30 Things To Do in L.A. Before You Turn 30

30 Things To Do in L.A. Before You Turn 30
Colin Young-Wolff

L.A., at least stereotypically, is the place for young, upwardly-mobile, self-celebrating, wanna-be noteworthy people. It's all bright lights, movie stars, hip threads, and youth as far as the sunglass-covered eye can see. This city is a young-person's amusement park every minute of the week and your youth melts faster than a paleta in a September heatwave. So, before you become a sad old sack, you better maximize your childish fun. Plus, people here love being told what they're currently missing out on, what they've already missed and what an authoritative publication identifies as a series of requirements. So, here's 30 of them:

A drug-addled 20-something on a game show.
A drug-addled 20-something on a game show.
CBS screengrab

30. Do a ton of drugs and go on a game show
It has to be a literal ton, though. You'll be amazed at how much can fit into a well-hydrated, surprisingly-elastic young body. The internet will love you for it. 

"Mom, this is who I've always been on the inside."
"Mom, this is who I've always been on the inside."
Taylor Hamby for LA Weekly

29. Develop a ridiculous point of view and make that your identity
It's not "obnoxious as fuck" when you can call it a "personal brand." Things that make you cool in your 20s? Be a blogger who exclusively walks everywhere, only listening to music made in 1937 by Latvian immigrants, wearing burlap exclusively, etc. Let it fly. Adults don't have freak flags they can let fly.

28. Perfect being an L.A. exceptionalist
When bragging about your city, move beyond the celebrity bullshit, the weather and the fresh produce or whatever, and go straight for the L.A. Basin's unique geology. It is unique, after all. Tell people at home about all of those conglomerate and breccia sediment formations. They care. They really care.

27.  Surmount an intervention
Still drinking like a college sophomore while your pals have all slowed down? It's not your problem, it's theirs. Fact: if there isn't a licensed shrink present it's not a valid intervention. Hang tight and focus on the fact that finding new friends will be pretty easy when you re-up your stash later. 

30 Things To Do in L.A. Before You Turn 30

26. Sweat your marginally famous neighbor
They won't know him based on name recognition, but your friends will never forget that you live next door to the star of Swimfan....because you don't ever stop talking about him. He might date you if you can only orchestrate a perfect conversation at Gelson's. If you really play your cards right, everyone will be calling you "Mrs. Swimfan" in no time. 

30 Things To Do in L.A. Before You Turn 30EXPAND

25. Forget you have a lot of weed in your house
Oh, right. Skunk and Carb left you that huge sack of OG Kush last August...it doesn't go bad, does it? Until Washington and Colorado made it legal, this city was the epicenter of American marijuana tourism for 20-somethings. It still isn't exactly illegal, but it isn't not illegal...which makes it more fun. 

24. Accept the fact that none of your major life goals are getting achieved until you're 40
"The Plan" keeps coming up again, and you still haven't even scratched off "Step one: live like a legitimate adult human." 

30 Things To Do in L.A. Before You Turn 30EXPAND
Pressed Juicery for LA Weekly

23. Cleanse. 
People surprisingly still do this, and youth is a prime excuse do to cruel things to your body that bear no scientific merit. If you really want to get into the spirit, invent a new cleanse. Sand? Sand is vogue these days. 

22. Go out with someone you met in real life
Haha, just kidding, dummy! No one in L.A. ever does this ever. 

21. Start a commune or a "collective"
How hard is it to do art and live in an an open-concept warehouse nowadays? Pretty easy if you can dam up a stream of that Silicon Beach cashflow. The orgies, the be-ins, the hackathons, and the communal lifestyle salads are mere bonuses. Think about it: None of the Mansons had hit 30 before their commune was in all the papers. 

What everywhere outside of Silver Lake looks like.
What everywhere outside of Silver Lake looks like.
Jared Cowan for LA Weekly

20. Get balls-deep into the outer 'burbs
Rents suck everywhere so the folks in places like Sylmar and Covina have no excuse for not living closer to cooler things. Set up shop and mock them mercilessly. At the end of this decade, you'll be one of them and you'll finally get the joke that you've become. 

19. Tattoos!
Where would a listicle be without a tattoo entry? Blah blah blah, put a permanent thing on your body that won't seem so cool in a decade, blah blah. Pop culture reference!

18. Tell people you're a writer, director, producer, actor, performer, engineer and entrepreneurial-jack-of-all-trades
What don't you do for a living? By your third decade, you'll have subtracted all of them from your leftover business cards with a sharpie.

Damn you Metro! You PBR-drinking, gentrifying hipstitution! This neighborhood has been mine since 2007!
Damn you Metro! You PBR-drinking, gentrifying hipstitution! This neighborhood has been mine since 2007!

17. Complain that your neighborhood is gentrifying
Every L.A. neighborhood has been taken over by some group or another at some point, but you don't know that because you've still got all that misplaced youthful passion to obscure your reasoning skills! Bitch about how all of the people like you had the audacity to move onto your block a year after you did, you young whippersnapper. When you're aged, you'll be a homeowner and doing the exact same thing with less passion. 


16. Vegas, baby, Vegas. 
Yeah, people still say that when they've got no other ideas and no obligations for the next few days. The older you get the sooner into that five-hour drive you'll realize that the free drinks and death-taunting buffets aren't worth the bank-account-draining and the three-day hangover. For most of your 20s, however, you'll have the hormone-induced responsibility-blocker that will get you through that whole trip and back. 

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