Tag Archives: metro

A Christmas Catch-Up Post & Pics!

There’s been some fun few days during this holiday break, and that was helped a lot by Michancy coming down for Christmas.  She got here on Friday the 23rd, and that night we went out to Flapper’s Comedy Club in Burbank in the midst of a heavy heavy rain storm.  These were tickets that Larry had gotten for free and we were this close to abandoning it and staying in, but we somehow found the willpower to just go.   We got an Uber to make it easy on all of us, and did have plenty of wine before and during the show.  The kind of cool thing that did happen at Flappers is that we got there at 7, and the actual “show” (Jokes for Jews, no joke) started at 8, so there was a warm-up act.  At first I couldn’t roll my eyes harder as it was a woman singing while playing her banjo….and then I started hearing her voice more clearly and then really looking at her.   It was freakin’ Deven Green!  Or maybe you’ve heard of her as Betty Bowers, America’s Best Christian?

Oh man, she is absolutely awesome in this character and has a whole slew of other topics if you choose to go down that rabbit hole.  But this one about abortion is my favorite – especially the line, “bottoms up, hooker!”  Deven Green also did some hilarious voiceovers on a series of videos that Brenda Dickson made back in the 80s, and if you can find them, great, but likely you won’t.  So it was a happy accident and surprise that we got to see her in person.  She’s very musically talented and was a lot of fun to watch and sing along with.  I did get a brief chance to tell her how much I loved her work, so I feel like that was all worth it.

Alright, here are the pictures from that day of Michancy’s arrival –

Friday, Dec 23, 2016 – Michancy Arrives

The next day we included culture as part of the day’s activities before we got to real work on making food for Christmas Day, so we drove nearby to the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena.  It’s a fabulous museum, convenient for us, not all that expensive, and has a wonderful collection of art without being overwhelming.  I think it gets lost in the shuffle of LACMA, the Broad, or the Getty(s), but Norton Simon stands shoulder-to-shoulder with these museums in terms of quality.  Highly recommended!

A big part of why I wanted to get over to the Norton Simon was that they had Van Gogh’s “The Bedroom” on loan from the Chicago Art Institute, and I am always excited to go and see Van Gogh if I can.  It turns out this is actually the 2nd of 3 “The Bedroom” paintings that Van Gogh did.

There were quite a few other Van Gogh paintings there as well, but one that really caught my attention is one called “The Mulberry Tree.”  It’s quite arresting and I couldn’t help but be transfixed by it.  I ended up buying a copy of it for my mom as a Christmas gift to go along with some of the other Van Gogh prints she has.

Probably the best thing of the visit though was wandering around near the end of the visit around the Dutch / European wing and coming face to face with what is most certainly Larry’s doppelganger in portrait form.  It was quite shocking to see it and I had to have Larry take a picture with it.  I’m not wrong:

I’ve found Larry’s doppelganger

The artist did his own portrait and while you can look around at other portraits of him, they really don’t look much like Larry.  I think he was very generous with himself and that speaks highly of Larry.  It also seems like this is a definite costume contender for Halloween 2017.

Anyway, after that nice excursion, we grabbed a late lunch in Eagle Rock and then came back for the evening and watched Elf, Christmas Vacation, and Die Hard, as one does for Christmas.  Larry made amazing latkes, and all was well in the world.

Saturday, Dec 24, 2016 – Norton Simon and Other Adventures

One of the things we did that night was open our gifts – Larry got Bingo Bronson and a brand spanking new Apple Watch, while I got some of the Philips Hue lights I’ve been coveting for a long long time.  Believe me when I say those things are so freaking cool.  You can change the color of the light to pretty much anything, and it’s fantastic.

