Shiny Metal Tiger

Experiences in Baltimore, MD

Road Trip days 22-28: Los Angeles, part II

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The tricky thing about being in a big city was that we were presented with too many options, too many things to see, too many things to do. Too many things to eat, though we mitigated this last one by shuffling eating days from our trip to the woods (report coming soon). (Fortunately?) all the traveling had left us too weary for more than a minimum of nighttime bacchanalia, so we really only had to pick which of the sights were worth seeing. One of the lucky picks was the Science Museum, boasting exhibitions on ecosystems, modern technology, mummies and more. Pretty edutaining and interactive; my personal favorite was the Kelp Forest ecosystem, which let you take a closer look at the nested biospheres hiding just off our coastlines.

Another Planet

Since we didn’t manage to sell my car until the very last day, we further had the luxury of simply routing our transportation past anything that merely had to be seen, such as Rodeo drive or the Walt Disney Concert Hall shown below.

Of the future!

Another must-see part of LA was the famous Venice boardwalk, which we found to be surprisingly devoid of boards…

Venice "Board"walk

..although it totally made up for that in wide beaches and picturesque sunsets…

I'll be there...

…and an endless supply of musical hippies, burned-out trippers, insane entrepreneurs and just plain wackos. And the Sidewalk Café, whose apple pie gave it the dubious honor of being tied with McDonald’s for worst food experience of the trip.

Butter Up Butter Down

As the sun began to set and our minds began to boggle at the freakshow of Venice, we headed north towards another well-known beach locale, Santa Monica. Although it probably wasn’t as packed with impressions as its southern cousin, the many that did present themselves were of an entirely more consummate character.

I’d honestly never heard of Muscle Beach before I came there, but my friend obviously had. Giddy as a child at Christmas, he rushed across the sand and started doing pull ups and acrobatics on the monkey bars scattered across the beach. In attempt to dismiss the awful apple pie that was ruminating in my stomach, I dutifully climbed 30 foot rope and then played around with the swingarings until we were allowed to move to the pier.

Although not quite as misleading as the Venice Boardwalk (since it does encompass a pier), the Santa Monica pier is really a small amusement park complete with shooting galleries, rides and cotton candy. Just like Griffiths Observatory it has been featured in a bunch of movies, though in my case it was completely and eerily tied to the Bloodlines computer game. Although I’m certain that we would have found thin-bloods living under the pier, we settled for walking to the end of it. Staring out at the pacific surrounded by fishing hobos, it was easy to convince oneself that this was indeed the edge of Western civilization.

Santa Monica

The rest of Santa Monica was quite nice as well. There’s a large pedestrian area for which my friend had an unhealthy appreciation. On the bright side it offered plenty of dining options when we found out that Kua’Aina burger had closed. In the end I agreed to give a vegan restaurant a shot as part of the L.A. experience; I asked the waitress which dish might convince me that vegan food wasn’t a pretty silly idea, and was presented with vegan tacos containing seitan and almond cheese, as well as the usual beans and veggies. Verdict? It tasted surprisingly good, hardly distinguishable from a regular chicken taco. But it also cost about twice as much, so I can’t say that it dispelled my low regard for the concept of vegan food.


Written by Martin

2011/01/25 at 18:09

Posted in Uncategorized

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  1. […] low-quality iPhone pic that serves as the sole source of photographic evidence. As I mentioned in an earlier post, we’d shuffled around our eating days to make the most of LA’s offerings, which meant […]

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