“Los Angeles is a vibrant city with culture and nature.” Jen Bilik spills the beans in "This is (Not) L.A.: An Insider’s Take On the Real Los Angeles"
LOS ANGELES, CA- This is (Not) L.A.: An Insider’s Take On the Real Los Angeles tears apart all the stereotypes and myths of Los Angeles with well researched informative facts and a sprinkle and dash of humor and wit. This book was a breath of fresh air on what life in L.A. is really like and yes, shocking as some may think, Los Angeles does occasionally have fresh air.
As an LA native I have cringed at the stereotypes people assumed of my home town. My eyes have rolled when asked certain questions of what it was like growing up in La La Land. Clearly I wasn’t the only one that felt the assumptions of life in Los Angeles were incorrect.
Jen Bilik, Knock Knock Founder and CEO of Who’s There Group, admitted that even while growing up in the Bay Area she had a “bias with LA”, and it wasn’t until she moved down here 20 years ago that she realized her own biases were wrong, professing that Los Angeles is a vibrant city with culture and nature. Furthermore Jen felt “other publications were getting L.A. so ignorantly and stupidly wrong”. It was definitely time to change the perception of what L.A. is really like.
Jen stated she wanted to create “substantive editorial content and showcase it in ways that are not so serious or conventional”. This is (Not) LA is the perfect example of this sentiment. Jen Bilik and co-writer, native Angeleno, Kate Sullivan, along with the rest of their team wrote an informative colorful 168 page book that carefully organized the book into 18 myths of L.A. and 8 spotlights of L.A. The 18 myths are tackled head on and torn to shreds with informative and well researched reality checks. Myths such as weather, food, traffic, air heads, the biz and 13 other myths are all discussed in a cohesive manner. It was amazing to learn things I myself didn’t know, such as: the cochlear implants, stealth fighter, and firefighter paramedics all were created in Los Angeles.
The city is filled with so many wonderful things and constantly growing and developing. This is (Not) L.A. also points out the ways LA is thriving and improving. With new and growing industries from biotech to fashion, it’s evident L.A. is reaching new heights of achievement. Jen also felt it was important to point out some of Mayor Eric Garcetti’s executive directives, which she believes are “creating the LA she wants and it should be”. From Vision Zero to tackling homelessness L.A. is definitely trying to improve it’s short comings.
Sprinkled along the 168 pages are 8 spotlights, which offer humor and a deeper look into LA life The colorful photos, charts, and graphs add dimension to all the facts and figures this book offers. I honestly did not put this book down once I started reading it. Everything about this book I adored from the photos that colorfully portray the beauty and even some of the grittiness of Los Angeles, to the funny charts, and humorous maps. I didn’t even realize I had spent the morning lost in this book until I flipped to the last page. I was entranced. This truly was a love letter to LA.
This is (Not) L.A.: An Insider’s Take On the Real Los Angeles is a “Labor of Love” as Jen stated and it is evident. As an LA native I implore all natives, transplants, and future visitors to get this book. Put it on your coffee table, read it on the plane, share it with your visiting friends, or throw it at those hating on L.A. Just let the book speak for you and do the defending of this amazing multifaceted city that we know as Los Angeles.