants, like a three-Michelin-starred restaurant, you probably want to go to New York. Certainly, we have many of them in Los Angeles in Beverly Hills. However, they can’t represent Los Angeles. The prevailing food in New York does not really draw much inspiration from the city’s minority, yet Los Angeles has the advantage of cheap and tons of ethnic restaurants due to its high tolerance to other cultures. Combining with the creativity of chefs, and a spirit of experimentation, the diversity in Los Angeles has made it the best food city in the country in my point of view.


25


LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO STAY?


ANDY NGUYEN BY:

Airbnb is the

NEW

HOTEL

The advancement of modern technology has changed the way people approach their daily regime. Since the introduction of smartphone applications, people have approached many of their daily routine differently, and planning for a living accommodation during travel was one of them. Because of the application Airbnb, people have more options to choose

from. The typical option in the hospitality industry are hotel, motel, and hostel, for those who are seeking for a more affordable alternative. Airbnb can be used anywhere in the world, especially in major cities such as Los Angeles, and it is a useful application to assist people who are searching for a cozier accommodation. There are many great list-

ing that can be found in the Los Angeles, California. As a result, when traveling in Los Angeles, Airbnb is a great option whether people are looking for cheaper alternatives, or luxurious ones. The mobile application, Airbnb is a website for people to list, find, and rent lodging, and it is responsible for revolutionizing how society organize


their accommodation while traveling to major cities such as Los Angeles.

ABOUT AIRBNB Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace for people to list, discover, and book unique housing around the world either online, from a mobile phone, or through a tablet. It was founded by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia around August 2008 in San Francisco, California. Currently, it has over two million listings in over thirty-four thousand cities, and around two hundred countries. Airbnb provides a unique travel experience in a wide variety of of options whether it is an apartment, a castle, or even a villa, this application connects people all around the world at any price point.

HOW AIRBNB WORKS Airbnb has people who list their properties on this application, and they are called hosts. Hosts are people who shares or rents out their real estate, and there are locations to be found all around the world. To begin using Airbnb, start

at the search process by simply entering the desire location and travel dates into the search bar to find the desired accommodation to stay. During the searching process, there will be photos of the listing, the host profiles, and reviews to assist people in making the decision. In addition, there is filters to help narrow the result in terms of the type of accommodation, price, and location. After making the decision from the search process, the next step would be to contact the host to book a stay. However, in order to book a stay, Airbnb will first require any member to complete a profile to give the host an idea of the kind of guest they will be expecing. When the profile is complete, requesting a space is done by clicking on “Contact Host” or “Request to Book” button, or the “Instant Book” button can be used to confirm a stay without having to wait for the host’s approval. Instant book is a feature that does not require approval from the hosts, all that is required is the travel dates, and for people to discuss the check in plans with their host. There are no additional fees for

confirming reservation with instant book. However, not all host enabled this feature, but if desired people can search for housing that are available with instant book. In addition, there are also settings to protect the host who allows instant booking. For example, the host can change the settings to only allow guests to be eligible for instant book only if they have received positive reviews. In addition, they can set how many days notice they need in advance before they are checking in.

CHECKING IN After the searching and booking process, the next step would be checking in. This usually involves the guest and the host working out the details for checking in, exchanging keys, and checking out directly with each other because there is no online check in or checkout process. Before the start of the reservation, it is essential to communicate with the host. As a result, the guest should message their host to confirm the check in and check out times, make plans for the key exchange, and ask any other information that is necessary for a smooth check


in. Confirming contact information and itinerary information is important, so it is necessary to reach out to each other in case plans changed. After the reservation is confirmed, the payment will be processed and an email will be sent out with all the necessary information. All the important information can be referred to the reservation. In addition, if there is no check in or check out time specified, it can be assumed that the check in time is at 3 PM and check out is at 12 PM local time. Exchanging key can happen in various situation. Many hosts tend to greet their guest in person to exchange keys. However, there are other hosts that will send key instructions in the mail, and they will leave them in a lockbox or have a neighbor deliver the key to the guest. Using the application Airbnb is simple, and using it in large cities such as Los Angeles because there will be more

listings in cities.

