Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hidden hot spots in Griffith Park

Griffith Park is the largest park in Los Angeles.  It takes up about 4310 acres of land.
This is the place where you can have the absolute best view of the famous "HOLLYWOOD" sign. James Dean filmed a part of "Rebel without a Cause" here.  

The entire park is filled with attractions including the LA Zoo, Greek Theatre, Travel Town, Pony Rides, Autry Center, and a Merry-Go-Round.

One of my favorite spots in the park is an outside cafe, "The Trails".
It's located by the west end of Los Feliz Blvd and Fern Dell Dr. This is a popular area for hiking and picnics.

2333 Fern Dell Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90068

This cafe is pretty hidden by the woods. The backyard is wide and totally surrounded by nature. It reminds me of a cafe in North Carolina because of the country mountain feeling.

I found this cafe one day while attending an Outdoor family theater event called Faery Hunt.  

This is a unique outdoor adventure in a  gorgeous location.

2333 Fern Dell Pl
Los Angeles, CA 90068
*Please check out the event days from the site.

Los Angeles's most popular spot for tourists is Griffith observatory. 
It is the most gorgeous observatory and the admission is free.

You can see all of Los Angeles from here. 
2800 Ease Observatory Rd
Los Angeles, CA 90027

Los Angeles is always so blue.

This observatory had a $93 million renovation and reopened in 2006.

I saw the new planetarium for the first time and I was very amazed how wonderful the experience was.
I recommend this planetarium for people who could use a little relax and meditation.

There is a gift store that sells original goods that you can only find here.
Thinking of space is kind of hopeless but amusing.

Sunset and evening is even more beautiful here. They are open until 10 pm between Wednesday and Sunday.

After an all day adventure in Griffith Park, if you are starving for meat..

There is a great place for traditional Scottish cuisine and Prime Ribs nearby! The Tam O' Shanter, is one of the oldest restaurants in Los Angeles.
There are many different styles of cut for Prime Rib and I recommend the Tam O'shanter Cut $31 for the first time.
2980 Los Feliz Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Now you are ready to go home.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Hidden hot spots in Hollywood vol.2

 Los Angeles is big on celebrating Mexican culture.
For the pre Halloween weekend, I visited a big costume festival "Dia de Los Muertos" in Hollywood.

It was located at a real cemetery. A big one!
"Hollywood Forever Cemetery" is on Santa Monica Blvd in the center of Los Angeles. It is worth it to stop by here just to see the beautiful landscape.
6000 Santa Monica Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90038

Dia de Los Muertos means Day of the Dead. This is a Mexican Holiday around November 1 which celebrates friends or family who have died. 

I prefer calling this "The Skeleton Festival"!

Skeleton art and performers were everywhere in the huge cemetery.

You can find Mexican traditional art mixed with each person's artistic impression. 

The main event is an Altar Contest that gives $3000 for 1st prize.

Many of altars included real people which was very interesting to me. 
at Hollywood Forever Cemetery
6000 Santa Monica Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90038

This event goes from 12pm to 12am.
The day time is totally good for families and everyone.

I loved the selection of food vendors. Off course there are Mexican traditional foods such as Tacos, Tamale, and BBQs.

I enjoyed looking around the numerous craft stores.
I purchased this skeleton wedding couple pierce that was handmade and $10.

You can meet Rosita who is a Mexican cartoon character from "Rosita y Conchita" and purchase some cool stuff too.

After you see the unique crafts and you feel like making one...

There is a craft corner and you can paint either a skeleton head or a coffin jewery box.

Inside of the Cathedral is an art exhibit.

There are so many types of Skeleton art and it is right in front of a real coffin..

To be a part of this festival, you must wear the face painting.
There are several face painting spots and you can choose with your taste.

You can be a cute skeleton or death metal.
It seems to be a big colorful flowers on head is the young girl's trend.

It was just simply fun to look around at the people in costume.

I couldn't stay until night time, but I'm sure it was really scary and more exciting for the adventurous.
This is also a perfect spot to see the Hollywood sign.