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Returning to San Francisco and Missing Los Angeles

Echo Park Los Angeles

In late 2020, I moved to Los Angeles County to be closer to family during the pandemic and explore a new city. With the help of Veronica’s dad, we packed up our belongings and drove South in our then Subaru. We rented an apartment above Veronica’s uncle in a lovely city, Norwalk, CA.

I had a great time in Los Angeles learning more about myself and leading a team through the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Although I spent most of my time in LA County with some severe COVID lockdowns and restrictions, Veronica and I managed to travel to view all of LA (we even went to Malibu). Emotionally, we lived somewhere between LA and San Diego as we also visiting my parents a ton.

Recently, we had some of our LA friends come visit us and it made me reminisce about my time in Los Angeles.

Top things I miss about Los Angeles

1. The Latinx community in LA

Over 100 Lowriders Cruised Through East L.A.'s Whittier Boulevard for the  50th Anniversary of the Chicano Moratorium (Photos) - L.A. TACO
Whittier Boulevard – East LA

The LatinX community was something new to me when I went to college. I grew up in San Diego and partially in Guatemala so the sense of cultural identity for me was always extremes. Either, I was in San Diego in a very diverse city (tons of cultures but no strong force) or in Guatemala with a lot of culture and community.

Los Angeles is a diverse metropolitan and has one of the strongest and most diverse latinx cultures. From the strong Oaxacan culture in Korea Town to Guatemalans throughout Los Angeles, LA has a vibrant and diverse LatinX community that is hard to replicate and experience in other cities.

2. Food Scene

Chef Wes Avila’s Ka’teen

LA has a top notch food scene. LA constantly has new restaurants opening up like Ka’teen led by Chef Wes Avila which takes you on a journey through the Yucatan Peninsula through food. Veronica and I managed to attend the opening night.

Every night in the Westlake neighborhood in Los Angeles, vendors gather at a market to serve Guatemalan food.
Source: New York Times

In addition to high-end restaurants, there are small pop-ups like those in Little Guatemala which cater street food from back home.

Blue Corn Tacos – Echo Park

I even probably had the best blue corn quesadillas in my life next to Echo Park.

Sugarfish Vows to Retain All 600 Workers for Entirety of the Pandemic -  Eater LA
Sugarfish

And how can I forget about Sugarfish!

3. Closeness to Family

One of the big reasons I really enjoyed living in Los Angeles was the ability to easily visit my parents. In Norwalk, it was only a 1.5 or 2 hour drive to La Mesa, CA outside of peak traffic. On a whim, I could decide to visit them and go out to our favorite outdoor restaurant.

Late 2021 – Returning to San Francisco

I moved back to San Francisco with Veronica in October, 2021 to a beautiful apartment near Golden Gate Park. It’s now March 2022 and I’ve really enjoyed my time back here. I primarily moved back since Finix opened up our office in downtown San Francisco which was a historic milestone. We were move in there earlier in 2020 but then the COVID pandemic happened.

I’m part of an in-person pillar of the company and I’m excited for the return to office. San Francisco and the community around it has been a personal blessing for me. This city really opened up a lot of opportunities for me and my family and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s also where I met Veronica!

Looking forward at 2022 in San Francisco

I’ve lived in the bay area for approximately 10 years starting from when I was 18 in 2011. I feel that I’m somewhere between a Bay Area person and a SoCal person

For this year, There are many things I’m looking forward to this year such as:

  • Catching up with friends that live in the bay area
  • Exploring Vero’s and I’s favorite places in the bay! Post coming soon!!!
  • Deepening my professional and personal relationships in the bay area. It’s hard to keep up in the pandemic and I’m looking forward to meeting people in person.
  • Continuing my seasonal adventures snowboarding and paddle boarding/kayaking in Tahoe
  • Biking and exploring golden gate park
  • Leading our Pre-Processing product pillar at Finix in our San Francisco HQ

Closing thoughts

I do miss LA and I visit her every month and half. This is my love letter to Los Angeles. ¡Hasta pronto!

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