July 11, 2008

Althouse in L.A.

Not right now, but soon. And not another one of those months-long exiles from my beloved Madison, Wisconsin. Just a little trip for a few days. I've only been to L.A. once before, in about 1974, and I hated it. But I've giving it a second chance, so give me some advice. How can I amuse myself in L.A.?


Henry said...

Huntington Library in San Marino. Go for the gardens, not the art.

zdwyatt said...

Best way to entertain yourself in Los Angeles: Leave Los Angeles.

chuck b. said...

Visit the Huntington Library in San Marino (next to Pasadena).

The Griffith Observatory.

See what's playing at the ArcLight Theater.

Randy said...

Three of us had the same idea, so maybe you ought not visit the Huntington Library. ;-)

RR Ryan said...

Try Vivoli Cafe at Sunset and Laurel for lunch. It's very good.

chuck b. said...

Dinner at the Chateau Marmont.

Santa Monica Boardwalk.

Amoeba Records.

Sprezzatura said...

Santa Monica is great. Basically the only place that I'd want to stay, but I'm no true expert. Excursions to West Hollywood; The Grove, and some other bars that are still good even after being shown on The Hills. And then, there's Canters, it sure is a dive, but there's still a tight group of folks, it helps to be introduced by an insider, at least it's not likely to be on The Hills. The boardwalk from Santa Monica to the canals is a long walk, but it's a good way to waste time when you travel with someone that isn't a super early riser, or so I hear.

Anonymous said...

The Getty.

Definitely the garden there and the Impressionist collection.

Also their sculpture collection is in a new venue-that just opened-it's in a different location.

I haven't been to this-but I remember seeing some of their sculpture collection before-I liked it then.

It's now suppose to be in a recreated villa and you have to get reservations in advance.

The Getty itself is beautiful as well as the views from there-given the conditions...the smoke may negate that.

Oh cripes-the food too not too bad.

Randy said...

You might visit the Gambel House, the Greene & Greene masterpiece in Pasadena. You've acted as docent for Frank Lloyd Wright home tours, so Hollyhock House in Barnsdall Park might be interesting. (Not sure about the neighborhood, though.)

chuck b. said...

Hip art here, http://www.drkrm.com/, and see if La Luz de Jesus in Silverlake is still there. Very photobloggable.

Of the beach towns, I most enjoy Hermosa.

chuck b. said...

Oh, and roller derby.


Kirby Olson said...

Drive out to the Nixon museum (it's amazingly far even on the highway!), and then do a vlog from the wax museum inside. It's somewhere out near Riverside.

I have only a vague memory of it.

It's been about 30 years.

Then go over to the Spahn Ranch where the Manson gang ruled.

Rewrite the 60s with Manson as the truth of the left, and Nixon as the truth of the right. Compare and contrast, drive the leftists into screaming fits.

MadisonMan said...

Ask if the restaurants are serving Wisconsin cheese.

I think it's interesting that most commenters are suggesting you stay indoors. It's like the air is toxic or something.

Me, I'd go to the ocean and people watch. Maybe you should shop, though, since Chicago's taxed you out of its market.

Kirby Olson said...

The beach is also ok, especially around Venice.

Walk in the water, think about God.

ricpic said...

The LA experience is all about driving. Yes, the freeways can be horrific. But driving Sunset west into the sunset and then ending the drive at the beach, that can be romantic.

Randy said...

Descanso Gardens are well worth a look-see, unless there is a raging fire nearby (and there probably is for all I know).

chuck b. said...

The LACMA and La Brea tar pits are right next to each other, which is nice for convenience's sake.

Randy said...

The restaurants will probably be serving California cheese, MM. (Or, maybe, Tillamook from Oregon.) Have you heard about the long-running commercial series about the snow-bound cows making a break for sunny California?

chuck b. said...

I read all the lotuses died in Echo Park, so don't go there.

Bissage said...

L.A.'s fine, the sun shines most the time and the feeling is laid back. Palm trees grow, and rents are low . . .

Well, you get the idea.

Cedarford said...

I suppose LA is big enough that it is all about what you want to do, what you want to see. There aren't many limits. An eye-opener might be the photography and guided tour of East LA.
I'd check out the LA media or friends or acquaintances from around there if you have any, on if any big events are happening during your stay..
One thing you will notice if it has been 35 years is how many fewer white people you see on the streets. "Embrace diversity".

Zachary Sire said...

LA sucks. Like, really, really sucks. The people, the places, the traffic, the "museums" (avoid the Getty....such a waste of time), all of it.

The only reason I go to LA is to go to gay bars. So...go to Fiesta Cantina on Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood. Fun rooftop bar and plenty of eye candy. FUBAR further east down Santa Monica Blvd. is a blast too, but it's so crowded sometimes that you can't move...wear something comfortable if you go there. Also, who hasn't been to the Abbey on Santa Monica and Robertson(?). It's a classic and pretty much a landmark.

Oh oh oh...you should definitely go to the Velvet Margarita Cantina if you even sort of like Mexican food. It is the. best. mexican. food. EVER. And don't even get me started on the margaritas. I don't think they take reservations, but it's worth waiting 15-30 minutes for table. (I've never had to wait longer than 45 minutes). It's at 1612 N Cahuenga Blvd in Hollywood.

Don't step foot in the ocean, anywhere. All of it is polluted and disgusting. I see people swimming sometimes and I'm like...start enjoying an infection or a new disease in 3...2...

And, of course, let me know if you have a meet up! I'm a hop, skip and a jump down the 405.

MadisonMan said...

I've seen, on youtube, some California cows that talk, and there's a Grandma Cow from some snowy place. Bu talking animals do nothing for me. It's the curse of Meow Mix.

Randy said...

You could go admire the Disney Concert Hall. You'd probably be the first if you did, but there really is no accounting for taste, is there? Truth be known, since I grew up in LA, I'd just head for Santa Barbara and call it good, but then I think half of Santa Barbara County has been on fire the past few weeks. Maybe San Diego. The part that could there pretty much burnt itself to the ground last year.

Zachary Sire said...

Silverlake, Hollywood, Venice, all of it...it's all contrived and even makes Brooklyn hipsters seem subtle.

Pasadena is beautiful though. Go to Pasadena and stroll down Colorado Blvd. Great photo ops, great shops, laid back. I love Colorado Blvd.

Ann Althouse said...

If I go to the Nixon Library, I should do a big round trip and see the Reagan Library. Maybe I should go to all the presidential libraries, kinda like Sarah Vowell's "Assassination Vacation." I've already been to the LBJ library. Loved it! Very bloggable.

Oh, so note, a big factor for me is bloggability. The most important thing for me is to be able to walk around and take photographs. I'm also interested in art and scenic drives -- nature, architecture. I don't care about going swimming and I can't take too much sun.

Smilin' Jack said...

The most impressive sight I remember is the view of the city at night from Griffith Observatory--just as breathtaking as the view of Manhattan from Brooklyn, but in a different way. The lights go on forever and it looks like the whole world is on fire.

