Thanks for coming back to read the third and final installment of my weekend journey to Los Angeles, which is now, technically, TWO weekends ago. Go ahead, swing your disapproving jaw back and forth, while I hang my head in shame.
Still there? Good!
Recall that Part One covered my train ride and the beautiful Shrine Auditorium, while Part Two detailed the pair of concerts I attended. Part Three is going to be a little less focused, so don’t be surprised if I bounce from topic to topic (shopping! architecture! turtles!) as I collect all that is left over in an image folder I’ve named “Other Stuff.”
Most every trip to Los Angeles includes a stop at Amoeba Music on Sunset Boulevard. In fact, on drives up north, I actually time my departure so that I’ll swing into the underground parking garage right when the chain link gate rattles up at 10:30.
With no car available (recall, on this trip, I rode the train), I relied on my gracious hosts for transportation, and—luckily!—my gracious hosts are every bit the music aficionados as I. So, yes, though I didn’t have a car I still managed to make the pilgrimage and load up a basket with shiny new and used compact discs.
It’s about here that you would expect any blogger worth his or her keyboard to provide a colorful gallery of photos from inside Amoeba, noting every aisle of this famed Musical Mecca—or, at the very least, a cheesy snapshot of the overflowing basket I carted around for the better part of my two hour visit. But… no. Priorities being what they are, the camera slung over my shoulder was completely forgotten in my mad psychotic dash through the store. Oh, rest assured, I brought home many treasured titles, including a bizarre collection of garage pop songs from Thailand, a 3 CD celebration of the first Sugar album, and countless bargain priced used CDs.
You’ll also have to take my word for it that I made out like a bandit at a second music store—Rockaway Records in Silverlake where a tantalizing 20% off sale was in full effect on top of their already low prices. If you don’t know Rockaway, you really should. Their prices are more than fair, their staff is knowledgable, and surprises lurk within their inventory. I found some seriously good buys, like the 5 CD box set of remastered Dio-era Black Sabbath, The Rules Of Hell—new—for under $24. Deal!
The Biltmore Hotel
In my last post I wrote about attending a free concert at Pershing Square in downtown LA. To the right is a photo of the downtown skyline from my seat at the concert. The glowing tower in the background is the Citibank building (recall… Independence Day… alien spaceships… laser beams… BOOM!). In the foreground is The Biltmore Hotel, a really great, elegant, upper crust of a lodging establishment built in 1923. The Biltmore is pretty fancy. Like, presidential fancy, having hosted the Democratic National Convention in 1960 (with John Kennedy’s acceptance speech), the Beatles during their 1964 tour, and several Academy Award ceremonies.
I had a chance to dash across the street before Gram Rabbit’s set to check out the inside of the hotel, and—being a fan of architecture from the 1920′s—pretty much went snapshot crazy—but I’ll only bore you with the half dozen shots below.
Yes, the interior is ostentatious, but in a Golden Age of Hollywood way, as opposed to, say, The Madonna Inn in San Luis Obispo, which would be ostentatious in a Vomit of Kitsch sort of way.
Not all my shopping was limited to record stores. Contrary to popular opinion, I do have other interests, like toys. A couple of months ago I discovered a really cool online store called Spitfire Girl, and purchased a couple of small items for use in my photos. I didn’t know it at the time, but Spitfire Girl has a pair of retail outlets in the Los Angeles area: one in Echo Park, and the other in Los Feliz, not far from one of my all time favorite art galleries, La Luz de Jesus. Since a couple of highly desired items were out of stock online (pixies! gnomes!), and since I was going to be in the area anyway, a visit to my new favorite online store was certainly in order!
What a COOL, COOL place!! They carry all kinds of unique and interesting items, like the anatomical statue you see to the right. Actually, I’m not sure if he was for sale or just part of the decor, but it gives you a taste of the creative ethos you’ll find inside this awesome store.
Sadly, I learned that the gnomes and pixies I sought were available only online—or encased in super cool three dimensional “box cards,” but I didn’t want to destroy one of these cute little works of greeting card art just to get to the figures I desired, so I’ll patiently wait for individual figures to once again find their way into the online store.
Eating out in downtown LA
And now we get to the salacious part of my travelogue… food porn! It’s a well known fact that I am a shameless purveyor of delectable restaurant smut, slipping my sneaky little camera out of its case for quick shots of finely appointed appetizers and enticing entrées. It’s all so mouthwateringly erotic!
Hot and bothered yet? Are your taste buds in need of quenching? Well, sorry to disappoint, but in truth—though I ate well and often—I took only ONE photo of food during my weekend in LA. And here it is:
Ice cream that glows! Okay, it’s doesn’t actually glow, but it is pretty vibrant, wouldn’t you agree? On the plate is a scoop of green tea ice cream—perfectly rich and refreshing, following a deliciously spicy curry entrée at Fat Spoon in Little Tokyo. This quaint little restaurant is outstanding, with great casual atmosphere, excellent food, and an awesome wait staff. Highly recommended for any trip downtown!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this (ahem) brief three part series on my recent trip to Los Angeles. I’m hoping to do the same with my next visit towards the end of September, so stay tuned!