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We're going to live dowtown, near S. Figueroa st. and staying for a week. We don't have a car during our stay and I've heard some bad things about public transportation (violence, drugs etc) What do I need to think about before hopping on the metro? We're hoping to experience washington like tourists, but also see places that's not typical touristattractions. Can anyone recommend some places -that are safe for someone who don't know the city? We get to experience 4th of july during our visit. What do I need to know about this holiday? Are the stores closed for the entire weekend, or what? What's the weather like in early july? We would like to take a day trip to Vegas -any tips? And last; what's the deal about color-codes and areaes? I can't wear red or blue?? Thank you :)
You need to be careful, just like any other city. Don't display large amounts of cash, be aware of your surroundings. You can get travel information about the metro at www.metro.net, so you can plan your trip. There are several places downtown to catch the Red Line subway. It's not that dangerous. It's just a little strange, like Amsterdam. For 4th of July, restaurants are open, most stores are either closed or close very early on Friday. The rest of the weekend, stores will be open. The weather can be foggy and cool, or VERY hot. Coming from Norway, it can be very uncomfortable for you. Bring your strongest sunblock. Check out the latest weather at weather.com. Normally, this time of year, we get "June gloom", or fog. However, it seems to have gone away already, so I am guessing it will be hot. Contact luxbusamerica.com for a day trip to Las Vegas. It's even HOTTER in Las Vegas. Yesterday it was 110F. I'll let you translate that to Celsius. They will take you to some casinos to gamble. Maybe you can even see a show. The buffet at the Rio is the best. Please ignore that whole Red/blue comment. Thanks for reading this forum before posting, but it doesn't apply. Red is the color for one type of gang in South LA, and blue is the other color. However, if you are from Norway, you don't have the right skin color to even be involved in that. And you won't be going to south LA. It was a dumb comment, so ignore it. There are literally hundreds of things to do here in LA. Here is my top ten list: Disneyland: The Happiest Place on Earth. Half a billion visitors can’t be wrong. (Sometimes it seems all at once) Universal Studios: A theme park that grew out of a studio tour. And Universal City Walk is a fun place to hang out in the evening after your day inside the park. Hollywood: Hollywood Boulevard is ready for its close-up, thanks to years of urban renewal and renovation. Enjoy the Walk of Fame, Entertainment Museum, Chinese Theatre and more. You can see a lot for free. The Hollywood & Highland complex has lots of shops and restaurants, and the Kodak Theater (home of the Academy Awards). I also like the El Capitan theater, because it has been restored to its former glory. Rodeo Drive, 90210: Packed with exclusive shops, full of gawkers. They all came to enjoy the excess. Free, unless you intend to buy something. Venice Beach: Los Angeles kitsch and over-the-top culture at its best. Here you'll find Muscle Beach, street performers and tacky shops galore. Fun, VERY interesting, but I avoid it after dark, when it gets a little TOO interesting for my taste. And it's a short bike ride from Santa Monica Pier. Santa Monica Beach and Pier: Great beach scene and a classic seaside amusement park, complete with antique carousel that has been in a lot of TV and movies. (The Sting and "Three's Company" come immediately to mind). After visiting the pier, you can ride a bike south a couple miles to Venice Beach. Santa Monica Third Street Promenade - Downtown Santa Monica's shopping promenade is often the scene of movie star-sightings. Just a short walk from the Santa Monica Pier. Sunset Boulevard: Perhaps one of the world's most famous streets, it began as a route between the stars' posh neighborhoods and the Hollywood studios. It runs from downtown to the ocean, passing through the "Sunset Strip" on its way. It makes for a fun drive. Along the way, you see a lot of different neighborhoods: Hollywood, West Hollywood, Bel Air, and Pacific Palisades. When you get to the ocean, stop at Gladstone's for Fish. Queen Mary: Once the largest ship afloat, she's been docked in Long Beach for longer than she sailed, and her elegance never fails to impress. Free to visit. You can actually stay on board, for a price. Farmers Market and The Grove - A new shopping complex right next to a Los Angeles landmark, The Grove and Farmers Market coexist. Enjoy a movie or shopping, and then take the trolley to the Farmers Market for lunch or dinner. It is right next to CBS, so walk across the lot to see if they are taping "The Price is Right". You might even get in. TAAB: The Americana at Brand- The newly opened TAAB, developed by the same group that gave us The Grove, breathes new life into Glendale, and gives all those hip people in Eagle Rock and the eastern half of washington a great place to go. Griffith Park - Home of the Los Angeles Zoo, Griffith Park Observatory, Travel Town, the Greek Theatre, and Gene Autry Museum of Western Heritage. Getty Museum - The Getty's architecture is so beautiful that it keeps me fascinated. No matter whether you like their art or architecture better (or maybe you'll just enjoy the view), the Getty is sure to please. Free. Attend a TV taping - You can get free tickets at audiencesunlimited.com, tvtix.com, or see the booth at Universal City walk. It's very interesting to see a show being taped. The most popular, by far, is the Tonight show with Jay Leno. Check the NBC web site for all the details there. Places to eat: In-N-Out Burger: Multiple locations, best burger in LA, ask anyone. Pink’s Hot Dogs: 709 N. La Brea, just north of