where in LA to kill a few hours?

Discussion in 'Street and Documentary' started by m_., Apr 9, 2008.

  1. m_.


    i know LA is no NYC but wonder if i could still get around for a few hours in
    between two conferences and afterward. public transportation is welcome,
    though i understand it might be hard to get in LA...
  2. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    LA is a huge place, where are you going to be?
  3. m_.


    oh yeah, jeff, i forgot LA is such a huge city. :)

    one place i know for sure is

    930 Wilshire Blvd
    Los Angeles CA 90017

    and another hotel i will be staying should be close to downtown area or LAX airport, not exactly sure yet.
  4. Over in that neck of the woods; you might consider Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach, the Getty Center, LAX itself, and some of the buildings along Wilshire. Public trans is available but can be kinda muddled. Good luck, and have fun! Cheers! Chris
  5. Wilshire Grand is in downtown, so bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes and just wander about. I thnk there's a Metro station across the street, so hopping on a train could be an option.

    If street photography is your thing, you'd be in a "target-rich" environment.
  6. From the hotel website -- Downtown highlights within 5 miles of the Wilshire Grand:

    LA Convention Center

    Staples Center

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    University of Southern California

    Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

    L A Mart

    California Mart

    Fashion District / Santee Alley

    Little Tokyo

    Museum of Contemporary Arts

    Performing Arts Center

    Historic Union Station

    Olivera Street

    China Town

    CA Science Center
  7. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    When I'm downtown, I always walk in the direction that seems to deteriorate most quickly. Near LAX, Santa Monica and that whole beach thing is probably a good place to go.
  8. jtk



    Sounds like you're flying in/out of LAX... return there between conferences and look around. The whole planet revolves around that airport.
  9. I'll second some of Chris' recommendations. Venice and the Santa Monica pier are next to each other and full of many colorful/strange/exotic opportunities (beach life, street performers, cafes, people watching, urban settings, graffiti, amusements/arcades). The Getty Center is also great, but a bit isolated. It is accessible by public buses, is free, and well worth several hours to explore. I think they always have a good photography exhibit showing.
  10. For downtown travel the bus is the way to go. Just remember to have a quarter for the fare. The concierge at the Wilshire is great. They were very helpful when I had a free afternoon and wanted to wander around. I ended up going to the CA Science Center, USC, and the gardens down in that area.
  11. Jeff says:
    I always walk in the direction that seems to deteriorate most quickly ... >>
    Jeff, they've been meaning to talk to you about that. Much of the deterioration is now being blamed on you. :)
  12. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I hope they let me back in...
  13. The first time I was in LA for a couple of days, I tried to use public tranportation and walk. The next time, I rented a car for a day. It's an easy place to drive, but generally too scattered to walk and public transportation has never been a high priority. With a car, you can easily get to all the far-flung sites of interest.The La Brea tar pits is a good place to go, nice museums in the locality.
  14. m_.


    cool, thank you guys! i am starting to feel better now.
  15. Take a walk around Broadway to shoot the Bradbury Building and Grand Central Market. Jump on the Metro Red Line, and take it to Union Station mentioned above, which was the last big railroad station built in the US. There's also an old (for LA) post office, and Olvera Street which is the oldest street in LA, and is kind of like a toned down version of Tijuana with the gift shops and stuff. There are several other historic buildings down there. Chinatown is not far, but is more gift shops and stuff, and I don't recommend eating there.

    Little Tokyo, also nearby, has great sushi and noodle joints everywhere. Go where the locals go. I've never been there, but the Japanese American Mususem might be cool.

    From Union Station, you can take the Metro Orange line up to old Pasadena. Visit this website for LA public transporation information.

    You can also take the Red Line north to Hollywood and Vine, get out and walk to Hollywood and Highland. Colorful locals, some tourist traps, and the Chinese and Kodak Theaters await you. Jimmy Kimmell broadcasts across from the Chinese theater on Hollywood Blvd, if you want to see a free show.

    If you've got money to burn, rent a car and go to Samy's Camera and Calumet Camera. There are a couple of Samys in the area, but the one on Fairfax is the one to go to. On the way, drive down Fairfax and you can stop at Farmer's Market at 3rd street, or Canter's delicatessen for lunch. Another north-south street to drive is La Brea, where there's lots of little weird stores. Melrose is there, too. Find and place to park if you can, and walk around.

