Blogs from Westwood Village, Los Angeles, California, United States, North America


Hello from the city of angels, the valley of ten million insanities, Lalaland, L.A. or whatever you want to call Los Angeles, California. I arrived at LAX last thursday afternoon and it was already warmer than I thought (and definitely hotter than in Switzerland this summer). The first thing I learned was that we are spoiled in Switzerland with our rush hours and public transportation. If you're stuck in traffic in LA that means you're stuck for at least an hour on a seven-lane freeway and everybody tries to drown the other people's music with their own. Also there are tons of Bentleys, Cadillacs, Maybach Landaulets, Bugattis, Rolls-Royces, Lamborghinis and Fisker Karmas (which i personally like the best). It might surprise you that I know these cars names but my cab driver explained the advantages and ... read more
My own star on the Walk of Fame
Californian sunset

Well, I'm already on the flight back now, and it's only three and a half hours to go now. As with most vacations, it all seems to be both short and long, regarding the time since I was on the plane the other way around. But this time the variation was really outstanding. I sort of feel I had about six different vacations since hanging around with friends in Boston was very much unlike the family oriented vacation in Chicago, which in turn bore no resemblance to the desert holiday for two in Palm Springs (which I didn’t have time to tell you about). Even the first long leg of travel, from Boston to Chicago, going through frozen Cleveland and the Great Lakes area felt very different from the second and longer from Chicago to Las ... read more
Ice on the trees in Concorde
Frozen Lake Erie
Chicago in the eye of the bean

I am visiting Los Angeles for a short visit to participate in the Los Angeles Film Festival taking place from yesterday through June 28, 2009. Arrived after flight from Houston on Continental Airlines. Arrived early at Terminal C, checked in quickly and checked one bag, $15.00 fee, then learned that my aircraft was at gate 3 in Terminal E. This is the new world of IAH, you check in on Continental then find that you are actually flying from E and have to walk 1/2 a mile to get from the security screening, then another hike to your gate. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time. We were able to use the President's Club because of my friend's Elite status. But my feet are hurting. Ride was a little bumpy today. The pilots did their ... read more

Up for an early breakfast and then downstairs right on time to meet the shuttle at 9:15 to take us to the airport to pick up our car. 9:35 and it still hadn't arrived, so we rang. "3 miles away" I as told. 9:45 and it still hadn't arrived. Talking to the girl at reception - she mentioned that they'd already been! At 9:15. We weren't there, so they left! No waiting. No calling the room. Just left. And we were there at 9:14 by our watch. Not impressed to say the least, we were advised that we could catch the metro to the airport. Turns out we needed a $1.25 train and a $6 bus. Then a complimentary shuttle to the car hire. After all that, we arrived about 12pm - 2 hours later than ... read more
Lunch at the Farmers Markets
Griffith Observatory
The Hollywood Sign

So I'm officially leaving for the airport tonight. After trying to understand the Air China staff for about an hour, I'm pretty sure I have a confirmed seat. Katie set up our hostel and the best part is that I will be using their airport pick up service. Why am I telling you this? I am going to be greeted at the airport by a little Chinese dude holding a sign with my name on it. I mean, for those of you who understand my love for China/Chinese people, this is going to be amazing. I might pee my pants out of joy. Back to figuring out how to fit my life in a backpack... wish me luck!... read more

Throughout my 5 days in NY I was lucky enough not to have any of the predicted rain, it actually only started raining just as I was boarding my airport transfer, how lucky was I. However I wasn't lucky when the bogey man got me.. I don't know how I managed to catch a cold but I bought some strong cold and flu tablets and took the maximum dose just before boarding my 6 hour flight to LA which knocked me out completely...I didn't even get to have my flight meal.. not sure that that's such a big loss. Anyway, once I got off the plane I thought I better wash my face and wake myself up before meeting my friend Nicola whom I know from the performing arts school Italia Conti. Just as I was ... read more
Thats where the Hollywood sign is
Monkey in Hollywood
Me and Nikki

(I've added photos to the previous entry, which is probably more interesting that the photos here, so check those out first!) We set off on our four day tramp with the sun shining and a clear blue sky. After six hours of walking, half of it around a lake and half of it uphill, we arrived at Luxmoor Hut. I'm slow as Christmas going uphill, especially with 20 pounds or so on my back, so I was relieved to have reached our peak (1,085 metres) for the day. It's always a terrific feeling to see snow-capped mountains at eye level. The total distance of the trek is 60km (40 miles), spaced over four days for a total of at least 20 hours of walking. I felt a little ambitious for doing this trek, but then we ... read more
Above the treeline
View from Mt. Luxmoor hut
Mountain view on the second day

The Travelodge I stayed in (Denise had already returned to London) was just round the corner from Westwood Village, not a quaint little village as we would understand it in Britain, but built-up, commercialised and with 6-lane highways running through it! Nevertheless it has a lot of character with palm tree-lined avenues, lots of little restaurants, and Mexican-influenced architecture. The houses in the residential sector are all unique, ranging from the small hacienda-style to mock classical collonaded mansions. There's a large Iranian community here, which surprised me (for no good reason other than the effect of listening to George Bush's anti-Iranian vitriol) and there's one main street which is full of Iranian restaurants and shops, interspersed, bizarrely enough, by Jewish artefact shops. The 'village' is also home to some cool art deco cinemas, often with only ... read more
Art-Deco Style Cinema in Westwood
Old picture for sale
Pets parking at rear

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