Los Angeles Trip - Feb. 2006

Consider me stunned. All I've ever heard about Los Angeles is about how bad it is there... fake people, traffic, pollution, crime, the works. Ever seen the movie "Falling Down" before? Yeah, well that was my basic impression of the place for a long time.

Well, this month I had the opportunity to venture out there for myself to see if those impressions were accurate or not. My friend Tom (who some of you may know as "EvilZug" online) was cool enough to let me stay at his place in West Hollywood and chauffer me around the entire time. I saw a completely different side of LA than what I had heard about from people before.

There is more to do in that place than pretty much anywhere I've ever been before, I'd say even more so than NYC. The thing about L.A. is that it doesn't really feel like a city. There's not much for big skyscrapers, just a few in the downtown area. It's more like a giant, insane amusement park that's so spread out it seemingly goes on forever. And that's what I love about it, you can just keep driving around and find all sorts of things to do. From where we were in West Hollywood, you could get just about anywhere within 10-30 minutes. Personally, I found the "traffic" problem to be exaggerated. Granted, there's traffic, but it's not THAT horrible by any stretch... maybe I'm just used to the traffic here in Richmond and up in Philly. Fact is, if you know the back roads, you can actually avoid almost all of the traffic if and when there is any. And honestly, with weather that perfect and all the great scenery, it's a pleasure to go out for a drive.

During my "awesome adventure trip" as Tom liked to call it, we went to all sorts of amazing and interesting places including: Hollywood, Melrose, Beverly Hills, Burbank, Glendale, Pasadena, Venice Beach, and Santa Monica. We went to the touristy and non-touristy places so that I could get a good feel about what L.A. was really like. So here's some of the photos I took while we were there in no particular order. If some of the pics look crappy or they aren't rotated 90 degrees, I apologize... I took so many pics that I just ran them through a batch image optimizer rather than doing them by hand one by one. Enjoy.

One of the things I really liked is how no matter where you went, there were always nice hills around. The photos don't even do them justice.

There was no shortage of palm trees either.

The Chinese theater definitely felt like a tourist trap, but the theater itself was really quite a spectacle. I didn't get to catch a movie there or anything else on my trip though... I was in L.A. and didn't want to waste my time watching movies when I could be out and about...

Aside from the walk of stars and various celebrity imprints in the cement, there were lots of people in costume who would gladly let you take a photo standing next to them... for a price. No thanks.
(and yes I don't feel like rotating those photos at the moment,
so you'll just have to crank your neck to the side to view 'em)

As promised, I would not leave L.A. until a celebrity had come in contact with my ass. So there you have it, Steven Seagal's hands have more or less touched my ass just like his movies touched my heart.

Bruce Lee's kung fu is strong and will forever protect the theater.

Only in L.A. can you walk down the street and see a Marilyn Monroe impersonator walking on the sidewalk, looking into a compact while fixing her makeup and then board a city bus shortly thereafter.

hooray for nifty architectural designs


In addition to the countless "adult" shops on Hollywood blvd, there were some nifty costume shops. This one had a great window display promotion going on for Saw II. Too bad the movie wasn't as good as this display.


If you enjoy shopping for clothes and/or shoes, Los Angeles will be
like heaven on earth for you... seriously.

And GARGANTUAN BEAN BAGS! Yeah, they have those too.

Political correctness is clearly important to L.A. residents.

Ooooooo, beautiful landscapes galore!

It's kind of ironic that L.A. are so concerned with being healthy, yet there are more donut shops here than anywhere else I've ever seen before... all of which have great names such as "Yum Yum Donuts".

Did I mention they have

The delivery guy had to turn the thing sideways to even get it through the front door. We tried, but six of us couldn't finish it. Not even close. :(