Photography & Text SUSIE SUH
As a singer-songwriter, one of my favorite places in the world is Los Angeles, California. I love how lush and raw mother nature is here, how vibrant urban culture pulsates here, and the way in which they collide and meld together. Despite having lived in places such as Berlin, Paris, and New York, I’ve always considered Los Angeles to be my home, the place where I come back to after being road-worn and weary from traveling, where my family and many dear friends live, and the place that really has it all — sun, beach, mountains, culture, and city life.
Born and raised in a suburb of L.A., it was here that I picked up my eldest brother’s old guitar and wrote my first song at 13, took piano lessons from my strict Korean piano teacher, as well as learned how to sing in my middle school choir. And although I am all grown up now and Los Angeles has shifted and evolved over time, a drive along windy canyon roads surrounded by the majestic Santa Monica Mountains still fills me with wonder and takes my breath away.
Here are some of my favorite places that I would like to share with you in and around Los Angeles that have inspired and influenced me in some form or fashion.
22706 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu CA 90265
Along the PCH in Malibu is Japanese Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s stunning restaurant Nobu. Since 1987 Chef Matsuhisa has been impressing his diners with Japanese-Peruvian dishes and the mix of delicious Asian fare, a beautifully understated modern interior and exterior in one of the most picturesque beachfront locations in Los Angeles, make for a worthy combination. I’ve had birthday dinners with my family here and eating sushi and black cod with miso whilst sitting on the patio and watching the waves roll in is a truly L.A. experience.
Mohawk General Store
4011 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90029
In the heart of Silverlake, an enclave of Los Angeles where I used to live, is The Mohawk General Store. Created by Bo and Kevin Carney, I love coming here to see their collections, an eclectic mix of independent, local, and more well-known international designers. From Comme des Garçons, Dries Van Noten, ACNE, The Row, and Rachel Comey to local L.A. designers like Ahlem and their own line Smock, their selection of jewelry, clothing, and eyewear is excellently curated and has helped inform what I wear on and off stage.
Santa Barbara Bowl
1122 N Milpas St, Santa Barbara CA 93103
The Santa Barbara Bowl is a 4,562-seat outdoor amphitheater about an hour and half from Los Angeles in the small quiet beach town of Santa Barbara. Open from April–October this is one of my favorite music venues in Southern California. There are many great acts that come through here and since it’s a smaller town its a lot easier to navigate and get around. I’ve seen amazing performances here from Florence & The Machine to Neil Young. There’s not a bad seat in the house and the seats up top offer an ocean view that culminates with a California sunset as artist’s perform. When I went to see Neil Young I was fortunate enough to be able to stand in the pitt and be at the foot of Neil Young watching him perform for over 3 hours. It was a moment I’ll always remember. (You can find my cover of Neil Young’s song Hey Hey My My on iTunes.)
Joshua Tree National Park
Visitor Center- 6554 Park Boulevard, Joshua Tree CA 92256
About 140 miles east of Los Angeles near Palm Springs and The Coachella Music Festival is Joshua Tree National Park. This has been a funky artist community for many decades now, a place of respite for musicians such as Gram Parsons and the inspiration for U2’s 1987 album. Believed to be an energy vortex, a place on the planet of increased energy, artists of all types have come here to experience the solitude and stillness of the desert. I have been coming here for years, a perfect getaway when I need to take a break from the world and hibernate. The desert has a magical quality to it very hard to describe, but it has interwoven itself into my musical work as nature has always been a huge influence on me. When I come here I like to get a sound healing at Integratron, grab a drink at Pappy & Harriet’s, eat at the Country Kitchen Diner, and spend the day hiking the trails and meditating in the National Park. I always leave Joshua Tree feeling rejuvenated and my soul a bit lighter.
About Susie Suh
Susie Suh is a Korean-American singer-songwriter from Los Angeles. With over 55 million streams on Spotify and millions of views on YouTube, Susie’s sonic evolution has clearly resonated with fans. Her songs have been featured on numerous television shows and movies in the U.S. and abroad. Her self-titled debut album was produced by the legendary Glen Ballard, and was followed by her successful second album The Bakman Tapes and EP Everywhere. You can find Susie Suh on Spotify and iTunes.
Susie Suh in ALLIED METAL WORKS by Barton Perreira B060