Los Angeles – Picked up Pieces

Well, figures after a plunge back into the work week that the remainder of the Los Angeles adventure would not be chronicled in a timely manner.  Overall, I am not sure if LA can supplant San Francisco or Boston (of course) in terms of general wonderfulness, but it holds it own against just about any other US city I know (Chicago is better, but the winter brings it close to a tie).  What else?

  • On the last day, we started heading to Griffith Park, the location made so famous in Rebel Without a Cause.  There was a hike up Mt Hollywood – a definite good workout, and the views from the top were awesome.  Also, the dirt and plant life on the hike are a stark reminder that we are in a desert-ish climate, something which is easy to forget sometimes.
  • Lunch was at Yuca’s in Los Feliz.  I would have been seriously remiss if I left Los Angeles without trying something Mexican – and a taco stand even cooler to boot.  The carintas torta was excellent – definitely beats having to settle for a half-smoke.
  • Got gelato was Scoops in Wilshire Center.  THIS was pretty amazing.  The flavors were certainly not things you recognize in classic ice cream.  For example one of us got Rosemary and Olive Oil, another got Ricotta Marsala and Oreo.  I got Salted Caramel which was absolutely fantastic.  I am a sucker for the sweet and salty tag team anyway, but this was so good – rich, caramelly, salty and sweet without being cloyingly so.  It is impossible to overstate this awesomeness.
  • The last big event was taking in Virginia-USC at Los Angeles Coliseum.  I tweeted (or something) that the Coliseum was a dump.  Indeed, it is not much more than the four slabs of concrete and 90,000 chairs.  However, the variety of concessions was extremely wide – the concourse almost resembles a county fair with the funnel cake stand, sausages, churros and the like.  The seats themselves were pretty comfortable, and it is cool to see something as historic and iconic as the USC band – although they only seemed to keep playing “Seven Nation Army” when the Trojans had the ball.  Definitely glad to make the trip.
A view from the top of Mt Hollywood. The smog clouds some of it, but not that bad.
A view of the sign, from the trail
Griffith Park Observatory
See? I told you!
Coming out of the tunnel.
The band in action. Actually was kind of neat.
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