The Best Hiking Trails to the Iconic Hollywood Sign

The Best Hiking Trails to the Iconic Hollywood Sign

NYC may have its Statue of Liberty, but in LA there’s no need for a huge and fancy statue to symbolize the city. It’s a HOLLYWOOD sign right up there on the side of the mountain. It’s a sight that’s one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, and invariably every movie and TV show displays the sign to immediately tell people where the action is.

While it seems like a great view from below, you know what’s better? It’s if you can hike up to it so that you can take a selfie with that huge sign as your immediate background. There’s an easy way to get there, and there’s another hiking trail you can use if you want more of a challenge.

The Easy Trail

If you want to take things easy, it’s understandable. All you need to do is to take the Mount Hollywood trail to take you right to the sign. You start in Griffith Park, with 2 possible starting points in the area.

The starting point for the shorter trail starts at the parking lot of the Griffith Observatory. This hike is about 3 miles long, which is like a stroll in the park for most hikers. For newbies, it’s not all that bad either.

The other starting point is on a fire road intersecting N. Vermont Canyon Road. It’s only a little bit longer. You can find parking at both spots, but you may have to compete with other hikers especially if you come later in the day. You should come in early in the morning so parking is easier, plus you can enjoy a cooler hike.

The Charlie Turner Trailhead also has another starting point for the Mt. Hollywood trail. You can’t miss it, as you’ll see various signs that should point you the right direction.

Just remember, this is the easy trail with different starting points. It’ll be a little over 3 miles, and it should take you about 2 hours to hike. It’ll take you right next to the sign.

Hollywood Hiking Trail in Los Angeles

The Challenging Trail

If you’re really fit and itching to prove it, then this is the trail for you. This is the Canyon Drive trail, and you’ll end up behind the sign with this hike. What’s more, you get to see the awesome view of downtown LA as well as the San Fernando Valley.

It’s about 6½ miles long and you’ll need about 4 hours to complete the journey. Keep in mind that you’ll hike going up by about 1100 feet, so be prepared. Take lots of water with you, and make sure you have sunscreen.

Plenty of people start this trail at the wee hours of the morning. This gives you a cooler hike and at the end, the sunlight gives you a great view. But you may also want to try it at sunset too. The view is a lot more unique, and you get enchanting hues with your views of downtown LA and the San Fernando Valley.

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.

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6 Things Employers Need to Know About Mental Health at Work

6 Things Employers Need to Know About Mental Health at Work

Mental health in the workplace is a touchy subject even though it shouldn’t be. If you’re quite clueless about the basics, here are six things that you should know about it.

How many years has it been since the World Health Organization declared that mental health problems are classified as serious illnesses? It has been a while, for sure, but it can’t be denied that the diseases under this category still carry a stigma. People who are diagnosed with such are still treated with doubt and suspicion as if their health problem is not as bad as other ailments.

While there have certainly been some improvements over the past decade when it comes to treating mental illness, we’re far from handling it properly. A lot of people are working hard to change this but if not everyone is willing to make an effort, we’ll still have to wait a long time for things to change.

Mental Health in the Workplace

It’s no secret that the workplace can be the most nerve-racking places for people with mental illness. They can be too competitive, too alienating, too unwelcoming. Because of this, a lot of talent and potential are wasted.

If you don’t want your workplace to experience the same thing, you should work on educating your people about mental health. Handling these diseases properly start from understanding the condition and their sufferers better, so it’s always a good idea to start there.

As there’s just so much to learn about this problem, it’s best to start small. We won’t talk about the technicalities of mental health as that might prove to be too complicated for some. Here are six of the most basic things that you should know about mental health, however:

1. Mental illness is present in every workplace

One of the most important things that everyone should know about mental health issues is that they come in different forms. They do not manifest in the same way in every sufferer because there are so many different mental health problems that plague the general populace. This is why even if it doesn’t look like it, it’s highly likely that you have an employee or co-w0rker that is suffering from one right now.

