My City Series | CJ Johnson
No one knows a city better than its people. Consciously Connected Travel shares with you our global fam and friends through our My City Series. Unmasking some of the coolest places and it’s people and giving you a deeper more connected insight.
Man about town CJ Johnson is an award-winning content creator, entrepreneur, author, speaker and Internet personality. Best known for a being a prominent millennial voice and for his work in digital marketing and social media, former digital agency, J+J. Our boy CJ has helped over 100+ startups to Fortune 500 companies all around the world find success and reach new heights. Among other accolades, He’s been featured in publications such as Huffington Post, Fast Company, Forbes, Vice, and more.
When he’s not helping brands and fellow creatives take things to another level, he’s traveling around the world on globetrotting adventures and spreading daily creative inspiration to his social audience. GQ Insider and Google Next Gen Policy Leader, CJ is connected beyond belief. Contributing his influence to social change, bridging the gap between technology and education for content creators and low income areas in the United States. “It's always been my dream since I was a kid to move to Los Angeles to be a creative, making an impact on the world. I'm living my dream and happy as hell.”
1. How does LA make you feel?
Los Angeles makes me feel alive and inspired. From the smell of the salty ocean water air to our beautiful beaches. There’s always an infectious buzz of excitement in this city. It truly feels like a place where anything and everything can happen. I lived in L.A. for a lot longer than I ever anticipated (17 years!!!). I fell in love with the city long ago. It’s a fast-paced city with beautiful weather and where dreams come alive in serendipitous ways.
2. Favourite Spots to Eat?
Okay, I won’t lie everyone, I may not be a foodie but I like to eat. I frequent a lot of hot spots all around town and not ashamed to admit it! I’ll get real with you... my favorite all-time place to eat is… In and Out. Here me out. Yes, it’s a popular/trendy place to grab a bite but seriously the food is so delicious. It’s minimalist menu is freshly appealing, I can’t help but always order a double double burger with animal style fries. I just can’t. As if that wasn’t awesome enough there are secret menus that only those who know the secret codes can use to get menu options you didn’t even know were available (cookies and cream milkshake anyone?). L.A. is filled with so many good eats I’m honestly doing a disservice to so many amazing spots by choosing an all-time favorite. But my heart will always be with PS 310. It’s a cool school themed restaurant/bar. Even the menus have an old school notepad style. The drinks are good and they have delicious PB&J burgers that are irresistible. Yes… PBJ burgers. It’s so damn good.
3. Favourite places to Stay?
I’m spoiled because I live on the Westside, near the beach. I need the ocean to live so I don’t plan on heading off anywhere soon, lol. However, that doesn’t mean I’m a stranger to the coolest hotels in Los Angeles. If you’re looking for a trendy place to stay or grab a drink with some pals, I would recommend the SLS Hotel, the Ace, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and Shutters on the Beach. Overall, the old school prestige of the Beverly Hills Hotel always warrants a special visit. I’m also a big fan of Petit Ermitage. It has an artsy, bohemian style. I also don’t want to leave out the Palihouse in West Hollywood with its stylish mash-up of periods and styles.
4. Favourite things to do for your Daycap?
The obvious Daycap choices are our beautiful beaches in Venice, Santa Monica, Malibu, and Manhattan. But, I enjoy spending a lot of my time at the Akasha Cafe, located in Culver City. It’s a cute, comfortable spot where I walk in and servers already know what I’m going to order before I do. It’s a place where I hold business meetings, get away to read, or work. If you’re looking for a hot getaway spot to work remotely or even just to chill and take in the atmosphere, I’d also like to recommend Downtown Los Angeles. Downtown is perfect to take in the culture of the city and really get to see so much more of L.A. Hipster hotbed, Silverlake is also loaded with cool spots from Dinosaur Coffee to the gorgeous, Stories Bookstore (and cafe) and its next-door neighbor, the Time Travel Mart.
5. Favourite things to do for your Nightcap?
There are so many awesome places to grab a drink in Los Angeles. From the lovable Good Times at Dave Wayne’s, a Funky '70s retro bar with secret entrance to one of the hottest clubs in the city, Avenue. Depending on your mood there is something for everyone. I especially enjoy hanging out at L.A.’s best kept secret, the Culver Hotel. It’s one of the oldest hotels in Los Angeles. Just a few miles away from Sony Studios in Culver City, the hotel is best known for being an old Hollywood staple. It has a nice 1950’s vibe and style to it. When I’m there, I usually grab a spot by the fireplace and sip on a drink with good company. Sometimes, I find myself sneaking off onto their second floor fire escape, overlooking the city just to get away to write a bit. Perfect nightcap.
