|Posted by: HoboSylvain | 2013-09-11 22:08:22 | Los Angeles, California, United States|
Keywords: attraction, beach, city, Failure
|I knew I would not fall in love with Los Angeles like I did with San Francisco a few years ago, and I suspect I will do in San Diego over the next few days. What I had learned and seen about L.A. were leading me to think I wouldn't like this megalopolis. That was confirmed during my visit.|
I knew I would not fall in love with Los Angeles like I did with San Francisco a few years ago, and I suspect I will do in San Diego over the next few days. What I had learned and seen about L.A. were leading me to think I wouldn't like this megalopolis. That was confirmed during my visit.
First, Los Angeles due to its massive attraction force, doesn't have a personality of its own like the two other big Californian cities. It's a melting pot including mostly Mexicans but also Chinese, Korea and Japan.
It's also extremely vast and expanded, so you don't really have a city core with all the attractions nearby. Downtown Los Angeles is basically its business district. Next to it, you find a series of old hotels which were magnificent in their era and now serve mostly the budget travellers (like myself). Below, you see a picture of the lobby of my hotel... and it's the cheapest in town! However, even if most buildings are beige, they have lots of architecture refinement with sculptures and engraving.
Due to its extremely large area, and its matching population you'd think they had come up with a great transportation system. Wrong. They're finally working on it though. They have multiple and often redundant bus systems (if you thought San Francisco was confusing in terms of transportation, it's nothing compared to here), with different fares. They have a brand new subway system, created about 20 years ago (yes, surprising considering this huge city is mostly flat) and still in expansion. But local people like their cars, even if it means being stuck in traffic for hours. I've been stuck in one in West Hollywood; in an hour my bus advanced by TWO street blocks. So, the transit system is slow (both due to traffic and to low frequency of service) and doesn't cover all areas, but it's cheap: 5$ will buy you a day pass, $20 for a week pass.
I don't know if it's because of the traffic of the fact that the ocean is a bit far away from the core of the city... but you don't have the same Californian feeling you have elsewhere. People of Los Angeles as stressed and preoccupied, not the same mindset as in San Francisco at all! Also, since the water is so far away, you don't see, smell or feel the presence of it. You're a bit like in a Las Vegas casino... where the only thing you see from inside are the slot machines... no exit.
Los Angeles and its suburbs stand for dream, entertainment and luxury. All things that are artificial and aimed in making you look good. This superficial world doesn't interest me at all. But if you're into it, there are tons of activities to do in here. You could go visit the studios, go to a TV recording, tour the stars' homes and try to be a paparazzi, etc. You can also go on world known beaches to watch and be seen. Another attraction is Beverly Hills and it's expensive boutiques.... which can now be found anywhere in the world, nothing exclusive there. There's also Disneyland nearby, the very first Disney theme park in the world.
I was happy with walking on the Hollywood boulevard. Did I like the city? No. Will I return? Probably not. Do I regret stopping by? No, not at all. First, it allowed me to confirm my impressions and now be able to say I saw it. Second, I had planned a rest day while in the city of angels, and I took it. Very hard for me to do in a city I like because I always want to go out and explore. That break allowed me to rest and to work a bit on my Web sites, which I normally don't have time to do. Finally, I believe every experience has its value, even the bad ones.
La Mitad del Mundo
Sanctuary Las Lajas
Festival of lights
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