Most things we write come out of a moment of enthusiasm
Anyone that knows me, knows that I am a huge advocate for couchsurfing. If you don’t know what couchsurfing is – basically you sleep on a local resident’s couch/floor/spare bed, which they have offered up for free to help their fellow travellers. Lots of people do it for lots of different reasons, and I consider it one of the greatest examples of our humanity and kindness in the 21st century. Check out couchsurfing.org for more info.
So I have been staying with Aaron for the last few days in his little eclectic house, and it’s been fun and welcoming. He took me down to Venice Beach a few days ago, and yesterday we explored Downtown. One of my favourite things about couchsurfing, is the places that the locals will take you and the things you will see that you might never have otherwise found. Yesterday was a perfect example of that.
Stop #1: City Hall. Not a whole lot of people know this, but you can actually go all the way up to the top of City Hall to an observation deck and get some amazing views of the city. You have to go through a security check point, and then get a visitor’s sticker from the front desk and show some ID (I used my international student card with no problems). Then up you go!
Stop #2: The Last Bookshop. I’m going to do a whole post dedicated to this bookshop in a few days, but let me just say that if you only have one day in LA and are a fan of books, please visit this store. Please. And plan to lose at least an hour and a half out of your day once you step inside.
Stop #3: 505 Flower Mall. Just a great place to grab some food in an underground mall.
Stop #4: The Westin Hotel. This is a big glass hotel made up of circles, and if you ride the glass elevators on the outside of the buildings, you get some truly great views of the city, plus it just feels like you’re flying.
Stop #5: Walt Disney Concert Hall. This was just a fun place to wander around and explore all the little walkways up the top of the building. If you are over 175cm tall, I imagine you would get some great views! 😛
Stop #6: The Los Angeles Underground Tunnels. So this one was a bit more obscure. Not many people know, but there are tunnels that were used during the mob era to smuggle booze, parties and probably bodies around. Now days a lot of them have been shut off, but we found one underneath the Hall of Records that was fun to explore, if a little nerve wracking to find.
After that full day, we went to a party for the Hollywood Fringe, which is happening over the next few weeks. You should definitely check it out, so many good shows on and most tickets are less than $15! The party was ok, I was pretty exhausted and it was very much an industry party where everyone knew everyone. Aaron wasn’t super good at introductions and the flurried greetings with squeals and hugs didn’t give me much opportunity to say hello without seeming completely random. But I did meet a few people, one lady dressed as a chicken and it was a nice evening. The bus got us home at 1am and it was bed time.