In downtown Los Angeles, you will find the Toy District, the Fashion District and the Jewelry District, the Flower District. Olveria Street, Chinatown, Korean town and Little Tokyo are in this district too.
There are many wholesalers selling toys, watches, jewelry, carpets, eyeglasses, bags....You have to buy in bulk or else it is expensive. It is an international district because the business owners are from every corners of the world, Koreans, Persians, Chinese, Latino. The fashion district sells all types of fabrics. It is close by the Fashion Institute, so you will see a lot of students visiting the stores also. Don't hesitate to ask for a sample. The store owners are usually very nice and they will cut you a sample piece to take home. The Flower District is often very crowded early in the morning. They offer fresh flowers from all over the world. You can buy rare flower species for a very reasonable price. There is a small admission fee and you can park the car on the street feeding the parking meters. Parking in downtown is extremely expensive, especially near the newly opened Music Center or BonaVenture Hotel. It can be as expensive as around $20 per day. The downtown library is worth visiting too. If you get a library card, then you can enjoy cheap parking in the structure. Be aware of the traffic. There are many one way streets and there are restrictions on times you can make turns or not. It is jam packed during weekends and also during the morning business hours. For tourists, it is ok just to browse the business district staying in the car, because the traffic can get very chaotic, and spent more time visiting the different ethnics groups museum or district.
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Last summer I went to California, LA. I enjoyed it a lot I would recommend it to any one. I well tell you what to go see and why I enjoyed it. I went to the redwoods on my first day (Saturday) it was a good experience Big Basin is California's oldest State Park. Home to the largest continuous stand of Ancient Coast Redwoods south of San Francisco, the park consists of over 18,000 acres of Old Growth and recovering Redwood Forest, with mixed conifer, oaks, chaparral, and riparian habitats. Elevations in the park vary from sea level to over 2,000 feet. The climate ranges from foggy and damp near the ocean to sunny, warm ridge tops. The Humid climate made me feel ill, and sticky. But it was worth the trip. Sunday, I went to Venice beach. Traveling along Ocean Front Walk, you'll meet dancers, comedians, musicians, jugglers, weightlifters, skaters, preachers, artists in virtually every medium, and of course the beautiful California bikini clad girls. It was a good day out. It was a long trip there from where I was. But it was good cause as film fan you recons the scenery. Over all good day out. Monday I went to universal studio. Very interesting I would recommend it more to film lovers. But even if your not it’s still good. Take a ride through Jurassic Park-If you dare. Vicious Raptors are hiding in the corners and venomous Spitters are waiting for you to get in range. I loved it! Also Step through the doors of Cyberdyne Technologies and watch the famous Terminator Robots come to life. There are many other attractions to be seen or go on. It’s a really good atmosphere there. Tuesday I went to Magic Mountain (six flags) the theme park. This park has all the top rides. Four decades Six Flags has created the longest, tallest, fastest and most innovative coasters on the planet. Check out the super man ride, if you have kids it’s a good day out for them. It’s
extremely large, with rides for everyone. It’s quit a trip from LA city. But when they’re well worth it. On Wednesday I went to the Grand Canyon I was looking for adventure. When I went to the Grand Canyon. And I found it. Traveling with Discovery Treks into the "heart" of the beautiful Grand Canyon. Discovery Treks offers scenic day hikes, horseback riding, and backpacking expeditions in the Grand Canyon, Alaska, and Utah. It was very picturesque you had to be there to enjoy it. Thursday I went to the city There was a lot to do like going to all the interesting shops. Also eat at nice places like “Hooters”. If you’re trying to save money Levis clothing is much cheaper there in the US, so check that out it’s a nice experience. The city is large with large buildings. With top-rated eateries and stylish bars, revamped hotels have become hotbeds of social activity attracting celebs, singles, and anyone else seeking a chic night on the town. On Friday I went to Getty center Getty Center is a sprawling, stone-and-glass complex dedicated to the display and preservation of the J. Paul Getty Trust's collection of mostly European art. Designed by architect Richard Meier, the 24-acre site offers a sweeping east-to-west panorama of everything from Hollywood to the Pacific Ocean--views worth a visit all by themselves. Best of all, admission is free. I liked ever minute of the day. Next day I got the plane back to glory old England it was good week and I recommend it to any one.
