Friday, August 21, 2009

Playing in Los Angeles

Jim was teaching in LA a couple of weeks ago, so we stayed in a Bed and Breakfast and I played tourist while he worked. I really had a good time. I had no fear about getting lost or riding the public transportation. After all, people in LA speak ENGLISH!! How hard could it be, right? I asked the B&B owner if the bus drivers were helpful. She said "No, but if you tell them you're hard of hearing, they'll speak more clearly." (Some were nice and funny. Others, not so much.) We had dinner in Chinatown, where the owner sat down with us and shared his 30-year scrapbook of celebrities who had visited his restaurant. We also ate a a yummy Mediterranean restaurant called Splitz. :- P

I visited the LA Cathedral, which looked like a jail from the outside. It was difficult to find the one (guarded) entrance, and the entrance to the sanctuary felt like you were walking into a dark cave. The Disney Concert Hall was much more inviting. (Shouldn't the church be even more user- friendly than other buildings??) It is gorgeous inside with beautiful tapestries, gardens, and art.

This is the Disney Concert Hall and I highly recommend the self-guided (free) tour. The building looks weird from the outside- space-age architecture. Inside it's warm and inviting and full of light.

Walt Disney Concert Hall

This is the garden at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. It's on the third floor so the trees are actually planted in large boxes with complicated irrigation systems.

I really felt like I was in some foreign city looking at beautiful landmarks! I was surrounded by cool architecture and great art. Everywhere I walked there were sculptures, murals, fountains and beautiful walkways. Below is a picture of the Bunker Hill Steps--a recreation of the Spanish Steps in Rome.

I bought a Bento box in Little Tokyo, and visited Grand Central Market. I spent some time reading inside the beautiful Central Library pictured below.

The library has fountains, sculptures, and beauty inside and out. Below are the chandeliers in the Bradley wing.

I found the city to be walkable, friendly and safe. When I saw this sign I immediately wanted to go to all these cool cities. (Click to make it larger if you want.) Giza and Split and Pusan. Cool-sounding names.

I made some great discoveries in my own back yard. LA is much more beautiful than I remembered and I enjoyed this mini vacation a lot.

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