6. Favourites spots for Health & Beauty/Grooming?
The Pause Float Studio is the talk of the town right now. Located in the trendy part of Venice, Pause provides a transformative hour-long floatation therapy experience. You get your own private float room while you listen to a guided meditation, or float in peace partially submerged in ten inches of water blended with 1,000 pounds of epsom salts. Once the hour’s complete, you’ll emerge regenerated, euphoric, and ready for a cup of tea in their quiet reflection room. Then there is Create Yoga in Santa Monica. They have terrific yoga classes and trying to add something new to the yoga experience by providing workshops.
7. Favourites spots for Wellness & Fitness?
In a world where you’re always on the go, it’s hard to be mindful and stay healthy. That’s why I joined the Alliance Krav Maga & Fitness Center. It’s a local MMA gym in west L.A.. It’s a beautiful facility and with a staff that prides itself in helping their members grow. When I’m not kicking ass and taking names in the gym, I do TRY to get in some time for yoga (it’s been a while though, folks, LOL). Wanderlust in Hollywood is another awesome yoga spot to visit. It has beautiful designs and even has a juice bar and cafe, perfect for a post-class hang sessions. I’d also like to recommend The Class. It has spirit-cleansing classes and aims to make emotional, physical, and spiritual breakthroughs for its members.
8. Favourites spots for a little retail therapy?
Fashion trends are known to make a huge impact worldwide when they’re coming out of New York or Europe. But, the last few years have proven that Los Angeles is a growing threat to being your next ideal fashion destination. If you pay attention to what’s cool and emerging in fashion, you’ll be excited to check out two particular places in Los Angeles that are bringing some serious heat. One is downtown Los Angeles where the fashion district is lit with popular fashion brands and startups. Especially near the Koreatown area, you’ll find spots like Jason Marks, Apolis, Maher, Daughters of Culture, and more. If that doesn’t get you hyped enough, check out Fairfax ave. in Hollywood. That’s where you’ll see even more of the hottest brands in fashion like Supreme and Tyler The Creator’s Golf Wang.
9. Favourites spots for Art & Lifestyle?
One of my favorite places to visit is the LACMA museum. You may have seen the beautiful street lamp posts in hundreds of Instagram posts. But, what makes the LACMA so special is the versatility of the art museum. It has art from all ages and styles. Something for everyone. Next to it is the beautiful botanical garden and the all-famous tar pits. It’s one of the coolest places to visit. I’ll add the Broad to that list as well. Overall, art is becoming bigger in Los Angeles. You’ll usually find amazing galleries to visit Thursdays-Sundays in West Hollywood, Culver City, Downtown Los Angeles, and Santa Monica. If you love art, L.A. is the place to be.
10. One philanthropic project/program/development that you what to shed light on or are passionate about?
I’m currently spending a lot of my time working with Google on social justice issues. My main focus is to help build awareness for initiatives that bring technology to low income areas in the U.S. I’m dedicated to spotlighting equality issues and providing actionable steps to heal the world. Additionally, I volunteer when I can around the city and mentor young adults. Giving back to the community (no matter where I am in the world) is something very special to me.
11. Can you give us some insider Travel Tips for navigating LA?
The best time to travel is during the spring (around the second week of March). That’s when Los Angeles is loaded with events and things to do all over the city. It’s also the season when most travelers come to visit. If you’re not able to come out during the spring then please be here for the summer to soak up our beautiful beach weather and enjoy all of the festivities going on. We love our summers out here so you’ll find plenty of free events and open-houses to check out. There is something for everyone. L.A. always has terrific weather year round so pack a pair of sunglasses, a hat, and swimwear otherwise you’ll miss out on summer vibes. Also, be warned… L.A. is a very spread out place and one of the worst traffic cities in the world, so make sure to plan ahead when it comes to getting around town. Otherwise you’ll be spending most of your trip, just getting from point A to B. Remember, L.A. is a city of angels and the ideal destination for anyone in the world. Enjoy the sunshine and the good vibes.
12. Your Ultimate LA playlist?
My go to music jams is a Playlist I’ve named “Creative Vibes”. It’s an eclectic mix of indie, hip hop, and classic jams. This stirring combination keeps me inspired to seize the day.