A city of angels, rain and cars galore

Published: March 7th 2009
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From the topFrom the topFrom the top

LA from above. Picture taken from our friends' roof terrace in Downtown.
I got the reaction "LA? Why on earth are you going to LA?" when I told a friend where I was going this time. The reason was simple: my beloved got a scholarship to go there, and I could meet a couple of friends that I hadn't seen since something like 2001.

Since I have been to the US (see Day 1) before, I knew what to expect, but La welcomed me with an enormous line to get OUT (!) of the airport, but on the other hand a very nice immigrations' officer.

I was met by my good friend M, and could start by seeing LA from its true side: from the freeways. This is indeed a city of cars, and more or less only in Downtown, and on some shopping streets (parts of Melrose, and parts of Sunset, as far as we've sseen so far) are made for walking at all. There are a few people on bikes, but I'm surprised to see so few motorcycles - one might think that would be a good option, as long as you wear a face mask against the pollution.

Since my beloved went here to dig into some archives,

Yes, it's not only foggy in San Fran...
he was named a Reader (oh yes, capital R) at Huntington Library. This means that he was also able to walk freely around Huntington Gardens, AND bring a couple of friends! We even amnaged to get in there on a Tuesday, when its normally closed for public access. I can recommend Huntingdon, expecially if you're not used to these large cities and need a break. Their gardens are truly wonderful. We only had time for the Desert Garden, the Japanese Garden and part of the Jungle Garden, but it was still wonderful. And I saw my first hummingbird ever!! Note to Swedes: they do not hum like on television on Christmas Eve. But they do go about very quickly.
I'd very much liked to swing in the lianas of the Jungle Garden, but there were too many guards around and the signs said "stay on the path". We couldn't think of a good way to both stay on the path AND use the lianas, so we had to pass for now.

Since I was working during my stay here, I had to pick and choose the most interesting things to see. The sea was something I had to see (sorry,
Cars and cars, cars and cars...Cars and cars, cars and cars...Cars and cars, cars and cars...

We tried public transport in LA. I can definitely recommend it on weekday evenings, comapred to this.
couldn't help it). Since I got a dinner date with a friend I hadn't seen since 9/10 2001 (yes, the day before you-know-what), we went to Santa Monica beach so I could dip my toes in the Pacific. Fascinating place, palms and the great, wide ocean. I hope to see more of the Pacific later on during this trip, though.

I also felt I had to see the La Brea tar pits. Pits, or very small lakes, that have been there for thousands of years and were used some hudnred years ago for asphalt making. Not much to see, but the Wings of History™ were flapping and squawking around the place. the pits are close to the LACMA, LA California museum of art, and outside, they had these wonderful lamp posts. A whole bunch of them. Since I had my first date with my beloved at a lamp post, they're kind of special to us.

We also did what a tourist has to do in LA and went to Hollywood. Even though it's basically just a street with shops and theaters, it's still the epicentrum of a culture that means a lot to us. And seeing that famous

A 15-year old gorgeous cat who lived in the flat where we stayed in LA..
sign was kind of tickling, at least. We'd already been to the movies (we saw Coraline at Arclight, definitely recommended, both film and movie theater)! so we didn't try to catch anything at neither Egyptian (for the Cinemateque) or Chinese theaters, we just acted tourists and took photos of all the stars' hands and feet outside the latter. Or, at least the stars we found interesting.

On the last evening this time in LA, we started out by going shopping on Melrose. It was another interesting LA experience, because there were more interesting mens' clothes than womens' clothes! Hence, my friend M and my beloved went sround, trying out, comparing, talking, yada, yada, while I strolled around hoping to find something. Good to know how they usually feel. Eventually, we actually ended up having at least two shopping bags each, after visiting Necromancy and Shrine. Oh, I almost forgot, we also were able to see the studio of LA Ink (tv series) IRL! It actually exists! We didn't go in, though, since we couldn't come up with a good reason. Maybe, just maybe, we'll try it again, since we, of course, came up with a good reasing long after
Rabbits discussing rabbit thingsRabbits discussing rabbit thingsRabbits discussing rabbit things

Our friends Jack and Bamse are discussing important rabbit issues with their new friend Grendel, who also lived where we stayed in LA.
we left the area.