Mental illness has a lot of faces so it’s not the easiest thing to detect. However, it is said that 1 out of 5 Americans is diagnosed with a mental illness yearly. Because it’s just like physical health where you get sick from time to time, people can also get a mental illness on occasions.

What you should note, however, is that 1 in 25 of them suffer from a severe case. Most people won’t be able to tell even if they’re working desk neighbors is one of them. As some mental illnesses are not always debilitating, most sufferers pass off like their normal selves even if they’re not 100% there.

However, just like physical ailments, it can be just as costly to businesses. Some experts estimate that mental illnesses cause losses that amount to a staggering $193.2 billion in earnings yearly so it’s important for enterprises to address the issue head-on.

2. Employees with mental illnesses are protected by the law

There are a few things that employers should and shouldn’t do with their employees that are diagnosed with mental health conditions. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, employers should:

  • provide the necessary accommodations for employees with mental health conditions; and
  • not fire, force them to stop working or deny promotions based on mental health.

The National Alliance on Mental Illness also says that employees can take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave when dealing with a mental health crisis. While the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act makes sure that health insurance policies provide similar coverage to mental health conditions just like they do with physical health conditions.

3. Talking about mental health in the workplace would be beneficial for everyone

Mental health concerns are always some of the biggest elephants in the room, especially in workplaces. This is why creating spaces to talk about them would be a good idea for employers. This will help you educate your team about the issue at hand.

It can also be a positive thing for your employees who are suffering from a mental illness. Activities of this kind will provide support to your team members which is exactly what they need during such tough times.

With the help of the right organizations and experts, you can create a friendlier working environment for those who are struggling with their mental health condition. Open conversations between the employee and management is also a great thing to have.

4. Employees have access to assistance programs

It’s not common knowledge that there are employee assistance programs (EAP) for mental health issues. These are usually available in the form of hotlines for employees to call whenever they need support for their mental health condition.

The best part? The sessions are kept confidential. Employers will not be informed so you can be confident that their condition will not have an effect on their employment.

5. Mental health conditions are mostly treatable

As mentioned above, some mental illnesses can come and go just like physical ailments. Not a lot of people know this for a fact so it’s important to spread the word.

Even severe cases of chronic mental illnesses are largely treatable. With the right resources and ample support, it can certainly be done.

6. Employers and colleagues can make a huge difference in one’s struggle with their mental health condition

Employers can certainly take the right measures in supporting their employees with mental illnesses. For one, they can educate their employers about mental health and even train them how to react to emergencies. Corporate seminars on this topic are offered by various institutions so there won’t be a problem in finding resources for such.

With the right information, colleagues can then provide good support for those with mental health conditions. As they spend a third of their days together, colleagues tend to develop a certain bond and mutual trust. They can then use this to provide excellent support to each other in times of crisis. So if a workplace is well-versed in mental health issues, it won’t be difficult for them to provide support to a co-worker that is struggling with one.

Mental health shouldn’t stay as a touchy subject in workplaces if you want your business to progress. As there are tons of ways how to handle this topic, employers should make an effort to address this pressing concern.

Check out these mental health apps

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

How California’s MedMen Is a Leader In The Legal Marijuana Gold Rush

Will MedMen Become The Starbucks of Weed

A quick look at the growing legal cannabis trade through the rapid expansion of MedMen.

It has been said before that legalizing a lot of banned things can lead to progress. Marijuana certainly proved this theory to be true. Legalizing cannabis didn’t just make an alternative treatment to certain diseases more accessible, but it also created a booming industry.

Studies show that spending on legal cannabis can grows up to $57 billion by 2027. However, the numbers that MedMen, the leading cannabis company in the US, has been sharing are also excellent proof that the industry is highly promising.

While there have been a few snags along the way, it will be hard to deny that the legal cannabis trade is booming. Just recently, MedMen made the largest cannabis acquisition in history. Granted, there aren’t a lot of previous transactions of the sort, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that the numbers involved are astonishing.