Venice Beach is great fun for people-watching...at least it was a few years ago.

Or just drive around with your eyes open--LA architecture has an exuberance you don't find anywhere else.

Randy said...

Give Kevin Drum (Political Animal) a call and have a lively evening in Irvine. There used to be some great sushi bars there - imagine there still are. Be sure and record that as a podcast if you do. Maybe a Bloggingheads in one room episode? Mark Danziger (Armed Liberal) would be interesting, too.

Ann Althouse said...

Bissage, LOL.


I'll have to do a separate post for LA songs. Save up your ideas.

And thanks, everybody, for all the tips.

Do any of you actually live in LA?

chuck b. said...

"I'm also interested in art and scenic drives -- nature, architecture."

People do not go to Los Angeles to see nature.

If you like architecture, many neighborhoods have historic walking tours that could be interesting.

Randy said...

The answer to that video

1775OGG said...

For lunch, go to the Crocodile Cafe in Santa Monica!

Also, what "the rising jurist" said! San Clemente is nice, dinner on its pier!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If you remember the old Roy Rogers television program, the film location is outside of the LA area on the northeast I think. It's been years and years since I took a drive through there but it was pretty interesting. The scenery is the same as when they filmed it...you can almost see Roy on Trigger bounding (in faster than normal speed that they seemed to use for the chase scenes )around the big boulders.

Maybe someone from LA could tell you if that's too far to drive??? Of course in Calif. several hundred miles in a day isn't much of a drive for a day trip.

If you are into old collectable cars the Petersen Museum has some spectacular pieces.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be completely unoriginal and reiterate the Huntington Galleries. I find them far superior to the Getty.

I suspect that you might enjoy the Museum of Jurassic Technology. Ditto the Paley Center for Media and Autry National Center, albeit for different reasons.

You may also recall that Project Runway designers Kara Saun and Jeffrey Sebelia have their studios here in Los Angeles. I don't know offhand if they are open to the public, or even to the private who don't intend to commission a design.

I know it's declassé to say so, but for someone for whom it's been decades since, the obvious draws of the Universal Studios tour and Disneyland can be a lot of fun. On the other hand, it's the height of the tourist season, so bypassing them also makes a lot of sense.

I'd also be interested in a meet-up, should one occur. Regardless, I hope you have fun!

Sprezzatura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Methadras said...

If you didn't like LA in 1974, you really won't like it now. There is always San Diego a couple of hours to the south or Santa Barbara a couple of hours to the north. Either way anything but LA is your best bet. Sorry that you have to land into that misbegotten crap hole.

Sprezzatura said...

Having experienced the written and spoken versions, and liked both, I prefer listening to Sarah. It seems like her voice should be irritating, but it (and her diction) is very compelling, imo.

Regarding LA: getting on the highways for too long can really take the fun out of a visit. Staying off of them can leave an entirely different impression, hence the appeal of staying in Santa Monica and West Hollywood (and if you're compelled to do so, you can still do your duty as a tourist and get to the canals (VB) with surface streets, there's a decent Mexican place there anyway.)

michael farris said...

Pick up a hooker to pass the time, fall in love despite yourself and take them away to a new and better life?

Larry Sheldon said...

Depends on what you mean when you say "LA".

If I was to go back, I'd check out places like Phillipe's, The Pantry Cafe, Tommy's, The Huntington Library (actually the Botanical Gardens there), The Southwest Museum, The Museum of Natural History (and The Rose Garden), and Hancock Park.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Blogger meet-up. [Make sure to engrave an invite for Maxine.]

ricpic said...

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I'm not going
to let anybody see
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
in there.

there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
you want to blow my book sales in
there's a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I'm too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody's asleep.
I say, I know that you're there,
so don't be
then I put him back,
but he's singing a little
in there, I haven't quite let him
and we sleep together like
with our
secret pact
and it's nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don't
weep, do

Bluebird by Charles Bukowski

L.A.'s own.

Zachary Sire said...

I live in Long Beach (the nice part) which is a totally different world than LA. It's about 20 minutes south and is, of course part of LA County.

If you really want blogging material, then just go to any outdoor/boardwalk adjacent cafe in Venice, take a seat, and have at it. You won't believe your eyes.

If that sounds too easy, walk around the Grove and take in all the plastic surgery and vapidity, if you can handle it.

Avoid Orange County at all costs, which DEFINITELY includes Irvine. OMG, I'm falling asleep just thinking about it. Tract homes after condo complexes after pre-planned shopping centers with chain restaurants and tanning salons. A nightmare. Not an original place or person in sight. Trust me. I went to school there for 4 years and grew up in nearby Huntington Beach, which is almost as horrific. Unless you're looking to blog about how bored you are, stay out of Orange County.

2nd Street in Belmont Shores (which is technically Long Beach) is great...you'd like it here. You will fall in love with a restaurant called La Creperie (it's French!). Note that everyone walks their dogs on 2nd Street, so be prepared to see all kinds of pooches. Come to 2nd Street! It's a 20-25 minute drive south of LA.

George M. Spencer said...

Club Mayan


You'll leave your heart there.

chuck b. said...

Actually, Palos Verdes is lovely for a drive, and it has an intriguing wikitravel page.


Ruth Anne Adams said...

This building was featured prominently in 'Get Smart.'

It's sorta new.

Sprezzatura said...


What about Laguna Beach? I remember visiting and staying with a friend (Before the MTV show.) They had what seemed like a real community, not much like the Orange County disaster you described. Of course, I've never felt compelled to go back, now that my friend left.

Original Mike said...

Isn't it fire season? You could take them some water. They'll love you for it.

Zachary Sire said...

Laguna Beach....I can take it or leave it. Too many rich ladies out shopping with their husbands' money up and down Main Street.

But on a purely aesthetic level, the city itself, with all those windy little roads and beautiful, unique homes, and the magnificent beach...it's outrageously pretty.

But still, you can't step foot in the ocean. Too bad.

veni vidi vici said...

I live in West Hollywood, the heart of it all. I'd recommend having dinner at Katsuya @ Hollywood and Vine on a Saturday night, then walking up vine towards Yucca/Franklin around 10-11pm and checking out all the clubgoers. If you bring earplugs, the Avalon has terrific shows on Saturday nights with world-class dj's and some of the most interesting-looking and fun people you'll see if you're up to checking out the "LA experience". That whole corner has changed into nightclub valhalla over the past 10 years or so, and Katsuya is one of the most hyped of restaurants (I ate at the Brentwood location before Hollywood's opened, and the food was unreal).

While for the most part, Zachary sounds bitter enough about LA that there's probably some personal-relationship backstory adding fuel to his fire, he is absolutely correct about Orange County: a more banal place I've not seen, and I've even spent a day in Valencia! If it's OC you seek, rent the dvd's of that Bravo "real housewives" show and have a barf-bucket at the ready.

The Drill SGT said...

How many days?

with car?

