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How To LA: A Hike Around Montecito Heights

A fair-skinned white woman and a brown-skinned Latino man pose in front of a tree.
Montecito Heights resident Debra Dysart and How To LA podcast host Brian De Los Santos talked about the beauty of the Montecito Heights neighborhood.
(Chris Farias
LAist )
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It’s my favorite time of the year: spring. Spring for me is a time of new beginnings and blossoming into a more polished, wiser self.

The beauty of the Montecito Heights neighborhood

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For the Southern Californian in me, it’s the perfect time to find some breathtaking views of the city … and boy, do I have a place for you and I to explore!

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In the latest edition of the How To LA podcast neighborhood series, host Brian De Los Santos and producer Megan Botel visited the Montecito Heights neighborhood to speak with residents about why the charming, quiet area located on a hill is so spectacular.

Debra Dysart, the Angeleno who wrote to us about exploring her neighborhood, said the views sold her when she and her husband were deciding where to buy a home.

“We looked and we could see the foothills in the back here and you can even see Mount Baldy on a clear day,” Dysart said. “We just fell in love with the location.”

Montecito Heights is a haven for artists and industry people. In the latest podcast episode, you’ll get to hear from another resident who actually designed clothes for Pharrell and Taylor Swift.

Do you want to show off your neighborhood? You can pitch your community to us at How To LA. Scroll down to find our question “What LA neighborhood is special to you?” and tell us your story.

As always, stay happy and healthy, folks. There’s more news below — just keep reading.

We’re here to help curious Angelenos connect with others, discover the new, navigate the confusing, and even drive some change along the way.

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(After you stop hitting snooze)

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  • A second person was arrested in connection with the fatal shooting in a West Hills shopping center parking lot over the weekend. Ashley Rusch has more information. 
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  • Did you know there were only 14 permanent public toilets in the city of L.A.? My colleague Caitlin Hernández explored the fascinating reason behind why we don’t have that many public stalls on the streets and if pay toilets could actually be reintroduced. 
  • California officials presented a proposal that may cut some mental health programs in order to reform the whole system. Advocates and local service providers are concerned about what will happen once funds are reallocated. 
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  • Passover starts tonight for our Jewish friends. Josh Heller has a yummy guide on how to find some absolutely mouthwatering meals for Passover in L.A.
  • *At LAist we will always bring you the news freely, but occasionally we do include links to other publications that may be behind a paywall. Thank you for understanding! 

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Wait... One More Thing

How In The World Did These Jacaranda Trees Get Here?

Photo by leah c dixon via the LAist Featured Photos pool onFlickr

Do you know what’s truly a feast for the eyes? Finding vivid, violet-blue jacaranda trees in Southern California. Admiring those ephemeral trees once they’re in season makes me so very grateful I have eyes to see. They’ve become my absolute favorite flower upon moving back to L.A. as an adult.

And it’s springtime, baby. That means in just a little over a month, we’ll see these trees in bloom. I’m too excited.

I just found out something shocking in Julia Wick’s article about our lovely tree. The Jacaranda mimosifolia flower is not even a native to L.A. It’s a South America-based tree. But somehow we have around 148,000 jacaranda trees in L.A. So, how in the world did it even get to our region?

Well, you know what today is. It’s history day. So, hop in my special yellow DeLorean lowrider coupe. Let’s travel back to the late 1800s to meet Kate Sessions, our pioneering horticulture queen, who was actually born and raised in California. She is responsible for the profusion and popularization of the jacaranda, as well as more than 143 species of other floras. Sessions planted a hundred trees annually in City Park in San Diego, planting a total of about 4,000 bright jacaranda trees around the city.

Read more about her legacy in transforming Southern California with jacaranda trees and where you can find some in L.A. County.

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