On Christmas, we went over to Mom’s house, as did Stacie & Trent.  It was a lot of fun – we played some games (Tower of Terror Jenga & Apples to Apples), ate a lot of good food, danced a lot, and overall enjoyed Christmas day.  We also watched my episode of Jeopardy, as Stacie hadn’t seen it.  Funny enough, I made Michancy watch that again on Friday, I think.  I’m definitely starting to get that out of my system?  Although each time I watch, I still am utterly compelled by the whole thing.  And I still don’t know the answers to many of the Earth Science questions.  🙂

Sunday, Dec 25, 2016 – Christmas with the Fam

Michancy ended up leaving the next day in the afternoon.  We were mostly recovering from all the wine that had been consumed over the last few days and didn’t do much of anything – I played (and finishing, later that evening) Uncharted 4, Larry & I watched Midnight Special, which was certainly an interesting movie but I’m not sure all the build up we had for it was warranted?

Since then, I’ve had the chance to clean up the house a bit, go see La La Land again (still fantastic and as enjoyable, if not more so, than the first time I saw it), play a lot of The Witcher 3 (good god, that game is so good and there’s so much good stuff to do in it), and today I went and rode the Gold Line again, this time from Sierra Madre Villa and on out to its new terminus in Azusa, then back.  

I’ve got my list of tasks to work through, some of which include getting these pictures out, maybe finishing up the honeymoon pictures FINALLY, as well as extending our lease another year.  Yep, not moving after 2 years this time.  Too many things up in the air right now to be moving and spending all that money to do so.

Getting My Gold Line On

I love that Los Angeles is getting subways and light rails.  I write about it occasionally, especially when I get to use it on a daily basis, like when I lived in Santa Monica and took the Expo Line & Red Line to Universal, or now that I live in Glendale and can take the Metrolink and Red Line into DTLA, or my obsession with the fact that eventually LAX will get connected into the Metro ecosystem.  It’s awesome.

One part of the Metro system that I haven’t experienced though, and one I’ve wanted to at least try, was the Gold Line.

GoldLine_2015It’s a Light Rail system that reaches from DTLA into Pasadena.  It extended a few years back further into East LA.  Next year in 2016, the Gold Line will be getting a further extension in the San Gabriel valley, getting stops in Arcadia, Monrovia, Duarte and finally terminating in Azusa.  There’s hope that one day it’ll go even farther, but I think at that point, you’d be better off taking a Metrolink if you’re really interested in coming into DTLA from way out in Montclair or Ontario Airport.

So I have been seeing the Gold Line whenever we drove the 210 out to visit mom or when you drive the Pasadena Freeway, and I always see it while doing my Metrolink thing at Union Station.  Since I had today off and needed to get out of the house for the housekeeper to do her thing, I decided this was the day.  And it was pretty great – I rode it out to Pasadena of course, enjoying the route it takes through Chinatown and then through the Highland Park area.  It’s a very peaceful route and it really trucks along as there seems to be a bit more bridges and track superiority there.  I got out at the end (Sierra Madre Villa station), took some pictures, did a brief walk (FitBit guilt), and then got back on and headed back to Union Station.  I didn’t explore the East LA extension this time, because I was more interested in riding the Gold Line as it was before next year’s extension.  I’m very curious how that’ll be when it opens.

Upon my return into DTLA, I ended up saying to myself that Phillipe’s would be a great lunch idea, so I made it so.  YUM.  Even at 11:15am on a Wednesday, it’s crowded.  Did get lucky when I got back to Union Station as a train that passed through Glendale was leaving within 5 minutes.  AWESOMESAUCE.

Alright, picture time!

Dec 30, 2015 – Gold Line Groovin’

30-Dec-2015 09:21, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
30-Dec-2015 09:22, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
View of the Metrolink tracks from the Gold Line stationView of the Metrolink tracks from the Gold Line station
View of the Metrolink tracks from the Gold Line station30-Dec-2015 09:46, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
Where Union Station tracks have to goWhere Union Station tracks have to go
Where Union Station tracks have to go30-Dec-2015 09:46, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.6, 20.9mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
DTLA view from the Gold Line stationDTLA view from the Gold Line station
DTLA view from the Gold Line station30-Dec-2015 09:49, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 5.6, 20.9mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
View from the Gold Line bridge over the LA RiverView from the Gold Line bridge over the LA River
View from the Gold Line bridge over the LA River30-Dec-2015 09:54, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
30-Dec-2015 09:54, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
30-Dec-2015 09:54, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
Emerging onto the 210 FreewayEmerging onto the 210 Freeway
Emerging onto the 210 Freeway30-Dec-2015 10:14, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
30-Dec-2015 10:14, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 125
30-Dec-2015 10:15, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
30-Dec-2015 10:15, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 125
 
