Continuing with our LA interviews, we now sit down with Ella Tabasky. Pictured here in front of the steps of city hall protesting the Keystone XL, Ella’s a long-time fundraiser for environmental non-profits and, as it happens, wife of yesterday’s interviewee, Josh Jackson. She gives us the low-down on what brought her to LA for a second tour of duty.
What do you do in LA?
I’m a fundraiser for an international environmental nonprofit.
How long have you lived there?
Two years (this time—4 years total).
What do you like most about LA?
The proximity to all kinds of nature, fresh and local fruits and veggies, the relaxed vibe.
What do you think is most lacking in LA?
Public parks! Pocket parks in walking distance are rare in my ‘hood.
Ah, New York’s got you on that. Does it suck to have to drive EVERYWHERE‽
Yes! But you do get used it it.
Fair enough. Where do you live in LA?
How would you describe the neighborhood?
HUGE! It’s just very unique with lots of things open all hours. And it’s close to public transportation and some lovely neighborhoods like Larchmont Village. One thing that may surprise you—more Latinos live in Ktown than Koreans.
I only knew that because Josh told us yesterday. Most memorable, life-altering, fucked up, or just funny experience to date in LA?
Getting hit by a car as I crossed a crosswalk at 9AM on New Year’s Day. I had the right of way too. The little Korean lady didn’t speak any english!
Oh, that’s not good. On to more positive things—best celebrity sighting you’ve had?
I don’t pay attention and generally miss them. After all, they are normal people, too. Or maybe I’m just too cool for school to give a shit.
Yeah, we LOVED Mohawk Bend. Vegan/veg restaurant?
Cafe Gratitude. I like the I am Humble, despite hating the affirmations.
I have a sweet spot for dive bars, so Frank and Hanks or Sheddy’s. No fancy cocktails at either. Just simple, laid back vibe and interesting people. And a shout out to my local haunt, Beer Belly. I can walk there and they have a great beer selection
(duh). The food is good, should you want a big beer belly of your own.
Mmmmm. Beer. Coffee shop?
Paper or Plastik. Vegan-friendly and a super Brooklyn vibe!
I like Brooklyn. Museum/gallery?
LACMA. You hit the nail on the head by going to see Kubrick.
Poketo in downtown LA—awesome shop with unique goods and local designers.
Hiking spot…and seriously, are we gonna get eaten by mountain lions?
No, you will not get eaten by mountain lions. I really enjoy the greenery and waterfalls at Big Santa Anita Canyon.
Yeah, we were hoping to get there too but never made it out. Song, movie, or show that best captures LA?
Hmmm. Anything by Elliott Smith, The Kinks—“Celluloid Heroes” or The Decemberists, “Los Angeles, I’m Yours”.
Tourist trap that’s worth the trappings?
Hollywood Sign/Griffith Observatory. It is also a trip to go down Hollywood Boulevard or the Sunset Strip at least once.
Advice to those considering making the move to LA?
Don’t listen to the east side vs west side hype. Plan to live as close to where you work as possible…unless you like two plus hour round trip commutes.
Got it. Finally—not that this is a bi-coastal battle of the metropolises…but, kinda, it is—what would you say to all the LA-haters in NYC?
Honestly, there is no comparing the two cities. They are both different and amazing in their own ways. Give LA a chance before you judge!
Malo kitchen photo by Johnny Dycus.