I have lived in the greater Los Angeles area for 24 years. When I was younger and single, every now and then I’d do a touristy thing with friends, but for the most part, we worked and then we went to the beach or to hang out or dance at clubs or go shopping.
Once we were married, we did a few touristy things, like the Huntington Gardens, but honestly – not much. “The Internet” wasn’t available as a quick source to find things to do, and I didn’t have a social media outlet that would let me see what cool things friends were doing that would give us ideas.
Now, with all of the above, and more (podcasts, vacation advisor sites, etc), we see things to do in our own area that we never knew existed. So, now every once in a while (especially during the summer), we find touristy things to do around L.A.
On Sunday we headed to the MOCA – Grand Ave. (Little did I know when I Googled “MOCA” that there would be so many options to choose from. What I didn’t realize was that it was so close to Angel’s Flight. I’m still waiting for them to open it again, and am so saddened at how horrible the stairs next to it have gotten – urine smell, what I think was human feces. Come on, Los Angeles… why is our city so horribly dirty? 😦
I enjoyed a lot of the art in the MOCA. This one in particular stood out to me. “Hourglass on legs” made a statement to me as a woman. THIS is what society wants from us. To be nothing more than an hourglass on legs. We are so much more.
We walked a few blocks to a bookstore I’d heard about through friends on facebook, honestly.
We saw these cool Metro run bikes that you can rent to ride around the city. What a great idea.
The bookstore was neat, but hotter than hot, as there was no air conditioning. There was a cool little knitting room, but sadly their collection of knitting books was paltry. (and no, they didn’t have my book, nor ANY of my knitting friends’ books)
We enjoyed the museum and the bookstore, but as a whole, L.A. can be overwhelming and depressing. We have been to other big cities – Denver, Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City… none of those are as dirty or smelly as L.A. and none of them makes me more nervous than walking in L.A. can, depending on the day.
The next day the kids and I went to Griffith Park to do some sightseeing. We went looking for Bronson Caves (aka the Batcave from the Adam West tv series). There are no real signs letting you know, and there are lots of signs like these:
Luckily, there were other people we could ask and we finally figured it out.
Heading up, it was a short, 10 minute walk.
Can you picture the Caped Crusaders pulling out of this cave in the Batmobile?
The boy found higher ground.
Once out of the cave, turn left and you’ll see the Hollywood sign.
And just outside the cave are these rocks.
After the caves, my youngest daughter had found some photos of “neat parks” and steered us to a place called “Shane’s Inspiration” that is a playground for kids of all abilities.
I read while they played.
It happened to be right next to the carousel, which the girls wanted to ride. My son isn’t a fan of carousels, but he went so that the girls would walk up to the old abandoned zoo, which he wanted to visit.
He is not amused.
It turns out this is the very spot Walt Disney thought up Disneyland. I had read it before, but had forgotten.
We had lots of fun in the cages at the old zoo.
While Los Angeles has its ups and downs, it does have some great gems to visit if you have time. Wherever you live, I’m sure you can find gems of your own, and be a tourist in your own hometown.