How much free contigous time?

Dr Dre's Underpants said...

Yo, you got to make the scene out in Hollywood. Just make sure you wear your pants like me. Allright.

The Counterfactualist said...

1. Take pictures of men in shorts.

2. Strip club.

Zachary Sire said...

By the way everyone, there are no fires visible in LA (unless you live way North). You can't smell or see or sense that anything is going on. The fires are all far away. That's the thing about LA...it is so incredibly spread apart and inaccessible, no one knows anyone and there's no sense of community. People who live here never, ever, ever say "I live in LA" if talking to another local.

There's no such thing as "living in LA"...unless you live in Downtown LA, or maybe East LA, which you could get away with saying. But the only people who live there are the homeless or illegal aliens, and nobody cares about them.

Instead, you say..

Culver City
Century City
Santa Monica
El Monte
Beverly Hills
El Segundo
West Hollywood
North Hollywood
Topanga Canyon...

the list goes on and on. Oh, and there's no such place as "Hollywood" either. It's just a made up name.

Paul said...

Best burritos:

http://losangeles.citysearch.com/bestof/winners/burrito, also see


Best Chinese food:


Best steakhouse:


Best winebars:


Best sushi:


or http://www.gayot.com/restaurants/bestof/LA_sushi.html

Ann Althouse said...

How many days?


with car?


How much free contigous time?

All free time.

chuck b. said...

Oh, 5 days! That's a long time for Los Angeles.

Might as well do San Diego and Santa Barbara as well.

Zachary Sire said...

there's probably some personal-relationship backstory

No, honestly no personal thing going on. I just genuinely don't like it. All of my personal problems are here in Long Beach and some are dwindling in Orange County.

I will say that there are great music venues in Hollywood. I adore the Hotel Cafe, the Cinegrill (is that still there...in the Roosevelt Hotel?), the Greek Theatre is a dream (the parking is NOT), and of course of course of course...the Echoplex.

Maybe that's the thing. I like to go up there to see or do specific things at specific places and always have a great time...but as soon as it's over, I have to get outta there. The city and its people itself (not everyone) are lifeless.

Paddy O said...

Definitely the Huntington Library.

There's a wonderful tea room (need reservations) and a lot of variety. The art is great, there is a great layout of various regional flora.

Then there is a rose garden. Wonderful. One of my favorite places. Especially since the moment this past Sunday when my girlfriend say "yes" when I proposed.

If you're in Pasadena, take in the Norton Simon as well. Great restaurants abound. Try Marston's for breakfast.

You really should also swing by the Getty. Or maybe the Getty Villa for a little classical influence, and then dinner by the beach.

dbp said...

Desperados Under The Eaves
Written By Warren Zevon
published by Warner-Tamerlane/Darkroom Music BMI, 1976

I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel
I was staring in my empty coffee cup
I was thinking that the gypsy wasn't lyin'
All the salty margaritas in Los Angeles
I'm gonna drink 'em up

And if California slides into the ocean
Like the mystics and statistics say it will
I predict this motel will be standing until I pay my bill

Don't the sun look angry through the trees
Don't the trees look like crucified thieves
Don't you feel like Desperados under the eaves
Heaven help the one who leaves

Still waking up in the mornings with shaking hands
And I'm trying to find a girl who understands me
But except in dreams you're never really free
Don't the sun look angry at me

I was sitting in the Hollywood Hawaiian Hotel
I was listening to the air conditioner hum
It went mmmmmm..

The Drill SGT said...

Then get the hell out of LA for the middle 3 days

go north on 1 or 101 Santa Barbara, or Santa Maria or as far as San Simeon (Hearst Castle)

go wine tasting, see some ocean, maybe as far as Big Sur.

if you need to stay in LA, do the Huntington Library Gardens.

I went to grad school in Irvine. I think Orange county is pretty barren as well but I like Laguna Beach and the Mission at San Juan Capistrano

The People's Republic of Santa Monica may make you feel at home.

If you want to go wine tasting north of LA, I'll provide recommendations

Paddy O said...

You could do the whole SoCal geography experience. Desert, mountains, beach. Palm Springs, Lake Arrowhead, Malibu.

Original Mike said...

Then get the hell out of LA for the middle 3 days

So, the best thing to do in L.A. is leave?

The Drill SGT said...

Original Mike said...
So, the best thing to do in L.A. is leave?

LA is August? photo's of shimmering asphalt?

get real. Get out of town and see some of the rest of SoCal

Randy said...

OMG! I forgot to suggest finding out if John Stodder is in town!!! Now there would be a good podcast, or diavlog, and he would be an outstanding guide as well.

chuck b. said...

I think five days means you have to do the Presidential Library Tour. It'll be good.

Original Mike said...

OK, Ann. We expect some photos of shimmering asphalt.

the quietist said...

I moved to LA 6 years ago and hated it at first for all the reasons that other commenters have said. However, I've just started to discover that there is a lot here that doesn't get noticed, some real historical jewels that most people don't know about but that real Angelenos love, and which prove that LA does have an urban culture and history of its own.

Downtown LA gets a bad rap because much of it is scary and dilapidated, especially at night. But there are some great places to get food and drinks that will totally explode that stereotype: go to the Golden Gopher and the Broadway Bar downtown -- historical and beautiful bars each of them. And eat at the Pantry at 9th and Figueroa: it's been open nonstop since 1924.

the quietist said...

As for art and culture, I agree: Huntington Gardens and the LACMA. Go to the LACMA before the Getty, unless there's a temporary exhibit there that interests you. As for music -- there's ALWAYS something cool going on; you just have to look for it. (and perhaps drive).

Professor Jason Dominguez Meyer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doug Sundseth said...

If the weather is nice and you don't mind the drive east to San Bernardino, the Rim of the World Drive can be beautiful, especially if you drive it such that you see the basin both before and after sunset. The best daytime scenery is probably around Big Bear, while the best nighttime scenery is north of San Bernardino.

Traffic can be annoying, though, and it is a bit of a drive from LA to San Bernardino (through, shall we say, less interesting terrain).

AimHighHitLow said...

I used to live in Thousand Oaks. I loved driving in the Santa Monica Mountains between Malibu and Agora Hills. That is, drive between Hwy 1 and US 101. You're relatively close to the Reagan Library if you make this trip.

blake said...

I didn't know Stodder lived here.

I suspect the art suggestions, like the Getty and the Norton Simon (which are 30 miles apart and separated by, I think, two mountain ranges) would offer a lot of interest, as would the Huntington (which is, what, 45 miles away to the south of either?).

The club suggestions I don't get, unless I misapprehend Althouse's interests. I half expect someone to start rattling off amusement parks (Magic Mountain, Universal Studios, Knott's, Disney, etc.).

If you want a kinda cool, offbeat tour, try Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank. But then, I'm the kind of guy who gets excited and yells, "Hey, that's the flophouse where Ed Wood was evicted by the County Marshal in his last drunken days!"

