May 27, 2005

Curious George 24 hours in LA Me and a friend are going to be in LA Saturday morning through Sunday morning. Where shall we stay? What shall we do? (More Inside)

Disclaimer: we've been camping in the Mojave for two weeks and while we are (finally) showered, we aren't quite spiffy enough for major public events. I'd like to do a bit of people watching at Venice beach, but besides that the day is open. So come on L.A. monkeys, give me suggetions to make my first 24 hours in L.A. eventful, but not too touristy ! Oh, and suggestions about a place to stay near LAX that isn't completely outrageously expensive would be great too!

  • Errr, why doesn't more inside come up on preview........
  • Paging Squidranch Squidranch please pick up the white courtesy telephone.
  • There are inexpensive motels in El Segundo. Extended Stay is one that I have heard OK things about. In Hermosa (my home town) there is the Surf City Hostel which I have never stayed at but it is right ON the beach in a cool place. The Getty Museum is something I would not miss . .it's free. . you can take pub trans to get to it and it is spectacular and has a great garden and great view. I can be emailed off this list if you want to pick the brain of someone who grew up there. . .and goes back to visit every year.
  • Have Dim Sum at the Empress Pavillion in Chinatown. I know you said not too touristy (and chinatown is definitely touristy), but it's the best dim sum to be had in Los Angeles, and cheap to boot! Even if you eat until you can't button your pants, you still won't pay more than $10 per person. I also completely agree with doing people watching in Venice, but be prepared to shell out a lot for parking. Also, if there's an event at the Hollywood Bowl, and you've never been to a concert there, there's nothing like it. Try to get the $1 seats and pack a picnic if you can.
  • *picks up telephone* Huh, oh, ok... *drinks tea* Ok, that's better. Well, the city has so much to offer. The suggestions above (the Hollywood Bowl, Dim Sum, the Getty) are all great ideas. And all of them are cheap. The Bowl has tickets as low as $5 bucks or so. Pack yourself a picnick lunch and a bottle of wine and you will have a lovely time. Oh, and bring a blanket to sit on. There are picnick areas in back. Now, here are a couple of gems that most folks are unaware of. The Museum of Jurassic Technology It's kind of hard to explain this place. It is a museum, and many of the displays are genuine, but many are completely false but done in such a way that you believe, at least for a moment that they are real. And, it's all done with a straight face. It's the closest thing I have ever experienced to a hallucinogenic experience without taking drugs. It really is a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours in LA and is on the way to/from Venice Beach on Venice Blvd. The Grand Central Market LA, at one time had a downtown that people actually lived in. Not to say people don't live there right now, but middle and upper class white people used to live there in gorgeous Victorian houses. There are plenty of Latino immigrants scattered about downtown and lots of Asians in Chinatown and Little Tokyo, but for the most part downtown LA is pretty bleak at night. Thank god one of the historical markets still exist. Grand Central Market is a glorious throwback to the turn of the century. Independent stalls selling everything from freshly made tortillas, sides of beef, herbal remedies, tacos and whole fried fish, even a juice bar that will mix mango, garlic and watercress juice if you wish. It's downtown on at 317 S. Broadway. There are also some wonderful old movie palaces on the street, some which have been converted to churches, others abandoned, and close by is the Bradbury Building which was used in Blade Runner as well as tons and tons of music videos and commercials. There are bunches of other cool things to do, but I don't really have the time to poke around in the dark not knowing what sorts of things you like to do. If you want, you can write me at my address in my profile with your tastes/hobbies and I can tell you about other cool places that you might like.
  • BTW, there are some great victorian homes just outside of downtown LA on Carroll Avenue in Angelino Heights, one of the first of LA's suburbs. If you are an architecture buff, there are some beauties there, along with the house where they shot Michael Jackson's "Thriller" music video. Shit, I can go on and on. LA is a great city with all kinds of cool things to do. Like I said, drop me a line with your preferences and I will see what I can do.
  • For places to stay, I've stayed at the Orbit Hotel and Hostel in West Hollywood-- it's fairly cheap and they have lots of "what to do" type bulletin boards. I think they were on Melrose. Sorry I can't remember more details. The Ramada West Hollywood is also nice, but a bit pricier.
  • If you are looking for glamour (and high cost), Hollywood is your place. If you are looking for something laid back by the beach, head to Hermosa Beach. I live in Hermosa, but I won't be in town on Saturday. Have fun whatever you do.
  • There is a hostel (although I haven't stayed there myself) that I hear is pretty good on Cahuenga near the Hollwood Bowl called "Bannanas". It's very close to most all of your Hollywood stuff and like most hostels pretty inexpensive.
  • Go to the beach. In the sand will be a lonely phallic cephalapod. SNIFF IT. OBEY. OBEY.
  • If you're still on the camping kick, and for some reason get overwhelmed by coming back to civilisation through such a sprawling monster, just head up the 1, through Malibu until you're just shy of Oxnard (you'll know because there'll be a sharp bend with a miniature version of a Big Sur-type rock just off the freeway in the ocean). On your right will be a place called Sycamore Canyon. If you climb to the top of that first peak at just the right time, you will see the best sunset on Earth. Of course, if you're in an LA mood, the above suggestions are excellent. But if not, my recommendation has the additional benefit of allowing you to descend by jumping down a multi-hundred-foot sandy hill. It's quite childish and terribly fun. Regardless, enjoy your stay.
  • Very good suggestions so far (well, the serious ones, anyway). Enjoy your day. How cool that your work involves trips to the Mojave.
  • I left my wallet in El Segundo...
  • ...I love Tony Bennett's version of that song.
  • Thanks for the tips keep them coming! Squidranch, the museum of Jurassic Tech sounds perfect. As far as interests go I think we both like things a bit off the beaten path. Outside of chasing Joshua Trees, I'm interested in music, odd museums and quirky historical places, my friend is into bikes, folk music and the sort. And PY, I feel like the luckiest person in the world that I get to come out here 3 or 4 tmes a year - I'm never leaving grad school!
  • a22lamia, then your preferences, it seems that I have already hooked you up. It you want to know more specific stuff, write me and I will send you my phone number. If you want, I might just get the LA monkeys together at Casa de Calamari and you will be inducted into our ranks. "One of us, one of us, one of us..." Monkeys, name the movie from the quote above.
  • Fuck, I always get cocky and don't preview. It should read ...a22lamia, then from your preferences...
  • An east coaster in the LA ranks? Sounds fun. Check your email - I've sent you my number.
  • "Freaks."?
  • Give that monkey a prize. It was indeed from Freaks.