Things to do in LA: 8-6-05

I’ve got the afternoon to myself and I’m in LA. I am here until tomorrow. My wife is attending a conference, so I have to pick her up in Century City around 5:30 each night. Any suggestions?

I am in the downtown LA public library right now. I already parked the car and am probably going to hit the MOCA after I rest. I figure that’s good for an afternoon. I need somewhere to eat lunch. I thought I might also try and hit a park later this afternoon and enjoy the awesome weather.

I was thinking about going to the Cathedral tomorrow and then maybe down to the beach to hang out.

If it was Wed night, I’d head out to shoot club. Any suggestions for what to do with myself tonight? Maybe I should look up Tom Chick and get him to introduce me to the cast of West Wing. I know people in this town! :) I was going to hit the Chinese theater for a movie, but it’s showing Dukes, which is probalby not my cup of tea.

Places to eat downtown:

Expensive but worth it–
Cafe Pinot (right next to the library, near that little park area)
Nick & Stef’s (up the hill in that building complex)

Engine Co No. 28 (I believe it’s at Wilshire and Figueroa)
Ciao Trattoria (on 7th, between Figueroa and Flower)

California Pizza Kitchen (7th & Figueroa)
Food court at 7th & Figueroa
Food court at the top of the hill (California Water Court)
Food court in the Arco plaza (across Figueroa from the library)

Stuff to do tonight:

If you want a movie and aren’t into the Chinese, try seeing something at the Arclight (in Hollywood, at Vine & Sunset). If you want to feel extra-special, see something that is only playing in LA and NY (I think “The Aristocrats!” is still limited release only, it’s at the Arclight, and best of all it’s supposed to be really good. If you go tomorrow night, we might end up in the same theater and could debate politics afterwards until they throw us out).

See if you can get tickets to the Hollywood Bowl (usually the LA Phil is playing there).

Staying downtown, check out the Disney Music Center. I think they give tours. It’s supposed to be pretty great inside, although I’ve never been.

The X Games are going on right now down by the Staples Center (from the library, head south on Figueroa, although it’s a fairly long walk)

…that’s probably it for my suggestions. The stuff you mentioned (MOCA, cathedral, beach) are also all great suggestions. For beaches, I’d recommend Santa Monica if you want a semi-upscale beach / carnival pier / boardwalk experience, or Venice Beach if you want a true wacko California / drumming circles / henna tattoos / pothead experience. I prefer Venice, but to each their own (the food by Santa Monica is way better).

Good luck!

I found the replies to this thread I started in the spring helpful for my trip. Honestly, there were so many interesting food choices I didn’t have a chance to go to any of the restaurants mentioned – we also only had time for dinner each day, since we were at the conference for lunch. If you are feeling adventurous, go to the Farmer’s Market in downtown & grab a quick lunch from one of the stands there.

For stuff to do, I thought the downtown library (which you’ve found) and the Getty were spectacular. People-watching at Venice Beach is also fun; the Santa Monica pier is pretty, but the people aren’t as interesting. My wife & I liked driving around the Mulholland Drive area for a bit.

I’m seconding everything suggested so far, and adding my favourites:
I love the Getty centre. Less for its art, and more for its architecture and views. Worth stopping by and wandering around. I think parking is free on weekends.

If you’re heading to moca, you might want to check out La Brea Tar Pits, which I think is pretty cool. Dinosaur bones and bubbling tar in a park in the middle of LA! Its near to the Grove and the Farmers Market too.

Venice beach is definitely more fun than Santa Monica - the beach itself is the same, but its filled with a spectacular selection of weirdos to watch. Just sit at one of the many cafes and watch the world go by. Weekends are best for this, so you’re in luck! Parking will be expensive, but you can hire a bike or rollerblades and cover santa monica and venice beach along the bike path.

If you prefer a quieter* beach, then take highway 1 (PCH) north out of Santa Monica, and stop by one of the many state beaches in Malibu.

If you want to drive around and just see some of LA, then take Sunset. If you start inland you get to see West Hollywood, then you head into Beverly Hills and look at a few insanely expensive mansions, and go past UCLA. As you cross the 405 you are right by the Getty, so you can turn off and check that out. Continue west and you will end on PCH near Santa Monica beach, where you could turn north and see a bit of malibu, or turn south to go to Santa Monica or Venice beaches.

*all beaches are going to be busy on the weekend, but the malibu ones have less stuff, just people.

If you go to the Santa Monica pier, you can play Centipede in the arcade there. Let me know if “N.E” is still on the high score list.

I’d recommend trying a few drive-bys.

You could have dropped by and seen me at work if I had been in LA that day. Our LA offices are almost directly across the street from the downtown public library.

If you head down to Santa Monica, check out Chez Jay near Colorado avenue, it’s a cool little restaurant-bar joint. Of course there’s also 3rd Street Promenade.

Nobody walks in LA.

Hey guys, thanks for all the tips. I’m back at the library enjoying the cool air before I head back to pick up my wife. I enjoyed the MOCA, but it’s pretty lonely downtown. I think I’m going to do the cathedral tomorrow (for the service no less), then doubleback and head down to the beach. I’m with everyone who values funky in a beach experiance. I am probably going to bring my camera and see what I can capture hanging out.

I have been meaning to get to the getty for a while now, but am going to have to postpone again. I have had enough culture for one weekend.

Ryan thanks for the suggestion about Aristocrats! That sounds like a great idea, but I’m going to have to do it tonight. We have to be in Big Bear tomorrow night or early Monday morning to collect the kids. You would have powned me in a politcal conversation anyhow. I would have had to change the conversation to Everything Else, and that would have bored everyone to tears. Top Ten Favortie Pasta Toppings! or Godzilla vs King Kong: Who Wins? Whew, glad that didn’t happen. :)

drive-bys? And me without my weapons!

You will probably capture quite a bit. My favorite Venice Beach person: Q-tip, this crazy guy in a turban who skates around on rollerblades playing an electric guitar and singing gibberish. He tends to latch onto people (usually toursits) and will pace them, singing them a song. Most of the time they give him money assuming that will make him go away, which it doesn’t at all. It’s awesome.

Well, LA gets a big thumbs up from me. I had a blast. Thanks everyone, for sharing your recommendations.

I enjoyed the Cathedral, just a beautiful campus. They must get a lot of non-Catholics, or perhaps tacky Catholics; I noticed there was a sign by the very modern baptismal font warnining people not to toss coins in. Makes you wonder what happens if coins touch holy water.

When I was like 18, a friend of mine drove past the Le Brea Tar pits real fast and I could just make out the replica of the mastadon stuck in the tar; I finally got a better look.

I never knew Venice Beach had canals! You don’t expect to see the kremlin in Moscow, Ohio, but there are canals in Venice Beach. If the expensive homes that line the canals are any indication, it looks like the neighboorhood is losing to gentrification, but the beach is still funky, so who knows. I didn’t see Q-tip (love the name) but there was a dude on stilts dressed up like an Ent from LotR:2. There was some sort of hindu festival going on so everything was very colorful and crowded.

Well, that’s my after action report. Wife’s confrence ends this morning. Got to head for the mountains and pick up the kids this afternoon.

In God, they rust.

In God, they rust.[/quote]

Heh, I’m gonna share this one with Father Jim.

A republican gets his wings.