Kevin Standlee (kevin_standlee) wrote,
Kevin Standlee

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LA Tourism

Today Lisa and I engaged in our form of general tourism in Los Angeles.

We took it easy this morning, sleeping in and not worrying about the time. When we were fully ready to go, we walked down to the Metro station and bought a couple of day passes. Once you've bought a day pass, you want to use it as much as you can so you get full value out of it. I think we did so, even including the $1 one-time cost of buying the "Tap Card" before buying the $5 day pass.

We first rode to Pershing Square so we could ride the Angels Flight funicular railway, which is a lovely and cute little ride up the hill. The experience was marred by the attitude of the ticket seller at the top of the hill. After paying the fare (you only pay at one end), Lisa suggested I buy one of the souvenir $1 tickets from the ride, and I asked if the fare I'd already paid could count toward that. He said no, in what I considered a rather surly manner. Exasperated, I said, "Fine, here's another dollar, just give me the ticket."

He said, "I'm refusing to sell you the ticket because you're trying to argue with me."

That really made me angry. I demanded his name and I plan to write to Angel's Flight and complain about the fleshy robot — if I'd asked to buy the ticket before paying the exit fare, I think I would have gotten a different answer, but he was "programmed" to work one and only one way.

Anyway, after that slightly off start, we headed back the way we came, stopping at the Grand Central Market across from Angel's Flight for a coffee and doughnut for me and a juice for Lisa before moving on, with a brief stop back at our hotel. It's quite convenient being only two blocks from the Metro station, although the area around the hotel isn't the most welcoming one in which I've ever stayed.

Then it was off to Hollywood, specifically Hollywood & Vine. Lisa had never been there, and I'd only been there once when I was in high school. We walked up and down the Walk of Fame and ate lunch there. Yes, the area is infested with tacky shops, but we still enjoyed it.

After another, longer stop at the hotel to cool off a bit, we made the long jump, at least as far as using our Metro passes goes: To Long Beach via the Blue Line. As traction/train enthusiasts, we knew our history of the Pacific Electric Railway and were pleased to ride the line down the former route of the PE's quadruple-track "speedway" on the way to Long Beach. At Long Beach, we walked down to the marina and looked around. There was a television shoot setting up. One of the security people told us it was for a future episode of Arrested Development. After seeing enough, we walked back up to the Transit Mall and rode back to downtown LA.

From our previous trip three years ago, we had found Famima convenience stores that, at least when we first found them, attempted to reproduce the Japanese experience of convenience stores, including a pretty good selection of food. We'd planned on picking up enough food at the one at 7th & Flower streets to make our dinner, but the one there seemed small and the selection of food picked over. We tried to find the one that we visited on our previous trip through these parts, but it appears to have closed. As a last resort, we went to Union Station, where the store was larger, but the selection not much better. Lisa was deeply disappointed to see that the chain seems to have sacrificed quality for convenience, and that the food on offer was loaded with a bunch of fillers and preservatives that weren't there three years ago. We went away very disappointed and hungry, and ended up with take-out from the Yoshinoya Beef Bowl around the corner from our hotel instead.

Tomorrow morning we take the Coast Starlight from Los Angeles to San Jose, and we're apt to be on the train most of the day and accordingly out of touch. I'm sure glad I also have Monday off because I need a day to sleep, recover my van (it's parked in Fremont), restock the apartment, and do laundry before I go back to work.
Tags: lisa, vacation

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