We do have nature here, of course. What is it you guys think catches on fire every year? It's all that nature. The southern part of the city is separated from The Valley by the Santa Monica Mountains, which is home to many hiking trails populated heavily by owls, lizards, snakes, rabbit, deer, bobcats and coyotes. To say nothing of the numerous horse properties.

I lived nestled back in those hills for many years, yet just a mile (as the crow flies) from the 101. It used to be easier, but you can go from overdeveloped suburbs to rural feeling in minutes, just by driving up Topanga Canyon or (in the west) Valley Circle.

Also, since L.A. County abuts Ventura County, which has stringent laws about development, it's easy to go from urban sprawl to actual country pretty quickly.

Downside for you is that these places are HOT. When you crest the SaMo mountain range, headed away from the beach, it feels like God left the oven door open. And they just get hotter and hotter the further west or north you go.

But, we do have nature here, even if it's high desert sort of nature.

I think you might enjoy the various canyons; the architecture is varied, to say the least.

Driving the 110 through the skycrapers late at night can be quite dazzling.

The L.A. Weekly does a roundup every now and again of cool, unusual and non-touristy sites of the city. If you don't hate the city to begin with, that is.

Whatever anyone else says, five days doesn't even scratch the surface.

chuck b. said...

MacArthur Park! That's a very Los Angeles place to spend some time. Get a pastrami sandwich at Langer's Deli and eat it in the park.

(I love L.A.)

blake said...


The damn chair keeps ignoring me!

blake said...

The smartest people in the world
Have gathered in Los Angeles
To analyze our love affair
And finally unscramble us

--Paul Simon, "Think Too Much (b)"

Points for a credible rhyme.

blake said...

The Olympic Committee didn't like Newman's paean to Los Angeles, so they commissioned another song. Tragically it seems to be unavailable...anywhere.

Well, not so tragic, really.

You'll feel your romance thrive
Up on Mullholland drive
There's music at the Bowl
From jazz to rah-rah-rock and roll

Heh. Government-commissioned pop music.

Sprezzatura said...

LA in August? "photo's of shimmering asphalt?"

Excellent point.

Other than the few places where you can actually see the water (e.g. Santa Monica), and the day time stuff that the commenters have compiled, I've come to like LA for the nights more than anything else. But, always stay away from the highways, the experience will be very different (and I do live in a heavy traffic city, so I'm not irrationally afraid of such.) When restlessness becomes an an issue, excursions to the north are my choice--heading south could result in a long, demoralizing traffic mess before reaching your destination oasis.


Do you mean this government music:

Life can only get better
All you need to do is fall in love
Everyone else has fun but you
Buy that fun you'll fit in too

Dance your problems away
Cheap escape to that mind-control beat
Mellow out-Life's too hard
You don't even want to think

See the macho cock-rock metal heroes
Vomit fire out of their big mouths
Shake your fists obediently
Make Leni Riefenstahl real proud

See the Aryan bozo with the red guitar
Parachute on the White House lawn
Gonna bomb the commies with his air guitar
So dumb he can't drive 55

Like Bing Crosby before them
Too idiotic to be real
You want it loud?
We'll make sure it goes nowhere
So you won't get ideas

Triumph of the swill
Triumph of the swill
Triumph of the swill
Triumph of the swill

Music is banned in Khomeini's Iran
On the grounds that it stimulates the brain
We've done him one better in the land of coke & honey
Using music to put people's brains to sleep

Ever wonder why commercial radio's so bad?
It's 'cause someone upstairs wants it that way
If the Doors or John Lennon were getting started now
The industry wouldn't sign 'em in a million years

So what do we get
Christian censorship and taxed blank tapes
Shoppers strung out on our false hopes
Will flock to obey

Triumph of the swill
Triumph of the swill
Triumph of the swill
Triumph of the swill

merrymary said...

Wow - what great comments - you will need a month here - not just a few days! Again the Huntington - noticing a pattern here.

The newly renovated Observatory in Griffith Park is great and the view of LA is fine. Having a drink at Yamashiro Restaurant in Hollywood
A beautiful old Japanese home turned restaurant - spectacular view and gardens.

PatCA said...

All the suggestions are good--make a reservation if you want to go to the new Griffith Observatory. You can also ride horses near there...downtown has an art scene and small artist community scene...there's lots of good places to eat near the beach even in Orange County, which I fear mentioning lest some poster will start vomiting, but there it is.

It sort of depends what you're interested in--it's a huge place here. If you want a classic traffic jam, for instance, we'll just take you down the 10 Freeway from downtown to Santa Monica at p.m. and see what day you get there.

PatCA said...

These cottages are also great to rent, if you book it the minute the reservations open.


Anonymous said...

I recently posted about my weekend in LA.

In sum: Yay for Santa Monica by the Ocean, everywhere else is yucky.

rcocean said...

You want bloggable and people photographs - what about Disneyland?

blake said...

rcocean sez "You want bloggable and people photographs - what about Disneyland?"

HA! Knew someone was gonna do it!


Well, it's gotta nice beat, but I can't dance to it.

reader_iam said...

Has XWL stopped by? He's a Santa Monica native and still lives there. Plus, he's always doing something.

Maxine Weiss said...

1. Getty Villa. 2. Malibu Pier and bird estuary

Restaurant: Gladstones on PCH

1. Laguna Beach Artwalk 2. Newport Beach/Balboa Island

Restaurant: Five Crowns, Newport Beach

1. Reagan Library and Museum 2. Westlake Village/the lake

Restaurant: Mediterraneo (lakeside)

1. Hotel Bel-Air grounds 2. Santa Monica/Montana Avenue cafes and shops


Solvang, Buellton and Santa Barbara.

Restaurant: Split Pea Andersons !

shake-and-bake said...

I think I've geot a sense of the kind of music you like. Go here one night: http://www.harvelles.com/ Amusement guaranteed; especially on Tuesdays. If you decide to go, let me know and I'll fly down from SF and join you.

Rockport Conservative said...

I say do some serious people watching. Take the coast hiway all the way from Malibu to Santa Barbara. Good people watching on the Santa Barbara pier. I once watched some seagulls mug a pigeon on that pier. They knocked him down, off the pier, and followed up by going down and making sure he drowned. Too bad I don't have video of that. Visit the Reagan library, the view is wonderful and so is the library. Huntington Library is a good idea, too. I've never lived there but one of my kids did so I visited a lot.

Chet said...


Away From The Brink said...


Simi Valley resident here. Yes, the Reagan Musueum is quite bloggable. For food, a visit to L.A. would not be complete without an In-N-Out burger, or a Tommy's burger (with chili fries).

Randy said...

Blake (or anyone): What about the view from Mulholland Drive?

Maxine: Liked your recs, esxcept for Pea Soup Andersen's. Better to get something with a fried egg on top in Solvang (IIRC, everything comes with a fried egg on top in Solvang ;-)

PatCA: OC has nothing to apologize for - some of the best Chinese & Vietnamese restaurants, not to mention Mexicatessans, can be found there, right? The beaches still sparkle at sunset, I guess Balboa is probably much too crowded, but Seal Beach is still quaint isn't it? Others have mentioned Laguna and San Clemente already. What's San Juan Capistrano like these days?