And dinner was that evening at Mao's. So "only in the US", a place serving Chinese food in a former warehouse, and calling it Mao's Kitchen. But the food was very good, and they had jasmine ice tea (without sugar!!! I was almost in shock!), but the acoustics were absolutely horrendous. Probably to make us feel like good workers of the revolution ... or something.

And then we rounded of LA by going to a fashion show. (Readers who know us: "WHAT??") This was at Studio 1636 on 1636 Wilcox Ave (but they will be moving in March, 2009) and was a part of the Enginge Collision Fest this year. The idea was to take about a handful of models, get them a case of stuff collected at some secondary market for housing material, and see what they (together with their dressers) would make of it. Interesting, and perhaps even more so if you're more of a fashion/put-things-together-to-make-nice-decorations person that we are, but it was great fun to see all the creations of that evening - some in the audience were just as fashionable as the models. Oh, and there was a small suspension show as
Huntington gardensHuntington gardensHuntington gardens

This place is sooo nice to stroll about in.
well. Not as big as we had thought from reading the programme, but enough to make us look the other way. If you're not familiar with the term suspension in this context, see the picture with that title.

So, today we're picking up the rental car at noon, and we'll be heading towards Yosemite and later on San Francisco. It's been a really nice stay here, I'm very glad to have seen LA, and maybe even more to have seen my friends again (*waiving*), but we're off to boldy go where we've never gone before!

Additional photos below
Photos: 29, Displayed: 26



This flower looks amazing. One of it's kind is called Zwartkop, that is 'blackhead' in Dutch (or perhaps afrikaans). I want one in my garden.
Cherry blossomsCherry blossoms
Cherry blossoms

At Huntington gardens, I saw cherry blossoms in March. Absolutely wonderful.
Squirrel, eatingSquirrel, eating
Squirrel, eating

This one definitely knew ho to get his food. He was doing exercises while eating – I'm not sure it's good for your digestion, but it looked funny!!
More gardenMore garden
More garden

Some buildings, almost built for you to meditate in, in the Japanese Garden.

Santa Monica Beach, up close. I've dipped my right foot into the Pacific, yey!
Santa Monica pierSanta Monica pier
Santa Monica pier

Yes, it's March. But OK, it was a comparatively hot day.
Caught in the actCaught in the act
Caught in the act

A friendly-looking skeleton from an exstinct mammal found at the tar pits by La Brea.
Lampposts by LACMALampposts by LACMA
Lampposts by LACMA

A whole square filled with lampposts. We're not in Narnia anymore ...
Asian signsAsian signs
Asian signs

When you're chatting along with your friend about Chinatown, Little Tokyo and Koreatown, and the car stereo is playing Chinese courses, isn't it natural to ask what kind of Asian place Ped Xing is? I thought it was ...

The decorations at the metro station Hollywood/Vine are very cineatic. The walls are covered in film reels.
This is HollywoodThis is Hollywood
This is Hollywood

Even though Hollywood isn't as gritty as in the 1990:s, it's still Hollywood.
Chinese theaterChinese theater
Chinese theater

The place for gala premieres.

8th March 2009

A tar pit!
You've seen a tar pit! That is such a cool thing to see. Even beats the mud volcano I saw in Venezuela (http://www.travelblog.org/South-America/Venezuela/blog-179251.html). ...and Arnies hand impressions aren't chicken shit either... ...and I liked the photo of the squirrel. Have fun in Yosemity and other places. /Åke
8th March 2009

Why only the right foot?
LA has to be done whole or not at all. It's an immersion thing - you'll know it when you've done it, but if you don't you won't know it. Like the sound of one hand clapping, of course, as a totally immersed friend once said. Glad your getting all the tidbits together. Say hi toyour beloved and come home safely.

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