Lulu Leon - Human Rights Researcher
Welcome to another segment of Local Lovelies!
This is where I ask my local ladies and friends a few questions to give you the 'local in' from the lovelies who live here and get their take on how THEY explore and experience Los Angeles.
Originally from Venezuela, Lulu has been living in LA for the past 6 years. Besides the U.S., she’s also lived in Spain, France, and Micronesia. She works as a human rights researcher in the field of sustainability and considers herself an ice cream and coffee aficionado as well as an amateur weight lifter.
So how did she and I meet? Lulu and I actually met through a mutual friend who put us in touch. We like to say it was friendship at first sight. Our first hang-out felt like a first date (ha!). Before we met, all I was told at the time was that Lulu is Venezuelan, super nice, and was looking to make friends in LA. Luckily, we hit it off!
Since that initial meeting, our friendship has grown, enough so that almost 5 years on we’re still friends, she lives up the road from me, has spent Christmas with my family, and we’ve traveled together to places like Peru and Mexico with our other ‘amigas’ (shout out to Lauren and Rosa!). I’m so grateful our paths crossed and to top it off, she’s a total smarty pants with a Venezuelan sense of humor. With Lulu being a transplant to LA and really good at what she does (she can rattle off human rights data and facts like no one’s business. No, but really), I was eager to get her take on LA!
But first, a little about Lulu
Local Lovely: Lulu Leon
LA neighborhood you currently live in: West Hollywood
How long have you lived in LA? 6 years
What would you call yourself? A human rights researcher
Where did you move from? I'm from Caracas, Venezuela
Where can we find you? (of course, in a non-creepy stalker way that is ):
L O C A L
L O V E L Y
Q U E S T I O N S
Name a hidden gem in your neighborhood and why you love it:
A coffee shop near my house called Blackwood Coffee Bar. It has the best avocado toast I've tried in LA! In addition to the avocado, they add house pickled radishes, spicy pepitas, and chives.
Tip: Add a poached egg. It's bomb and costs almost half of what you would pay for a classic avocado toast at a restaurant.
Where do you love to go to dine in LA and what do you love to order there?
I recently became addicted to Box Choy, which sells only one dish: fresh-directly-from-the-farm bok choy, rice, and a choice of protein. I’m a trying to reduce my beef intake these days for environmental reasons, so I usually order my box with shrimp, Shanghai bok choy, brown rice, and mustard greens. It’s a healthy alternative for fast and inexpensive food.
What keeps you busy in LA?
I do research on human rights issues in global supply chains. That means I visit factories that supply products to large American brands and collect information on workers' mental and physical health and working conditions. I then use that information to see how it affects the business. The end goal is to make the business case for improving workers' well-being. I’ve surveyed over 5,000 workers in Asia and Latin America so far. I love hearing their stories and using my research to give them a voice. I love my job :)
Name one place in LA you’re embarrassed to admit you have NOT been to/seen/or visited, but you’d like to visit soon! What's kept you from going?
I have yet to go to a concert at the Hollywood Bowl (I know, I know!)
What’s one thing about LA you love, but feel most people don't get to see or experience if they don't live here?
I love the diversity of people that live in LA. There are people from literally every corner of the world, who are very talented and work in all kinds of industries. LA is way more than the entertainment industry and the superficial stereotypes. Don’t get me wrong, the entertainment world is huge here and there are people who only care about looks, but that’s a small part of LA.
What’s the BEST AND WORST thing about being in Los Angeles?
BEST: The weather and the food scene
Where do you go for a sweet treat in LA?
My absolute weakness is ice cream, so Salt & Straw is the spot!
What's your most "LA Moment"?
I have declined invitations to events/parties because they were on the other side of the 405 [freeway] (LoL)
If you could be a guest on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden, which celebrity would you ride with and what song would you pick?
This is very cheesy, but it would be Backstreet Boys (are they still alive?) and the song would be “Everybody”.
[KJ: And yes, Lulu, The Backstreet Boys are very much alive - ha!]
Your friend is visiting, they have 24 hours to 'experience' LA, name the following places you send them to:
Must See: The Getty Museum
Must Do: Hike to the Hollywood sign
Lunch: Gracias Madre
Dinner: Bottega Louie
Can't Miss: LACMA at night (the best time to view the light installation out front)
~ FIN ~
THANK YOU, LULU!