I’ve reached the final countdown. I have to be out of my apartment in 8 days. I can hardly believe it. Between the packing, cleaning, freaking out, and watching roughly 34 episodes of Louie in a row (yep. I have a problem), I’m also trying to fit in all the items on my LA Adventure List. This weekend, I talked a few of my friends in to driving around the city to help me cross off two!
I have been meaning to visit The Watts Towers for years, but being a lazy person, they always were just a bit too out of the way. Sure, Watts isn’t that far down the freeway, but it’s rare (as in, never) that I have a reason to be there. I’d seen pictures and thought they seemed neat, but not compelling enough to actually make the trip. How wrong I was.
The Watts Towers were constructed by Simon Rodia, a tile worker, over 33 years. He used only found items, and created a surprisingly graceful, intricate structure that includes mosaics of old 7 UP bottles, vases, shells, cast off tiles, and even figurines.
After working on it for so long, he just up and left it to his neighbor one day, who had no idea what to do with it. Luckily, it was saved from being torn down, and now tourists can pay $7 to get a very detailed tour. This is weird LA at its best.
After Watts, we headed back up into Downtown LA to grab lunch and go on Angel’s Flight!
Angel’s Flight has been touted as the world’s shortest railroad, though I don’t know how much truth there is to that claim. For fifty cents, it will cart you up a steep hill…for about 30 seconds. It’s a beautiful little orange and black car, and has been restored recently so it’s very shiny. The view from the top is pretty awesome, as it looks over most of downtown and east LA. Also, if you’re a movie buff, the top of Angel’s Flight is that park in (500) Days of Summer where Zooey and Joseph sit on a bench and talk about cutesy things. So there’s that.
And if you’re looking for a fun lunch experience that is right across the street from Angel’s Flight, head to the Grand Central Market. Want pupusas? They got it. Tacos? Yep. Chop Suey? Sure. They also sell bulk candy, fruit, meat, etc. It’s a throwback to European style outdoor markets, and it’s pretty much impossible not to love.
Lastly, we hit up LACMA to see Levitated Mass, the giant rock that fascinated local news as it was carted from Riverside to LA. It’s…I don’t know. I expected more. Sure, it’s cool. It’s a huge rock. And people love taking goofy pictures in front of it, in which they pretend to hold it up. It’s LA’s version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa! I guess after hearing all the buzz for months and months, I expected to really feel changed. I felt…like there was a giant rock over me. And that’s why I’m not a modern art critic.
Oh, and having cocktails at the outdoor LACMA bar afterwards? Now, THAT is highly recommended.
So yep, LA Adventure List– I’m making progress on you! I can’t recommend taking a day to be a tourist in your city more. Just make sure to take a few up for anything friends and add in drinks whenever appropriate/possible.