Hot! Destination: Los Angeles

Los Angeles is on the minds of my fellow Oregon Ducks as we all look to the City of Angels through Rose Bowl colored glasses. Little did I know that a quick weekend visit to this definitive West Coast city over the summer would be a preview trip. I met two college pals for some old school misadventures. Even with kids in tow, we managed to get an overview of the city that mixed some tourist attractions with local hangouts.

Of course in a city defined by the television and movie industry, even the local hangouts look vaguely familiar.

Our resident guide, Steve, directed us to the Farmer’s Market for breakfast. He had me at the word market, the rest of our group was sold with the promise of coffee. Seventy-five years ago, farmers pulled up to a dirt lot on the corner of Fairfax and Third and sold fruits and vegetables out of their trucks. Now the market is bordered by television studios and a mall. The paved area is covered and vendors sell produce and crafts. Cafes have joined the mix offering fresh meals and indoor / outdoor seating.

It was a quiet Friday morning, even at 10 am when Steve, Pat and I bellied up to a crepe stand for our first LA nosh. It was a comfortable, functioning Farmer’s Market but without a typical morning hustle and bustle. Was this the norm for a non-weekend? Or was it a sign of LA’s economy?

After breakfast we walked next door to The Grove – an outdoor mall where the store employees all look like models from the window displays, the water dances in the park lake like the fountains at The Bellaggio, and the grand bathrooms smell like fresh flowers. As the mall train rings its cheery bell and makes it loop past the stores, you can’t help but smile for the camera. This is Los Angeles where everything is a possible movie set. It’s best to embrace the culture and enjoy the ride.

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