End of the Line - Sierra Madre Villa StationEnd of the Line - Sierra Madre Villa Station
End of the Line - Sierra Madre Villa Station30-Dec-2015 10:20, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
Bridge over the 210 FreewayBridge over the 210 Freeway
Bridge over the 210 Freeway30-Dec-2015 10:20, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.006 sec, ISO 125
Westbound 210Westbound 210
Westbound 21030-Dec-2015 10:20, NIKON COOLPIX S9900, 3.7, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
 

Who Me, Stressed?

This week was my first one in which I’d spend the entire week at work without any bit of training, even a 1-day jaunt to Atlanta! So the beginning of the week was me first having a bit of a stress-out realizing that I have to start making things happen!  Guess what?  Things started happening and I’ve been fairly busy this week – it’s a great feeling.  I don’t feel totally useless.  I love it.

Also?  I was chatting with one of my fellow managers at work and she told me about taking the Metrolink into DTLA, and she pointed out that there’s a Glendale station I could be using.  You know what?  I knew that – but I totally didn’t associate it as an option for me to go to work.  But guess what?  It totally DOES work.  I started researching that option and I found out that a Metrolink pass is also a Metro Rail pass, so I can ride the LA subways, light rails and buses.  HELLS yeah!  Back to Riding the Rails for me!  Although what my route will be is driving to the Glendale Metrolink station, taking the Metrolink train nonstop into Union Station (Glendale is the next stop from Union Station), then transfer to the Red Line and go to 7th/Metro Center and then walk a block.  It may end up taking slightly longer in the morning BUT in the afternoons it will be completely worth avoiding the nightmarish 110 North traffic.  Also also!  PwC works with LA Rideshare and I’ll get reimbursed almost the entire cost of a monthly pass!  Tomorrow morning will be my first trial run to see how it all works out.  I plan on making it work regardless but I figured even before moving that it would be fun to use the rails and avoid Thursday insanity on the freeways.

In the map below, you can see the gold/green line that goes through Glendale on its way to DTLA.  Yay!

metrolinkoptionOh, and then of course, the other source of stress this week!  We’re moving!  This weekend!  I may need to take some mind-altering substances to remain calm – JUST KIDDING.  I can’t wait to be done.  We ended up deciding to get a storage unit anyway, even with the massive amount of junk disposal we’ve done.  It has to be done.  It’s nice to know we have that in our back pocket.

Larry went by the place this afternoon and they finished painting the two accent walls we wanted done.  This timeline is really working out well!  Here are some pics he took:

25-Mar-2015 11:10, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.008 sec, ISO 32
25-Mar-2015 11:10, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.025 sec, ISO 32
 

Completely random pic time – my walk in the mornings has included being able to see the Wilshire Grand building as it gets built.  I took a picture of it three weeks ago and then one on Monday.  It’s already grown 2 stories!  At least its inner superstructure.  This building will be the tallest building on the west coast when it’s done and it will look pretty stunning when complete in a few years:

wilshiregrandThe poor PwC building will look so small next to it!  Anyway, here’s what the Wilshire Grand looks like now, as well as three weeks ago.  You can see they’ve conveniently numbered the floors as they build them:

12-Mar-2015 08:59, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, ISO 32
24-Mar-2015 08:46, Apple iPhone 6, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 32
 

We’ve finally been able to start watching Netflix’ newer shows!  House of Cards is obviously good and we’re 2 episodes in, but the show I think both Larry & I are REALLY in love with is Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.  It’s amazing and sooo funny.  That’s not too surprising since it comes from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, the people directly responsible for 30 Rock.  Ellie Kemper is awesome and the return of Jane Krakowski to my television is most welcome.  Carol Kane is also in this and that just makes this show magic.  Plus the theme song is just hilarious and seems directly reminiscent of the following:

Bar-Crawling Through Space and Los Angeles

Larry & I got out of the house yesterday and I had big plans for us.  We were going to go see the Endeavour in the early afternoon, then swing by either Cole’s or Philippe’s for a French Dip, then take the Gold Line into Pasadena and go visit the Norton Simon museum.  Yeah…that’s a LOT of things to do.  Turns out, not really achievable either.  My desire to ride the Gold Line will have to wait for another afternoon!  But what we did end up accomplishing was a hell of a lot of fun and you are now going to see the pictures!