The company has also been recently listed on the Canadian Stock Exchange. This helped them raise about $110 million. It’s lower than their goal but it’s still a promising figure that signals potential growth.

A lot of market experts also note that MedMen stocks should be watched. They said that its major acquisition is a solid move for the business to establish itself. It’s also said that this is practically the birth of the industry and it will be hard to deny this.

With all of the milestones that MedMen has been reaching, more and more people are already feeling the change and developments such achievements can bring. One of this is how such a large acquisition can affect the distribution of medical marijuana. It can make these once-banned products easier to acquire which can definitely change how people consume the substance.

Who is MedMen?

Before we go into the implications of MedMen’s explosive growth, you might be wondering just how this business became the biggest name in the legal weed trade. Who is MedMen exactly and how did they get so big?

The company started out about nine years ago when the ‘California Ganja Gold Rush’ started. Its founders, Adam Bierman, and Andrew Modlin saw the potential in the trade so they decided to dive in. Over the years, it has seriously grown so much that they were able to open a 45,000-square foot greenhouse and manufacturing facility, hire over 800 employees, and operate 14 retail stores in various states.

They have also just recently started building another manufacturing facility of the same size as their first one. They’re expecting it to start operating in 2019 to better supply the 66 additional retail stores that they are now licensed to operate. They still have 13 more cultivation licenses, though, so the future of the company is very bright.

MedMen is also noted for being the first business to acquire state license for a cannabis business in the city of L.A. They were definitely lucky enough to already be in operation when the recreational use of weed became legal.

Note, however, that MedMen is not just a business for recreational or medical pot. According to the founders, they’re in the wellness trade. In fact, when you visit their stores, they don’t classify their products according to the two aforementioned categories. They categorize their products according to seven states of being that their consumers might want to get to (activity, happiness, fluidity, enlightenment, balance, rest, and wellness) instead.

Another notable thing about MedMen is its overall retail concept. First off, its stores are found in iconic locations like Beverly Hills, the Las Vegas Strip, Venice Beach, and Fifth Avenue, New York. This says a lot about what brand they’re going for.

The stores in itself are worth checking out. They can offer a unique experience with their noteworthy product display and store design.

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Not your average retail store. 🌿 #DTLA

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‘Mainstreaming Marijuana’

Speaking of its retail stores, MedMen’s locations are the best clues as to where the company intends to lead the industry. According to them, they wish to take marijuana to the mainstream and they intend to do that by changing how people perceive the substance.

What the brand wants to do is to introduce the substance to more recreational users. They wish to offer it as an alternative to a glass of wine or a few tablets of Xanax as a way for people to relax and unwind after a long week.

They’re not just about catering to their established ‘stoner’ clientele but want to expand their market beyond their target audience. This is why they promote a more modern approach to weed consumption. They want to make people understand that the substance offers more than what the stoner films of old can bring.

To achieve this, they make it a point to feature edibles and vaping pens, among many others. They offer about 1000 products in store and a lot of them are patented and will provide consumers with new ways to enjoy cannabis.

With this, alongside their retail stores’ eventual growth in numbers, MedMen hopes to entice the mainstream to give cannabis a try. By making the process of acquiring the substance feel normal, casual, and nonchalant, just like how people routinely grab their coffee, they might just be able to expand their business’ reach.

In a way, you can also look at MedMen as a brand that “gentrifies” your cannabis consumption. If back in the day, people had to meet up with sleazy folks or visit dingy and rundown establishments to get their fix, there’s no more need to do that anymore with MedMen around.

This is why it’s so easy to compare it with the rise of coffee consumption in the past decade. If most folks mostly only consumed stale coffee grounds or old diner coffee, Starbucks changed that and made the whole activity a trendy thing to do. As laws on cannabis consumption loosen up a bit around the US, MedMen hopes to do the same thing for weed.

