Skip to main content

The California Chronicles – 11/12/09

After two days of journeying all over Southern California, I am able to finally sit down, relax, and punch the keys of the past events. The past two days have been a long expedition of sight seeing and adventure. An adventure that included myself, my tag-team partner, a couple of cameras, a Ford Mustang, and a trusty navigation system, which somehow ended up with the name, “Pam” by the end of it all. 

The Getty Center
The all-out, ultimate tourist adventure began with a trip to the Getty Center. The Getty Center,  a museum in Los Angeles was an excellent visit for its architecture, art work, and impressive scene as it sits atop the hills of Bel Air over looking the city of angels.

Map picture
Map picture

Hollywood
Following the artistic and somewhat educational beginning to the adventure, the tourist mode in us began as we pursued the “Hollywood” sign. We were able to capture it in its beautiful, and majestic essence, while experiencing and cruising through the Hollywood hills. Hands down, one of my favorite trips and sights in California. 


Map picture
Map picture

Dodger Stadium
Next up on the adventure was the historic Dodger Stadium. The stadium, as expected, had a very nostalgic feel to it. The “Think Blue” Hollywood-like sign on the hills over the stadium sets the tone as you enter Dodgertown. One thing is for sure, if you attend a Dodgers game, parking will not be a problem. And oh yeah, expect to see a lot of blue. A whole heckuva lot. 


Map picture
Map picture

Hollywood Blvd.
The expedition suddenly grew in tourist-like aura as we visited the well-known Hollywood Blvd. The area which included the walk of fame, Kodak Theatre, and the Chinese Theater, definitely reminded me somewhat of Times Square with all of its lights, street performers, and movement. However, despite the walk of fame, the area was somewhat disappointing. The Blvd. is about two blocks deep with action, and beyond that is the typical tourist and T-shirt stores. Maybe a little overrated.



Map picture
Map picture

Staples Center
The next journey on this trip took us to the downtown Los Angeles area. There, the area was dominated by The Staples Center, and other facilities around it including, LA Live, The Nokia Center, and the Los Angles Convention Center. LA Live was impressive, filled with places to eat, hangout, and shop. The Staples Center lived up to everything that has been said about it. It is impressive in modern amenities, and has a feel of being the “MSG of the West.” Although, I must admit, the Staples Center has a certain jaw dropping feel to it when you come through the tunnel. It makes a New York homer such as myself a little town-conscious of the modern appeal of Madison Square Garden, as well as the last big event that has indeed occurred there. With that said, we’ll just by-pass all Knicks jokes here as well. Continuing, few places have that feel, and Staples Center is one of them. All in all, the combination of the Staples Center and LA Live gives downtown Los Angeles a must-be feel to it, along with a modern area which maybe duplicated in future sporting facilities across the nation. 


Map picture
Map picture

Wayfarers Chapel
After taking a ten hour break from zig-zagging all over Southern California, we were back on the road as we marched up north to Rancho Palos Verdes, CA to see the Wayfarers Chapel. I must admit, I had no idea what this place was before, or as we were on the way there. My tag-team partner however, did. It actually turned out to be a very historical church with very unique architectural designs. After years of tagging with her, I have indeed grown to appreciate such aspects in life, and was very pleased to see it, despite the hour long drive. 


Map picture
Map picture

Angel Stadium
And Finally, we concluded the two day non-stop journey at Angel Stadium. The trip over into Anaheim during rush hour and in California traffic was well worth it. Angel Stadium is one of the best stadiums that I have ever been to. The stadium, which looks tropical with many baseball-related aspects, resonates everything that is the Angels Baseball club and southern California. Anaheim is definitely a city that takes its baseball seriously, and is behind their Angels, which is reminiscent of the rabid fans back east. This was apparent to me upon entering the Angels baseball store. Wearing a Yankees T-shirt and hat (of course), I was immediately met by a store clerk who smartly quipped, “Hi, can we get you a new shirt, maybe hat?” It got a chuckle out of my tag partner and myself, but she was very serious. 


Map picture
Map picture

In the end of it, as you can imagine, we are exhausted. However, we are also satisfied and content with not only our trips all over southern California, but what the area had to offer as well. I could not help but compare Los Angeles with New York City in every opportunity that arises. There are many ways in which Los Angeles and New York City are alike. In fact, if you take away the main attractions, many of the “regular” roads where everyday people live and call home resemble that of New York City. From the 99 cent stores, to the graffiti, LA and NYC are reminiscent of one another.