Henry said...

My grandparents lived in Altadena, which is my connection to L.A.

Drill Sgt. is totally right. Go up to Santa Barbara to see the Spanish Mission. Short day trip. Great for photos.

You will rent a convertible, of course?

Zachary Sire said...

FINALLY Maxine...how could you not respond to this?!

I forgot about Solvang...love it love it love it. A MUST.

And the Balboa Fun Zone is a blast. You can take you car on the ferry to and from the island. (Balboa's not really an island...but who doesn't love a good ferry ride?...err...)

rhhardin said...

Try to get out of it.

Instead, ride a bike to the store at home. Photograph a dog.

chuck b. said...

Solvang? What is Althouse going to do there? Shop for Christmas ornaments? Buy a tub of sugar cookies?

Also, the Getty... Spend a whole day looking at fake-y Europeanism? Why not just go to Europe?

Ann Althouse said...

I'm surprised to hear the Getty is bad.

What I'm most afraid of is finding everything ugly... streets, undistinguished buildings... and not being able to walk around anywhere interesting.

I love driving, but it's not fun being a new driver in an unfamiliar city (especially in an unfamiliar car -- and rental cars always have automatic transmissions, which I loathe). Actually, I'm not going to be the driver.

Grant said...

Since you asked (and if you're still reading):

The Getty, Friday or Saturday night only, not for the art but for the beautiful, luminous travertine building at dusk and the stunning view of the city--just walk straight through and right out to the edge of the plaza. I thought I would hate the building, but at sunset it is a beautiful thing to behold.

The Huntington Gardens and the displays in the library--the art only if you have the time and really like British art.

If you want art, the Norton Simon (a perfectly-sized museum collection) or the LA County Museum of Art.

The tar pits and museum, next to the LACMA, because they're fun.

Mulholland Drive. Preferably when someone else is driving, so you can enjoy the sights.

LA is the nation's most fascinating city. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

(And no, I don't live there, never have, I'm a born-and-bred Southerner.)

Zachary Sire said...

I forgot you won't be the driver. When did he move out there?

The Getty is a beautiful place in and of itself, but the exhibits are notoriously underwhelming.

Walking around Hollywood and Venice certainly isn't boring, you'll be fine there. I'm going up there tonight as it happens (last minute) to see Yaz at the Orpheum. So excited.

Y'all remember Yaz...


chuck b. said...

Imo, to really "get" L.A. you need an interpreter... Someone who's been there for awhile and who knows how it works. The place does not just open up and reveal itself to the casual visitor...or even to the engaged visitor. It's a lifestyle and it takes awhile to acclimate. I'm afraid that five days could feel like a very long time to someone with more experience on the east coast.

Seriously dial down any hopes you have for good "walking around". Maybe that way you'll be pleasantly surprised.

And it's going to be hot in August. Do you walk around a lot on hot days in Madison?

The Canyons mentioned here are a good idea. Also want to second the Norton Simon Museum.

The Gettys are *okay*, but that's just a few hours, max. Then what?

And of course you're going to rent a car with a navigation system. That's not even a question about that.

blake said...


Heh. Mulholland's pretty long. The view varies. Fun drive.

I'd say rent a convertible but in August that might not be so good.

I'm gonna second the veto of Andersen's Split Pea Soup. It's about on the par of a Bob's Big Boy. A two hour drive is a long way to go for that.

And the only times I've been to Solvang have made me formulate the theory that "high cholesterol = fat, grumpy and shorts". 'cause that's what I saw in Solvang: Fat grumpy people in shorts eating butter cookiies.

Anonymous said...

Day 1 - Spend LAX, watch many planes fly, smell spent jet fuel and much diverse body odors, sleep in chair, save on car rental and motel, feel virtuos - one of the people.

Day 2 - Rent tiny car, good for park. Go to UCLA, take scenic freeway route. Find law library, many books, count them, bask in familiar surroundings. Plug in computer, download entire library of Congress.While waiting, buy hotdog and take pictures of LA trash bins. Maybe book idea. You keep. Check in No-Tell Motel Sunset and XXX St. Very nice, sheets changed weekly. Sleep. Careful not slide off bed.

Day 3 - Visit barrio scenic East LA. Stand on corner and LOL bouncy cars. Soon be surrounded by many small friendly brown persons (large ones too) with interesting weapons. Good time to practice Spanish. Cojones, puta, burrito, La Raza good words to start. Middle finger gesture universally recognized. Use frequently, develop rapport. You're welcome I'm sure.

Day 4 - Check out from emergency room, mumble goodbye many friendly staff. Buy glass straw, go to nearest beach, limp in sand, practice drinking hotdog through straw and attractive wire mesh holding mouth together. Enjoy refreshing puppy poop between toes, much healthy UV rays.

After happy hours in sun, return to motel. Park far away, leave keys in car for needy persons borrow. Great opportunity practice cockroach training skills in peace of own room.

Day 5 - Wow. This some fun trip. Many last minute options, but most recommend visit county jail, sympathize with innocent victims evil military industrial complex. Acquire much good karma. Unfortunate must leave soon, but great stories for Wisconsin peoples never been LA.

No bother writing. Know you appreciate recommendations for excellent time LA. Need more travel tips? No problem. Any time.

JSF said...

A great place to people watch is The farmers Market on fairfax. Some Sundays I am there eating by the Gumbo Pot.

Another good People watching place is the Venice Boardwalk. (Try watching "Southland tales" before you go)

For art (I'm sure it been reccommended earlier), both getty's. The architcture at the getty off the 405 highlights the top of my Blog (taken at Sunset).

Allow me top get you a drink at the Standard Hotel on Sunset (blvd.) when you are in town.

To quote Randy Newman:

" Roll down the window put down the top
Crank up the Beach Boys baby
Don't let the music stop
We're gonna ride it till we just can't ride it no more

>From the South Bay to the Valley
>From the West Side to the East Side
Everybody's very happy
'Cause the sun is shining all the time
Looks like another perfect day

I love L.A. (We love it)
I love L.A. (We love it)"

Paddy O said...

I want to second the idea that LA is great... if you want to know it for what it is. The idea that it is soulless or anonymous comes from the people who migrate here trying to find their own purpose, or get into the Industry, or otherwise are already rootless because they've left their roots behind.

The area absolutely has character. Those of us who can trace back generations here love it. But it doesn't open up for just anyone.

Overall, to get to know this area you have to realize the wilds, the weather, and the variety. Don't think of LA as being the city. It's not much of a city. Think of it as a hub, that you can spiral out.

Pasadena is a great place for a city experience. You'd find it comfortable there and immensely green. I loved living there. I live in Lake Arrowhead now and find the local charm wonderful. Totally different feel. Excellent restaurants, quaint places to stay that have interesting celebrity history. Beautiful. Surrounded by the burned out forests, that certainly would add some interesting photo moments.

Santa Barbara for the beach. Amazing town. Lived there for about 4 years growing up and I'd move back there in a second. Though, it's a place that might take a while to really catch the mood.

LA is all about getting out and seeing the nature, the geography, the movement slow and fast.

Randy said...

Ann, if you are not going to be the driver, reliable sources tell me that El Chavo on Sunset and Casita del Campo on Hyperion make killer margaritas. I always liked El Chavo's drinks and food more than the other.

If you can, arrive at night. If you're lucky, the flight plan will give you a magnificent view of seemingly endless strings of streetlights fanning out in all directions. Breathtaking.

Chuck: Good points all!

Blake (and Chuck): Believe it or not, I never noticed the butter cookies. My main memories of numerous business trips to the Solvang area, other than a fried egg coming with just about everything, are mass quantities of danish pastries of varying quality, it was next door to Mission La Purisima, and the occasionally spectacular Highway 154 over San Marcos Pass (especially the bridge).

Randy said...

Ann, I just saw your comment about perhaps finding undistinguished buildings. There are hundreds in LA, but not close together, so many people miss almost all of them, or conclude there aren't any. LA has always been a dispersed metropolis, not a centralized one. There are classics like the Bradbury Building and the Central Library downtown, and modern monstrosities (IMO) like Gehry's Dsiney Center downtown.

Pasadena has any number of architecturally interesting, and significant, buildings like the Huntington Hotel and the Gamble House. They used to have some neat bridges over the arroyos, too.

Then there's places like Wright's Hollyhock House that aren't necessarily close to anything. Any number of neighborhoods are choc-a-bloc with good (and bad) Mission-revival architecture. Depending on where you go, there are delightful neighborhoods of Cliff May-inspired Eichler homes, the classic modern ranch that some still find too avant garde for comfort. While I was typing this, I ran across this site. You might want to peruse it. 1320 buildings of architectural significance, historical & modern, commercial & residential, are profiled there.

chuck b. said...

Highway 154 is a treasure.

To me, Solvang is nice for the dude ranch at Alisal--a family vacation spot since long before my time.

Also, I loved the movie Sideways.

But without Alisal, if I only had a day to spend in Solvang, I would leave Solvang and go back to Santa Barbara. And the place to eat is in Los Olivos and it's called Mattei's.

My aunt brought back a tub of butter cookies from Solvang and brought them to the hospital on the night of my grandfather's deathwatch. Now that's my permanent association with Solvang.

Troy said...

If you got to Santa Barbara... lunch at Cold Spring Tavern... beautiful drive through the mountains to an old stagecoach station (1867 or somesuch). Great specials.... buffalo burgers, great wine list. Bikers sometimes hang out there in the off-season. VERY bloggable.

Reagan Library is very bloggable. You could blog from Air Force One.

Norton Simon is good in Pasadena too.

Check the Hollywood Bowl schedule too. They've got everything from Le Miz to Radiohead in August.

LA Farmer's Market is good too -- in a Hasidic community

Garment District too; The Jazz Bakery has great music also.

amba said...

You do have to go to the new Getty museum. The setting and view alone are amazing -- it's sited like an American Acropolis.

amba said...

And take Topanga from Sunset over and through the hills. It's corny, but suddenly coming out of this labyrinth and bursting on the wide Pacific is most excellent.

Go to this shop -- one of a kind handmade clothes -- and tell her Annie and Jacques said hello.

amba said...

If you want to meet someone (my college roomie) who lives in a house on the beach in Santa Monica once occupied by Cary Grant and Barbara Hutton, let me know.

LonewackoDotCom said...

I think Althouse should only see the best parts of L.A. and ignore the rest. Then, she should post a typically vapid entry, perhaps with a picture of some frippery from the SunsetStrip or RodeoDrive. In other words, she should be her usual airhead self.

The last thing she should do is look into the ravages of a self-serve immigration policy by visiting Koreatown, Pico-Union, Highland Park, or - my personal fave - the difference between Cypress Park and Mt. Washington (past home of our beloved mayor). Driving from CP to MW - such as along Division - one can see the future of California: a small number of (relatively in the current case) rich people surrounded by a large number of (ditto) poor people.

Althouse is too much of a ditz to do anything like that, so let me suggest that if you want mountains, there are a few ranges in the L.A. area, and the San Gabriels are the highest and least developed. Those are the ones behind Pasadena and the two recommended roads would be the 2 above La Crescenta and driving up to the MtBaldy area; on the weekends the skilift should be open that goes to some miles and 2000' from the top of the peak.

Sprezzatura said...

Solvang pile on.

Me too!!

I have spent a fair amount of time in LA and the surrounding areas with a genuine Danish (now LA) person as my guide. Never did she mention Solvang.

blake said...

I live in Lake Arrowhead now and find the local charm wonderful.

I spent more than a few weeks there (winter and summer) as a kid, but it's changed radically since then.

As for Solvang, it just seemed tourist-y to me. And nobody smiled. If you're gonna head up the coast, you might as well pass Solvang, and head up to San Luis Obispo.

veni vidi vici said...

I hear ya. It is definitely a "purpose-driven" type of place, this town/city/amalgam/leviathan.

I feel the same about it as far as "you go where you gotta go to do what you gotta do and then get back to where you wanna be" goes, although I'll admit, being from the Canadian side of the Detroit border and having arrived here 20 years ago this labor day (yikes!) with my brother in a van loaded with drums, synthesizers and guitars and a few hundred bucks between us, I've maintained an unexplainable romantic attachment to LA. Call me crazy, but hey - I didn't turn tail and head back to nowheresville when my band(s) never got a record deal, like most of the guys I knew back in the "when I was young and irresponsible I was young and irresponsible" days.

Man, writing this is reminding me that those were some heady times!

veni vidi vici said...

Hollywood is a place, sort of. Not the Hollywood that the idiot entertainment television Joan Rivers-type shows yammer about, but the actual locale. It used to have a thick sleaze and element of danger that really recommended it if you were young, had a taste for adventure, and had enough wit not to get caught up in some really dumb shit. If you fell to the latter, well, then it was just a hopeless, dark place of real nightmare proportions. Think of the middle section/breakdown of "Welcome to the Jungle" by GnR; they really nailed the feel of how it used to be in that 20 or so seconds.

Still, I was a little saddened to have returned to LA after a few years in Chicago only to find that most of Hollywood had been "gentrified" and/or cleaned up to the point that low-life rock and rollers can't afford to live there anymore, and old shitty falling-apart rat-infested office buildings good only for housing loads of unknown/never-to-be-known rock bands' lockout rehearsal spaces have been converted or renovated, or torn down. Now it all just seems so damned respectable.

PatCA said...

These are interesting walks. http://www.downtownlawalks.com/?f=routes-metro

vbspurs said...

LA, what can one say? It's got everything. Much better people than I can give you tips.

But is this the upshot of that contest you had earlier this year, to give you a vacation tip?

IIRC, Benning said Vegas. LA is like Vegas, only with more beautiful bodies.


Host with the Most said...

Any hope of an Althouse Regulars West meet-up whilst you are in LA?

blake said...

IIRC, Benning said Vegas. LA is like Vegas, only with more beautiful bodies.

In fairness, we have more ugly bodies, too.

zion said...

Check out the Garment District now rebranded as the Fashion District. LA is the Hub of US fashion on the west coast and the deals give sample sales in NYC a run for their money.

And no one does denim like LA. 7's Citizen, R&R, Chip and Pepper etc all are designed here so you can get great deals as well as unique one offs in the Garment district.

zion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Have a hot dog at Pinks, home of the world's best dogs.

Tony Bourdain liked the chili dog. So did Bobby Flay.

Ann Althouse said...

Victoria: "But is this the upshot of that contest you had earlier this year, to give you a vacation tip?"

No, not at all. I'm visiting a specific person. I'd still like to do some sort of scenic drive vacation, but the price of gas makes driving all over the place less of a good idea than it was. And I'm enjoying the summer in Madison, where I have all my windows open, it's 65°, and I've put the air conditioner on about twice.

Solvang? Never heard of it. Is it like New Glarus?

Host with the Most said "Any hope of an Althouse Regulars West meet-up whilst you are in LA?"


Ann Althouse said...

lonewackodotcom said..."...look into the ravages of a self-serve immigration policy by visiting Koreatown, Pico-Union, Highland Park, or - my personal fave - the difference between Cypress Park and Mt. Washington (past home of our beloved mayor). Driving from CP to MW - such as along Division - one can see the future of California: a small number of (relatively in the current case) rich people surrounded by a large number of (ditto) poor people."

This could be the inspiration for a new post on StuffWhitePeople like.

Sorry, I don't go looking for unfortunate people to gawk at and I don't research policy questions by dropping by neighborhoods to look at things. I'd love to do photo-walks in poor neighborhoods, which are much more interesting visually than rich ones, but there are overwhelmingly strong reasons for me not to go in that direction.

Dad29 said...

Meet this Blogger:


(See R/H column "My Career." She could script a law-school prof show...)

Baron Zemo said...

"Sorry, I don't go looking for unfortunate people to gawk at and I don't research policy questions by dropping by neighborhoods to look at things. I'd love to do photo-walks in poor neighborhoods, which are much more interesting visually than rich ones, but there are overwhelmingly strong reasons for me not to go in that direction."

You are afraid of brown people my dear lady, which is very wise of you. By all means stay among your own kind. It is the only sensible thing to do.

Is there a special place where elderly white woman parade their foolishness. Perhaps a nice park where you can feed the birds.

PatCA said...

Thank you, Randy, for your voice of reasonableness about OC!

Ann Althouse said...

Baron, it's a matter of taste and decency. Look up the word "slumming" and learn something.

Baron Zemo said...

You do so love to flatter yourself my dear. You are not quite Oscar Wilde on his grand tour. It would be a salutary experience if you met some brown people outside of an academic setting where your interaction is tempered by his grade point average.

Randy said...

Anyone want to place bets on Baron Zemo' previous incarnations here?

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, Randy.  At the merest mention of LA, we have the Los Angeles-based anti-Althouse flame machine turned on.  There are various permutations and manifestations of it, but it all is the same crap, from "Maxine's" ironic and fairly subtle snark, to the "Baron" here, who has turned on the blowtorch.  Todo lo mismo.

May I say to Sr. el Barón in my first language, and the once and future language of Aztlán, which I suspect Sr. el Barón would flee in a heartbeat if it came to pass:

Chinga la tuya.

Mrs. Ardita Stomple said...

1. The Huntington Library isn't a library, it's just the garden, more pictures of plants? and it'll be unbearably hot, out that way, at this time of year. A very long, hot, drive, sitting in traffic for hours (mark my words) ....just to look at a bunch of plants ?????

2. The Getty "Center" has a very underwhemling collection, but yes, the design of the building, and you have to see it at sunset...probably worth a look-see during the day, too. But, prepare to be disappointed, and that's after the major production to even get up there.

3. The Getty "Villa" is much more accessible to get to, and has the better collection.

4. If you aren't prepared to spend 1-2 hour +++ drives, including endless hours sitting in traffic, then Southern California may not be the place for you. The bulk of your time will be spent in the car, so I suggest renting a luxury car to make it special.

Getting in the car, getting out of the car. Driving hours only to arrive at your destination and walking around for 20 minutes. That's Southern California ! Prepare to be disappointed, or else lower your expectations.

Baron Zemo said...

I have not seen such a collection of obsequious toadies since those grand old days in Karinhall.

1775OGG said...

It's difficult to understand why there are so many comments on this post, the comments are so boring! Perhaps it's the climate out there in LaLa land where many good people cohabitate in close proximity with kooks and nutcases.

Seriously, though, the San Clemente Pier restaurant is fantastic and the climate there is cool and great too. All the kooks and nuts have to wait on the hill side and aren't allowed to cross the tracks!

Mr. Ullysses Whitebait said...

Have no expectations. Simply go as an effort to seek the answer to this question:

"California represents the best and worst of America: It’s rich, tolerant, creative, dynamic, and beautiful. It’s also vain, avaricious, collectivist, anti-intellectual, and oversexed. The contradictions are vexing: how can the state that gave us Reagan give us so many Jerry Browns? How can the home of the San Fernando valley porn industry also give us American religious phenomena like Aimee Semple McPherson and Rick Warren? How do Cal Berkeley and the Claremont Institute spring from the same weird soil?"

Chet said...

I think you will find the answers to those questions in a book: "Where I Was From" by Joan Didion (2003).

Required reading for anyone intersted in California.

Anonymous said...

Chet, a very good suggestion. As a Californian with very deep family roots in that state, Didion's writings have often been both good analysis of life in California and a real challenge to my identity as a Californian.

She remains controversial, both as a stylist and in terms of her politics, but I think if you enjoy or at least can deal with her writing, she remains essential for anyone interested in California.

I have long since left California, which has given me perspective to
appreciate what Didion has done all the more.

Anonymous said...

LA is a convenient collective term. It is really a huge mosaic, or a giant buffet, in which some of the dishes are best left untouched. I'm thinking if you can conveniently connect with someone who lives there, and has some time, and shares some interests, you are likely to save a whole lot of time not stuck in traffic or searching for your destination.

Good luck. Travel safely.

Ann Althouse said...

Why do lefties think it's okay to snark with the expression "brown people"? You might think you are funny, but chances are, you are a privileged white person, and you sound racist to me. It's actually sickening -- all the more so because you think you're conveying an important message, you miserable pedant.

Randy said...

Ann, do you know any law professors in Texas who once ran for city council in a very large city in another state? Just curious if there was some reason one might be mad at you.

bill sherman said...

Take a day-tour with Friends Of The Los Angeles River.

Host with the Most said...

Mrs. Ardita Stomple,

I'm sorry, my dear, but as a former long-time member of the Huntington Library, Gardens and Art Collections, I must correct you. It is a "library" of collections of important and famous literary works. As it says on it's website, "The Library's rare books and manuscripts constitute one of the world’s largest and most extensively used collections in America outside of the Library of Congress.


1) First of all, an Althouse Regulars West meet-up would be a wonderful thing, thank you.

2) The Huntington is very much worth the visit, especially for Ann the photographer. You are a flower lover. The Gardens are absolutely gorgeous. The Art collections are in the former mansion of Henry Huntington and his wife, Arabella. The gallery just underwent a $20 million dollar renovation. The drive through San Marino (the house used in the Steve Martin "Father of the Bride" movies is there), and neighboring Pasadena is also very nice.

Also in Pasadena is the Norton Simon Museum. It's collections are fantastic, and again, it is sometimes called a photographer's dream. I'll never forget my then 6-year old tactile-learning daughter walking past the rope to touch a Monet. The near-by guard gasped as my wife took her by the hand and simply said, "We just look at the Monet's dear, we don't touch".

sixty-five said...

My daughter got me into the Eames House a few years ago - quite interesting, bloggable, and off the beaten path. You need to reserve 48 hours ahead. http://www.eamesfoundation.org/visit_house.html

Sprezzatura said...

File this away for future reference: Seattle is absolutely gorgeous and full of options during this time of year.

Ms. Lydia Fink said...

1. The Huntington Library's collection of rare books, is off-limits to the public. Yes, they have a collection, but it isn't for public perusal.---Actually, neither are the books and materials at the Reagan Library---these are private libraries. Although, at least with Reagan, you get to see the museum and gravesite/crypt.

2. What do you expect Althouse to do in the poorer neighborhoods? She's not some Savior. She doesn't wish to swoop down like some Lady Bountiful bringing good cheer and groceries to the indigent, with their social resentment of all things Caucasian.

I'm sure Althouse would much rather spend her time mixing with the Jet-Set, a social strata that she's far more equipped to provide aid and comfort.

Anonymous said...

Oh Maxine: When I was a grad student, I got access to the Huntington Library's collections on a couple of occasions. I'm sure that, as an academic, Professor Althouse would not have much of a problem scheduling a visit.

As for poor people, I am glad you gave up the "brown-skinned" crap, because it shows you for what you are. Althouse or anyone else can visit poor people anywhere, anytime. Why don't YOU haul YOUR butt out of West LA or Santa Monica or whatever bourgeois barrio you find refuge in, and move to Boyle Heights? I know a house for sale on Mt. Vernon Ave. in San Bernardino if you want to be among poor people. YOU could then devote YOURSELF to a life of selfless devotion to the improvement of the lives of poor people, instead of spitting snark on the internet at people like Althouse for not displaying proper devotion to your enlightened opinions.

Roger Sweeny said...

A clarification:

There are two Gettys (sp). The Villa is on the border of Malibu and Pacific Palisades (LA), directly off the Pacific Coast Highway--careful, the driveway sneaks up on you. It's a recreation of an imagined Roman villa (and if that sounds all right to you, you might well enjoy it). It contains most all of Getty's pre-medieval stuff.

The Center is located above LA, in the foothills of the Santa Monical Mountains, off I-405. It's big and new, very obvious a lot of money has been spent on the buildings and grounds. The art is all 1300 and later.

We just finished a few days of whirlwind sightseeing: both Gettys, the Zoo, Griffith Observatory, LaBrea tar pits, the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, the South Bay and Bellona Creek Bike Trails. Plus a lot of personalized motor tours from our son.

Two (bloggable?) thoughts. LA is green and sometimes achingly beautiful. But most all of the plants and the water are from elsewhere. Naturally, it would look as brown and undistinguished as the surrounding mountains.

We saw an astounding number of people who were neither black nor white. Their ancestors came from different places south of the border (all "Latinos" are not alike) and twenty or thirty Asian countries. Couples and children were mixed in all sorts of ways (including many with Euros or Afros). It makes the narrative of the presidential race--a "black" v. a "white"--seem so last century.

Rain won't be a problem but heat might. Near the water, the temperature is very pleasant. Even expensive houses usually don't have air conditioners. As you go inland, the temperature rises.

One of my favorite sights: the Port of LA in Long Beach. Everywhere there are "boxes," the large containers that are lifted unopened off of ships onto railroad cars or onto the chassis of tractor-trailers. If you bought it at Wal-Mart, it probably went through Long Beach.

blake said...

We saw an astounding number of people who were neither black nor white. Their ancestors came from different places south of the border (all "Latinos" are not alike) and twenty or thirty Asian countries. Couples and children were mixed in all sorts of ways (including many with Euros or Afros). It makes the narrative of the presidential race--a "black" v. a "white"--seem so last century.

Very true.

I have a (white) friend who moved about 15 miles north in to Valencia, and moved back because it was "too white".

Mrs. Inez Mudville said...

Professor Althouse would not be allowed entry into the actual library portion of the Huntington, where the rare books are.

You must make application, showing a special project of some such, and then said application must undergo extensive review.

Without an approved application (which takes months) the only portion of the Huntington grounds available to Professor Althouse is the garden....as if this site doesn't have enough photos of plants.....

If Professor Althouse, somehow, manages to gain entry into the private rare books collection of the Huntington Library, and actually is allowed free persual of the rare manuscripts.....

...why I'll do cartwheels, I'll do somersaults all up and down Rodeo Drive.

It'll never happen. The library portion of The Huntington is off-limits, to all but approved patrons, who've made application.

veni vidi vici said...

speaking of rare-book libraries with impossible-to-access collections, I'll never forget the story told me by the late Music dept. chairman at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Rod Butler (a terrific individual and tremendous positive influence on many, RIP).

He had a colleague some years earlier who was doing some research and was granted access to the Vatican library. So the guy's tooling around in there with essentially no supervision, allowed to look at what he's looking for, but naturally having a sense of awe, his eye wanders.

Soon enough, he finds himself reading a firsthand manuscript accounting the trial of Galileo. Could you imagine?

Mark Clifford said...


Except for a short stint at Grinnell College I've lived my whole life in SoCal. My advice is to think of things you like and go to them here. Like theater? It's great here. Like Museums? The Getty, Huntington and County are all great for art and there are lots of others that are fun like the Norton Simon and the Gene Autry. Like weird funky stuff? Melrose and Venice. Like little shops and coffee places? Check out Orange (in OC), parts of Pasadena, 2nd Street in Long Beach or even better nearby Seal Beach where I live. And no matter what anyone says, theme parks are fun.

Since it seems you already have a friend here, I'd ask he/she/it to join you in the things you enjoy--they're here. Then you do things you friend likes. I've never seen this fail as a way to have new and interesting experiences.

Let me know if you have a specific interest.