We are in greater LA for the Rose Parade on Wednesday, January 1st. We arrive on Dec. 30, and have almost two full days to explore the area. Generally, this is not one of my favorite or most frequent destinations, other than visiting relatives. What might we find?
Inglewood Park Cemetery, including Ray Charles, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, Chet Baker, Big Mama Thornton, T-Bone Walker, Billy Preston and Richard Berry.
You think that is strange, check this out:
In the early 1930s, Los Angeles was home to a secret Nazi compound, Murphy Ranch, which plotted world domination from the peaceful brushlands of what is now Rustic Canyon. One story goes that a wealthy Pasadena thumbtack heiress and her equally gullible husband were manipulated into believing that the United States soon would fall into anarchy and destruction at the hands of the Germans. Rather than be a part of the losing team, the couple took the advice of a suspicious man known as Herr Schmidt and invested large amounts of money building a hidden enclave to assist the dastardly Nazis. The structure, now in ruins and covered in graffiti, hunkers deep down in the canyon — at the bottom of 512, leg-challenging steps. Get your cardio in while doing the 3.85-mile hike to this bizarre piece of history. And be thankful that the FBI raided this mysterious lair in 1941. Rustic Canyon, Sullivan Ridge Fire Road, Pacific Palisades.
I say, forget Melrose Avenue and Rodeo Drive! Try to find something cheap and cheerful instead. How about the best $20 clothing rack at the Native, in Franklin Village? Or perhaps the best $10 wardrobe at the Jet Rag on LaBrea? Once upon a time, The Attic in Burbank was the place to go for old movie and television wardrobe leftovers. I have a pair of alligator golf shoes worn by Stallone in some movie of no repute. Sadly (the store), is gone.
When things get tough, perhaps counting the stars on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame would be a way to get some exercise. There are more than 2500 brass stars embedded into the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard, and a few blocks of Vine Street. The Chamber of Commerce says more than 10 million people a year come to this “shrine” though the stars appear to be randomly placed. The most popular star, of course, is Michael Jackson. Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, and former owner of the California Angels baseball team, is the only honoree with stars in all five categories. Can you name the only fictional characters with two stars? Answer below.
But my favorite place to visit in the downtown Los Angeles area is the old Farmer’s Market at Third Avenue and Fairfax. Established in 1934 as a real farmer’s market, it has since evolved into both an open air fresh market with lots of “mom ‘n pop” food stalls. Next door, is the shiny and relatively new The Grove, with typical mall stores, headlined by Nordstrom, Barney’s, and Apple.
So, after a brief jaunt around town, we are headed to the Rose Bowl gala sponsored by Donate Life in Pasadena. Please take a good long look at their website, as their mission is quite important.
No visits to amusement parks either! The better known TV shows are not taping this week. But my son is living down here for now, so we will undoubtedly see him on New Year’s Day. LA can’t be that bad.
The Answer: Kermit the Frog, and Big Bird, each with an individual star, and one with the Muppets. I am sure you were going to guess one of the Disney characters, or Bart Simpson.