Any review of Los Angeles - unless contained within the covers of a City Guidebook - can realistically merely ‘prick the surface’ of what is to offer in this sprawling metropolis on the West Coast of America. I’ve tried to cover what I have personal experience of during two brief visits to the ‘City of Angels’ >> HOLLYWOOD – MOVIE MAGIC On our first visit to L.A, we stayed at the Holiday Inn, right on HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD. Alas it is no more – it was demolished last year to make way for a huge development to include Cinemas, Shopping and a new home for the Oscar ceremonies. But it was pretty neat to stay there all the same and could almost literally step out onto the ‘WALK OF FAME’. You’ve seen it on TV, documentaries etc – all the way along Hollywood Boulevard there are golden ‘stars’ inserted in the paving slabs, with the names of all kinds of stars, from Film, TV and all branches of Showbiz. Actors, Directors, Producers and even wonderdog ‘Lassie’ have their names inscribed on the Walk of Fame’. The other famous ‘monument’ along this stretch is GRAUMANN’S CHINESE THEATER. It is still a working Cinema showing the latest releases, but more famous for the handprints of the stars on the forecourt out front. When we visited we searched out our favourites – Jill, my wife, HAD to have her picture taken by Bruce Willis’ ‘plot’ – alas, no handprints for her real favourite Kevin Costner, but such is the price of ‘fame’. Tourists galore flock to the Chinese Theater and make sure you have plenty of film, because after the handprints, the pagoda-style Theatre, finished in red, is a photo must (and don’t run out of a lithium battery for your camcorder or camera – I did, and I had to pay $20 for a fresh one, which would have cost me a fiver back home!) >> HOLLYWOOD – H
ISTORY AND MORE Another must-see place to visit is right across the road from Graumann’s – the ROOSEVELT HOTEL. This used to be the plushest, the most first class hotel around and ALL the movie stars of the 1920s and 30s would stay there. It’s even were they held the very first ‘Academy Awards’ – the ‘Oscars’. Just take a walk inside the hotel entrance and smell the history. You are free to roam around the foyer and go upstairs to the gallery. Photographs on the wall of all those legendary Hollywood greats that your parents – or even grandparents - talked about. Pure nostalgia. The ‘Roosevelt’ should be back to it’s prime condition nowadays, because in our last visit several areas were close for redecoration and refurbishment, tarpaulins and scaffolding were all over the place. There is also a fairly small ‘HOLLYWOOD MUSEUM’ around 100 yards up the Boulevard from the Roosevelt – but it’s OK for a quick visit. The highlight for any trekkies out there is the chance to sit in the original Captain’s seat from the deck of the USS Enterprise. Just imagine… your bottom could nestle nicely in a seat designed for Captain Kirk’s nether regions! Plus they have the original bar from the TV series ‘Cheers’ – another must for fans of that show. Plenty of shops along Hollywood Boulevard, but in all honesty it was a touch disappointing. A tourist trap really and once you’d experienced the initial excitement of ‘being there’, not much more to add. >> HOLLYWOOD – THE STUDIO TOURS The fact that you are browsing around the Hollywood area would indicate that you are a movie fan. What better that to visit a Film Studio or two? You could head off to UNIVERSAL STUDIOS, but that – though excellent – is much more of a Theme Park. You can go on a ‘backlot tour’, but
they no longer house actual ‘working‘ studios. Great rides, loads of souvenir shops and restaurants galore, but you want movies – head for WARNER BROTHERS STUDIOS. The Studio complex is up in Burbank, towards to the north of this sprawling City. You can only gain entrance to the lot if you book a VIP STUDIO TOUR. Relatively inexpensive at $35 each, but the tour really does give you an insight into how films are made and the history of the industry. But the really cool bit is that you may get the chance to bump into some stars as they roam around the lot, or get to see some filming taking place. After signing in, your guide collects you and mounts you up on a tour truck (a bit like a golf buggy for 16!). They book tours each hour throughout weekdays and have a maximum of 16 in each party. The day we were there they were filming an episode of E.R on the lot and had just finished shooting an episiode of ‘West Wing’. We went on the famous ‘Stage 16’ – the largest soundstage in the world. They actually filmed the storm scenes from ‘Perfect Storm’ there – that’s how big it is! Then onto the props department – absolutely millions of $ worth of antiques, artworks, furniture, plus just about every kind of small utensil you could imasgine and hundreds of each. There were a few familiar things in there I can tell you. >> HOLLYWOOD – ‘FRIENDS’ We were taken onto the sets of a couple of sit coms you may be familiar with ‘The Drew Carey Show’ and….’Friends’. Now as both my wife and I are big fans of Friends, it felt so great to be standing their right where they film the show. OK So nothing was going on, but there you are 8,000 miles from home and standing in Joey and Chandler’s apartment. WOW. After the tour we asked if anything was being shot in the studios that evening and we were offered the chanc
