Going to Los Angeles? Don't Miss These 8 Points of Interest
Los Angeles was in the spotlight this year more than ever, thanks to a certain throwback, Jazz-era inspired musical movie. The narrative, brought to life by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, helped evoke a more intimate, whimsical side of this city, that is too often dismissed as just another big, congested town. From the grownup LA of today, designing fans, beer connoisseurs, as well as Japanophiles will find something to hold their interest. Considering a trip into the West Coast's flashiest town? Listed below are eight places worth adding into the listing.
Hollywood Forever Cemetery
To pay your respects to Hollywood legends beyond, enter (at no cost) these park-like grounds just off Santa Monica Boulevard. Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, and director John Huston all rest here, though memorials are not the only thing which keeps people showing up in the gates. Each summer, Cinespia hosts an outdoor movie series, which occasionally honors the cemetery's own residents. One of this year's attributes? Wizard of Oz.
Grand Central Market
There's no such thing as a fast lunch in this high-volume, maze-like global food hall. It takes an hour just to select between the different choices: Salvadorean pupusas, gourmet grilled cheese, cheese falafel pits, Japanese bento boxes. The fantastic news? Most sellers remain open until 10:00 p.m. nightly, which means you may come back and do it again for supper.
Constructed into Angelino Heights from neighboring Echo Park, the difference is immediately evident. Massive 19th-century homes in flamboyant colors like purple and yellow decorate this particular block of Carroll Avenue, making it a title on the National Register of Historic Places. Here, you are going to see the famous manor Prue, Piper, and Phoebe (and later Paige) known as dwelling on the TV show "Charmed." Just down the street, Michael Jackson used another of those Victorian stunners for his "Thriller" video.
Million Dollar Theater
It caused a huge stir when it first opened on Broadway in 1918 -- in 2,345 seats, the was one of the nation's first actual movie palaces, with an orchestra pit for live accompaniment to the films. Beautifully restored, the same giant circular chandelier still hangs over plush velvet seats. Show up for a backstage tour or, in the summer, reserve tickets to "Last Remaining Seats," a film series featuring classics like LA Confidential and Jaws.
Attention thrill seekers: there's a glass chute affixed to the exterior of LA's greatest building, and it's built for slipping. You'll input the 70th floor, strap yourself into a foam mat, and whiz gleefully one floor below, without a 11/4" of material separating you from the street. It is an enjoyable angle on the city, and there are few skyscrapers to compete with, meaning you can see for miles in all directions, from the snaking freeways from the San Gabriel Mountains.
So popular has this sleek modern art museum gotten since its launching in 2015 a committed Twitter account posts upgrades on the average wait time to get in. Once you make it inside, you will see why demand is so large. Amassed from philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad, the Complete collection includes originals from Cindy Sherman, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol -- and of course, that the Instagram-famous "Infinity Mirrored Room" by Yayoi Kusama.
Afternoon tea purists will swoon for the spread in the Huntington Rose Garden Tea Room, that has three-tiered trays piled with salmon finger sandwiches, fresh-baked crumpets with Devonshire cream, and also tiny tiramisu squares. The whole 207-acre estate is a knockout with different themed gardens (such as a jungle habitat with orchids, bamboo, and a waterfall), two art museums, and a library with manuscripts dating back to the Middle Ages.
To get a whistlestop tour through this bizarre, curio-filled corner of downtown Los Angeles, begin at the Japanese Village Plaza. On most weekday afternoons, a warbling middle-aged man sets up his synthesizer at the mall's courtyard while patrons browse Japanese-themed souvenirs and snack on bacon-topped donuts in the amazing Caffe Dulce bakery. At neighboring Weller Court, you will find even more stores, ramen eateries, along with an acclaimed jazz club.