Monday, April 11, 2011

Seven things about LA


I’m home from LA and settling back into my routine.  Okay, I’m really just wading through a mountain of laundry.  It’s fun to go away, but it’s good to be home, too.

Here are seven of my observations about LA and its environs—in no particular order and of no particular significance.

1. Tattoos.  Perhaps I should point out that I don’t get out much.  I do go to the gym where I have seen more tattoos in the women’s locker room than I had previously imagined decorated female bodies, but most of these are coverable by clothing.  Our first full day in LA, we took the subway (Yes, Virginia, there is an LA subway) out to Hollywood and I was struck by the size and prevalence of this form of permanent body decoration on men and women. 

2.  Public transportation.  Everyone I asked before we left home assured me LA public transportation was pitiful and that we could not get around without renting a car.  Not true, though I suppose it does depend on where you want to go.  We took the subway twice to the Hollywood area (three times for dear husband) and rode the Big Blue Bus to Santa Monica without any problems.  Much more relaxing, in our humble opinions, than having our own wheels.

3.  The subway.  I think the subway deserves special mention.  The Hollywood stations—Hollywood and Vine and Hollywood and Western—were beautiful.  See for yourself:

LA subway hollywood and western

This is (I think) the Hollywood and Western station.  I took this on a Tuesday morning—we decided to explore Griffith Park.  As you can see, it’s not very crowded. 

LA subway hollywood and western escalators

The escalators are pretty, too—and deserted.  Odd for us, used to the D.C. Metro which is always busy.

2011-04-03_15-26-48_523 day 2

Even the ceiling was worth looking at—this is the ceiling at Hollywood and Vine.

4.  The air.  I expected smog, and we did see some haze…or I suppose it could have been smog…when we climbed to the top of Mt. Hollywood and looked down over the city.

View from Mt. Hollywood, Griffith Observatory from above

That building with the large dome and two smaller domes in roughly the center of the picture is Griffith Observatory, by the way.

But in general, I thought the air was clear and the light extraordinary.  Our first full day in LA, I was fascinated by the Walt Disney Concert Hall.


5.  Birds of Paradise.  They look so exotic to me, but they seem to be everywhere in the LA area.  I took many pictures, but I’ll limit myself to one here.

2011-04-04_15-24-14_919 day 2

I was delighted by all the vegetation—the flowers, the palm trees, the cacti, the weird trees.  It was clear we weren’t in D.C. any longer.

6.  The ocean.  We’re used to the East Coast beaches—or, more specifically, the Delaware/Maryland shore.  We walked along the Santa Monica beach and realized we didn’t smell the ocean nor did we collect any spray on our glasses.  Even though the ocean was making our toes wet, we didn’t feel damp.  Not sure if that was just the season—when we go to the Atlantic, it’s usually in the summer or fall—or whether there’s just something different.  Here’s proof we were on the beach.

2011-04-04_11-23-21_242 day 2

That’s the Santa Monica pier in the background.  It didn’t begin to compare in tackiness to the boardwalks in Ocean City (MD) or Wildwood (NJ).

And of course I can’t resist showing you this shot, though as you can see, there wasn’t much muscle in view.  There were a few guys swinging from the standing rings, trying to make their way down the line like monkeys swinging through the jungle.

2011-04-04_12-17-09_167 day 2

7.  Dogs.  We saw dogs everywhere when we were in Hollywood, especially in the parks—and by parks, I mean rugged trails like the ones you can see in the picture from the top of Mt. Hollywood.  Here’s another view of a trail—almost at the Mt. Hollywood summit.

2011-04-05_12-58-54_50-day 3

But I swear I’ve never seen so many Chihuahuas in my life.  I think I saw at least one in a purse, but I definitely saw many in outfits—not just coats but dresses and tee shirts. 

So that’s seven things about LA—I think it’s best I stop there, LOL!  Coming next—seven things about RT.


  1. Nice trip! :) I loved the pics, thanks for sharing!

  2. Cool pics! Can't wait to hear about RT.

    Where were the people in the Subway shots? I've never seen a subway so empty!

  3. LOL--yes, it was pretty empty, wasn't it? There were a fair number of folks on the trains, though, but nothing like NYC or D.C. And it's possible the other lines were more crowded.