e to be in the audience for ‘Suddenly Susan’ starring Brooke Shields and Eric Idle. Anyone that has been at a British TV Studio for a taping will know that it takes around 3 hours to shoot a 30 minute show. The time flew and as we were near the front we could almost have reached out and touched Brooke or the other members of the cast – and all for FREE! As we were staying only around the corner from PARAMOUNT STUDIOS, we tried their studio tour the next day. But this was hugely disappointing, you never got to see anything. Our tour guide was new and although he knew everything about anything – he just could not show us anything and didn’t really know if anything was being filmed that day. I believe one or two of the other studios also open up to the public like Sony Pictures and NBC. >> BEVERLEY HILLS ANS THE STARS’ HOMES Talk Hollywood and your mind turns to BEVERLY HILLS. That’s where all the stars live, of course. Well you can get to take a tour of the stars’ homes or buy a ‘Star Map’ and try and track them down yourself – but be prepared to see nothing. All of the big houses are fronted by gates or high trees. Yes, that house over there belonged to Star X and is now owned by Star Y – but that’s ALL you will see. But at least you can say (to quote Max Boyce) “I was there!” Star spotters would do better to take a wander over to RODEO DRIVE and look at the shops – look mind you, don’t BUY. Far too expensive - all the top designer names there, Jewellers like Cartier, Fashion Houses from Paris, New York and Milan, the works. The stars are seen shopping and hanging out in Restaurants and Cafés in the area and on WILSHIRE BOULEVARD. It was there that we sampled the delights of our first PLANET HOLLYWOOD. I’ve still got the T-Shirt. Typical Burgers, Ribs, Pizzas a-la Hard Rock Café and the like, except that the Restaurant is
dressed will all kinds of Movie Memorablia and you are eating in the Capital of the Film Industry, of course. It’s not too expensive, the food’s fine, without being ‘gourmet’ (you can’t honestly imagine the ‘A’ list stars eating there) and once again it’s another place you can talk about when you get home. >> SHOPPING You can find more Shopping experiences at the BEVERLEY CENTER. A recently built Shopping and Leisure mall built on 12 stories. All the big U.S names are there – Bloomingdales, Saks 5th Avenue and Macys to name but a few. There are plenty of places I cannot cover in this article, DISNEYLAND, of course. The Grand-daddy of Theme Parks. Certainly, a must visit if you have kids with you. More shopping, but with a difference at the ‘FARMERS MARKET’. Not a mere market, but a real hive of bargains from local U.S sellers to Hispanics and other ethnicities. We actually bought two very nice watches there two years ago – they looked a million dollars, but cost around $40 for the two. And they are still going strong today. >> SPORTS And then there is the Sports. We took in an NBA Basketball game the last time we were there. The L.A Clippers took on the New Jersey Nets at the magnificent STAPLES CENTER. An indoor colossus, a stadium holding over 20,000 people and regularly selling out when the Lakers are at home. Much more chance of a ticket for the Clippers, and we saw a good game, closely fought with the Nets running out 8 point victors. Of course there is the famous DODGER STADIUM to see, if you are into Baseball and it’s during the season, or the even more famous L.A COLOSSEUM. They held the Olympics there and it is one of the most famous Sporting venues in the World. >> BEACHES There are beaches and resorts galore in the L.A area, MALIBU, LONG BEACH, VENICE BEACH and SANTA MONICA to name but a few. Basking by the P
acific Ocean, with the weather most of the year at least around the 70 mark and often much higher, L.A is definitely a mecca for the sunworshipper too >> EATING If you want to eat you can always find somewhere. Every street corner has a KFC, McDonalds, Dennys (for breakfasts), IHOP(International House of Pancakes), Carls Jr, Boston Market, Sizzler and coffee houses like Starbucks or whatever your culinary desires are. I would heartily recommend the Sizzler chain. Steak is the main thing on the menu – and I mean STEAK! Big ones and bigger ones, cooked to perfection any number of ways. Heap of side salad, baked potato, fries or whatever for less than $10. I’ve eaten in three and they have all been excellent standard, clean, comfortable with friendly service and a consistency of quality. >> YOU NEED A CAR L.A is so vast that to really see the place properly you need to stay a while – AND Hire a car. You can use the Freeways to get around – six lane monstrosities, but the amazing thing is the traffic moves at a pace. Hardly ever – even at the peak of the rush hour – do you get many jams and snarl ups. They could certainly teach us Brits a thing or two – M25 ???? To gauge the scale, we flew into to L.A.X Airport and got a cab to take us to our hotel, on our second visit. This was just an Econolodge a quarter of a mile from Hollywood. It cost us nearly $50 and took 40 minutes! There is a public transport system, but it’s not to be trusted. The transits tend to be used by the lower working classes (without being snobbish) and as such are fairly unreliable, because everyone in L.A has at least one car. So there it is, as best as I can describe it for now. If you are going, you will have plenty to see. Nightlife, I’ve not touched on – but there is plenty, from Rock Venues, Shows, Great Bars and more, but you’ll have to discover them yourselves. Just have a grea
t time – I know I will when we go back to L.A, hopefully later this year.