california dreamin'

Posted on July 25 2016

uman x taren maroun los angeles

los angeles, here we come! the city of angels is our next stop, and we couldn’t be more excited to soak in that california sun, eat an in-n-out burger or two and explore the only us city that’s hosted the summer olympics more than once! while la is well known as the home of disneyland, sandy beaches, rodeo drive and the glitz and glamour of that thing they call hollywood, there’s way more to it than that, so we knew we needed a local to guide us around town.
luckily, we linked up with taren maroun, an awesomely talented visual artist based out of la. we just can’t get enough of her her newest project, #wildfolk, that recaps her incredible travels through photography, filmmaking, and storytelling. let’s just say this girl is as talented as they come, and it’s impossible not to be inspired by this chick.
keep reading to get to know taren and see la through her eyes (hint hint: the view is good).

umano x taren maroun los angeles

how do you unleash your creativity?
tm: unleashing creativity looks a million different ways in my mind. It's not just the act of creating something physical, but also dreaming. when we create goals for ourselves, or others, or dream about what "could be" we are using our creativity to create new, possible realities for ourselves if we choose to pursue it.
in the concrete sense, I exercise my creativity every day in the form of writing. I'm also often playing with photography or film concepts or working for a client in some creative way. I've found that if I don't have a physical outpouring of creativity in some way each day, even if it's just writing a quote and letting that be my "art" for the day, I tend to feel like my purpose is fuzzy.
how long have you been in los angeles?
tm: ooh. I'm an la baby. I've been here just under two and a half years now. I feel like at four years they give you some sort of badge or something. maybe a bumper sticker?
any local inspiration?
tm: I guess it depends what you consider inspiration, right? I am inspired by coffee shops and overcast weather (weird, right?) so if that's your deal I'd suggest early mornings and a shop I suggested above (granted, maybe also don't come in the dead of our summer blaze, haha!) if you like the wild, joshua tree is a three hour drive, or you can pop up to the los angeles forest. if you want to hike, get up early and hit echo mountain near pasadena! it's one of my favorites!

what does the city of los angeles mean to you?
tm: man, I've rewritten my answer to this question something like 10 times in the last minute. I don't really know how to answer it to be honest. living in la is eh. it's not la in the physical sense that means much to me, it's what it represents and how excited I am to be a part of what is shifting and changing in this industry. I love being here at this moment in history, where a dramatic shift is happening with equality, with technology and with those who are leading influencers. the truth is hollywood sets the tone for so much in our world and being able to be a part of that voice, and a voice set apart; one that says hope, self-confidence, kindness, justice and together is special to me.

umano x taren maroun los angeles

what’s your favorite hidden gem in los angeles?
tm: well, I'm a huge fan of books, and while I wouldn't say it's necessarily hidden it is in an area of town that most people don't frequent. the store is called iliad books and it's an amazing, magical little used bookstore in north hollywood. and they have kitties. enough said, am I rite?

finish this sentence: “if you come to los angeles, you cannot miss ________”
tm: ok. books. again. the last bookstore! It's pretty stinkin' cool. head downtown and check it out, they have a book arch you can walk through and isles and isles of awesomeness.

where/how to spend your saturday?
tm: if you've never been to la I'd definitely day head down to venice and check out abbot kinney, the beach boardwalk or mill around silver lake. saturdays in silver lake boast a great little farmers market so why not grab a cup of coffee at intelligentsia on sunset, brunch at millies cafe and then pop over and wander through the farmers market! oh, and my favorite thing! in pasadena at a park they do street food cinema where they line up all these amazing food trucks and then show movies in the park in a big screen. there are games and you can bring your own food and drink! definitely worth checking out.

best place to grab a cup a joe?
tm: this is definitely my favorite question. there are so many good coffee places in la. I spend most of my time on the east side or in north hollywood so if you're in that area my favorites are as follows, in no particular order: cafe de leche in highland park, cafecito organico in silverlake (they have the best back patio!), kaldi in atwater and my favorite place of all time (in all of la) republic of pie in north hollywood.

best place to grab a bite to eat?
tm:  dune! dune in atwater is a fresh, hip little mediterranean joint where everything tastes homemade! I'm lebanese. you can take my word on that. or if you are looking for more options you can hit up bon vivant a few doors down. they serve everything from salads to burgers and pastries plus they have a coffee bar and a sep beer and wine bar! It's great for large groups with big, long tables and the food is always on point.

where to hit up for a night out?
tm: well, if you're like me and just looking for an affordable night (let's be real, that's relative) with good people I'd say hang out in the los feliz area or silverlake. black cat in silver lake is great and if you wanna get your karaoke on, check out village tavern. oh, and if you like old school arcade games pop down to the arts district in dtla and check out eightytwo. I got my butt handed to me at tmnt there (which I'll never admit again) and I wasn't drinking. it is fun though!
alternatively, skip the drinks and the ridiculous amounts of cash and go catch a flick at our amazing little one screen theater the vista on sunset in silverlake. there is nothing I love more than paying three times less than all the other theaters in la and being able to grab a cup of coffee across the street beforehand.
with the olympics coming up, we want to know your favorite olympic sport and/or athlete?
tm: the equestrian games!! I've been riding and training horses for most of my life, so that's always a big high for me. It's amazing because it's so much more than yourself, you're on a living, breathing creature with a mind of their own. how incredible is that?!