What Our Journey Ended Up Looking Like!

Endeavor Visit and LA Bar Crawl - January 2015 (1)
I’ll break it down below, as there’s lots to cover.

Part 1:  Getting to the Endeavour at the California Science Center

We didn’t drive during this adventure, and one of the great ways to get into DTLA from where we live is to take the Metro.  What kinda sucks is that the Red Line station at Sunset/Vermont isn’t exactly handy.  Still, on a nice day like it was on Saturday, it’s a nice 30-minute walk.  At the Sunset/Vermont station, we ended up chatting with two women who were also headed into Downtown to catch a show at the Ahmanson.  One of them reminded us a lot of Larry’s mom, Fran, which I loved.  The ride in is the same route I used to take when riding Metro to get back when we lived in Santa Monica, as we then got on the Expo Line which takes you to the USC area.  It’s interesting how in just over a year and a half that some things along that Expo route have already changed, such as real-estate development.

We got to the Expo Park/USC light-rail station and easily walked over to the California Science Center, which is adjacent to the Natural History Museum we’d visited a few years back.  It also seemed we were pretty efficient getting there as our reserved time wasn’t until 2:15 and it was now 1pm.  Ah well, it’s easy to kill time at this kind of museum.  Gotta say the process of getting that reserved time was pretty cool and cheap, as seeing the Endeavour is technically free, except for the $2 fee for each ticket.  It’s worth it though as it quickly sells out.

Home, from Hyperion
Home, from Hyperion03-Jan-2015 13:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 160
03-Jan-2015 13:03, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 400
03-Jan-2015 13:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 18.691mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100
 
View from Los Feliz
View from Los Feliz03-Jan-2015 13:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 6.9, 75.35mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 100
This is a very steep hill down
This is a very steep hill down03-Jan-2015 13:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.968mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
Aerovac!
Aerovac!03-Jan-2015 13:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 19.298mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
 
03-Jan-2015 13:30, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 31.883mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
Entering the Sunset Vermont Red Line station
Entering the Sunset Vermont Red Line station03-Jan-2015 13:40, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1000
At the USC/Expo Park Exposition Line station
At the USC/Expo Park Exposition Line station03-Jan-2015 14:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 250
 
03-Jan-2015 14:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 100
Heading towards the California Science Center
Heading towards the California Science Center03-Jan-2015 14:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 12.777mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 125
03-Jan-2015 14:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.844mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
 
03-Jan-2015 14:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 11.0, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
Inside the CSC before we headed to the Endeavor
Inside the CSC before we headed to the Endeavor03-Jan-2015 14:19, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
03-Jan-2015 14:42, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
 

CaliforniaScienceCenterOnce it was our time to see the Endeavour, we went through the “pre-Shuttle exhibit” area of the museum.  Pro-Tip:  You can skip this section if you just want to see the Endeavour.  This exhibit is pretty sweet though and has a lot of cool things to look at, including a great video about Endeavour’s arrival back in 2012 and its slow progress through the streets of Los Angeles from LAX to its current location.  There are some indelible images of the Endeavour just cruising through South LA neighborhoods right outside apartments and laundromats.  Very cool.  As I hinted at above, you don’t have to go through this section at all though, but it’s not clear at all from the museum signage that it’s optional.

