Mia was born in Pasadena and moved seven times across the country before finishing high school in L.A.’s South Bay. After going to college in Vermont, she came back to L.A. in 2010 and has lived here since. Before going freelance, she worked on staff at the Rafu Shimpo, the local Japanese American community newspaper, based in Little Tokyo.
Where I live:
On the Eastside, near the L.A. River. My parents still live in the South Bay, which my mom brags is always 10 degrees cooler than where I live.
Best way to get around the city:
L.A. was famously built for cars and, unfortunately, they’re still the most reliable way to get around. If you plan strategically, though, you can access a lot by Metro, and many neighborhoods are walkable.
Don’t leave without having:
A moment at the ocean. If you’re here on a weekday, take advantage of the lull and go to El Matador State Beach in Malibu, which has gorgeous, dramatic rock formations and is always crowded on weekends.
But the local favorite is really:
The wide-ranging food culture. The city mourned when Jonathan Gold, the first restaurant critic to win the Pulitzer Prize for criticism, died in 2018. He wrote about L.A.’s food with awareness and respect for the people and cultures behind it, and many of the best stories written about the city are still told through the lens of food.
If I moved, I’d most miss:
Being able to see actors, comedians and artists, both at the top of their game and just getting started, perform and talk about their work, often at free or affordable events, while still getting to live in a relatively quiet, residential neighborhood.