The first time I went to Los Angeles was purely for my daughter’s sake heading straight to Disneyland on arrival – I’m not sure who enjoyed Disneyland more, the husband or the child. After that it was a lot more of a grown up holiday as I don’t particularly enjoy kids stuff and my last 2 trips to LA was on my own…must find my inner child for my daughter’s sake.
So what’s nice about Los Angeles…plenty actually. There’s endless fun stuff to do in every part of the city. Who doesn’t love Hollywood – one can walk on the footsteps of the legends and be inspired. Universal Studios and the Arts District are particularly great places to go. I cant remember much about Warner Brothers Studios or if we ever made it to the Palladium so will have to dig through my daughters photos to go down memory lane on that one.
Downtown is equally interesting with great cinemas, the music centre, museums etc. On one visit I was luckily to be there as the same time as AAM (American Association of Museums) conference so was able to do tours of all the museums in LA in the evenings as part of the event. Other than science centres, I did like the Torrance Cultural Arts Centre that has inspired me to one day have my very own Japanese Garden. I would love to see a performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall, Ahmanson Theatre or the LA Opera which I’m told shows Puccini’s Madame Butterfly.
I was never interested in the Madame Tussauds wax museum…prefer meeting real people although I did have a bit of fun in Vegas (check my pic with Whoopi Goldberg on twitter) when walking towards Venetia and I must say that coming across Johnny Depp on Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco was nice…even though he was all waxed up :).
For evening drives in LA suburbs, my favourite places include Brentwood (my friends who live there describe it as paradise), Robertson Boulevard, Malibu, Santa Monica and San Fernando. I found the people at San Pedro dodgy because a few kept touching my skin as though it was the most exotic soft thing they’ve come across. After the fifth time, I jumped in the car and left the Maritime Museum to avoid the creepiness.
It was interesting to see that Mexicans were treated like God….everyone loved their food, clothes and culture etc. The South Americans were treated like dirt and as low class citizens…they were the maids, waiters, prostitutes and street sweepers. I was hoping I would pass off as a Mexican and be treated like a goddess 🙂 . Although I do love the Brazilians too and would love to go to Peru one day….my only 2 bucket list spots in that part of the world are Rio de Janeiro & Peru.
I was told most North Americans find that the presence of poor South American nationalities lead to increase in crime and prostitution that makes most North Americans look down on people from places like Uruguay, Argentina and Bolivia. Naturally I made sure the LA peeps knew I was an exotic Fijian so got treated like a diva instead.
I missed visiting the LA library which I’m told as a Literary MA student I should have made a priority. Apparently the building has Egyptian style architecture and has amazing literature books. If you love the hustle bustle, don’t miss the California Plaza, the Venice Ocean Front Walk and Griffith park. I didn’t have time to do much retail therapy because of trying to take it all in, driving from one place to another but I’m sure shopping in LA is a lot of fun. My friend and ex colleague Siew keeps harping about The Grove, Glendale galleria, Beverly Center and Montana Avenue – she’s a HOT LA model so she knows a thing or two about fashion. Must compare this with the fashion scene in Paris.
If you are into cuisine and like pasta (my sister still makes fun of me wanting pasta in LA), Matteo’s Restaurant is an LA institution. I still cant imagine why she ridicules me on this as the pasta there was WOW! Anything Mexican is fabulous and I love the seafood at Kendall’s (this was introduced to me by a make up artist to the Hollywood stars and I was not disappointed). One day I will listen to her advise and actually stop at the Farmers Market for tapas and other world cuisine. Hopefully I will find a travel companion whose appetite for fine cuisine matches mine. Speaking of tapas, I must at some stage write about Spain.
Whatever the case, I feel that driving from one attraction is the best way to see LA – you can really spend time at venues that appeal to you without the worry of having to catch a tour or worrying about transport when exploring the suburbs.