Space Shuttle Endeavour

You really have to see this to believe it.  I think I took pretty great pictures of the Space Shuttle, but it’s absolutely enormous seeing it in person.  Currently, Endeavour is set up as if it were chilling on the runway at Edwards AFB, so you can walk around the underside of it and get pretty good views of all the different parts of it, except for the top cargo bay areas.  What is exciting is what is eventually planned, as what it looks like will happen is an eventual placement of the shuttle as if it were about to launch, so it will be vertically aligned and attached to the giant fuel tank and two rocket thrusters.  I really can’t wait to see it look like that!

Besides the main event of seeing Endeavour itself and its huge scale, there is a great timeline presented on the walls of the hangar listing every space shuttle mission by all the active shuttles, including Columbia, Challenger, Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavour.  Space Shuttle Enterprise never made it into space, but that’s the one you’ll go see if you go to the Intrepid in NYC.  It’s still sad to see the notes about the Challenger and Columbia tragedies, as I can certainly remember when those happened.  It’s also so inspiring to see what we can accomplish.  The Endeavour was in fucking SPACE.  It went to the International Space Station!  It blows my mind when I actually think about it.  I won’t pontificate any more – here are the pics.  And really, everyone should go see this as it’s quite spectacular.

03-Jan-2015 15:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.645mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
03-Jan-2015 15:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.645mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
Tires
Tires03-Jan-2015 15:19, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1000
 
I'm sure this is exactly what Houston sees
I'm sure this is exactly what Houston sees03-Jan-2015 15:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 15:34, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 400
Right before entering the pavilion where the Endeavor is
Right before entering the pavilion where the Endeavor is03-Jan-2015 15:35, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 320
 
03-Jan-2015 15:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1000
03-Jan-2015 15:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1000
03-Jan-2015 15:36, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
 
The Space Shuttle is huge
The Space Shuttle is huge03-Jan-2015 15:37, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 640
03-Jan-2015 15:37, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 800
03-Jan-2015 15:37, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
 
You can see the it's size from this pic
You can see the it's size from this pic03-Jan-2015 15:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
03-Jan-2015 15:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
03-Jan-2015 15:38, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
 

Off to Cole’s for Another Go at Their French Dip

After finishing our visit of the Endeavour, it became a bit more clear that heading to Pasadena was probably a bit aggressive of a schedule to keep.  Luckily we’re flexible and had no reservations or times to meet as we were on our own schedule, so it became time to think about what should we do?  It was hitting around 3:30ish at this point, and we hadn’t had lunch yet, so I was ready to get a French Dip.  Now, you have two choices of classic French Dips when you’re in LA:  Cole’s or Philippe’s, both of whom claim to have invented it.  Well, I’ll say right now that I still think Philippe’s has the better French Dip sandwich, but that after our adventure, the decision is much closer and I now have caveats to my thinking.

So, we chose Cole’s for this day, as I wanted to know if it my first impression of it back in 2012 was perhaps a fluke as I was not impressed with the sandwich back then.  We did like the ambiance of Cole’s though, and every time you see it on Mad Men, it makes you want to go there.  Off we went back on the Expo Line then back into DTLA, with a quick transfer to the Red Line for one stop over to Pershing Square.  We then walked a few blocks through what is at times pretty fucking sketchy parts of town which then change into much nicer areas as you get to new housing developments where gentrification has taken hold.  Luckily Cole’s is in a much nicer zone, but it was funny how in the course of walking one block, both Larry & I could tell how the sketchy area dropped away just like that.

Getting to Cole'sAnyway, once at Cole’s, we had to wait for a little bit to get a table (who knew it was rush hour at 4pm on a Saturday?) but it was worth the wait.  The experience was fantastic with a cute waiter and getting a booth to eat at.  Also, the presentation of the sandwich was much better than the previous outing here and it was delicious.  Even better?  Getting an old-fashioned (or two) while having our meal.

So what it comes down to for me, with regards to the French Dip Decision in Los Angeles:

Best French Dip:  Philippe’s.  The sandwich is fucking amazing.   If an amazing sandwich is all you’re after, then Philippe’s is where you need to go.
Best Ambience:  Cole’s, by a wide margin.  It looks like out of something you’d see from the 1930s, in a good way.  Tons of charm and character.  Plus, you feel like you’re “dining” whereas at Philippe’s, it’s like a cafeteria.