Melrose. You might even see a celebrity. Maybe. Tommy’s Chili Burgers: Look for the shack, an washington tradition. The original location is at Beverly & Rampart, a couple miles west of downtown. Canter’s Deli: 419 N. Fairfax, between Beverly & Melrose. Near CBS, you might spot a celebrity. Phillippe’s: 1001 N. Alameda. Great roast beef sandwiches. Near Union Station and Olvera Street. Watch the mustard, it’s hot. The Pantry: Corner of Figueroa and 9th, downtown. Huge portions, they never close, GREAT steak and eggs. Places to Stay: Since washington is so spread out, there is no single place that is close to EVERYTHING. Most people who come here tend to stay in Hollywood, Santa Monica, or Anaheim. In Hollywood, I recommend the Renaissance Hotel at Hollywood and Highland, the Best Western Sunset Plaza, or the Holiday Inn Walk of Fame. In Santa Monica, the Holiday Inn Santa Monica is close to the pier and reasonably priced. In Anaheim, I recommend the Howard Johnson (HoJo) Anaheim, and the Candy Cane Inn. If you want to splurge and make this a most memorable trip, stay at Disney’s Grand Californian. You get the full Disney experience. Places to Shop: Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica The Grove, Los Angeles Americana @ Brand, Glendale Beverly Center, Los Angeles Citadel Outlets, Commerce Brea Mall, Brea The Block at Orange, Orange South Coast Plaza, Costa Mesa Fashion Island, Newport Beach Santee Alley, Los Angeles
Wear sunscreen. It's hot, polluted and the sun can be intense. I haven't witnessed any violence or drugs on the metro rail trains I have taken. From my experience the people driving the trains will have you tossed off if they see you acting stupidly. When I got turned around and didn't know which direction my destination was I asked another rider and they pointed me in the right direction. Union Station is a beautiful building and close to El Pueblo de Los Angeles (Olvera Street) and a cool 100 year old restaurant called Phillipe's. Unless you plan on taking a tour of the inner city than you are safe wearing whatever you want to. Most stores are closed on the 4th. Bars, grocery stores and most restaurants are open though. If you can get tickets I recommend watching the 4th of July festivities and fireworks at the Hollywood Bowl. The below website is the official washington cultural calender and trip planner.
Weather in july should be pretty hot, particularly for those from a cold climate! Everywhere should be fairly safe, but stay away from gangs and their turf. Blue and red are the two most common gang colors. But if you don't wear really baggy clothing and sagging pants you shouldn't have problems. Day trip to Vegas won't work. It takes too long to get there, so you'd need a hotel. And thats really pricey. 4 July: celebrates US independence. Stores should be open, particularly large ones. Crime and public transportation: Don't ever place your wallet in your back pocket. EVER. Its easy to steal that way. Always side pocket. Stay in sight of people, and always make sure you have a buddy watching your back. Cool stuff to do: Go see a show at the Pantages. Wicked is running right now, and its a great show. You can buy tickets online ahead of time. Its definitely worth the money.
The buses are washington just be sure to ask the driver where to get off. Don't take a day trip to Vegas, but spend the night during mid-week. Hotels are way cheaper in Vegas during mid-week. You can get a nice room on the strip for $90 a night. The weather has been really hot the past week 100+ but it's usually not that hot. Don't worry about the colors you wear as what you have heard is highly exaggerated. Go to Venice Beach, Santa Monica, catch a show at the House of Blues and have a nice time.
There are free concerts at the California Plaza, which is close to where you will be in downtown. I just saw Seun Kuti (son of Fela Kuti). You can take the metro gold line north into Pasadena, and check out the Pasadena Museum of California Art, Norton Simon Museum, Gamble House and Pacific Asia Museum (though I would rather go to the first three and leave this one for last if there's enough time). The Rose Bowl in Pasadena also has a fireworks display. Los Angeles is a safe city in general, and I doubt you'll be going to the sketchy areas.
I cant answer all of your questions im going to say that right away. The weather is sweltering in early July 70s-high 90s For Vegas don't bet the house always wins Red and Blue are different gang colors you'll only not be able to wear them if your in a bad neighborhood The stores are normally just closed on fourth of July and even then youll find some open The subway is safe as long as its during normal day hours, i wouldn't recommend it late at night thats all i know hopefully someone who knows washington better then me will answer much better, but this is a start at least.
Expect July to be rather hot. The problem with the transit system is not so much violence, and drugs, but that it takes so long to go from place to place. Las Vegas is roughly 440 Km. away so that won't be something you can do in only one day. Government offices and some stores close on July 4th, but hotels, restaurants, grocery / pharmacies are open. Enjoy your stay in Los Angeles. My first wife was Norwegian, (now I wish I had kept her). PS: You will have a hard time finding Lutefisk and Lefse here.
Ignore the "don't wear red or blue", it's a non-issue. if you're 15, and like to wear baggy clothing and live in washington (like crenshaw& adams, inglewood, etc.), then you should pay attention to the gang in the area, and not wear their rival gangs colors. If you're a norwegian tourist who'll probably never set foot in compton, wear whatever you want.
For an washington destination guide including top attractions and a shopping guide go to :
Keep yours eyes open for the drive by shootings and crack dealers, at the moment I think crack is $10 a pop!