I feel infinitely smarter now having been exposed to the following:
1. I seemed to have picked the hottest days in the last 1000 years to visit L.A. as everyone I met told me, "wow, it's not usually like this. This is the hottest it's ever been." Hell, I could've felt that in Dallas.
2. The coolest thing about Dodger Stadium- the reflective logo that lights up after dark on the top tier behind home plate:
3. I snapped a quick photo of Joe Torre walking back to the dugout after a pitching change (as promised to my father, a HUGE Yankees fan). If this has been his last game as a coach or something, I think this would have been one helluva iconic image:
4. While billboards in Dallas are busy talking about houses for sale or the campaign to eliminate teen pregnancy (this is still the Bible belt, remember), L.A. billboards are busy pimping cool things as below:
5. The best food on Sunset can be found at Mel's Diner (pictured below, but didn't come out like I wanted it to). Burgers on sourdough bread, fries, milkshakes... and the place where Lucas filmed "American Graffiti" as the walls are adorned with black and white photos of the shoot.
Runner up food joint: Tarantino's Pizzeria in downtown Pasadena
6. The view from Mulholland Drive overlooking the city is simply breathtaking. The friends I was visiting had never been up there before, but they got just as much pleasure out of the scenery as I did:
And another from Mulholland:
7. While I first thought this may be a movie being filmed on the 405, the realization quickly set in that it was just another example of why California traffic is so bad. An RV had caught on fire.
8. The coolest thing about Beverly Hills? Seeing the police station and thinking of Eddie Murphy trying to enter at the front gate with the automatic option box and his expression of 'what the fuck?':
9. Palm trees do make the scenery look nicer:
10. The airlines only hand out these neat little luggage tickets to instill a sense of comfort in us passengers. The real fact is, they don't mean a thing when presented to the LAX baggage claim office because your luggage was lost in transit. They seemed pretty shocked I would even present this as evidence that my luggage should, indeed, be in L.A. with me. Instead, I filled out paperwork and went to the Dodger game in 95 degree weather in my jeans and long sleeve shirt. My luggage showed up 2 days later. My friend's advice: always fly into Burbank. I now know why.
11. The movies always make downtown L.A. appear.... bigger. It's not so big. It did make me want to go back and re-watch "Heat", though.
12. Careers begin.... and end... here.