A few cool things to do in Los Angeles
When people say they’re going to LA; they’re going to both a city, and a county in Southern California that has 88 cities which include such iconic places as: Beverly Hills, Culver City, Malibu, Santa Monica and West Hollywood. But no matter where you go, a few things are certain in La La Land: sunshine, cool places and traffic.
Hooray for Hollywood! Don’t look down at your smartphone; look up at the Hollywood sign! Take a stroll along Hollywood Blvd. and see all the stars on the Walk of Fame which is free fun as well as good exercise.
A trip to the Hollywood Museum is a must for film fans and next door is Mel’s Drive-In at 1660 N. Highland Avenue if you’re hungry. It’s a quintessential American diner that’s open early to late and 24 hours on Friday and Saturday. Inside is the casual Celebrity Bar with two happy hours Monday-Friday from 4 pm to 7 pm and 10 pm to midnight. To pay your respects to legends; head over to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery!
How about a hike at Runyon Canyon Park? Who knows whom you might pass on the trail?
What to see and do in Downtown LA
Once downtown, you can either walk or use the DASH Bus to sightsee for 50 cents. Chinatown is located around N. Broadway and during the day you’ll find food, crafts, herbs, antiques, arts and a temple. Chinatown Summer Nights happen at the end of the month from 5 pm to midnight at Central Plaza and Mandarin Plaza. Think food trucks and music. Perhaps you’d like to take in the 1-1/2 or 2-1/2 hour Undiscovered Chinatown walking tour ranging from $20 and up. On the first Thursday of the month from 6 pm to 10 pm, foodies can attend Chinatown After Dark and listen to music at Far East Plaza.
The historic center downtown has many architectural styles such as art deco and beaux arts. Check out the cage elevators at the Bradbury Building or the many theaters on Broadway.
Get off at the Civic Center Metro stop for The Broad, a contemporary art museum in a cool iconic modern building at 221 S. Grand Avenue. Free tickets can be booked online one month in advance or by standby on visit day except for Mondays when it’s closed. A must see sight is Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms. You’ll have to get another ticket to see the two rooms once inside but talk about mirrors and LED lights! Selfies!!
All the art
Down the street from The Broad is a museum of contemporary art which features art from Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Joan Miro, etc. There’s free admission every Thursday from 5 pm to 8 pm. Stop by Lemonade for creative and diverse modern dining if you’re hungry.
You can’t miss Frank Gehry’s sleek wavy steel Walt Disney Concert Hall at 111 S. Grand Ave which offers free one-hour tours or self-guided tours inside. Head on up to the rooftop of the Blue Ribbon Garden to see the lovely rose shaped fountain. This peaceful urban garden has scenic LA views.
The LA Central Library is down the street from The Broad and has more than books. Check out the art deco architecture, rooftop pyramid and the chandeliers in the Tom Bradley Wing. Perhaps you’d like to go on a free one-hour Architecture and Art Tour given at 12:30 pm on weekdays. Maguire Gardens behind the library offers an Art in the Garden Tour at 12:30 pm on Saturdays.
Little Tokyo seems like Tokyo with its many restaurants serving sushi, ramen noodles and shabu-shabu meat & veggie hotpots. There are a revolving sushi bar and tea room, too. Some temples in this area offer meditation and a tea ceremony.
For art, Gallery Row has some galleries on Spring and Main and from 2nd to 9th Streets and is close to Little Tokyo. It has a Downtown Art Walk on the second Thursday of every month.
If you’re a fashionista, the Fashion Institute of Design Museum & Galleries at 919 S. Grand Avenue in the fashion district shows fashions, film fashions, fragrance, jewelry and Versace’s menswear exhibits for free. The Staples Center is the place to see a live concert or the LA Lakers playing basketball.
Words: Caron R. Luteran