Things to do in LA when you're bored.
Here is a semi-random list of things that I'm missing about LA.
Matt's favorite beach:
Point Dume. It's very near Zuma and Malibu. If it's a nice day (and not
a trafficy weekend) it's fun to cruise the Pacific Coast Highway for a
ways to get there. Convertible optional but HIGHLY recommended. Bonus:
you get to see what it would've been like to go to Pepperdine, which is
ACROSS THE STREET from from the beach.
Another cool beach: Huntington Beach. It's down south in Orange County
(scary Republicans!) It's a nice beach, and: they have fire rings set up
so you can go at night and make a bonfire. Awesome.
People watching beach: Venice Beach. The freaks are out all day long.
Very fascinating. Please don't swim in the water here, though (YUCKo!)
Nearby is Santa Monica, which has a nice pier with a little carnival and
stuff on it. This is a nicer beach, but I'm still not sure I'd swim
In Santa Monica is the Promenade, which is a lovely little outdoor
mall-type thing. Nice restaurants, and fun (and some funky) shops.
Go to Hollywood at night once. Notice how it is not very glamorous? It's
actually kind of grimy? Well that's the real charm of Hollywood. If you
go to one of the three Denny's there you can find pimps and prostitutes in
Hollywood isn't all bad: Go to Mann's Chinese Theater for a good movie.
But only go there if the movie is playing in their main theater (they have
3) This theater is from the age when they cared about making things
ornate and not merely functional. Look up at the carvings and artsy stuff
in the huge ceiling. Enjoy the movie, as the sound and picture in this
theater are actually high quality.
Also in Hollywood: numerous clubs which change monthly, but if you find
the right one, are totally awesome. You might not be into this as much as
I was, but it can be a lot of fun.
If you go to Hollywood, there's a road perpendicular to Hollywood Blvd and
Sunset Blvd called Orange. On Orange sort of near Hollywood Blvd is the
entrance to the cheapest parking lot in the city. When I was still in LA,
it was about half the price of the lots on Hollywood Blvd. And it's
across the street from Mann's Chinese.
Old Pasadena is hopping and one of THE places to go if you're young and
beautiful in LA. AWESOME restaurants (Pasadena has the most restaurants
per capita of anywhere in the country.) There's a restaurant called
the Market City Cafe, on Colorado Blvd, slightly near Fair Oaks, on the
north side of Colorado. It's good, yet expensive. Dress up and have a
Up Fair Oaks going north (towards the mountains) is Domenicos, and I loved
Please go to the Getty Museum
It's fun to go to Art Center in Pasadena. It's an art school, and they
have regular exhibitions of the student art. Some of the stuff is
industrial design (chairs, lamps, products) which is actually kind of
There's a donut place in Glendora. Glendora is about a half hour away
from Caltech. These are the best donuts in
the world, and legions of Caltech students still go to this place even
though it's so far. (Maybe because it's so far.) The name of the place
is Donut Man. The apple fritters are amazing and disturbing.
(Think: alien pods.) You can get there on the 210 going East,
take the Grand Ave. exit in Glendora, use the far ramp of
the exit (the cloverleaf, not the straight ramp,) then take a right onto
Alosta. Drive a bunch of blocks and you will see a little shack on the
left side of the road. Open 24-7.
The San Diego Wild Animal Park is technically in San Diego, but it's
really really cool. If zoos have ever depressed you and seemed artificial
and like jails, this is the place to go. Lots of cool African animals all
together, roaming the Veld, herding, chasing, etc.
Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles is in Pasadena on Lake St., north of
the 210. It is truly a cultural experience. Best chicken and waffles
anywhere, in my book.
Drive up to Mount Wilson at night. Drive all the way out past the TV
stations to the gates of the observatory. Look out at LA sparkling.
Civilization never looked so beautiful.
Drive there during the day. It's pretty for the trees and the Yucca
plants, phallically reaching towards the sky.
Six Flags Magic Mountain is good, conventional amusement park fun.
There's a Fry's Electronics store in Woodland Hills. It has an Alice in
Wonderland theme, and the whole store is delightfully trippy. The black
and white tile floor starts out in perfect squares, but soon starts
becoming a little curvy and irregular. All temples to Electrical
Engineering should be so cool.
Go to Huntington Gardens in San Marino. The gardens are absolutely
amazing, and the research library there is really cool. Mr. Huntington
had a LOT of money and he really made some nice gardens. It's
huge; please put this near the top of your list of must-see things.
I really like President Thai in Pasadena. They ask you to rate how hot
you want the dishes on a scale of 1-10. 4 is plenty. 5 can make you cry.
They probably won't let you go above 5 unless you're a regular. Good Thai
And of course, no visit to LA would be complete without a 2am visit to
Tommy's. I always went to the one in Eagle Rock, but there's extra 'ambience'
if you go to the one downtown. The chili cheese fries are especially
excellent. There's also the SECRET triple cheesburger which isn't on the
menu. (Health code violation?) Tommy's website.