LA: Paradise City

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Los Angeles. The City of Angels. The second most populous city in the United States and an important cultural hot spot. Most famous for Hollywood and the huge celebrity group living and working in this largely expanded city. The American dream lives and dies here. This is LA, so every place has a story, whether it's famous or not. Dig a little and interesting stories surfaces everywhere.
Here's some favorites of mine, I discovered during my visit to Paradise City.

Union Station
Union Station in Los Angeles, California, USA
"Death. Or exile?", this famous movie quote was delivered right here at Union Station by actor Cillian Murphy in Batman: The Dark Knight Rises. The railway station opened back in 1939 and is sometimes referred to as last of the great stations.

Bradbury Building
Bradbury Building in Los Angeles, California, USA
The Bradbury Building is the oldest commercial building left in downtown LA. It's a local treasure and popular among visitors. The Victorian interior is unique and eye-pleasing and has featured in several movies since the 1940's until today. Most prominently featured in Blade Runner (1982), with Harrison Ford in the leading role.

Hollywood Walk of Fame
Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California, USA
Besides the Hollywood sign, the Hollywood Walk of Fame is quite possible the most famous landmark in Los Angeles. Located mainly on Hollywood Boulevard there are more than 2,500 stars to pass. From Audrey Hepburn to Mickey Mouse, you'll surely find one of your idols on the pavement here.

Musso & Frank Grill
Me and Lasse having lunch at Musso & Frank Grill on Hollywood Blvd in Los Angeles, California, USA
Quite possible the coziest eatery in Los Angeles; Musso & Frank Grill is also the oldest diner in Hollywood. Since first opened in 1919, Musso & Frank Grill has been entwined with the history of the Hollywood film industry. Early on, Charlie Chaplin dined at the restaurant so often he was given his own private booth. The booth still occupies the southwest corner of the diner to this day.
Today, Musso & Frank Grill is still a popular place for Hollywood celebrities. The prices are more than fair and the service level sky high. Bonus info: George Clooney and Brad Pitt filmed a scene here in 2001's "Ocean's Eleven".

Canter's Restaurant
The booth at Canter's Restaurant where Guns 'N Roses used to dine in Los Angeles, California, USA
LA is where rockband Guns 'N Roses gained fame and went from bums to rock stars. One of the places they used to come was Canter's Restaurant in West Hollywood. The booth they used to dine in is still there. In the bar you can take a trip down memory lane, as the walls are decorated with memorabilia.

Guns 'N Roses at Canter's Restaurant June 12, 1985
Many other celebrities has enjoyed a meal at Canter's including Barack Obama, Taylor Swift, Mick Jagger and many more. The prices are quite reasonable and I can most definitely recommend the California Burger. Luckily, Canter's aren't touristic like many other places in central Hollywood, so you can relax, sit back and enjoy the local vibe.

Griffith Observatory
Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California, USA
Griffith Observatory is a free-admission, public facility in Los Angeles. Constructed in with the funds of Griffith J. Griffith and specified in terms of purpose, features and location in his 1919 will. 1.5 million visitors stop by Griffith Observatory every year. The Hollywood sign as well as the city skyline are both visible from the observatory. It featured in the oscar-winning La La Land starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling.

Hollywood Sign
Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles, California, USA
If seeing the Hollywood sign from Griffith isn't quite enough for you. You can get a lot closer by driving up the narrow roads to Lake Hollywood Park. There's always a lot of people around the area looking for the perfect selfie to post on Instagram.

Santa Monica Pier
End of Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, California, USA
Santa Monica Pier is unofficially the end of the Route 66. The wooden pier has made space for several shops, restaurants, arcades and even a fun fair. On one side lies Santa Monica Beach on the other Venice Beach. The stroll back and forth the pier is absolutely worth it. Bonus: This is also where Forrest Gump (Tom Hanks) ran to the end of the pier, only to turn around and continue his journey.

Venice Beach Boardwalk
Venice Beach Boardwalk skate park in Los Angeles, California, USA
Venice Beach is at the same time one of the most chill and hectic places in LA. The boardwalk along the beach is always crowded with pedestrians, skaters, rollers, cyclists, runners, dog-owners, street artists, shops and homeless people. Beach volley courts, skate parks, outdoor fitness, beach yoga, tennis courts. There's always activities to watch around here.

Beverly Hills
Beverly Hills in Los Angeles, California, USA
Beverly Hills. The celebrity neighborhood. A drive through the narrow, winding roads of Beverly Hills gives you a glimpse of the high class life of LA. Nothing more than a glimpse though, as most of the houses and mansions are very well-hidden from the public eye. Greystone Mansion is partially open to the public and driving through the enormous campus of UCLA is quite impressive as well.

Little Tokyo
Little Tokyo district in Los Angeles, California, USA
In downtown LA there's a small Japanese district called Little Tokyo. If you haven't been to Japan yet, you'll get a feel of the weirdness and colorfulness. Enjoy a bowl of ramen, buy an old gameboy or simply hang around watching some of the cosplayers feeling at home in Little Tokyo.

The Sunset Strip
Sunset Strip Tattoo in Los Angeles, California, USA
The Strip. We've all heard of the mile-and-a-half stretch on Sunset Boulevard. The Sunset Strip is a very special place. The history of this famous area is deeper than most. The Guitar Centre has been selling guitars to famous musicians and band for decades, some of the stars that made it from the street to the big scene came straight out of the strip. Boutiques, restaurants, rock clubs, tattoo shops and colorful billboards are some of the main features of this famous area.

Randy's Donuts
Randy's Donuts in Los Angeles, California, USA
World famous; Randy's Donuts is quite possibly the most sought after donuts in California. Located not too far from the airport, people are lining up on the street corner for a taste of Rand's sweet donuts. Definitely worth a visit. BONUS: Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sat inside the large donut in his sequel movie; Iron Man 2.

Fox Plaza
Fox Plaza in Los Angeles, California, USA
Fox Plaza is by most people known as Nakatomi Plaza. That's right. This is where Bruce Willis' character John Mcclane first delivered his famous "Yippee-ki-yay"-line in the very first Die Hard movie.

Dinah's Family Restaurant
The booth from "The Big Lebowski" at Dinah's Family Restaurant in Los Angeles, California, USA
A last spot for having lunch could be Dinah's Family Restaurant. The portions served here are larger than any I've ever seen. This restaurant has dined multiple celebrities over the years, and ever starred in 1998's "The Big Lebowski".

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