A couple of years ago Los Angeles magazine held an NCAA-like bracket competition to determine what readers thought the best thing about Los Angeles was. In a brilliant marketing move, Amoeba Records basically hijacked the contest and urged people to vote for it. It won by a landslide. While Amoeba is indeed a good store, a San Francisco-based used cd/dvd store is clearly not the best thing about our city. I’ve come up with my Top 10 list, presented in no particular order. What do you think?
Is there any other city in the world that has the name of its most famous neighborhood on a mountain, towering over everything? It makes me happy every time I see it. I like how it is visible from so many different places around town. Not to brag or anything, but this is the view from my balcony. It makes me smile every morning.
To me, palm trees symbolize Southern California more than anything else. These streets lined with palm trees, and fortunately there are hundreds all over town, are simply stunning.
Ah, the beach. With miles and miles of coast, no beach ever seems crowded. It’s nice that you can be at the beach from anywhere in the city is around 20 minutes (assuming there’s no traffic, of course!).
Walk of Fame
I don’t know about you, but I can’t walk down Hollywood Boulevard with my head up — I am constantly looking down at the stars. I don’t care if I look like a tourist. It’s just really cool. It always bothered me that Abbott and Costello are not next to each other, however.
I know a lot of people are not fans of mid-century architecture, but I am. Buildings in LA range from classic houses like this one (Schindler’s Buck House on 8th Street), to those cool coffee shops, bowling alleys and car washes, to “dingbat” apartments to office towers. Built forty or fifty years ago, they symbolized the new spirit of Los Angeles, and they still do.
It’s what we all talk about, what everyone else in the rest of the country envies about us. I don’t know about you, but when winter storms are sweeping the North and East and we are basking in sunny, 75 degree weather, I feel really good.
The hills just rise out of the ground, surrounding us with their beauty, setting a boundary for a city that seems to go on forever. This particular view, one of my favorites in the city, is from Pan Pacific Park.
Old Food Stands
If Los Angeles has a signature food, it would be the burgers and hot dogs we get from classic old food stands scattered throughout the city. Pink’s of course is the most legendary. But there are many, many others. Be sure to check out Molly’s on Vine near Hollywood Blvd. After 81 years, it is set to close in a few months to make way for an office tower.
Speaking of food, it doesn’t get much better than the Farmers Market. Up until a few months ago, I lived across the street from there for more than four years. The place was pretty much my refrigerator! And in a city where no one walks and people protect their privacy, it’s nice to walk around there and just be around other people.
Here’s the story I heard — the owner of the house put up a statue of David. His neighbors got angry, so he put up 19 more. Whenever someone comes to visit me, I always take them there just to see their expressions. I am never disappointed. Make sure you go there (the corner of 3rd St. and Muirfeld Road in Hancock Park) during the holiday season. The owner puts Santa hats on the statues among other over-the-top decorations.