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Wanted: "Only in LA" Gift Ideas

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A friend is flying in from Australia on Friday. It’s his first trip to Los Angeles, and he comes bearing gifts. Authentic, “only in Australia” kinds of gifts. I’m talking Penfolds red wine. I’m talking an Akubra hat. I’m talking a stuffed koala for my son (in Pietà form no less, cradling another tiny stuffed baby koala that sings Waltzing Matilda. Fuckin’ show off).

I thought I’d forgo the “here, have a fridge magnet” approach to visitor gifts this time and match his generous local-oriented gift bestowing by offering some unique, “only in LA” swag. Then, I hit a brick wall. We don’t have any freakin’ special hats. Or unique, symbolic yet cuddly animals to give away in stuffed form. Hell, even our local wines kind of suck.

After mulling over a number of totally inappropriate LA gifts, including one of those red Skooby’s hats, a freeze-dried animal style burger, a bootleg DVD from the streets of the Fashion District and the Kim Kardashian/Ray J sex tape, I put the question to my fellow LAisters. The responses have provided a rare look at the material things that best represent a trip to our city, but nothing that matches the pure "Aussie-ness" of his stuff: