Grudgingly appreciating LA...

Trip Start Oct 18, 2007
Trip End Aug 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, November 12, 2007

Hey gang,

I've made it to my third stop on this trip around the world: LA. Thankfully, Martin, an old salsa buddy from Montreal, who has since moved here, picked me up at the airport, and in true California style, no less: in a convertible BMW with the top down. Excellent! He showed me the infamous Rodeo Dr, including all the tourists who converge on the steps at the corner of Rodeo and Wilshire to take pics. Later on that evening, we met up for dinner with close friends of his at the Hungry Cat then took a stroll along Hollywood Blvd on the Walk of Fame and to Grauman's aka Mann's Chinese Theatre (where stars autographed cement blocks and left their foot/hand/faceprint).

On Sunday, it was atypically grey and cold for SoCal locals at a freezing temperature of 12 deg Celsius and (gasp!) drizzly. Instead of heading to Venice Beach to check out hard bodies pumping iron and renting a tandem bike to cycle by the waterfront, we decided to check out the Getty Centre. What a beautiful space!!! Once you park at the bottom of the hill, there's a driverless shuttle train that brings patrons up to the Centre itself. Martin and I mainly checked out an exhibit currently showing in the Photography section highlighting the pieces of various artists focusing on the nude form and tying this in with the works from Edward Weston (which I couldn't take pictures of since it's a temporary exhibit).

Y'know what I learned? Downtown LA actually DOES have a decent public transportation system and as well as some pretty cool looking architecture. With Martin's help, I decided on a self-guided walking tour of the City of Angels on Monday. I randomly met Bob, an old-timer who makes and owns old school cars, which are currently being used on Angelina Jolie's upcoming movie set during the Depression called Changeling, where a scene was being shot in front of City Hall (which I happened to be walking in front of). Also got to meet two paparazzis trying to catch a glimpse of her... sorry gang, no Jolie sightings. Also checked out the first house ever build in LA, the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (really funky catholic church!), the Water and Power Dept building, aka John Ferrero Building, as well as the famous Disney Concert Hall. You can do absolutely NO WRONG when snapping a pic of this building... all the pictures come out looking like brilliant pieces of photography! I took a few pics outside of the Bradbury Building, but have yet to catch a glimpse of the awesome view of the inside of this historical space.

Next up, bus ride and day trip to Santa Monica Beach, random Anthony and Kim sightings and crossing my fingers to win cheap front row tickets for Wicked, a musical currently playing at the Pantages Theatre in West Hollywood! Wish me luck!

/later on that day/

On Tuesday, had breakfast with Anthony and Kim at the Farmer's Market which is found right next to this shopping complex called The Grove. So funny to catch up with an old high school friend from Montreal and his gf, who both live in Victoria, BC... all the way HERE in LA. The world is small, non? It was nice to catch up and take in the La Brea Tar Pit Museum! Many millenia ago, this area was covered by a tar pit and ancient animals like huge mammoths, sabertoothed cats, and giant ground sloths became trapped and entombed in the asphalt. I read that vultures and other predator animals tried to eat the sinking beasts and ended up getting stuck themselves. sucks to be them! Sorry, no pics of that moment, but will put up the link to anthony's site once he posts pics from today. Killed time then made my way up to Hollywood and Vine to see if I could win a pair of tickets for Wicked, but alas, no luck. After kicking it at the beach tomorrow, I'm hoping to try again to get a ticket.

Oh my goodness... I had the most WICKED day today (wednesday)!!! Hit the beach today and rented a bike, cruising along the bike path from Santa Monica to Marina Del Rey and loved looking at the funky homes that look out onto the ocean. Fantastic!

From there, made my way to Hollywood, crossing my fingers to win $25 front row tickets for the musical called WICKED. I didn't end up winning the lottery, and almost decided to make my way back home, but a little voice inside said, "You travelled THIS far TWICE already, ya might as well pony up the money and watch the show!" And thankfully, I did... and had the great pleasure of meeting the awesome people who were seated next to me. Kathryn just happens to have come back from her own trip - AROUND THE WORLD - just last year so it was great to hear her stories. Funny how things work out, non?

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