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How To LA

To Live And Love In LA

A pink candy heart in the foreground with an "I" and a heart and a "U" with a pile of colorful candy hearts behind it.
Happy Valentine's Day!
(Denise Cross Photography)
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Though it’s super early in the morning and I have yet to have my coffee, I’m jamming to my favorite love song, Tamia’s So Into You. Now join me! Turn on your favorite love song and dance.

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Finding love in LA

Today, let’s talk about finding love in Los Angeles. Navigating the dating scene out here in this big, sprawling, complicated city where everyone is trying to make it is tough.

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But as it turns out, it just might be possible to find love in L.A. Last week we asked you to send us your love stories and several of you who read and listen to How To LA sent us some really sweet ones.

Here are just a few:

Takara Sights met her now-fiancee at a bar in 2017. Both of them were new to L.A. and had just joined the No Boys recreational dodgeball league. After a game, the team would usually go to a sports bar for drinking games. Here’s the account of how they met:

I’m not the most outgoing person, and one night I was standing by the bar and this beautiful woman thought she was standing in my way. We got to talking. She had never been out of the country but had her passport ready to go. I’ve traveled quite a bit, but I’d never been to temptingly close Tijuana. It was a date. In two weeks we were strangers with no plan driving to Tijuana. We fell in love over late night texts, food excursions, hikes in Griffith Park, and long bike rides. She’s the most incredible person I’ve ever met and I’m grateful to L.A. for bringing me to her and changing my life. 

Jose Cabrera also met his love through recreational activities — a bowling league. They dated for seven years and are now celebrating four years of marriage, outlasting the bowling alley in Santa Monica where they met.

For 10 years we lived a mile apart and never met. At first we didn’t date, we just did fun group stuff like beach volleyball, Santa Monica pier, concerts and bowling on our team. We had a lot of things in common, most importantly our sense of humor. But also our outlook on life and never taking things too seriously. Eventually I had to know, “Is this a romantic thing?” So I met up with her on a Friday night and by the end of the evening, I kissed her. It made me believe that love is possible in this crazy giant city.

Allison Gray moved to L.A. reluctantly 13 years ago and had never been to Lincoln Heights until … she met the “right guy.”

I fell in love with an East L.A. guy. I was a mid-city girl. He’s a cat dad. I’m a dog mom. Turns out opposites really do attract. We worked together for many years but the timing wasn’t right … until one night just before Christmas. I told him I’d love to see him a little more. One year later, he might’ve just convinced me to move to the east side. That’s how you know it’s true love. I love getting to see the downtown skyline and twinkly lights from his house. Whether we are barbecuing together, going to Dodger games or watching old TV shows, it all just feels new and exciting when you are with someone you love. Even sitting in L.A. traffic can be fun with the right guy, I promise.

These love stories are so sweet. Thank you to all who submitted them. We have more on the How to LA podcast. Take a listen here.

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

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

More news

(After you stop hitting snooze)

  • Don’t just rely on your boo to keep you warm today, my friends. Keep your sweater out because it’s going to be quite a chilly, windy V-Day today. 
  • A majority of SEIU Local 99 LAUSD staff workers have voted to authorize a strike. My colleague Adolfo Guzman-Lopez wrote about what this means and what’s next for the district workers. 
  • Earlier this month, L.A. Metro joined several transit agencies nationwide to offer a day of free rides. But, with the rising costs of gas, air pollution and other environmental concerns, transit justice advocates believe free rides should be more commonplace
  • Santa Anita Park has had six horse deaths already this year, which is causing some scrutiny in the horse racing world. 
  • Aphrodisiac. Health elixir. Antioxidant. The benefits of consuming cocoa seem endless. Still, the FDA is not convinced and finds that the true benefits of “regular” chocolate are not clear. 
  • The city of Irvine may pull out of the Orange County Power Authority. Here's why.
  • The now unionized Medieval Times workers are picking up a different kind of weapon in their latest battle for equitable pay and better safety measures. The union said they would be striking this week until they reach an agreement from their company regarding their labor concerns. 
  • It’s Valentine’s Day. Spend a romantic evening with R&B crooner John Legend at the Walt Disney Concert Hall tonight. If you want a FREE cutesy date night with your boo, snuggle up together at Grand Park’s Lovers Rock where you can listen to music, take pictures at a photo booth and pick out flowers at a flower market and more. Or maybe cracking up at some good jokes is more of your V-Day vibe. Check out the Love Is In The Air comedy show at the Townhouse Venice. There are so many events happening throughout this week of LOVE. Check them out here. 
  • While we’re on the subject of love, let’s talk about the wildest, grandest gesture you’ve ever made in the name of the four-letter word. For the new season of LAist Studios’ Wild podcast, Erick Galindo and Megan Tan are digging into love stories, too — fictional ones. They are starting their very first serialized scripted podcast called I Think I’m Falling In Love. But they need some help, readers. Erick and Megan want to hear about a time you went the distance for someone. Read all about it here.
  • *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! 

Wait... one more thing

What you should know about neighborhood councils

Volunteers gather their trash bags after combing the sidewalks along a Central Avenue intersection on a bright day. One worker has on a white tank-top and black pants, and the other has a black shirt. Both are wearing gloves.
Volunteers gather their trash bags after combing the sidewalks along Central Avenue
(Giuliana Mayo
LAist )

If you ever wanted to get more involved in your community, you just might want to consider joining a neighborhood council. They are the most hyperlocal arm of government in the city of Los Angeles and the folks who join often make a difference in their surroundings. Interested?

If so, it’s election season and time for new council members to join up. If you’re passionate about making an impact in your neighborhood, you work well with all kinds of people and want to learn more about how the government “sausage” gets made, read my colleague Brianna Lee’s article about how these councils operate and how you could join one.

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