On the other hand, I could not believe the difference in character the two areas have. A friend who visited the area previously hit the nail on the head when he said that Los Angeles was “Too Showy.” Los Angeles seems to be about big cars, big houses, fancy clubs, plastic surgery, and all other sort of unnecessary enhancements. New York has its moments as well, but not to this extent. Yet, it can be argued that each are infamous for different reasons: NYC for business and LA for entertainment.


Plus, who wants two similar cities on different ends of the coasts?

All in all, I’m just glad I had an opportunity to enjoy them both to some extent. Each has something to offer the other doesn’t, and yet, both are amazing. I still have one day left here, so my California experience isn’t over. However, it has been one that has shed new light on this race called life.

Recently Read Posts

CM Punk's Return - Perfect Timing for the Symbol of Anti-WWE

Looooooooook in my eyes, what do you see?! The lyrics to Cult of Personality, especially that first bar,  never felt so fitting for CM Punk as it did last night.  For the most part, everything that is CM Punk's return to wrestling last night at AEW Rampage ties directly into my latest thoughts on pro wrestling - the company is making it must-see destination television, an element desperately needed from pro wrestling.  Last night was incredible as again, it was another moment that made wrestling feel alive - with a wild and energetic pulse. It was one of the coolest moments in pro wrestling that you knew was coming, expected, anticipated, and it was everything and more. Again, MUST-SEE television. That's hard to do.  For me, it wasn't just Punk's return to pro wrestling, but the mere presence and voice of his inclusion in today's space. We know that Punk can deliver on the microphone - probably his best and most signature attribute. We also know that yes, he can

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/10/21

3 Up 1. Moderna Vaccine to Low Income Nations - In a world where the idea of "pandemic" now feels like a state of mind or the privilege of belief, Moderna has decided to aim its efforts in getting at least 1 billion doses to low-income countries the COVID vaccine. I'll save the "vaccine" chat for another time - but this is pretty awesome by Moderna. And oh yeah, highly needed.  2. Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi - Two absolute legends of the WNBA had some legacy-cementing moments this week. Parker lead her hometown Chicago Sky into the WNBA finals, and Taurasi, was named the GOAT of the WNBA by fans. Because well, she is. Congrats to both.  3. Netlfix's On My Block - For the second week in a row I'm putting a personal - and admittedly, biased - selection in the "Up" section. One of my favorite shows by Netflix, On My Block , released its fourth and final season, and yes, I binged it on my daily commute home. Gonna miss the crew from Freeridge.

Thoughts on MLB at Field of Dreams Game

"You'll REALLY like the film. It's a great baseball movie that touches on the father-son relationship - just...just a really good film."  Those were the encouraging words of my father-in-law in regards to the film, Field of Dreams, on the weekend prior to the MLB at Field of Dreams game in Iowa. There were among the few recommendations or positive reviews that I received as the fever pitch (no pun intended - and a terrible movie about the RedSox and Baseball - blah) built toward the game. I, a baseball fan, never saw the movie, or really, had little interest in it.  I finally watched it based on the nudges, excitable remarks, and surprisingly shocked reactions when I mentioned that I never saw the film. And of course, because it would be nice to have SOME context to why the game was special. For me, the film was. well,  it was just there. Good movie - great script for sure. I guess I just never got caught in the romanticizing of baseball that the film elicits for me.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 10/17/21

3 Up 1. WNBA Finals - The WNBA playoffs are definitely going to be in the running for my Sporting Event of the Year Award. What a series! The Finals were capped off by an amazing game before a raucous crowd in Chicago. Kudos to everyone, especially the amazing story of Candace Parker returning home and winning a chip. Major props to Courtney Vandersloot.  2. New 2022 Quarters - Get ready for your money to diversify - well just a bit. But it's a start! Beginning in 2022, the US quarter coins will feature trailblazing American women such as civil rights activist; astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space; Wilma Mankiller, the Cherokee Nation's first principal woman chief; Adelina "Nina" Otero-Warren, a leader in New Mexico's suffrage movement; and Anna May Wong, the first Hollywood film star of Chinese American descent.