Sidenote:  I think it may have been in Vegas somewhere, but I’ve had better French Dips elsewhere anyway.  But I figured I’d take a stand on this particular issue.

03-Jan-2015 16:14, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
03-Jan-2015 16:15, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
03-Jan-2015 16:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 14.96mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 400
 
Larry with an Apollo spacecraft
Larry with an Apollo spacecraft03-Jan-2015 16:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 250
Replicas of some historical spacecraft
Replicas of some historical spacecraft03-Jan-2015 16:16, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.033 sec, ISO 320
03-Jan-2015 16:20, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
 
Outside the CSC North Entrance
Outside the CSC North Entrance03-Jan-2015 16:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
03-Jan-2015 16:22, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 14.043mm, 0.005 sec, ISO 200
Looking to the Natural History Museum
Looking to the Natural History Museum03-Jan-2015 16:24, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 10.591mm, 0.004 sec, ISO 200
 
03-Jan-2015 16:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.002 sec, ISO 200
Back at the Expo station to head back into LA
Back at the Expo station to head back into LA03-Jan-2015 16:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.001 sec, ISO 160
03-Jan-2015 16:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.003 sec, ISO 200
 
Giving Cole's another chance
Giving Cole's another chance03-Jan-2015 17:00, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.0, 11.63mm, 0.02 sec, ISO 500
Inside the very old-school Cole's
Inside the very old-school Cole's03-Jan-2015 17:01, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 17:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
 

The Last Book Store Found Us

DTLAWalkaboutWell, needless to say that any kind of hope for Pasadena was long gone by the time we finished our Late Lunch/Early Dinner and Drinks at Cole’s – so now it was time to think of what to do next.  I read the website CurbedLA all the time as well as Los Angeles magazine and there are always recommendations for must-visits, and so I thought let’s go see the Millennium Biltmore Hotel, as it’s a storied hotel of old Los Angeles’ past.  So we started our walk back although this time, we walked a bit of a different route than the one we had to get to Cole’s.  This deviation was fortunate as we found ourselves next to The Last Bookstore, a place that is always recommended as a place to visit.  It’s an independent bookstore but what makes it truly a place to visit is the way the store is laid out.  The cavernous interior has giant columns but on the upper level, it’s much more artistic in nature, as books become sculpture when you enter “the Labyrinth.”  The horror and mystery books are in a Bank Vault.  There’s a tunnel made of books.  There are art installations.  It’s fascinating in there.  I took some pictures and bought a book (“The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” by Michael Chabon) so I could do my part to help keep the lights on.

I loved their neon sign
I loved their neon sign03-Jan-2015 19:09, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.01 sec, ISO 320
Stopped at the Last BookStore and entered the Twilight Zone
Stopped at the Last BookStore and entered the Twilight Zone03-Jan-2015 18:44, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
It's a very cool interior
It's a very cool interior03-Jan-2015 18:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
 
03-Jan-2015 18:50, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 5.213mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 18:51, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 18:51, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
 
03-Jan-2015 18:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
Inside the tunnel of books
Inside the tunnel of books03-Jan-2015 18:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.017 sec, ISO 800
Larry in the vortex
Larry in the vortex03-Jan-2015 18:55, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 400
 
03-Jan-2015 18:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 18:56, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
 

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel

DTLAWalkabout (1)The Biltmore Hotel has a very long history in Los Angeles and even hosted some of the first Academy Awards presentations back in the 30s.  It even claims to be the birthplace of the Motion Picture Academy!  What’s great is that the interior of the hotel has been preserved so it feels like you’re wandering a great old hotel while also feeling quite comfortable as it’s a very luxurious place to be.   We only were there for the Gallery Bar though, of course, and that was a whole lot of fun.  The bartender there was very nice and she was chatty and we of course had an old fashioned each.  The Biltmore is known for its fantastic ballrooms but unfortunately there was an event going on (either a wedding or a bat mitzvah) that was occupying TWO of them that night.  That is one ridiculously expensive event, if I may say so.