AIRBNB IN LA There are many great locations in the Los Angeles area with hosts that have great reviews and are well-trusted. For example, if people were to search for living situation in Los Angeles, simply just type in Los Angeles and the date in which they are planning to visit. Next would be to filter the search by the price of ten dollars to two hundred to keep if searching for an affordable option and an entire house assuming this is for a family vacation. In addition, lets also check the advance filter of a “Superhost,” which are people that have the highest reviews and ratings.

Option One. One of the first location that showed is listed by the host name Janna who is a superhost and her listing

has over one hundred and sixty reviews. This is a great house for a family at an affordable price of seventy-five dollars a night. There are pictures of all the rooms, and a pool is included. As for the listing, it shows that this property is located in Hancock Park, and she is rated fives stars by many of the people who has stayed with her before. Some of the things that people have said about Janna was that she is friendly, and the listing location was in an “Extremely safe area.” It is also a great location with many grocery stores and local restaurants nearby.

Option Two. For those who are searching for more of a luxurious option, besides searching Los Angeles and filter to superhost, people can set the price range to eight hundred and above, as well. There is a host named Kati who is a superhost, and her listing has twenty-two reviews on Airbnb. This a luxury option for a family traveling to Los Angeles since the place is priced at eight hundred and fifty dollars. Kati’s house can hold up to eight guest with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, and five beds. Kati’s listing of her penthouse is located in Hollywood, and she is rated five stars from all of the people who stayed with her. People were saying how she is a sweet person, and many said how they fit up to six comfort-


ably. In addition to the location, many mentioned about her service because the reviews stated how she responds quickly, and greeted people upon their arrival. Airbnb is becoming more popular among the public, especially younger generations, and there are many reasons why people are using Airbnb over hotels.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AIRBNB & HOTELS Airbnb has quickly become a lodging alternative, especially among the younger generation. There are many similar qualities that Airbnb and hotels have. When it comes to pricing and the quality of the accommodation, there is not much of a difference between Airbnb and Hotels. Under hotels and motels, there are many different categories that varies depending on pricing. There are hotels which can range in quality such as a motel, to a standard average living quality, and to a fivestar hotel. Hostels are the most affordable under the hospitality industry, but it is a lower quality of living where rooms are shared, but there are also rooms that can be booked private, as well. As a result, the quality of the accommodation all depends

on how much the person is willing to spending during their stay in Los Angeles whether they are staying at a hotel or a house from Airbnb. Lastly, the safety of using Airbnb is similar to living at a hotel, but with an exception. Safety is also an issue that should be taken into consideration when it comes to finding a place to stay. Airbnb and hotels are the same situation, it is all depending on the pricing and the location of the area. If people where to stay through Airbnb or a hotel paying less then the bare minimum, the area would not necessarily be the best, and safety would be less ensured. Because the city of Los Angeles is a big area, there are many nice locations, and there are some areas that are less safe for travelers. However, Airbnb does add another variable to the issue because people are staying in strangers’ homes. As a result, this should be considered when using the application, and people should do their research by reading the reviews of the listing they are interested in staying at. Airbnb is another solution that is not different when it comes to pricing and quality because that is determine by the person. However, one quality that makes this application different from hotels is the experience that it provides. Staying in a listing in the desired area in Los Angeles could provide the experience as

being part of the culture. Living in a locals’ home could provide the convenience of being down the street from local cuisines and bars. In addition, living in a home of a local residence could provide that experience of being a part of Los Angeles. Airbnb is a great alternative to the hospitality industry as it offers more options for people to make accommodation as they travel, especially in major cities such as Los Angeles. Besides the typical options of hotel, motels, and hostel, Airbnb is able to offer people the price and quality of hotels, but to give people a better experience by allowing them to stay in the homes of other locals in the area. The search process is simple, and doing the research of the listing is also important to ensure a safe and pleasurable experience. Airbnb is similar in terms of pricing and quality to hotels because those things varies depending on the person searching, but the experience of being in a home is unlike anything a hotel can offer. As a result, this is a considerable option next time anyone travels to Los Angeles, or any where else in the world.


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