  16. If you're at the Wilshire Grand and actually want to shoot and have limited time I'd just
    walk around downtown. Go down 6th, 7th or 8th toward Broadway or Main. The Fashion
    District, Jewelry District and Bunker Hill are all within walking distance. Get yourself a little
    map of the downtown area. While LA in general is huge, central downtown is relatively
    small and easy to navigate on foot. Olvera Street, Chinatown, and Union Station are going
    to be a bit of a stretch from the Wilshire if you walk, unless you're just making a beeline
    that way. You can walk a loop around the most concentrated part of the city and see a
    lot. I wouldn't bother with public transport unless you have a specific destination further
    out or just want to spend your time shooting or looking from the bus. <p>Downtown is a
    great mix of people, from business people to working class to homeless, all within blocks
    of each other and also intermixed.
  17. Damon's list would take a few days.. ;)
  18. Yeah, what Ray says, its a few hours,on the upper end you would get Disney Hall as well. Lots of photos to be had. When are you coming?
  19. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    I had a similar dilemma when waiting for a late flight out of LAX one Sunday a few weeks ago. I put the car into a garage on Figueroa, not far from your hotel, and walked round the high rises photographing reflections in glass with an hour or two at the Disney Concert Hall. This Frank Gehry building is worth an hour or two of anyone's time IMO. No transport necessary from the Wilshire.
  20. m_.


    thanks, again.

    jeff and ray - i will probably just wonder the downtown LA. that sounds right.

    barry - i will be there from 4/17 -20 and will have some time on the 20th (sunday) afternoon and not sure how much time i will have on the 18th. wanna come join me?
  21. What if you found yourself stuck in the Granada Hills/Northridge area for a few days as I
    often am during holidays, other than the malls, where would you go?
  22. m_.


    didn't want to leave an impression from my last post that barry was the only one invited to join me in LA. as a matter of fact, if anyone in the area wants to get together for a drink, or a shoot on the 20th, i would much appreciate and will let you touch my leica. :)

    drinking instead of shooting might not be a bad idea though, if that's what you prefer. i think i can handle early day drink over there because i will be wasted on the airplane flying all night back to midwest anyway. what's the difference?
  23. Sanford - Van Nuys is a great location in the Valley to shoot. Van Nuys Blvd between Magnolia and Van Owen gets a lot of foot traffic. I occasionally shoot around there. Ventura Blvd at the southern end of Van Nuys Blvd is ok too, it's like the valley version of Melrose.
    Universal City Walk might be an idea, although I've never shot there it has crossed my mind.

    If any other LA shooters want to meet up with M. count me in. Sat. works best for me but if another day works out I'll try to do some rescheduling.
  24. >> What if you found yourself stuck in the Granada Hills/Northridge area

    Hey, I resemble that remark!

    The Metrorail (above ground) from Chatsworth to Union Station will get you close to the stuff mentioned above without driving or parking. And downtown is just a few minutes away from Union Station if you transfer to the Redline subway from there. When I shoot downtown, I almost always use the subway to get there. BTW, I wouldn't do the jewelry and fashion district thing unless you like shots of panhandlers and rows and rows of stores selling knock-offs, but that's just me. I'd stay to the North end of downtown where there's just panhandlers.

    But for something in the North Valley, you might look at the old San Fernando Mission at Sepulveda and San Fernando Mission Blvd. A very pretty place with a lots to shoot.

    Chatsworth Park is a great big sandstone rock area that's cool to climb around on. You might recognize it from half of the B-Movie westerns ever made in the thirties.

    Also, nearby Stony Point Park on Topanga often has technical rock climbers practicing that might be interesting to shoot.

    Speaking of B-Movies, take Santa Susana Pass Road over the hill to Simi Valley where there's Corriganville, an old movie ranch turned into a park. There are lots of so-called movie ranches up in that area, including the Spahn Ranch where Manson was living. An alternate drive is to turn off onto Box Canyon road, which is a really weird little area with more rock outcroppings, and loop around back to the valley.

    If you're into gardening, the Orcut Horticultural center is in Chatsworth on Roscoe. There, you'll see some of the last huge, old growth oaks left on the valley floor. And then, when someone tries to tell you LA is a desert, you'll be able to tell them it's actually a temperate zone, with oaks and sycamores (that have mostly been replaced by homeowners and ranchers with non-natives.)