After a drink there, we then headed back by Pershing Square to marvel at ice skating in Los Angeles for a bit, then it was time to get back into the Metro Red Line and head back to our hood at Sunset/Vermont.

The US Bank building
The US Bank building03-Jan-2015 19:18, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
Inside the Millennium Biltmore's Gallery Bar
Inside the Millennium Biltmore's Gallery Bar03-Jan-2015 19:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 19:28, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
It's a pretty fantastic hotel
It's a pretty fantastic hotel03-Jan-2015 20:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1000
03-Jan-2015 20:11, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
03-Jan-2015 20:12, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1600
 
Ice skating at Pershing Square
Ice skating at Pershing Square03-Jan-2015 20:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 20:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 20:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
 
03-Jan-2015 20:23, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
03-Jan-2015 20:25, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 20:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
03-Jan-2015 20:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 5.6, 16.985mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 20:27, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 4.0, 4.736mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
In the Pershing Square Red Line station
In the Pershing Square Red Line station03-Jan-2015 20:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1250
 

Finishing up in Los Feliz at The Dresden and Barella

It was probably around 8pm when we were back up at our neck of the woods after taking the Red Line back to Sunset/Vermont.  We typically walk back the same way we arrived, but tonight we instead went north and into the happening area of Vermont Blvd in Los Feliz.  Good choice!  We ended up stopping at the Dresden, where we had visited a few months back, and loved.  Didn’t have any food this time so instead we sat at the bar, which is a sight in itself.  The bartender assumed we were there because of the television shows that have been filmed there – it’s not an inaccurate assumption, at least for us!  Very much a hipster-y place and one day we’ll have to go for the nightly performances by Marty & Elaine – but that wasn’t in the cards for us this time.  Another old-fashioned was though, and a chance to people-watch and rest our feet.

At the Dresden for a drink
At the Dresden for a drink03-Jan-2015 21:02, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.077 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 21:33, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.05 sec, ISO 1600
 

After our drink there, we walked back via Franklin Avenue, which took us over the Shakespeare Bridge.  I’ve been driving over this for quite a while now and wanted to take some pictures so of course, here we are with pictures.  It was also necessary to get some more food now as it felt like we hadn’t eaten in a while.  So off to our local favorite spot, Barella (formerly Barbarella) for a pizza and one last drink, something called a Ward 8.  It was a nice way to end the night and we were both exhausted.  Our feet were done.

I also think we may have drank just a bit too much, but hey, that’s how you learn.  🙂

The Shakespeare Bridge in Los Feliz
The Shakespeare Bridge in Los Feliz03-Jan-2015 21:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 21:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.1 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 21:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
03-Jan-2015 21:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 21:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 21:52, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
 
03-Jan-2015 21:54, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
Home - at Barella Bar and Pizzeria
Home - at Barella Bar and Pizzeria03-Jan-2015 22:49, Canon Canon PowerShot SX600 HS, 3.8, 4.5mm, 0.125 sec, ISO 1600
03-Jan-2015 21:12, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 500
 
03-Jan-2015 21:13, 2.2, 4.15mm, 0.067 sec, ISO 1000
 

So that’s our pretty epic day around Los Angeles.  The itinerary constantly had to change but even some things had to drop (Bradbury Building, Gold Line to Pasadena, Norton Simon, Dinner at Bottega Louie) those things can easily be taken care of in another day’s adventure.

 

The LAX-Metro Plan Gets Ever Clearer

I can’t help but get excited as renderings get released of the plans to integrate LAX into Los Angeles’ ever-growing metro.  The last big bit of news I had was when they announced the new Crenshaw Line stop on 96th St, but today CurbedLA reported on the big drop of details that came from the Los Angeles World Airports organization.  It’s pretty cool to actually see some details:

LAX_MetroMore

CurbedLA links to the very interactive and pretty site itself, and so shall I, as that is quite a trove of interesting info.  If the expected completion date of 2024 sounds special, it’s likely because that’s when the Summer Olympics are that Los Angeles is bidding to host!

LAWA_LAX