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California Questionnaire: Tracee Ellis Ross

We asked Tracee to share some of her favorite things to do and places to go, and she graciously agreed

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Where do you live? Los Angeles

Why there? I'm a native, even though I didn't spend a lot of my formative years here. I lived in Europe and New York, but I've now been here since 1999 when I started on Girlfriends.

Who or what is your greatest California love? Trees, trees, trees, trees! I feel like it's what started my relationship, my love of, and my obsession with trees. Whether it's a palm tree or fiddle leaf fig, I love the knowledge that they share with us and the way they move. A tree has its flexibility, but yet it's so strong and it grows so tall.

What is the biggest misperception about Californians? It's funny, because people don't always talk about the sense of collective artistry that happens here. People will say, “California, ooh, you guys are all so woo-woo. You're in la-la land,” like all this stuff. But it's not true.

What is the stereotype that most holds true? California Is a place of innovation. Incredible innovation with food happens here. There is a sense of creativity and freedom as opposed to the constraints of a particular set of standards.

Where do you go for retail therapy? I love OK on Third Street in Los Angeles—it's one of my favorite gift shops. In all my life of traveling and everything I've never seen such a beautifully curated gift shop. I also love flowers. Lily Lodge is a wonderful little flower shop in West Hollywood I'm obsessed with.

Time for a road trip—where are you going? Big Sur. I'm not really a big 'road trip' person. However, what I love about driving is the beautiful landscapes that I get to drive through. Feeling the change in temperature as I get closer to Big Sur. It's a great drive to do on your own to either enjoy the scenery or listen to a good book on tape—or, excuse me, an audiobook, as the young people say. I also recently took a solitary trip to Big Bear and it was the most beautiful drive ever.

If you could decree an official state culinary experience, what would it be? I love Natraliart Jamaican Restaurant & Market in L.A. I get the Jamaican patties and the great jerk chicken. 

Do you have a favorite museum? The Underground Museum—a very special, beautiful Black museum—that is just a treasure. I threw our Pattern launch party there. 

How do you define California style? Easy, natural, glamorous, and yummy.

How would your California dream day unfold? Beaches, deserts, mountains, forests, lakes, snow, sun, big cities, country, you name it—hummingbird sightings, hearing from an owl. All of these are part of daily life in California. Blue skies, sunny days—it's unmatched. It's beautiful here. What I love most about California Is that it has it all.

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An ocean shore

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