    Or, head for the South-east valley to the Griffith Park area where there's an aviary, Traveltown (a free, outdoor train museum,) Forest Lawn Cemetery, and the NBC and Warner Brothers studio tours, the LA Zoo, and the Autrey Western Museum. Just around the corner, but not in the Valley, is the Planetarium which was recently refurbished and expanded by digging new space underneath it. You might recognize that place from a bunch of movies, inlcuding "Rebel Without a Cause."

  25. I'm suprised nobody's mentioned this, but the Los Angeles Central Library is worth a visit. It's maybe three blocks from the Wilshire Grand. Do visit the Civic Center area as well - Disney Concert Hall, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, MOCA, etc.

    Los Angeles is really best done with a car. However, if public transport really is in order, try the bus. Take the 20 or 21 line going west. The entire route is along Wilshire, so you'll hit some interesting part of West LA, including Rodeo Drive and the Beverly Hills area. Check out the scene at the termination in UCLA and Westwood. Hop onto the Santa Monica Big Blue line 1 bus and that'll take you straight to the beach.

    Actually, forget photography, eat instead (okay, maybe bring a good street camera.) LA is a foodie Mecca. Don't bother with the Chinatown and Little Tokyo tourist traps. Get a Zagat guide and a car. Checkout the Ethiopian restaurants on Fairfax near Olympic. Go for Thai along the stretch of Hollywood Blvd between Normandie and Western. Even afternoon snacks along Santa Monica Blvd in North Hollywood is a good bet.
  26. geez he's not there for a week..
  27. m_.


    robert - i will make a note for future. but ray is right, i probably won't have time this time. i only have a few hours on sunday afternoon.
  28. You ask: "where in LA to kill a few hours?"

    I think the best thing for you to do is rent a car and take a tour of the freeways. Just carry a compass with you (or watch the sun through the smog) and after 1 hour of going east, turn north for an hour, then south and then west for the fourth hour. Have your camera in the passenger seat and shoot. You will not even have gotten anywhere near the edges of LA. If you want that, stay in each primary direction for 3-4 hours. Good luck!

    You will have amazing pics to show. Just remember you might have 2 or three parallel spurs with 6-10 lanes each in each direction and for me, the fun always happens where the grass is greener, i.e., in the other equivalent pack of lanes.

    So good luck to you, cruising!
  29. Leaving L.A. once I thought I would take the "scenic" route. Hours into my return trip to
    northern California I still hadn't left L.A. You can get seriously lost down there in a hurry. I
    stopped at a grocery store to ask directions but no one spoke English. In desperation I just
    started taking any street or freeway that had a reference to the ocean or sea or water in it's
    name figuring if I could find the shore I could find my way home. L.A can be overwhelming
    to a small town boy.
  30. I'm with Frank on this. If you only have a few hours I suggest braving your way through the 101/405 interchange. Even on a Sunday this interchange, consistently rated the most congested in the nation, can get pretty mind boggling. One really can't have an authentic LA visit without this surreal experience. Just change your windows to bullet proof glass, they're starting the summer freeway shootings a little early this year. Believe me when you get home you will receive a medal of some sort for this.
  31. Oh, for the love of Mike, Los Angeles isn't that bad! I work downtown, and fly out of Burbank and LAX all the time and have driven both the freeways and surface streets at all times of day and night. I live in Santa Clarita now, but lived in Long Beach for five years. This place is like any other major metropolitan city; lots of good stuff, and a little bad. Just have fun, but don't over-extend yourself; you can always come back for another visit. Cheers! Chris
  32. Tommys Burgers. InandOut burger stands. Samys Camera. Highland Camera. A&I custom photo labs.
    Griffith Park zoo and the hills above it. Hollywood to see the stars handprints and the hookers. Photograph the bums at stoplights washing car windshields in the financial discrict. Check out the massage parlors? Dodger Stadium? The Hollywood sign?
  33. M.M. you forgot Pinks on the corner of Melrose and La Brea. Good hot dogs but not worth the wait in line imho.
  34. BTW, I totally second Tommy Burgers. Daylight hours; Beverly and Rampart (you'll be eatin' with half of LAPD Rampart Division). It is the bomb - the chili cheese burger, and chili cheese fries. Gooey and ohhh, so messy! Cheers! Chris

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