Postcard: Los Angeles 11/5/2021
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November 5th, 2021 at 11:14pm
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Los Angeles: the great divider.
Many love America's second-largest city, many hate it - but everyone should visit at least once. And so I took my wife and son in October.
We made one rule: half of our activities would cater to grown-ups, half to kids. We didn't want Francis to be bored to tears. I think we managed our itinerary admirably.
Such lovely grounds - as well as Gainsborough's Blue Boy - at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, aka "The Huntington." We spent several hours here. I particularly liked the rose garden and the Japanese garden.
Breathless music reminiscent of Scientology videos entertained us as our tram ascended a hill over the 405 Freeway. The complex was beautiful, with modern galleries, outdoor dining, and cool gardens.
Francis didn't get too bored appreciating the art. In fact, he liked some of it very much - particularly the photography, and a sculpture of a guy on horseback celebrating his erect penis.
La Brea Tar Pits
I love driving down the Miracle Mile, glass and steel and automobiles, and then - boom - there's a tar pit. The exhibits are dated but the skeletons are cool.
We had one goal for Francis - to go on Jurassic World: The Ride. It was so much fun. He did not like The Transformers or Simpsons rides, however. By "did not like" I mean he hated both. The latter was way too scary for children.
Several restaurants stand out:
- Pink's: So many different and delicious hot dogs, including the bacon burrito dog, the Giada De Laurentiis, and the El Mandril.
- Musso & Frank Grill: Who wouldn't want to spend $275 on ribeyes and a bunch of side dishes in a cool old restaurant? Maybe not you? Apparently, we did. We thoroughly enjoyed it, but the bill hurt for a day or two. Actually it still kind of hurts.
- Shamshiri Grill: Stupid delicious Persian cuisine in Westwood.
- Los Anaya Taqueria: Magnificent Mexican food and impeccable service. We loved this place.
El Capitan Theater
Just a couple of weeks before Halloween, we caught A Nightmare Before Christmas at the glorious El Capitan on Hollywood Blvd. A live organ show in the theater regaled us while we waited for Jack Skellington to ask, "What's this? What's this?"
El Pueblo de Los Angeles
We went to the original site of L.A. and its first street on, of all days, Columbus Day/Indigenous Peoples' Day - which meant a few attractions we wanted to visit were closed.
That didn't dampen the mood too much. We strolled down Olvera Street and appreciated the small and astonishingly clean church Our Lady Queen of Angels, just across from the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument.
Santa Monica Pier
If anyone in your family likes small roller coasters, grifteresque carnival games, and Ferris wheels, don't miss the Santa Monica Pier. Buy a wristband for unlimited access and spend all day over the water, thrashing around in the rides.
When you cross Ocean Blvd at the pier, look southeast toward Venice and Marina Del Rey. You can clearly see Chez Jay and the Ocean Lodge from Seasons 1 and 2 of Goliath. Alas, Billy McBride was nowehere to be found.
Gina enjoyed Los Angeles, but doesn't need to go back. She's similar to me, more of a Bay Area/Tahoe person. Francis loved L.A. I have a feeling he'll return someday.
Red Dust 6/30/2021
Eat Pray Love 6/10/2021
Voyage au Brésil 5/16/2021
Postcard: Lake Tahoe 4/30/2021
Baedeker's United States 4/5/2021
To Shake the Sleeping Self 3/7/2021
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