When you look at the bigger picture, recreating what Starbucks did is a very good goal. Ambitious, but at the rate that MedMen is going, it might not be impossible to do. If only more states follow suit in loosening their laws on cannabis use, this industry might just lend a hand to local economies.

LA Startups Crew
Los Angeles Startups
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.
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LA Startups Crew
Santa Monica, Culver City, Venice, Hollywood, and beyond
LAStartups.com is a digital lifestyle publication that covers the culture of startups and technology companies in Los Angeles. It is the go-to site for people who want to keep up with what matters in Los Angeles’ tech and startups from those who know the city best.

9 Great Places to Visit Near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

9 Great Places to Visit Near the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

You may not know this, but there are actually several excellent places to visit right near LAX. So these may be the places you may want to visit right away when you arrive. Or perhaps, you can visit these locations for one last enjoyable LA adventure before you leave.

1. In-N-Out Burger

You’ve probably heard about the legendary In-N-Out Burger and how it’s the best fast-food burger in the world. If you’ve come from one of those locations where there’s no In-N-Out Burger, then you should just head on out to the In-N-Out Burger near the airport even before you get to your hotel. Why wait?

Location: 9149 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

2. Automobile Driving Museum

Are you a fan of vintage cars? If your rental has you wondering about what kind of car you should be riding, then you can detour to the Automobile Driving Museum for a quick look-see of about 130 classic and vintage cars. On Sundays from 10AM to 3:30PM, 3 different vintage cars are even available for rides.

Location: 610 Lairport St, El Segundo, CA 90245

3. Manhattan Beach Pier

Did you just get to LA to enjoy the beach? Once you arrive at LAX, just get a cab and head on out to the Manhattan Beach Pier. It’s only a 10-minute ride. To see as much as you can, you can rent a bike for $10 an hour.

Location: Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

4. Dockweiler State Beach

Obviously, you have more than one option in LA if you’re into beaches. Dockweiler is only 7 minutes from the airport, and it’s a free beach with 3 miles of shore, a picnic area, and a concession stand.

Location: 12001 Vista Del Mar, Playa Del Rey, CA 90293

5. Santa Monica Place

Maybe you’re in LA because you’re in need of some retail therapy. You can take care of that itch to shop with a visit to Santa Monica Place, which has just been recently renovated. It’s only a 20-minute trip from the airport, and you get to enjoy luxury shops and fine dining right after your LA arrival.

Location: 395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

6. Abbot Kinney

Here’s another place to shop near the airport. It’s quite a unique area, with many local designers and artists combining current fashion with classic vintage style. Go here for distinctive clothes, jewelry, and furniture.

7. Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area

After a while, the urban LA setting may have you wishing for the joys of nature. You and your family can enjoy that immediately by visiting the Kenneth Hahn State Recreation Area, which is less than 10 miles from LAX. With 5 miles of hiking trails and lots of scenic views, it’s a great place for an outdoor picnic.

Location: 4100 S La Cienega Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90056

8. Venice Beach

Sometimes it’s simply fun to just watch the people, who may be a lot different if you come from out of state. Try the Venice Boardwalk, and you’ll encounter people unique even to fellow Californians. Creatives like to flock here, and you can have your portrait taken by artists while palm readers take a look at your future.

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Venice Beach ~ CALIFORNIA ☀️

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9. Westchester Golf Course

Perhaps you want one final round of golf before you head out. Try it here at Westchester, which is open until 10PM.

Location: 6900 W Manchester Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90045

Founder, Editor-in-Chief
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.
×
LAStartups.com, Schmoozd.com
A native Angeleno. John studied engineering at UCLA; founded Schmoozd, an offline social tech networking event in LA with 30,000 subs; ran a startup accelerator (StartEngine). Worked for several major brands like Toyota, DIRECTV, Hitachi, and Raytheon. A mentor at LMU Entrepreneur School. And advises a dozen local LA startups building amazing tech in various industries; also invested in some.