Shafik Kadi shares his playbook for landing in LA.

Shafik Kadi shares his playbook for landing in LA.

Born in Helsinki, Finland and of Lebanese descent, Shafik Kadi lives in Los Angeles where has spent the last six years working for Diamond Supply Co. An avid traveler, Shafik has lived in 5 different countries, 3 different continents and visited almost 50 countries. He is known for the unique content he creates along the way, including 'Out of Bounds', a popular basketball inspired travel journal. We spoke to Shafik on creative life in Los Angeles and his playbook on inspiration, events, beaches, favorite spots and where you'll find him for a cold one.

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ON WHERE YOU’RE FROM

I am half Finnish half Lebanese, born in Helsinki, Finland.

ON MOVING TO LA

I was given the opportunity to move to LA for work, so I immediately packed up, sold almost all my belongings and flew to LA with two suitcases and started a new chapter in my life.

ON WHERE YOU LIVE IN LA

I live in Hollywood. I kinda just ended up there when I first moved to LA, my employee provided me a place to stay for a few first months as I was settling in, and I ended up staying in the same area. It’s the most convenient location for my commute and I love living walking distance to things.

ON WINDOW SEAT OR AISLE 

Always a window seat!

 

Above: Window seat. Below: A United Airlines 747 aircraft in Los Angeles and the streets of LA from above. Images by Shafik Kadi.

ON YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH LA 

It’s a Love Story hahaha. I traveled to LA for the first time in 2007, and I remember being blown away by the weather, the iconic skate spots, NBA, NHL, entertainment and all the concerts and other things a small city like Helsinki just doesn’t have. Finland is possibly the best place in the world to grow up, schools are great (and free), its safe and you can really live a worry free life, but LA is just full of endless opportunities.

ON HOW LA INSPIRES YOU

The sun! When the sun is out, I want to be out. I want to be doing stuff, going to places. That’s something LA is not running out of: Sunlight.  What I also enjoy about LA is the diversity, for photos there are so many different opportunities to capture the city. Just to use as an example, Olympic Blvd that cuts through the city, from East LA to the water which is a quick drive, you can see a full spectrum of different income level housing, downtown skyscrapers, and everything in between and end up on a beach. I think LA is very photogenic.

What I also enjoy about LA is the diversity, for photos there are so many different opportunities to capture the city.

ON WHERE YOU FIND INSPIRATION 

I’ll never get tired of looking at the downtown LA skyline, so any elevated places like rooftops or hills with the view of the city. Griffith Observatory offers great views and I like to run up there working out, and walking through the planetarium.

ON CURRENT PROJECTS 

I’m currently working on a project with Diamond Supply Co. and Nike. It’s been a really amazing experience to see this project come into life. Can’t wait to show everyone what we have been working on. I also just recently released my first printed zine titled ‘OUT OF BOUNDS’ which was a basketball inspired travel journal; it was a really fun project. The feedback from some of my favorite art book stores selling it has been great, so I’m gonna try to make more books in the future.

 

Above: Shafik on the court. Below: ‘Out of Bounds’, a basketball inspired travel journal by Shafik Kadi. Images courtesy Shafik Kadi.

ON A POPULAR TOPIC OF CONVERSATION IN LA

It’s always going to be traffic and weather, like it or not. A very highlighted conversation starter at the moment has been LAbron though!

ON GETTING TO KNOW LA 

Get lost, walk, run, bike, drive around, and leave your comfort zone. Use Waze haha because it always takes you through the most random streets. The best thing about LA is you could have lived there for years but you can still discover something new all the time.

Get lost, walk, run, bike, drive around, and leave your comfort zone. Use Waze haha because it always takes you through the most random streets.

ON GOOD FOOD

I love Jon & Vinny’s on Fairfax – the food is amazing. On a day-to-day basis I find myself almost once a week at Tocaya on Sunset Plaza, or Tender Greens for comfort food.

ON YOUR FAVORITE LA SPOTS

During the summer we always drive down to Laguna to hangout at the beach, the water is beautiful there. When in Hollywood and want to grab a cold one, find me at Frolic Room. In Downtown LA I always want to go walk through the Broad Museum; they have a beautiful building and a very very impressive collection of art.

 

Above: Self portrait at The Broad Museum in DTLA. Below:  Shafik at the Diamond Supply Co. office space and LA’s Dodger Stadium from the air. Images courtesy Shafik Kadi.

ON AN EVENT WORTH CHECKING OUT 

Rose Bowl flea market, this is one of my favorite things to do in LA, and I highly recommend this to everyone. Set your alarms early.

ON SOMETHING FROM FINLAND YOU NEED A FIX OF IN LA

The candy and chocolate is so good in Finland I haven’t found a match yet from the US. Luckily I have friends traveling all the time, so usually it’s pretty easy to get it. Also there is Suckerbit on 3rd St next to the Grove that has an ok selection, and Shoop’s European Market on Main St in Santa Monica has a lot of my favorites too. The only thing I’m really missing and haven’t found yet from LA is the dark rye bread from Finland. When I’m missing a home cooked Lebanese meal I go to Open Sesame for lunch / dinner or the Bowery Bungalow for brunch.

ON LA IN ONE WORD 

Wavy.

 

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Nuggets in this interview

events

Rose Bowl Flea Market, LA

"Rose Bowl flea market, this is one of my favorite things to do in LA, and I highly recommend this to everyone. Set your alarms early".

–Shafik Kadi

inspiration

Griffith Observatory, LA

"Griffith Observatory offers great views and I like to run up there working out, and walking through the planetarium".

–Shafik Kadi

travel

Laguna Beach, LA

"During the summer we always drive down to Laguna to hangout at the beach, the water is beautiful there".

–Shafik Kadi

need to know

Waze

"Use Waze haha because it always takes you through the most random streets".

–Shafik Kadi

food and drink

Frolic Room, LA

"When in Hollywood and want to grab a cold one, find me at Frolic Room".

–Shafik Kadi

food and drink

Jon & Vinny’s

"I love Jon & Vinny’s on Fairfax – the food is amazing".

–Shafik Kadi

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